The ABCs of Oliver Jeffers

A is for AWESOME
B is for BOUNTIFUL
C is for CREATIVE GENIUS

I have GREAT Admiration for Mr Oliver Jeffers, a Brilliant Picture Book Genius Extraordinaire. His Cleverly Crafted stories are Dynamically Engaging Fables Garnished with Handworked Illustrations that take the reader on Journeys Keenly Loaded with Multitudinous Novelities Offering Peeks into Quirky Realms where you must STOP and THINK Until you realize the Veritable Wonders that eXist in these Yarns from “The Jeffers Zone!” Whew!!

I present to you Mr.Jeffers latest tome –

IMG_1815Once Upon an ALPHABET
short stories for all the
Letters

by Oliver Jeffers

published by Philomel Books in 2014

suitable for ALL ages
this is a BIG book – 112 fabulous pages!

Themes – The Alphabet!!!

It begins –
If words make up stories, and letters make up words, then stories are made of letters.
In this menagerie we have stories, made of words, made FOR all the LETTERS.

A
An Astronaut

A is for an Astronaut named Edmund who is afraid of heights. Oh my.

This book is exactly what it claims. Very short, quirky stories for each of the letters of the alphabet. All of the stories can stand on their own, but they also intermingle with each other. They are all quite humorous. Some in a rather dark way. A little reminiscent of Mr Edward Gorey. Some in an “oh my!” kind of way. Some you have to stop and think about. Ponder for a bit. You can’t read this book just once! You have to go back and read it again and again. It is a Veritable Wonder!!!!!

IMG_1819I think everyone, young and old should have to write sentences using all the letters of the alphabet. And write your own stories with all the letters of the alphabet! It makes you appreciate all those letters just a little bit more!

Orange Marmalade recently did a fun review of this book if you would like to see more HERE.

Mr Colby Sharp has some 3rd graders who actually interviewed Mr Jeffers!!! Check it out HERE!

Mr. Jeffers has a website with lots of fun activities and things to do. You can visit it HERE.

Today happens to be Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Hill’s. You might want to travel over there to see her list of Perfect Picture Books and all the fun resources to go with! You can get There from HERE!

 And here is Mr Jeffers himself!

I wish you a Picture Perfect weekend
Your Library Friend who knows the Alphabet well!
Rhythm
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School Days, School Days

Looks like the end of summer is here and school days are upon us. My job will shift from library duty to school duty. That’s fine by me. It’s all the same. Kids and books. School days tend to be a bit more hectic and tiring for me, but that’s ok. School is a fun place to be!

Copy of IMG_1568We had our last summer library session this week. In the summer we do our library visits in the morning, and during the school year we move the visits to evening time. It’s been a busy, fun summer with lots of kids and some fine books.

This week the books were all about school! All the kids are excited about getting back to the classroom and all their friends. Except for one little girl who is about to have her very first school day. She’s a bit nervous about the whole thing. I’ve helped many a new student get through those first day traumas. Part of my job! But let me tell you about the books we read this week. There were some good ones!

IMG_0827Dixie Loves School Pet Day
by Grace Gilman
pictures by Sarah McConnell
colors by Joe Merkel
published by Harper in 2011
This is an I Can Read Book, beginning level 1

The kids all thought that Dixie looked a lot like me! The story is about a big day for Dixie – she gets to go to school with her girl Emma. We used to have a goat named Emma. Our Emma was scary. But Dixie’s Emma seems pretty nice. Anyway, Dixie was excited about going to school and wanted to be a good girl for Emma. But alas, Dixie was so excited that mayhem ensued. 😦 In the end, Dixie saved the day and everyone made some new friends. It was a cute, fun read aloud.

IMG_0873How Will I Get to School This Year?
by Jerry Pallotta
illustrated by David Biedrzycki
published by Scholastic, Inc. in 2011

The story of a girl who decides she’s tired of riding the smelly school bus to school and imagines all the other options. This girl has a WILD imagination! My readers laughed and laughed all the way through this book! Just imagine riding an elephant to school!! Or a tarantula! Or an eagle! Our imaginations soared!! This is a good one!

IMG_0867David Goes to School
by David Shannon
published by The Blue Sky Press (an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.)
in 1999

There are quite a few books out there about this David. They are all hilarious! David is one wild kid! I love David. And my readers do, too. They all said they knew a David. I’ve run into quite a few Davids myself. This book is all about those silly, hard to follow school rules. Like no running in the halls and no chewing gum and sitting in your proper seat. David has a hard time. I can relate.

IMG_0843Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School
by David Kirk
published by Scholastic in 2000

It’s Little Miss Spider’s first day of school and it doesn’t go very well for her. She can’t do all the things other bugs can do – like flying and stinging. She feels like a failure. And we all feel sad for Little Miss Spider. But just like Dixie, in the end she saves the day by using the best super power of all — kindness!

