Author Archives for Annamarie Carlson

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/21/2021-6/27/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Last post from me for a while! Wrapping things up with a few great chapter books and some cute picture books too. Don’t worry about blog content — Sarah has plenty of great things to share. I’ll still be lurking even while I don’t actively post during my Caldecott term, so feel free to comment and send emails. I’d love to still chat with all of you! This blog helped keep me grounded during the pandemic, and it has been such a wonderful platform to meet and learn from so many fantastic librarians and creators across the world. Until next time!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 15 Books Read This Week
    • 10 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (67%)
    • 8 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (53%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/14/2021-6/20/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Powering through the picture books as blog posts slow down for a while. Some new graphic novels this week too. Listening to the new Rick Riordan presents title, which is good, but doesn’t quite live up to my love of Cece Rios. I feel like I am just absorbing as much information as I can while I learn about my new job and how things work in my new library. One more week of book updates before I take a break for a bit!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 45 Books Read This Week
    • 21 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (47%)
    • 11 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (24%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/7/2021-6/13/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: I’m finally into the new job which is very exciting! I’m still wrapping my head around all of the nuances of my new library. It is always so interesting to see how different each library is — even when moving between two systems that serve similar suburbs of the same city.

Reading has held steady, with many picture books and a few chapter books. I absolutely loved Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, and Stamped (For Kids), the newest adaptation of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, is well done for the intended age range, even if I am still partial to Jason Reynold’s version.

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 22 Books Read This Week
    • 11 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (50%)
    • 8 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (36%)
    • 6 Books by Own Voices Authors (27%)

Favorites of the Week:

Book Club in a Bag: Lumberjanes

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11: Book Club in a Bag (also known as Leap Off the Page, since we already have book club kits at our library, and the original name became confusing). This week: Lumberjanes!

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In May, these featured characters or books included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Check out these previously featured Book Club kits:

Elephant & Piggie (Mo Willems)
Mindy Kim (Lyla Lee)
Yasmin (Saadia Faruqi)
Azaleah Lane (Nikki Shannon Smith)
Wings of Fire (Tui T. Sutherland)
New Kid (Jerry Craft)
Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Dana Simpson)
Shuri (Nic Stone)

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Lumberjanes Kit

The Lumberjanes Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Lumberjanes Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Lumberjanes General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Lumberjanes kit is no different.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF featuring all kit activities here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing readalikes here.

The Lumberjanes readalikes bookmark features these titles:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing discussion questions here.

The Lumberjanes Discussion Questions included:

  • The very first page of the first book has the original name of the Lumberjanes’ camp inscribed at the bottom. It reads “Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Girls” with the word “girls” scratched out and replaced with “hardcore lady-types.” Why do you think the word girl was scratched out?
  • How would you describe each of the five main Lumberjanes? Who is your favorite? Why?
  • Why do you think they included so many snippets from the Lumberjanes manual and information about Lumberjanes badges?
  • In the “Message from the Lumberjane High Council” in Volume 1 it says: “…Whether you are a dancer or a misfit, career girl or a social elite, you have a place at this camp — no matter how different you feel.” How does the story and the characters reflect this?

This bag also included a sticker, printed on Avery circle 2.25″ white sticker label paper.

Slideshare not working? Download the ready-to-print sticker sheet here.

Lumberjanes Crafts, Games, and More

Someday, I really want to create a Lumberjanes activity book with activities related to each badge. That didn’t happen for this kit, but I did make an awesome, ready-to-print mythical creatures card game. Playing cards were printed double-sided on cardstock.

Download the cards:

Slideshare not working? Download the playing cards here.

Download the Instructions:

Slideshare not working? Download the instructions here.

The kit also included a Friendship Bracelet activity:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/31/2021-6/7/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: It’s a big week! I’m starting my new job today (eek!) as the Youth Manager at Upper Arlington Public Library (still in central Ohio). Between that and my Caldecott appointment starting soon, I will be slowing down on posts in a few weeks. My last program post is coming this week — one more Book Club in a Bag kit, featuring Lumberjanes! And there will be more content to come from my co-bloggers. Make sure to check out Sarah’s Storytime Spotlight post from last week. I read a lot, and there were many new-to-me titles on that list!

