Tag Archives: imagination

Book Review: The Bone Sparrow

29 Jun


The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon is the story Subhi, a refugee born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of their homeland. Subhi’s world is only what he knows inside the fence of the detention center, but his imagination allows him to escape every night.

One night Subhi, meets Jimmie a girl on the other side of the fence who will turn his world upside down and make him think about the future in way he’s never done before. Armed with a journal of her mother’s Jimmie befriends Subhi in the hopes of learning more about her mother and finally find the comfort that has been missing since her death.

This is an eye-opening and heartbreaking tale of hope in even the most hopeless of places as Fraillon describes life in a place most of us have never even thought about. This would be a great story to use as jumping off point for discussion about immigration, a refugee’s experience and current events for middle grade readers. I’ll be honest, this book was difficult for me to read, there were times I read as tears streamed down my face and anger filled my heart for people who could be treated in such a way, but these are books that have to be written, so that the world knows the stories.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Subhi knows only the refugee camp where he was born, but when Jimmie appears on the other side of the fence, his world changes.

Title: The Bone Sparrow
Author: Zana Fraillon
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 2016
Page Number: 228 pgs.


Book Review: The Land of Forgotten Girls

8 Dec

25685200.jpgI’ve been in a bit of a book slump for the past few months. A lot of it has to do with a new position at work sucking up all my time and brain power. That being said, I actually physically and mentally feel different if I’m not reading enough each week. I get much crabbier, more anxious and in general just don’t feel like myself. That being said, I’ve finally sat down this week to get in some reading and, boy has it felt good.

I picked up The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly for two reasons – (1) I saw it reviewed in an article on Brightly highlighting great middle grade reads of 2016 and (2) I was a sucker for the cover.  I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I’ll be the first to admit that I do, all the time. I was intrigued by the somewhat fairy tale-esque description, but also that it seemed as though it was based in a realistic storyline.

I read this book in just a few sitting and I loved it!  The story follows 12-year-old Soledad a Filipino immigrant who lives with her sister, Ming and stepmother in Louisiana.  Sol has had her fair share of heartache – her sister died in a drowning accident when she was very young, her mother passed away about a year later and although she immigrated to the U.S. with her father and stepmother, her father went back to the Philippines and never came back.  To say her stepmother is not a fan is to say the least.  Her words and actions are abusive and Sol feels that it’s her responsibility to look out for Ming.

What brings hope into this story is that Sol continues to learn and grow throughout the b0ok, she makes mistakes, she upsets people, but she’s always knows what’s right in the end.  Her rich imagination allows her to escape her everyday life but when she teaches her sister the power of her own imagination, will it do more harm than good? Ming believes the imaginary, world-traveling aunt will come save them from their evil stepmother, but what happens when she doesn’t?

The rich characters make this story come to life.  Sol, her best friend Manny, a new friend Caroline and a host of adults that Sol comes in contact with really make this story what it is. It’s a beautiful story about the power of your imagination and that sometimes you know less than you think you do.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): Filipino immigrant, Sol escapes reality with the help of her imagination, but maybe the real world holds more than she gives it credit for.

Title: The Land of Forgotten Girls
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 299 pgs.

Blogging A to Z: Imagination

11 Apr

Letter I.jpg

During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge.  My theme for the month is Storytime Plans From A to Z.  Each plan will have eight stories as well as four songs, fingerplays or rhymes to match the theme!  As you can see, I’ll try and attribute where I found all of this fun (and often you can find it in multiple places).  My goal is to make storytime planning a little easier on myself in the future and to make storytime planning for other librarians easy as well!

Book List:

  1. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
  2. Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
  3. It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
  4. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  5. Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli
  6. That’s How! by Christoph Niemann
  7. Isabella: Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry
  8. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Songs & Rhymes:

The Pirate Song
When I was one,
I banged my drum.
The day I went to sea.
I jumped aboard a pirate ship,
And the captain said to me.
We’re going, this way, that way,
Forwards and backwards,
Over the Irish Sea.
A bottle of rum, to warm my tum,
And that’s the life for me.
(When I was two, I buckled my shoe / When I was three, I banged my knee / When I was four, I knocked on the door / When I was five, I learned to dive)
(I changed “rum” to “milk” when I did this one, haha.)

Zoom Zoom Zoom
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip
climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!

Jeremy Draws a Monster
*flannel board story

Touch Your Nose
Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That’s the way this game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend you’re going to sneeze!
Touch your hair
Touch one ear
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it ends
And that’s the way this touch game ends.

Picture Books that Spark Imagination

19 Feb

Picture Books That Spark.jpg

  1. Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage
  2. Press Here by Herve Tullet
  3. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  4. Journey by Aaron Becker
  5. Chalk by Bill Thomson
  6. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Shachner
  7. This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary
  8. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
  9. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
  10. Higher!  Higher!   by Leslie Patricelli
  11. We Forgot Brock! by Carter Goodrich
  12. It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
  13. That’s How! by Christoph Niemann
  14. Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett
  15. Magic Box by Katie Cleminson

Lego Block Party – One of the Easiest Programs You Can Do

6 Nov

2000px-LEGO_logo.svgWe don’t have a dedicated Lego Club, but we bust out our Legos, especially when the kids don’t have school.  We’ve tried different approaches – themes, no themes, read alouds, games, etc.  And I really enjoy dumping the Legos on the floor and letting the kids go to town.

A lot of the kids that come into our library are book solid with sports, programming, music, art and more.  I like creating an environment where the kids can use their imagination, work their brain muscles and are given the time to explore.  For the most part I saw a lot of robots and other machines that had lasers, guns and the works, but the kids were so proud of their creations!  And that’s what I want – kids to enjoy building for the sake of building, not to expect a prize at the end and to be proud of their creations.

It was interesting to see this time around – I had about 20 kids in my first group, probably about 2/3 boys.  I had a number of groups of boys collaborating on projects and the girls working separately on their own.  Normally, I see the opposite, but I like giving the kids a chance to work together, share resources, and plan how their creation will come together.

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