Monday July 28th, 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. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

My favourite picture books of the week are all kinds of amazing! I figured since I didn’t share any last week, highlighting a number of them this week will be okay!

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann

Lyla Browning is different and when you are having a bunch of girls to a birthday party, that doesn’t seem like a good thing. As Ginger’s party progresses, it turns out that in close proximity, true colours shine through. And some seem to be shining a little more brightly after all. Lovely story about choosing friends for how they make you feel.

Two Speckled Eggs #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry 

A cute little story about having friends and being part of a community. An ideal story time title for younger students.

 Turtle Island #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

TAP TAP BOOM BOOM written by Elizabeth Bluemle with illustrations by G. Brian Karas

I adore any illustrations from G.Brian Karas and this rainy journey through the city has many charming images. But the rhythm of the text makes this book a delightful read aloud! It would be a book you want to practice before reading aloud so that it can be delivered with all of the drama it deserves. Lots of fun!

Tap tap Boom Boom #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Knock Knock My Dad’s Dream for Me written by Daniel Beaty with illustrations by Bryan Collier

Made me cry. What a story of loss and hope, upset and deep love in 32 beautiful pages.

Knock Knock #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Captain Cat by Inga Moore

Gorgeous cover and illustrations. While I don’t necessarily love this story, I can see this being such a popular book for students to read and enjoy independently or with a buddy. A longer story perfect for upper primary students. And the rat chase is lots of fun!

Captain Cat #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

You are Stardust written by Elin Kelsey with illustrations by Soyeon Kim

Simply breathtaking illustrations. The message is a huge one – every living thing is connected – in perfect, child friendly text. Beautiful to read over and over – to savour the art and let the words swirl around.

 You Are StarDust #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Julia, Child written by Kyo Maclear with illustrations by Julie Morstad 

This is kind of a cheeky little book. Pay attention reader. The title is not Julia Child but Julia, Child. Yes, we see a little girl in an apron surrounded by cooking utensils, herbs and berries. Yes, this book is inspired by the idea of Julia Child and her passion for food and cooking. But this is hardly a biography. This is a playful book, full of joy and friends and butter. The message? Hang on to the best parts of being a child. For those adults who need some help with this, recipes are adjusted accordingly.

 Julia, Child #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Owl and the Pussy Cat written by Edward Lear with illustrations by Stéphane Jorisch  

This was a gift for my husband who loves this poem and used to recite it to our children often when they were little. He also loves illustrator Stéphane Jorisch so it was a must. Just a beautiful book to treasure.

 The Owl and the Pussycat #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Wow of the week:

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin written by Chieri Uegaki with illustrations by Qin Leng

This book was on my picture book wish list. I am not supposed to be book shopping. But I happened to find a little money tucked away in a bag I hadn’t used and found money should be for wishes, don’t you think? Anyway this title is now mine!

I absolutely adore it for so very many reasons. I have favourite pages, favourite series of illustrations and am completely enchanted by the green grass that we see one night at dusk. Wow. And then there is the story. A story of determination, perseverance and creativity. Absolutely about courage and dreaming. Connection to family – Ojiichan (Grandfather) in Japan who played Second Violin in front of the Imperial Family and his influence on little Hana who wants to play the violin too. Hana enters a talent contest. Little girl with medium sized violin walks out onto the huge stage. I dare you not to hold your breath! What happens when she begins to play is pure delight and probably not at all what you are thinking. Suki’s Kimono by Uegaki is a favourite picture book on our family bookshelf. This book will sit, also beloved, one space over.

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

I also read lots of great nonfiction that I will highlight on Wednesday’s #nfpb2014 post

I finished two novels:

Son by Lois Lowry

The fourth and final title in The Giver books. As I was reading it, I wasn’t loving it, yet I just couldn’t get the story out of my head. If you have read all of the other titles, yes, read it. I’m still deciding what I think. One thing bothered me and so . . .

