Monday December 3rd, 2012

It’s Monday! What are your reading?

penguin little

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme to share your reading from picture books to young adult reads. The best way to build your book piles with recommended books from many book addicts around the blogosphere.

It’s Monday! What are your reading? 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Busy, busy week with finalizing report cards and many meetings and special events. But always, I squeeze reading in to keep me happy and wise! 🙂

The picture books I enjoyed this week . . . 

Penguin and Pinecone (a friendship story) by Salina Yoon I shared this sweet little story with the primary students at our weekly Social Responsibility gathering. It is the story of a penguin who finds a strange object in the snow. When he realizes that his new friend needs to go back to where he belongs to grow big and strong, he takes the little pinecone to the forest. Of course, the forest is no place for a penguin so the friends cannot stay together. The friends must part but the love and kindness they have exchanged grows. Grows in ways that seem quite unbelievable. Let’s just say that one page in this book produced that lovely gasp out loud reaction with the group. The perfect book for story time and to spark talks about friendship and caring.


Big Brave Brian by M.P. Robertson This is a fabulously funny book filled with alliteration, scary (or maybe not) creatures and delightful illustrations in M.P.Robertson’s signature style. Thinking it would be a great prompt for a writing activity to make a class book . . . Hmm . . .

big brave brian

Mars Needs Moms by Berkeley Breathed This was a reread that I loved sharing again with my reading group when we were doing an activity about asking specific questions about the storyline. I LOVE Berkeley Breathed. In fact, he is the creator of my favourite picture book of all times. Yes, I have one. I’ve decided and I’m sure. Curious? Read here. But back to this story . . . Lots of humour and curious Martians cannot upstage one of the most beautiful and yet, simple moments of parent/child love in a picture book.


Dragons Love Tacos written by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri This author/illustrator team can do humour in the catch you quick, lure you in, leave you wanting more way that is an absolute hit with young readers (and the adults who get to read to them) Taco obsessed dragons who cannot do spicy salsa (tummy troubles like you don’t want to imagine) turn up to a taco party where there are hidden jalapenos.  Yikes! When things go wrong with a bunch of fire breathing dragons, they go very wrong in a big way. Delightful!

dragons love tacos

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers Wilfred and Marcel the moose go romping through some lovely landscapes. Wilfred trying to impose his ownership over Marcel who is generally having none of it. In the end, it’s not the labels that matter but how we deal with each other. Tender. Funny. Quirky. Wise. Loved this book!

this moose belongs to me

Life in the Ocean The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A Nivola I think this is a wonderful read aloud to share with upper primary (and older) students about finding your passion and making it your life’s work. I love this book for many reasons. The depiction of Earle’s curious childhood in the water, descriptions of moments in her life that truly shaped and changed her, beautiful and enticing illustrations and this very important message: “You can’t care if you don’t know.” In this story, this message applies to ecology and caring for our natural world but it is a message that applies to so many things. One worth thinking a lot about.

Life in the Ocean

Guilty confession: I abandoned What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt. This was tough. When I read Okay for Now, I frequently stopped and shook my head, not believing that someone could write a story that completely captured me and yet allowed room for me to reflect on this amazing way with words. “How can this be this good?” I kept thinking. But with this novel (Stars) I was completely distracted with having to look up words in the glossary at the back and with the flipping back between worlds and the story couldn’t flow for me. I need Schmidt to write another book so we can redeem our author/reader relationship and I can stop feeling bad.  I suppose I can blame my challenging week for not wanting to work so hard. Sometimes it is not the time for a book and reader to meet. All of this rambling about this book is the measure of my guilt!

I did begin reading Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor and am enjoying the feeling of just relaxing into a book. So far? Lovely.

14 thoughts on “Monday December 3rd, 2012

  1. Looking forward to reading The Moose Belongs to Me- a few teachers mentioned they’d like me to get it for the library (love those kind of requests). Sounds wonderful, and honestly similar/connected to Lulu and the Brontosaurus…

    • It is a fantastic Jeffers title. My favourite bookstore employee told me that it is his favourite of all Oliver Jeffers books. Reading it, I see why. And when it is requested like that, you know it will be loved!

  2. I am clipping this entire post because there are so many picture books that I want to remember. Unless the library helps me out, this is potentially an expensive post for me. I will also check out Pete and Pickles! 😉

    • Thank you for peeking to find out which book is my favourite picture book! It is a very special one and I can always conjure up the image of reading it to a class for the very first time. A powerful experience. Yes, finding out about new books is often a very expensive undertaking . . .

  3. There are so many wonderful picture books about animals, aren’t there? I am intrigued by Penguin & Pinecone! Thanks for telling about these, Carrie. I have seen at least one other post where the person abandoned the Schmidt book. Interesting that he tried a new kind of story & some aren’t liking it. Thanks.

    • Thanks for the comment Linda. Funny how terrible I feel not trying to stick with this newest Schmidt book. It just wasn’t for me. Yet, I think so much of his writing . . . Penguin and Pinecone is a very sweet little book!

  4. The Moose book would be good for us up here in Maine! I also read an ocean nonfiction picture book. I read an ocean picture book called Ocean Sunlight. It was really good.

  5. Dragons Love Tacos was such an entertaining read. I’ve never heard of The Moose Belongs to Me but I love Oliver Jeffers so I definitely need to check that one out!

  6. Oh Carrie, I so love reading your thoughts about books and your honesty in sharing that which worked for you and that which didn’t with the utmost sensitivity and grace. I haven’t read any Schmidt novel yet, but I’ve read very conflicting reviews that are deeply polarized in nature, that I am now intrigued. Maybe next year I’d get to read one of his novels. I also borrowed The Moose Belongs to Me from our library here – I am thinking of doing an Oliver Jeffers special in the coming weeks. There is just something so special about him. Is “Life in the Ocean” a picture book too? I was thinking that it could be a perfect book to add for our ‘stream of stories and water tales’ theme. 🙂

    • Myra Thank you so much for these words. Life in the Ocean is a picture book. Search it in images and you will see some of the way the pictures and text are layed out on the page. I don’t think my primary students could handle it on their own but as a supported read aloud yes. It is very impressive. Okay for Now and Wednesday Wars by Schmidt are two of the best middle grade novels I have ever read. Without doubt. I was hoping last year that Okay for Now would win the Newbery. You will be happy to read these books if you pick them up. And a Jeffers special would be great! My students went crazy for his book Stuck last year:

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