Monday, April 23, 2012

A Little Something I Learned From Barnes and Noble

I went to Barnes and Noble in St. George, Utah and read a stack of picture books that I had been wanting to read!  It was so much fun and I was able to get a feel for some of the new picture books out there!  I snapped some pics of this particular B&N because it was soooo awesome, like a children's enchanted forest, full of books and toys!  If I was a kid, I'd just want to go there and sit and stare at all the displays!  Here are a couple of the pics I took... Maybe everyone else has a B&N like this nearby, but I don't, so I was impressed. 

I want my library to look like this!!!  :) Ha, Ha!  The thing I immediately noticed is how many books are displayed face out and I have decided that I am going to find ways to display more books this way. 

In the book "The Read A-loud Handbook",  by Jim Trelease, he says this.  "Few grocery customers know that food companies pay nine billion dollars for shelf space, accounting for one-half of stores' annual profits.  In other words, they rent shelp space.  Paying that kind of money, the manufacturer makes sure its product is displayed on the shelf to its best advantage -- that is, face-out.  This visibility is so connected to sales, the low paying companies receive the worst seats in the house, the top and bottom shelves.  The reason companies want each product face-out is simple:  It's the cover that most often influences our choices -- the picture of the cookie, cereal, or magazine.  ...Since 60% of the people going into a bookstore or library don't have a particular book (or author or publisher) in mind, it's the cover that will move the book, not the spine.  The majority of public and school libraries are clueless when it comes to these principles.  Many don't have a single book shelved cover-out.  When researchers observed a kindergarten classroom library for one week, 90% of the books that children chose had been shelved with the covers facing out." 

So where do you get the room to do this?  Install rain gutters on the walls, below whiteboards or anywhere you can and shelf some of your books this way,  face-out.  Weed, weed, weed..... books that aren't being read, to give you more shelf space.  Create displays on tables or on tops of bookshelves.  Get creative!  Here are some pics of what I'm talking about!

All of the teachers at my school have one long rain gutter attached right under their large white boards.  They can display tons of books that way.

Here are some of the books I read at Barns and Noble and loved. 


Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and ill. by Jon Klassen - I love, love, loved this adorable book.  Maybe because I loved the soft illustrations so much, but it really took me in!  The book starts out all in black and white.  This little girl finds a box of colored yarn and knits herself a sweater.  Before long she has knitted and knitted and knitted and everyone and everything is wearing or is covered in yarn.  Her little town goes from  drabby to colorful (and fun)!  Everyone and everything looks better, brighter and happier!  The yarn never runs out, until one day, a rich and greedy  "Duke", (I think?), steals it from her.  Then and only then, the yarn runs out.  The greedy duke pitches the box into the sea,  where it floats right back into her hands again.  Once again it never ends.  There are so many connections to make with this simple story, from spreading joy, to giving versus taking, to being greedy and on and on!  It's just delightful!!  Ages 3+

Little Mouse's Big Secret by Eric Battut is about a tiny mouse with a BIG secret.  At the beginning of the book, he drops a seed behind his back to hide it from the world and continues to tell animal after animal that he has a BIG secret.  Behind his back, his seed sprouts and begins to grow and grow and grow and his secret is known to all the animals except him!  He is the one that ends up being surprised!  A sweet story!  Ages 3+

I hadn't read this yet and it was as adorable as all the reviews have claimed.  It's the Caldecott winner this year.  It really is a book about loss and dealing with it!  The puppy adores his new plastic red ball.  He sits with it, sleeps with it, plays with it...  When he takes it to the dog park, a bigger dog plays with it and POPS it.  It has to be thrown away.  The puppy comes home and has to deal with the loss!  The next day, he goes to the dog park with his owner and the owner of the bigger dog gives him a new ball, a blue one.  He falls in love with it in seconds.  It's a simple story with NO WORDS, which makes it perfect for young, young children!  

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