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


That’s a Wrap

Third week of books to eat is done, and was wonderful. This year there were so many creative kids and families involved; students worked with siblings, with friends and parents, and teachers got creative with their students in the kitchen. Well done to everyone who contributed. For our final week, there were many sweet entries.

Here are all our entries from Monday the 30th of April, as well as the individual and group entries from 5SM and 5DN on April 23rd. Take a look!

Books to Eat Round 2

Well done to over 70 students who participated in Books to Eat last Monday Our final round of deliciousness and creativity is tomorrow, April 30th, with contributions from 4th and 5th graders as well as anyone else who is interested.

Here are some of the creations from Monday, thank you to everyone for inspiring us in the Elementary School and making our library such a fun place to be.


Books to Eat round 1 success

For 6 years, we’ve run Books to Eat as an annual fun event in the Elementary Library, celebrating two of my favourite things; books and food. You can see many of our former entries here, but you will need a VPN to access the youtube clip.

We’ve had all sorts of creations submitted…Grapes with angry faces drawn on for Grapes of Wrath, a huge ice cube for Frozen…the emphasis has been on family involvement, imagination and creativity. However for many, it’s been intimidating seeing some of the INCREDIBLY detailed, majestic, fondant -covered creations made by some people, and I can understand that intimidation, after all, I don’t bake.


But this year I feel like people have really started to listen to me when I’ve said, “it doesn’t HAVE TO BE CAKE” it is ANY edible item, with ANY book. The entries this year were so imaginative, and you could see the hands of pre k, k and 1st graders all over them. I was thrilled. Take a look, and remember next week is 2nd and 3rd grade’s turn, with 4th and 5th grade the week after…however, we aren’t to fussy about things like that; anytime you want to get creative, we aren’t going to stop you! And…don’t forget…

There is so much research to show that eating lots of cake in the library is beneficial for children’s brain development and helps get them into Ivy League Colleges. Nah… just kidding, we do it because it is FUN!


APRIL 16th PRE K, K, 1st Grade

 APRIL 23rd 2nd and 3rd Grade

 APRIL 30th 4th and 5th Grade

George O’Connor just days away

News from the Library (in English and Mandarin)

1. George O’Connor’s books are for sale in the Elementary Library. He is our visiting author for next week. If you would like your child to buy a book, and have it autographed during George’s visit, please send in money (prices range from 40 rmb for Paperback Captain Awesome to 140 rmb for books for older readers) We have been promoting art, drawing, cartooning and writing through several great links on George O Connor’s website. 

There are resources about Greek God’s and Goddesses used in The Olympians series, Mad Libs to fill out, drawings to finish, extra resources to discover, as well as many great videos and resoures of George’s illustrated series like Captain Awesome and Super Turbo.


1. 图书馆正在热卖乔治奥康纳的图书。他讲于下周造访美校。如果你的孩子想获得他的亲笔签名,现在随时可以把钱留给孩子让他们来图书馆挑选(各类不同装帧的图书价格从40元到140元不等)。同时我们也通过其它奥康纳的在线资源来推广他的手绘和文章。


Attached is the schedule for next week, you are welcome to attend the Assembly in the LLH on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning for your child’s grade level.

Parents George O’Connor Schedule

Congratulations Readers

We often congratulate students for how many books they check out, but we know that there is no proof that they are actually reading those books. Also, a child may complete 22 picture books, in the same time as another reads a huge 800 page chapter book, so rewarding a number doesn’t really seem fair. Still, we don’t mind too much if it is just ONE of the ways we reward our readers.

Some other ways we encourage positive behaviour and attitude in the library is to reward students for how often they recommend books to others, how often they take risks with their book choices and how well mannered they are during check out time.

Here are some of the rewards given to our students to celebrate the first half of the school year. Congratulations to all our readers, the main thing we hope is that you keep coming back for more.

Happy New Year

Library Awards


Kate                       Marvellous Manners Award

Tristan                   Good Listener Award



Jamie                     Good Listener Award

Michael                Independent Reader Award



Audrey                   Positive Participant Award

Derek                     Good Listener Award



Nolan                         Positive Participant Award

Fiona                         Brilliant Behavior Award



Jonathan                  Brilliant Behavior Award

Chloe                         Positive Participant Award



Jocelyn                      Independent Reader Award

Albert                        Better Behavior Award



Serena                      Independent Reader Award

Kai Jay                       Risk Taker Award



Sasha                        Marvellous Manners Award

Oscar                         Marvellous Manners Award



Maria                        Risk Taker Award

Yuchen                      Brilliant Behavior Award



Kelly                          Marvellous Manners Award

Oskar                        Reliable Returner Award



Katherine                 Reliable Returner Award

Tigris                         Better Behavior Award



Sophie                   Independent Read Awards

Tony                       Reliable Recommender Award



Evelyn                       Marvellous Manners Award

Eric                             Risk Taker Award



Ava                        Marvellous Manners Award

Rodrigo                     Marvellous Manners Award



Daniel                        Patient Pupil Award

Leia                            Marvellous Manners Award



Yoobeen                                     Reliable Recommender Award

Leah                           Patient Pupil Award



Bruno                         Marvellous Manners Award

Ann                            Marvellous Manners Award



Haohan                     Reliable Recommender Award

Peyton                      Marvellous Manners Award



Natalie                      Patient Pupil Award

Byran                         Reliable Recommender Award



Alan                           Marvellous Manners Award

Nicole                        Patient Pupil Award



Alex                            Reliable Returner Award

Elaine                        Patient Pupil Award



Billy                            Reliable Recommender Award

Catelyn                     Marvellous Manners Award


Most Books Checked out per Grade Level



Mifaye                      PKSB        18



Jonathan Qian        KES           56


1st Grade

David Gao                1CN          66


2nd Grade

Katherine Chu         2DW        136


3rd Grade

Flo                              3CE           185


4th Grade

Lotta                          4RF           149


5th Grade

Ellen Zheng             5AR          105