YAACING Fall 2015 Adventures with Tales the Whale
Library Dance Party for Kids
Using Puppetry to Teach Narrative
Booklist: Dealing with Addiction
NEWSLETTER OF THE YOUNG ADULT & CHILDRENâ€™S SERVICES SECTION OF BCLA
YAACING Fall 2015
CONTENTS FALL 2015
4 Message from the Chair 5 Message from the Editors
Features 24 My Adventures with Tales the Whale and other Passive Programs, by Susan Pierce 26 Once Up On the Puppet Stage: Using Puppetry to Teach Narrative, by Kristine Stephenson 29 Dealing with Addiction, A Booklist by Cassidy Owen 33 Ensemble Books, by Fiona Trotter
6 Summer Reading Club 8 Rhyme Time and Beyond: A Guerrilla Storytime on October 21
9 IBBY Silent Books/ VCLR/ Serendipity/ Harry Potter and the Rain City events
Reviews Call for Submissions
Columns 11 Dispatches from a Rural Librarian: Let’s Celebrate! A Library Dance Party for Kids, by Amy Dawley 13 We’ll Link to That!: Best New Book Review Sites, by Lindsey Krabbenhoft and Dana Horrocks 15 Who’s on the Felt Board?: Must Be Santa— Raffi, by Tina Lee 19 Kaitlyn’s Programming Corner: Flannel Fun!, by Kaitlyn Vardy 21 Teens Only: Summer Programs and Fun from Prince George, by Heather Gloster
YAACS (Young Adults and Children’s Services) is a section of the British Columbia Library Association. Founded in 1980, our members include librarians, teacher-librarians and other library workers interested in services to youth in British Columbia. Our purpose is to promote the exchange of ideas among library personnel who work with children and young adults. YAACING is published 4 times per year. Editors: Alicia Cheng Stefania Alexandru Dana Horrocks (guest) Art Director: Afton Schindel If you are interested in submitting anything for publication, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Next Deadline: November 15, 2015 FALL 2015 | YAACING 3
Message from the CHAIR As I write I’m sitting here watching the rain outside my window, the first substantial rain we’ve had since sometime in the spring. I really hope it’s pouring all over the province, drenching all the terrible fires we’ve had this summer. The library was really crowded today. Days like this remind me what a great resource we are, providing families the “next best thing” to being outside with active kids. And the best thing of all, in terms of literacy, stories, programming and just plain enthusiasm. Our new YAACS executive committee met in early July. Two of our most important components, Continuing Education, and Website/Social Media, each have not one representative but three. The Continuing Ed folks are already planning at least three events: • A rhyme time. If you do any kind of storytimes and you’ve never been to a rhyme time, you owe it to yourself to participate. You’re guaranteed to come away with new ideas. • A program focusing on graphic novels, including readers’ advisory, using them in programming, and more. • And finally, Maker Programs on (small) budget for kids and teens. 4 YAACING | FALL 2015
In addition, we’re all interested in any and all ideas for sessions at the 2016 Library Conference. It’s never too early to begin thinking about this. The Website and Social Media folks are looking to make our long-dormant website something that’s useful for all, and are exploring other platforms to make communications easier. Meanwhile, a basic Facebook page has been created. Just look for “YAACS (Public Group)” and ignore the other options (who knew that other unrelated groups would share our acronym?). Please join up and contribute freely! Finally, we’ll be sending out a poll soon—not just to people on the YAACS email list, but to as many children’s and teen library workers as we can reach. We’d like to find out how YAACS can be more useful to all of us. I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and has had a chance to relax after SRC craziness. Enjoy the fall! - Jon Scop YAACS Chair email@example.com
Message from the EDITORS Fall is almost here, though it doesn’t quite feel like it with the wonderful summer weather. Another successful Summer Reading Club has wrapped up and we have recaps and updates from your enthusiastic BC colleagues. Susan Pierce tells us about how Tales the Whale helped her and her VIRL colleagues deliver an SRC to remember to big-city and rural branches alike, while Amy Dawley tells us about the dance party she hosted at the Gabriola Branch of VIRL. If you can’t wait for next year’s SRC, go to page 6 to find out the theme and the artist. We also have two annotated bibliographies—a dealing-with-addiction list from Cassidy Owen and an ensemble cast list from Fiona Trotter—and Kristine Stephenson’s fun recap of this summer’s Travelling Puppet Show. Finally, Dana and Lindsey bring us a list of ten best new book review sites in their We’ll Link to That! column and Heather Gloster and Kaitlyn Vardy report on the exciting programming they are doing at the Prince George Public Library, including the Teen Summer Challenge and flannel story additions to storytime. Have a great fall, everyone!
- Alicia Cheng, Stefania Alexandru, and Dana Horrocks (guest editor) YAACING Editors firstname.lastname@example.org FALL 2015 | YAACING 5
Summer Reading Club 1. Summer Reading Round-up This year’s BC SRC theme of Build It! inspired so many delightful examples of creativity. Thanks to you, SRCers throughout the province built everything from reading skills to marshmallow towers, from “madlib” scripts to movies, and of course, every kind of robot imaginable! Best of all, you built a whole lot of happy memories for everyone who visited your library, participated in your programs, waved at you in a community parade, or saw pictures of any of these things on Twitter!
2. Share your BC SRC Stories! Before those SRC memories fade away, be sure to submit a story to the BC SRC Community Story Award. Hearing about the ways the BC SRC impacts you and your community inspires us all! Send your story to email@example.com. For some great examples and full details on how to enter, please visit http://kidssrc.bclibrary. ca/index.php/community-story-award/. The winner will attend the BCLA Conference!
3. Many thanks! The 2015 BC SRC has been so incredibly lucky to have such a talented and thoughtful group of people “building it”! Many thanks to: Our Core Planning Committee: • Kate Adams, BC SRC Chair, Richmond Public Library
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• Andrea Brown, BC SRC Chair (past), Vancouver Public Library • Roger Handling, Graphic Designer, Terra Firma Digital Arts Our Content Creators: • Fatima Ferreira & Victoria Neilson and Greater Victoria Public Library • Gina Gaudet and Vancouver Public Library • Dana Ionson & Christine Conroy and Fraser Valley Regional Library • Tina Lee and Burnaby Library • Susan McCowan and Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System • Victor Or and Surrey Public Library • Morgan Peltier and Fort St. John Public Library Our wonderful technical and admin support: • Web Guy, Neil Firkins (BC Libraries Co-op) • BCLA’s Allie Douglas and Angie Ayupova. Thanks, too, to Interlink for their warehouse
and delivery support and to the lovely people her on board! Welcome, Emily! at CELA and NNELS for making Build It! titles accessible. 5. Our 2016 BC SRC Artist is… Lee And a huge thank you to our generous funders for making the BC SRC accessible to the children of BC: BCLA (Annette DeFaveri, Executive Director), Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education (Mari Martin, Director); RBC Foundation. And a very special thank you to you, for welcoming children into your Summer Reading Club, for providing them with opportunities for engagement and connection, for delighting in their reading accomplishments! You did this all summer long and, it is my firm belief, you enriched the life of every child you met.
4. Welcome TNRD’s Emily Olsen! Joining the BC SRC Planning Committee as Incoming Chair is TNRD’s Emily Olsen. Emily works for the Outreach Services department of the TNRD Library System as the Youth Services & Literacy Librarian. Within her position she serves on numerous literacy committees, helping to plan and organize community events like the Teddy Bear Picnic and ABC Family Literacy Day. Emily coordinates the Summer Reading Club for the TNRD Library System and their 13 branches and bookmobile. She also runs their Teen Summer Reading Club. She is a big supporter of SRC and absolutely loves the program.
