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Christmas holiday resources

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

photo via Flickr -- Kimbrough Library

Want some online Christmas fun? (e.g., Elf-Yourself videos, games for kids to play, etc.)

Here’s a Diigo list thanks to Colin Gallagher:  Christmas-Related Online Fun

And I saw Louise (LPh) having great fun with the Portable North Pole website today.  Go create a personalized video message from Santa for your loved ones.

For more literary humor, read James Thurber’s version of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” — in the manner of Ernest Hemingway.

We have a beautiful pop-up book of that poem by Clement Moore — “Twas the Night Before Christmas” — created by Robert Sabuda — available for teachers to borrow.  (In fact, we have a good small collection of pop-up books for classes to explore.  Ask Kalimah if you want to check them out….)

For more holiday books in the library, see the “Christmas” Resource List here.   There’s a basket in front of Kalimah’s desk in the library for you to choose from.

Next week I’ll also bring in some Christmas picture books from my home collection — just for teachers to borrow on a one-period basis.

How about an environmental Santa tale?  Try “When Santa Turned Green” (see accompanying website with green ideas)

Want a funny read-aloud?

Anne Fine (the former UK Children’s Laureate and author of such classics as “Madame Doubtfire”) delivers up a first-person account of an extended family Christmas that you’ll be glad you only have to laugh about from a distance  — and not experience.  “The More the Merrier” is very funny and very British.

In another first-person chapter book  — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” — by Barbara Park, an American author — the humor depends upon some children in the book knowing the plot of the nativity story, while others are completely ignorant.  So not so great for a cultural group that isn’t familiar with the basics of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  But it has some of the best opening lines in children’s literature (in the Roald Dahl vein):

“The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.  They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse.  The toolhouse burned right down to the ground, and I think that surprised the Herdmans.  They set fire to things all the time, but that was the first time they managed to burn down a whole building.”

The picture book “Wombat Divine” by Mem Fox also gets its humor from some knowledge of the Biblical narrative of baby Jesus.  If you want, I have a cheap plastic nativity set at home, which I could bring in,  for kids to set up and play with.

As for picture books, my favorite has to be John Burningham’s “Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present”.

Other Christmas books available in the library
Image of book art Xmas tree: Kimbrough Library via Flickr
Categories: Books

Friends Rock: Books, etc.

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

This Friday the primary school celebrates friendship throughout the day and after (with the Friends Rock social event).

Karl has collected some teaching resources together (see the PDFs in the Google Apps Shared Folder titled “Friends Rock”) as well as a list of online links (see the Diigo list: Friends Rock: Friendship Day).

The library also has plenty of books about friends (see the following Resource Lists).

Over 100 books are in the “Friendship” list, though there are obviously thousands that could qualify.  If I’ve left your favorite book about friendship off it, please let me know.

Classic friendship pairs in children’s literature include:

  • Frog & Toad — by Arnold Lobel
  • George & Martha — by James Marshall
  • Willy & Hugh — by Anthony Browne

More recent ones include:

  • Cat & Fish — by Joan Grant
  • Sheep & Goat – by Marleen Westera
  • Pearl Barley & Charlie Parsley — by Aaron Blabey
  • Little Beauty & the gorilla — in Anthony Browne’s “Little Beauty” (which is based on the real-life friendship told in the book “Koko’s Kitten” by Dr. Francine Patterson)
  • Bink & Gollie — by Kate DiCamillo
  • James & Eamon — in “A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever” — by Marla Frazee
  • Dog & Bear — by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • Cowboy & Octopus — by Jon Scieszka

One of our new books is a wordless exploration of the choices we can make every day in terms of friendship and inclusion.

“WHAT IF a boy found a beach ball and kicked it into the ocean? WHAT IF two seals found it and began to play? WHAT IF a third seal appeared on the beach looking for a friend?

In this spare and deceptively simple book, Laura Vaccaro Seeger shows us the same story with three different outcomes, each highlighting the possibility in possibilities.Youngest children will enjoy this visit to the beach and the chance to guess what happens when different choices are made.”

Come into the AMK library and browse through the basket of picture books on friendship — find something to share with your class on Friday.

A similar basket will be delivered to Kathryn (KMc) in Tampines tomorrow morning.

Image of clasped hands: via Flickr: Esellee

Categories: Books

United Nations Day – Resources

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks, DGo, for prompting me to update my own list of resources good for UN Day.

First of all, here are some Resource Lists of books in our library — and a selection of picture books (suitable for read-alouds) will be available this morning in a basket on Kalimah’s side-desk counter in AMK — and a similar basket will be given to Kathryn (KMc) in Tampines.

Second, here is a list of web links related to UN Day — collected via Diigo, the social bookmarking site.  (All the links that Deb initially sent me are included, plus others.)

The links are roughly organized into the following sections:  Videos, Things for kids to do, Children around the world, World stats/maps, and United Nations info.

Check out the World stats/maps section for videos showing the “If the world were a village….” — and if you want to see numbers flashing with up-to-the-second stats on population, births, deaths, etc., go to WorldOMeters.

Categories: Resources, Special events