Monday February 17th, 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!

The picture books I enjoyed this week (yes, I too notice a theme of silly!):

Just Me and 6,000 Rats: A Tale of Conjunctions written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon

A wonderful way to learn about conjunctions while reading an amusing story about a boy and his 6,000 rats who follow him everywhere. As you might imagine, the rats have quite the impact on everyone he meets. But along the way we get to learn how using words like but, until, since, etc can stretch our sentences!

Here Be Monsters written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

What a brilliant book to read aloud. Dare you to read it and not burst out a pirate accent! The rhyming is divine and the plot adored by young listeners. My students wrote reviews of this book on our class blog Curiosity Racers.

Here be Monsters #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hippospotomus written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross

Hippopotamus has a red spot on his bottomus and every jungle animal offers advice. Nothing works! Completely ridiculous and silly with hilarious rhymes throughout.

” . . .A needle in the bottomus

Will rid you of the spotomus.”

Despite his perfect shotamus.

The cure was in vain.

The ending is ever so clever.

Hippospotamus #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hey, Rabbit! by Sergio Ruzzier

This title appeals to the imaginative and the curious. What is in rabbit’s suitcase? Something for everyone? Each friend makes a remarkable discovery. Will there be anything left for rabbit? Sweet and creative.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

And the train goes . . . by William Bee

I can just imagine travelling back in time to the days when my son was obsessed with every kind of large moving vehicle and the sounds it made. We would have had to read this book over and over and over again. All kinds of colours and wonderful sounds.

Clickerty-click, clickerty-clack

clickerty-click, clickerty-clack . . .

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb

Aunt Amelia comes to babysit and strays a little from the list left by the children’s parents. Let’s just say there is a lot of mud, ice cream consumption and late night reading marathons on the agenda. Would the children like Aunt Amelia to come again? Absolutely! A perfect story for storytime.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Helen’s Big World The Life of Helen Keller written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares

What an incredibly inspirational book about Helen Keller and her brilliant teacher Annie Sullivan. This book has quotations by Keller on every page. Beautifully illustrated. What an amazing relationship between teacher and student. What a tribute to the power of education. So much to this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Novels I finished:

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell (This was a #MustReadin2014 title)

I read this aloud to my children and we adored it. We savoured the quirky, the hilarious and the eccentric. We smiled at the characters. We were lulled by the whimsy. And we were charmed by the brilliance of DiCamillo. 5 stars: all glowing and magical!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Far Far Away written by Tom McNeal

How to describe this book? There is a huge surprise midway through so I’m not even going to touch the plot. But I will talk about the writing. Gorgeous. Eerie. Fairytales intertwined with modern day. Small town charm. Big time mystery. Ghosts. Friends. Love. And the theme of devotion – played out in many ways – some sweet, some heroic, some disturbing.

Far, Far Away #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Next up? I just started Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur. My children and I are hoping that The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen arrives at my work address tomorrow. We are more than a little excited to begin this title and plan to make it our next family read aloud!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 11/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 101/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/65 complete

24 thoughts on “Monday February 17th, 2014

  1. Much to get excited about here, Carrie! I have company, but will try to read your students’ posts sometime soon. I loved Far Far Away, as you may know, thought it was such a sound how to live and love book, would adore having it in a book group with adolescents. Books new to me: will certainly look for the monster book for my granddaughter who loves all monster books! And the Hey Rabbit looks so cute. Thanks for all & have a good week!

    • Far Far Away is so unique. I was very intrigued by it. It would be great for a book group. Your grand daughter will find this title quite fun – but you might have more fun reading it aloud to her!

  2. Yes, wonderful list of picture books. I look forward to chatting Flora and Ulysses tonight. Since most of my 2nd-6th grade students will be reading this independently, I am thinking of ways to guide them through the vocabulary. Any suggestions? What type of questions did your students have with the unusual vocabulary?

    • Hi Julee – I actually read this to my own children who are eleven. They did okay with a lot of the vocabulary – they are great at asking when they don’t know/understand a word. I find a lot of the vocabulary repeats – so there is opportunity to see the words over again – like cynic, rabid, cryptic, positing, malfeasance, hyperbole, etc. I modelled looking some words up as we read so that my children would see that sometimes we need to do that to enhance our understanding. It is such a fun book but definitely lots of great words. It’s kind of a vocabulary adventure!

  3. Flora and Ulysses is a treat to read – especially to read aloud. You have some lovely picture books here, including the one about Helen Keller that I need to find in our local library. Thanks for sharing today.

  4. I actually booktalked Far Far Away to my GatheringReaders book club after watching the book trailer then realized afterwards that this may not really be suitable for 9-12 year old kids. But it sounds perfect for me though. I shall have to look for this one, as the protagonist sounds like an outlier too – seems just about right for our upcoming bimonthly theme. I am also excited to read Flora & Ulysses – my daughter has barely touched that one since she is still listening to the audiobook version of the book thief for our book club discussion next week. still roughly 7-8 hours to go for her. Haha. Thanks for sharing the Helen Keller book – I added it right away to my text-set – I shall definitely include that in my upcoming discussion. Thankfully, we have it in our public library! Perfect! 🙂 I am always indebted to the Monday reading community for the great book titles. Thanks Carrie! 🙂 Enjoy your reading week.

    • So pleased that you found some good titles! I think Far Far Away is YA – it gets pretty dark but wow, is it intriguing! If you have the chance to find someone to read Flora & Ulysses to . . . It is such a delightful title to read aloud.

  5. I loved reading Flora & Ulysses aloud, and my 5th-grader was a perfect test audience for it. He really struggles as a reader, but the text is so well-written that the high-level vocab was no barrier to his understanding or enjoyment. And the sentences just zing aloud–loved it! I struggled with Far Far Away. It really helped me get through the last 150 pages or so this week knowing that you were really enjoying it–helped me find more things to notice and appreciate in it! I need to get Here Be Monsters–love the cover art and it sounds like such an enjoyable story. Several students in my children’s lit class have asked me to recommend good books with rhyming text and that’s one of my reading blocks, so I am reading these Monday posts very closely on the lookout for good rhyming books!

    • Isn’t it just the absolute best read aloud? My 6th graders were delighted by it! So much fun. I often don’t like rhyming text. So often it is just forced and it irks me. This is amazing rhyming text – it really works! I thought Far Far Away was so interesting. I can see that maybe it wouldn’t appeal to some. I loved the relationship between ghost and boy.

  6. I’m looking forward to Far Far Away and Flora and Ulysses. I have been wanting to buy Flora and Ulysses since it was announced as Newbery winner but no bookstores have the sticker on the book yet and I really want it to have the sticker.

  7. I pinned 6000 Rats to my library wish list then realized I needed to pin your whole post. Thanks for the great suggestions. Now if I could find someone to fund my reading habit/school library!

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