The Best of Times
I still can not get used to living in a place without much seasonal change. The Novembers of most of my memories are filled with too many layers- having to dig out the turtlenecks, warm jackets, sweaters, and boots; getting used to darkness by the time I am home from school: the knowledge that I will hibernate as much as possible for the next (almost) six months.
Living in the tropics is different- my wardrobe does not change, the clocks don’t change, there is a bit more rain right now, but not enough to change my routines.
The last few years November has had some constants regardless of the weather: Picture Book Month and the start of a Mock Caldecott unit in my class. On Monday, I introduced both to my class. This year I was super lazy and relied on the expertise of two of the best book pickers I know, John Schumacher and Colby Sharp, and just used their list. Books are not as readily available as I would like here, but I had many from the list and have ordered the rest (hopefully they will all be in by the time we vote for our favorites in January). I shared the list with them and promised we would read all of the books that we have not yet. We posted the Picture Book Month calendar and after a quick look went on with our day. Today is Tuesday. When one of my students noticed the date on the board, she said, “Today is the day that the new Wimpy Kid book is published- when are you going to get it?” It is my fault really- I share book release dates with the students and we wait eagerly for the books to make it to Malaysia. With this book we knew it was going to be available on the day of publication because we had seen it advertised in local shops. But this just after I showed my pile of 19 books that had just arrived from a recent online order? I was not going to go rushing to the book store- we could wait awhile.
In my after school activity (Book Love- for 28 grade 2-5 students) I introduced both Picture Book Month and the Mock Caldecott again. For a solid hour we read, wrote, shared books, and talked about books that we love. Many students “checked out” books from our classroom. I love this weekly time.
Well, it wasn’t really a surprise that after a long day of school, an after school activity, and some planning afterward, I went directly to the bookstore before going home tonight. I bought three copies of Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #10)- two for my class and a third for a friend, two biographies from the Who Was…? series (we are in the midst of a nonfiction unit and biographies are coming soon), and two board books for a baby shower I will attend this weekend. Books are always a good choice.
I can’t wait to see the excitement tomorrow because of the new books- these moments really are the best of times!