April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Early Literacy Picture Books for Fostering Lifelong Learners │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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Investing in our children is a primary focus of children’s librarians. Selecting the best literature and developing programs for kids and families also demands our attention. School Library Journal, The Horn Book, and Cuyahoga County Public Library in Cleveland, Ohio have teamed up for a second professional event on September 19. Fostering Lifelong Learners 2014 will feature Dr. Robert Needlman as the keynote speaker, with panel presentations and interactive stations demonstrating early literacy library programming. Though registration is closed, be sure to stay tuned to SLJ for post event news. In the meantime, check out the following early literacy selections from the editors at Junior Library Guild.

With the turn of the publishing calendar, a new JLG Booktalks to Go: Fall 2014 LiveBinder has been created. Titles are now sorted by interest level. Clicking on that tab will take you to the books and their resources. The Spring 2014 LiveBinder will continue to be posted.

FlashlightBOYD, Lizi. Flashlight. iIlus. by author. Chronicle. 2014. ISBN 9781452118949. JLG Level: PK : Pre-Kindergarten (Grades PreS-PreK).

When is the dark not scary? When you have light―a flashlight. Shine your beam around and what do you see? An owl? A beaver? How about a porcupine climbing a tree? Camping out is a surprisingly different adventure in Boyd’s beautiful wordless picture book.

Sharing wordless picture books at storytime offers endless possibilities. Read the article on wordless book strategies at Early Childhood News or Reading Rockets. For more ideas, resources, and wordless titles, check out South Mountain Community College’s Lib Guide on The Study of Storytelling. Interested in more of Boyd’s work? Visit the author/illustrator’s website. Watch the book trailer and peek inside at Chronicle Books.

Big BugCOLE, Henry. Big Bug. illus. by author. S. & S./Little Simon. 2014. ISBN 9781442498976. JLG Level: PK : Pre-Kindergarten (Grades PreS-PreK).

A big ladybug seems quite huge until you see the leaf she sits on. The leaf seems really large until you see the flower it grows on. It’s all about comparison. What is big? What is little? It depends on everything around you.

Toddlers will enjoy the storytelling pattern of Cole’s gorgeous farm story. Before you finish reading, you’ll find your young patrons joining in. View sample pages on the publisher’s website.  Share the author/illustrator’s other charming stories, which you’ll find on his website. Incorporate some songs and rhymes, which are included in the JLG BTG Fall 2014 LiveBinder. Add a ladybug craft, pair it with a nonfiction book, such as Mari Schuh’s Ladybugs (Bullfrog, 2014) and your storytime is complete.

ShhHAUGHTON, Chris. Shh! We Have a Plan. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. ISBN 9780763672935. JLG Level: PK: Pre-Kindergarten (Grades PreS-PreK).

Just how do you catch a bird? The characters in this story have nets. They are being quiet. They have a plan. But, whoops! The bird gets away. Then the littlest friend tries another method, gathering too many birds to count. Will they try to use their plan again? Shh! Read it and see.

Bold colors and simple text combine for a great read aloud. A surprise ending will surely lead to cries of “read it again!” Visit the author/illustrator on his website where you can also download a reproducible of the bird. Watch the book trailer while you’re there. You can follow him on Twitter. You’ll find additional resources, such as a Q and A with Haughton, on Candlewick’s website.

mix it upTULLET, Hervé. Mix It Up! illus. by author. Chronicle. Sept. 2014. ISBN 9781452137353. JLG Level: PK: Pre-Kindergarten (Grades PreS-PreK).

Fans of Press Here (Chronicle, 2011), rejoice! Tullet is back with a new participatory tale. Listeners tap the spots, press their hands, and close the book to change three simple colors into all the colors of the rainbow. Messy, squishy painting illustrations beg for storytime activities that border on the same.

Chronicle offers an activity guide just right for guiding preschoolers to mix it up. Watch Tullet introduce his new book and don’t miss viewing his trip to Japan when kids painted under the joyful encouragement of the illustrator himself. If you live in the New York City area, he will be reading and leading a workshop at the Guggenheim Museum on October 18.

Additional Resources

The resources for the above titles have been organized in a new JLG Booktalks to Go: Fall 2014 LiveBinder. Titles are sorted by interest level, PreK-3, 3-6, 5-8, and YA. Check out our award-winning Spring 2014 LiveBinder which organizes resources for spring releases. All websites are posted within each LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com. (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)


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Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.

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