Monday, May 14, 2018

In celebration of National Sea Monkey Day



Let’s hear it for Sea Monkeys and all cheesy things advertised in the back of comics from the days of yore.

Hurrah!

To celebrate this day, Paula and I thought it would be a great idea to list some of our favorite comic/graphic novels which is where most of us were introduced to the sea monkey phenomenon.

Primary Grades (K-4)
The Bad Guys (series) by Aaron Blabey
Baby Mouse (series) by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Binky Takes Charge by Ashley Spires
Dragon Breath by Ursula Vernon
Dragons Beware by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre
Jack and the Box by Art Spiegelman
Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith
Squish, Super Amoeba (series) by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Zoe and Robot by Ryan Sias


Middle Grades (5-8)
Amelia Rules! By Jimmy Gownley
Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi
Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimon, graphic adaptation by P. Craig Russell
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
War Brothers: a Graphic Novel by Sharon McKay, illustrated by Daniel LaFrance
Zebra Fish by Peter H. Reynolds


Senior Grades (9-12)
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Fagin the Jew by Will Eisner
Ms. Marvel (series) by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona
The 99 (series) by Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman, adapted by Ian Edginton
Red: a Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Saga (series) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Spinning by Tillie Walden
Three Feathers by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by K. Mateus


Teaching with Graphic Novels
Nonfiction
The Arab of the Future: a Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984, a Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf
Darwin: a Graphic Biography by Eugene Byrne and Simon Gurr
Feynman by Jim Ottoaviani, illustrated by Leland Myrick
Gandhi: a Manga Biography by Kazuki Ebine
Louis Riel :  a Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales (series) by Nathan Hale
The Shocking World of Electricity with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Liam O’Donnell
Two Generals by Scott Chantler
Understanding Photosynthesis with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Liam O’Donnell



Fiction
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 by Tim Hamilton
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery: the authorized graphic adaptation by Miles Hyman
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, illustrated by Fabio Celoni
Hamlet (Manga Shakespeare series) illustrated by Emma Vieceli
Romeo and Juliet adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds
7 Generations (series) by David Alexander Robertson & Scott B. Henderson

Monday, April 23, 2018

Listen up

Another sign that winter is over is the return of free audio books from SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens.


Though it promotes itself as a summer program, the start up date is this week, Thursday, April 26th.  And, let's face it people, most of us are sick to death of winter and an 'early' start to summer is more than welcomed.

The deal with SYNC is to download two paired audio books based on a theme each week starting this Thursday until July 25th, 2018. You get a week to download the books and then get to keep them - forever! Such a deal!

Sign up by going to the homepage and entering your email address or texting syncYA 25827 to receive title alerts each week. 

First up are The Great War by various authors (including David Almond, John Boyne and Tracey Chevalier and A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. (Both available in the Doucette Library, in case you want to read along.)














Click on this page to see this season's line up.

Happy listening, Everyone.



Monday, April 16, 2018

A real beauty


The Doucette Library is coming into summer-mode – students’ final day was last Friday, exams are scheduled for the next couple of weeks and then--- ahhhhh….sigh… Catch-up time!

Catch-up for me includes reading way more picture books and today’s recommendation is a beauty.


You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel is topping my highly recommended list for 2018.

It is a beautiful book gently told and simply illustrated about treating each other with kindness and respect. Everyday activities such as playing, listening, singing, comforting are all ways in which we can hold each other up – the overarching message of this book.  
Monique Gray Smith, a Canadian author of mixed-heritage Cree, Lakota and Scottish descent, has written the book in the spirit of reconciliation. In the author’s own words, she tells us,
“I wrote it to remind us of our common humanity and the importance of holding each other up with respect and dignity… At its heart, it is a book about love, building relationships and fostering empathy.”

I especially appreciate the illustrations depicting Indigenous children and adults in these common, everyday events. The illustrations are perfectly matched to this book with bright, bold colours, uncluttered spaces and stylized figures. It’s in keeping with the sparsely-worded yet affecting text.

This book should find a home in every primary grade classroom for discussions about how to treat one another, family and community.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Food for thought


A couple of recent additions to the Doucette Library’s collection made me realize the number of books that are in the library relating food to social issues and current events.  What a great way to explore contemporary issues and something we can all relate to in an interdisciplinary way, if we wanted to.

Below I’ve created a list and grouped books according to what they focus on.  Click on the titles of the books to go to the library’s catalogue to read a short summary about the exact content.
  

Global Food Issues (such as access, international trade, etc.)