You’ll most likely recognize Lee as the author and illustrator of the fantasy-adventure series, The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar. Lee tells us that he “enjoys mythology, history, and the mysteries of the universe. He loves to visit exotic places where he can find tombs, mazes, castles, and crypts—not to mention tiny places tucked between the cracks of Here and There.” He loves to travel and in fact, when we contacted him, was in the UK on an “inspir-cation”. A perfect fit for BC SRC 2016 and our theme of “travel”! To learn more about Lee, please visit http://www.leefodi.com/ - Cynthia Ford BC Summer Reading Club Coordinator
Some of you may also recall meeting Emily this past spring at the Evolving BC SRC where she was part of the panel, “How to Run a Summer Reading Club”. We are thrilled to have FALL 2015 | YAACING 7
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IBBY Silent Books/ VCLR/ Serendipity/ Harry Potter and the Rain City events 1. One of the more exciting children’s Children’s literature in our lives and libraries?
literature events in western Canada this fall is the IBBY Silent Books Exhibit. The exhibit, which features wordless pictures books from around the world, will be on display at three Vancouver locations in October: • October 1–23: University of British Columbia, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall • October 8–18: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia Street • October 10–22: Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street
Is Canadian identity critical in a digital, global, pop culture world? Do parents, teachers, teacher-librarians, librarians and young people really care whether they read Canadian or not? Join with our panel presenters as they discuss these questions and more. Maggie DeVries will offer her perspective as a writer for children who has situated both her fiction and nonfiction in BC. Jan Hare will comment as a First Nations scholar and Associate Professor of Indigenous Education at UBC. Yukiko Tosa will provide insights into public and school library collections in her role as head of Britannia Community School Library. Judith Saltman will conclude with remarks based on her research as a Canadian children’s literature scholar.
Excitingly, the Claude Aubry Award is going to be presented to Judith Saltman at the opening reception for the IBBY Silent Books Exhibit. Please join us on October 3 at 2:30 pm Where: Irving K. Barber Center, Room 461 at the Dodson Room, Floor 3, University of When: Tuesday October 27, 2015, 5:00 to British Columbia’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall. This event will be 6:00 p.m. hosted by the Vancouver Children’s Literature 3. The Annual VCLR Illustrator’s Breakfast Roundtable. If you’re in the area, drop by either with Marla Frazee to the exhibition or to the reception or to both. Where: University Golf Club 2. “The Place and Space for Canadian When: Saturday November 7, 2015, 8:00 Children’s Literature in Our Lives and Libraries” Panel presenters: Maggie DeVries, a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jan Hare, Yukiko Tosa, Judith Saltman Other details: Includes breakfast. Book sales Why should we care about Canadian by Kidsbooks. Silent auction. FALL 2015 | YAACING 9
NEWS 4. Harry Potter and the Rain City Where: David Lam Library, Koerner Library, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (Ridington Room) When: October 6 to December 11, 2015 Vancouver enjoys a number of profound and surprising connections to the beloved Harry Potter book series. Kidsbooks in Vancouver was the first Canadian bookstore to carry Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. UBC’s Quidditch club was the only Canadian team represented at the last Quidditch World Cup. The original Canadian editions of the series were published by a Vancouver company, Raincoast Books. And, Larry Campbell, the former mayor of Vancouver once donned robes and played the part of Professor Dumbledore at a Harry Potter midnight release party. This fall, UBC Library celebrates the legacy of the series and Vancouver’s special relationship with “the boy who lived” with their Harry Potter and the Rain City exhibition, displayed at three different Library branches. The exhibition features books from the Harry Potter series that have been newly added to UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, as well as stories and memorabilia from Vancouver-area people and businesses most deeply impacted by the series.
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COLUMNS DISPATCHES FROM A RURAL LIBRARIAN
Let’s Celebrate! A Library Dance Party for Kids By Amy Dawley
worked fantastically well in my little library and stayed true to this year’s Summer Reading Club theme Build It, given that it was an entirely DIY event. For this year’s Summer Reading Club wrap-up celebration, I wanted to try something a little different so I imported an idea from my previous library, a dance party just for kids! It was light on staff time, money, and resources and paid off big time. Everyone who came had a fantastic time and there was a positive buzz in the community afterward. This is one that I will be doing again next year and is perfect for small community branches.
Title: Library Dance Party Time needed: 1 hour Targeted Ages: 3–10 year olds When I would do conference presentations on teen programming in libraries, something I always heard from rural librarians was that so many program ideas that came from other libraries wouldn’t work for them. The main reasons? Space requirements and budget (or lack thereof). I always saw it as a fun challenge to work with those librarians to help them think around how they might offer one of my suggested teen programs in a smaller space with a limited budget. Now that I work in a small rural branch library myself, I am putting those thoughts into practice for my own program planning. In this issue I’d like to share a program that
Description: Celebrate six amazing weeks
of our summer reading program and have fun at your library! We’ll be converting the children’s area into a dance party just for kids.
Supplies: music CDs or music playlist,
stereo/speakers, ribbon, pipe cleaners. I made a playlist of songs from various Kidz Bop music CDs that were in our collection and then used my phone to play it via Bluetooth to our newly acquired podium with a built-in speaker. Playing some CDs on a portable stereo would work just as well. If you don’t have Kidz Bop in your collection, the songs are available to download via Freegal if you have access FALL 2015 | YAACING 11
COLUMNS to it. Playlist included “Happy,” “Shake It Off,” pipe cleaners in our craft supplies box. “Celebration,” and various other kid-friendly How it went: tunes that adults enjoyed as well. It was just over an hour long and we went through the list We ended up with over 80 people attending twice. the dance party that day, 52 of them children. Parents and grandparents had just as much Craft Station: Make Your Own Twirly fun dancing as the children did, and the craft Dance Wand. Children make their own twirly went over very well. Next time we wouldn’t dance wand as something to dance with and decorate with balloons as it ended up being as a take away craft. Using pipe cleaners, we an issue towards the end of the program— coiled them around our fingers to make them a children wanted to take balloons home and little springy, and then tied ribbon to the ends. we didn’t have enough to go around. We got This is an unstructured craft that can be set up lots of positive feedback on how much fun on a table. everyone had and even people who happened Space: As we have no dedicated program to be in the library when the program was space at the Gabriola Island branch, anything happening commented on the positive energy that I plan has to work with the general layout in the building. of the library. We shoved the furniture aside This was my first wrap-up party for the against the bookshelves in the storytime Summer Reading Club and I was very pleased corner and rolled up the storytime mat so it with how it turned out. This is an event that was out of the way. We then did our best to can be pulled together in a short amount of cheaply decorate the space with some balloons time and requires very little in terms of set up we had left over from another program and and cost, but has a very big payoff in terms of with lengths of curly ribbon hanging low. community goodwill and fun! I plan to do this
Staffing: Only guaranteed staff I had was event again next year at the end of the SRC and
myself, so I welcomed children and caregivers as they entered the library, got some folks going on the craft, and then started the music. I twirled my twirly wand and danced with the kids to try to get the party started, but it wasn’t until a little girl came along with her dancing shoes on ready to bust some moves that kids really got into dancing!
Money: The only cost was some ribbon—I
went to the dollar store and bought five spools of thin wrapping ribbon (the kind you can curl with scissors) for $1.50 each. We had one or two spools in our craft supplies box but it wasn’t enough to make twirly wands. We already had 12 YAACING | FALL 2015
I would deliver it exactly the same, perhaps a little shorter (ours ended up being two hours long because people were having so much fun and didn’t want to leave!). If you’d like more details about this program, please let me know! I’d love to help out in any way I can. Do you have ideas for programs that work particularly well in rural communities? Let me know. Drop me a line any time at 250-247-7878 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Dawley is the Customer Services Librarian II at the Gabriola Island branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library. In 2013 Amy received the British Columbia Library Association’s Young Adult and Children’s Service Award in recognition of exceptional service to children and youth in British Columbia.
