Monday January 30th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Here are a few.

Finding a quiet place to read 🙂

Monday January 30th, 2017 There's a Book for That

Pouring over Aaron Becker‘s work. Our Skype call with him last week will be detailed here soon! Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Monday January 30th, 2017 There's a Book for That

We did some pulling apart of the room to arrange things for our Skype call. Before we put it back together, we enjoyed new places to sit and read.

Monday January 30th, 2017 There's a Book for That

Our #classroombookaday titles were on important themes of home, change, leaving, finding new place.

Monday January 30th, 2017 There's a Book for That

 

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.

IMWAYR 2015

Books I enjoyed:

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

This little illustrated chapter book is ideal for Grades 2-5. Lots of humour perfectly suited to this age group. Can’t wait to get other titles in the series. This is the first one.

the-bad-guys-by-aaron-blabey

Templeton Gets his Wish by Greg Pizzoli

So if you could wish your family away . . . Would you miss them?

templeton-gets-his-wish

P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis

Kind of a wow title. P. Zonka doesn’t lay eggs because of “pale mornings, the soft dark moss . . . ” and some incredible other reasons. When an egg finally arrives, it is a sight to behold. I personally think she could have just got by on those beautiful excuses.

p-zonka-lays-an-egg

Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube

Gentle and sweet. Explores fears and courageous acts.

hannah-and-sugar-2

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey by Margariet Ruurs Artwork by Nizar Ali Badr

Sharing this title with my students this week was very powerful. We have been reading titles about home – leaving home, moving, losing a home. This story and powerful artwork brought a deep and introspective silence over the room. This is a must own, must share title.

stepping-stones-a-refugee-familys-journey

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

When the Newbery awards were announced, I was midway through this title and was not surprised this book was honoured. Incredibly researched, full of magical and historical details.

the-inquisitors-tale

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 5/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 25/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 3/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 8/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 3/50 books read

Up next? I am in the middle of When we Collided by Emery Lord – a Schneider Family Book award recipient for 2017.

Monday January 23rd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. I have missed some Mondays getting back into the swing of school so I have a few photos to share.

Students were eager to check in with their reading goals and think about which genres they needed to read.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

I loved reading their reflections.Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

When you finish a beloved series and the next book is not yet published.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Time to read everyday!

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Reading to some Grade 2 students who came for a visit.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Eager audience.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Hurray for Mock Caldecott! Here are our winners.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

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.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

Our Mock Caldecott list for 2017

Joining in with the Nonfiction Picture Book 2017 challenge with Alyson Beecher

My Must Read in 2017 novels

I still have people sending me links to #MustReadin2017 lists Join us here

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017

Books I enjoyed:

I have decided to include briefer summaries/responses to the books I am sharing in order to buy more time to do more reading and more blogging. So the book love remains but it will be expressed in fewer words.

Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer

Mysterious and a little scary. Stunning illustrations.

fog-island

Coyote Moon written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline

I absolutely loved this nonfiction title about a mother coyote needing to feed her pups. Definitely reminds us how challenging survival can be.

coyote-moon

Little Elliot’s Big Fun by Mike Curato

Friendship and fun. But sometimes big fun can be a little intimidating and we really need our friend.

le-big-fun

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Just incredibly illustrated. An ideal seasons book full of so many sensations.

goodbye-summer-hello-autumn

I am Not a Number written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer and illustrated by Gillian Newland

This will be a title I share with my students as we start to read about the residential school experience next month. Heartbreaking.

IANAN_cover.indd

Everyone . . . by Christopher Silas Neal

Everyone feels all kinds of things. Simple with the power to soothe and remind us how similar we all are.

everyone

Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robertson

LOVED this biography of Ada Lovelace. I learned so much.

ada_s_ideas_cover

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

This is my favourite in the series!

ada-twist-scientist

Saving Red by Sonya Sones

YA. A novel in verse. Many themes are covered. Mental health, homelessness, family. Really enjoyed this title.

saving-red

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter 

YA. Easy to fall hard for the characters here.

the-serpent-king

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 18/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 6/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 2/50 books read

Up next? I am almost finished reading The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017

Mock Caldecott is one of my very favourite things to do in the classroom! This year, with a Grade 4 and 5 classroom, I was able to stretch the analysis process further and deeper with my students. All around it was a rich and rewarding learning experience. I have much to celebrate!

We started this three-week process by learning about the Caldecott award, working to understand the specific criteria and examining past winners (both medal and honor).

