Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kristen's Rave Reviews: The One and Only Ivan

Rave Review #1 The One and Only Ivan
I know we've posted a little something about this title before, but I thought this one is so good, it merits revisiting!  And who doesn't love a feel-good read? I always enjoy a story that isn't too complicated, but that also tugs at the heart strings and allows me to feel like I've connected somehow with the characters in the story.  Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan does just that; probably one of the many reasons why this title won the Newbery Medal in January.

The Plot: Ivan is a four hundred-pound silverback gorilla with a heart of gold and a curious nature.  Ivan is also an artist who wishes to express what he sees within the confines of his glassed-in world at the Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.  Along with his friends Bob the stray dog, Stella an elderly and wise elephant, and Ruby the newcomer, Ivan shares with readers his reflections on a variety of things in everyday life and human nature.  But when big change affects everyone at the Big Top Mall, Ivan must focus on his gift of art to ease himself and his friends through the transition and to also help keep a promise.

The Verdict: Based on a true story about a gorilla named Ivan --read about the real Ivan here--, this is a title best shared together with younger ones as a read-aloud.  Expect some of Ivan's observances to prompt meaningful conversations with your young ones!  Adults who enjoyed titles such as The Art of Racing in the Rain and Tuesdays with Morrie will find this book equally appealing, inspiring, and a joy to read. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Web Wednesday Celebrates D.E.A.R. - Drop Everything and Read

April 12th is celebrated as Drop Everything and Read day, in honor of Beverly Cleary's birthday.  Let's celebrate with this beloved author by taking a time-out to enjoy some great stories! 
If you'd like to learn more about the special day, check out the D.E.A.R. site.  You'll even find some great book recommendations.
For other information on books to check out, head over to Random House's Book Talk page.  You can preview many titles, view book selections based on grade level, and you can take a test drive before you commit to reading the whole book by reading a blurb about them.
Reading Rockets also shares some great ideas and activities to get you excited to Drop Everything and Read!  Make sure you get your certificate for participating.
Although D.E.A.R. day is scheduled for April 12th, you can participate any day of the year!  Come visit Grafton-Midview Public Library to check out some great books so you can have your own D.E.A.R. day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Web Wednesday

This Web Wednesday we are celebrating Poetry Month!  Whether you prefer acrostic, shape, or haiku, we have you covered! 
There are so many great sites to get you excited about poetry and we can't wait to share them with you.
Shel Silverstein is a classic poet and has some wonderfully wacky poems that stand the test of time.  His web site includes tons of activities for you to read and create poems.  You can even send e-cards! 

If you want to help your kids learn how to create their own poems, head over to Imagination Soup for some great tips.

Reading is Fundamental is a great resource for literacy, no matter what the activity.  If you're looking for some great poem starters, then this is the site for you!  You can choose poem starters by reading level and fill in the gaps to make your own silly poems.

Jack Prelutsky is another beloved poet.  His site is full of fun and has enough goofiness to lure even reluctant poets into playing along. is a great site for poetry lovers of all ages!  With a poem a day, an audio clip, and a spotlight poet, this site has many amazing features that will keep Poetry month alive all year long.  Don't forget to put a poem in your pocket for April 18th, Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Find an old favorite to share with new friends.   

For more resources on poems and poetry activities, scope out these sites all month long:
Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry for Kids and Squidoo

Check out our supply of poetry books at Grafton-Midview Public Library!
Image borrowed from Imagination Soup