Monday March 14th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This week I had a morning visitor who told me after looking through the shelves: “Wow, animals sure are grumpy!” She has a point!

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Books we have recently read:


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.


On the blog:

A celebration post: Now Here

Daily Slice of Life posts:

Collections from a Day

When the day starts with a pop up heart

Other Things

Let’s talk about this child: written after 2 nights of parent/teacher conferences

The Reading Warrior

Writing Truth – the comments on this post are so interesting

The season of dreams

Books I enjoyed:

Lost. Found. written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Every book I read illustrated by Matthew Cordell makes me love him more. This is a perfect book to prove that images can carry a story with just a few repeated words. My only complaint? I loved it too much. I need my own copy.

Lost. Found.

All the Dear Little Animals written by Swedish author Ulf Nilsson and illustrated by award winning Eva Eriksson. Translated by Julia Marshall.

This book is about three children: Esther, the boy who is our narrator and Esther’s little brother Puttie. Esther finds a dead bee and decides to dig it a little grave. Our narrator confesses that he is afraid of everything, especially of dying but after a few disparaging comments from Esther, decides that he can write things, like about how horrible death is. Off they go, shovel, poem and little coffin in hand to bury the bee. “Poor little bee”, says Esther, “but life must go on.” Then a plan hatches. There must be dead things everywhere – shouldn’t they find these things and bury them all? The children’s idea grows into an idea for a business. They call it Funerals Ltd.

I read this book years ago but shared it with this class after the scene in The Year of Billy Miller where the bird flies into the window and dies. I believe that we need to allow children to explore books about death and books like this make the cycle of life not so scary. Highly recommended.


InvisiBill written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

Busy, busy, busy. Everyone is busy. Too busy it seems to notice what happens when you are not well . . . noticed. Charming and kind of hilarious. My class loved this one!


Kyle Goes Alone written by Jan Thornhill and illustrated by Ashley Barron

Goes meaning “gotta go” as in to-the-bathroom. So you can imagine how fun this will be for kids! Layer upon layer of rainforest in these rich illustrations and information about sloths and camouflage in the back of the book.


The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Such an intriguing book. I spent part of it terrified by jellyfish (a new phobia I think) and other parts immersed in Suzy’s grief. A story of courage and confusion and the deep, hard work that is navigating grief. The science included here was fantastic.

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 71/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 13/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 8/50 books read

Up next? I have packed a lot of novels for a week away on the coast. Can’t wait to share a week from now (or possibly in two depending when we are back) First up? Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

20 thoughts on “Monday March 14th, 2016

  1. Reading about people navigating grief is just boring, yet SO many middle grade books have that as a theme. Writing comedy is hard, but writing tragedy is easy. That’s the only explanation I can think of for all of the boring books on grief out there!

    • Hmmm. Isn’t it great that there are so many different kinds of books for different kinds of readers? I hate to take offence to a comment but I really take offence with this one. Going through life when it’s easy is well, easy. Dealing with pain and sadness is hard. The fact that there are books out there that help and explore these emotions makes a difference for people – helping them to understand aspects of these emotions that are so complex. Just like being able to laugh in a story is so wonderful when we need that. Any book can be boring to anyone. To make sweeping statements about topics that can be deeply meaningful to others is I hope something none of us are doing with our students in our libraries or classrooms.

  2. I loved Lost.Found, just brilliant, Carrie. The book All The Dear Little Animals is one I’ll try to find for Ingrid. One of their dear cats was hit by a car in the spring after my husband died. Ingrid is always sad about her grandfather, but then the loss of her dear pet was hard. She, then five, managed the whole funeral for her cat, similar to the one she’d attended. I know she will love this book. I read Jellyfish when it came out, and know that children try hard to make sense of their world, sometimes in unique ways. It is a lovely and sad story, but ending well. Thanks!

    • It does a really great job Linda of exploring children’s fascination with death first lightly and then more deeply as the children witness an actual bird dying after it hits a window. Isn’t it great that so many different kinds of books exist so that all readers can find what they need? I think European writers handle things in children’s books much more bravely and matter of factly.

  3. I so love Matthew Cordell too! He lives in the same town as me and I’m surprised I’ve yet to run into him at Target or the grocery store!
    I agree with your comments about books – about all books. I’m so grateful that there are so many different kinds of books, books to make you laugh, books to make you cry, feel afraid, feel like you want to hug…. Everyone approaches a book differently. Sometimes I want to be swept away. Sometimes I want to relate. Sometimes I want to laugh out loud. I’m grateful to have choices.

  4. I absolutely loved The Thing About Jellyfish! I agree with you that the science was fascinating, but what really pulled at my heart strings was the story about grief and how one works through it. All of these picture books sound really great. You always find such interesting treasures. Have a great reading week!

  5. Henry and I just read Normal Norman and The Snatchabook tonight! (Full disclosure: Henry makes me read them almost every night.)
    I took The Thing About Jellyfish out of my library, and I never got to it. I am still kicking myself. I have to go back and get it!

  6. I’m with Beth–obsessed with sloths! Will be looking for that one for sure. Who am I kidding? Will be looking for all! I’ve been torn about purchasing The Thing About Jellyfish–I think I need to!

  7. I just ordered Jellyfish from Scholastic, so I cannot wait to read it!
    I love books that talk about how busy everyone is or how people don’t see beauty anymore, so I look forward to finding IvisiBill.

    Happy reading this week 🙂

  8. I just had to order Grumpy Cat. We have enjoyed Grumpy Bird. I also had to put Kyle on my list. Thanks for the great list.

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