Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bluebonnet Fun Night: Play, Louis, Play!

We had our second Bluebonnet Fun Literacy Night at Jollyville Elementary, hosted by their librarian, Mrs. Carter. We celebrated the Bluebonnet Award nominated title Play, Louis, Play! : The True Story of a Boy and His Horn by Muriel Harris Weinstein a Louis Armstrong biography told from the horn's point of view.

Mrs. Carter arranged for a real Jazz horn player to come play for us at Jollyville.  He improvised little riffs during readers' theatre featuring selected excerpts from the book read by Jollyville students. Other students presented biographical information about Louis Armstrong and his legacy.

After the readers' theatre portion of the night ended, our jazz trumpeter entertained us with lots of jazz classics, and showed us the difference between regular versions of songs and jazz versions of songs. The jazz versions were much more joyous and entertaining!

Two very special Forest North students were in attendance for this fun night. Thanks for coming, Jasmyn & Cam, and getting jazzed up over the Texas Bluebonnet Award!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Julie Sternberg's Author Visit

2nd graders and 3rd graders were in for a special treat on Monday, October 15th! Texas Bluebonnet Award-nominated author Julie Sternberg was here from Brooklyn, New York to visit us and talk about her amazing debut novel Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie. Students from 4th and 5th grade who had already passed the quiz on her book were also invited.  Julie was engaging, and our students were so well-behaved.  They sat still, asked great questions, and prepared for the visit ahead of time by reading her book (thanks, teacher!) Thanks for helping me make the most of our visit.

Author visits like Julie Sternberg are wonderful experiences for our children, but require a lot of financial help. Since Julie lives so far away, multiple schools pitch in and share her airfare and hotel costs. At Forest North, the PTA generously donates money to the library, and that paid for about 25% of our visit costs this year. The other 75% comes from fundraisers like the Barnes & Noble Book Fair (12/1/2012) and the Scholastic Book Fair (4/30/13-5/4/13).  Please support the library fundraisers so we can continue to have authors visit our school!

 Some students chose to purchase books and get them signed by Julie in person. I took a photo of each student who purchased a book and printed a wallet sized copy so they could have a souvenir of our special day. Pictured below is Julie Sternberg with Ruby, a third grader. Our books were purchased through local Round Rock bookseller The Book Spot, who were nice enough to let us buy books ahead of time, and took back any extras we didn't sell without financially penalizing us. How nice is that? They also covered the tax for us. Please patronize The Book Spot to thank them for donating their time and services to us! 

Thanks for a wonderful visit, Julie! The kids and teachers adored you, and we loved getting an inside perspective on your wonderful book. Can't wait for the sequel, coming out in April!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bluebonnet Fun Night: Under the Mambo Moon

Three of my fellow librarians and I are on a mission to spread the word about the awesome Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees this year! We are each hosting a party at our schools to promote one title. The lovely Ms. Wimmer of Sommer Elementary volunteered to go first. She's the one on the far right with the red lanyard. We were overwhelmed by the response- we had over 200 guests at our first Bluebonnet Fun Night! This included 7 Forest North Eagles. Thanks so much for representing, my Eagles.

Ms. Wimmer arranged for a wonderful student production of Under the Mambo Moon to honor this expressive book about the joys of singing and dancing and Hispanic culture.
Sommer students coordinated a splendid readers' theatre. Her students did a fabulous job at costuming, reading with expression, using microphones, and really getting across the essence of the book- Latin dancing is awesome!

Then, Ms. Wimmer arranged for Austin High's Ballet Folklorico group to come perform for us. They got stuck on MoPac, but we played an interesting game called The Professor in the meantime for crowd control! After they arrived, got dressed, and were ready to go, we were blown away by their talent. What beautiful dancing, music, costumes, and audience participation was encouraged! They represented six different areas of Mexico with their dancing, and had authentic costuming and dance steps to show us what it's like to be at a real Mexican fiesta.
Our next Bluebonnet Fun Night for Literacy is on Thursday at Jollyville Elementary. Each of these rotations are within only a few miles of FNE. Jollyville is doing a special Jazz night in honor of Play, Louis, Play!I really hope lots of Eagles come out to celebrate the magic of jazz and this biography of Louis Armstrong.
See you then, Eagles! Until then, keep reading!