Right now our school is holding a Tournament of Books in the style of March Madness.
Two of my teacher friends (teachers who are your friend = God’s gift to librarians. You can usually get them to participate in all of your crazy ideas & vice versa) approached me after seeing this idea on Pinterest. I was glad to have their help & enthusiasm as we brought this idea into fruition. They were immediately drawn to using classic books and stories everyone is familiar with (The Very Hungry Caterpillar for example), but I saw a good opportunity for some shameless book plugging. I was able to convince them to pair up lesser read books. We tried to have books in pairs that were somewhat related to each other. Here is what we came up with:
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood vs. Silly Tilly by Eileen Spinelli (Silly theme)
The Napping House by Audrey Wood vs. While You Were Napping by Jenny Offill (napping theme)
Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middleton Elya vs. The Three Little Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel (fairy tales with a Hispanic twist)
Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems vs. Amanda and her Alligator by Mo Willems (lesser read Mo Willems titles)
Journey by Aaron Becker vs. Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (wordless books)
What to do if an Elephant Stands on your Foot by Michelle Robinson vs. The Memory of an Elephant: An Unforgettable Journey by Sophie Strady (elephant theme)
Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw vs. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan (cultural books)
Blizzard by John Rocco vs. Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco (author John Rocco)
Because of our fabulous partnership with our public library system (www.limitlesslibraries.org) we were able to request several copies of each book from our public library. I am housing the books in the library along with a sign-out sheet. I was also about to find digital copies via www.wegivebooks.org and BookFlix. We were also able to check out some ebook versions via overdrive and load it onto a library iPad for teachers to borrow.
Of course, March is not the best month to run a program like this. Third and fourth grade are under a time crunch with state testing approaching fast. And it seems like all of the classrooms are just busy! While participation is optional I have encouraged teachers to at least read two books from one bracket so their class feels involved. Once we are down to the final four I am going to encourage everyone to participate.
Voting round one for the sweet 16 ends on March 20th. Then we will advance to the Elite 8, Final Four & then the game match! I will be sure to report back with our winning title!