This weekend I was surrounded by some of my favorite children's books and the scent of Sharpie markers. And of course....pumpkins! The annual pumpkin painting for our school's media center has become a family tradition. My own kids are always happy to recommend titles for me to paint, and they don't hold back when they notice details I miss from the books they love. We also secured some additional book recommendations from friends on social media.
Without further ado, here is this year's crop of #LiteracyOLanterns:
1. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. This is a classic that features a young boy who creates his own world using a purple crayon. Several additional books have been added to the series since the original came out in 1955. I selected this book because I think it's fun to share my own childhood favorites with students.
2. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. I love this book because it inspires the next generation of scientists to dream big, invent, and create! Published in September of 2016, this book is already a "must read." In fact, I selected it as my October "principal's read aloud" and will be carrying it with me when I visit classrooms this month.
3. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. This book has been around for 10 years, and it is still a staple in many classrooms. The book's message is simple yet profound...each day we have the choice to fill other's buckets with unexpected kindness. I chose this book because it continues to be read and reread by our students and staff.
4. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. One of my friends, Adam Welcome, recommended this as another read aloud, so when I walked into a Kindergarten classroom recently and noticed this book on the teacher's desk I knew it was a winner. Besides, I thought our students might appreciate knowing the silly secret to taming dragons too.
5. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. This young adult novel is a 2015 Newbery Medal winner (among other honors). The entire book is told through verse and in many students' estimation...makes poetry cool! I chose this book because it literally flies off the shelf in our school's media center.
6. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena. This children's book won the 2016 Newbery Medal (among other honors). I chose this book because it shows us that beauty abounds if we look for it. Being intentional about the books we read and celebrate is important, so it's no coincidence that many different genres, backgrounds, and ages are represented in all of this year's Literacy-O-Lanterns.
You can see from the pictures below that we've displayed dozens and dozens of pumpkins over the past several years. Many of our students have also joined the fun, and their creativity really shines! (We love to see pictures of your literacy-themed pumpkins too. Feel free to share them on Twitter using #LiteracyOLanterns.)