Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Building A Library

My husband, Chris, is going to be an elementary teacher soon. (Fall of 2011!) A wise friend of ours, who is also a teacher, suggested he start collecting books now; books for his classroom library. Chris took this advice very seriously and since that moment dozens upon dozens, if not hundreds of children's books have flooded into our small apartment. There are neat piles of picture books, stacks of early readers and Little Golden Books on almost every flat surface. Boxes of books categorized by reading level have already been stowed away in our office, ready for the day they'll be unpacked in a new classroom.

These books have been found in thrift store basements, yard sales, paperback swaps, and used book stores (and cellars, like ours!) The search for great books has been a fun (and healthy) obsession for him, and along the way we've both been discovering old favorites, long out of print, and new favorites that we missed in the (many) years between college and now.

Just the other day he found a pristine copy of The Real Mother Goose for only $1. We sat on the couch flipping through the pages pointing out the rhymes and drawings that we'd especially loved as kids. I had forgotten all about that book and it was kind of mind blowing (seriously) to be zapped back in time to when I couldn't get enough of it and drew all over the pages with crayon.

A new discovery for me, from our very own UBC, was A Hole is To Dig, by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. I hadn't known this book as a child but I wish I did! It's so perfectly wonderful - I heartily recommend it. And it's now in Chris' collection so a whole new generation of kids will be able to discover it.

On a side note, this is pretty obvious but it was still kind of a new realization for me when I was thinking about it today: kids books will never be replaced by a kindle or any other e-reader. You cannot draw on a kindle (without making someone really upset) nor can you dig through a pile of out of print books on a kindle. But that's not what I'm here to talk about today.

Building this library for future students has really been fun. If you have any suggestions, let me know!


Jessica said...

Make sure you have some Robert Munsch in that collection. In second grade, my teacher would always read to us after lunch, and she read lots of Munsch. Some of my favorites are "The Paper Bag Princess", "Angela's Airplane", "David's Father", "Purple Green and Yellow" and the classic "Love You Forever". I always really liked "Bread and Jam for Frances" by Lillian Hoban too.

birdie said...

Almost any book from Kane/Miller Book Pub, but especially Wilford Gordon McDonald Partridge, Paul and Sebastian, Nina Bonita...all wonderful picture books from around the world.

Marc said...

When I was a kid, I loved The Last Of The Really Great Wangdoodles, which I originally had read to me during elementary school.