Merry Christmas!

 “When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.”   
Jean Fritz, American author

Click for Christmas books

Click for the traditional Christmas story


Look at all the book covers on this page.

Describe the pictures.
What features are particular to each picture?
What is the time period depicted?
What part of the world is depicted?
What is the centre of attention?
How do the surrounding features draw your attention to the centre?
What colours are used: warm or cool?
What lighting is used: subdued or bright?
What is the angle of perspective of the viewer?
What medium is used: oil, watercolour, pencil, pastel, collage or woodcut?
What is the surface quality: shiny or matte?
How realistic is each picture?

Notice patterns.
What features are in each of the pictures?
What do all the pictures have in common?
Can you divide the pictures into categories?

Analyze moods.
What emotions do you feel when you view each picture?
What features and techniques contribute to the mood?

Make connections.
What do you know about the artists?
What does each picture tell you about the artist?
What does each picture tell you about the intended audience?
What does each picture tell you about society when it was created?
What memories come to mind when you look at each picture?

Share your thoughts.
Which picture is your favourite?   Why?

“This is the message of Christmas:  We are never alone.” 
Taylor Caldwell

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.” Charles Dickens

“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.” Dr. Seuss

“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent….” Taylor Caldwell.

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”  Bob Hope



Diwali, the Festival of Lights

India’s biggest celebration!

Originally a Hindu celebration, this festival is now enjoyed by Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains, as well.

Dickman, Nancy. Diwali. Chicago, Ill.: Heinemann Library, 2011.

Sandhu, Rupi K. Twinkling Lights, Diwali Nights. Victoria, B.C.: Trafford Pub., 2008.

Torpie, Kate. Diwali. New York: Crabtree Pub., 2009.

  • For how many days does this festival last?
  • How do people decorate?
  • What gifts do they give each other?
  • Which Hindu goddess is honoured on this holiday?
  • Why do Sikhs celebrate this Hindu holiday?
  • Why do Jains celebrate?
  • What holiday custom do all three religions share?

Learn more about Diwali!

World Book Online is full of information!

Enjoy novels and picture books!

Stories set in India and Pakistan!


Remembrance Day is November 11th.

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” John Diefenbaker

Read about…

wars before before the 20th century,

wars: 1900 – 1945,

wars after World War II,


Read about…

people with courage.

Learn about…

Anne Frank, a Dutch girl who hid in an attic during World War II.

Read true stories about…

surviving during a war.

Learn how to speak up for the truth…

against bullying.

Write about…

a powerful story you have read,

a powerful nonfiction book you have read.

Click here for informative books for parents and teachers.

Click here for great books I’ve recently read.

October is Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month!

There are almost 3 times as many public libraries in Canada as there are McDonald’s restaurants.
Canadians visit public libraries more than 150 million times a year.
In fact, more people in Canada visit libraries than play sports!

A study showed that children with high reading skills tended to visit public libraries at an earlier age and more frequently than children with poor reading skills.

The biggest library in the world is the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It has over 1000 kilometers of shelving and over 140 million items including 33 million books, 5 million maps and 6000 comics!

The British Library in London has over 62 million items including 14 million books.

The National Library of China in Beijing has over 22 million books.

The Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg has over 20 million books.

And the National Library of Canada in Ottawa has over 18 million books.

People have been keeping written records of ideas and information for thousands of years.  Archeologists have discovered a collection of 30,000 clay tablets at an ancient site in modern Iraq. Historians know that the famous Alexandria Library in ancient Egypt had over 400,000 scrolls and that by 400 C.E., there were already 28 public libraries in the city of Rome! But it wasn’t until the 1800s that free public libraries became popular.

Visit your local library!

Start the new school year with a good book!

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — J. K. Rowling

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” — Walt Disney

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” — Confucius

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.” — Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” — Mortimer Adler

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” — Mason Cooley

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” — Somerset Maugham

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” — Edmund Burke

“One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.” — John W. Gardner

“Responsibility for the learning belongs to the student, regardless of age.” — Robert Martin

“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” — Marilyn Jager Adams

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges

Take a look at a few of the books Ms. Rosen read over the summer: Recently Read.


“Every day one should at least hear one little song, read one good poem, see one fine painting and — if at all possible — speak a few sensible words.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Krull, Kathleen. Albert Einstein. Viking, 2009.
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. ”  Albert Einstein


“Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”  Marcus Aurelius, Roman ruler

“If ants had a language they would, no doubt, call their anthill an artifact and describe the brick wall in its neighborhood as a natural object. Nature in fact would be for them all that was not ‘ant-made’.”  C.S. Lewis

“Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small.”  Corrrie Ten Boom

For books about people who have made a difference in the world, take a look at these biographies.

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  Alexander Graham Bell

Spinelli, Jerry. Smiles to Go. Joanna Cotler Books, 2008.
Ninth-grader Will has always relied on commonsense and scientific certainties. When he discovers that protons decay, he gains a new perspective on life and on his relationships with people.


“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”  Frances Hodgson Burnett in The Secret Garden

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”  J.M. Barrie, author of  Peter Pan

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”  George Eliot in Middlemarch

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”  C.S. Lewis in The Magician’s Nephew

For stories about characters who find new perspectives, take a look at these novels.

 “The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”  Douglas Adams

Flux, Paul. Perspective. Heinemann Library, 2001.

“I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, – light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.”  John Constable, British artist

“Every artist was first an amateur.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art; men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.  E.M. Forster

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”  Thomas Merton

To learn how to draw using perspective, check out the books in the art section of your library.

Drawings courtesy of Colton, Ina and Da Eun.