Monday October 13th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

imwayr

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 🙂

I read some beautiful picture books this week, including many nonfiction titles:

Silence by Lemniscates (an illustration studio of artists and designers)

The perfect title to encourage us to embrace quiet and be mindful of what we hear and sense. I think this is an ideal book to inspire a walk outside to find a quiet spot to just be still and notice. A gorgeous title gifted to my classroom by the magical Kim Balke who does Expressive Art Therapy with many of my students.

Silence #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Quest by Aaron Becker

I was so excited to open this book and just experience the imaginative journey that Becker captures on the page. The reader is pulled through each illustration, all the while attempting to absorb every tiny detail. So wonderful that this is a picture book (wonderfully wordless) so that it can be experienced again and again.

Quest #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Jenkins and Page always introduce us to the most unique creatures and impart the most interesting of facts. The perfect book to read a page or two at a time. The format is engaging – each animal is introduced with a mini letter/question and answer.

“Dear Pufferfish: You’ve got me worried – are you going to explode?”

“No, I won’t burst. I’ve inflated my body . . . “

Creature Features #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

The Rat by Elise Gravel

I think I might have heard this title shared between children about twenty times this week. There are many giggles about the yucky eating habits and its tail which serves a multitude of purposes.

The Rat #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

The Slug by Elise Gravel

More silly and more gross but lots to learn and ponder. My students adore this series. We are in the middle of some “fan art” to send to Elise Gravel 🙂

the slug #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

I have continued reading a number of early/young chapter books as I am interested in introducing a number of new series to some of my readers just getting comfortable with chapter books.

Humphrey’s Tiny Tales: Really Wheely Racing Day by Betty G. Birney

I have some students reading the Humphrey series but for those not quite ready for a longer chapter book, this “Tiny Tales” series is perfect! Cute illustrations and larger text make it non-intimidating and attractive for readers growing their confidence.

Humphrey's  Really Wheely Racing Day #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Mortimer Keene: Ghosts on the Loose by Tim Healey and Chris Mould

Okay, some really really gross ghosts are featured in another Mortimer Keene title. Rhymes, fantastically odd and creepy illustrations and an English school setting.

Ghosts on the Loose #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Lulu Bell and the Moon Dragon by Belinda Murrell; illustrated by Serena Geddes

An Australian title featuring Lulu Bell and her best friend Molly who are preparing for the Moon festival that Molly’s Mom wants to share. I liked this young chapter book a lot – in a tiny story, many things of interest were happening: learning about the Moon festival, supporting a younger sibling finding a way to connect with friends and humpback whale sightings. Lots of illustrations and an interesting story line make this a series I would like to share in my room. I will be purchasing more titles in this series.

lulu bell and the moon dragon #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

I also read Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Family and sibling dynamics so fresh and honest. Humorous, amusing and believable. Everyone in my family read and enjoyed this title – my son, daughter and husband. Now we have Raina’s books being passed from person to person – all of us are big fans!

 Sisters #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Up next? I am reading (and loving) After Iris by Natalie Farrant. After this? The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson 

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 65/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 461/650 books read (currently 46 books behind – slowly trying to get this down to 0 from that scary 54 number that is haunting me)

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 111/65 complete

For anyone who shared a #MustReadin2014 list, the plan is to share an update (in whatever form and no matter what your progress) on Tuesday (October 14th). I will host here on this blog. Would love to hear what you have all been reading. I admit in advance, I have made little progress on my list since the last update. I have been reading, just other titles!

Picture Book Wish List: July 2014

Summertime is the time I bury myself in picture books – frequent library visits, sifting through my class collection and reading books I haven’t read and yes, often some book buying. All in the name of stocking my classroom library because you can never, ever, have too many books for avid readers! Right?

Unfortunately, this summer a what seems to be endless teacher’s strike has given me this status: In Limbo/Book Buying Hiatus 

And I don’t like it one bit.

But, book lists don’t cost a dime . . .

And if I can’t be shopping and pre-ordering titles, I can be making a list. When pay cheques are coming into our house again (two teacher family = no cheques x two), I just might be able to go book shopping. Luckily, I will have a list 🙂

My top ten list of picture books I currently covet . . .

Here I am written Patti Kim and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez (September 2013)

I read this brilliant wordless title a few weeks ago and was wowed. All about the emotions of moving somewhere new. Just gorgeous.

Here I Am Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

What do you do with an idea? written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mac Besom (February 2014)

A celebration of imagination and the courage to think big and small and everywhere in between. I sort of fell in love with this book in the bookstore and It broke my heart a little to put it back on the shelf.

What do you do with an idea?  Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison (February 2014)

Sometimes being just who you are is the exactly right kind of extraordinary. Delightful messages of kindness and compassion.

Extraordinary jane Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman (May 2014)

There is a brilliant picture of the ocean and the boat full of bears and whales. I am such a sucker for whale illustrations that just knock you over. But then, there are a number of other absolutely stunning images. And . . . the story is lovely. Can’t lose.

T Three Bears in a Boat Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Quest by Aaron Becker (August 2014)

I remember sharing Journey with my students. The wonder. The awe. The quiet. More of that in another beautiful book? Yes, please.

