The winner of the Cook Prize has been announced: Galapagos George, by Jean Craighead George. This was solidly the winner at Pennekamp, among our 3rd- and 4th-grade classes, so the students should be very pleased with this outcome!
This week in the Pennekamp library most classes are simply enjoying good stories! Some of the books we are reading are new in our library, some are old favorites.
To 3rd grade, I am reading a new book: A Fine Dessert, by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, which depicts the making and enjoyment of the same dessert (blackberry fool) over three hundred years. The students are using their skills of observation and inference to understand the tools and technologies used in preparing and serving the dish as well as to sort out the various relationships among the characters.
With 4th grade I will begin The Van Gogh Cafe, by Cynthia Rylant. This novella comprises a half-dozen short stories of "magical" occurrences at a cafe in Flowers, Kansas. The "magic" is not the magic of Harry Potter or Houdini, but rather is of the sort that helps quarreling friends reconcile, prompts townspeople to care for stray animals, and allows writers to find their stories. Powerful magic indeed.
For specific stories for all grades just click over to the Weekly Readalouds page of this website.
Coming up--the 5th-grade book club meets next Monday, May 4. (Can you believe it's almost May?)
On Friday, May 8, at 3:30, local, charismatic, and very successful author D. J. MacHale will be appearing at the Hermosa Public Library. D.J. is a great speaker--he has an instant rapport with young people. His many series are hugely successful; especially popular with elementary students are the Pendragon books, which are often appear on lists of books recommended for "reluctant" readers. D.J. visited Pennekamp a few years back, and immediately all the library's Pendragon books were checked out! I would really encourage 4th- and 5th-grade students or any student who aspires to be a writer to attend this event.