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! Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read!
I read many picture books this week. Unfortunately, many were just okay. Yet, many were wonderful. These picture books stood out:
Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon
Just. Delightful. And then some!!! Oh, do I love this book! I love the quirky teacher – her style, her passion, her celebration of just about everything! I love Ralph’s avoidance strategies. I love Daisy’s ability to see a story in everything. I love that Ralph spends lots of time lying under his desk. And I love the story of the inchworm. Inspiring for little writers? Oh yeah! But also just such a warm representation of a primary classroom. Swoon.
The Crocodile who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino
The illustrations in this story are absolutely charming. Meet a little crocodile that abhors water. He watches his siblings from afar and finally gets enough courage to dive in himself. Cured of his water phobia? Hardly. And it turns out there is a very good reason why not . .
Little Red Writing written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
I have seen much #booklove for this title so I will get this out in the open quickly: I, personally, did not love this book. I love Melissa Sweet’s illustrations as I always do. I find the storyline clever and full of possibilities for writing workshop activities. But . . . I worry that this title doesn’t have enough stand alone enjoyment factor as a picture book. Did I read it and feel transported? No. Did it make me laugh? No. Did it evoke emotions? No. Was it just a great story? Not sure. I’m reserving final judgement until I try it out on kids. There was enough to like that I am including it as a title I enjoyed but . . . jury is still out.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late by Mo Willems
Not sure how I had yet to read this Pigeon title. Read part of it with a student in a reading conference this week and then nabbed it from her book box when recess started. As always, I am delighted by Willems’ ability to engage the reader to participate so actively in his stories. My students adore the Pigeon!
Toads on Toast written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Colin Jack
I liked how Mamma Toad schemed to save her little toadlets from Fox and his cookbook full of toad recipes! In the end, we learn that a truly simple and delicious meal can truly save the day (and the toads)! Lots of humour and delightful illustrations.
Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier
Some confusion. A worried bear. A clever bee. A made-to-be-friendship. Sweet and simple. Perfect for story time.
I also read two wonderful nonfiction picture books:
What does it Mean to be Present? by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
We practice mindfulness in our classroom (read more about the Mind Up curriculum here) so I am very excited to share this title with my students. It highlights with various daily examples what it really means to be present in the moment.
An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers by Natasha Wing with art by Julia Breckenreid
I continue to be impressed with the variety of picture book biographies available to share in the classroom. This title had me stopping numerous times to carefully examine the images in the book. I learned many things about colour and can see this being a wonderful title to share with children of all ages.
Novels I read:
The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
A quiet, introspective story about a 12 year old girl, her brother and her grandparents during a wheat harvesting season. Family dynamics are beyond believable and ring with all that is true about relationships that span generations and cultures. And wow did I learn a lot about the seasonal work of harvesters! True, the plot is not fast paced but can see this being a story that speaks to the inner voices of many preteens. A lovely book.
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
I have had a terrible cold all weekend and found this to be the perfect title to read while sick in bed. Certainly suspenseful but calm enough to put down when extra rest was needed. Still, I raced thorough this book in a day and enjoyed learning so much about being blind from the main character. Even though this is a YA title, I can see mature MG readers finding the text and story line easy to navigate and not too upsetting.
Next up from my very large TBR pile? Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord Very excited to begin this title! I also have a number of picture books and nonfiction titles I want to test out on my own children this week. I am finishing my first chapter book read aloud with my class (Marty McGuire Digs Worms by Kate Messner) and think I’m going to read them The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O’Connor next.