COLUMNS WE’LL LINK TO THAT
Best New Book Review Sites By Lindsey Krabbenhoft and Dana Horrocks
One of our favourite parts of the fall season is learning about all the new books that are soon to hit the shelves. If you’re like us and work in a large system with centralized purchasing, you have to make a concerted effort to stay on top of new releases. Have no fear! In this issue we’re sharing ten of our favourite websites to keep up-to-date on children’s and young adult books, apps, and audio visual materials.
Step Up Readers:
The fabulous Storytime Katie has started a second blog and it’s all about those beginning readers your 5-7-year-olds gobble up. This part of our collection can be hard to stay on top of, but Katie comes to the rescue with overviews of series, publishing information, and new releases. She often includes her personal review of the quality and the level of difficulty.
2. CanLit for Little Canadians: We love promoting Canadian authors and illustrators and this website is a goldmine. Helen Kubiw, a teacher librarian, maintains the site, creating
fabulous booklists and making sure we’re all aware of upcoming publications by Canadian creators.
3. The Nonfiction Detectives: Run by a school librarian and youth service manager duo, this website is paramount for learning about exciting new information books. It’s the place where Lindsey learned about the new biography of her all-time favourite poet that came out April 7, 2015!
4. Forever Young Adult: If you’ve ever found reading reviews to be boring, you must visit this site! This group of ladies review teen
fiction with pizzazz and humour. Not only that, they also recap popular teen TV shows and movies so you can still be hooked into teen culture. Before you start reading, check out their explanation of their book report grading.
Emily is one of our favourite children’s librarian bloggers hands down. She posts very succinct and helpful reviews of picture books through YA, and also shares super cool reader’s advisory stuff like this super awesome flowchart for middle-graders. And if you read her blog regularly, you’ll get to see all her storytime and program ideas! ⊲⊲⊲ FALL 2015 | YAACING 13
COLUMNS 6. Sense and Sensibility and Stories:
9. School Library Journal: We know that you
If Canadian children’s literature had celebs, we think Rob Bittner would own the red carpet! His blog offers short, honest and extremely succinct reviews of new picture books right up to teen novels, with a focus on both diverse and Canadian materials.
know about School Library Journal. But, did you know they now host some of your favourite book bloggers like Betsy Bird, Teen Librarian Toolbox, and Travis Jonker? They can be counted on for solid content like Librarian Previews and Reviews (including apps!) but also much richer content like cool author interviews on Fuse #8 TV, The Yarn podcast (which is like Serial but for Children’s Librarians) and super hip Friday Finds.
7. AudioFile: When we asked a colleague where-ohwhere we could find reviews of children’s audiobooks she pointed us to AudioFile and we have never looked back. Using the “children” filter for new reviews you can browse what’s new and great or under Features check out AudioRex for children’s audiobook reviews by age category.
This is THE authoritative review site for picture books apps. Started by Carisa Kluver in 2010 because she couldn’t locate credible ebook reviews when deciding what to buy for her family, Digital Storytime has grown to a robust site searchable by category, age, price and device. 14 YAACING | FALL 2015
10. We Need Diverse Books: This is a hugely important resource for ensuring that we continue to build truly diverse collections and is the flagship of the current movement in children’s literature. Check out the Where to Find Diverse Books section for awards and review sites and the Summer Reading Series (we hope there’s a Fall one!) for great readalike ideas for popular titles and series.
Do you have a favourite summer reading club idea that we missed? We’d love to hear about it, give us a shout at email@example.com Dana Horrocks and Lindsey Krabbenhoft are Children’s Librarians at the Vancouver Public Library.
COLUMNS WHO’S ON THE FELT BOARD?
Must Be Santa—Raffi Felt Story by Tina Lee Who’s got a beard that’s long and white? Santa’s got a beard that’s long and white Who comes around on a special night? Santa comes around on a special night
Who very soon will come our way? Santa very soon will come our way Eight little reindeers pull his sleigh Eight little reindeers pull his sleigh
Special night, beard that’s white Must be Santa, must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Reindeer sleigh, come our way Ho, ho, ho, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that’s red Special night, beard that’s white Must be Santa, must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Who’s got boots and a suit of red? Santa’s got boots and a suit of red Who wears a long cap on his head? Santa wears a long cap on his head
Must be Santa, must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Cap on head, suit that’s red Special night, beard that’s white Must be Santa, must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus Who’s got a great big cherry nose? Santa’s got a great big cherry nose Who laughs this way, “ho, ho, ho!”? Santa laughs this way, “ho, ho, ho!” Ho, ho, ho, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that’s red Special night, beard that’s white Must be Santa, must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Claus Tina Lee is a Children’s Librarian with Burnaby Public Library and a YAACS Continuing Education ⊲⊲⊲ Committee member. FALL 2015 | YAACING 15
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COLUMNS KAITLYN’S PROGRAMMING CORNER
Flannel Fun Kaitlyn Vardy
Over the summer I’ve really tried to add some new flannel stories to our storytelling collection. I’ve managed to make a handful of good flannel stories, and I wanted to share with you my favourite three. Here they are:
Move Over Rover – by Karen Beaumont
⊲⊲⊲ FALL 2015 | YAACING 19
COLUMNS Duck Rabbit – by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A Hat for Minerva Louise – By Janet Morgan Stoeke
Let me know if you made any fun new flannel stories over the summer! I’d love to see them! firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaitlyn Vardy is a Children’s Librarian at the Prince George Public Library. 20 YAACING | FALL 2015
COLUMNS TEENS ONLY
Programs and Summer Fun from Prince George By Heather Gloster
I hope everyone had an equally fantastic summer as we have had in Prince George this year. The library was buzzing with endless activity for all ages. The summer reading program was a blast with 1,500 children from ages 0 to 17 years old participating.
role of Teen Services Librarian I had been warned that teens are very hard to get out in the summer and to not over program! This was great advice and I think the Teen Services Programmer and I found the right balance. Here is the breakdown of the Prince George Teen Services summer: • 50 point Summer Challenge for Teens. Most of you will know by now that Amy (previous Teen Librarian) created this awesome soft program where teens can complete a series of 50 challenges to earn points. The person with the most points wins an iPad. The beauty of this program is that teens can participate from wherever they have internet access. • End of the school year Nerf Night! I must admit, the library staff are getting a little bit tired of hosting Nerf Nights but the teens sure aren’t! We had 28 teens out to this event and we cap it at 30.