We wrote about what we noticed.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Students shared favourite titles together.Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Read together sessions happened all over the room.Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Over about 7 days, I introduced our Mock Caldecott contenders. Reading these books took us in many directions. We wrote detailed responses to some stories. We watched related videos. Some books we read more than once and just giggled.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Then in small groups of 3 to 4 students we began the task of rereading each book, talking together about Caldecott criteria, our opinions and all that we loved about each title. Thank you to Jess Lif! Her blog post about her Mock Caldecott unit led me to sheets we could use to record our notes and thinking about how each book met or didn’t meet the criteria.  Like Jess, I used this as an opportunity for my students to learn from each other. I listened in for students’ thoughts about the books, yes. But I also was listening for how we communicated. Some groups needed more support than others to contribute ideas and some groups needed guidance on how to all have voice and how to listen attentively. I was very proud of the growing independence, the progress that happened over the week and how some quiet students stepped up and took on a leadership role in their group.

Carefully rereading the story before going through the illustrations and beginning to talk about what we notice.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Sharing details with each other.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Taking careful notes about what the group discussed.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Enjoying the amusing aspects of a funny book!

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Looking closely at criteria.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Through all of this – lots of joy!

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And then Friday afternoon came and we spent an hour picking our top 3 titles and filling our Caldecott reflections/self-evaluations.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Some students were confident in their choices immediately. Others took a long time to finally submit their top 3. Everyone took a great deal of care filling out the Mock Caldecott Self-Assessment Reflections and Feedback sheet I created.

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

And the winners? I had some eager volunteers ready to celebrate with a few photos!

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Some dramatic reading!

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

Our medal winner? Return by Aaron Becker

Honor books? They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe and Giant Squid written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017 There's a Book for That

The reflection sheet allowed students to continue to think critically and creatively about the books, self-assess their own contributions, reflect on their learning and rank all 12 titles in 1 to 12 order. Many students carefully studied their notes to help them with this process. These questions also allowed them to move beyond the illustrations and talk about story.

A few highlights of the thinking. Questions are in bold and italics.

Which book do you think K students would enjoy the most? Why?

  • A Hungry Lion because it has messy drawings and kids will think they can be an author too!
  • A Hungry Lion. Little kids like animals.
  • Maybe Something Beautiful because it’s bright and happy.
  • They All Saw a Cat because it’s cute and creative.

What about Grade 7 students? Explain.

  • Giant Squid because it has such cool drawings.
  • Giant Squid because it’s science.
  • Ada’s Violin – the like drama and true stories.
  • Ada’s Violin because it’s inspiring
  • Radiant Child because it tells you a message.
  • Radiant Child because it’s about a dream and soon they will need to accomplish their own dreams

Which book do you think adults would enjoy the most? Name a specific adult if you want.

  • Radiant Child because it’s a beautiful story and has amazing pictures.
  • Radiant Child because it actually happened. It’s a true story!
  • Radiant Child – old people can relate to “me” time.
  • The Night Gardener because it has very calm pictures.
  • My Mom would pick A Hungry Lion because it’s so funny.

Which book made you think the most? List some of your questions/thoughts.

  • Return. I was inspired by all of the imagination in this book. Is he going to write another book? Please!!
  • Ada’s Violin. I never knew people lived like this. How can people live in a pile of garbage.
  • The Sound of Silence. He can’t find silence. It’s hard to find. I can’t find silence in class.
  • Giant Squid. I wonder everything about giant squids now.
  • The Storyteller. It didn’t make sense until I kept reading it.
  • Radiant Child. It made me think about why people use drugs and about who is sad.
  • The Hungry Lion. What’s going to happen to that turtle?

What did you like about our Mock Caldecott process?

  • Participating in all of these things made me think about so much.
  • It’s fun reading it and then reading it again and actually being like a judge!
  • I love looking at so many books and voting!
  • Seeing all of the different art.
  • Getting to share my opinion about picture books.
  • Some really well done details can actually blow someone’s mind.
  • It was an enlightening experience. It made me more critical. It made me think about details and how colours impact me.
  • I liked getting to read so many different kinds of books and then getting to rate them and show my opinion.
  • We didn’t just read pretty books. I got to share my opinion.
  • I liked looking at many illustrations because they are so beautiful.
  • It was so fun because we got to rate books!

What did you learn about your own likes/dislikes/preferences with picture books?

  • I think I have been judging books too fast instead of taking my time.
  • I now know that if I really like it, I can read it all over again and see more.
  • For some reason, I love art with trees!
  • I like things that are realistic with really bold shadows.
  • It’s possible to have too much colour in a book.
  • I didn’t know I liked books with no text so much. I love illustrations that show adventures.
  • I like books even if the drawings aren’t perfect.
  • It seems I like books with a little bit of mystery.
  • Books that are black and white except for some parts will bring your attention to the spot with colour.