And our very FAVORITE book of the day —

IMG_0881The Day the Crayons Quit
by Drew Daywalt
pictures by Oliver Jeffers
(I love, love, love Mr Jeffers!!!)
published by Philomel Books in 2013

I think that by now everyone is familiar with this book. It has been on all the best seller lists and all the book review lists and on every shelf at every bookstore. It has made a big splash. It’s a clever story about a box of crayons who have a lot of complaints and write letters to the boy, Duncan. Each page spread includes the letter from a particular color and coordinating illustrations that look very much like they were done by a first grader. Yay to Mr Jeffers genius! Another book that had my readers rolling on the floor laughing. We read this book through twice! The crayons’ penmanship is not the best and the kids had a little difficulty reading some of it, but it was kind of like a puzzle and they had fun deciphering it. There were also some big words that they stumbled on a bit. And what color is the sun, really?! A very cleverly done tale.

i hope that everyone has a fun, successful start to your school year – with no trouble from the crayon box!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just realized that there are an awful lot of DAVIDS in this post! If you click on any of their names – or the other names, as well — you’ll be able to find out more about them.

Happy Reading!!
Your library friend
Rhythm
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The Heart and the Bottle

img449I grew up as a guide dog in training. My 1st year of life was pure bliss living and loving with my family at the 7 Acre Wood. I went EVERYWHERE and did EVERYTHING with my Mom Person. She taught me about the world – the good and the bad. I was a curious pup and she encouraged my curiosity about the world and how best to relate to it. She opened my eyes and my heart to all the wonder and love that the world contained.

img450Then one day we got on a plane and flew far away to Florida. We took my best girl, Brenna, and stayed in a hotel with a whole bunch of other dogs. All my Guide Dog Puppy friends were there. We visited the beach and played in the park and went on a really long walk through town. Then we went off to visit the place where I was born. Southeastern Guide Dogs. My Mom Person had been telling me for some time that I was going off to college to learn how to be a Guide Dog, but I didn’t really get it until I saw the campus. And the next thing I knew, I was being led away by some stranger. I looked back at my Mom Person and she was crying. What was going on?

img338I didn’t see her again for a year. At least that’s what she says. For me it was infinity and beyond. I watched for her everyday. I tried to be a good college student. I did all I was supposed to do, but my heart was locked away.

We have a book by Oliver Jeffers called The Heart and the Bottle that seems to be all about what that year was like for me.

IMG_4094This book was published in 2010 by Philomel Books.

It is the tale of a girl whose life was filled with all the wonders of the world. She shared it all with a man who must be her Dad. They went EVERYWHERE and did EVERYTHING together. But one day he wasn’t there. And he wasn’t ever there again. She wasn’t sure what to do with her heart so she put it in a bottle to keep it safe and hung it around her neck. She was no longer filled with curiosity and the bottle was heavy around her neck. She went through infinity. Then one day she met a little girl who was still curious about the world, and she decided it was time to take her heart out of the bottle. But she didn’t know how. The little girl did know and showed her how. The big girl put her heart back where it belonged and all the wonders of the world came back to her.

You just can’t lock your heart away forever.

After my infinity time (a year) I was brought out of my kennel one day and there was a familiar scent in the air and then a familiar voice calling my name and then I saw her — My Mom Person had come back!  And this is what it was like for me —

Nobody thought to take a video of our reunion, but this is exactly how it was. JOY!!!

And now I spend my days with the Mom Person and we share the wonders of the world together again. Life is Bliss. And my heart is where it is meant to be.

I am truly blessed to have had the life that I have been given. I hope you have found your bliss this Thanksgiving weekend.

Open up your Heart

Rhythm

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The Great Paper Caper

I have MORE OLIVER JEFFERS for you!!!! Today it’s —

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The Great Paper Caper. Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Published by Philomel Books in 2008.
We read it with some 3rd graders and got to use dictionaries! It has some words and concepts that are a little tricky. Like – Caper and culprit and judges and alibis and prosecutors and trials and line-ups. We had some fun conversation, but you might want to consider these things when you think about who you’re going to read the book with.
It’s a crime mystery and a subtle story about conservation.

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It begins in the forest where everyone lives underground under a tree. EVERYONE. The pig and the deer and the duck and the beaver and the boy. “There was a time in the forest …  when everything was not as it should have been.IMG_1527

*Tree branches were disappearing! Who could be the culprit?! All the forest animals had alibis. So they needed to investigate and look for clues.

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In the meantime, while the forest folk are trying to figure it out, we see the bear chopping and hauling the wood, carrying paper, and flying paper airplanes. It seems that there is a paper airplane competition that he wants to enter. And why does he need all the trees? Because he needs LOTS of paper for his airplanes and he has a paper making machine in his house! The machine chops up the trees to make the paper for the paper airplanes!  Will the forest animals find this out? Will the prosecutor and the judge do their job? Will the bear win the contest? Will the forest be saved?

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You’ll have to read the book and find out!!!

It’s a thriller!

