The 2018 Picture Book Smackdown was held on November 29, 2018. This has been a yearly tradition since November became Picture Book Month. During a smackdown, we hold a Youtube Live event where students and authors in multiple states book talk as many picture books as possible across 45-60 minutes.
This year’s smackdown featured students in 4 different grades in 3 different states, which included:
Andy Plemmons and students at David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA
Donna MacDonald and students at Orchard School in South Burlington, VT
Julee Murphy and students at Early Childhood Development Center in Corpus Christi, TX
Ahead of the event, students selected a picture book to share, read the book, prepared a script, and practiced. I also communicated with all the librarians at each site to make sure we all knew our roles during the hangout.
I made a Smore for us to advertise our event, and it’s really fun to see where people are viewing the smackdown from.
Donna MacDonald reached out to author Saadia Faruqi who agreed to kickoff our smackdown. She shared her Yasmin books as well as 3 favorite picture books featuring Muslim characters and stories. We can’t thank her enough for speaking to our students. I know many of my students want to read all of the Yasmin books now.
During the smackdown, we had 5 students from each school step to the microphone, share their name, and tell about their book. We kept this rotation going until we ran out of students or time.
It was amazing to see that every student chose a different book, even though we didn’t plan that. We kept a list of all of our books so we could remember them for our own libraries and to share with all of you.
Saadia Faruqi closed out our hangout by encouraging students to continue to read picture books and create their own stories. She found it so encouraging to see so many students reading and also enjoying the books that she created herself.
You can watch the full smackdown here.
I encourage you to host your own, even if it’s just in your own school. We are even thinking about doing a smackdown with other formats of books like graphic novels or chapter books. Thank you to everyone who participated and watched. We’ll see you next year for the 2019 Picture Book Smackdown.