Thursday, October 29, 2009

Story Time Today - Boo Bunny & Poultrygeist

Today was an interesting day at school. The children were a bit unruly. I think they have already started on the Halloween candy. Tomorrow is an in-service and so the children have the day off and have a VERY long weekend because they are on vacation tomorrow.

It took a while for me to calm the children. I shared with them my new favorite Halloween children's book: "Boo Bunny" by Kathryn O. Galbraith and Jeff Mack. I absolutely love this book. I found this book a couple of months ago and picked it up so share it with my students. I have recommended this book to at least 20 other people including librarians, parents, grandparents, teachers, and general children's book lovers.

This book is short and sweet. The bunnies look so warm and cuddly in their little Halloween costumes. It gives you a warm feeling inside just leafing through the pictures of this book.

The story takes place as two little bunnies face their fears on going trick or treating on a dark gloomy Halloween night. Together they meet their fears head on!

"One bunny quivers.
One bunny shivers.
One big door.
One hissing cat.
Two small bunnies.
Tap! Tap!Tap!!!!!!!"

We can all remember our first Halloween night when we first went trick-or-treating and how afraid we were but because we had another person or group of people with us, we quickly overcame our fears and each year became easier and easier to approach homes, tap on the door, ring the door bell, and yell: "trick or treat!"

We can all identify with these two bunnies.

My students loved this story! They were quite animated and vocal. They quoted many of the lines because some were already familiar with the story. They loved guessing the different types of animals at the end of the book.

We all loved the pictures and wished that we could have had the bunnies in front of us while I read and acted out the story. These pictures would make great Halloween posters for younger children!

Several other teachers and administrators walked up to the door and listened to the story time and smiled and waved.

I was told by a few teachers and administrators that I am a great storyteller.
I love getting the children involved because whey they are involved, it is more exciting for them and they tend to remember. It is similar to marketing information to others and getting their buy-in!

If any of you work with children, you know they can be a hard audience to "sell!"
Here is the link to Boo Bunny on What a great story!!!!!!!!

We read Poultrygeist written by by Mary Jane Auch, Mary Jane, and Herm Auch as well. We all became the different animals. We had a great time with this story. The students enjoyed this book. They liked the different costumes that the animals wore. I was a little concerned when I first obtained this book because it might have been too scary for the children. However, they loved the story and were not frightened by it at all.

In this story two roosters Rudy and Ralph compete to see who is the loudest and biggest. They make so much noise that they get on the nerves of some of the other animals who are busy preparing their costumes for Halloween. Sophie and Clarissa a pig and cow decide that they have had enough of their loudness and don a huge costume and become the poultrygeist to scare the "beaks off of Rudy and Ralph" so that they will be quiet. Sophia and Clarisse are unmasked and all ends well.... They will have to find another way to quiet those loud and rowdy roosters Rudy and Ralph!

What a great Halloween story! Here is the link on

The author is very creative. What a great title! I am looking forward to obtaining some of her other children's books and sharing them with my students.

Until the next time!!!!!!!!!!!

A children's book a day, keeps the scary monster away!

The children want me to share Llama Llama with them the next time... after Halloween.... I will share it with them next week.

- Ida

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Llama Llama Misses Mama

I absolutely loved Llama Llama Misses Mama written by Anna Dewdney. I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful book with my Kindergarten, first and second graders tomorrow. What a treat!

This story enfolds around a baby Llama's first day of pre-school. This story is told through rhyming and very colorful pictures. All of the characters in the story are animals. It very subtly tells us all of the things that children should do before going to school each day such as "Make the bed and find some clothes. Brush the teeth and blow the nose."

Llama's new friends try to introduce all kinds of games and activities but Llama cries missing mama so.

"It's too much for little Llama...
Llama Llama misses mama!"

"Don't be sad, new little Llama
It's OK to miss your mama.
But don't forget--
when day is through,
she will come right back to you."

