18 September 2011

The Nominations Are In

The North Carolina Children's Book Award campaign has begun. I am participating at school this year. It has been a while since I have taken part in the program due to budget and time constraints. But I am at a new school this year and have a renewed sense of purpose and am excited about doing some of the "extra" things that enhance school library programs.

I have the books and will post about some of them here. The students will be reading them, or teachers will be reading them aloud. The kids will then vote for their favorites in March and we will wait to see who the award goes to.

Here is the official list of nominated picture books. A couple I have mentioned here already in past posts. Check them out and if you are in NC, ask your school to participate. It is a great program.

The Little Things

I read a childhood favorite to Isaac a few weeks ago. I have very fond memories of The Littles by John Peterson, but few other people have heard of it, or so it seems from the number of blank looks I have received over the years.

It is a short novel about a family of little people, with tails, who live in the walls of a house owned by the Bigg family, whom they live off of and help in "small" ways. (Yeah, I know. Rather groan inducing.) In the original book, the Littles must adjust and survive while the Biggs are on an extended vacation and the threat of mice is introduced into their lives, along with a cat.

While this book may not have lived up to all of my childhood memories, Isaac and I enjoyed reading it together. I like being able to share books that I loved as a child with him and seeing his interest piqued. There is a series of Littles books, along with an animated show (will probably skip that - unless it is on Netflix). I think we will head over to Ed McKay to hunt down a few more.

Who is Nick Bruel?

I put quite few Nick Bruel books in the bag the last time we went to the library. I heard him speak at the AASL conference a couple of years ago when he won the North Carolina Children's Book Award for Who Is Melvin Bubble? I hadn't read many of his books prior to this last library visit, though. Contrary to what many of you may think, school librarians do not read every children's book that is published. We just pretend that we do.

Now that I have read a few of his books, I kind of like them. Isaac did, too. The three we read were very different books.

Bad Kitty is a favorite with many students. Bad Kitty is just that, doing everything naughty you can think of from A to Z. There are many Bad Kitty books, including chapter books. I am sure we will be revisiting Bad Kitty soon.

Bob and Otto was probably my favorite of Nick Bruel's books that we read, but mainly because it has a sentimental history. Bruel the elder actually wrote the story and Bruel the younger illustrated and published it after his father's death. It is a story of friendship and has a nice twist at the end.

Who Is Melvin Bubble? was the one that NC school children chose as their favorite a couple of years ago. In it, various people from Melvin's life try to define him, each giving their perception of what kind of person he is, what he likes and doesn't like. In the end, Melvin tells the reader about himself. It is a good reminder for adults that we are many different things to different people. The lesson is packaged in a very appealing format for kids which obviously resonated with kids in North Carolina.

Okay. I will go back to pretending to have read everything in my library now. Happy reading.