Teacher Tuesday goes international for the first time with Tanja Galetti’s answers to my little quiz. Tanja is the Primary School Teacher Librarian at Hong Kong Academy, an IB World School in Hong Kong. You can find her on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads and at her library blog.
Tanja, please fill in the blank:
You should never read and (blank) at the same time.
This is a tricky one because I can and enjoy reading in so many different ways (traditional paper books, e-books, audiobooks…) and situations: I love reading while eating, drinking, bathing (never with library books though ;), listening to music, sitting in the park, cooking, working out, going for a walk, commuting to work, shelving books in my library… So is there really a situation when not to read? Hmmm… Maybe, You should never read and swim – because I can really not imagine how that would work without destroying the book, no matter its format. But anything else goes.
If you were invited to be on Oprah, what book would you bring for her to read?
An easy question to answer: I would bring William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
I love many books but treasure this story in a very special way. It is so much about what I believe in as a librarian, a reader, and a writer: “Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved book.”
Just like for Morris, I find that every library is a “mysterious and inviting room” and when I enter I can hear “the faint chatter of a thousand different stories, as if each book was whispering an invitation to adventure”. The Fantastic Flying Books is about who I am and why I treasure books and stories so much. It touches me deeply each time I read it – and I read it often either in its traditional picture book format or the interactive version on my iPad. I know it will move Oprah to tears too because she, just like Morris and all of us librarians believe, that “everyone’s story matters” – and we work towards making sure that everyone’s story is heard – or read.
What is the funniest book you’ve read?
There are so many funny picture books I adore as for example Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Leah Wilcox’s Waking Beauty, and of course, each of the wonderful Piggie and Elephant books by Mo Willems. But I would most probably mention an adult book here, a book that I have read and re-read many times, but never read in public! It is the one book that makes me laugh out loud and uncontrollably even though now I already know what comes next: Bill Bryson’s Down Under. I received this book from a very dear Australian friend (thanks, Sharon!) many years ago and turn to it whenever I need some cheering up.
What is the saddest?
I cry easily – when listening to someone share a story, when watching a movie and when reading. I don’t think I have ever read a book by Michael Morpurgo book that has not made me cry at some point or another. So I knew right away that for thinking about the saddest book, I had to go through the books I had read by him. Now don’t misunderstand me here, I love and treasure his books since he is such a master storyteller. His stories are just so touching and thought provoking. The saddest I have ever read, and just thinking about it now makes me sad, is The Dancing Bear. A short little volume but a story that once you have read it will never let you go again.
Favorite reading snack/beverage?
Chocolate! Especially when I am reading a sad, emotionally challenging book, I need the comforting feel and taste of chocolate as it melts on my tongue.
What’s next on your TBR list?
I have an ever-growing list of books I want to read as I keep suggestions and recommendations from family, friends and students in my reader’s notebook and on Evernote. This list includes children’s, young adult, adult and professional literature. So let me just pick one from each category that I think I might read next:
Children’s literature: Duke (Kirby Larson) – I loved Kirby’s Hattie books and wanted to read this book, which seems very different, for a very long time and now finally have a copy of the book.
Young Adult: The Geography of You and Me (Jennifer E. Smith) – After seeing the reviews on School Library Journal and Booklist, I knew I needed to read this books soon. I appreciate a classic love story and relationships over a distance seems to be the story of my life: “(…) it’s a classic dish served up with style, heart, and a long-distance yearning immediately recognizable to anyone who has had to love from afar.”
Adult: Edge of Eternity (Ken Follett) – the third and final book in the Century Trilogy, which I have been waiting for since last year. Reading the other two books made me feel I had never really understood much of what happened before, during and after the World Wars while learning about it in my history classes in school. The books made me read additional information on real historic figures and events mentioned in the book. An amazing journey into the past which I can’t wait to continue with the last book which will take me into the cold war era (okay, I have to confess, it’s no more on my TBR list as I just started to read the book…).
Professional: Guy Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know (Ralph Fletcher). Ralph Fletcher is often mentioned in the context of teaching writing through mentor texts, something the school I work at is more and more incorporating. So I have started to look at some of the books the author has written (I loved his childhood memoir Marshfield Dreams!) and this title is next on my list.