I’ve been working on a complete inventory of the books at school. There is nothing worse than seeing a book listed as “on the shelf” on your computer, but then it not being there when you go to get it. Frankly, it’s embarrassing when a teacher or student asks and I have to disappoint them. So I’m slowly working through the collection in an effort to make the catalog accurate.

It’s a lot of work, not just the physical scanning of every book, but also re-alphabetizing as necessary, pulling damaged books for repairs or discarding and staying on track. Do you realize how hard it is for a Book Nerd like me to not read the back of every single book?!? To appease my inner Book Nerd, I pulled a huge stack of picture books to read over the weekend. I was not disappointed.

Marvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner • I’ve had this one at school for a few months but had yet to read it. A student asked me if he (Cornelius) was the man who dug through a mountain, meaning the folk legend John Henry. It got me wonder what the story was about. Cornelius was a real garbage collector in New Orleans, and he really did take great pride in his city. The author says in the afterward that the story was modeled after the old folk legends like John Henry. I think my student is pretty darn insightful! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book by Karen Casale • I am so glad I got this book! I, like most school librarians, try to start each year with a book explaining how we take care of the books that the whole school shares. The very young students in Kindergarten and 1st Grade respond well to Mr. Wiggle’s Book by Paula M. Craig, but 2nd through 4th need some a little more mature. This book is perfect, and it’s funny! I appreciate that it tells you to not only keep the book safe from being nibbled on by pets, but parents as well. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tacky and the Haunted Igloo by Helen Lester • I only found out about this book a few weeks ago and am so glad it arrived quickly! I love, love, love that the hunters make an appearance. I love doing their voices and the kids giggle like mad when I play act them. I can’t wait for next fall when I can read this to the kids! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Step Right Up by Donna Janell Bowman • Wow! This was a great true story. Doc Key was a former slave who became a successful businessman and a self taught veterinarian. He took a sickly colt named him Jim and raised with kindness. Jim responded by showing clear intelligence and Doc was able to teach him to read, write, do math and more! They weren’t just showmen either. Their work showcasing the power of kindness towards animals helped to create the ASPCA as we know it. I liked that the author did not shy away from telling us that Doc’s father may have been a white man in the notes. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sky Boys by Deborah Hopkinson • Hopkinson is one of my favorites and I wanted to read this book to decide if it belonged in the picture books or in nonfiction. I think it will go with the nonfiction books about New York State. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting • Eve Bunting is an author that a lot of the older teachers use but I’m not that familiar with. I was curious about the kind of story this could be, and I was excited when I saw that the art was done by David Wiesner. I also read A Dark Dark Tale by Bunting. Both were good stories but I doubt they will become part of my regular reading list. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ruffen the sea serpent who couldn’t swim by Thor Age Bringsvaerd • I found this hardcover in beautiful shape at Goodwill last summer. I was intrigued by the artwork and the story is sweet. As I read it, I kept thinking the illustrator was very good at the 70s style but knew there was no way the book could physically be that old. It turns out it was originally published in 1972 and then translated to English and republished in 2008. Goodreads reveals there are more stories about Ruffen, I’m interested in buying them. One great little thing in the story: when Ruffen arrives in America he is greeted by a pelican in a 10 gallon hat! I love foreign perceptions about America. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I will continue this post tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

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