It’s Monday! What are you reading?
I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. I love this photo of my student reading to his little K buddy. They were sitting in amongst books behind a bookshelf reading together. Calm, content, engaged. I love this photo 🙂
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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.
Yard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
When I first heard about this book, I was so very excited. So many of my all time favourite picture books have been written by Eve Bunting. So many of the books I have loved lately have been illustrated by Lauren Castillo. A book with their combined talents? What could be better? Well, that is a loaded question. Certainly, not much could be better. But, I should have anticipated that this amazing talent combined would also mean a whole lot of emotion captured in a picture book experience. Eve Bunting tells such important and raw stories. Lauren Castillo‘s illustrations have a charming, nostalgic, open feel. This book slowly, gently, beautifully delivers. It managed to knock me over by the time I reached the back cover. Full of love, connection and a child’s need for security, this is a beautiful, important book.
Wish by Matthew Cordell
Becoming a parent was not an easy feat for my husband and me. Infertility. Pain. Longing. All of these things were my world for four years. Finally, our second in vitro attempt was successful and now I have 12 year old twins! Honestly, reading this book made that turmoil feel like yesterday and I am teary each time I read this title. However, despite the sad emotions there is so much hope and celebration here. What a special book.
I so appreciate Matthew Cordell for capturing, so tenderly, the feeling of wishing for that very wanted child.
@CarrieGelson Thank you for saying so! Emotional and isolating were most definitely the driving forces in my wanting to make WISH
— Matthew Cordell (@cordellmatthew) May 31, 2015
Water is Water written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin
Lyrical, informative, and beautiful. This nonfiction picture book is the perfect book to launch a study of water. I think it will be one of the first books I share with my new class in the fall along with many hands on water experiments.
Hippos are Huge! written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Matthew Trueman
I will be sharing this title along with student reviews later this week. A fantastic nonfiction picture book read aloud.
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea
I could rave and rave about this little gem. Suffice it to say as soon as I finished reading this title aloud, my class felt compelled to write notes to the author begging for more from Sparkles and Ballet Cat!
No 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke
This illustrated chapter book is ideal for younger readers but better still I think, a perfect read aloud for a Grade 1-3 class early in the year. Much to love in this title: the unique characters, the entertaining dynamics and the beautiful setting of Africa. So very, very good.
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Early on I wasn’t so sure about this novel. There was nasty middle grade interactions that made me absolutely cringe. Cruelty, insensitivity, racism. Miserable stuff. But midway through, I began to love the friendship developing between Apple and Evan. Evan is a kid I wish existed in every school – so many young people need him to help navigate the social world that can be so cruel. He approaches it with wise perspective and personal strength. He’s just plain smart and really right on so many levels. Lots to think about and talk about in this debut novel.
Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:
2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 27/80 complete
Goodreads Challenge: 205/415 books read
#MustReadin2015: 11/24 complete
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 44/100 titles
Diverse Books in 2015: 20/50 books read
Up next? I am delighted to be once again reading Deborah Wiles: Love, Ruby Lavender
May have to check out Yard Sale, since I’ve seen so much about it. So many people long for children- I wish as a society we would instead make people desperate for other accomplishments, rather than children! I remember feeling the same way, and wish no one ever felt that compelled.
Hmm. I don’t see my children as accomplishments but rather as joy and love and the source of so much learning.
All of the books in this list are new to me and sound amazing. I definitely will go look for Wish, if only to have a good cry about the wish that will never be for me. Thank you for sharing about this book. Have a great reading week!
*hugs* to you It’s a hard wish to not have come true.
Wow… so many beautiful titles. Can’t wait to read most! Summer reading, oh, I can’t wait! 🙂
Me too! I plan to devour many many novels! The plan is to read 5 or 6 my first week and just fall right into the land of books!
I loved Yard Sale, but one of my favorite things about it was that Castillo managed to slip Nana into one of the illustrations and that just totally put a smile on my face. I love it when illustrators bring characters from other books into their current one. Mo Willems putting the pigeon somewhere in all of his non-pigeon books is a perfect example of this.
I was very happy to see Nana too! Go Nana! I agree about that pigeon. My students LOVE finding him in the end pages!