SON #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrara

I was quite charmed by this story. And oh so happy that it was written. So many of my students  are impacted by poverty in so many ways. In our community, it is just the norm. So there isn’t a lot of judgement. But I remember once one of my students was going to move to a community where low income didn’t define the community in general. She was bright and spunky and didn’t miss a thing. I knew she was going to be okay but I worried about the getting there to that place of okay. In this book, Star Mackie moves to California and she is the girl from the trailer park. Standing out for something that doesn’t even seem to be about her. I love Star’s stubborn streak, her voice and her passion for the written word. I love how friendship and family dynamics are explored. A middle grade novel that is really going to resonate with readers.

Ironically, just as I finished this review, my eleven year old (I gave her this book to read this morning) came charging into my room.

“Mom! It’s not long enough! Is there a sequel? I can’t wait for it. My favourite characters are . .  ” Natter, natter, natter. Yep, the perfect book for middle grader readers!

 Hope is a Ferris Wheel #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? I have a huge, huge pile of books – holds that have all arrived at once. Top of the pile?  Winger by Andrew Smith

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 53/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 363/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 86/65 complete


33 thoughts on “Monday July 28th, 2014

  1. Last year I moved from elementary to middle school. It is such a joy to open your page and see so many picture books! Thankfully my middle schoolers love to hear a good picture book and you have several I plan to check out 🙂 I did love Knock Knock and plan to use it as a mentor text. Also, glad to hear about Hope is a Ferris Wheel…the book is not in my pile yet but now it will be. Thanks for sharing!

    • I am so pleased that you see some picture books that look interesting. Agreed – Knock, Knock is incredible! I couldn’t write much about it. It just made me teary. What a book!

  2. When I come to your Monday posts, I always open an Amazon tab too. After I finish commenting, I call our Indie bookstore and see which books they have, then I complete my Amazon order to make up the gap. I’m thinking of charging you.

    My 7 year old daughter plays the violin (as did I), so I am getting Sixth Violin for sure. I’m thinking Two Speckled Eggs would be great for starting the year in 2nd grade. I absolutely LOVED The Giver series. I liked the 2nd one least, but felt it was necessary to fill out the four books. Send me an email about what you didn’t like about Son. I’m interested to find out!

    • Good luck collecting! We are still on strike and have no idea when we are heading back to work – sigh! So my bank account is vulnerable. I could pay in more book recommendations. Hold on, that doesn’t work, does it? Seriously though, not my fault that so many books just need to be owned! And Hana Hashimoto is a must own!

  3. Certainly will find Hana Hashimoto, Carrie, along with a few others, like The Owl and The Pussycat! I have Hope Is A Ferris Wheel, so will try to get to it soon. I loved You Are Stardust and Knock, Knock was a poignant story, you’re so right. Happy to hear about your ‘found’ money-what a treat! FYI-still following your local news-sorry no agreement yet! Hugs to you!

    • Thanks Linda! I have missed you! Hope you had a wonderful holiday. Yes, still no sign of anything settling. Trying to keep my mind off of it. Sigh. But, reading helps! Hana Hashimoto is truly a treasure. I am so pleased that I found it. And Knock, Knock. Wow.

  4. I MUST read Julia, Child! Alas, my library doesn’t have it yet.

    Isn’t Knock Knock AMAZING? Have you watched the original spoken word poem that inspired the picture book? I cry every.single. time. I watch it.

  5. Yesterday my daughters (ages 3 and 5) attended a mostly girl birthday party that came with cake, a big bouncer and of course lots of friend-drama–I can’t wait to get Two Speckled Eggs and read it with my girls. If you haven’t read The Rain Stomper (Addie Boswell and Eric Velasquez) I bet you would love it. Thanks for such great recommendations!

