Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fairy Tale Day?

What do you do on Tell a Fairy Tale Day?

Put on your 10,000 league boots?
Fight ogres? 
Plant mysterious beans?
Talk to wishing fish?
Grab your notebook and spin new story magic into the world?
My friends at Puddle Jump Collective
I had a little trouble honing in on a fairy tale for this project.
I played with princesses, 
pondered Bremen Town musicians,
until Thumbelina caught my attention.
Who doesn't need a good, thimble-size hero?

What are your favorite fairy tales?

A sprinkling of my favorites:

The Rainbabies - by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Jim LaMarche
Adelita - by Tomie De Paola
Little Gold Star - by Robert San Souci, illustrated by Sergio Martinez
The Girl Who Spun Gold - by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon
Tom Thumb - retold & illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson
Sleeping Beauty - by Trina Schart Hyman
Gold Slipper, Glass Sandal - by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Novel fairy tales:

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Searching for Dragons by Patricia Wrede

Friday, February 24, 2017


If you met a wishing fish, for what would you wish?

Success? Friends? Followers?
More time? Money?

I just wondered.
I always thought I'd wish for more wishes,
and surely I'd be delighted with all the glitter,
and yet my late, great wish
is to soak up all of this daily dirt.

I even want to soak up the shock and frazzle of hot and cold in each day,
to celebrate the aliveness it means.

But especially, I want to soak up
the laughs,
the gleeful shouts
that make this life so beautiful.

That's my wish fish.

Monday, February 13, 2017


When birthdays and valentines converge in my house
I get sketchy.
Paper animals, toothpicks, string
splay out in little heaps
 just waiting for the party to begin.
 We're abuzz.
 Happy Heart Day, friends!
Keep bringing your love and unique flair into the world!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Party!

The verdict is in!
After months of evaluating beautiful books of 2016,
the Jefferson County Library Kids' Caldecott committee has chosen their favorites.
The envelope, please...    
Our Mock Caldecott Award goes to 
The Night Gardener by the Fan brothers. 
The committee found the Fan brothers' illustrations excellent, 
with great hints and subtleties in visual story, 
and a story itself both inspiring and hopeful. 

Our Mock Caldecott honors:

Ada's Violin by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Ada's Violin captivated our committee with its powerful true account and its collage illustrations.

The Storyteller by Evan Turk 
wowed us with layer upon layer of story and meaning, woven in both text and illustrations.
The kids were also quite impressed that Mr. Turk used 
sugared tea, indigo, and fire in the making of the illustrations.

Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campos & Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Our committee appreciated the vibrant exuberance in Maybe Something Beautiful, 
as well as the true story of how art transformed a neighborhood.

Return by Aaron Becker
This wordless book fascinated our kid voters. 
They discovered intricate details tucked within each page, 
and appreciated the fantastical world Becker created in his book trilogy.
They liked that the story dove deep, like a mystery.

And our children's librarian Martha Ashenfelter came up with the best Caldecott treat yet!

Sparked by the colorful illustrations and murals from Maybe Something Beautiful, 
Martha helped kids created their own edible canvases
with graham crackers, frosting, candy, and apricots.
A party with Caldecotts and apricots.
Candy and canvases.
Glorious in composition, sweetness, and stickiness!

Thank you, Jefferson County Library.
I'm grateful to have been part of another year of Mock Caldecott goodness. 

Hooray for beautiful books
and stories that inspire!

Here are the official American Library Associaton's picks:

Caldecott Award:  

Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe
Caldecott Honors:

They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Caldecott Club!

From Maybe Something Beautiful, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Our Kids' Caldecott Club has savored 
and examined its selection of 2016's sharpest books.
They've learned to look for visual story, theme, mood, 
flow of text and illustrations, inference, and tiny details.
They've looked at letters we've received from authors and illustrators,
and have written letters to some of their favorites.
Here are a few letter templates made to suit writers of different ages.
Decision day!
After whittling the book forest to eight top favorites,
our committee flexed their powers of debate and persuasion. 
One at a time, they passed each book like a conch, 
discussing its strengths and potential weaknesses.

And then they cast a final vote, 
rating each book from 1-8 for visual strength, 
and then rating each from 1-8 
for how well the illustrations balanced the text.

This Thursday, we get to announce our winner, as well as the official ALA winners
at our Caldecott Club Awards Party. 

3:45 p.m. at Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock. 

Come join us for a final hour of Caldecott delights!

Our Mock Caldecott finalists:

Ada's Violin by ill. by Susan Hood, ill. by Sally Wern Comport
Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, ill. by Rafael Lopez
Cricket Song by Anne Hunter
Return by Aaron Becker
Bloom by Doreen Cronin, ill. by David Small
The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers
The Storyteller by Evan Turk
The Secret Tree Fort by Brianne Farley



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