Friday, May 6, 2011

Children's Book Week in Review

Whew! What an amazing, busy, fun week it has been at SES as we celebrated some of our favorite books in honor of Children's Book Week!

One of the most exciting parts of the week was our whirlwind of Skype author visits. Several groups got the opportunity to Skype with actual children's book authors. All of the authors we spoke with were so generous and thoughtful. We learned so much about their books and about how and why they write!

On Tuesday, 4th graders ate lunch with author Eric Luper, who told us about his new book for kids, Jeremy Bender and the Cupcake Cadets. We actually spoke to Mr. Luper on the day that Jeremy Bender was officially released, so the kids concluded the Skype visit by singing "Happy Birthday" to the book! Our students were very interested to learn that when Mr. Luper is not writing books, he is actually a chiropractor! They had lots of questions for him about his job experiences and about how he became a writer. We especially loved hearing Mr. Luper read a chapter of Jeremy Bender aloud to us!

On Wednesday, Mrs. Sweeny's class Skyped with author Kate Messner, who has just released Marty McGuire, the first book in a series for young readers about a tomboy who has to play the princess in the school play! The kids loved hearing Ms. Messner read about Marty's adventures, and did a great job of predicting what might happen to Marty based on the pictures in the book. Our third graders had lots of great questions about what it is like to be an author, and they were surprised to learn how much work writing a book really is! We also learned that one of Ms. Messner's favorite parts of being an author is that she gets to meet other authors; she was especially excited when she got to meet one of her own favorite authors, Judy Blume! We're so grateful that Ms. Messner, who is a teacher, spent her own lunch break with us on Wednesday. Here's a picture she tweeted of us!

Thursday's event was a Skype visit for 5th graders with author Jennifer Trafton. Ms. Trafton has just released her first book, The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic, which is about an island with a sleeping giant living underneath it! The kids were so excited to meet Ms. Trafton and her dog, Misty. I was so impressed with the excellent questions these students had, and many expressed an interest in someday becoming writers themselves. Ms. Trafton had great advice for these aspiring young authors; she encouraged them to read and write as much as possible, starting now! (She even shared a poem that she had written when she was in 5th grade!)

We also spent the week voting on our favorite children's book character in this year's Battle of the Books! And the winner is...Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Congratulations, Greg, and thanks to everyone who voted!

Finally, we wrapped up Children's Book Week on Friday with a school-wide Read-In. That's right, the entire school headed over to our administration building, where we shared stories and read silently as a group. Thanks so much to our guest readers and to all of our students who did such a great job of reading! What a great way of bringing this exciting week to an end!

Friday we also revealed the Children's Book Week quilt that everyone has been working on this week! Each class chose a book to celebrate and then created a paper quilt square which reperesented their book. The squares were then assembled into a "quilt," which will be on display in the library!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this such a fantastic week at SES!

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