Monday October 7th, 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 crowd always has so many fantastic titles to share.


The picture books I enjoyed this week:

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner

Nearly wordless and wonderfully odd and quirky. Mr. Wuffles is a cat who doesn’t move unless it’s for a very good reason and he certainly doesn’t move to chase after silly toys his owner buys him. So what is it about the teeny spaceship that has Mr. Wuffles racing all over the house? You must experience this title to truly understand what is happening. At the end of the week I told my students that I would be sharing a book with them this week that is part wordless, part English and part in a language I don’t understand. They are totally intrigued. Can’t wait to see what they make of this book!

 Mr. Wuffles #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Island by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman

Another wordless title where the narrative isn’t necessarily even close to obvious. I suppose if this really bothers you, this book will be somewhat irritating. I love the illustrations and the suggestion of many story lines. My children and I shared this title over breakfast. Each of us was sort of sure we knew what was going on – all of us telling stories that went in quite different directions. Quite fun actually.

The Island #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Paper Dolls written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Although this story is definitely for a younger audience (preschool to K/1 would be ideal) I found it absolutely lovely. A beautiful story celebrating mother daughter time, imagination and playtime adventure. A little girl and her five paper dolls – the names repeat in a poem (loved “Jimmy with two noses”) have many wonderful adventures. There is a moment of cruelty handled without much attention – it isn’t explored but rather gives the story another aspect – that when something is lost or destroyed it is not gone but enters the special world of memories. Would love to gift this to a family with young children. Can see it being a favourite. And of course it has Donaldson’s rhythm and flow.

The Paper Dolls #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

I Dare You Not to Yawn written by Helene Boudreau and illustrated by Serge Bloch

A cautionary tale about how to avoid yawns that will inevitably lead to being put to bed. And oh are there some cozy, soothing temptations. Yikes, just typing this and visualizing those pages, I yawned! Me: zero. Book: one.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry written by Samantha Berger  and illustrated by Bruce Whatley 

Sorry is such an interesting phenomenon. So often children are forced to say sorry and it has no meaning at all. Martha does not voice these words willingly. It is clearly a power thing. It’s not that she isn’t nice, she just won’t admit she’s wrong. When she does finally utter them, it really does feel meaningful. Well handled in a sweet little family story.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Unicorn Thinks he’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

I love that so many important themes are handled in a story that is full of silly, whimsy and all out bling. Themes such as jealousy, friendship, diversity, and accepting someone new. Read this book to laughter and smiles and then settle in for an interesting discussion about a whole lot of stuff. Most importantly of course: How do we get it to rain cupcakes?

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Give Up, Gecko! A Folktale from Uganda retold by Margaret Read MacDonald illustrated by Deborah Melmon

A fun little story highlighting the importance of persistence and the big meanings of what is fair. Silly, fun language and a lovely story all wrapped up in one.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This week I also blogged about some great nonfiction titles I read recently –  perfect for preschool listeners right up to late primary.

In other reading, I finished Jinx by Sage Blackwood

I am so happy that I really liked this book. I really really wanted to like this book. I loved the cover, the author’s name and the promise of a storyline about wizards, witches, various kinds of magic, curses, secrets, adventure, mystery and listening trees. It might have gone the direction of not pulling it off because it seemed to promise so much. But no, it all comes together and I found myself wishing for more free time to just stay lost in this story. An excellent middle grade fantasy/adventure/mystery. Would be great for fans of The False Prince!

 Jinx #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

People seem to either love this title or they are kind of middle of the road on it. I am in the first camp. I finished it early this morning over my first cup of coffee and found myself crying twice in the last section. A really intimate little book that introduces us to Billy Miller, his family, his worries and his triumphs. A seven year old hero of the everyday. Love him. Love him. Love him.

 The Year of Billy Miller #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Next up?

The Boy on the Wooden Box A Memoir by Leon Leyson

Happy reading to everyone!

21 thoughts on “Monday October 7th, 2013

  1. Looks like another David Wiesner hit. I so love his wordless picture books – subtle, brilliant, multi-layered. This one promises to be a riveting “read” as always. I also like all the other titles that you shared, the one by Julia Donaldson also caught my eye and “I dare you not to yawn” – looks hilarious. I haven’t read any of Henkes’ novels as yet, but I have a feeling I’d enjoy them. Thank you for all your recommendations here, Carrie.

    • Thanks for stopping by Myra I tarted Mr Wuffles with the kids today and didn’t finish it. They were begging to continue! I love Julia Donaldson. She just keeps surprising me.

  2. I need to read Mr. Wuffles! Jinx is being passed around my Mock Newbery Club – I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet! 🙂 Great books this week!

  3. Yes, I agree very nice list of titles shared. Mr. Waffles is very clever with all its alien language to sort out. I like it. I am looking forward to reading The Year of Billy Miller. I enjoyed the recent SLJ webcast with Kevin Henkes. He is a many layered man putting so much thought into every tiny detail of his books. I suppose that’s why they are so lovely.

  4. Jinx and Billy Miller-oh I wish I could just sit and read and read, Carrie! I put several others on my list from your picture books, especially interested in the Unicorn one-it does sound interesting! Thank you for the time taken to share these with us!

  5. Seriously, I know you’re probably getting tired of me telling you how much I look forward to reading your It’s Monday posts because I always find new picture book titles, but seriously. I love reading your It’s Monday posts because I always find new picture book titles. 🙂

    And I totally yawned when I saw the title of I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN. In fact, I’m yawning right now.

    I am highly intrigued by THE ISLAND. Definitely going to check that one out!

    • Not getting tired of it at all! I appreciate this a lot! Absolutely makes me smile. Oh no, I am thinking of the yawn book again and yawning. It really is strangely contagious!

  6. I spent my week reading old Caldecotts from the 50s and 60s, so all the shiny colorful books on your list look soooo pretty! I love the baleful cat glare that Wiesner captures on that cover. Can’t wait to read that one! Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great is one of my favorites of the year. Love your write-up because you just nail what’s so special about this book–that combination of serious and thoughtful subject matter with whimsy and silliness. So far, I am still in the meh group with The Year of Billy Miller. I normally love Kevin Henkes, so I’m not sure what it is about this one that’s giving me trouble. I haven’t picked it up and read more in the last week either, so I need to get back to it. As always, love your list! So many new titles to add to my to-read list now!

    • There are some old Caldecott titles that I love – but right you are – so much is amazing nowadays! I wonder if I had read Billy Miller in spurts if I would have loved it as much. I think it was that I read it all at once and just to myself. Although I do plan to do it as a read aloud. Hope you start to enjoy it more. I do quite love it. Happy reading this week!

  7. I’m anxiously awaiting the Mr. Wuffles title to come in at the library. And I’m totally intrigued by your description for The Island. Billy Miller is in my library bag, so I’m hoping to get to it soon. The mixed reviews for it have me curious to my own response!

      • So will you believe that I accidently tossed Billy Miller into the return bin at the library today with some other books I was returning? Blargh! Back in to the hold line I go, but I’m guessing it won’t be too long! In the mean time, I’ve got a stack a books to keep me busy!

  8. I saw David Weisner speak this summer, and he talked thru the process of creating Mr. Wuffles. It was quite a long road, but the end result is such fun. I LOVED Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great. That slightly sarcastic humor is right up my alley. I laughed out loud (several times) with that one.

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