Tag Archives: nerdcott

Nerdcott has commenced!


After a visit to my local library (which has THE best children’s section!), I’m set for my start of #nerdcott. Lucky for me, the library had a display of Caldecott and Newbery titles ripe for the picking. I’m not participating in the #nerdbery challenge, but I saw some titles I loved on the shelf!

It was upon seeing this display that I changed my mentality for the #nerdcott challenge. Rather than trying to search for titles and wait for ILLs to come in, I’m just going to read winners that are available when they’re available…I mean, it’s supposed to be stress-free right?? I also decided that I would somewhat screen the books before trying to force them on my children. I only want them to have happy memories of reading!

I grabbed this stack of books (I think I practically cleared out the top two shelves) and made myself comfortable amid the moms and kiddos hanging in the children’s section.

I am including my favorite illustration for each book. The links for the titles will take you to my Goodreads review where I am including my thoughts about the illustrations as well as my favorite line from the story. Thanks to Mr. Schu for inspiring this format!

First up was Animals of the Bible, which was the original Caldecott winner in 1938. The “story” consisted of verses from the Bible along with illustration. “The Mighty Eagle” page was quite beautiful, and I love the verse(s) that accopanied the picture. Isaiah 40:28-31. With Christmas just recently passed, naturally the two illustrations with Christmas ties were fitting. The first is “Animals Around the Christmas Manger” from Luke 2:1, 3:7, and the second was titled “The Flocks of the Christmas Shepherds” from Luke 2:8-20.

Next I read Shadow, Chanticleer and the Fox, May I Bring a Friend?Smoky Night

Madeline’s Rescue (1954), Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (1976), and Song and Dance Man (1989).


Books I chose to share with my kids (ages 8.5, 4, 1.5):

  • Song and Dance Man
  • Madeline’s Rescue
  • May I Bring a Friend?

Books I chose as future teaching points:

  • Smoky Night — don’t judge people before you try to know them
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears — think before you (re)act!

How is your challenge journey going so far?




The challenge is on!


As I’ve read different blogs written by the inspiring people I follow on Twitter–blogs by teachers, YA book bloggers, librarians, and more–a theme that I noticed was that of reading challenges. Readers challenged themselves to finish a certain number of books in 2011. Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks) challenged readers to read a #bookaday during the summer and holiday breaks. Many bloggers joined group challenges to read a certain genre or author. Everywhere I looked, readers were challenging themselves to read more.

I have always loved reading…always been a reader. I devoured books when I was young. However, when I entered my junior year of high school my reading dwindled to a small serving every now and again. I moved from a small K-12 school (where I’d known the librarian since I started there in 2nd grade…and had even dated her son) to a large 4A school (where I didn’t even know where the library was). I got “busy” and reading kind of fell by the way-side. When I started college courses,  naturally I was reading, but not what I really wanted to read. I remember reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to my son on a swing outside because I needed to read, and he needed to be entertained. My favorite college class by far was my Adolescent Lit class where we read banned books — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; The Giver; The Chocolate War; and many others.

I started teaching in the fall of 2006, right after my college graduation, but it wasn’t until I read Nancie Atwell’s In the Middle in the summer of 2008, after my second year of teaching, that I ended my reading famine. That book was an eye-opener professionally, and it helped to re-ignite my passion for reading. In the years since, I read almost as voraciously as I did when I was young. (I say almost because it’s a little hard to have “everyone needs to leave Mommy alone so she can read” when there are young ones around!)

So for this upcoming year, it’s not enough for me to just read. I want to challenge myself to read more as well as discuss and engage with others who are reading. As a proud member of the #nerdybookclub, I have joined in on the #nerdcott and #nerdprintz challenges. LibLaura5 is hosting the #nerdcott challenge and discusses all of the info in this blog post. Kathy (@thebrainlair) is hosting the #nerdprintz and discusses info in this blog post. I chose these two challenges because I know that there will be some quality Twitter discussions among all of the participants. I *love* reading YA, so the Printz award titles are right up my alley, and I *love* reading with my children, so the Caldecott titles are right up my alley!

Both of these challenges are pretty “stress-free” (to steal Mr. Schu’s phrase about his #nerdbery challenge), so here are my personal goals for these two challenges this year:
(1) I challenge myself to read 150 Caldecott winner and honor titles, in as close as I can get to chronological order.
(2) I challenge myself to read 28 Printz winner and honor titles, in chronological order/from bottom to top as listed on the YALSA website.

As a whole by the end of the year, I challenge myself to read 200 books. There are some 2012 releases I cannot WAIT to get my hands on (Insurgent, Bitterblue) and there some 2011 titles that I still need to read. So what about you? What are your goals for the coming year? It doesn’t have to be big…just more.