Monday July 1st, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! The #IMWAYR community is a fantastic community of readers with many wonderful titles to share.

This year was the end of school, so lots of winding down before my reading can really wind up. Looking forward to much more time to read this summer! Which has now started! Hurrah!

I read quite a few picture books this week and I really did not love them all. Here are the best of the week – including some wonderful board books that I plan to add to our buddy reading bins for when the Kindergarten class comes to read with us.

One of our best moments of the last week was exchanging letters with our little buddies before we began buddy reading this week. The smiles say it all!


Board books

Odd One Out: In, Out and All Around by Guido Van Genechten A fun look and find book that introduces a number of language concepts. Perfect to share together and discuss what is observed. Three questions on each page leaves lots of room for talking:

Who is hiding behind the brick wall?

Who has lost their house?

And who is ready to go to a dance?

Careful scanning over the page reveals that one little snail is sporting fancy earrings 🙂

in, out and all around

Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi Absolutely simple and sweet with cut out peek a boo eyes. Ideal when attention span and reading skills are both developing.


Caveman a B.C. Story by Janee Trasler A hilarious tale told one word at a time in ABC order. Much humour and much to infer. Another title to add to the growing favourite ABC books.


Book of Play: with Northwest Coast Native Art I am trying to bring in more Aboriginal stories and images into our book collection. This is another board book that will be fun to interact with (counting pages, matching, ABC page) but that also has gorgeous Native art from various Native artists.

book of play

Picture books:

A Boy and his Bunny written by Sean Bryan with illustrations by Tom Murphy My class loves A Girl and her Gator and A Bear and his Boy created by the same author/illustrator pair. This book actually came first, but I added it to our classroom collection last. What I love about all of these titles is that the illustrations are so simple but have huge impact. The rhyming text is never awkward and children love to read and reread these books over and over. This book in particular is a wonderful mentor text for giving examples – what are all of the things that work out perfectly fine with a bunny on your head? Armies can be led, peanut butter can be spread, you can drive a moped, etc., etc.

a boy and his bunny

The Woods by Paul Hoppe A sweet testament to the creative thinking/imagining that can go into avoiding the dark at bedtime. A little boy realizes that his favourite bunny is missing and he must enter the woods to find itOn his night time journey, he finds much more than his missing bunny.


Redwoods by Jason Chin It’s not just that redwood trees are majestic, this book brings some kind of added magic to learning about these forest giants. Part fantasy, part nonfiction – this title by Chin is a magical information story book. Learn about each level of the tree from small sapling to the canopy hundreds of feet off the ground in a redwood tree over 350 feet tall! A book that needs multiple read throughs to truly absorb and think about all of the details. One of those titles that I am reluctant to return to the library. I think I need my own copy . . .

Redwoods by Jason chin

Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert I am a huge fan of Geisert and particularly love his wordless titles. Ice and The Giant Seed (featured here) are must reads if you have yet to discover them. In this title, we bear witness to the devastating and phenomenal effects a storm has on the farm country in the American Midwest. What do animals do? How do people react? What kind of damage happens? Study these pages and find out.


I also finished the novel Twerp by Mark Goldblatt Narrated with such vulnerability. Gets to your gut – where we all must check in with what is right and what is wrong. A story of friendship, of choices and of dealing with the consequences. Starts slow and then doesn’t let you go. Told through the journal of sixth grader Julian Twerski, this story is much more than the details of the event that prompted the “journal writing” consequence. Allows us to ask those hard questions: What is a bully? What do we do for friends? How do we take responsibility for our choices. So well written.


Currently reading? The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. A rare adult readI also have a number of professional reads on the go -including Catching Readers Before they Fall which I am loving. My book piles are everywhere I look and I am very excited about the reading that might happen over this week!

Happy reading everyone!

20 thoughts on “Monday July 1st, 2013

  1. So many interesting books here. If you enjoyed Peekaboo! you should check out Sebastian Braun’s Look At Me! I’m a (Robot/Clown/Alien/Monster) series.

  2. Welcome to Summer Vacation! Twerp has been talked about/reviewed by various members of my book committee, and there are such vastly different opinions on it! Reading your review makes me very curious…Would you say it is accesible/appropriate for grades below 8th grade?

  3. I was wandering in the board book section of a book store for the first time in YEARS and was astonished at how many new ones by Sandra Boynton were out. My children had those books glued to their hands– we can still recite them! Funny what children prefer.

    • Thank you for the link. I will check it out. I missed board books after my children were passed that stage. But I am finding them to be so effective with my primary students to share with our K buddies. We have many other picture books as well but these books hold a certain appeal: they are playful, they are durable and they meet the short attention span requirement. It’s amazing what keeps being published in board book form.

  4. I’ve had my eye on Redwoods, so that’s great to know you give it a ringing endorsement! Are you reading a chapter book with your kids now? The girls are enjoying One Crazy Summer . . .

      • I’ll have to read up on Torn Away . . . you’ll enjoy The Fire Chronicles. It’s very much Michael’s story this go around IMO, but still full of all the things you loved about the first one!

  5. Carrie, it takes a long time to read your post because I’m constantly putting the books on a wish list. I think the board books are a wonder, have many here for my grand girls, but love your idea of buddy books too. We have a continuing buddy program at school and the teachers will love hearing about what you do. I enjoyed hearing about Thunderstorm and Redwoods, which look very good & I love picture books about nature. A Boy and His Bunny, and the others, too look like something I’ll need to check on. Finally, I saw Lester Laminack speak at the All-Write Conference and ordered his book Bullying Hurts, am excited to read it. He spoke so well about this issue. Thanks for more about Twerp, and all, of course!

    • Linda – thanks for such a detailed comment. I am pretty happy to be finding new ways to incorporate board books into my classroom. There is much about language experience that is very important when interacting with a board book. Many of our students never grew up with many books in the home so they don’t have any association of board books being for “babies” – they just embrace the fun and success that they have in sharing these with multiage buddies. They are also a fantastic way to build experiences “telling a story” when students choose to tell a story through picture walks vs reading the text. Again – I am happy with all of the oral language that happens! There is no right way with a book. It must have been fantastic to see Lester Laminack and hear him speak. I have heard of this book. So important to have the range of picture books at our fingertips – picture, MG and YA to help kids think about and talk about these issues.

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