We just had our Teen Summer Challenge wrap-up party and it was great to see some of the library youth reunite after summer holidays. As this was my first summer in the
• I wanted to experiment with offering a Drop-In Video Gaming program for both double digits (10–12 year olds) and teens. A few hard-core library families have sibling groups with kids 10–14 that I thought could benefit from a program like this. I ran ⊲⊲⊲ FALL 2015 | YAACING 21
the program every Friday afternoon after the Double Digit Summer Reading Program. While the majority of participants were kids who stayed after the Double Digit sessions, we did get some older teenage brothers who would join in periodically as well. I found that I had to stay in the room to monitor the gaming because we always had more kids than controllers and the younger ones needed some reminders about sharing. I was happy with the overall program and mixing the two age groups, everyone was really excited about using the new Wii U. • Library QSA is run throughout the summer and maintains good attendance. Our regular programmer was on holidays and I was thrilled that 13 teens still showed up for a movie night he had planned in his absence. • Table Top Gamers is a group of about 20 die-hard Pathfinders and D&D players. They go from playing two days a week in the school year to only one in the summer. • Our programmer Michael offered a 22 YAACING | FALL 2015
fun Teen Trivia one-off event at the end of July. The program didn’t get huge attendance but the teens who came had a blast! • Teen Summer Wrap-Up Party. I held this event on the last day of the Summer Challenge, August 21. I got pizza and juice boxes and let the teens go wild with the button maker, Wii U and ping pong table. It was really fun! I was happy to see many YAB members that had been away throughout the summer return to the library. I also wanted to share with you a little bit about what the Double Digits were up to this summer. I truly believe that in order to grow a robust teen program you have to focus on growing your teens and offering fun and exciting programs for the tweens or as we call them Double Digits. This is the second summer that we offered the 40 point Double Digit Challenge, a program similar to the Teen Summer Challenge but simplified. We had great participation in the Double Digit Summer Challenge, far more than the teen challenge. In-house programming for Double Digits consisted of the Summer Reading Program from 1 to 2 pm and Drop-In Gaming from 2:15 to 3:15 pm every Friday.
Last year the library completed its Knowledge Garden, a beautiful space that has a small storytime amphitheatre and picnic benches. The garden was landscaped and is now cared for by city employees but there is an oval-shaped area that has been left for Childrenâ€™s programming. The Double Digits have been really keen to get their hands dirty and learn to grow vegetables! We spent a lot of time in the garden this summer and I brought in a local beekeeper to talk to the group about the importance of bees in the ecosystem and how to make honey. I also partnered with the local Recycling & Environmental Action Planning Society to bring the Double Digits an interactive session about vermicomposting and the parts of a flower. The Double Digits love playing MindCraft and Wii U but I was so happy to see that they are equally enthusiastic about finding the ripest peas and harvesting radishes.
If you have any questions or comments please donâ€™t hesitate to contact me by phone, 250-563-9251 ext.105 or by email, email@example.com. Heather Gloster is the Teen Services Librarian at the Prince George Public Library.
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My Adventures with Tales the Whale and other Passive Programs By Susan Pierce
Vancouver Island Regional Library is a regional library system based on Vancouver Island comprised of 39 rural and urban branches. It contains very small branches in rural Woss to very large branches in downtown Nanaimo. Our system faces challenges in regards to making programs across all of these varying circumstances equal and engaging for all customers. As a customer services librarian for 6 branches, both urban and rural, I am aware of the unique programming issues facing the different libraries that I serve. I developed the following programming strategies for the delivery of Summer Reading Club in 2015 in order to support staff in many of my rural libraries to deliver SRC programming experiences that were as equal and as engaging to their customers as those experiences in our larger urban branches. My adventure with Tales the Whale and passive programming for Summer Reading Club (SRC) started in September of 2014. I was recruited to be on the SRC Committee at Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL). The job of committee members is to create SRC programs and instructions for distribution to staff throughout our 39 branches. SRC is the largest program at VIRL and planning for each SRC takes an entire year. The aim of our planning is to support librarians system-wide in their SRC execution. 24 YAACING | FALL 2015
One of my goals as a committee member was to provide more programming support to the six branches that I act as a Customer Services Librarian for as these branches have limited staff. VIRL had recently acquired a mascot â€œTales the Whale.â€? I wanted to find some ways to incorporate Tales into our programming and develop passive programs that required few materials and little staff time or supervision to execute. We wanted all of our customers to be able to participate in programs and we needed to come up with ideas for branches with fewer staff, limited budgets, and children who are not always able to come in at specific program times. My ideas were born while mulling over our mascot Tales and a recent donation of backpacks to VIRL. In my previous life as a teacher, I had often created reading programs in a take-home backpack for students. The students were encouraged to take books home and read to the teddy bear or stuffy provided in the backpack. Teddy bears provide a safe and non-judgemental audience for beginner readers. Children usually love the opportunity to read to others and also enjoy the prospect of having a sleepover with a borrowed stuffy. I was also aware of the popularity of storytimes or reading programs with live animals. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to capitalize on our backpack donations and increase the profile
of our mascot Tales by creating a take home backpack featuring a whale stuffy. Children could enjoy reading with our new mascot similar to reading to an animal therapy dog in a program. Once I had decided on a program direction I expanded the idea to include a storytelling kit. I wanted the children to have the opportunity to write during Summer Reading Club as well as read. What better way to exercise their imaginations than through their fantastical journeys with Tales the Whale? The kit included a Tales the Whale stuffy, a binder with instructions for parents, some story starters, and some customized story writing and drawing sheets (for pre-writers to draw their story, and writers to write). I created some prototype sheets for the kit and worked with the cataloguing department and our communications department to help them understand my ideas and develop the final products. In addition to the “Adventures with Tales the Whale” kit, I developed two other passive programs for SRC 2015, with posters and instructions to distribute to our branches. “Telling Tales” is a reader’s advisory program created for SRC participants. SRC participants filled out ballots to tell Tales the Whale what book they had read and why they liked it. Each submission could be entered to win a book prize. These submissions were then displayed in the library so children could read each other’s submissions and find other books they may want to read for SRC. This starts a conversation between children about their favourite reads, so reader’s advisory becomes child led.
Children also had a chance to exercise their creativity in our “Creative Captions” passive program. Each week branches posted pictures of various animals building homes (in line with the 2015 theme for “Build It”). Children were then invited to tell us what they thought the animals were thinking or saying. This served the dual purpose of exercising imagination and practicing some writing skills while away from school in a fun atmosphere. Finally, the spirit of storytelling was also promoted through a passive program called “Cooperative Storytelling.” A story starter with a “Build It” theme was provided and each SRC participant was invited to add a line to build a story together. These programs generated a lot of buzz in the library and return visits. Children wanted to keep coming back to see what their peers had written for reader’s advisory and how their cooperative story was unfolding. These programs provided a way to boost Summer Reading Club involvement for children, especially those unable to come to designated program times, and provided packaged passive programs for all of our branches to meet the unique staffing situations of a system with rural branches. Passive programs allow rural and urban branches to provide excellent service and programs even in the most isolated locations to make SRC a fantastic experience for all children.