We can all remember our first day of school when are mother's first dropped us off for school and how we felt... Some of us were just as sad as little Llama wondering why mama left us and when/if she would return.

We couldn't enjoy ourselves... wondering when mama would return.

Just like baby Llama...

"Take some paper
from the stack...

This is a story that we can all remember... if we are 5, 10, 15, 30, 40, 50,65, 80 or even 100. We remember when...

Here is the link to Mama Ilama Misses Mama on

I am sure that my students will love this story tomorrow.

Until the next time!


- Ida

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marley Goes to School

I loved reading "Marley Goes to School" written by John Grogan. Grogan's "Marley & Me" is one of my favorite books. I read it and thought of my late Ebony and current dog Figaro.

"Marley Goes to School" is the follow up to "Bad Dog, Marley!"I will have to read this book as it could be titled, "Bad Dog, Figaro!" You know you have a bad dog when you are walking him down the street and a person who you have never met, pulls her car and yells, "you need to take him to obedience class.. He is really wearing you out." Needless to say, we will be attending obedience class on Monday October 25, 2009.

Now, back to "Marley Goes to School."

This was a great, well-written, exciting, and funny story. I felt like I was on a great train picking up speed as we follow the adventures of our hero... Marley!

It is Cassie's first day of school. Marley wants to join his best friend Cassie on her first day of school. Cassie tells Marley that he can't join her, because school is for kids... not dogs. End of story... Well, not quite! Marley is put in the backyard while mommmy and daddy walk Cassie to school.

Marley, unbeknownst to the family, takes matters into his own paws, and digs a tunnel and ends up at Cassie's school so he can be there with his best friend, Cassie all day.

Marley walks into the school... down the hallway... He visits the copy center.. AWAY he goes! He then finds his way into the cafeteria... where he finds hotdogs... oh, YUMMY for Marley! After downing a few hotdogs, he trots into music class, and chimes in... Science class... away Marley goes... and liberates mice from their cage... Oh, no... Marley enters my domain... yes, you guessed it... THE LIBRARY!

Marley's next stop.. gym class. Who knew Marley was an athlete? What do you think he will do in gym class? Yes... He steals the ball......... Did you guess it?

Marley the Mathematician? He entered math class.. Word problems? Algebra? Pythagorean Theory? Geometry? Who knew?

How did you like Marley's costume in math class? Did he bring any special friends along? You will have to read the book and see if you can locate any of Marley's friends in the picture.

Marley hears the sound of children playing.

Will he find Cassie?

Will he be caught and sent home DisappointeD? Friendless? Sad? Heart broken?

Does he run into the school principal? Will she end chase? Will she reunite Marley with his best friend, Cassie?

Is he called into the principal's office where she apprehends him? Threatens to call is parents? Ties him to a register?

What befalls our hero... Marley?

Does a chase ensue?

Is Marley re-united with Cassie and the rest of the family?

Do they live happily ever after?

You'll have to read the book for the answer!

Here is the link to John Grogan's web site:

Tune in to tomorrow!

A book a day, keeps the scary monster away!


- Ida

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Today's NY Times Children's Book List

It's that time again... The NY Times Children's Book List for the week of October 18, 2009.

Here is the link to the list:

The list is organized by Picture, Chapter, Paperback, and Series books.

Number one on the NY Times Picture Book List is: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, by Barb Bersche and Michelle Quint.

Number one on the NY Times Chapter Book List is: THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins.

Number one on the NY Times Paperback Book List is: THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak.

Number one on the NY Times Series book list is: THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer.

I am looking to reading the books on the lists.

A children's book a day, keeps the scary monster away!

Until the next time!

