Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy 113th Birthday Clive Staples Lewis

Aslan, The Great Lion. The Chronicles of Narnia. Photo courtesy of weheartit.com
It's always a bit tricky tricky knowing where to start this series. Technically you can start with The Magician's Nephew, or you can start with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and then double back and read The Magician's Nephew and be just fine. Just for the record, I see no reason why wearing lipstick should prevent one from residing in Narnia. That fact seriously bums me out.

Just Right booklist

Here is the booklist I mentioned in my previous post. If you would like a full size PDF version, just e-mail me at kfitzhughremitz@co.marin.ca.us, and I'll be glad to e-mail that back to you. Of course I have this and many more booklists for you to take away in my branch as well.

These titles will be spread throughout the library system, but you can visit the library catalog here, place a hold on as many titles as you like, then have them delivered to whatever branch you like. Is that not wonderful!

Stay tuned because over the next few months, the Marin County Free Library children's librarians will be busy creating all kinds of booklists to live on our new kid's webpage. You'll be able to print off as many lists as you like and be linked directly the catalog for searches and holds. Yipee.

Question from a parent regarding Lexile and the TinTin series

A parent asked a great question that I would like to share with all readers:
Will you tell me the lexile level for the Tintin series by Herge? My son is in third grade. His teacher wants him to read "just right" books. Thanks!
 The answer is there isn't a Lexile rating for this series. Lexile gives it a rating of "NP" which they define as:
NP: Non-Prose
The NP code is for any book comprising more than 50% non-standard or non-conforming prose. NP books do not receive a Lexile measure, merely the NP code. Some common examples of non-prose content are poems, plays, songs, recipes, and text with non-standard or absent punctuation. Since the Lexile Framework is based on prose analysis, Maurice Sendak's Alligators All Around (HarperTrophy) is coded NP. The text of the book is not in complete sentences and lacks punctuation entirely. The text difficulty of such a book cannot currently be assigned a Lexile measure.

I would say if your son is reading TinTin and enjoying them, fabulous. Let him keep reading them for fun. But in terms of reading development, third graders vary hugely in reading ability. Come into my library and I'll give you a booklist I have called, "Just Right: Not too easy, not too hard" and let's see what we can find for him to read that will satisfy his teacher's requirements, will be a good fit for his own interests and  his current reading ability, but will be enough of a challenge to build his reading skills.

As I said in this previous post, and this one, I'm more concerned that we get the right books in his hands rather than worrying too much about matching a specific Lexile number.

Thanks for the great question!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A little bit of the Big Picture

I do believe FabioTheItalianOne's fascinating video pairs well with Onward to the Edge, don't you? A nice reminder to keep things in perspective.

Enjoy your lazy Sunday with a second piece of pie and that delicious new title, plucked off the hold shelf, waiting patiently just for you at your library. After all, doesn't every book contain its own little world we get to inhabit for awhile?

From my "books for grown-ups" stack I'm reading Lev Grossman's superb work, The Magicians. The world of Brakebills College is mesmerizing and magical and mundane and heartbreaking. Just like ours actually.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hope your Thanksgiving dinner is swanky, dear reader

When we were little, my brothers and sister and I thought these tv dinner's were the height of cool. I suspect now that this turkey isn't brined.

I give thanks for books and libraries and you dear reader. Let's collapse on the couch and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade  and then read this delightful book together. Hurry and see if there's still a copy to check out.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I went walking and what did I see?

some glittery jewels winking up at me.

Civic Center Library parking lot. November 18, 2011

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it- Roald Dahl

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Here we are together, in this fragile little world

I promise you'll be singing "Onward to the Edge" all day after viewing this inspirational little video.

A musical celebration of the importance and inspirational qualities of space exploration (human and robotic), as well as a look at some of the amazing worlds in our solar system. Featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox, and Carolyn Porco.

Here are some titles to get you started on your own space exploration. Click on the image.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Autumn in New York

Well my friends, it would seem our Indian summer has passed and Fall is here. Would you like to take a stroll through Central Park with me?

Here are two picture books about touring New York. The first from illustrator extraordinaire Miroslav Sasek, written and illustrated in 1960, This is New York

and the second, A Walk in New York, written and illustrated in 2009 by Salvatore Rubbino. I think Rubbino tips his  illustrator cap to Sasek.  What do you think?