    • Oh yes, the friend drama. Sigh. Another author who nails early social drama is Lana Button who wrote Willow Finds a Way and Willow Whispers. Do you know these? Will be perfect to have on hand as your girls get older. I have heard about The Rain Stomper but haven’t read it yet. Need to find it!

  6. Doesn’t it seem like holds always arrive at once?? Especially the longer books! So many good books mentioned this week. I’m glad you did a write up of Julia, Child because that was not the book I was thinking it was going to be!

  7. Lots of great choices – I’ve put in library requests for several! I am with you on tepid reactions to “Son” as well as the other two Giver sequels. The Giver is still my all time favorite book, and I read it long before there were sequels, which made me feel quite betrayed as a reader when they finally came out. Ah well.

  8. Requested Knock Knock from my library. Guess I’ll need some tissues!
    I still don’t know what I think about Son. The Giver was perfection in my mind, and I was never sure what to think about the others. In the end, I came to terms and loved them (though read the whole series twice to come up with that). As for the movie, I am not sure if I’ll be able to go see it. The book is so close to my heart, I know that any little change is going to make me sad. We’ll see…

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

    • Knock, Knock is just beautiful. But the vulnerability did make me emotional and as a Mom of a little guy, I am sure you will need tissues! I always say books are best and movies come sometimes a very far away second but . . . I am going to take my daughter to this one.

  9. Loved Knock Knock. Haven’t read it to my son yet but will at some point. I always use found money for coffee too! Love going to the coffee shop to sit and write–such an indulgence. But of course I entirely approve of your using found money for books! I am unfamiliar with that author, so must do some searching (and probably interlibrary loaning). Much as I loved The Giver, I’ve never read any of the companion books. I might read Winger this week too–I’m in Chicago for a conference (spent my afternoon browsing in bookstores and soaking up the city–I love where I live, but it’s lovely to be in a city sometimes!) and only brought my Kindle, which has mostly professional development books on it along with a couple of YA novels, Winger being one. So of necessity, I may read it!

    • How about coffee with a book? Chieri Uegaki is a BC writer – we adore her books in my house! Enjoy your conference. City visits are always fun – even though I live in a city, I love having time in other places. I am loving Winger – what a character this kid is!

  10. Your review of Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, makes me very excited to read it. Thank you for sharing this new title with me. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about Winger. I enjoyed it very much. 🙂

  11. Hi Carrie, I noticed on the #TitleTalk archives from Sunday you mentioned Camp Reading. I’m intrigued and wondered what it is…sounds like something I’d like to do too the first week or so of school. Thanks! I always love your book recommendations. I appreciate the time you take to post them all.

    • Thanks so much Deb! Camp Read is something a lot of us do here in Vancouver schools it seems – sometimes school wide and sometimes on a class by class basis. Can be very organized or very casual. Basically what it involves is taking a whole day or part of a day to focus on everything reading – read alouds, buddy reading time, individual reading time. We sometimes have kids come in PJs and set up cozy reading spaces, even tents inside the classroom! We have extra long sessions with our buddies, go outside and listen to our read aloud under the trees, long sessions of the day dedicated to fee choice reading, etc. When it is a little more official, we have had guest readers come in – local firefighters, police officers, athletes, community members, etc. Sometimes it is also tied to an author visit or a walk to the local public library. The purpose is basically a huge amount of book love squeezed into a day! And lots and lots of reading!

      • Carrie, thanks for the reply! That’s so funny… in my school we call it a Read-In, but I like the Camp Read term better. But we basically do the same thing…lots of reading with buddies, on our own, wear pjs, blankets/pillows all over the floor, etc. Thanks much!

  12. Thank you, Carrie, for your very sweet mention of Two Speckled Eggs! I can’t wait to have a look at the others that I have not yet seen. I do so love Tap Tap Boom, and just yesterday was ogling Captain Cat at my local bookstore.

    • I think your book is just lovely Jennifer! It will be a very popular read for parents of little ones trying to navigate the friendship dynamics that can be so complicated.

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