Wish strikes a chord for us these days as well. My niece, who was told had a 50/50 chance of ever conceiving, is finally expecting a baby. We are all jubilant! I might get this for her as a baby gift or maybe just a gift for her and her partner. (I’m so glad we have your darlings here at Dickens – I’m going to miss them terribly next year!) The Eve Bunting title made me weep when I read it. I’ve added Blackbird Fly to my list….
So excited for your niece. Wish would be a lovely gift for her and her partner. It honours the journey. I am so blessed that you have been such an important part of my children’s lives!
Jason Chin’s cover for Water Is Water is absolutely gorgeous. Had to order Yard Sale today. I agree with everything you write about Bunting–whose PBs I first started reading on your recommendation. I am beyond obsessed with Ballet Cat & Sparkle Pony. I’m right there with your students on that one–we need MORE. RIGHT NOW. Bob Shea cannot make books fast enough for me these days. I was very pleasantly surprised by No 1 Car Spotter–really a well-written book with much going for it.
Agreed on Bob Shea! Go Bob Shea. My kids went crazy for this title! Yard Sale is a must have I will say. Eve Bunting is so crazy talented. And of course thrilled that Lauren Castillo illustrated this book! Isn’t No 1 Car Spotter so great – I think I found out about it on your blog.
The way you wrote about Wish brought tears to my eyes. It is amazing to me how books can touch our hearts. Thank you for sharing your story. Yard Sale sounds like a book we have to buy right now – I don’t think we can wait for the library waiting list.
These books are so full of emotion but so important. Yes- sometimes a picture book just knocks us over with feeling.
Lots of lovely books here, Carrie. My granddaughter is recently interested in hippos after her studies this year of manatees, so I will find that Hippo book for her. I also love the idea of Wish, sounds so sweet and hopeful/sympathetic too. Thanks for all.
This hippo book is SO great! She will love it – it has wonderful illustrations too. I will feature it for my my nonfiction post this week.
I have heard so many things about Yard Sale and Wish and your story makes my eyes water! So many of friends had the same difficulties as you. I am gong to have to look for Blackbird Fly. Sounds like it might be a book for my 6th graders.
Thanks for this comment Leigh Anne – I think you will enjoy both of these picture books.
I couldn’t even review Wish after the first time I read it. So many personal feelings with that book! I can’t wait to meet Matthew Cordell at NerdCamp. He lives in the same town as me, but I’ve never met him. I keep wondering when I’m in the grocery store if he’s there too….
I’ve head the nastiness comment about Blackbird Fly from other people too. It’s one I would like to read, but have many others before it.
So glad you did get to Yard Sale. Wish you could have been part of the book journey. Although I should probably check and see where it is now…. 🙂
I would be wondering that too if I lived in the same town as Matthew Cordell! Yard Sale is very very special – are you going to post about some of the comments?
Love the letters about Ballet Cat! I, too, loved it! It, like Elephant and Piggie, was so entertaining yet told a story with substance.
I love your photo as always! Gives us a glimpse into a secret moment.
Other titles on my TBR. Will get to more PBs in July and August 🙂
Happy reading this week!
Ballet Cat is a winner! that book has not been back on the shelf yet – keeps getting read and reread! Isn’t this a great little photo? It was like peeking in to their read aloud session.
So many great books here. I am on the lookout for that Shea book for sure. I love No. 1 Car Spotter – so fun. I had forgotten about Blackbird Fly it’s on my TBR, but that’s over 1,000 at this point, so things do get lost. 😉
Oh I hear you about things getting lost! That’s why I started my #mustread lists – keeps some titles from getting buried.
I also read Wish two weeks ago. Like you, I connected with the story. The turmoil still feels like it was yesterday, so this book made me quite emotional. 12-year-old twins is such fun! 🙂
I better sign off before I start thinking about the connection to WISH too much. It will make me weepy all over again!
I agree – so very powerful – especially for those of us with a very personal connection.
I have yet to find an Eve Bunting book that I can’t use to teach a lesson, address an issue a student is (or students are) having, or to connect with my class. I’ll definitely be adding Yard Sale to my list. I just realized that Water is Water is illustrated by Jason Chin (yay!). This will be a great nonfiction PB to add to my collection since the water cycle is part of the curriculum my students address.
I am (obviously) way out of the loop since I don’t know what Ballet Cat is!! I guess I’d better get on that PRONTO! 🙂
Thanks, Carrie, for some great suggestions!
What? You didn’t hear my students screaming after we finished Ballet Cat? It was LOUD! So pleased you found some titles that caught your eye!