Susan Pierce is a Customer Services Librarian for Parksville, Woss, Sointula, Port McNeill, Port Hardy, and Port Alice branches of the Vancouver Island Regional Library. FALL 2015 | YAACING 25
Once Up On the Puppet Stage: Using Puppetry to Teach Narrative By Kristine Stephenson
Children are natural storytellers. Parents, grandparents and friends read books to them. They watch movies and television for entertainment. And every summer, a few special children come out and see a Travelling Puppet Show performance. TPS is a summer program run by the IslandLink Library Federation that offers a series of puppet shows, puppet crafting workshops and puppet camps for children aged four to nine. This summer, I had the pleasure of working for TPS as a writer/ puppeteer/instructor. While these programs have an obvious entertainment value, much of our planning period is devoted to finding ways to give our programs educational value as well. Specifically, we teach children how to create their own puppet shows. While many children have already intuited what is needed to craft their own stories, others still need guidance. TPS has found that allowing kids to actively participate in games and activities is a great way for children who don’t know as much to learn more and for those who know more to demonstrate their skill in a fun way. Ultimately, the goal we have for our summer programs is as simple, but as valuable, as teaching children how fun it can be to craft a good story. Today, I’d like to focus on our school age program, intended for ages six to nine. For this program, the key to any successful narrative is character and conflict. 26 YAACING | FALL 2015
Building Character Regardless of genre and era, any good story features interesting characters. One of the first activities we do with the children has to do with characteristics. We start with a discussion. Kids tell us who their favourite characters are and what they like about them. Often, in the process they start to list characteristics. After explaining the definition of a characteristic we select a puppet. Each child is asked to list off something about how the puppet looks. These are the puppet’s physical characteristics. Next we ask each child for more interesting details, like their favourite food or their most precious secret, maybe even a superpower! The details should roll on in until the kids are out of giggles and the puppet has a full-blown personality. In this exercise children develop a sense for how even one detail can greatly change the kind of character they create. They also discover that creating a character can be as simple as assigning them details, but also learn that there should be a level of thought behind each characteristic. Once children understand how they can use characteristics to build complete characters, they are quick to develop characters that are wholly their own. Perhaps TPS’s most popular programs are the craft building workshops. Paper bags, paper plates, paper cups and socks all gain
a set or two of googly eyes and more than a little tender loving care by the way of glue and crafting odds and ends to become great puppet pals. While paper bags, cups and plates can be gratifying and fit nicely and affordably into an afternoon, no craft is more satisfying than the sock puppet. Socks are more durable than most other crafts, and the puppets themselves are more believable than any paper craft. In three day puppet camps, we find the puppets made on Day One return for Days Two and Three. Part of what is great about the craft portion of our programs is how it relates to character. Children have complete control over the physical characteristics they give their character and often times the choices they make are motivated by personality they’re about to create for their puppets. Every craft ends in a game called Hot Seat. In Hot Seat an interviewer asks the puppet a series of rapid-fire random questions. The puppeteer has to be not only creative, but quick on their feet to keep the conversation going in the two minutes they are in the hot seat. This game simultaneously develops children’s improvisational skills and the character of their puppet. When we play this game, we allow the kids to use our puppet stage which gives them a small introduction to performance in a safe environment.
Creating Conflict Conflict is what makes stories interesting. What’s incredible about conflict is the sheer range of ways it can enter a narrative, but essentially it boils down to the character having a problem. To help children write stories with conflict, we give them a basic introduction to story structure. Of all the things we teach
the school age kids, story structure is the most challenging. Story structure diagrams and words like, “rising action,” “climax” and “denouement” can be insufferably boring for some kids. For this age bracket, I find the bulk of story structure terminology can be glazed over to spare them the boredom, but what is important is their understanding of Beginnings, Middles and Endings. Like our discussion of character, we start by asking the kids to list their favourite stories. After a substantial list of titles has made it onto the board we ask them, “Are all of these stories the same?” The answer is almost always an outraged, “No!” This segues nicely into the fact that most of the stories on the board follow Classic Story Structure. We simplify this into three parts: 1. The Goal In the beginning of a story we meet our main characters. What’s important about these characters is that they have a goal. 2. The Problem The middle can be the most interesting part because the middle is where the character has problems trying to meet their goal. Problems force the character to search for solutions, which can be pretty exciting. 3. The Resolution The story has to wrap up somehow. Specifically, it needs to wrap up in a way that relates to the original goal of the character. Is this a story of triumph or tragedy? Once children have a grasp on three-part story structure, we introduce a game called, “Kid Control” left to us by our puppeteering ⊲⊲⊲ FALL 2015 | YAACING 27
FEATURES predecessors. In this game, two puppeteers each select a puppet. Sentence by sentence, children tell us the story of the two puppets on stage. The puppeteers must act out the story the children are building. These stories must include a beginning with a goal, a middle with a problem and an ending that resolves the initial goal. A few story structure reminders can be necessary throughout this exercise, but overall, it is a charming game the children enjoy.
Performance Puppeteering is not an art form that demands a great deal of training, but it does require the puppeteer to understand a few basic rules. We introduce technique through a game called, “Cucumber.” In this game, one puppeteer tells a series of jokes to the audience using the puppet stage while the other puppeteer stands out front with the kids. The puppeteer backstage will intentionally do incorrect puppetry maneuvers (out of sync speech, floating, sinking, etc.), and each time the children identify a mistake they call, “Cucumber!” We then have a brief discussion about what went wrong and how to avoid that particular mistake. This game is delightfully comedic, and has always been a fun and successful way of teaching puppetry technique to children. Our school age program culminates in a puppet show that is designed, written and performed by the children. They create unique personalities for the sock puppets they built by giving them a wealth of characteristics. Then their stunning puppet friends star in shows that follow the story structure they learned earlier. Each skit is approximately five minutes 28 YAACING | FALL 2015
and is developed by groups of three or four children. This entire process occurs over a total of three two hour workshops. While any of the other exercises and games could easily be run in an afternoon workshop, we have found that children really benefit from having plenty of time to mull over their ideas and characters when faced with a performance. When we run camps, we also fill any spare time with a range of drama games. The combination of games and educational material is part of what makes the camps so successful as it allows for a blend of fun and learning. The greatest challenge of putting on puppet shows with the school age children is group work. Some groups work exceptionally well together, but others do not, and it can take a sharp eye and a lot of negotiating to get groups running smoothly. Despite the challenges the shows can present, there is nothing the children are more proud of by the end of the camp, and if you have the ability to run a camp, they are always well received by parents and children alike. Puppetry is quite unlike many other methods of storytelling, and as such it comes with some benefits unique to puppetry. For example, puppetry comes with a level of anonymity. While a medium like drama asks children to make bold choices on stage in front of an audience, the puppet stage offers a layer of protection from facing the audience full on. We’ve seen even the shiest of children give puppet characters bold and exciting personalities once they get backstage. Also puppetry, more so than other forms of narrative, is dependent on character simply because little else can be on stage. While books, films and even plays have the benefit of
props and settings, only a very few props make it onto our puppet stage because it adds a fair bit of complexity to the performance. Finally, like any dramatic art form, these stories make the leap from the imagined to the physical. Productions like this have a unique kind of completion and polish that isn’t always found in written story, and that can be charming for children who like narrative, but don’t necessarily love to read.
to work with puppets to begin with, and in the event that they find a passion for theater or narrative along the way, their experience becomes even better. It is our hope that by running programs like these we might spark an ongoing interest in dramatic narrative for children who are so inclined, and that this might just be an introduction to a long and wonderful relationship with story.
