Monday February 3rd, 2014

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

I celebrated many happy #booklovish things on my classroom blog this week. Read here for a few smiles (especially if you have read Rump by Liesl Shurtliff).

My favourite picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) reads of the week:

Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka

The sequel to A Ball for Daisy which won the Caldecott Medal. I know not everyone loves Raschka but I really do. And I think that this title is so special. It completely captures the feeling of suddenly realizing you are lost and the absolute joy of being found.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lucky Ducklings written by Eva Moore and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

This is based on a true event where a bunch of little ducklings did get lost down a storm drain and had to be rescued. Wonderful illustrations. Well written repetition. A perfect title for reread after reread.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Voyage written by Veronica Salinas and illustrated by Camilla Engman

A book that definitely needs more than one read. This one is philosophical and contemplative. How do we face what is new? How do we begin to belong? How are we understood? How do we manage the unknown? What makes us feel a part of things? How do we extend compassion and welcome to others? All of these questions are addressed as a little duck finds itself in a new place and moves through a range of emotions from confusion and fear to joy and calm. Would children navigate this book on their own? Not sure. I think it would be best in a read aloud/discussion situation.

The Voyage #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

My Elephant by Petr Horáček

Often for little ones, it seems everyone is too busy for play and fun. This is the case for the boy in this story. Grandma and Grandpa are often occupied but his elephant is never too busy! Elephant and boy get up to all kinds of imaginative antics.

My elephant #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister

Any book which inspires wonder and questions gets points in my world. Questions about the natural world and some stunning illustrations – like the one of the whale with this text:

Does a whale make up a song so other whales will sing along?

This would be a wonderful mentor text for children’s own natural wonderings . . .

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Under the Snow written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance R Bergum

It really is one of nature’s most interesting mysteries and magic – where does everything go in winter? How do animals survive? What do all of the creatures we see at other times of the year do all winter long? Children often know some things about hibernation – but what else might happen during the cold, cold winter? Which creatures really do sleep winter away? Informative and beautifully illustrated. Feel like you are peeking into winter hiding places of animals and creatures that seemed to disappear. Of course, this would be perfect to read with Kate Messner‘s Over and Under the Snow

Under the Snow #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jumping Penguins illustrated by Marije Tolman with text by Jesse Goossens

This is a gorgeous and engaging animal concept book – I featured it this week in my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday post. An amazing blend of facts, whimsy and wonder.

Jumping Penguins #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What if you had Animal Hair? written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Howard McWilliam

I bought this on a whim with a Scholastic order because I recognized Sandra Markle as an author of lots of nonfiction. I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried out a page with my own children and they insisted we read the whole book. And then we had to look through it all again and choose which animal hair we would most like to have. Lots of information about animal fur and hair – told in an engaging way and connected to our everyday life. For example, did you know that . . .

If you had three-toed sloth hair, you’d never be alone. Because of the algae, your hair would be home to many different kinds of harmless insects.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Frog and Friends: Frog Saves the Day written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Josee Masse

I continue to be impressed with this set of Frog and Friends titles. This one has two distinct stories inside featuring lots of adventures with the animals that live near frog. This title features a dramatic rescue and some serious confusion about what exactly a train might be. Lots of pictures, interesting dialogue and well told stories.

frog saves the day #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

 The Vengekeep Prophecies written by Brian Farrey

I read this aloud to my children and it was often difficult to put it down and enforce bedtime. Gripping, full of adventure, magic and the perfect blend of humour and fantasy to keep both of my eleven year old listeners (one boy, one girl) captivated. This is really well done fantasy. It is fresh with many unexpected twists and turns. We loved the main character – a mediocre (at best) thief from a long line of thieving tricksters, the Grimjinxes, Jaxter Grimjinx has heart and morals that one might not have expected. Lots of action. Many disasters. Ethical choices. And magical and fantastical creatures that surprise, amuse and astound. My children instantly asked if there is more of this Brian Farrey writing out there to feast their curious eyes upon. Both were thrilled to hear that there is a next title: The Shadowhand Covenant. If I was the prophecy kind . . . I would say for certain that there will be more time with these characters in our read aloud future.

Vengekeep Prophecies #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Living written by Matt de la Pena (One of my #MustReadin2014 titles)

While this is fast paced and full of action, I don’t recommend anyone bringing this along for a vacation read. I would not want to be in a boat, near a boat, near the ocean, on a beach or anywhere tropical and islandish when reading this book. In fact, I think if ever I might have taken a cruise, this book might have convinced me not to! I had to start there because this book has a lot of OMG scary disasters and survival. It also has mystery, deception and dystopian themes thrown in. And at this point, I can say no more without giving away important plot points. Well written YA fiction for certain!

The Living #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I am reading Marie Lu‘s The Champion to finish the trilogy. After this, I think I will read Far Far Away by Tom McNeal. I have started Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo with my children. So, so good! With my new Junior Book Club at school, I am reading Charlotte’s Web .

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 79/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 5/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 30/65 complete

Happy Reading to all!