The book has some instructions for making paper airplanes. We didn’t take the time to do this, but it would be a great, fun activity to do with a class.

You can find some good instructions here and here and here.
Here is a link to instructions for making your own paper
Here is a link to a website about paper, with history and educational materials.
Here is a link to  conservation resources for elementary school.
And here are some teacher ideas for this very book!

Now you can visit Susanna Hill and find a big list of great picture books along with helpful resources. It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!.

And I’ll now leave you with a musical paper concert —

I have a confession to make

I have a confession to make.

When I was a wee babe, I ate books. Yes, I did. I ate them. They were right there. They smelled quite nice. And I found that they tasted pretty good.

But the Mom Person moved them out of my reach and I soon found other, better things to chew on and eat. Now, in my maturity, I enjoy books because they bring me closer to the people that I love. They bring me soft hands and soothing voices. Sometimes giggles and laughter. And sometimes I learn a thing or two.

A book that was recently read to me and brought those peals of JOY and laughter is another one by that wonder boy, Oliver Jeffers. The Incredible Book Eating Boy. It was published by Philomel Books in 2006. It is suitable for all ages. It is hilarious!

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I am a HUGE Oliver Jeffers fan! His books are incredibly unique. This story is about Henry, a boy who LOVES books! But, he loves to EAT them! He loves to eat all sorts of books. And he finds that the more he eats — the smarter he gets! And he wants to be smart, so he eats and eats. But then he finds that he is feeling very ill indeed! And all the books that he was ingesting start getting all mixed up. In his tummy and in his head. Everyone tells him he should stop eating books. So he decides that he must. Then one day he picks up a book and instead of eating it, he opens it and reads it. And, lo and behold!, he discovers that he loves to READ!

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The story is a fun one, but the book itself is a real treasure. There is a big piece of the back of the book that has been bitten off! ( I did not do it!) The kids thought that was pretty funny. But the really clever thing is that the illustrations and text are printed on copies of real book pages from found books. Mr Jeffers has said that he used pieces of paper that he got from trash bins! Who would think to do such a thing!?

The kids that read this book to me gave it a very high 5. and I give it 4 big paws up. You must check it out!
This book lends itself to a discussion of the proper care and use of books. Some resources can be found here and here.
And here is a pdf file for a bookmark with rules on it!

Now you might want to head over to Susanna Hill’s blog — It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! and there will be lots of great books and resources for you to check out!

This Moose Belongs to Me

We are big Oliver Jeffers fans at this house. His books are so clever and simple and funny. His artwork cracks me up. Today we read This Moose Belongs to Me to some 1st graders. It cracked them up too!

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The book was published by Philomel Books in 2012.
It is suitable for K and up.
Themes would be pets and wildlife.

The book begins with “Wilfred owned a moose.”

This is the story of a boy, Wilfred, who thinks that he owns a moose that he names Marcel.

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He has a big list of rules for pets and tells us that Marcel obeys some of the rules. Like Rule 4 which is: “Not making too much noise while Wilfred plays his record collection.” (Surprisingly, some of the kids knew what a record collection was!) Some rules he ignored. Like Rule 7: Going whichever way Wilfred wants to go.”  And Rule 7 (subsection b): Maintaining a certain proximity to home.” ( big word alert! – PROXIMITY) Basically, Marcel tended to go wherever there were apples. And that led them to a “terrible discovery …..” A little purple haired lady who thought SHE owned the moose and called him Rodrigo! Wilfred was enraged! And stormed off to home.

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But in his haste – (another good word!) he got into a bad fix and was eventually rescued by the moose. Rule 73 for a good pet — “rescuing your owner from Perilous Situations! (more good words!) And then Wilfred admitted that he had never really owned the moose anyway. A good end!

While reading this book with the kids we talked about visualization and plot. Those were the things that they had been studying in class. We also talked about pets versus wildlife. What exactly makes an animal a pet? And why is it not a good idea to try to keep wildlife as pets? We talked about moose and what kind of animal they were and where they live. Mr Jeffers backgrounds for this book were quite special. I have heard that he didn’t actually paint them – they were found artwork from trashbins and books. And he had to find the original artists to be able to use them. Pretty clever!  In class we came up with some of our own rules for a good pet. Things like not going to the bathroom in the house and not jumping on furniture and not running away.

This is a fabulous book. The kids all gave it thumbs up and I give it 4 paws!

Some websites you might want to check out for classroom discussion and activities :

Defenders of Wildlife has lots of information about wildlife conservation.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has some information on wildlife viewing and safety.
With The World Wildlife Fund, you can adopt a moose!
And for little ones here’s a really cute moose puppet made from a paper bag!

For Oliver Jeffers fans, I give you a couple of videos:
The 1st one is How to Draw a Moose
The next one is a rather long presentation from OFFSET with Mr Jeffers talking about his art and book making process. Very Good!

Now you might want to jump over to Susanna Hill’s blog for some more great picture books with activitie to go with. It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!!  Check ’em out!