Monday December 2nd, 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.

I read many picture books this week – many aloud to my own children, all to make up for not getting to read as much as I wanted to last week while writing report cards.

I selected my ten favourites to feature here:

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

Just perfectly delightful. A book about a problem that needs solving and having wonderfully, persistently, kind intentions. Sweet. Honest. So engaging. And did I mention wordless. . . ?

Hank finds an Egg #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

No Bears written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Leila Rudge

A wonderful book for inspiring story writing. Meet Ella, a little girl who loves a creative story but doesn’t love bears. She thinks there are far too many of them in stories today. So Ella is creating a story that will have absolutely no bears. Not a one! But is seems her story is getting a little assistance from a furry creature on the sidelines . . .

No Bears #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Dirty Cowboy written by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Adam Rex

“Wow Mom, that illustrator did a really good job keeping all the privates private!” remarked my son after we read this book. My daughter said, “Disgusting!” a lot. What an amusing story of a very dirty (filthy, with his fair share of critters crawling just about everywhere) cowboy who decided to take a bath in the river. What happens when his loyal dog doesn’t recognize his clean scent? VERY amusing.

The dirty cowboy #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Busing Brewster written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by R.G. Roth

A picture book with many important themes: having a dream, the power of libraries to be transformative and what it was like to be black at an all white school. Set in the 1970s when integration was being “helped” along by forced busing – bringing black students into white schools, this story gives children a glimpse into the racial tensions of the time and the complexities of integration.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

Love the desert setting of this classic tale brought to new life by the brilliant Pinkney with an almost wordless title. I particularly enjoyed the last gestures of the hare – an interesting and surprising twist with an equally important message about competition.

The tortoise and the hare #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong

I read this title to my children and they were absolutely fascinated by the population data conveyed through the concept in this book – imagine that the world’s population was contained in a village of 100 (each person represents millions). Facts that shocked them: how many people had some kind of faith or another, predicted population growth and the blatant inequity amongst people. Only 24 people in this representative village of 100 have enough to eat? Heart breaking message about our world.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mud written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Lauren Stringer

Oh the messy, gloopy, squishy joys of mud – this title captures it all through lyrical language and richly coloured illustrations. Perfect to practice visualizing.

Mud #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Full, Full, Full of Love written by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Paul Howard

Loved the celebration of food, family and affection as Sunday dinner with his family is seen through Jay Jay’s eyes. Language ideal for preschool, early primary children. Happy, happy book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Lost my Bear by Jules Feiffer

A humorous ode to the child who likes to collect. A bear is lost and it seems like all is lost as we follow this little one on a melodramatic, anxious search.

iIost my bear #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex

Poor Billy Twitters, his parents threaten him with a blue whale if he doesn’t do his chores and keep his room clean. Of course, this is just a ridiculous threat, isn’t it? Well . . . no. And so Billy Twitters must now be in charge of a blue whale (have you noticed just how truly big they are??) and take it everywhere he goes. Eventually Billy Twitters discovers this “consequence” has an upside. Absurd and delightful, and it just so happens, the first picture book written by Mac Barnett.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I am terrible about being ahead of the game for the holidays in terms of shopping, baking, decorating, etc but we do own a beautiful collection of holiday books. I set out 24 to read next to the Advent calendars – one for each night (and there are plenty more on the shelf for when the evening calls for a few!) The one thing in the holidays I do do well – celebrate holiday stories! Tonight’s read was a new one for me

Winter’s Gift by Jane Monroe Donovan

A beautiful story of hope and all that is important in the holiday season as an old man faces his first Christmas alone.

 Winter's Gift #IMWAYR

I also finished The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Magical. Lyrical. Beautiful. Mysterious. What a vulnerable, strange (in the best of ways) and hopeful of stories. On one level, this story is a fantastical tale of magic, mystery and monsters. On another, it is all about the most human element in all of us – wanting to be safe and belong. All along, I felt the story was beautiful. But by the end, I was in awe.

The Real Boy #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? A.S. King‘s Reality Boy. And plans for many more holiday stories . . .

Happy Reading everyone!

22 thoughts on “Monday December 2nd, 2013

  1. I really enjoyed your book list. Jerry Pinkney’s The Tortoise and The Hare is my top must read right now but The Dirty Cowboy is going on my must buy list for Texas Public Schools Week. It sounds like it might make a great read aloud.