What did you learn about illustrations?

  • Some of the smallest illustrations have great details but you hardly notice unless you focus.
  • That they can be anything – there is no best way. Some are collage. Some are messy. Some are weird. Some are super detailed.
  • I really like pencil drawings.
  • Colours affects your mood.
  • There is lots of orange skin.
  • There are so many different ways drawings can be: colourful, bland, collage, paint.
  • A story doesn’t actually need words.
  • Illustrations can touch you.
  • I learned about the different kinds of illustrations. And finally I can spell illustrations!
  • Not every picture has to be perfect to be beautiful.

Why do you think Mock Caldecott is a worthwhile activity to do in a classroom?

  • We learned that illustrators do many unique and special things
  • Just because you are 10, 11, 9 or any age doesn’t mean you are too old to read or listen to a picture book.
  • We can learn new books and also learn from their art and really know the story.
  • Students should know about illustrations and always see new books.
  • It makes you talk to people you might not usually talk with.
  • We were so inspired by the pictures!
  • We all learned that art is so beautiful and important. We want to read even more picture books now.
  • Kids learn how to judge things by having a list [criteria], I learned a lot about what art looks like.
  • Think critically. Slow down and notice.
  • It expands your reading world
  • Picture books need pictures. Pictures can tell a story all on their own.
  • It’s great to actually be able to vote.
  • Doing this let us talk in groups with new people.
  • Picture books teach you so many things. They teach you to dream.

Students also rated themselves on their ability to share ideas, listen to others, learn from other people’s opinions, work cooperatively in a group and refer to criteria when rating books. Each child gave themselves a compliment about their group work and identified an area for improvement.

The most entertaining response was to this question: Which book would you remove from our Mock Caldecott list. Give specific reasons.

A Hungry Lion. Why? Because animals get eaten!

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!

Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.

celebrate-link-up

#MustReadin2017

For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books 5? 10? 20? 30? more? that you want to commit to reading in 2017.

Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and from any category: adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc titles.  All that matters is that they are books you want to be sure not to forget as that TBR list continues to grow! These aren’t the only titles you will read over the year, but a list to help guide your reading. A list to lure you back to a reading path you have set for yourself. Many, many new books will tempt you! Go ahead and read them but having a list like this ensures you will not forget some titles you were determined to read.

#MustReadin2017 There's a book for that

If you would like to create and share a list, contact me on twitter (@CarrieGelson) or leave a link in the comments and I will add your list to the #MustReadin2017 lists below. Everyone is welcome! I will update regularly so if you are just seeing this now – go make a list! We’ll be waiting for you.

If you want to use the image above in your sidebar, here is the image URL code: https://thereisabookforthat.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/mustreadin2017.jpg

Someone asked me about the image for this year – this was taken in my classroom early one morning. Two students were scanning the shelves adding to their To Read lists as they talked titles, authors and genres. I thought this perfectly represented how each of us has been searching on-line and actual book shelves, book blogs and book lists to create  personal #MustReadin2017 lists!

Three updates seemed to work for us this year. If you also leave me your twitter handle (if you are on twitter) I will send you a reminder. For those not on twitter, please mark these dates in your calendar. Update posts can be shared on or around these dates – just leave your link in the comment section of my post and share it on twitter using #MustReadin2017

Spring update: Thursday April 6th, 2017

Fall update: Thursday September 7th, 2017

Year end update: Thursday December 28th, 2017

Update posts are purely optional!

They can take whatever format you wish: highlighting your favourites, reasons for not reading, simply a list of what you have read, etc. Here are last year’s update posts on my blog as an example: spring, fall, year-end. Other bloggers do much more creative things than me.

Ready for some inspiration?

Check out the lists.

Mine (Carrie Gelson) is here: My Must Read novels of 2017

Linda Baie‘s list is here: #MustReadin2017

Leigh Anne Eck is going through her boxes: #MustReadin2017

Michele Knot shares her list here: #mustreadin2017

Lisa Maucione joins us this year and shares her list: #MustReadin2017

Hannahlily Angus has 51 titles on her #MustReadin2017 list

Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers provide us with two Must Read lists! Find them here

Bev Baird shares her list here: #MustReadin2017

Tricia Pfell put 40 titles on her #Mustreadin2017 list

Cheriee Weichel split her list into fiction and nonfiction titles! #MustReadin2017

Earl Dizon has a wonderful list shared here:#MustReadin2017

Sarah Valter joins us this year from aheartfullofbooks & shares her list here: #MustReadin2017

