Saturday, August 31, 2013

Do You Know Library Mouse?

Today, I'm sharing a picture book that is probably better suited to the younger set, but was one I used with my summer school friends who did not see themselves as writers at all.  Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk is the story of a mouse, Sam, that lives in a library. Sam also loves books and loves writing books.  In fact, he finds some scrap paper and writes several books that he displays in the library.  They become a huge hit with children and adults.  Everyone wants to know, "Who is the author?"  Eventually, Sam makes a "Meet the Author" box.  He put it out one night, and the next morning everyone took a look in the box to meet the author.  Here's the catch. In the box is a mirror. You are an author! Next to the box, Sam leaves a bunch of mini booklets like the ones he writes in for the children to author their own books.  This is a great book for teaching children that they are indeed authors.

If you don't know the book and are interested in it, here is  a video of a librarian reading it aloud. They do a good job of letting you see the text and illustrations as she reads.  You should know she has an English accent which actually makes it sound maybe kind of cool.  You should also know she has a puppet that helps her introduce the book.  I found the puppet to be a bit creepy! Why is its mouth always open?! Once you get past her intro, the book reading goes well.

Library Mouse is just the first in a series.  Daniel Kirk has written several books staring Sam, our friendly mouse.

There's Library Mouse A Friend's Tale  in which Sam does some collaborative writing with a child.  Library Mouse A World to Explore  introduces us to Sam's friend Sarah who isn't much on writing but is in to research and exploring.  In Library Mouse A Museum Adventure,  Sam and Sarah go on an adventure that combines research and journaling.  Finally, there is Library Mouse Home Sweet Home which is due out in September 2013. Amazon has a release date of September 3rd. This book continues the adventures of Sam and Sarah when the library is under renovation and they must find a temporary home.  I haven't read it, but it sounds like this one could be good for a social studies/community tie in as they make an igloo, a castle, a modern house, and more.

As I wrote, I think these books are better suited for the younger set, but my 3rd going into 4th graders enjoyed Library Mouse very much.  And, the message that they are authors certainly hit home.  In fact, to really make an experience of the book you could easily make the "Meet the Author" box that Sam makes.  Just put a small mirror in a tissue box, wrap the box leaving the top hole open, and make a "Meet the Author" sign.  It would be a fun way to introduce writer's workshop at the start of the year.

You can also make some mini books for your kids to write their own story or a mini "About Me" book as a back-to-school activity.  Here's a quick video on how to make an 8 page mini book using one piece of paper and no staples.  It looks just like the mini book Sam makes!
I linked to Daniel Kirk's author page earlier in the post.  If you explore his web site, you will see that he also has an activities page where you can print out book marks, posters, and coloring pages.  There's a cute poster of Sam saying, "Be Kind."  There are also suggested academic activities for his books.

Library Mouse isn't a brand  new book, but it is a good one! Plus, Daniel Kirk is a New Jersey author. How could I not brag about a fellow New Jerseyan?  If you live in the area, Daniel Kirk does paid author visits. His web page also notes that he does FREE twenty-minute Skype visits for classes doing an author study, schools with limited funds, and those too far from New Jersey.  Did I mention FREE? :-)


One off topic question for you!  Does anyone out there use Remind 101?  I've downloaded the app, but I am hesitant to use it.  Just wondering if anyone else has used it and how it works.


  1. I just started using Remind101, and I love it! You're assigned a phone number and an activation code. Parents text the code to your number to become subscribers. You then send texts to subscribers, but they can't write back.

    1. Hi Mrs. Mack,
      I am so glad to hear you like it. I've heard good and bad, but mostly good. I think I'm going to give it a try!

  2. I used Remind 101 when I was in the classroom. It was a great way to remind parents. I had about 9 out of 16 subscribe to it, because I started it late in the school year. I would recommend trying it!
    Thanks for sharing the video of Library Mouse. I am going to use it this week in my library!
    :) Dana
    Common to the Core