Given that a library has the desire and Kristine Stephenson is a Coordinator for the capability to run a puppet program, I would Travelling Puppet Show. highly encourage them to do so. Children love
Dealing with Addiction, A Booklist By Cassidy Owen
As much as adults might not want to admit it, young adults and children deal with issues that are very adult. They struggle with relationship issues, family issues, and addiction issues. Addiction is something that affects teens of every demographic and ethnicity, which is why there are multiple books that deal with the issue. While librarians should not aim to be therapists that prescribe books as part of bibliotherapy, we can recommend books that address certain topics when asked. A young adult or child who is either dealing with addiction themselves or with the addiction of someone else might take comfort in knowing that characters in a text could deal with similar problems. Being able to recommend several books that deal with addiction can provide not only a reading list to someone looking
for similar experiences as theirs, but also a reading list for someone who is interested in the topic. A reading list that centres on one specific topic from several sources gives you as a librarian multiple resources to pull from when asked for a recommendation. This annotated bibliography focuses on addiction and will be useful to librarians when teens or children have questions about addiction. Glovach, Linda. Beauty Queens. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. Print. Told through the diary entries of 19-yearold Sam, Linda Glovach’s novel Beauty Queen tells the story of one girl’s attempt to break out from unpleasant circumstances at home ⊲⊲⊲
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FEATURES and into fame. While trying to find the courage to dance topless at an adult entertainment bar Sam is introduced to heroin, what she decides to label a “self-esteem magic potion”. This novel details Sam’s downward spiral into drug use and is a perfect example of how one unintentional episode of drug usage can spiral out of control. As this is how many teens find themselves involved with drugs, Beauty Queen will speak to teens. This novel with its easy-to-read format is an excellent choice for a reluctant reader who has questions about drug use. Its content is geared more toward mature readers, but it is a perfect fit for a reading list focused on addiction. It would not be difficult for a teen struggling with their own addiction or that of a sibling’s addiction to see themselves in the main character. Hopkins, Ellen. Crank. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. Print. Told through single- and two-page poems, Crank by Ellen Hopkins is told from the first person perspective of Kristina Georgia Snow. Despite its size this novel is a fast read as its short poem format keeps the reader engaged with the story. The novel tells the story of a teen who creates an alternate personality for herself while visiting her estranged father and ends up being pulled into the world of meth by her father and a boy she falls for. As many teens do, the protagonist creates a persona that is more social, more flirtatious, and more willing to take risks. Even if they are not looking to relate to the drug use of the main character, many teens will be able to relate to the way Kristina changes into the more outspoken Bree. As with many teens the main character 30 YAACING | FALL 2015
of Crank begins experimenting with drugs because of the influences of her new friends and her father. Many teens experiment with drugs because their friends use drugs so they will be able to relate to this novel. This novel touches on multiple aspects of teen life while also examining how even a “good kid” can fall under the spell of drugs. Burgess, Melvin. Smack. New York: Avon, 1996. Print. Unlike novels like Crank which show how drugs can infiltrate the lives of middle class teens, Melvin Burgess’s Smack tells the story of two runaways and their struggle with a heroin addiction. Told through alternating perspectives of several different characters, Smack describes how two teens trying to escape unpleasant home lives run away and fall in with a group of older kids. Unlike like other addiction novels, Smack takes its time introducing the main characters to drug use. Like some novels about drug addiction the characters experience periods of sobriety which is an important aspect. Some teens will want to achieve sobriety so seeing that it is possible for the characters of the novel will be encouraging. While a little harder to get into, Smack is still a valuable novel for discussing teen drug addiction. This novel focuses on the relationship aspects of drug addiction. Rather than only examining what events led up to addiction the novel looks at the equally important social facet. As socialization is an extremely important part of teen life having a novel that examines that particular aspect is important to a reading list.
Coy, John. Crackback. Scholastic, 2005. Print.
York: addiction. In order to escape from her worries at home and her struggles while taking care of her younger brother who has Down’s Syndrome While most addiction novels for young because her mother is unreliable, Cynnie adults look into the usage of hard drugs like decides some liquid assistance will help her get heroin or meth, some like John Coy’s novel through the struggles in her life. Unlike many Crackback examine the usage of performance young adult novels that address addiction, The enhancing drugs in high school sports. This Year of My Miraculous Reappearance focuses novel depicts one high school junior’s struggle not only on the circumstances leading up to to keep up with the pressures placed upon him the addiction but also on the recovery. Many by parents, coaches, friends and even himself addiction novels focus only on the lead up to and the lengths he will go in order fulfill the and the addiction itself, but it is the recovery football expectations that have been placed section of this novel that makes it such a upon him. Miles discovers that many of his valuable resource for a young adult addiction teammates, including his best friend, are reading list. This novel shows teens that using steroids to improve their performance recovery is possible and that while fighting an on the football field. He believes that he has addiction is an incredibly difficult thing to do, no other choice but to join them. Despite this the reward is worth the pain that comes with novel being about an addiction to something fighting the addiction. other than hard drugs it is still a valuable resource. More and more student athletes are under extreme pressure to succeed so they Anonymous. Go Ask Alice. Englewood will be able to relate Miles’s story. Crackback Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1971. Print. not only details how Miles ends up being Told through diary entries Go Ask Alice is involved with steroids, but also how it affects his relationships and psyche. Told from a first- one of the original teen drug novels. The novel person perspective, this novel will register centres on an unnamed fifteen-year-old who with many teen athletes who are looking for begins using LSD and eventually also begins anything that will set them apart from other abusing sleeping pills as a way to cope with the problems brought on by LSD use. Similar to student athletes. some novels about young adult drug use, Go Ask Alice follows the path from initial drug usage, Ryan Hyde, Catherine. The Year of My to addiction, and eventually to the realization Miraculous Reappearance. New York: that drugs do not make the main character happy. Because the novel is told through Knopf, 2007. Print. personal diary entries, teens will be able to The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance by relate to the main character’s experiences. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a gem for any addiction Since the diary entries are anonymous a teen reading list. The novel focuses on Cynnie and reading them could easily see themselves or a her descent into and reemergence from alcohol friend in the characters. These characteristics ⊲⊲⊲
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FEATURES make the novel a good addition to a young adult reading list that centres on addiction. The novel reads like the life of any teen who falls into drugs which makes it possible for any young adult who has experience with drugs to relate. Despite being published over 40 years ago, the novel’s theme is still relevant to teens with drug problems. Jong-Fast, Molly. Normal Girl. New York: Villard, 2000. Print.
Davies, Luke. Candy. St. Leonards: Allen & Unwin, 1997. Print. Luke Davies’s Candy is told in a series of truths rather than chapters. The novel is described as being a love triangle between the main character, Candy, and heroin. Like many addiction novels this text describes the main character’s usage of the drug and how it affects his relationships. However, unlike many novels that address addiction in young people, Candy starts out with the main character trying to keep his new girlfriend from developing a drug habit. He does not discourage her using the drug, but he at first tries to moderate her usage. The novel is told in first person, as many novels about addiction are. Due to its very mature content and language this novel is suitable for older teens or those who can handle the mature subjects within the text. This is an interesting addition to a reading list about addiction because it addresses addiction both from the point of a current addict and from the current addict’s view of his girlfriend’s emerging addiction. It is a valuable resource for an addiction reading list because of the glimpse into current and new addiction. Teens with their own addiction or with friends who have addictions will be able see connections between the characters and themselves.
Molly Jong-Fast’s novel Normal Girl reads quite normal despite its subject matter. The main character, Miranda, takes it as a given that the life she is living is normal for someone of her age and her social status. Once, within the first few pages of the novel Miranda questions whether the life she is living is good, but she immediately dismisses that thought and resumes sucking heroin off of her boots. The reader follows the main character through various social events during which she uses multiple drugs. Unlike some other novels regarding drug and alcohol addiction this novel focuses on the lives of rich and famous teens who find their usage of drugs and alcohol normal. Miranda does eventually enter rehab and get sober, but there is a still this idea that she finds her previous behaviour typical. As with many young adult novels Cassidy Owen is an MLIS student at the University about addiction Normal Girl is told from a first person perspective. Teens will be able to relate of British Columbia iSchool. to Miranda’s sarcastic tone. This is a good fit for a young adult addiction reading list as it is presented in a way that teens might relate to better.
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Ensemble Books By Fiona Trotter
This bibliography brings together a wide variety of books from various periods, genres, and age groups, that all feature an ensemble cast of characters, as opposed to a single primary protagonist. Although some may feature one character more heavily than others, to qualify as an ensemble book for this bibliography, each book must contain chapters from the perspective of various characters. In addition, group interactions and how the core ensemble work together must form a key feature of the story, and define the narrative shape of the book. Ensemble books are often present on reading recommendation lists, perhaps because the multiple protagonists allow readers to identify with any member of the group. This bibliography aims to review some of the stronger representatives of this theme.
culture and mythology, their habits and their fears. The poetry of Adams’s writing leaves the reader breathless with the palpable terror of the chase, for rabbits are destined to run from all creatures of cunning hearts and sharp teeth and silent feet. Yet Watership Down is also filled with hope for the future, and the sense of overwhelming loyalty these rabbits feel for each member of their warren. They will only survive by depending completely on each other. Although it might be read alone in early adolescence, the novel can also be successfully read aloud to much younger readers, drawing children in with its depictions of camaraderie, adventure, and characters who are surprisingly, wonderfully, human. Alcott, L.M. (1994). Little Women (c. 1868). New York, NY: Knopf.
