Thursday, November 6, 2008

Booktalks and Storytime

Today, I went to a local Montessori school to do booktalks and a storytime. Here's what I booktalked (to 4th-6th graders):

The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Frindle by Andrew Clements (as luck would have it, they're doing a class read of Frindle because they're going to see the play)
Skinnybones by Barbara Park
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Hurricane by Terry Trueman
How Fast Is It? by Ben Hillman (we all love the books in this series!)
Submarines Up Close by Andra Serlin Abramson (really, really neat life-sized photos)
Grow It, Cook It
The 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne

The 100 Most Dangerous Things was a huge hit and I highly recommend it for booktalking and general browsing. I picked it up off our new books cart last month and couldn't put it down myself. The kids felt much the same way. I practically had to pry it out of their hands so I could leave. A bunch of them assured me that they would be stopping by the library to check out these books. Is there a better feeling for a librarian*?

For the storytime (grades K-3), I read:
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
Poems from Mammalabilia by Douglas Florian and
There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems (they laughed and laughed)

They enjoyed all the books, but I think Leonardo and Bird were the biggest hits. What would librarians do without Mo Willems??

I love doing outreach and getting a chance to visit local schools and preschools. This school is one we visit often and it's so nice to get to know the kids and teachers and what kind of books they like. I hope to see many of these kids in my library over the next couple of weeks. ;)

*Actually, this may not be a better feeling, but it's certainly on par. A mom stopped by the desk tonight to ask for a recommendation for her daughter and said that a book I'd recommended previously had been a big hit with her reluctant reader daughter. Woo!


max said...

I grew up as a reluctant reader. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that girls and boys hate to put down. My web site is at and my Books for Boys blog is at I also have a short story in a new book called LAY UPS and LONG SHOTS, published by Darby Creek Publishing. I'm also featured in an article in the 2009 edition of Children's Writer Guide.

My other books are all ranked by Accelerated Reader

Max Elliot Anderson

MotherReader said...

Ah, what would any of us do without Mo Willems. ;^)

I like hearing what you booktalked. I don't see that at many other blogs and I'm always curious about other people's techniques and "hooks." I love to booktalk, but I don't get to do it often - except on the fly in the actual library stacks.

Jen Robinson said...

Yay to Tacky the Penguin. I love being on the same wavelength, Abby.

Anonymous said...

I love book talks! These books look like great reads. I am new to book blogging and I am taking the challenge up over at Mother Reader to comment on five blogs a day.

Thank you for promoting literacy. I love working with reluctant readers. I taught middle school history for 5 years and the number one thing my students struggled with was reading.

I'll have to checkout max's sites.

Mary Lee said...

Someone else who <3's Ben Hillman's series for Scholastic! GREAT books!!!

Peaceful Reader said...

It is such a great feeling to have someone really like what you have recommended!! I agree. It was great that the mother took the time to say how much you had helped!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your selections. It's true- it's so helpful to hear about what other librarians love to booktalk on school visits. My standard school visit gross out fave: Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty. Classic!