- Ida

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Books in Class

I taught computers today to my Kindergartners through 8th grade. I gave the students an assignment teaching them how to insert tables into Microsoft Word. I had my students type in the names of 5 children's books for Halloween. They entered the title, author, and the cover of the book. The children's books listed included:

Boo Bunny
Kathryn O. Galbreath

Can You See What I See? ON a Scary Scary Night
Walter Wick

You will have the opportunity to read my reviews for these books in the upcoming week.

More to come tomorrow.

A children's book today, keeps the scary monster away!

Join in tomorrow for more children's book information.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Preparing for Halloween

This is going to be a short entry. I spent a few hours today locating Halloween children's books to share with my students and friends.

I checked out the following Halloween books:

Boo Bunny
Kathyrn O. Gailbreath

You Read to ME, I'll Read to YOU: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman

by Mary Jane and Herm Auch

There Was An Old Monster
by Rebecca, Adrian & Ed Emberley

Can You See What I See? On a Scary Scary Night
by Walter Wick

We'll see which one I choose to read for Halloween to my Kindergartners, 1st Graders, and 2nd Graders.

Tomorrow is the highlight of my week... It's story time!!!!!

What will I read......

Stay tuned for my update tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where's My Mummy?

My students loved "Where's My Mummy" written by Carolyn Crimi.

Little Baby Mummy wants just one more game of "hide and shriek" before going to bed. Big Mama Mummy allows him just one more game. Little Baby Mummy runs and hides in the grave yard... then into the woods, swamp, cave, and under a tree.

He encounters various creatures while looking for his mother: BONES, GLOB, and DRAC. He tells them, "I'm not scared!" All of the characters tell him, "Little Baby Mummy, go to bed!"

He then encounters the last creature, MOUSE! He is scared and screams for his mother. His mother appears and wraps him in her warm, loving, arms.

Little Baby Mummy then went to bed!

I asked my students why I read this children's book to them. I asked for a show of hands of how many don't want to go to bed at night. I loved becoming all of the characters and reading with different accents. They absolutely loved this story and even quoted many of the lines amongst themselves!

This is a great, well-written, easy-to-follow story. It appealed to my kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes. They voted on their favorite character.

DRAC won!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Lucy and the Bully by Claire Alexander

I chose Lucy and the Bully by Claire Alexander ( to share with my students the following week. It is a very well written book that shows through two animals a sweet little lamb (Lucy) and a bull (Tommy) the importance of children reporting to their parent(s) or another adult when they have been bullied.

My students loved this story ... especially since I brought both characters ALIVE.

I discussed bullying with the students before hand and asked for their definitions and what they should do if someone else bullies them. The students in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade all gave several definitions including: when someone pushes you, someone punches you, spits on you, is mean to you, hits you, talks mean about you, steals your toys, breaks your toys, lies on you, and talks about your mom.

Two of my kindergartners pointed to one of their classmates and said that he had been bullied earlier that morning in the playground. I asked him to explain what had happened and how he handled it. He told me that an older student had pushed him for no reason and he didn't like it and that he hold his homeroom teacher and she had told both the principal and vice principal and they had called the other student's mother.

He told me that the other student apologized and said he would never bully him again.

I then re-enforced the importance of telling an adult right away and we then started the story.

They LOVED the story and were quite animated. Tommy bullied Lucy by destroying several of things and he finally stuck his hoof in her cake that she baked and left a hoof print. After denying that anyone was bullying her at school, she finally tells the truth and tells her mother that Tommy had been bullying her all along. Her mother called the teacher who contacted Tommy's mother. Tommy's mother confronts him and he is quite humbled.

Tommy draws a porcupine and Lucy feels sorry for Tommy and tells him how much she liked it and he gives it to her.

They become friends.

I discussed bullying and cyberbullying with my kindergarten, first and second graders. I asked them why I shared this story with them and told them how I had written a great deal on Internet Safety for Children and have even developed most of the content for the Internet Safety for Kids section of the Carnegie Library web site including their slogan: Be Safe... Be Smart... Have Fun Online!" Here is the link in case you would like to visit:

I told the children that I often speak at Parent Teacher Organization meetings on Internet Safety for Children and have developed a web site also.