An amazing success upon its first Adams, R. (1976). Watership Down (c. publication, Louisa May Alcott caLittle Women 1972). Harmondsworth: Penguin. is a classic that rides upon the strength of Few books have the power to haunt a its characters. The novel has aged, albeit reader as deeply as Richard Adamsss story remarkably gracefully, in setting and in style, of the life of the ordinary rabbit. Set in the but the authentic depictions of the four March seemingly peaceful world of pastoral England, sisters, and their mischief-loving neighbour Watership Down is fraught with suspense Laurie, remain as fresh and honest as the day and peril from the moment the rabbits flee they first appeared in 1868. It is hard now their doomed warren to seek a new home and to imagine a novel as closely tied to familial new family. Through the eyes of brave Hazel, relationships as this book: with little to no sensitive Fiver, and brash Bigwig, as well as over-arching plot to speak of other than the Silver, Holly, and Bluebell, Adams draws the episodic struggles of the March family, Little reader into the world of rabbits, into their Women has the time for the slow slices of ⊲⊲⊲ FALL 2015 | YAACING 33
FEATURES life rarely afforded to modern novels. Middle readers approaching the novel for the first time can sympathize alternately with Jof the four March sisters, and their mischief-loviation, Beth’s quiet timidity and shyness, or Meg’s fears of failing to meet the social standard. For while Alcott’s characters must face their own time period’s incarnation of all of these scenarios and struggles, they face them together as a family, and it is in the interactions between all four sisters, in the ways in which they inevitably clash over personality and the times in which they unfailing support each other, that the novel achieves its sense of timeless grace and honesty. Grahame, K. (1966). The Wind in the Willows (c. 1908). Cleveland, OH: Collins World. How could one ever forget the story of Ratty and Mole, of wise Badger and ridiculous yet lovable Toad, once one has read The Wind in the Willows? Kenneth Grahameillowsget the story of Rahropomorphic animals in the Thames valley was first published in 1908, and its popularity and impact on English culture is evidenced by the sheer number of times it has been re-illustrated and adapted. The iconic images of Toad in his motor car, or Ratty and Mole floating down the river on a quiet afternoon, seem to live in a time all of their own. Although it has often been identified as a novel with two separate narratives, with Toad firmly on his own side, and the other characters having their own quieter adventures, The Wind in the Willows is primarily a story of intertwined friendships. Whether it is read aloud to them at six, or they encounter the 34 YAACING | FALL 2015
story on their own at age eight or nine, children can delight over the spontaneous and instantly deep friendship of the Water Rat and Mole, and the gruff, mysterious kindness of Badger when the other two animals arrive unannounced on his doorstep on a snowy night, as well as the wild, irresistible enthusiasm of Toad, and how the animals band together to save Toad Hall. The characters of The Wind in the Willows are the sort to live on well past the pages of their story. Ibbotson, E. (2001). Which Witch? (c. 1979). New York, NY: Scholastic. It is difficult to imagine a more colourful cast of characters than those present in Eva Ibbotson encounter the story on theirWhich Witch? Flipping all expectations of witches and wizards, evil or otherwise, on their heads, Ibbotson offers a story in which magic is sometimes at the root of everyonen can delight over the switches are a ragtag bunch, and although they like proper wickedness and unhappiness, they occasionally turn themselves into coffee tables and forget how to turn back. Therefore when Arriman the Awful decides to take a bride, it is up to his servants, a mysterious orphan named Terrence Mugg, and Terrenceence to take a bride, it is up to his servants, a mysterious orphan named Terrence onally turn themselves inArrimanor teeth for her necklace. Ibbotsontch Belladonna win the dark magic competition before Madame Olympia takes Terrenceerrenceto coffee tables and forget how to turn back. Therefore when s pontaneous and instantly deeWhich Witch? is the sort of story that demands to be read over again, and makes the reader
rethink assumptions about ordinary and Milne, A.A. (1988). Winnie-the-Pooh (c. extraordinary, the power of a good friend, and 1926). New York, NY: Dutton. whether a worm can make a good familiar after Although the fame of its titular all. character overwhelms that of all the others, no child who has read A.A. Milnelosets just Winnie-the-Pooh is likely to forget the voices Lewis, C.S. (1994). The Lion, the Witch, of Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, or Eeyore. The animals and the Wardrobe (c. 1950). New York, of the Hundred Acre Wood, overseen by the NY: Harper Collins. ever-helpful Christopher Robin, are the heroes A seminal classic in the childrenllins. of each of their stories, for as long as the book d over again, and makesThe Lion, the Witch, turns to them. Whether it is Rabbit’s fussy and the Wardrobe continues to be a lasting nature during Poohli prolonged visit, Eeyoreng inspiration for fiction writers today. The four sadness over losing his tail, or Piglett, Piglet, Pevensie children, sent away from London Owl, or Eeyore. The animals of the Hundred during the war because of the air-raids, and Acre Wood, overseen by the ever-helpful their magical journey through the Wardrobe to Christopher Robin, are the heroes of each of the land of Narnia, is as much a story of family their stories, for asends. While Milne’s writing as it is of high adventure and epic struggles can seem puzzling to the modern eye, the book between good and evil. For while The Lion, the is meant to be read aloud, and to a young ear, Witch, and the Wardrobe is first a story of a the nonsense of the characters is simply their child Wardrobeng the war because of the air- way, and not something to worry over. Instead raids, and their magical journey tworld and it is the comforting of quiet fears, the dismissal a greater destiny, it is Edmund, is as much a of embarrassments, and the imaginative story of family as it is of high adventure and solving of problems that draws the listener to epic struggles between good and er, Susan, one of the characters or other, to see in Tigger Edmund, and Lucy, nothing is more important or Roo or Piglet something of themselves. As than that there are four of them, for the White a classic of bedtime reading for almost one Witch will only be defeated once the four hundred years, few stories can compete with thrones of Cair Paravel are filled, and the story the heartwarming humour of Winnie-thehinges upon their ability to unite and survive Pooh. as a family. Lewis.s spare but evocative prose is the kind to leave young readers wide-eyed with wonder, and send them into their closets just Pierce, T. (2005). The Will of the to make sure the back wall is still there. Empress. New York, NY: Scholastic. Continuing in the same universe as her quartet, The Circle of Magic, Tamora PiercePieThe Will of the Empress picks up the story of her four protagonists years after their ⊲⊲⊲ FALL 2015 | YAACING 35
FEATURES last meeting. Sandry, Briar, Tris, and Daja, once best friends and foster siblings, have grown up and grown apart. Instead of working freely together, the other three are now assigned to protect Sandry as she travels to the court of an Imperial cousin. Their trip quickly becomes a question of whether the young mages can come to trust and believe in one another again, and work together fast enough to avoid becoming captives of the Empress forever. Few books for young adults in the fantasy genre can convey the growing pains of adolescence and the heart-wrenching collapse and tentative rebuilding of old friendships as well as Pierce’s The Will of the Empress. Each of her characters carries the memories of new shames, and horrors experienced far away from the comfortable relationships of their childhood. While the novel also touches upon recognizable adolescent issues such as first love, the pressure of adult expectations, and the need to make one’s mark on the world, The Will of the Empress is first and foremost a story of respecting and understanding new differences, and refusing to let time or space stand in the way of helping the people you care about.
