Monday November 19th, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? Join Jen and Kellee’s meme to share all of the reading you are doing from picture books to young adult novels. This is one of the best ways to build your knowledge of new book titles and to be part of a fantastic reading community.

This week I was happy to start The One and Only Ivan with our student book club! Our first book of the year – Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper was a huge hit! So much so that we had Moms, Dads and siblings joining us and reading along! Some even commented on the blog! ūüôā

Weird but True 4 by National Geographic Kids was a fun read aloud to share with my own children as an alternative to reading our novel each night. (Although we are almost finished The Search for Wondla!) What we thought would be a few quick pages read together became a big chunk of time discussing our connections, questions and background knowledge about the different information we read.

My daughter’s favourite fact: The world’s largest outdoor swimming pool (at that height) is an 150 meter pool atop a 55 story hotel in Singapore. “I definitely want to go there,” she exclaimed. My son’s highlight from the book: There are twice as many chickens on Earth as people. “That’s cool. And I don’t want to eat them so there might be even more soon!” Hmm . . .?

Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems¬†I love the extra being prepared nature of Gerald and the chanting together of certain words. I experienced this book when two girls in my class read it to me, one reading Piggie’s part and the other Gerald’s. They read with great expression and I giggled quietly.

Those Darn Squirrels Fly South¬†written by¬†Adam Rubin¬†and illustrated by¬†Daniel Salmieri¬†was shared by a guest reader in my class this week. I enjoyed it so much I brought it home to share with my own children. My son gave it a 6/5 rating! He is normally pretty stingy with his high scores but if it makes him laugh out loud, it fast becomes a favourite. Read about how my class enjoyed this story here. This is the¬†third¬†book featuring Old Man Fookwire and “those darn squirrels.” This title has some extremely humourous parts. I adored the squirrel hug, the creative flying contraptions the squirrels fashioned and as always Fookwire’s exceptionally grumpy ways (he berates the clouds for being too fluffy!)

Food Chain by M.P. Robertson.¬†I’ve had my eye out for M.P. Robertson titles new to me since I was reminded last week of how talented he is after reading Frank ‘n’ Stan. This book follows a little goldfish after he is flushed down the toilet by a boy whose¬†curiosities¬†turn thoughtless. The little fish ends up in the big ocean and we begin to see who eats who. Bigger seems better that’s for sure. Our little boy from the beginning of the story gets a few doses of what my students quickly recognize as “karma.” Gorgeous illustrations and few words on each page leave a lot of space to infer and discuss.

Keeping with the who eats who in the water world theme, I read Ugly Fish by Kara Lareau and illustrated by Scott Magoon¬†to the primary gathering this week. It definitely was a crowd pleaser from K to Grade 3! Ugly Fish is nasty to every visitor to his tank. So nasty in fact that after exchanging a few unpleasantries with each new fish, he gobbles them up. Eventually, he realizes that he may be King of his Tank but he is very alone. When a new fish arrives, and Ugly Fish has decided to change his ways, this new (bigger) visitor isn’t exactly ready to make nice. Spoiler: more karma. You can imagine what happens . . .

Binky Takes Charge by Ashley Spires.¬†Very hard not to adore Binky! I love what my ¬†daughter says about Binky: “I love Binky because he has all of these adventures but really he isn’t having them. But you wouldn’t want to tell him that. He’s too cute.” We loved meeting Gordon and laughed at how his eager puppy energy conflicted with Binky’s frequently scheduled naps.

The novel I finished this week was Sharon Creech‘s The Great Unexpected. I loved the lyrical and mysterious flow of this book. I’m hesitant to write about it in detail because I am still savouring the perfect mix of simplicity and complicated, reality and fantasy, memory and now. This story is many stories all shaken up into one, it becomes more powerful as bits and pieces intertwine with one another. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if it all makes sense. The journey and possibilities were divine.

14 thoughts on “Monday November 19th, 2012

  1. I think I’d enjoy the fish themed books. The covers for both are great. It’s kinda sad if Ugly Fish gets eaten just after his change of heart though. I’m already sad, and I haven’t read it yet!

  2. I like the look of the books in the last post, too, Carrie, especially that Flash, Crash & Rumble. And today, happy to hear about another Elephant & Piggie-they are just fun! Thanks for the food chain books too; both seem to take a different look at how food chains work, but teach too. I just got the new Sharon Creech on audio, will listen to it, next. Thanks!

  3. I love doing the Elephant and Piggie books as shared reading with my youngest. Such a great way to practice expression in oral reading! You’re description of The Great Unexpected is intriguing . . . I’m struggling a bit with it, but I think it’s a book that requires you to read it in bigger chunks than what I am now. Her dialogue is so great, though!

  4. Carrie, I am so taken by your absolutely ‘divine’ description of Sharon Creech’s novel – the title and the book cover make me gravitate towards it as well. I have a feeling it’s a book that I will hug close to me after I’ve read it. I’ve heard so much about The One and Only Ivan but haven’t read it yet. Argh. So many books too little time. And yes, the swimming pool at the Marina Bay Sands is truly a sight to behold. You can’t go swimming there though unless you book a room in the hotel – which could be staggeringly expensive. The view, however, is simply spectacular, and the architecture just lovely. You really should come visit Singapore! Perhaps for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content next year which is ALWAYS ALWAYS fun. ūüôā

    • How lovely to hear from someone who knows this pool. My daughter thinks this is very cool! It must be incredible! It would be fantastic to visit Singapore! I did really think The Great Unexpected was a wonderful read. Hope you enjoy it as much if you have a chance to read it!

  5. What a great list of books–of course, you started the post with two of my favorites! I love hearing about classes reading about Ivan and Melody! You’ve inspired me to pick up a copy of Sharon Creech’s book as I keep hearing great things about it. Thanks for a great list of books.

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