Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year from Pete the Cat!

We are huge fans of Pete the Cat around here, as you can see from the sampling of our books, the keychain I keep on my bag, and the pouch I use for pens and USB drives.

(Yes, all the cute accessories are mine. Selfish? No - my son can have them when he's old enough to appreciate them. For now, they are mine all mine!)

For several days now, we have been watching the new Pete the Cat show on Amazon Prime. Have you seen it? Only one episode is up right now; it was released on Christmas Day but the story is about New Years resolutions. It's cute to see Pete as a "real" cat, and all his friends are so much fun!

The only negative I can think of, and this is incredibly minor, is that Pete doesn't talk until the very end of the episode. All of the other characters are pretty chatty, and even my three-year-old son said "Pete can't talk because he doesn't have a mouth." Which is true - there is no mouth most of the time, but Pete does talk at the end, so clearly that's not the issue. I just would have like to hear more from him.

I think Pete the Cat books make a huge difference with kids' literacy, reading enjoyment, and vocabulary, based on what I have seen with my son and the kids at school where I teach. Having Pete not talk on the show seemed to be a strange decision. But it's still an enjoyable episode, and we've watched it a few times and it hasn't gotten old. We're looking forward to more episodes.

Amazon does a pretty good job with their kids' shows based on books - we're also huge fans of the Stinky and Dirty Show, based on the books by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

State of Things

... Wow. What a year. I don't even know where to start, but I know this is a necessary post.

When this year started, I was working in a public library. I was posting somewhat regularly from January to March. I was very involved in YALSA, volunteering as YALSAblog's Member Manager and attending the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference in Atlanta in January. I was recording How I Feel About Books podcasts.

Spring turned to Summer, and my family dynamics changed. The public library system extended their hours; later nights, Saturdays, and the occasional Sunday just didn't work for us. So I left the library and went back to SRVS, an organization I've worked for before, and volunteered with constantly since 2011. It was a great job, flexible hours, and they let me use my library background to help with clients from birth to retirement age. It was a dream job, and I was excited to see how I could grow the position.

But my family dynamics changed yet again, and when a school library job opened up, I interviewed for it. I had put my application in to the school system's hiring pool before I left the public library, but there were no openings that seemed like a good fit. When I got an alert about this school, I was interested, and the principal and I really hit it off. Starting in the middle of the semester wasn't ideal, but at the beginning of October I became an elementary school librarian, and here I am!

I think that pretty much explains my silence on the blog... So many changes in one short year! I'd like to say I'm settled and back in the swing of things, but that's not true. I still feel so new in my job, and there is so much for me to learn every day - every class period! But I am living in the library environment again, and I have a lot from that experience that I want to share here.

I'm still reading, of course. Constantly. Always. After a hard week (isn't every week a hard week?), I like to take Saturday "off" and read a book. Start to finish. I call them my Selfish Saturdays. Which is to say, I hope to get back to sharing book reviews here. They might be sporadic, and they might be different than what I've posted before.

I've been thinking a lot about this space, even as it gathered dust for most of 2017. I thought about book reviews, about what I have to say that is different than anyone else. About the potential of this space. It will still be about books.  My reviews might not be as structured as before. And there might be posts about other aspects of my reading life. Of my work life, since it relates to books as well. I think this will make it easier to share things, to know there is no rigid structure to the posts or to what "should" be posted here.

So this is just a check-in. A quick hello, yes, I'm still here and I still want to be here and I hope you do too!