Julie Johnson joins us and shares her list here: #MustReadin2017

Virginia Pratt shares her list of “Must Read” Books of 2017

Akilah from The Englishist embeds her Must read list in her Goals for 2017

Welcome to Tara Smith and her #MustReadin2017 list

Kimberley Moran has a book a month plan. Her list is here: #MustReadin2017

Margaret Simon joins in this year with her list: #MustReadin2017

Aaron Cleaveley‘s list includes picture books through adult reads: #MustReadin2017

Cathy Mere is taking her list a month at a time: It’s All about a Plan #MustReadin2017

Holly Mueller shares her list here: #MustReadin2017

Michelle Simpson shares her 35 titles: #MustReadin2017

Elisabeth Ellington made her list by adding titles from all of ours: #MustReadin2017: An Experiment in Crowd Sourcing my Reading Life

Kendra Limback joins us this year. Here’s her list: #MustReadin2017

Crystal Brunelle shares 24 wonderful titles on her #MustReadin2017 list

Deb Frazier joins in to start to take control of her To Be Read Shelf. Her list is here.

Amy Warntz shares her list here: #MustReadin2017

Jill Merkle joins us this year. Here is her list: #MustReadin2017

Jill Swanson adds her list here: #MustReadin2017

Ramona, from Pleasures from the Page shares her list here: Must Read in 2017

My Must Read novels of 2017

For those readers and list makers, nothing is more exciting than January! The time to make an amazing list of books to read for the year!

A new year and new book possibilities. Where will our reading lives take us? What adventures and emotions will we experience through the books we read? Always, there are endless possibilities.

There are so many books and limited time.

New books distract us from other books.

A must read list ensures not all are forgotten!

mustreadin2017list There's a Book for That

To read more about the challenge and add your list, read here.

#mustreadin2017 There's a Book for That

Here are the 30 titles I am going to try and read over this year. As always these titles will represent only a portion of my reading. My goal? To read most of these. This list is a road map of where to turn next when I come to a pause in my reading choices. It is always waiting to guide me.

Making a list like this – a To Read list – also allows us to reflect on the reading that we want to do. I ask myself questions like: Am I reading widely over various genres? Do I have a mix of GN, MG and YA reads? Do the novels I read include diverse characters that reflect the students I teach?  The world I don’t know? The experiences I need to know more about?

This year I split my list in two. Half of these books are titles published in 2016 or earlier and half are published in 2017. Hopefully, this will be a nice balance of newly published titles and titles that I have discovered from my fantastic PLN as not to be missed.

As I am now teaching a Grade 4 & 5 class, I wanted to have a lot of Middle Grade titles on this list. So 23/30 books (more than 75%) are MG reads.

Published in 2016 or earlier:

Saving Red by Sonya Sones (2016) YA Read January 8th 2017 5/5 stars

saving-red

Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb (2016) MG Read February 5th 2017 5/5 stars

every-single-second

Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes (2016) MG Read January 1st 2017 4/5 stars

garveys-choice

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King (2016) YA

still-life-with-tornado

Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key (2016) MG

terror-at-bottle-creek

Wish by Barbara O’Connor (2016) MG

wish-by-barbara-o-connor

Snow White by Matt Phelan (2016) MG

snow-white

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2016) MG

the-scourge-jennifer-a-nielsen

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (2016) YA Read February 7th 2017 5/5 stars

the-sun-is-also-a-star

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein (2016) MG

what-elephants-know

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz (2016) MG Read January 28th 2017 4/5 stars

the-inquisitors-tale

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (2016) YA

girl-in-the-blue-coat

 A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (2010) MG

a-tale-dark-grimm

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz (2016) MG Read February 13th 2017 5/5 stars

finding-perfect-elly-swartz

It Ain’t so Awful Falafal by Firoozeh Dumas (2016) MG Read February 19th 2017 5/5 stars

it-aint-so-awful-falafal

Published in 2017

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla (2017) MG

someday-birds

Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy (2017) MG

walking-with-miss-millie

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan (2017) MG

short

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (2017) MG

orphan-island

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke (2017) MG

mighty-jack-and-the-goblin-king

This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison Levy (2017) MG

this-would-make-a-good-story-someday

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (2017) YA

the-inexplicable-logic-of-my-life

The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming by J. Anderson Coats (2017) MG

the-many-reflections-of-miss-jane-deming

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (2017) YA

american-street

Hello, Universe by Erin Estrada Kelly (2017) MG

hello-universe

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart (2017) MG

scar-island

Lucky Broken Girl  by Ruth Behar (2017) MG

lucky-broken-girl

Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee (2017) MG

matylda-bright-and-tender

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt (2017) MG

blooming-at-the-texas-sunrise-motel

Piecing me Together by Renée Watson (2017) YA

piecing-me-together

What novels are at the top of your TBR list? Please share! 