    • The Dirty Cowboy is fantastic – I have seen banned book buzz about it because the cowboy is basically naked throughout – however it is so well done and all the “private” bits are always cleverly covered. My daughter is still marvelling about an “annual” bath!

  2. I thought The Tortoise and the Hare was gorgeous and Hank Finds an Egg adorable. I’m reading The Real Boy aloud right now. Such a great book! I’ve heard a lot about The Dirty Cowboy, but haven’t read it. I need to! Every year I give my daughters a Christmas picture book and a pair of pjs on Christmas Eve. Winter’s Gift was one of them one year!

    • The Dirty Cowboy is quite hilarious and very clever – and the first book for both of these “book makers” 🙂 Winter’s Gift was a powerful read aloud for my family. We have the same tradition! New PJs and a holiday hard cover title.

  3. Hi Carrie, I can always count on you for an amazing list of books! I LOVED Hank Finds and Egg. Even my 4th graders loved it. I am really interested in Winter’s Gift and If the World Were a Village. Thanks so much for sharing these titles.

  4. I am so intrigued by Hank Finds an Egg! Such a weird-looking picture! I have been hoping one of my libraries would order it, but so far no, which means I will no doubt break down and buy it myself. Glad you finished your grading reports and can get back to what you love. I’ve got a heavy week of grading coming up in the next couple of weeks… not looking forward to it! I always have such good intentions to write comments all over papers and projects and give substantive feedback, but at the end of the semester, it doesn’t usually happen. My kids would lose their minds over The Dirty Cowboy–there is nothing they find funnier than that kind of story, so I’ve got to get that one for sure. I started reading Billy Miller to my younger son last night and he is LOVING it, so I’m glad I am trying again with a different kid! Have a wonderful week!

    • Funny isn’t it – how different read alouds appeal to different listeners? Yes, The Dirty Cowboy is an amusing read! 🙂 I had wanted to find Hank Finds an Egg as well and then saw it at my public library and grabbed it! Very sweet little book. Good luck with your marking. Sigh. I get very grumpy with all of this work – always, would rather be reading!

  5. Great list of books! Hank Finds an Egg is one of my coworker’s favorite picture book of the year. It’s adorable! MY favorite picture book of 2013 is another you mentioned, Pinkney’s The Tortoise and the Hare. I thought it was practically perfect! And I especially love the last illustration, as you mentioned.

  6. I’ve got to find a copy of The Dirty Cowboy! It looks hilarious 🙂 I’ve got The Real Boy kicking around at home, and now you’ve really inspired me to move that to my reading pile. Thanks for the great book list! I just shared your book blog at a Children’s Lit / Adolescent Lit class at a local college. I said you are a must for following-especially for all your wonderful picture book reviews!

  7. Love the idea of No Bears, Carrie, and will certainly look for the Pinckney book-it looks beautiful! I loved The Real Boy, too, & loved the ‘surprise’ in it-didn’t see it coming! Hope I can get to Reality Boy sometime soon! I have a big Christmas book selection too-enjoy!

  8. Hello my friend! Long time no blog! I’m now working on re-writes, re-visions and re-working my book so not much time left over for blogging at the moment. Love your list this week! The Dirty Cowboy looks hilarious! here is my “KNEW-NEW” for you!: Knew – Mud (great for visualizing) Billy and the Blue Whale and No Bears. New: Dirty Cowboys, Hank and Winter’s Gift. I also read and LOVED Real Boy! If the World Were a Village – very powerful! If often pair it with One Well by Rochelle Straus. Both promote rich discussions and deep thinking!

    • Adrienne! I miss you! I love that you shared a Knew/New (I’ve been using this so often with my kids BTW) as your comment. PLEASE find The Dirty Cowboy – you will absolutely laugh!

  9. Hi Carrie, I added two titles here to my multicultural children’s book course module text-set: Busing Brewster and If the World Were a Village – the latter we already have in our library, the former I have to ask our librarian to purchase. Great to see all these lovely books here. Particularly the one by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex! That one I have to find. I’m intrigued by The Real Boy – I should get my hands on that one soonest. 🙂

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