Walker children, camping alone on Wild Cat Island with the barest support of the adult “natives” on shore, depicts a kind of freedom rarely afforded to modern child readers. The world of John, Susan, Titty, and Roger aboard the Swallow is filled with pirates, mock battles, and daring nighttime raids. Their rivalry and later alliance with the crew of the Amazon, daring and decisive Nancy Blackwell and her younger sister Peggy, is a driving force in their later adventures to prove their innocence in a case of burglary. The great strength of the novel lies in the cohesiveness of the Walker family, and each member’s ability to work both independently and together for their siblings’ cause. Through the imaginative scope of their games, their skill, and their daring, as well as their innovation and improvisation, Ransome takes the WalkersWalkerscy Blackwell and her younger sister Peggy, is a dri Further Reading Birdsall, J. (2005). The Penderwicks. New York, NY: Yearling. Funke, C. (2002). The Thief Lord (c. 2000). New York, NY: Scholastic.
Goldman, W. (1998). The Princess Bride (c. Ransome, A. (1985). Swallows and 1973). New York, NY: Del Rey. Amazons (c. 1930). JaVrey, NH: Godine. Ibbotson, E. (2000). The Secret of Platform Arthur Ransome R Swallows and 13 (c. 1994). New York, NY: Scholastic. Amazons represents the dream of the ideal summer holiday. If any child from the age of eight to twelve who has ever encountered sailing in Fiona Trotter is currently completing her final real life were to pick up Ransomeen book, even year in the MLIS program at UBC SLAIS. today, it would surely inspire several ambitious plans about the possibilities of independent boating adventures. The self-sufficiency of the 36 YAACING | FALL 2015
BOOK REVIEWS Audrey (Cow): An Oral Account of A Most Daring Escape, Based More or Less on A True Story Review by Jon Scop Bar-el, D. (2014). Audrey (Cow): An Oral Account of A Most Daring Escape, Based More or Less on A True Story. Toronto, Ontario: Tundra Books.
Dan Bar-el’s latest book for middle graders is an absolute tour de force. Taking off on the basics of a true story, Audrey (Cow) is a funny yet exciting tale of self-discovery and
escape from death, told from the perspectives of over thirty barnyard and wild animals, as well as humans. Audrey learns that her fate is moving quickly towards the same end as her mother’s: she’s imminently due to be taken to “Abbot’s War,” the animals’ interpretation of abattoir or slaughterhouse. Her mother warned her about this, and Audrey, with the help of an incredibly loyal dog, farm gossip conveyed straight from a horse’s mouth, and numerous others, manages to follow through with determination and is released from the clutches of humans who are benignly doing their part in the industrial food chain. But that’s only half the battle. Audrey then has to negotiate a vast forest where fellow travelers include not just opinionated squirrels but a hungry cougar. Her plight becomes the talk of the town and the nation, and we’re also treated to the voices of a determined reporter and a conservation officer. This all sounds quite serious, but the documentary-style format, essentially a narration entirely comprised of statements from the various participants and bystanders, creates a light-hearted comedy, the cleverness of which will be appreciated by older children and adults. Each has his or her own distinctive voice. In addition to Audrey’s helpers, there are animals who turn up their noses at such flagrant violations of the rules, and others who recognize Audrey’s courage despite their limited intelligence or pompous ⊲⊲⊲
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REVIEWS nature. Similarly, the human span a wide range. Nobody is truly evil in this tale—well, the cougar might be, but she’s just doing what cougars do—and everyone emerges with a distinct personality. With elements of Babe, Charlotte’s Web, and The Great Escape, this book has something for all ages. Younger kids will understand the action and root for Audrey, while older kids will delight in the individual points of view of the multitude of narrators. The text is illuminated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss’s black-andwhite drawings. Audrey (Cow) makes a great read-aloud, especially for those who like to “do voices,” and it’s just begging to be a script for a readers’ theatre project.
What I most like about the book is that the author breaks down complex concepts of project management in a way that young people can understand. She gives us a simple recipe to create a project from scratch: from brainstorming an idea (matching your passion with your skills) and designing a business plan to recruiting staff, dealing with money (including bookkeeping) and marketing your venture. Be a Changemaker is a great resource for adult entrepreneurs who might not have a clue how to start a business.
Each chapter explains one aspect of creating a venture and is very well structured. First, there are real-life examples of young people’s projects that were successful across the United States. Then, the Reviewed by Ana Calabresi author explains the concept in clear language and easy-to-follow Thompson, L. (2014). Be a Changemaker: instructions and guidance. She finishes the How to Start Something that Matters. chapter with her own experience related to New York, New York: Simon Pulse. that particular aspect in the chapter and summarizes the main points of each chapter There’s no time when we most want to change at the end. Thompson provides useful links the world than in our youth. Laurie Ann to resources that can help young people on Thompson speaks clearly to young people their way to creating their ventures; those are who want to make a difference in their specific to American laws. Although legal and surroundings, doing their part to make the financial advices are specific to Americans, the world a better place. Thompson explains that overall guidelines on how to start a venture no matter how small a good idea may seem, can apply for people all over the world. it may be just a tiny seed for something that Audience: Teens+ will grow and affect other people’s lives in a positive way.
Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters
38 YAACING | FALL 2015
This Is Sadie Reviewed by Ana Calabresi O’Leary, S. (2015). This Is Sadie. Toronto, Ontario: Tundra Books.
This Book Just Ate My Dog! Reviewed by Ana Calabresi Byrne, R. (2014). This Book Just Ate My Dog!. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Sadie spends her days building boats out of boxes, building tents and castles in her room, while enjoying great adventures inspired by the stories she reads. Some of her favourite friends live on the street, but others live in the pages of books. This Is Sadie celebrates the power of imagination and creativity. Julie Morstad’s illustrations are beautiful and show Sadie in many different fictional worlds: as a mermaid under the sea, as a little boy among wolves in the jungle, having tea as the Mad Hatter in Wonderland, and as a brave hero à la Robin Hood.
Sadie can be anything she wants. Sadie can fly. This is Sadie is a refreshing story that Bella was happily walking her dog, when he reminds us of how magical childhood is, suddenly disappears in the gutter of the book. when children’s imagination is boundless. She tries to pull the dog’s leash to get him Audience: 4+ out, but is not successful. The girl calls for help, but everyone ends up eaten by the book, including herself. That’s when the reader receives a letter by Bella with instructions on how to get them out of the gutter. This book is a great addition to the interactive books that kids just love. It’s my new favourite for preschool and family storytime. The children just crack up when we help Bella getting her dog (and friends, and the rescue team) out of the gutter of the book. Audience: Preschoolers+ FALL 2015 | YAACING 39
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS YAACING is published four times per year and is always looking for submissions that might interest childrenâ€™s and teen specialists in BC libraries. We accept news pieces, articles, program descriptions and ideas, conference reports, and much more. If you would like to write a regular column, send us a brief pitch. Submissions should be no more than 2500 words, sent in an editable format (not PDF). Please include a byline with your job title and workplace, or for students: your school, program and class information, if applicable. YAACING invites your contributions to our Reviews and Felt Story sections: Reviews: Please send us reviews of books, blogs, websites, or other resources. Submissions should be no more than 300 words. Longer reviews may be considered for publication as featured articles. Felt Stories: Share your creativity! YAACING is looking for felt story patterns. Submissions should include a printable pattern, photograph of the finished product, and related rhyme or note about the origin of the story. The deadline for the Winter 2016 issue of YAACING is November 15, 2015. Email your submissions to the editors at YAACING@gmail.com.