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction in 2017

nfpb-2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday begins again! I am so excited to be participating in this challenge!

Link to host Alyson Beecher‘s blog Kid Lit Frenzy to read about all of the nonfiction titles being shared. This year the image for the challenge was created by Sarah S. Brannen.  I think it’s pretty perfect!

I am setting a goal to read at least 50 new-to-me nonfiction picture books this year. While I may not be reading as many books as usual, I plan to be utilizing many of the books I have read and loved so much in the past. Often I ended up purchasing titles and wasn’t able to use all of them in the classroom because of teaching a younger grade. I have read numerous favourite titles in depth with my new Grade 4 and 5 classroom and continue to be impressed with the learning that happens and the future learning that is inspired.

The perfect example? Tomorrow I will be sharing Giant Squid written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann (2016) as part of my Mock Caldecott unit.

giant-squid

It is one of 12 titles I chose this year. The nonfiction titles are on the list were intentional. Not only are these beautifully illustrated books but they are books that remind us that learning engages us on so many levels. Nonfiction picture books inform. They make us question and wonder. The visuals add another level of learning – giving us closeups, revealing aspects of an animal or place that a photograph just might not capture.

mock-caldecott-2017

I am especially excited to share Giant Squid because it not only provides us with questions, it leaves us with questions. We learn that there is much not yet known about these deep sea giants. Getting all of the answers can be satisfying. Realizing that there are answers not yet known plants a quest for knowledge in our students that we consistently hope for them. We want them stopping to be awed. Shaking their heads. Protesting – “But. . . ” “How come. . . ?” “Why . . . ?” Being driven to go learn more.

I know this book will lead to research. Looking for images. For videos. For more . . .

Beautiful books like this one are introductions. First access points. The beginning of lots of learning ahead.

I am excited about another year being committed to reading nonfiction picture books! I benefit just as much as my students!

Mock Caldecott 2017

This year is Year 3 for me of doing a Mock Caldecott unit with my class. Every year I have worked with a different grade. I taught a Grade 3 & 4 class in 2014/2015, a Grade 2 & 3 class in 2015/2016 and this year I have a Grade 4 & 5 class. So each year I have had to switch things up a little bit. Tomorrow we begin our unit and will be deep in reading and discussion for the next 2 weeks. On January 23rd, the actual Caldecott awards (honor and medal) will be announced!

mock-caldecott-2017

I read a LOT of picture books each year and start selecting Mock Caldecott possibilities early on. In making this list, I do pay attention to Caldecott buzz but I also think about a few other things in compiling the ideal list for my students. I try to choose a collection of titles where there will be some nonfiction as well as fiction. I want the stories we share to be entertaining and inspiring. I want students to encounter illustration styles they might not have seen before. I hope that we will continue to be able to talk about genre – so this list contains a fantasy story, a biography, narrative nonfiction, poetry and a wordless book. First, yes, I have to have been impressed by the illustrations but I usually narrow a list of 20  plus titles down to 10 to 12 so I can also think of these other things in making my choices.

I am very excited about this list of twelve titles on our Mock Caldecott 2017 list.

Listed alphabetically by illustrator.

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

Daniel Finds a Poem

Return by Aaron Becker

Return

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

adas-violin

A Hungry Lion or a dwindling assortment of animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

a-hungry-lion-or-a-dwindling-assortment-of-animals

The Night Gardener by the Fan brothers 

The Night Gardener

The Sound of Silence written by Katrina Goldsaito and illustrated by Julia Kuo

the-sound-of-silence

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell with illustrations by Rafael López

Maybe Something Beautiful

Giant Squid written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

giant-squid

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

radiant-child-the-story-of-young-artist-jean-michel-basquiat

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh

the-princess-and-the-warrior-a-tale-of-two-volcanoes

The Storyteller by Evan Turk

the-storyteller-by-evan-turk

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

they-all-saw-a-cat

In thinking about how I would do this unit with an older class, I was thrilled to come across Jess Lif‘s blog post about her Mock Caldecott unit. Jess is one of the most inspirational, insightful and generous educators I know. The work Jess did with her students is helping me think about how I am going to work with my students this year in terms of discussion, analysis and the voting aspects of the unit.

For the first few days we will be talking all things Caldecott and exploring some of the previous winners. Within a few days, we will be diving headfirst into all of these books! Can’t wait! Stay tuned!