Let me toot your horn…#librarygoddessontour

Not sure how many of you have read my About section (or remember this blog post), but after 15 years as an elementary school librarian – I am taking a break to stay home with my toddler. Books, libraries, and reading are my passion and that does not stop because I am no longer in my own library. I’d like to take this “time off” to advocate for reading, choice, and school libraries.

I want to highlight the AWESOME things going on in our local school libraries…I feel that parents, teachers and community members don’t often realize the role that the school library (and the certified school librarian in it) is playing in their child’s life.

To that end, I’d like to announce that the toddler and I are going on tour! If YOU have something awesome happening in your library, I want to come see it and write about it and share it! School Librarians don’t often toot their own horn, so I’d like to do it for you!

If you’d like a visit (and live no more than 1 hour-ish away from Columbia, South Carolina – I mean, I still need to stick with nap time, you know – I have a schedule to keep), message me your details and we’ll make it work!

We have all school year to make this happen, friends! I cannot wait to hear from you! 


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Books that might make your classroom (and the world) more beautiful! #backtoschool #readalouds

*Library Goddess blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you decide to purchase one of these books, money made from the links will be used for books I purchase for giveaways or for books I give to pre-service or classroom teachers.

A few weeks ago, I shared my favorite FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL read alouds = excellent books to kick off a brand new school year. You will be reading every single day in your classroom…here are some great books for making your school community more caring. Hopefully, after reading these books, you can have good conversations with your students about helping and understanding friends in the classroom, the school, and even into the larger community. Stories are powerful and by reading some of these books to your students, you will have a more beautiful and caring classroom, which will hopefully ripple out into the rest of the world! PS – You do not have to be a classroom teacher to read and share these books with kids! Read them at home with your own children! 

Wonder and We Are All Wonders by R.J. Palacio. Wonder is a novel that I think everyone should read. It is the story of Auggie, a boy with a facial deformity. He has always been homeschooled, but is now going into public school for the first time. This story will make you cry and cheer and always “choose kind.” The novel is a perfect read aloud for 4th grade on up. We Are All Wonders is the picture book companion to Wonder and is an excellent read aloud for ALL grade levels. The picture book is basically about how we are all different and special and that we need to show kindness to one another. PS – the movie based on the book comes out in November!

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a classic. It is the story of a woman who wants to do something to make the world more beautiful. Read this and then see what your students might be inspired to do in their community to make it more beautiful.

It is Okay to Be Different and Be Who You Are by Todd Parr. I cannot say enough how much I love Todd Parr’s books. They are simple with bright illustrations. Excellent read alouds for Pre-school/Kindergarten – 2nd grade. Great kick starters for conversations about being different and unique.

George by Alex Gino is a wonderful book for 4th grade on up. The main character is George, a transgender child who identifies with being a male, but is actually female. Read it first and decide for yourself how you would want to share this book with your students, but it is an excellent novel for children who can put themselves in George’s shoes.

The Dot by Peter Reynolds. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Peter Reynolds and I think The Dot is one of my most favorite books by him. It is all about learning how to make your mark. Do what you can to make the world a more beautiful place. So many extension activities with this book! Be sure to check out International Dot Day and have fun celebrating!

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Micheal Hall is a good book about just being yourself and about letting others be themselves. Great read aloud for all grade levels and an excellent conversation starter.

One by Kathryn Otoshi is about how one person (or number, in this case) can make a difference or “be the change.” Otoshi’s trilogy (Zero, One, and Two) are all excellent and belong in every classroom.

Wishtree by Kathryn Applegate – This book comes out September 26 and I think it needs to be read aloud in every 3rd – 5th grade classroom and even middle school and high school classrooms. So beautiful with an important story about acceptance and understanding.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena – Such a beautiful story with lovely illustrations about a young boy and his grandmother on a bus going to help others. The grandmother helps show the young boy all of the things in his city that are beautiful. Another one that belongs in every classroom.

What are some of your favorite books for community building and for showing readers how to make the world more beautiful?



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First Day of School READ ALOUDS! #backtoschool

*Library Goddess blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you decide to purchase one of these books, money made from the links will be used for books I purchase for giveaways or for books I give to pre-service or classroom teachers.

Can you believe it is almost time to go back to school? Every store you go to has out school supplies and you can tell kids are kind of realizing that their care free days of summer are winding down (and moms and dads are realizing that it is time to gear up for making lunches, helping with homework, and getting to all of the after school activities that come during the school year). In schools, teachers are most likely already back. If not officially, they are working in their classrooms, they are planning with their teams, they are learning in professional development sessions, and many of them are planning what to READ on that first day of school! Here are some of my favorites! Disclaimer – there are so many great first day of school read alouds out there, it was hard to narrow it down! Please add your favorites in the comments! There are also TONS of great books out there for building community, teaching empathy, and helping out with things like recess behavior. For this post, I am focusing on first day of school read alouds only. I will share more great books for the classroom in another post – stay tuned! 🙂

Dad’s First Day by Wohnoutka. This is a great book for parents to read if THEY are nervous about the first day of school (especially perfect for Kindergarten parents).

