Books to Eat Round 3

Well done 4th and 5th grade. We had 36 entries today, made by 51 people with edible creations representing Harry Potter, Minecraft, Dinosaurs, Jerry Spinelli, Laura Numeroff, Mercy Watson, Fenway and Hattie and more. It is always so wonderful seeing the books that the students choose to share with us. Sometimes it is because they want to copy the front cover, or a scene from the book. sometimes it is an image of the main character, or even a food that someone eats in the story; our students are really so creative and clever.

Thank you to all the families that contributed over the last few weeks to this fun family activity. Whether you bought ingredients, helped stir in a mixture, or completely guided the way, I hope you enjoyed participating with your child in Books to Eat 2019.

Until next year, keep reading, keep cooking, and keep being creative with your kids.

Cheers, Kimbra

Books to Eat Fact Sheet

Hey Friends

If you’re considering running a Books to Eat event in your school or community, here are a few pointers to start you off.

Books to Eat Fact Sheet

Decide on dates for your Books to Eat Competition

Send announcements out with homeroom teachers and present to your community i.e. parent association, PTSA about the event.

Decide which grades you would like to go first, depending on the size of your school, this event could be over in a day, a few days, or spread out over a number of weeks.

Things to consider…

  1. Do you want the event on a Monday so that students have time to work on their entry with their family or a Friday, as it is a fun way to head into the weekend?
  2. Will you start with older grades first so that younger grades can see how it is done, or younger grades first to build up excitement for the older kids?
  3. Will anyone be able to take their whole entry home or will all entries be distributed and eaten on the day? How will you make sure there is enough for everyone?
  4. Do students need to get materials back, if so, who will label them and when?
  5. Will there be categories for your entries? If so, what will they be?
  6. Will there be prizes? If so when will entries be judged… by whom? When? How and when will this information be disseminated?
  7. PS I don’t recommend prizes…it is a ‘competition’ only because….well, what else would I call it? Sometimes we say Books to Eat Event…to take the edge of the competitive notion. EVERY participant receives a certificate, I( wrote out 70 yesterday, and about the same last week; it takes time, and creativity to come up with ideas for their entry)…some include ‘Greenest Entry’ ‘Tallest Entry’ ‘Brightest Frosting’ ‘Best Props’ ‘Best Book Cover’ ‘Students Choice’…you get the picture.

Helpful Hints

Make sure to label every child’s materials as they come in (or better still, ask for only disposable plates/trays/pans to be sent in with the entry)

For more information on the Books to Eat competitions we’ve successfully run at SAS, type Books to Eat in the search window above and scroll through some of the ideas. Students, parents and teachers NEED to see examples, then they can witness first hand how simple, fun, silly, creative, serious, amazing or complex their entry can be. I don’t bake…or cook…My ideas are the simple/silly/creative ones.

Alternatively e mail me on I’m always happy to help.


To Weed…or Not To Weed…That’s a Funny Question

Weeding the Collection

One of the responsibilities of the Elementary Library is to assure the quality, quantity and organization of the collection. That includes also the professional responsibility for removing from the collection the materials that are no longer appropriate or supportive of the curriculum.In the same way as materials and the existing collection are systematically evaluated for selection purposes, evaluation and examination must occur before materials are removed from the collection. Weeding is carried out on the basis of professional judgment and careful planning. The procedures for weeding depend on the plan formulated by the information specialist and carried out systematically at the determined time.

Systematic weeding comprises removing:

Worn and damaged books
Multiple copies of the same work
Works containing information easily available elsewhere
Outdated materials, inaccurate materials

Criteria for removing items include physical deterioration, obsolescence and lack of appropriateness for the current needs of the school community. After the materials have been identified for weeding, the removal of the items is a follow up responsibility of the Librarian and Librarian Assistant. We have also contributed reading materials to other smaller schools when needed. 

We sometimes have Pudong Elementary Second-Hand Book Sales

For over seven years, we have brought books INTO the library; we have not taken many books OUT of the library.

Our older books are taking up valuable space that better books could use, creating more space on the shelves, the books we do have are more accessible and inviting.

We are weeding books that:

*are old

*are damaged

*we have multiple copies of

*teachers have used in teaching units and now no longer use

*have not been checked out in 5,10,15, TWENTY years

*are never likely to be checked out by anyone

*are misleading or factually inaccurate

*are superseded by a new addition or have been replaced by a better book on the subject

If you’re interested in why librarians MUST weed, check out some of these articles:

Thank you for reading

Graphic Novels for Everyone

Every day in the library, children read Graphic Novels. It is the busiest section of the library, the most popular, the most in demand, by the students. Many days in the library, I hear a parent or teacher make a comment about Graphic Novels being “dessert not the main meal”, “not a real book” or an instruction such as “don’t just check out picture books and graphic novels, you need to get some real books too”. These comments are not just directed at Middle Schoolers or Upper Elementary students, they are said in front of Kindergarten and Lower Elementary School students too.

Graphic Novels and Picture books can be accessible to all students. Admittedly, there are some really serious, heavy picture books and graphic novels that I would not want in the hands of some of our younger students, as they are too ‘grown up’, or sad, or violent, or plain old inappropriate; some students are not ready for them. But like Pernille Ripp mentions in her post for those that think Graphic Novels are easy:

For more reading on why Graphic Novels are not just worthy, but essential to our students, check out some of these posts.

Book Riot 2017

Playful Learning


Graphic Novel Recommendations from terrific blogger at Pragmatic Mom

Suggestions of Further Reading on the Power of Graphic Novels given by Pernille Ripp 


My Go-To Books

One of the best parts of my job, if not, THE very best part, is reading books to students in the library, but how do I decide WHICH books i’m going to buy FOR the library in the first place?

I read many wonderful blog posts and reviews of books on other people’s beautifully curated, up to date, aesthetically beautiful blogs. Some of the people I pay the most attention to are listed here, and others I love to follow are:

*The wonderful Sarah Yewman of Picture Books Blogger fame

*James and the team who dish up delicious at Magpie That

*The unstoppable Pernille Ripp who seems to be able to juggle so many things at once and consistently impresses me with practicing what she preaches

*Erica at What do we do all Day has booklists, ideas for how to unplug and parenting tips.

*Mrs Knott, a Literacy Specialist, blogs regularly about the books she is reading and I always learn from what she shares on Mrs Knott’s Book Nook.

*Jillian Heise over at Heise Reads and Recommends often shares great new book reviews and other literary content.

*An incredibly curated blog I follow is Maria Popover’s at Brainpicking’s, it is not just about books, but many aspects of our shared experience, and I greatly admire what she contributes to the world.

Here are some of my favourite picture books that  I seek out over and over

Books to Aid Transitions

Books to Promote a Growth Mindset

Books to Encourage Determination

Books to Spark the Imagination

Wonderful Wordless

Wonderful Die-Cut Books

Books to Introduce Math Concepts

Creative Concept Books

Books to Introduce Empathy

Books to Encourage Gratitude

Books to Ease Loneliness

Books to Open Minds