32 thoughts on “Monday February 3rd, 2014

  1. I am hearing such raves for Matt de la Pena’s The Living. Since I am a fan of survival stories and do not have plans on any cruises or island vacations, it will probably be a safe read for me.j

  2. Oooooo – I want them all! Actually, I already own a few of them but you have shared some amazing titles this week! KNEW: Daisy Gets Lost, Under the Snow (would be a great companion to Over and Under the Snow) and Questions, Questions (Love this one!) NEW that I will be seeking out: Lucky Ducklings, The Voyage (looks AMAZING) and Jumping Penguins. Venegkeep Prophecies looks like a keeper too! Thank you for sharing! Have a great week. : )

    • Jumping Penguins is so so wonderful! I got mine at Kidsbooks in early January. Vengekeep Prophecies was a real treat to read aloud. All three of us were really into it. A fantasy title quite different than others. I do recommend it.

  3. How is it that ducks are so, so cute in drawings, but they can be mean when older! (childhood fears!). Both duck books look wonderful, as do some of the other, especially My Elephant! I’ve requested The Living from the library-a must read I think. I also love Under The Snow-very good NF. FYI-an old post came up from you on my feed. Did you mean to post the latest Curiosity Racers? Thanks Carrie & have a great week!

    • Hi Linda – I did just post a weekly That’s a Wrap post on Curiosity Racers (my classroom blog) I was also updating all of my January #IMWAYR posts because I realized I had dated all of them 2013 instead of 2014! Finally in February I have figured out that it is 2014! I love ducks generally – it is geese I worry about as adults! But you are right – they are very sweet in books. We raised ducklings in our classroom a few years ago – what fun!

  4. This was a dangerous week to read your posts, yikes to too many books to add to my order list, thank you! Good to know that I should avoid The Living for now… on boats and near water a bit much recently. 🙂 The Voyage looks like a great book to share with classes… Thanks as always! 🙂

  5. You have got some great books today! I want the book What If You Had Animal Hair. My kids just loved What If You Had Animal Teeth, so I know that they will love this one too. I’m really interested in finding a copy of Questions Questions. It would fit in perfectly with what I’m teaching my Kindergarten students. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes -Questions, Questions would be perfect for a group of Ks. I happened upon it at the public library. These Markle books are a lot of fun. I need to pick up the one about teeth too as I feel these will be very popular!

  6. Great list of books! I really like Sandra Markle. Jumping Penguins looks great, and I need to look for Under the Snow – I enjoyed Kate Messner’s book. I got The Living from the library and can’t wait to read it!

  7. Hmmm…cruise coming up, note not to take that book! I have Under the Snow and Over and Under the Snow out from the library right now! Think I’ll try with 1st graders. And I just bought the hair book from scholastic, looks great! Thanks for sharing the other titles. I’m starting flora and Ulysses this week! Have a great week 🙂

  8. Just checked The Voyage out from the library this week. We’ll try it tonight. Although we’ve been reading a lot of “weird” (my son’s word, not mine!) PBs this week, so perhaps The Voyage would put him off PBs entirely! We loved reading aloud Flora & Ulysses–I thought it really worked beautifully as a read-aloud. I will have to order What If You Had Animal Hair from Scholastic–looks like it would lead to plenty of curiosity and conversation. Saw Lucky Ducklings at library and passed–wish now I’d gotten it. But there’s always next time!

    • It might put him over the edge of too weird. It is definitely out there. I think with the right mood and time for discussion, it can be very powerful. but you do have to do some work as the reader/listener to bring meaning to the pages. Yes, we are adoring Flora & Ulysses as a read aloud! Just so much fun to read it out loud!

  9. The Voyage looks so interesting, one I’d love to share with my students. We don’t have it in libraries for loan yet…I just checked 😦 The animal hair book looks so funny! Wasn’t there one about having animal teeth too? It must have been done by the same people.
    Bah, I just checked for that one in our libraries too…not there yet. But I did request the teeth one 🙂

    • Isn’t it frustrating when you can’t locate books in the library system when you want them?! AHH!! I sometimes get very fed up and then I find a book that wasn’t expected and it kind of makes up for it! I would like to get the Animal Teeth title now too for my room.

  10. Hello there Carrie! What astounding progress with all the reading challenges! 650 in Goodreads! Wow, and I thought our 365/year was already hardcore! Hahaha. I am so glad to see so many new titles here, particularly the picture books. What really caught my eye was If you had Animal hair. Looks like a read that my daughter would definitely enjoy. The Vengekeep Prophecies sounds exciting. I am looking forward to reading Flora & Ulysses soonest as well. We do have a copy, but my daughter is too enraptured with her Harry Potter (she’s now in Book three), she barely has time for anything else. I love Chris Raschka too. 🙂

    • The Vengekeep Prophecies is really an important title to keep in mind for fantasy lovers. I was really impressed by it! 🙂 Glad you are in the Raschka fan club! I do adore him – love Little Black Crow especially!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.