Monday December 23rd, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?IMWAYR

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. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

A favourite comment I received last week was from Elisabeth Ellington who after reading that I had had a week full of 2/5 and 3/5 books, wrote:

Enjoy your week! Hope it’s filled with 5/5 books!

Such a lovely wish and I am happy to report that it certainly was a week full of wonderful books! And so, please pardon the large number I will be sharing here – I narrowed it to my ten favourite picture books of the week!

I had a lot of book celebration this week. Earlier in the week I met my Chapter Book Challenge goal and finished my 95th novel of the year! (Now I am going to try to reach 100 by the 31st! Thankful for the #bookaday challenge!) And this morning I completed my Goodreads goal of 625 books read this year! Now I have just one more reading challenge – to read the last 2 titles on my list of My Must Read Novels of 2013. These two titles are on my shelf as I type ready to be devoured by December 31st! Much to celebrate 🙂

I feel grateful for the wonderful #IMWAYR community that makes celebrating reading such a priority. Such a honour to be part of this passionate community of readers.

So . . . back to the books! My top ten picture books of the week:

These first 6 titles are all about finding joy, honouring acceptance and celebrating calm. It is an understatement when I say the last few weeks in my classroom have been challenging. These books all found me at just the right time.

Red Sled by Lita Judge

A little red sled brings an evening of adventure for some adorable forest creatures. Basically wordless except for the delicious sound effects

Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch

Gadung Gadung Gadung Gadung


My children and I Ioved the illustration of the porcupine clutching on to the antlers. Delightful!

Red Sled #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Homer by Elisha Cooper

I don’t have a dog. But this book is not just a dog lover’s book. It is also a book about family. About spending happy time. About waiting for everyone to return and about knowing someone is waiting. Love, love, love Cooper’s soothing illustrations.

Homer #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes

A funny little bird who learns to appreciate his “invisibility” as an asset rather than a deficit. Unique. Definite book I want to share with a group of children to see what is discussed.

 A funny little bird #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Augustus and his Smile by Catherine Rayner

Stunning bold black lines on the gorgeous Augustus. This tiger discovers in his smile, the simple hidden happiness we carry with us always as long as we let it in. An important message about how we all navigate the world.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

All in a Day written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Nikki McClure

Truly a book that highlights the importance of being mindful – of understanding that each day is a gift of multiple small and meaningful moments. Would be wonderful to share with All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee.

 All in a Day #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Whimsy’s Heavy Things by Julie Kraulis

A quirky little title I have never heard of – a true find at my public library. Some fairly hefty themes here of facing what weighs us down, of rethinking obstacles and finding ways to cope with what is heavy in our lives. Much to ponder. I am still thinking about how I might share this with a class.

whimsy's heavy things #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Other titles I loved:

Toot & Puddle – Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie

I am always a sucker for Toot and Puddle. The comforts and coziness of home are always depicted in the most soothing of ways by Hobbie. Thinking about Christmas gifts. Quiet time. A beautiful winter ski through freshly fallen snow. A beautiful holiday book!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Spuds written by Karen Hesse and illustrated by Wendy Watson

A serious title in many ways. A family who has little has each other and big plans. Maybelle leads her two younger siblings into the night and into Kenney’s potato field. The children dig up potatoes and drag them home. When they arrive and stack their loot on the kitchen floor, they have quite a surprise.

Spuds #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Sophie’s Fish written by A.E. Cannon and illustrated by Lee White

This is a hilarious story that grows more and more funny and finishes with a bang. Jake has huge worries about looking after Sophie’s fish Yo-Yo. Why, oh why, did he agree to take care of him in the first place? Do fish need stories read aloud? Do you need to play games with them? What if they cry? My, oh, my the things to wonder about. The last page of this book makes it absolutely awesome! Such fun.

Sophie's fish #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Long, Long Line by Tomoko Ohmura

What a wonderful book for the younger set – a great way to learn animal names. Amusing. Interesting. Lots to look at on every page. What is this line up for? An amusement ride you certainly were not expecting! And one younger readers will want to visit again and again!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Novels I finished:

The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

I finished this sequel to The Emerald Atlas with my children as a read aloud. Hugely suspenseful. Full of adventure, mystery, intense drama and intrigue. The perfect family read aloud. We are eagerly anticipating the third book in this trilogy which now finally has a release date!