Welcome by Mo Willems. This large board book is actually perfect for parents of newborns. HOWEVER, when I read it, I thought it would work for the first day of school too. All of the advice fits for a newborn AND for a new school year…you simply cannot go wrong with MO!

Sophie’s Squash Goes to School by Miller. I LOVED Sophie’s Squash and this one does not disappoint! A great friendship story and a perfect read aloud for kiddos who might be missing all of their toys and friends at home during the school day.

School’s First Day of School by Rex. SUCH A GOOD BOOK! Told from the school’s point of view! The illustrations are fantastic. Who knew a building could be nervous too? 😉

Bark, George by Feiffer. I love to read this book to my college students before we go through introductions on our first day of classes. Perfect way to say, “hello” and gets everyone giggling or at least smiling.

First Day Jitters by Danneberg. A classic! Sarah is super nervous about her first day of school and does not want to get out of bed…once she gets to school, things are a little better. My favorite thing about this book is the twist at the end!

Back to School Tortoise by George. Similar to First Day Jitters, in a way. This one is great for Preschool – 2nd grade. CUTE illustrations with a twist at the end!

Wemberly Worried by Henkes. Another classic. Wemberly is very worried about the first day of school…parents and kiddos are sure to relate.

You’re Finally Here! by Watt. I LOVE Watt’s illustrations. So fun and quirky. And, there are lots of fun things to do with this book on Pinterest. *NOTE – Amazon sellers are asking crazy amounts for this one, so I am not linking it to Amazon. Check it out from the library or see if your local bookstores have it. Maybe check used bookstores-must be out of print!

The Kissing Hand by Penn. Yet another classic. This one is for parents to read to their kids before the first day of school. I can see this being a sweet read aloud for bed time the night before school starts. Then, you can start the ritual from the book with your little.

I want to hear your favorite first day of school read alouds!






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NEW Columbia SC Moms Blog post and where to find my book reviews!

Yet another new post for the Columbia SC Moms Blog – this one about potty training (how NOT to do it).

PS – I am posting a lot on Instagram, FB, and Goodreads! Be sure to follow me there to keep up with what I am reading. The new school year is coming quick, so watch for blog posts about great read alouds to kick off the new school year with; what I am sharing with my university students; and some upcoming special projects (hints: #librarygoddessontour and #schoollibrariesrock)


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New post – Columbia SC Mom Blog!

Here is my newest post for the Columbia SC Mom Blog, (“How I Survived the First Two Years of Motherhood”)…it’s actually NOT about reading and books (even though I do suggest a couple of titles for new moms)…ENJOY!



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Columbia SC Moms Blog Post – Reading With Your 3 and Under

New post about books on the Columbia SC Moms BlogI wrote it! 

Enjoy 🙂


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Total Solar Eclipse – August 21!

If you live near me or in the path of the total solar eclipse, you know that it’s happening soon! The total solar eclipse will happen on August 21 and there are events popping up EVERYWHERE to see this once in a lifetime event. Here are a few great resources I have found to teach your kids about the eclipse and to learn a little more about it yourself! It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information out there, so here are a few of my favorites and the ones I think cover it all!

Here are some links to educational resources for lesson plans, videos, etc.:

Here are a few crafts you can make to celebrate the big day:

  • Make a pinhole camera for viewing the eclipse (although, honestly, I’d still use “real” glasses that you get from your eye doctor or from another reliable source. Not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about looking at this with something I made from home, but still fun to create!)
  • Make an eclipse with coffee filters! This is a craft even the littlest of kiddos can do. This would be a great connection/extension activity with a read aloud about the moon or the sun!
  • Make a puffy paint moon and sun! This looks fun (and messy). The directions are for making a moon…add a little yellow food coloring to make the sun.

Here are a few special snacks you can eat/make:

  • Totally easy is to cut bread for sandwiches (with whatever filling you want) into circles and call them moon/sun bites or whatever you want to call them. Serve with SunChips and a Moonpie for dessert!
  • Oreos are perfect moon food!
  • I’m sure you’ve seen the activities where kids can bite off the phases of the moon?
  • Astronaut ice cream would be fun to eat on Total Eclipse Day.
  • Make sugar cookies and decorate either with frosting or using food coloring in the dough to make moons and suns.
  • Buy some moon cheese! I have seen this for sale at Starbucks.
  • More food – MilkeyWay candy bars, gumballs (or anything round that you can call a moon, sun, or planet), Mars bars…

I geek out about this stuff, so I’m excited and will definitely be doing some of these things at my house on August 21! I’ll be adding more things as I find them on this Pinterest board…follow along if you’d like!






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