For reading this week, I finally made it through most of the backed up graphic novels and first chapter books that have been piling up. Of course, more books continue to be published, and I’m woefully behind on my audiobooks, but I will have a commute again now, so I’m sure those will pick back up.

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 30 Books Read This Week
    • 16 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (53%)
    • 11 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (37%)
    • 11 Books by Own Voices Authors (37%)

Favorites of the Week:

Book Club in a Bag: Two Truths and a Lie

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11: Book Club in a Bag (also known as Leap Off the Page, since we already have book club kits at our library, and the original name became confusing). This week, a non-fiction addition: Two Truths and a Lie by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In May, these featured characters or books included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Check out these previously featured Book Club kits:

Elephant & Piggie (Mo Willems)
Mindy Kim (Lyla Lee)
Yasmin (Saadia Faruqi)
Azaleah Lane (Nikki Shannon Smith)
Wings of Fire (Tui T. Sutherland)
New Kid (Jerry Craft)
Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Dana Simpson)
Shuri (Nic Stone)

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Two Truths and a Lie Kit

The Two Truths and a Lie Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Two Truths and a Lie Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Two Truths and a Lie General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Two Truths and a Lie kit is no different.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF featuring all kit activities here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing readalikes here.

The Tristan Strong readalikes bookmark features these titles:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing discussion questions here.

The Two Truths and a Lie Discussion Questions included:

  • Look carefully at each story. What is the subject?
  • What part of each story feels like it might be a lie? Why?
  • What parts of the story do you need to verify or get more information?
  • Where can you find more about the story’s subject? What sources will you use to fact check?
  • Read through a set of three stories. Which do you think is the lie? Why? Check your guess. Were you correct?
  • After learning which story is the lie, return to it. What did the authors do to make the story sound so realistic?
  • If writers can make something feel real, how do we know the information we read is true?

This bag also included a magnifying glass.

Two Truths and a Lie Crafts, Games, and More

Create your own Two Truths and a Lie chapter with this activity book. It provides space for three stories — A, B, and C — which they can then offer to someone else to guess which is the lie.

Slideshare not working? Download the activity book here.

The kit also included a Two Truths and a Lie research BINGO, encouraging participants to do their own research to discover whether some fun statements are truths or lies.

Slideshare not working? Download the BINGO here.

Finally, the kit included the Two Truths and a Lie STEM card game, available here.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/24/2021-5/30/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Well, I did some reading! I read a book just for me over my much-needed vacation, but I still got plenty of reading done around the trip too. If you are an adult historical romance fan, Sarah MacLean’s Bombshell was a ton of fun (read as an eARC). My vacation broke my audiobook habit, and I’m still trying to get back into that groove. Also, I’m finally chipping away at that stack of graphic novels on my nightstand!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 26 Books Read This Week
    • 14 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (54%)
    • 9 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (35%)
    • 8 Books by Own Voices Authors (31%)

Favorites of the Week:

Book Club in a Bag: Tristan Strong

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11: Book Club in a Bag (also known as Leap Off the Page, since we already have book club kits at our library, and the original name became confusing). This week: Tristan Strong by Kwambe Mbalia.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In May, these featured characters or books included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Check out these previously featured Book Club kits:

Elephant & Piggie (Mo Willems)
Mindy Kim (Lyla Lee)
Yasmin (Saadia Faruqi)
Azaleah Lane (Nikki Shannon Smith)
Wings of Fire (Tui T. Sutherland)
New Kid (Jerry Craft)
Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Dana Simpson)
Shuri (Nic Stone)

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Tristan Strong Kit

The Tristan Strong Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items (like notebooks) depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Tristan Strong Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Tristan Strong General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Tristan Strong kit is no different.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF featuring all kit activities here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing readalikes here.

The Tristan Strong readalikes bookmark features these titles:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing discussion questions here.

