Saturday, September 16, 2006

Librarians in Children's and YA Literature: A Bibliography in Progress

Having heard various ideas about the most useful format for a bibliography of this sort, I've opted to list the books by age, then title with author last. Recommended ages or interest ages are very often a subjective call and, as such, subject to interpretation depending on the individual reader/listener and the situation. Picture books can be wonderful additions to lesson for older kids and there are younger children who will sit spell-bound for a read aloud of an "older"chapter book. If you think of others librarians, great and/or infamous, please continue to add them to the list. I would love for us to get to 100--or more!

Ages 4+

Believing in Books: The Story of Lillian Smith by Sydell Waxman
Beverly Billingsly Can't Catch by Alexander Stadler
Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
Carlo and the Really Nice Librarian by Jessica Spanyol (Mrs. Chinca)
Eratosthenes from The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel
The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer (Mrs. Murphy)
The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
The Library by Sarah Stewart (Elizabeth Brown)
Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen (Miss Merriweather)
Mr. Wiggle Loves to Read by Carol L. Thompson
Mr. Wiggle's Library by Carol L. Thompson
Red Light, Green Light, Mama and Me by Cari Best
Stella Louella's Runaway Book
Wild About Books by Judy Sierra (Molly McGrew)

Ages 5+

Aunt Lulu by Daniel Pinkwater (Miss Lulu)
Cannon the Librarian by Mike Thaler (Miss Cannon)
The Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Librarian's Night Before Christmas by David Davis
The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy
The Shelf Elf Series by Jackie Hopkins
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora (“the Library Lady”)
What Happened to Marion's Book by Brook Berg & Nathan Alberg

Ages 7+

Fire Up With Reading: A Mrs. Skorupski Story by Suzanne Williams (Due out from Upstart in 2007)
Our Librarian Won't Tell Us ANYTHING! A Mrs. Skorupski Story by Toni Buzzeo (Due out from Upstart in October 2006

Ages 9+

All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor & Helen John (“the Library Lady”)
Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio by Tony Johnston (Ms. Cloud)
Baby by Patricia MacLachlan (Miss Minifred sp?)
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Miss Frannie)
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathi Appelt & Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer (the outreach librarians)
Harry Potter (the series) by J.K. Rowling (Madame Pince)
Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck (the four library students)
Lily Quench (the series) by Natalie Jane Prior
Matilda by Roald Dahl (Miss Phelps)
My Side of the Mountain by John Craighead George (Miss Turner)
Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller
Seven Day Magic by Edgar Eager

Ages 10+

The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman (Sister Pete)
Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

Ages 13+

Can't Get There from Here by Todd Strasser

Ages 15+

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti (Ann)
Wide Awake by David Livithan (Miss Kaye)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Cow, A Bee, A Cookie, and Me (reissued as Honey Cookies) by Meredith Hooper

Ask a kid "where does our food come from" and you might be surprised at the answers. All too often, the answer might be "Walmart." In our area, those who have their own gardens are few and far between. Many kids have never experienced the wonder of potatoes dug straight from the rich soil or tomatoes picked from the vine, tree branches hanging laden with apples ripe for the picking, the joy of discovering the perfect pumpkin hidden amongst thick vines. This disconnect with where our food comes from will probably only become greater as our nation's population becomes increasingly urban, removed from the elements as more than anything but an inconvenience or curiosity.

If you are looking for a good story to use to introduce your kids "back to nature", take a look at Meredith Hooper's A Cow, a Bee, a Cookie, and Me, illustarted by Alison Bartlett, published by Kingfisher in 1997. The story begins. . .

"Ben was cooking with his grandma. 'What should we make?' asked Ben. 'Honey cookies,' said Grandma. 'What do we need?' asked Ben. 'We need. . .' said Grandma,'a cow in a field eating fresh green grass, munch, dribble, munch, all day long.'

The story moves on with Ben's grandma surprising Ben (and the reader) at every turn with what they need for their cookies: sugarcane, "dried bark from a faraway tree," a "thousand buzzing bees"--culminating in a recipe for these mouthwatering honey cookies. After sharing this book, you may find that your students never look at a recipe in quite the same way--I know that I certainly don't.

This story lends itself wonderfully to feltboard storytelling, storytelling with props (a big bowl into which you drop the toy chicken, the toy cow-you get the idea), and to sharing a tasty treat with your group.

After sharing this book, you may find that your students never look at their food or a recipe in quite the same way--I know that I certainly don't.

NOTE: This title has been reissued as Honey Cookies.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Meet Gilda Joyce

Meet Gilda Joyce. She’s your average 13-year old girl, that is, if you don’t count her leopard skin jacket, wig collection, and stiletto heels. She’s doing ok since her dad died of cancer a few years ago. She types letters to him on his old typewriter. What does she tell him about? Oh, just the usual stuff--school, what annoying things her brother has done lately, how her mother’s doing, the status of her latest psychic investigations…. Oh, did I mention that Gilda Joyce is a psychic detective? If you’d like to get to know Gilda a little better, and maybe learn to recognize her if you happen to see her in disguise, read Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator and Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake, by Jennifer Allison. I happily predict many more crazy adventures in Gilda’s future.