It’s Monday! What are you reading?
Join a fabulous group of readers who share their weekly reads from picture books to young adult novels by participating in Jen and Kellee’s meme. If you are looking for new book ideas, this is a fantastic place to start! Especially if you are looking ahead to some lazy reading days over the holidays!
I read a lot of picture books this week, but I must confess, I didn’t love them all. Those titles are not included here. Instead, below are the ones that stood out for me as being titles I would recommend/read again/read aloud.
The Man in the Moon by William Joyce (A Guardians of Childhood book) Confession: I don’t often know what is going on in mainstream media. Ask me about hip songs and the latest and greatest movie and I likely can’t tell you. So I did not connect these Guardians of Childhood books to the slight movie buzz I was hearing with this same title. Many of you are probably cooler than me and knew all about it.
Wow! Does William Joyce create visually stunning books! I shared this as a bedtime read aloud and the next night my children were begging me for the next title that we had just received from a lovely book gifting friend (The Sandman). I loved the images and how magical the stories felt. My children were intrigued by the whole concept of the Guardians watching over children – how they were brave and majestic yet at the same time teeny and odd. Very interesting.
The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie by William Joyce (the second picture book in the Guardians of Childhood series)
If you, like me, are not so up on this series here is more information. It seems there are so far, two picture books and a handful of novels featuring different Guardian characters.
Singing Away the Dark written by Caroline Woodward and illustrated by Julie Morstad This book is absolutely lovely and a new favourite of mine. Typically I am wary of books with rhyming text but this one is done so well. A little girl, all of six years old has an early morning walk through snow banks and spooky trees on a cold winter morning to catch the school bus.
“When I was six and walked a mile and sang the dark away.”
Woodward recalls images of her own childhood walks in the Peace River region of B.C. Some of us really do have childhoods that included long walks to school and this book takes me back to all the small moments of bravery that once seemed so huge on my own walk to school on my journeys of childhood. Beautifully illustrated by Morstad.
The Golden Rule written by Ilene Cooper and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska. This book explores this simple rule of childhood that seems so difficult for so many to follow. It is pointed out that a version of “”Do Unto Others . . . ” is in every religion for people all over the world. A little boy and his grandfather discuss what the world could be like it everyone actually followed this rule. A lovely format to make this concept accessible to children.
Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter The true story of Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and the green landscapes that she returned to Africa. A book in the biography genre that explores ecology, environment and inspiration.
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills I adore books that promote the love of literacy and the magic of reading. Hills captures the delight of putting sounds together to make words and the lure of a story in this lovely little book that features Rocket as student and the little yellow bird as enthusiastic teacher. I would pair this title with How to Teach a Slug to Read, a book I have used in the past to explore the process of learning how to read.
Rabbit and Robot The Sleepover by Cece Bell. A fun little story but what excites me most is that it is a fun little story in early chapter book format that can be enjoyed by students just beginning to dive into this genre There are not enough of these titles out there that have this kind of interest, humour and unique characters while still exploring familiar territory: navigating the complications of friendship. Can’t wait to get this book into the hands of students!
I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, an adult novel. I rarely read adult novels anymore and quite honestly, I am happy to dive back into the land of middle grade and young adult novels full force. This book was just too full of ugliness. Well written but what characters . . .
I am close to finishing Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I cannot put it down.