Monday, November 18th, 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 novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read! This is always my favourite way to discover what to read next.

The picture books I enjoyed this week:

999 Tadpoles written by Ken Kimura and illustrated by Yasunari Murakami

My, oh my, a lot can certainly happen on route from one pond to another. The illustrations in this book are highly engaging – it’s a lot of fun to imagine what 999 growing tadpoles might look like. The story is not that complex but it is an amusing book to let students explore. What happens when one pond becomes too small and very cautious Parent Frogs need to move their quite humongous family to a bigger water hole?

999 Tadpoles #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague

My students were delighted by this very charming version of the classic Three Little Pigs story. Student reviews are shared here. We particularly loved the clever third pig and how she handles both the wolf and her not so focussed siblings.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Oscar’s Half Birthday by Bob Graham

There isn’t a huge amount of story here, no action filled plot. Rather there is a whole lot of moment. Family. Time together. Celebration. A Park. A picnic. Lots of community. And . . . love the multiethnic parents depicted! Takes me back to the slower pace of having little ones still in babyhood.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dream Friends by You Byun 

I had to read this title twice as the first time I was just entranced by the illustrations. A sweet little story about dream friends and the challenges for shy children to connect with others. Would love to read this with a young class and see the reaction.

Dream Friends #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Picture books I LOVED:

Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco

So first, I adore John Rocco. Second, a few pages in is an illustration of our big haired hero and his equally hair blessed friends marching across the page as “unstoppable!” Wow. And then the “station wagon capture” scene. Maybe this took me back to my own childhood full of those boat like station wagons, bell bottoms and big hair . . . Yes, this book definitely had the nostalgia advantage. But, I also loved the story of a little guy who equated his hair with superpowers and sees the world as a series of adventures and rescues where heroes fare best. Truly sweet. Big points for the illustrations. Would love to see another Caldecott next to Rocco’s name for this!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers

This title gets full points for its highly appealing “revision” to make a book absolutely kid appreciated. Mind you, not just kid, as my husband read it and instantly wanted to buy a copy for his father for Christmas! It is the creative license that this book celebrates – the humour, the scribbles, the reinventing of a character . . . that I love. Also worth noting – I showed the book trailer to my class and they ask me about 15 times a day if I have bought the book yet! (Can’t wait to book talk this tomorrow and let this book loose into the hands of my classroom full of readers who will energetically devour it!) I think this book delivers the message that we can all be writers and imagine characters that we can bring to life. SO MUCH FUN.

BattleBunny #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I have also been reading through some new purchases for my “almost ready for chapter book” set.

Mr. Putter and Tabby See the Stars by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

I remember reading many Mr. Putter titles when my children were younger and have a real soft spot for all of these characters! This book gives Mr. Putter’s tummy a starring role. Oh what midnight walks do for the digestion!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

I giggled through this entire story of Mr. Putter in his long socks and baggy shorts doing his training for a Senior’s Run. Very funny.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa Spring Babies by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Betsy Lewin

One of my little readers so loved the first Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa title. She read it to me. She read it to the principal. She keeps it in her book box as a kind of treasure. These early readers are a perfect stepping stone to longer chapter books. This title is particularly wonderful to let children explore the miracle of babies on a farm.

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished and loved Living with Jackie Chan by the brilliant Jo Knowles

Knowles just has vulnerability and raw emotion down. I was one of those readers of Jumping Off Swings that wanted to know more about Josh. This novel certainly delivered. A beautiful story of family, of healing, of facing mistakes and figuring it all out (sort of). Loved all of the characters in this story. Now my only problem is that I’ve read every book Knowles has written. Looking forward to anything else she might do!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I just started reading If you Find Me, a YA novel by Emily Murdoch and can’t put it down.

26 thoughts on “Monday, November 18th, 2013

    • My husband had the wildest hair when we got married – I have to get him to read this title! I just think it is so much fun! And I LOVE the illustrations. Battle Bunny is to me another of Barnett’s brilliant merging of reader/writer/character so you can’t tell who is who anymore – like Chloe and the Lion.

      • I agree Mac Barnett is a genius. And it helps that he’s adorable too. I met him at ALA in June and he has the best laugh of any person I’ve ever heard in the entire world. And he is just so darn joyful. I can’t imagine him ever being in a bad mood. I might have a little crush on him. 😉

  1. Good books here, again, Carrie. Would love to get my hands on Battle Bunny-still haven’t seen it! And I need to read the Jo Knowles books too. Hoping to meet her at NCTE this week! I’ll head over to see what your students thought about that new Three Little Pigs! And, love Mr. Putter & Tabby books-so cute!

    • Lucky you going to NCTE! Have a fantastic time! And wow, would be fantastic to meet Jo Knowles. I am such a fan. Thanks for commenting on our book reviews! You are so good to my class.

  2. I’ve got Battle Bunny in my Amazon cart right now. Planning to use it in my Children’s Lit class next semester along with the printable pages I’ve found online of the “original” Bunny story–and invite students to write their own Battle Bunny story over the original. Should be a fun assignment. Also, my kids love Chloe and the Lion, so I am sure they will be excited about this one too. I love Mr Putter and Tabby so much. Cynthia Rylant is one of my absolute favorite authors. There are so many tremendously fine sentences in those books. I love reading them aloud. Thanks for sharing. As always, my TBR list has grown after reading your post!

    • I just printed those very pages this a.m. in anticipation of sharing this title with my students! Would be such a fun assignment. I agree – Rylant is incredible. And I find her Mr. Putter stories just so soothing and lovely.

  3. Cynthia Rylant is so brilliant. I love just about everything I’ve picked up from her. Such depth and range for the wide audiences that her books reach. Glad you enjoyed Battle Bunny and Super Hair-o. Both silly good fun, and I agree such creativity from Scieczka and Barnett!

    • I do love big issue books and books that make me cry and reflect but sometimes, I just totally appreciate the silly and wonderful like these titles you mentioned above! Laughing is underrated!

  4. Wonderful selections this week, Carrie, as always. I know what you mean about John Rocco – love his books too. This one is new to me, so I’d have to find it in our libraries. Jon Scieszka is the reason why I fell in love with children’s literature. I can still distinctly remember reading The Stinky Cheese Man – there was no looking back since. Battle Bunny I just know I would absolutely love. I so enjoyed Mac Barnett’s Chloe and the Lion, I can see traces of that playfulness in Battle Bunny. Will also check out Mark Teague’s version of Three Little Pigs – I enjoyed his La Rue series. 🙂

    • Hi Myra – I think you will adore this new John Rocco title – the illustrations are incredible. Playfulness is exactly what I love about these titles by Barnett! He just can’t fail to make us smile.

  5. Hi Carrie, You have me sold on Super Hair-o, definitely going to order it from my library. I read Battle Bunny last night and totally agree with you. My 4th graders will love it! I got it through inter-library loan and my library thought that some one had actually written on the cover 🙂

  6. You’ve got some good ones up here – Battle Bunny was hilarious and Dream Friends very sweet. I need to get Super Hair-O! 😉 I also need to read both Jumping Off Swings and Living with Jackie Chan! Thanks for your reviews this week!

  7. I love to read your blog Carrie. I get great ideas for new books for the library. Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite writers as well as being a local writer and author. I love her work. I can’t wait to get this Mark Teague title. I just got Battle Bunny – what a hilarious romp!

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