The Fire Chronicle #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Crossed by Ally Condie

I don’t often get to read a trilogy one title after another but that is exactly what I am doing with this set of YA dystopian titles by Ally Condie. And it’s kind of great! Matched hooked me with the characters and philosophical questions. Crossed is full of much more adventure, drama and survival – a perfect set up for the third novel which I am just about to start. 

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

What’s next? My children and I are reading Rump by Liesl Shurtliff  I have launched into the final book in the Matched trilogy, Reached by Ally Condie. I then plan to read the last two titles on my Must Read for 2013 list: The Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom by Christopher Healy and The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Happy reading and Happy holidays to all!

24 thoughts on “Monday December 23rd, 2013

    • My son loves Healy’s books so I want to read this title and see why he spent so much of the book laughing! It’s fun to make a must read list – otherwise my TBR list becomes too overwhelming!

  1. These picture books look fabulous! Augustus and His Smile looks particularly intriguing. Your suggestion on All in a Day was spot on as well and I appreciate knowing about “new to me” books by Lita Judge and Elisha Cooper. Thanks!

  2. Hi Carrie, Congratulations on meeting your reading challenges. What an amazing reading year you have had! Thanks for sharing all of your books. I look forward to reading more about your reading adventures in the new year. Happy Holidays!

  3. Loved keeping up with your reading this year, fantastic! Just loved that book Spuds, enjoyed reading it aloud with classes, perfect historical fiction example for them… Thanks for the reminder to get back to Crossed! 🙂

  4. I’m only four books away from having 100 chapter books read so I know the desire to meet that goal by the 31st! 🙂

    Such great picture books this week. I loved Homer, Augustus and His Smile, and Red Sled. Have you read Red Hat yet?

  5. Couldn’t miss your post, Carrie, although I’m taking a break this week. Loved Spuds and All In A Day, noted others as usual. Congratulations on your fabulous reading year. You inspire me, plus add to my book budget for sure (really a good thing!). Merriest of Christmases to you and your family!

  6. You have done some amazing quantities of reading this year! I am so grateful to benefit from all of your wonderful recommendations! So many of the books you share are new to me, and I love that so much! I’m trying to cram in some more 2013s before January ends! Not much time left! Hope you are enjoying some peace now that you are on vacation!!

    • Not completely enjoying but definitely recognizing the peace. Unfortunately, the cold I thought bypassed me has now hit (my husband has been ill for weeks!) so I am feeling not so great. Still – enjoying the quiet and the peace of the holidays. And the extra time to read! Happy reading! And again, big congratulations on your very exciting news!

  7. I was able to find a few of these titles at the library today so thanks for the recommendations! I am so glad you found many 5/5 books this week! I really love Elisha Cooper’s Farm and have been wanting to read Homer. I am listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone on audio right now–for the second time. I wanted to reread before moving on to book 2 of the trilogy. Daughter is really a good book, I think–such rich world building and use of language. It’s a wonderful book to sink into–especially when you don’t have to get up early the next morning and can read late into the night! Congrats on exceeding your reading goals! I realized a few weeks ago that I haven’t been putting the titles I’ve finished into Good reads, so at some point I’m going to have to catch up. I love the idea behind your Must Reads list–I’d like to try something similar for myself next year. Have a wonderful holiday!

    • I am really excited to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I have spent a lot of time in Prague as I taught in Slovakia when the country was still Czechoslovakia! Many years ago! It is rewarding and helpful to make a must read list. Keeps the TBR list from becoming too out of control! And it ensures that you don’t forget certain titles/series that you are determined to read. I plan on making a 2014 list as well. Already stacking a pile on my bookshelves. Think I might need to expand it to 30 titles from 20 though as that stack is getting very tall! Best wishes for your holiday season!

    • So, so true. So many books! And aren’t we lucky that we can fill the limited time we have with such amazing selections! Take care of yourself this holiday – rest, and relax and grow that baby!

  8. Congrats on meeting your reading challenges! Thank you for the picture book recommendations. Lots of these were new to me! Your review of All In A Day is spot-on.

  9. Merry Christmas dearest Carrie! So many wonderful books here yet again. Now I feel embarrased by the 200+ books I read this year, it’s not even half of what you’ve read! Such an amazing reader and such an inspiration! 🙂 I know what you mean about getting lost in a book, I hope to at least recapture that feeling in the next two weeks, amidst the bustle of the Holiday season. Hope you have a beautiful Christmas with family! 🙂

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