We are nearing the end of November, which means the close of Picture Book Month. In 2013, I started brainstorming with several dynamic librarians across the country a way for us to celebrate the close of the month. Jenny Lussier, Cathy Potter, Shawna Ford, Kathy Kaldenberg, and I created the very first Picture Book Smackdown which was held via Google Hangout on November 21, 2013. Authors Laurel Snyder and Ame Dyckman joined us as well. For one hour, we all shared as many picture book talks as possible. This was the beginning of an annual event that is now in its 5th iteration.
This year, our event will take place on November 30th from 1:30PM-2:30PM EST. We will feature students from:
- David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA (facilitated by Andy Plemmons)
- Orchard School in South Burlington, VT (facilitated by Donna MacDonald)
- Early Childhood Development Center in Corpus Christi, TX (facilitate by Julee Murphy)
We are also very excited to announce that we will be joined by author/illustrator Deborah Freedman. Her books include This House Once, Shy, The Story of Fish & Snail, and many more! You can learn more about her books here.
I’ve put together a Smore that puts everything you need in one place
What to expect:
- A live broadcast via Youtube Live or archived to watch at a later time
- Numerous student voices book talking their favorite picture books in 3 states
- A short talk from Deborah Freedman about why picture books matter in the world
- A list of the books we reference
What you can do:
- Watch live with your class!
- Host your own picture book smackdown in your classroom, library, or district
- Share your favorite picture books on social media using the hashtags #pbsmkdwn and #picturebookmonth
- Send students a shout out on Twitter using #pbsmkdwn
We will of course continue reading and sharing picture books all year long, but we want to end November with this special event. This year’s Picture Book Smackdown is dedicated in loving memory of Dianne de Las Casas, founder of Picture Book Month. We lost Dianne this year in a tragic fire, but her legacy of advocating for the importance of picture books in our world lives on.