The Barefoot Librarian

Kimbra Power

Sold Out

Our Visiting Author books are selling out fast; we will certainly sell out of hardback books by Thursday with these titles already sold out.

We have two or three copies left of each of these- only TWO of Never Smile at a Monkey and Animals by the Numbers; these are for sale at 125 but you’ll have to be quick.

Have a look here if you want to see the schedule for this Thursday and Friday and full list of books for sale.

No Comments »

Poets and Authors and Illustrators Oh My!

We are so lucky to have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR visiting authors on Pudong Campus this week. Not only do we have the incredibly talented Robin Page and Steve Jenkins here with all of Elementary and 7th grade, but for two whole WEEKS Poets Extraordinaire Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger are back here, for the FOURTH TIME.

With authors and illustrators contacting our library team, faculty and administrators on a weekly basis requesting visits to our terrific school, why would we have the same people back here four times you might ask?

Because they are THAT GOOD. They provide the best ‘bang for your buck’  because they give 110% to the students and teachers, with so many different workshops to offer. As well as being able to do larger more general presentations and assemblies, they also have over 25 writing clinics they offer to classroom teachers. This information is given to us ahead of time, so that teachers can choose which clinic best caters to their needs. Most of these clinics run for about an hour, but again, they can be tailored to the teacher’s needs.

Sara and Michael are so well traveled, truly global visiting authors; they go to International Schools all over the world. What that means for us is that they KNOW our students, they KNOW and UNDERSTAND where they’ve come from and where they’re headed. It really makes a difference. I urge you to read about them on their site and you’ll see what I mean; what they don’t know about Poetry isn’t worth knowing.

Sarah and Michael will be presenting tomorrow to 5th grade, and several times to 4th grade over the next two weeks. Contact your child’s homeroom teacher for details.

Here are some photos from a workshop I went to with these wonderful people just last Thursday, I walked away with more than a few terrific ideas I’ll be trying out with students soon.

No Comments »

This Time Next Week

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page will be here. They are our final Elementary Visiting Authors for the school year; here at the same time as the wonderful Poets Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger. (Sara and Michael will present to 4th and 5th grade only).

Read more about Steve and Robin’s visit here. In the last two sessions of Library Check-Out time, we have perused Robin and Steve’s books, book-talked several titles in detail, and watched this great clip showing how Steve put together The Animal Book.


No Comments »

Battle of the Books Shanghai

In 8 weeks from now, 7 SAS Elementary Students from 5th grade, will join many Middle Schoolers from other International Schools in Shanghai to compete in Battle of the Books. Congratulations Roman, Leyee, Emily, Emma, Miranda, Rex and Bryan for taking on this responsibility.

We will be reading wonderful titles such as The War that Saved my Life, The Thing About Jellyfish, Fish in a Tree and Goodbye Stranger. Learn more about these books and all about Battle of the Books here.

The philosophy of the Battle of the Books program is “to encourage reading by all students “.   Students, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors. The game format creates interest and excitement in reading.   Through the fun and excitement of the competition, students improve reading skills, mature in their choices of reading materials, and acquire a broader knowledge base.   Even during the height of the competition, students and coaches should remember that the goal is to READ, not necessarily to win!


No Comments »

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page are in the house!

News from the Library   

Xin Nian Kuai Le to you and your family

Firstly, a HUGE thank you to the parents who have been regularly volunteering in our library; do you know how great it is to see you here? We appreciate it so much. Thank you for making the effort,

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Visit  

On March 2nd and March 3rd Pudong Elementary Students (K-5) are in for a treat when not one, but two amazing, award-winning, author/illustrators share their secrets in the Elementary Library. Steve Jenkins and wife Robin Page, have co-authored over a dozen books together, and we have over 30 of Steve Jenkins books in our Elementary Library.

These authors will educate our children on the complex process of book-making, from the research stage right through to publication. On making books Steve says:



Below is the schedule for the authors visit; they are dividing their very short time with Middle School Art, so out time together will be intense and pack a punch. Until their visit, students are exploring all Steve and Robin have to offer as we read and discuss amazing books like Actual Size, Creature Features, Animals by the Numbers and the Caldecott Honor winner, What do you do with a Tail Like This?

Books for Sale

If your child likes books about animals, nature, non fiction, facts, then you are going to want to buy some of the books we have. There are over 500 books for sale. It sounds like a lot right? However, right now they are hidden in the Primary Library and we’ve already sold over 30! The hardback books in particular will sell very quickly, an autographed book always makes a wonderful gift, or personal keepsake.

If you would like to buy a book, look over the available titles below, and send in money with your child as soon as you can; to avoid disappointment, perhaps have a couple of titles in mind. We have many copies of the paperback versions, but like I said, hardback goes fast. They really are beautiful, come by and see them for yourself next time you are in school.

Author Schedule

No Comments »

Stephen Swinburne Coming Soon

Students are thrilled that our first author for 2017 is Stephen Swinburne as they LOVE nature, LOVE animals, and LOVE music and Steve is bringing all three loves right to our doorstep!

If you’d like to buy one of Steve’s books, send money in to the ES Library and we’ll organize the book to be signed for you and get it back to you during our author’s visit.



No Comments »

Revelations and Resolutions

How can it be 6 weeks since I’ve blogged here? (That’s a revelation) leading to the resolution…Must Blog More Regularly. aka MBMR!


Our school platform has changed to schoology; after about 10 years with blogs, I’m adjusting to the change.