 -Down to Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World by Nutritional Issues (Gr.3-6)



Growing Food (eg. where does it come from)

-Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson (Gr.K-2)


-Eat Up!: an Infographic Exploration of Food by Antonia Banyard (Gr. 4-7)





History and Culture


-Fifty Foods that Changed the Course of History by Bill Price (Gr.10 and up)

-Footprints: the Story of What We Eat by Paula Ayer (Gr. 6 and up)









-What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets by Peter Menzel (Gr.8 and up)



Issues and Events we hear about in the news (organic foods, eating locally produced food)

-Eating Local by Laura Perdew (Gr.4-7)

 -Meatless?: a Fresh Look at What We Eat by Sarah Elton (Gr.3-7)

-Hijacked: How Your Brain is Fooled by Food by David Kessler (Gr.7 and up)




These books become an interesting way to discuss health issues, current events, science, history. Tie these books to some of the kits also available in the Doucette Library like the "How Much Fat?" kits that looks at the quantity of fat found in common foods, "How Much Sugar?" kit, also showing us in a very visual way how much sugar we consume. There's great potential for developing an interdisciplinary unit about a subject that is relevant and important for all of us.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Making waves about the state of our oceans


The New Ocean: the Fate of Life in a Changing Sea by Bryn Barnard is a very informative book, challenging us (the human race) to change our ways before the ocean is irrevocably damaged to the extent of possibly resulting in the next ‘great extinction’.

It’s a pretty dramatic statement and certainly captures the sense that the oceans are in trouble and so are we.

Though it looks like a picture book and has some wonderful illustrations, this is not a picture book. This slim volume focuses on six species of ocean plants and animals (jellyfish, orcas, sea turtles, tuna, corals and blue-green algae) to demonstrate how the changes happening in the oceans impact them and, consequently, how this will impact humans.

For example, jellyfish are a highly adaptive species that can thrive in the oceans’ dead zones. Dead zones are areas having little oxygen because of pollution or changes to ocean temperature, currents and wind patterns. This results in other marine species avoiding these areas, allowing jellyfish to become the dominant species which isn’t good.

Compare this with the section about tuna highlighting the dangers of overfishing and pollution. Bluefin tuna are becoming virtually extinct because of two problems: overfishing AND mercury contamination. The higher up the food chain the fish is the higher the level of mercury to be found in their flesh. Bluefin tuna has the most mercury being at the top of their food chain. Humans consume a lot of this fish and we run the risk of making ourselves sick.

This book is a terrific resource that highlights the interconnectedness between the natural world and the plant and the animals living in it, including us. While it tells of the terrible damage that is being done to this crucial resource, it does offer hope by encouraging us to be aware of the impact our choices have on the environment and becoming involved in science as a way to help find solutions.  I loved that the invention of Boyan Slat, a young Dutch engineering student, that collects plastics comprising the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is highlighted here. It’s estimated that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (twice the size of Texas) will be halved in ten years.  That’s something to give us hope.

I recommend this for all middle grade students but it will be of special interest to those teaching Alberta science for the grade 7 unit, Interactions in Ecosystems.

Monday, March 19, 2018

PBA: Pinterest board ALERT!


Just a quick reminder to everyone out there about the Doucette Library’s Pinterest page.
This page includes numerous boards that support the Alberta Education curriculum but can support any kind of teaching depending on the topic.


Here’s the link for all the boards: https://www.pinterest.ca/tflander/boards/

If you’re teaching about plant and growth and in Alberta then you’re teaching grade 4 science and you can consult this board (https://www.pinterest.ca/tflander/science-gr-4e-plant-growth-and-changes/) to see what resources the Doucette Library has to support it.  If you’re not in Alberta, I think there is enough here that would useful for others to consult, as well.

What I’ve worked on so far:

**Social studies grades 1-9;
**Science grades 1-8 (9 is coming soon);
**Math grades 1-6 organized according to board mathematical concept;

 and many topical boards based on requests from the education program’s students such as LGBTQ resources, picture books for older readers, resources for STEM, activists and activism, funny books, fractured fairy tales,  and indigenous education.

I’m sending out the reminder because I’ve just added to new boards for English language arts (ELA).  These two boards compile titles of books with strong leads or good beginnings and literary devices.  These came about because students had asked for recommendations for both of these kinds of books and as a reference librarian it’s a time consuming request. This time I decided to record the work as Pinterest boards. I’ve also asked Paula Hollohan, coworker and guest blogger, to contribute to the boards to have a couple of different points of view.


Take a look and let me know if you have some suggestions of books to add. I’m always open to suggestions.

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