My Visit with Dunham School – April 7, 2016

Posted on behalf of Megan McDonald, Author and School Library Month Spokesperson

I’m going to “let the cat out of the bag” about School Library Month.

I’ve just spent a day visiting with the wonderful Mrs. Whitehorn’s second graders at Dunham School and their sixth grade “buddies,” in honor of School Library Month.

In this small, rural school, nestled in the verdant dairy lands of Petaluma, CA, hand-made posters about School Library Month cover the library walls and the students’ passion for reading fills the tiny library and spills over into the classroom.

The kids pile onto the reading rug, where Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle works her magic after lunch.

“For a minute I thought you were going to let the cat out of the bag.” Mrs. Whitehorn pauses her reading. “Is this a real cat,” she asks, “inside an actual bag?”


“Who knows what we call this expression?”

To my amazement, these second graders exclaim together, “IDIOM!”

They turn to steal a glance at me and wave their chock-full-of-idioms copies of Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker in the air. They have a silent signal for when they’ve made a connection between themselves and something else that excites them. They hold out their hands, pinkie and thumb extended, and wave it, the way Judy Moody would gesture, “Same-same.”

“Stink loves idioms,” they shout enthusiastically. They discovered Stink, and Judy Moody… at the school library.

After a day of celebrating books and reading and the school library, I feel like “a kid in a candy store.” It’s been “more fun than a barrel of monkeys.”

At the end of our day together, Mrs. Whitehorn says it best. “My heart is full, boys and girls. My heart is full.”

Second Graders from Dunham School Listen to Megan McDonald read from Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mold

Students listen to Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mold

Students check out Stink books

Students check out Stink books

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Bookmarks students made of their ideas for Judy Moody t-shirts

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Book signing!

Author: Jen Habley

Jen Habley is the AASL Manager of Web Communications. She manages the AASL websites, writes press releases, coordinates AASL’s online learning opportunities, and oversees AASL’s web 2.0 tools. When not working, Jen spends time researching her family tree, reading, and watching hockey.

Categories: Community


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