Library Days: The charming Katie Wheeler Library

As I mentioned in my previous post, Library Picture Book Round Up: Week One, I’ve been visiting libraries at least once a week this summer.   This week I decided to visit the Katie Wheeler library in Irvine. Isn’t the building charming and quaint? As I strolled up the rose lined walk leading up to the front doors, I found myself thinking of a few literary classics of my youth.  I could picture myself being transported to Prince Edward Island and seeing Anne of Green Gables, with her fiery red standing on the balcony above. It was refreshing.  It was delightful place to spend an afternoon filled with nostalgia and researching picture books!

❖Visit Katie Wheeler Irvine Library blog to learn more about the rich history of Katie Wheeler, the Irvine Company, and the Original Irvine Ranch House.

Library Picture Book Round-up: Week One

I have made it my mission this summer to visit the public library at least once a week.  My goal is to read and study picture books to better understand their construction, find out what kids like, and improve my writing.

This week I read:
Press Here by Hervé Tullet
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Epossumondas plays Possum by Coleen Sally
Father’s Day by Anne Rockwell
Herbert, the True Story of a Brave Sea Dog by Robyn Belton
and Calvin Can’t Fly by Jennifer Berne

What I saw with my writer eyes…
I was delighted to see the similarities in the structure of these books. I was able to identify right away which books followed a traditional “picture book” paradigm and which were “concept” books. I took notes on when the books were published, by what publisher, and their word counts — all useful, valuable information for me.

This week’s standouts were:
1) Press Here by Hervé Tullet
 I thought this book was wonderfully imaginative and interactive (the phrase “why didn’t I think of that?” comes to mind.) I know I will be sharing this book with my kindergarten group in the Fall.

Rhyming Dust Bunnies
2) Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
I was in awe of this book. It made me laugh. It had lovable, relatable characters. And it had an awesome story. It hooked you in right away through the words and illustrations, all in approx. 100 words. That is not an easy feat! If you are looking for a fun, quick read, with the added bonus of teaching a bit of rhyme, I highly recommend this book.

I also quietly observed to see what kinds of books children, parents, and teens were drawn to.  The buzz this week: Princess Books, Star Wars, and Halo.