Margaret the Medusa

*I received Margaret the Medusa for free from Untreed Reads

I think Margaret should have been identified as a Gorgon. Sure she can be compared to the most famous gorgon Medusa, but to refer to the species as Medusas is problematic for me. I’m a stickler with mythological references.

I liked that the superficial changes Margaret attempted didn’t sway the children, but I hoped that she would earn friendship with kindness or something more substantial.

The way she does make a friend is adorable, but I think the others (or at least one of them) should see she is capable of being friendly and be swayed. I like the use of the gargoyle but that reinforces the need to use the term “gorgon”. Gorgon and gargoyle make for some good alliteration.

My favourite part of this book was the art, well done!

Spring Break @ Chapters

Sometimes I think Chapters acts more like a library than some libraries. This is a great things for bookstores to do. Offering fun activities and getting kids to like book stores is always good in my book.

Free Spring Break Activities In-Store - Join us at participating Indigo and Chapters stores for free activities, Monday to Friday at 11 am*

Have fun with vocab!

I’m a word nerd, and my boyfriend takes this to a whole new level, so part of my gift to him today was the board game Syl-la-bles by Cadaco. This isn’t really what I expected, but  it’s still an awesome game for a variety of audiences.

How It Works

The board is basically the alphabet with a few “spelling bee” and “thesaurus” squares. When you land on a letter you need to make a word that starts with that letter. You get points based on the letters you use and how many syllables are in the word. If you make a spelling mistake you get 0 points for that turn, which sometimes discourages you from going for the big ones. If you land on spelling bee you need to spell a specific word instead of choosing your own and if you land on thesaurus you need to come up with a synonym for the word provided.

How this applies to the classroom or library

Ages 8-12:

  • This is a way to make using vocabulary words from class more fun
  • Learn what a syllable is
  • practice spelling
  • learn what a synonym is and practice finding them
  • reinforces knowledge of the alphabet
  • practice addition, adding up your points
  • the game is so flexible that you can start off playing with words like “cat” and “boot” so everyone can be included, even if they don’t have a fabulous vocabulary yet.
  • it’s open-ended, so kids aren’t put on the spot to know a specific answer like in many games, and they can be proud of what they do know

Ages 12-18

  • Use more challenging vocabulary words
  • there is a more difficult option on each spelling bee and thesaurus question, so teens can challenge themself with the harder question or choose to stay at the easier level
  • this could work with learning a second language. Challenge them to write a French word beginning with the letter they land on. Then get them to translate the word they get for spelling bee or thesaurus (I’m making this up, there are no French instructions or options in the game)
  • If you’re doing a unit on science, get them to just use scientific words, same could work for geography or any subject

The beauty of this game is it can be as challenging as you want it to be. I was trying for 5+ syllable words, and often ended up misspelling them. Challenge yourself or your kids to push to the boundaries of your/their vocabulary.

Saturday @ the DAC

Saturday the 29th I will be at the Downtown Activity Centre celebrating literacy! I hope to see everyone there, it will be full of activities and information for families. This means I will not be doing my regular storytime at 11.

Top 10 Tuesday

The Broke and The Bookish  want to know: Top 10 Books I Wish I’d Read As a Kid

Picture Books

Introducing Scaredy!

There was a Squirrel in my mailbox today!

 I’ve mentioned before how awesome Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel series is, and now I have more for my Scaredy collection.

Tangled!

I went to see Tangled last night and I LOVED it, even my boyfriend (dragged there) laughed out loud a lot! Being the constant librarian even though I’m only part-time, my mind was sometimes on ways libraries can use the movie’s release.

I did a storytime with a Rapunzel wig last week and focused on books about hair. It was fun but none of the kids had seen the movie so I think maybe I should have waited, while my Harry Potter did well BEFORE the release of the movie older kids are more aware of upcoming films than preschoolers.

Here are some more thing you could use in storytime or in displays in the next little bit to turn the movie’s success into library magic

  • Fairy tales
  • Princess stories
  • chameleons (I think pets stores better prepare because Matt and I agreed the movie will inspired chameleon purchases. I want one!)
  • horses
  • magic
  • growing up/rebelling
  • outlaws (Flynn the thief)

I was sad they seemed to cut out a lot of her fighting moves seen in the previews but Rapunzel was a better female role model than  a lot of the princesses past. She was naive and needed protection but that’s only common sense given how sheltered she was growing up.I liked that she could handle her own against an intruder, was brave, had a conscience about disobeying her mother, and had dreams she didn’t give up on.

My favourite part of the movie was the animals. The chameleon and the horse had me laughing the entire time.

If you don’t want to see the movie yourself read some reviews and get familiar because knowing what’s going on in Disney and kid’s shows gets you an in with the kids. The kids today were shocked I had seen Free Willy (I was not much older than them when it came out so that was an easy one) they were skeptical if I only pretended to see it but when I knew a little bit they got excited.