One of the best things about living in China, and there are many, is that we get TWO chances at New Years Resolutions…the standard old January 1st…. lose weight, exercise more, drink water…blah blah blah…AND we get Chinese New Year, which this year falls on January 28, a wonderful FOUR weeks after our first set of resolutions; so perfect for a little bit of necessary fine tuning…

Resolutions I’m dallying with include…but are not limited to:

*Making more effort (any effort) on Goodreads as right now it is just embarrassing! (so to help that goal, I’ve signed up for the 2017 book challenge to read 250 books this year; started the year with a bang thanks to 12 hours on a plane and have knocked over about 8 so far!)

*Writing letters and postcards, or at LEAST some long e mails. I collect postcards everywhere, I even have some local stamps tucked away. My best writing effort was when my Nanna (grandma) turned 90. I mailed her a postcard a day for 90 days, she loved it! So time to put the pen in to gear and start culling the last ten years worth of collected cards by mailing them to those near and far…Need to smarten up that goal a little, but hey, that’s for CNY!

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-52-00-am*I’d like to tighten up my social media presence and get more serious with insta…try a couple more # like #bookaday #authorofthweek #student reader etc. I can do more with my barefoot librarian feed…stay tuned! I might try and get back into FB with the Barefoot Librarian Page…but otherwise, that platform is over for me.

*Keep sorting out our possessions and stop hoarding; enough said.


No Comments »

Cardboard Challenge 2016

Tomorrow is our 4th Cardboard Challenge, the 5th Global Cardboard Challenge, as started by the Imagination Foundation back in 2012. The Global Cardboard Challenge was inspired by the short film Caine’s Arcade.

The Global Cardboard Challenge is a fun, playful and inspiring way to foster creativity in children through a simple process called Creative Play. Through creative play, kids engage their imaginations and open up their minds to what’s possible – and then they turn their ideas into something real. In this process, children learn to develop and test their own ideas, take chances, solve problems, get input from others and become better creative thinkers.

Many people have asked me how we have run the Cardboard Challenge here in Shanghai, so below (and linked here) is a fact sheet, which condenses much of the great information provided by the Imagination Foundation

Cardboard Challenge Fact Sheet

Decide on a date for your Cardboard Challenge, the official date for the Global Cardboard Challenge, this year, was October 1st 2016; however you can run an event whenever you want; anytime, anyplace.

6 weeks before event:

Advertise event in your community by sharing the following links: original Caine’s Arcade Movie made by Nirvan Mullick movie that shows launch of Global Cardboard Challenge and Imagination Foundation Imagination Foundation Website with full information on Global Cardboard Challenge

4 weeks before event:

Start collecting recycled materials from your community and appoint student leaders to set up an area for materials, and a plan for counting materials.

I found weekly challenges worked best in our school and prizes were awarded each Friday for the class that brought in the most of the following:

Week One: Small boxes, such as medicine packets, toothpaste, chocolate but nothing bigger than a granola box.

Week Two: Medium sized boxes, such as tissue and cereal boxes

Week Three: Tubes, toilet paper, kitchen towel, foil and plastic wrap tubes; these are essential to a successful Cardboard Challenge.

Week Four: Boxes, the bigger, or more unusual, the better. If you can contact any companies in the area ahead of time to ask for donations of any used (or new) bike/fridge/furniture/storage boxes, these will be a huge hit.

Hints for a Successful Cardboard Challenge

Plan Ahead

  1. Where will you store the collected cardboard?
  2. What will happen to the cardboard after the event?
  3. Can children take things home? What about shared projects?
  4. Will you work across classrooms, across grade levels, across divisions?
  5. Do you want to use paint… for some grade levels? All grade levels?
  6. Get Parents involved; the younger grades especially will need help with cutting and gluing.
  7. Make sure you have enough materials, not just cardboard, but things to cut/glue/paint/stick things together with. Where will these things be stored? Who will have access to them?
No Comments »

Book Display Ideas

My Instagram Account has many shots of favorite books and displays:


While on instagram, type in #bookdisplay It is always best to type # in singular, rather than plural, eg #bookdisplay has over 3,000 posts, whereas #bookdisplays has only 300.

When you find some great displays you like, check out that person’s account and see if they are worth following. Also, click on your favorite book displays and see what other # they have used.

You’ll probably turn up tags like #booksuggestion #bookstagram #bookchallenge #instabook and one of my favorites #bookishrainbow


Here is a post I wrote about using instagram to promote new books

I like bringing outside elements in to enhance displays, and I’ve done that here with some creations made by students, which I then matched with Roger Hargreaves Little Miss and Mr Men books

I’ve also linked to many of the people I’m mentioning here, on this post. Once you discover a few of these “one stop shops” for finding new books, book lists and great displays, you can rest easy that they’ll always have something for you

My favorite blogs for inspiration and EXCELLENT book lists include: check out Mia’s Children’s and YA booklists link, and you really can’t go past her List of Lists: All My Booklists

Melissa from Imagination Soup is a great one to follow on twitter and pinterest too, here is one of my favorite lists from her I’m sure you’ll also like her book recommendations by age 

Here’s one last link I recently stumbled upon: which contatins some great book suggestions for our diverse makeup of students at the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group site.



No Comments »

Great gig with Greenberg

David Greenberg is in his final session now, with 7th grade. He has presented to almost every student in our school this week; an incredible flurry of sessions including poetry, writing workshops, civil rights presentations and assemblies from Prek-12th grade.

Thank you David for your contributions and I hope you have a wonderful week at Puxi campus; we truly loved having you here and I recommend you highly for other schools.


1 Comment »


Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Skip to toolbar