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!!

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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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Meet Gooney Bird Greene

It’s just about Back to School time here in Texas. Just a couple of more weeks and all the kids will have to be getting up early and sitting in desks and doing homework and taking tests and learning all sorts of new things.

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And I’ll be doing the same. I’ll be listening to a lot of good books and learning new things and sleeping under desks and helping with homework.

Copy of CIMG4547A lot of kids will be going to school for the first time and maybe I’ll be able to help them adjust to the crazy routine.

Teachers will be putting together a list of good read aloud books. (I hope that ALL teachers will be doing this!) And this is where Gooney Bird Greene comes in. Gooney Bird Greene is the title character of a series of books written by Lois Lowry and illustrated by Middy Thomas. These books seem to be very popular in Glen Rose, but I don’t know if they are where you live. If not, you need to head to your library and check them out! These books are suitable for ages 6-9 and grades K-3.

IMG_2625Gooney Bird is a new girl in Mrs. Pidgeon’s 2nd grade classroom. She appears at the classroom door all alone, wearing pajamas and cowboy boots, carrying a dictionary and a lunch box and announces that she wants a desk right in the middle of the room because she “likes to be right smack in the middle of everything.” Gooney Bird is a very singular young lady. She LOVES to tell stories – and this is what these books are all about. Storytelling. How do you find excitement and intrigue in every day things? What makes a story good or bad? Through Gooney Bird’s storytelling you learn all about the elements of a good story. And vocabulary! Gooney Bird is always throwing in big words that the kids don’t know. They have to look them up in the dictionary. What great skills!

Each book is a new month and a new adventure with Gooney Bird and Mrs Pidgeon’s class. New things to learn about working cooperatively and being an independent thinker. And the school, Watertown Elementary, has a school dog! A St. Bernard named Bruno. I love these books!

I’ll leave you with an interview with Ms Lowry – an interesting lady –

Enjoy your last days of summer!
Rhythm

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Spreading JOY

IMG_1688I have a guest today. This is my buddy Walker. Walker lives with me and makes a very fine pillow. Walker and I take turns with work days. Yesterday, Tuesday, was Walker’s turn to go to school in West. He doesn’t like to talk much. He mostly says it all with his tail. So I’m ghost writing for him.

About 8 TDI dogs showed up at West Elementary School Tuesday morning. They were all different kinds of dogs. As soon as they walked in the school the oohs and aahs began. The dogs each visited rooms for about 15 or 20 minutes. That makes for lots of petting!!! Walker got to show off some of his tricks and play some hide and go seek. (This is our favorite game where someone hides our toy and then helps us find it by telling us if we’re hot or cold.) (I can play this game all day! Walker gets tired of it pretty quickly.) He also got to read our book, Dog Loves Books. And all the kids sat around and petted and brushed. They asked all kinds of questions about Walker. Kids always want to know how old we are in “dog years”. I don’t ever understand this question. But the Mom Person tells them that they have to do math and that if they multiply our real age by 7 they will have an approximate dog age. So in one of the classes at West, they did more math and figured out that we dogs have a birthday every 52 days! Isn’t that something! If you would like to check into this issue further check this link.

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After visiting the classes, all the dogs settled in at the school library. Then more kids came in to visit. This time the dogs got to stay in one place and the kids rotated around. More pets and brushing and reading and questions. Walker said some of the kids had lost their dogs after the explosion and were worried about how they would find them. I think that there are lots of folks working on this problem. I hope those kids and dogs find their way back to each other. That must have been a really scary thing for those dogs. And now they’re somewhere worrying about where their kids are. There sure are a lot of puzzles to be worked out in West.

Here are some links to websites that are helping in this lost pet puzzle.
https://www.facebook.com/westanimals
http://www.spca.org/

But for yesterday, West Elementary School seems to have been a pretty JOYful place!

Copy of 904545_440154319409108_1390469710_oThis is a picture of Walker reading with a little girl at the Distribution Center on Sunday. It was taken by a photographer who has a studio in West. Lindsey was nice enough to share it with us. Her studio is called The Studio on Austin.

There has been a great outpouring of goodwill flooding into this small town. People are coming from far and wide to pitch in and help out in whatever way they can. West has a big heart and lots of courage. The town and its people are standing tall through this crisis. I’m glad that we have been able to help out in our own small way.

And since I don’t have a book to tell you about I’m going to leave you with a little uplifting music from Michael Kiwanuka —

School is Back in Session in West!

Yesterday, Monday, we were in West greeting kids who were just going back to school after a horrendously frightening few days off. The High School and Middle School were completely destroyed so the big kids don’t have a school to go back to. From now until the end of school, they will be bused to another small town nearby that happens to have an empty building that West can use. They don’t have textbooks or school supplies or backpacks. Lots of the stuff they need has been donated by Helper folks around the country.

At the end of their school day the big kids were bused to a car dealership in West where their parents came to pick them up. And that’s where we went to meet and greet. They all seemed pretty jolly as they got off the buses and were quite excited to see a bunch of dogs waiting there! There were 7 of us — all from TDI — all shapes and sizes. Some of the kids gave us quick rubs as they passed by. Some sat on the parking lot and gave us good rubs and hugs and talked a lot. Some of the teachers cried. They all thanked us for being there.

Next we went to visit the elementary kids as they were getting out of school. Their school was not damaged except for water pipes. Most of the town is without water because of damage to all the pipes. They put in some special pipes for the school so they have water but it’s not drinkable. No worry though, because the command center is overflowing with donated bottled water! At the school, we laid down on the porch and under the trees and waited for kids to come out. And was it ever fun when they did! Just like the big kids, the little ones were excited to see dogs at the school!! I have a hard time imagining a school without dogs. But I’m finding out that school dogs are pretty rare! It’s odd. Well, we got some good belly rubs and ear rubs and kisses and heard lots of laughter. I like that. And lots of Thank-yous.

After all the kids had been safely transferred to their parents, the school adults had a meeting. The superintendent stopped to give some ear rubs and got up with tears in his eyes saying ” Thanks for being here. It’s not just the kids who need these dogs.” Now doesn’t that make you feel good? It does me.

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These pictures are not from West. No pictures from West today as they asked us not to take any. But this is what my day was like.

I sure love my job! It’s the best job a dog could have!

To be continued …………

Dreaming of the Deep Blue Sea

We visited Mrs B’s class today. It’s a joyous place to be on a cold, rainy day. She has the BEST floor pillows in the school! Maybe anywhere! Anyway, her class reads chapter books. And especially mystery chapter books. Mrs. B LOVES mysteries! She likes to read them herself and she likes for her kids to read them also. She believes that reading mysteries gets a brain working and thinking.

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Right now they are reading the Magic Tree House Book # 39 — Dark Day in the Deep Sea. This book series is by Mary Pope Osborne. The cover of this book looks pretty ominous with our 2 hero kids in the clutches of a creepy octopus! The class is only on Chapter 4, but already much has happened and the kids are getting hunches and coming up with predictions about what will be happening. So far the heroes Jack and Annie have landed on an island and then ended up on a scientific research ship that is searching for an endangered shell. The scientists are very excited because they have found a cousin shell of the one that they are looking for!

The kids are really enjoying this book so I’m hoping that they will read it quickly and I can find out what happens in the end!

The Magic Tree House books have activities at the end of the books that are helpful for discussion. And there is a Magic Tree House website. Be sure and check them out! I have a hunch that you will enJOY them!!