Look it up (the forgotten pleasure of encyclopedias)

When I was in primary school, we would work on a project each term. The project topics varied – natural disasters, animals, medieval history, flags of the world, weather patterns, the Olympics and so on. Regardless of the topic, the projects all followed the same format: weeks of furious research in the library, followed by the painstaking process of ruling lines on your poster, creating a spectacular heading using The Lettering Book, inexpert use of tracing paper to press maps and pictures onto your masterpiece and finally, the addition of your text.

My memories of these projects are a mix of satisfaction and frustration – the right layout or a misspelt heading or once, a spectacularly bad portrait of Captain Cook, seemed to separate the great projects from the ordinary. But what of the actual content? Continue reading

Families who read together…

Thank you to our librarian, Ruth Woolven* for her thoughts on sharing the reading experience –

A couple of weeks ago the Library opened after school for a Family Reading Afternoon. This was an opportunity for families to visit the Library and read together. It was wonderful to see parents and grandparents sharing stories and exploring the library collection with our students. Continue reading

First book, then movie

bookfiend-etsyAs is always the case during school holidays, a bunch of new movies were released. This year, the main offerings were Pete’s Dragon, The Secret Life of Pets and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. My kids, being a little older, were plugging for Miss Peregrine, until I said “But have you read the book?” Cue massive eye-rolls from children (because I always say ‘first book, then movie’).

I miss lots of new-release movies because I haven’t read the book. In fact, my chief-movie-going-pal often gives me advance warning of movies she wants to see with a simple “Read the book now because the movie is out in a month.” Considerate friend!

Although I usually prefer the book to the movie, it’s not always the case, particularly when it comes to kids books/ movies. In some cases, films are PERFECT translations of the book, the characters and scenes unfolding just as you imagined. And sometimes a movie not only does a book justice but makes it better. Yes, really.

So here are the books that I think rocketed into awesomeness thanks to a fabulous film – Continue reading

Our treasured library and our valuable librarian

library-6Many things come to mind when I think about my primary school librarian – she was the first port of call when we had a project to do; she was recommender of new books that I might like (hello Judy Blume); she was maker of amazing displays (I never knew I wanted to learn so much about the solar system until I saw her arrangement of books, foam balls hanging from the ceiling to represent the planets and a paper black hole); she was auditor of the MS Read-a-thon; she was driver of the microfiche; and she was also keeper of Where Did I Come From? (a book that only the grade six students were allowed free access to!). Continue reading