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Monday, June 17, 2013

Being a Booktalker

Our household experienced a loss of internet connection for an extended period of time, and it sure made me rethink the amount of time I spend online...and how dependent I am on my iPad and computer. Things are back to normal with the home network, but I am continuing to limit my own screen time.

I spent today talking with teachers and librarians about good books as part of St. Cloud State University's 34th Annual Children's Literature Workshop. Making a book list for K-5 readers is a pleasant task. I select books on a variety of topics and try to balance the list with poetry, nonfiction, picture books, early chapter books, and novels. The most difficult thing is not being able to add to the list after I submit it for printing and for book ordering!

One librarian asked how to talk about books like I do, and I decided these would be my guidelines (not very different from what I choose to write about via this blog, actually):

  • Choose books you really like! It is nearly impossible to display enthusiasm for books for which you are not passionate. 
  • Be specific about what you like. Selecting a short passage to read aloud (or illustrations to view) conveys that to the audience.
  • Consider how it could be used with readers and share that with the audience. Sometimes, a book's possibilities make it all-the-more intriguing to others.
  • Look for additional connections (a website, related books, author or illustrator information) and share those with the audience, too. 
Though the quiet/introverted side of me must prepare for being in front a crowd, I do love knowing that others will carry the books I discuss to their readers and colleagues, spreading the words.


  1. Very useful and helpful list.

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  3. Love that workshop, thanks for being a presenter and thanks for the book talking tips. I am teaching summer school this year, so I was unable to attend.

  4. Excellent! PS I hope you got my fairly recent note...

  5. Your "book talking" has led me to many books I would not have read otherwise, as has your summer reading lists. Your passion is contagious, and though I don't always have the same reaction to the books you suggest, I'm always willing to give one of your recommendations a try because I value your thoughtful opinions. Your reach is far!