April 22

Fantastic New Picture Books

Here’s a few of our newly arrived picture books, guaranteed to get you right in the feels. Synopsis from the publishers.

Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal, 2017 This book is about your heart. (the little bit inside of you that makes you, you!) The words we listen to can affect how we feel. Some words can do amazing things and make us happy. And some words can really hurt us (we all know what sort of words those are). Our words have power, and we can choose to use them to make the world a better place.

 

Most People by Michael Leannah. Pictures by J.E. Morris 2017 

The world can be a scary place. Anxious adults want children to be aware of dangers, but shouldn’t kids be aware of kindness too? Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day.
Jennifer Morris’s emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah’s words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well intended. This reassuring picture book is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media.

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April 2

World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd. Here are twelve of the great resources available in the Vanier LC. Synopsis provided by the publishers.

un/FAIR by Steven Harper (2016) It’s difficult enough to live in the neighborhood “freakazoid” house. It’s even more difficult when you’re autistic and neither your family nor best friend really understands you. So when Ryan November wakes up on his eleventh birthday with the ability to see the future, he braces himself for trouble. But even his newfound power doesn’t help him anticipate that the fair folk-undines, salamanders, gnomes, and sylphs-want him dead, dead, dead. Ryan races to defend himself and his family against unrelenting danger from the fairy realm so he can uncover the truth about his family history-and himself. Except as Ryan’s power grows, the more enticing the fairy realm becomes, forcing him to choose between order and chaos and power and family. And for an autistic boy, such choices are never cut and dry.

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010) Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.

Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is.

By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy’s struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

My Friend Has Autism by Amanda Tourville (2010). My friend Zack has autism. But that doesn’t matter to us. We talk about airplanes, build models, and enjoy hanging out at each other’s house. I’m glad Zack is my friend!

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February 22

Morphing into characters with Face Film App

In the Learning Commons, we shared Danielle Daniel’s book Sometimes I feel like a Fox. The paperback edition is in a larger format which makes the pictures more visible in a group. Students discussed which character they connected with the most on that day. We used FaceFilm App to show ourselves in the characters.

Morphing into character connections from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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February 14

Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World

Students had great fun sharing the terms of endearment their family uses. We celebrated Valentine’s Day with the wonderful book Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World by Jacqueline K. Ogburn with illustrations by Chris Raschka. Students showed their learning with digital creations using Doodle Buddy App.

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January 15

Core Competencies and Digital Citizenship: Screen time

Here’s a handy list of book titles that can help launch discussions about keeping a healthy balance when it comes to screen time. Linked images and extension activities. Synopsis provided by the publishers. Read more for Indigenous connections.

Dot’s a spunky little girl well versed in electronic devices. Dot knows a lot. She knows how to tap . . . to swipe . . . to share . . . and she pays little attention to anything else, until one day Dot sets off on an interactive adventure with the world surrounding her. Dot’s tech-savvy expertise, mingled with her resourceful imagination, proves Dot really does know lots and lots. Ironically, there is a little video series to accompany the book.

 

After the star of this story gets her brother’s hand-me-down camera-phone and a quick lesson in the “selfie,” there is no stopping her! Until, that is, it’s time to call it a day. Turns out, camera-phones and kids alike need to recharge their batteries! Here’s a great ‘Selfie’ Digital Citizenship follow up activity.

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November 29

New #SOGI Resources

SOGI 1 2 3 was created by ARC Foundation in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education, BC Teachers’ Federation, UBC Faculty of Education,  and local, national and international LGBTQ community organizations. We look forward to collaborating with school districts across BC, BC Principal’s and Vice-Principal’s Association, BC School Superintendents Association, BC School Trustees Association and BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. We are working together to address the immediate need to support marginalized LGBTQ students by effecting rapid and progressive change in attitudes, policies, and practices toward creating safer and more inclusive school environments for all students.” www.sogieducation.org

Below are some of our more recently arrived resources. Click here for a comprehensive list of  the top 77 additions to our growing collection.

Also, here are some of our collection’s great resources supporting Love is Love: Creating a gender inclusive school and celebrating diverse families. (130 titles)

And check out the TeachBC Resource. The Gender Spectrum: What Educators Need to Know by Glen Hansman

My current favourite…

Not Quite Narwhal (2017) Heartwarming and adorable debut picture book tells the story of a young unicorn who was born under the sea to a family of narwhals. Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him!  The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? 

 

I Love My Purse (2017 ). Charlie loves the bright red purse that his grandmother let him have. One day, he decides to take it to school. First his father, then his friends, and even the crossing guard question him about his “strange” choice. After all, boys don’t carry purses. They point out that they, too, have things they like, but that doesn’t mean they go out in public wearing them. But Charlie isn’t deterred.

 

The Pink Suitcase (2018) What was his grandmother thinking when she bought Benjamin such a strange present: an empty pink suitcase! To his mother’s horror, Benjamin is not only drawn to the suitcase—he absolutely loves it. What’s more, as he grows older he shows no signs of wanting to give it up. Spanning the generations, The Pink Suitcase is a warm-hearted and amusing tale about being different and celebrating the individual.

 

Teddy’s Favourite Toy (2018) A mom goes to great lengths to rescue her son’s favorite doll in this delightful tribute to treasured toys—and mothers. Teddy has a lot of cool toys. But his very favorite doll has the best manners, the sickest fighting skills, and a fierce sense of style. Then one morning, something truly awful happens. And there’s only one woman fierce enough to save the day.

 

The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya. (2016) A five-year-old boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by South Asian women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself.

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