The Dot

it’s the season of the arts festival!   if you haven’t read the sweet storybook entitled ‘the dot’ by peter reynolds, this would be the perfect week to read it!  dr. sorensen shared this beautiful story with me and i had to share it with all of you.

it shares the story of a little girl in art class with no self esteem.   vashti sits in class staring at a white sheet of paper afraid to express herself.   she doesn’t believe she can draw so why should she try.

her teacher believes in her and asks her to draw something, anything.    vashti draws a ‘dot’ in the center of the page.  the teacher then asks her to ‘sign it’.

the next day in class the teacher does something so special it changes vashti’s level of self esteem forever.

with the arts festival just around the corner, i challenge each of you to start with a dot and find your inner vashti!  who knows what you might discover?  🙂

don’t forget…….when drawing, a line is just a DOT that went for a walk!     mrs. webster is sharing this thought with the students this week during library.

have a great week!

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Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don’t)

this book just came out on tuesday so i’m pretty sure none of our teachers would have it yet! (might be a fun gift idea for next week’s teacher appreciation week).    this book is dedicated to every mom, dad, teacher or librarian that has tried to find that perfect book for their picky readers.

this sweet story tells of a ‘reluctant reader’ named missy.   miss brook s the librarian can find books about fairies, dogs, trains and cowboys that kids just love………all kids, except Missy.

missy feels all the books she sees are “too kissy, too pink, too silly”   or “too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippety”.

missy’s mom and miss brooks refuse to give up.  they will scour the entire library and comb the book fair to find a book missy likes.

if you have a child that ‘rolls their eyes’ at every book placed in front of them, give this story a try.   the pictures are cute and the story by barbara bottner is a fun read.

Alice in Wonderland

with the movie opening this weekend i felt the only book i could review this week is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

i’m sure we’ve all seen the disney cartoon alice in wonderland.  talk about curiouser and curiouser!  i absolutely love this movie but i know it’s not for everyone.   it definitely leans towards the creative side of things. 😉   whether you like the movie or not, the book is brilliant.  personally i don’t consider it a cute children’s book.  the creative writing and beautiful poetry are more for adults but i enjoy the imagination and ‘wonder’ it shares.

did you know that alice was a real little girl that lived in england?

charles lutwidge dodgson (lewis carroll) was an english author and mathematician in england.  charles went on an outing with the dean of the school and his daughters.  while on the boat ride, charles made up a story using the dean’s daughters as main characters.   alice was one of those little girls!

alice begged for charles to write the story down and he granted that wish at christmas.  she was given the original manuscript and held onto it until a few years before her death in 1934.  it now resides in a british museum.

reading takes us on a journey.  we can be a pirate, a princess, a peddler or a poet.  i am thankful lewis carroll shared his storytelling talents with a sweet little girl named alice and i’m thankful alice begged him to write it down!

alice liddell

Monster at the End of this Book!

hello everybodeee!   it is me, loveable furry old grover…….have you flashed back to being a child yet?  oh, i loved sesame street and i loved that little blue monster with his arms a flailing! it’s SUPERGROVER!

the monster at the end of this book was written by one jon stone and adored by millions!!

i absolutely loved reading this book out loud.   i remember it being the first book i ever read where they break down the fourth wall and the character talks to the reader.  even though i read the book over and over again i always loved how a little blue monster was talking to ME!

if you’ve never read this book it’s a must.   sweet little grover has heard there is a monster at the end of the book and begs you to NOT turn the page.  he is so scared to find out who the monster will be he glues, tapes and bricks the pages closed. we the readers are sooo strong we still turn the pages and make him nervous by getting closer and closer to the end of the book.

i remember my mom reading the book in grover’s squeaky monster voice and he always sounded so scared and pleaded for me not to turn the next page.  time after time i would happily ignore his request and turn the page,  giggling as my mother would cry ‘NOOOOOOO, YOU TURNED THE PAGE!’.

if you break it down i guess the moral of this book would teach children disobedience? but you’re disobeying a monster, so it’s forgivable, right?  🙂

after pages of being terrified and begging you NOT to read to the end of the book, grover discovers HE is the monster at the end of the book.  he looks around and states, “oh, i am so embarrassed!”   i won’t even share how many times i’ve said that out loud!  🙂

thanks for reading!  here’s wishing you all have a little bit of grover in your life.

the end.

