Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bluebonnet Selection Committee summer work

It's been a busy summer, Eagles! The library has only been open on Library Nights for checkout, but Mrs. Fournier has been hard at work reading books that are being considered for next year's Bluebonnet Book Award! Most days, since March, when I open my front door, there are between 1-20 books on my doorstep! My dogs have been very excited about all the visitors.

So many books was starting to get overwhelming, so I bought two new huge bookshelves to keep them all organized. I've had to read all summer long! It was a very different break than I was expecting. Recently, I went to downtown Austin and met my 9 fellow Bluebonnet Selection Committee members. We talked all day about books. It was the most fun, intense book club discussion I've ever participated in - and it was so fun that I had read dozens of the same books as some super smart librarians from all around Texas!

The best part of my job as a Selection Committee Member is that I get to keep all the books I receive. Publishers around the United States send them to me because they want their book to be a Bluebonnet- it's a big honor, and makes you a lot of money if you're chosen. Guess what I'll do with all these books? Once we announce our choices for next year's Bluebonnet nominees (at the Texas Book Festival, in October, by the way), I will be donating all of the books to my amazing customers at the Forest North Library! Yahoo!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Camp Bluebonnet 2012 - Thursday

As it always seems to do, camp flew by, and before we knew it, it was our (sad!) last day of Camp Bluebonnet 2012. We chose a very special book to help us get over our sadness. Clever Jack Takes the Cake is a special book for RRISD Librarians, especially, because it was chosen as both an Armadillo Readers Choice nominee last year, and a Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee this year! It takes a very special book to be nominated for the two awards dearest to our hearts.
After reading the book, we did some clever activities. Every day at camp, we do an ice breaker where we get to know each other a little better. One day it's bingo, one day you get paired up with someone by finding your match on an index card, and one day, we play the game where a famous person is taped on your back and you have to figure out who it is. Mrs. K and I love this game, and our campers always have a blast with it too. After our daily ice breaker, we decorated our own cakes, just like Clever Jack's, down to the last detail.
After washing up, we tried our hand at letterboxing, Mrs. Fournier's favorite hobby (besides reading, of course.) Mrs. Fournier tried to make a summary of letterboxing on one page for our campers. Check it out at the bottom of this post. For more detailed information about letterboxing, check out or or just ask Mrs. Fournier next time you see her!

Mrs. Fournier (and Mr. Fournier, and Mr. Fournier's mom, the other Mrs. Fournier, who is a true artist) worked hard to hand-carve 5 stamps featuring characters from Clever Jack Takes the Cake. Our first session of students worked in teams of 3 and 4 to find a good hiding place at our camp campus to hide their group's stamp, and then wrote a not-too-easy, not-too-hard clue for finding the box. Then, we projected each of the clues with a document camera, and the kids set out to find the stamps and fill their log books. Our July session of campers received the clues from the June session, and only had to find them.

Well, that's all for now, Campers. Mrs. Fournier & Mrs. Kupersztoch were so pleased to have two sold out sessions of camp again this summer, and had a blast with the wonderful students who joined us. Mrs. Fournier also has plans to cut another movie featuring our camp adventures, too, so stay tuned for that!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Camp Bluebonnet 2012 - Wednesday

On our third day of camp, we read the beautiful nonfiction picture book Just Being Audrey. It's a biography. That means (as I'm sure you already know, you smart reader, you) it's a book about a person's life.

After reading, we then watched some of the primary source material (including a few really cool videos) provided on the Texas Bluebonnet Award resources website about Audrey Hepburn's life, good deeds, movies, & fashion. In the book, we learned how after WWII, when Audrey was just starting out as an actress in Paris, she had few clothes, but didn't let that stop her from being fashionable. She had one scarf that she wore 12 different ways- as a head wrap, a bow tie, belt, etc. Mrs. Kuperzstoch and I tried to be tricky. We brought random items from around the house that we thought would be difficult to find uses for. But our genius campers blew us away with their creative ideas for our paper fans, measuring cups, wooden ring holders and koozies.

Speaking of creativity- Just Being Audrey didn't lend itself easily to a snack. Audrey does mention a delicious candy bar she was given by a sweet volunteer when they were liberated from their hideout in Belgium after the war, but that didn't seem unique enough for our campers. So, we looked elsewhere. Each year at Camp Bluebonnet, in addition to our daily picture book, we also work towards reading an entire chapter book. Every day we read 1/4 of the book. This year, our chapter book was Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie. That title, as I'm sure you can imagine, lends itself to a very creative snack.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Camp Bluebonnet 2012 - Tuesday

On our second day of Camp Bluebonnet 2012, we read and worked with Hot Diggity Dog - the History of the Hot Dog. We read the book (with all the sidebars) and worked up an appetite. We studied Coney Island, America's unofficial hot dog capital, through a Prezi I created with primary source material from the kind folks over at

After that, we were starving! Mrs. Kuperstztoch and I provided a hot dog bar, with all beef or veggie dogs, and all the condiments you could imagine. They were delicious.

Our second activity of the day was creative - our campers created a menu to their own hot dog stand. They were encouraged to give it a punny name, include prices, and could include any specialties they wanted!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Camp Bluebonnet 2012 - Monday

This is the second year I've taught Camp Bluebonnet through Round Rock ISD Community's Education Program. Mrs. Kupersztoch, Librarian of the new Elsa England Elementary (formerly of Brushy Creek Elementary) and I really enjoy spending time doing fun reading activities with our readers each summer! Here's a picture of us after camp one day with our buddy, Joel.

Camp Bluebonnet also helps to start getting us familiar with the twenty nominated Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees for the upcoming year. This is a special year at Camp for Mrs. K & I because we are both honored and delighted to be serving on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee! Mrs. K is their webmaster, on the program committee (thanks for the great website, Mrs. K!) and I am on the selection committee, which m
eans next year, the books will have been chosen in part by me!

This summer, we chose 5 of our most favorite of this year's Bluebonnet nominees to feature as we read, played, & ate our way through camp! Each da
y we read one book, (except our chapter book, which we read a quarter of each day), then did two book-related activities, and had a book-related snack!
Postcards from Camp is a great epistolary novel. (I learned the word "epistolary" in college when I studied English. It means a book where it's letters written back and forth.) Postcards From Camp is about David, who is nervous about going to summer camp for the first time, and the postcards and letters he exchanges with his dad throughout camp. It's so funny! Mrs. Kuperzstoch and I had lots of great ideas that went with it- we played camp charades, braided lanyard key chains, made and ate delicious s'more treats, and wrote our own awesome postcards with scrapbooking materials to take home.