I ended the class by asking if anyone else had been bullied and how did they handle the situation and finally if someone bullies them what should they do. We all shouted at the same time: "we tell an adult!" The adults can be our parents, grandparents, teacher, principal, minister... an adult who can help!

If anyone makes us feel uncomfortable in any way... WE TELL AN ADULT!

I asked them if they could feel sorry for and become friends with a person who has bullied them? Most answered yes. However, there were a couple who yelled, "NO, WAY!"

I found this book very well written, easy to read, colorful, and a great story that all of the students could understand, identify with, and comment on.

REMEMBER: A children's book a day, keeps the scary monster away!

More to come tomorrow!

CIAO for now!

- Ida

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Yort Times Children's Book of Lists

Today is Sunday... That means New York Times Review of Books.

Let' see. Have I read any of the children's book listed?

The New York Times book lists include:
Picture Books, Chapter Books, Paper Backs, and Series Books.

Here is the link on the New York Times web site:

Guess what is number one on the picture books list?

Yes, you guessed it! WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, by Barb Bersche and Michelle Quint.

I just placed the following book on hold so that I can read it when it is available at the Carnegie Library system:

I loved "Marley" by John Grogan. I am looking forward to reading his children's book:

MARLEY GOES TO SCHOOL, by John Grogan. Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. I will have to read and write about it once it is available

As a librarian, I can't pass up this one:

I will have to purchase "Series" book lists, These include:

THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney.



SEPTIMUS HEAP, by Angie Sage.

HOUSE OF NIGHT, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

VAMPIRE ACADEMY, by Richelle Mead.

NIGHT WORLD, by L. J. Smith.

THE 39 CLUES, by various authors.

MAGIC TREE HOUSE, by Mary Pope Osborne. Illustrated by Sal Murdocca.


More tomorrow!

CIAO for now!

- Ida

Why I Love Children's Books


I am writing this blog because I love children's books and want to share my thoughts on books that I have recommended, children's books that were recommended to me, children's books that I have incorporated into the weekly story times that I share with my kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders at St. Benedict the Moor school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I truly believe that a children's book a day... will keep all of the scary monsters away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope that you will share your children's books in this blog with me also.

Here is a little bit about me.

I am a Librarian and I love children's books. I love holding them in my hands and leafing through the glossy pages eagerly anticipating how the story will unfold!

I love the way they look and feel. The highlight of my week is choosing them for story time and recommending them for other librarians, teachers, parents, and my own friends.

I wear many hats. I am an elementary school librarian and computer teacher. I work as a substitute librarian in a large urban public library also. I leaf through them when they are returned to the library and I often talk to the patrons who return them and their children on their thoughts on the books.

Based on their recommendations, I then check out the books and share them with my Kindergarten, first grade, and second graders during story time.

I love story time with my angels and take great care and love selecting the book that I will share with them each week.

My first week, I shared with them one of my favorite children's books. Leonardo the Terrible Monster" written by Mo Willems. I absolutely love this book! I went to Mo Willem's program when he came to the Carnegie Library for their "Black, White, and Read All Over" program series where children's books authors come and share their books and thoughts with the audience. Mo Willems is a great writer and I love how he captivated the young children and their parents a few years ago in Pittsburgh.

Here is the link to the Black, White, and Read All OVer:"

Three weeks ago I read "Leonardo the Terrible Monster to my Kindergartners, first graders, and second graders. I was all of the characters. The children loved my story time and begged me to stay with them. I asked them afterwards why they thought I was sharing this book with them. They answered that I shared it with them because it was my favorite book and they were my favorite class. They also mentioned because he wrote about friendship.

Here is the link to Mo Willems blog.

Today is Sunday October 11, 2009. It is NY Times Book review day. Click on the next thread for more information!

CIAO for now!

- Ida