The Little Engine That Could

with my life consumed with ‘all things olympian’ this week, i had to find a book that matched the theme of hard work, optimism, giving it your all and in the end……triumph!

when i was young i had a copy of ‘the little engine that could’.  i loved this book.  i loved to look at the pictures and i remember how the little blue engine was dwarfed in size next to the big engines next to it.  when asked to help pull a broken engine up the hill all the big engines use excuses and feel ‘above’ the task of pulling up another engine.

the little blue engine is asked to take on this difficult and overwhelming task and his response is……i think i can!

as he heads up the hill and the troubles set in, he just repeats ‘i think i can, i think i can, i think i can’ over and over again.  he doesn’t give up and reaches his goal in the end.

i love the olympics because these athletes have all worked sooo hard on their journeys.  every one of them have a history of injuries, lost competitions and frustrations along the way, but they stayed on track and made it to the olympics.

what a wonderful life lesson this little story can teach our children.   “stay on track, believe in yourself and enjoy the journey!”

i love the quote, “whether you think you can or you can’t…..you’re right!”

if you haven’t read this book to you kids in awhile, or ever……it’s a must read.  here’s wishing each of you an incredible journey.

i think i can, i think i can, i think i can, i think i can………i thought i could, i thought i could, i thought i could……..

the little engine that could by watty piper

all HALE the goose girl!

‘the goose girl’ by shannon hale is a must read for every girl out there!   when i read it the first time i’d just finished a fast-paced mystery, so i thought goose girl was a little slow.  i told people it read like a sweet fairytale that you would read to someone after you tucked them into bed at night.  a story that could be told a little at a time but was still very enjoyable.

the second time i read it, i couldn’t put it down!   i was consumed with this fantasy and the characters in it.   the story is completely fast paced if you become the character.  (so channel your inner princesses!)

based on the original brother’s grimm fairytale, it shares the story of a princess and the challenges she goes through rightfully earn her crown.   thrown into a foreign world, her identity stolen from her she is forced to endless days of hard labor, long hours and little comfort.  not an ideal lifestyle for a princess.

there are 4 books in the set that share the story of several different characters in the kingdom.   with book fair around the corner this is one book i think everyone should buy.

moms! this is a great read for you and your daughters.   this story offers up several ‘conversation starters’ on finding out who you are and how to handle adversity.  i love the message of believing in yourself and your strengths.

torn from a castle and treated like a commoner this book has everything a fairytale should have.    rich characters,  sweet romance, devoted friends and ……..talking animals!  (ok, so the animals aren’t like disney talking animals that sing and dance, but the main character can speak with them)

give goose girl a chance and i guarantee you will sneak off to bed early, just so you can read!

shannon hale has written several other books as well.   one of her most famous books at our school is ‘princess academy’

for all you colin firth fans out there that loved pride and prejudice……check out austenland!  just the dedication alone will bring you joy.

back to the goose girl, i’d recommend this book for 4th grade and up.  once mom has read the book she could re-tell the story before bedtime.   death, betrayal, frustration and hard knocks are weaved throughout the pages,  but it’s brothers grimm so don’t you expect that?   shannon has added some depth to the original fairytale which brings joy, laughter and a bit more character development.

if you are looking for a sweet, safe series for your daughter to read……all HALE the goose girl series!

Listen To The Wind (Three Cups of Tea)

with all the devastation we’re seeing in the news lately i figured this would be the perfect book for this week.  “listen to the wind”  by greg mortenson is the true account of one man’s journey to change the world……one child at a time.

there are several versions of this book.  the adult and teen versions are titled “three cups of tea”.  a childrens picture book was released “listen to the wind” and uses fabrics, colors and collages to show one man’s dedication to an entire country of children.

in 1993, dr. greg mortenson was hiking in the mtns of pakistan and got lost.  he came to a small village where the locals helped him recover from his ordeal. while there, he noticed that the students had no building and did all of their schooling out of doors.  (with no school supplies, they wrote in the dirt with sticks) Motivated to repay the kindness he had received, he vowed to return to the village and help build a school. thus began his real life’s journey. mortenson’s story recounts the troubles he faced in the U.S. trying to raise the money and then in Pakistan, trying to get the actual supplies to a remote mountain location.  (carrying supplies in by hand) his eventual success led to another, and yet another, until he established a foundation and built a string of schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

with everything going on in our world today, we are blessed to live in a country with so many comforts.  today is the perfect time to share this story with our students and let them realize one person CAN make a difference……even if you have to climb a mountain or two in the process 😉

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