One of the most enjoyable parts of my job at the Inly Library is the surprises that arrive on a regular basis. Opening a box of new books is like unwrapping a gift – I don’t know what’s inside! Of course, I select the books and generally remember what’s coming, but….because I order based on reviews of books that are not yet published, they arrive months later. The last two boxes included some awesome books. Here are a few of my favorites:
Florence Nightingale by Demi
Another beautifully illustrated book by Demi, the artist and author who created similar picture book biographies of Gandhi, Muhammad, and Marco Polo, among others. Florence Nightingale has always intrigued me. A wealthy young English woman who was committed to improving health care in military hospitals and workhouses, she had big goals. “No detail was too small,” Demi writes. “she thought about everything from how a hospital should be built so that it was most efficient to how far apart the patients’ beds should be.” This book is a combination of interesting facts and exquisite small paintings.
Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
I ordered this book based on the unbeatable collaboration between the two authors – both imaginative and clever poets whose books fill our poetry shelves! This books is so fun – a collection of short poems about imaginative cars of the future. There is a High Heel Car, a Dragonwagon, and the Balloon Car. My favorite is the Paper Car. Here’s the poem:
The Paper Car is very hip
And comes with a big paper clip.
So very fine and light as air,
A small breeze takes it anywhere.
Included is a ballpoint pen.
Feel free to park it in your den.
If it breaks down, don’t frown, just let it –
Fold it up and quickly shred it!
Poem-Mobiles would also be an inspiring classroom book. After reading about the Banana Split Car and the Hot Dog Car, students could design and describe their own future modes of transportation.
Odd, Weird & Little by Patrick Jennings
Such an interesting “Little” book! I bought it because of the popularity of Guinea Dog, another gem-like book by Patrick Jennings. Jennings write those books that creep up on you. When I first saw Guinea Dog, I thought the cross breeding of two popular pets was creative, but as soon as kids starting checking it out, there was a wait list. There will be for Odd, Weird & Little too. I started reading it last night, and it wasn’t long before I had realized that I totally missed the slope style skiing segment of the Olympic coverage!
Here are some of the ways to describe Odd, Weird & Little:
– a read aloud for a 3rd grader, but a book I’ll recommend to 4th and 5th grade students
– a realistic novel that is also a fantasy (a hybrid – like Guinea Dog!)
– a story about a boy who learns to stand up to the school bully
– and then theres Toulouse Holot, the new kid. I don’t want to say too much about him except that he is “odd, weird and little.”
Two more things….
First, our Lower Elementary classrooms are sending Flat Stanley-like characters far and wide. 75 flat friends are venturing into the world and returning to Inly with tales of their adventures. One student sent her friend to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the President wrote back and even included a picture of Bo! I think it’s safe to assume that the President entrusted this operation to someone else, but still….our student is so thrilled…
And finally….my pelican. Years ago, on my first trip to London, I was enchanted by the pelicans in St. James’s Park in front of Buckingham Palace. I had not expected to see pelicans in the center of London! Later, I learned that pelicans have been in the Royal Park since the 1600s and the famous pelicans are a popular tourist attraction. We can’t have a real pelican in Scituate, but my husband bought a stone pelican for our yard. He looks cold and I’m tempted to put a blanket around him – or maybe I should bring him a cup of English tea!