The Tristan Strong Discussion Questions included:

  • When Tristan Strong first talks about his name he states, “I hated that name. It made me appear to be something I’m not. My name should have been Tristan Coward, or Tristan Failure, or Tristan Fake.” Based upon this statement, how does Tristan feel about himself? How does his family view him? Is there something about yourself that you have disliked in the past? Why?
  • As Tristan narrates the novel, he often talks about “grown-ups.” Based upon his perspective, how is he treated by adults? How does he view the adults in his life?
  • How did the author make connections to other folktales and myths?
  • Describe the first interaction between Gum Baby and Tristan. What characteristics are evident about Gum Baby? Do you think Gum
  • Baby is a friend or foe? Why?

Find more discussion questions at books.disney.com.

This bag also included a 2.25″ button and a map of Alke.

Download the button templates here.

Download the map of Alke here.

Tristan Strong Crafts, Games, and More

I feel like I failed Tristan Strong on these bonus activities. This is one of my favorite book series ever, but I floundered on the inspiration for these activities. I hope to come back to this book series someday to give it a better kit.

The main activity was writing focused — participants got their own small notebook and a fable writing instruction guide.

Slideshare not working? Download the fable writing guide here.

Second, participants received a half sheet with suggested African American myth and folklore books for kids. I think this is where I started floundering for kit content because I wanted to provide a much more detailed collection of folklore books by African American or African authors — and these are very few and far between (especially anything new published in the last decade).

Slideshare not working? Download the book list here.

The last activity was a simple memory game. I wanted this to be something a little more nuanced, but it did let me use the wonderful artwork on the Rick Riordan blog.

Slideshare not working? Download the memory game here.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/17/2021-5/23/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: I finished some really great audiobooks this week! I’m taking a mini-vacation for a few days next week, which could mean that next Monday’s update has very few titles — or it could mean that it has a ton of books, since my vacations typically involve some reading.

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 16 Books Read This Week
    • 13 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (81%)
    • 12 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (75%)
    • 12 Books by Own Voices Authors (75%)

Favorites of the Week:

Book Club in a Bag: Last Kids on Earth Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11: Book Club in a Bag (also known as Leap Off the Page, since we already have book club kits at our library, and the original name became confusing). This week: Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In May, these featured characters or books included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

  • Ages 8-11:
    • Two Truths and a Lie (Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson)
    • Lumberjanes (Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Brooke Allen, Grace Ellis, Kat Leyh, Faith Erin Hicks)

Check out these previously featured Book Club kits:

Elephant & Piggie (Mo Willems)
Mindy Kim (Lyla Lee)
Yasmin (Saadia Faruqi)
Azaleah Lane (Nikki Shannon Smith)
Wings of Fire (Tui T. Sutherland)
New Kid (Jerry Craft)
Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Dana Simpson)
Shuri (Nic Stone)

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Last Kids on Earth Kit

The Last Kids on Earth Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items (like board game pieces) depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Last Kids on Earth Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Last Kids on Earth Kit General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Last Kids on Earth kit is no different.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF featuring all kit activities here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing readalikes here.

The Last Kids on Earth readalikes bookmark features these titles:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing discussion questions here.

The Last Kids on Earth Discussion Questions included:

  • What do you think caused the monster apocalypse?
  • At the beginning of the series, Quint wanted to stay in his house to do research in his lab. Do you think he made the right decision to go to the treehouse with Jack?
  • Jack has made many improvements to his treehouse. What would you add to your end-of-the-world treehouse?
  • How do Jack and his friends pass the time in the treehouse (besides fighting zombies and monsters)? What would you do if you were in Jack’s situation?
  • Jack faces off against many evil villains. Would you prefer to battle against a monster, a zombie, or an evil human villain? Why?
  • What advice would you give Jack and his friends before their next adventure?

This bag also included two bookmarks, printed on white cardstock.

Download the bookmarks here.

Last Kids on Earth Crafts, Games, and More

First up: Last Kids on Earth survival guide! Learn about the characters and the villains and complete simple games and puzzles to build your Last Kids survival skills.

Slideshare not working? Download the ready-to-print survival guide here.

And finally, one of my absolute favorite things I’ve designed for a program: a Last Kids on Earth board game! Players tried to move around the book the fastest, traveling to a magical portal and back to the treehouse before the other players.