It’s book fair week again – they seem to come around faster every year! This is a Scholastic fair and regular readers know I have mixed feelings about the book fair giant. There are always good books in a Scholastic Fair. Charlotte’s Web is here and The Day the Crayons Quit and The Year of Billy Miller. That being said, those books can get lost in the space devoted to “book-like” products – books that include a cheap necklace or other trinkets. It’s hard for “regular books” to get a child’s attention when the Lego book comes with an action figure. I appreciate the opportunity for our parents to get together and talk and make play dates and purchase books for their child’s classroom. And it made my day when a 6th grade student walked into the book fair and said….”This is better than Halloween!” But looking around during a quiet moment makes me question Scholastic’s commitment to reading for its own sake – and not just to making money by selling stickers.
I understand the argument that there are kids for whom getting the stickers leads to engagement with the book and may inspire them to explore other titles. The child who is really excited about the Lego story may improve their fluency and confidence. That’s awesome. It’s one of the main reasons we have the Scholastic fair at the beginning of the year – and a more book-centered fair in the spring when the kids are selecting their summer reading. We also hide many of the products (masquerading as books) in boxes during the fair. Most of what Scholastic sends is available to our students, but there are a few items that go way over the line – and cannot be honestly sold in a BOOK fair. So – don’t tell the kids – but some of the products are behind the cases.
In the meantime, I keep pushing Sisters by Raina Telgemeier and Bear’s Loose Tooth by Karma Wilson. And, admittedly, the Doc McStuffins Doctor Kit is pretty cute….
Check out these pictures….
This is the result of our Selfie project in which our 4th, 5th and 6th graders took pictures with their favorite books. It’s great to watch the kids look for themselves and comment on their friend’s selections.
A final picture….
My friends at Buttonwood Books and Toys let me take their sign based on Oliver Jeffers’ incredibly cool book, The Day the Crayons Quit, when they were ready to rotate the display. The kids are enjoying it in the Library…