Quest Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin written by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Qin Leng (August 2014)  

In our house, Suki’s Kimono by Uegaki is a favourite title to read and to gift. This book promises more lovely connections to a grandparent from Japan, lessons in perseverance and the beauty of music played by a young child.

 Haro  Hashimoto Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (October  2014)

These guys. These books. I am just automatically in!

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Blizzard by John Rocco (October 2014)

Loved Blackout. Loved Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom (Especially the station wagon capture scene). Loved them so much, I bought them both.  So I think, I will love this. Look at the cover: one kid, one sled and one big white world!

Blizzard Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (October 2014)

Oh Marla Frazee. How do I love her? I can count the ways! This cover just has me so unbelievably curious. Oh and did I mention that it is wordless?

The farmer and the clown Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (October 2014)

I don’t think I need to give any reason for wanting this book. But I will give 22. Those would be my students who absolutely shrieked when I showed them this book trailer after we read The One and Only Ivan. This book MUST come live in my classroom. I made a promise that it would.

Picture Book Wish List: July 2014 There's a Book for That

What dream books are on your wish list? Because I could be persuaded to make mine a little longer . . .

Gift Books 2013 – twelve picture books to give this season

gift Books 2013

I spent close to three hours at my favourite bookstore yesterday – Vancouver Kidsbooks selecting books for a donor that wants to gift our primary students with new books to take home this holiday season. Books in hand and in home make so much difference! While my Teacher Librarian and I shopped, we were privy to many conversations between customers and the very knowledgable Kidsbooks staff. And it got me to thinking . . . Which 2013 picture books would I recommend for a gift list?

Of course, there are many amazing titles to choose from. I narrowed it to twelve. Twelve books I think are absolutely worth owning and therefore, worth gifting. My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make the readers think differently about something? Does it celebrate something important? Is it a book that brings joy? With those questions in mind, here is my list:

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos written by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

This is a fascinating biography that not only makes math seem absolutely engrossing but gives us a glimpse into a mind that was truly one track. A beautiful balance between the mathematical life and the other life of Paul Erdos.

Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

On A Beam of Light- A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

A wonderfully accessible biography of Albert Einstein. This title has all the perfect themes of wonder, curiosity and thinking outside of the box.

Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

This is an important story of what we miss by not being in the moment. How many beautiful experiences are lost on us as we rush through our days? Based on a true event where famous musician Joshua Bell played in the metro and was basically ignored. My students shared reviews here.

Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

The Matchbox Diary  by Paul Fleischman illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline 

History, stories and memories told through unveiling of various contents of a number of matchboxes. Perfect to inspire storytelling between the generations.

The Matchbox diary Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Full of quotes to read, share and ponder. Love the message that peace needs to be everywhere (in our hearts, homes, schools, countries . . .) in order to impact peace everywhere else.

Peace Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives  written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Gorgeous. Want to reveal how math is all around us? This is the book to do it. There is counting and estimating and wondering and a whole bunch of other mathematical applications – in addition to being a beautifully illustrated books with lots of fascinating animal facts.

Lifetime Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

The Snatchabook written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty

Know a family with a new baby? Give them this beautiful book which sends the message loud and clear – we all need to be raised with daily read aloud moments.

The Snatchabook Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Once Upon a Northern Night written by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Lyrical, soothing and visually beautiful. Let the text lull you to sleep with dreams of the magic and quiet of winter. A perfect book to celebrate this coldest of seasons.

Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Journey by Aaron Becker

Grab your imagination and enter a magical world where anything might happen. A wordless treasure.

Journey  Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Papa’s Mechanical Fish written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Papa models the curiosity and persistence of an inventor. This book is “almost true” based on the life of Lodner Phillips who really did build The Whitefish, an actual functioning submarine.

Papa's Mechanical Fish Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Count the Monkeys written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Because we all need to laugh together! Interactive. Will make you want to leap out of your chair in delight! Giggle, giggle, giggle.

Count the monkeys Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Children love to hear about what it was like when they were a baby. This nonfiction title reveals what the first moments are like for different animals. So much to discuss.

My first day Gift Books 2013 There's a Book for That

Books are gifts to treasure! This season give books!

Wordless Whispers and Shouts

It is no secret that I adore wordless books. Some of these titles have so much buzz about them lately – you can probably hear the shouts if you put your ear to the ground on the picture book love network. Others have been around for a little while and need a “Psst, you know this title don’t you?” mention.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titles

Here are a handful of words about some fantastic wordless (or nearly) titles:

Journey by Aaron Becker

Grab your imagination and enter a magical world where anything might happen. Stunning.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titles

Bluebird by Bob Staake 

Loneliness. Friendship. Cruelty. Grief. Hope. A whirlwind of emotions.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titles

South by Patrick McDonnell 

A story of being lost and found and having someone sweet enough to help you on your journey to where you need to go.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titles

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

Including this title here is kind of cheating. It isn’t really a wordless title. But some of the best pages of the book that tell the biggest story are the pages of just images. All about brilliant, creative, heroic ideas in the name of friendship.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titles

Looking Down by Steve Jenkins

Closer and closer and closer. Google Earth beautifully captured in a picture book. Experience a little vertigo as you turn the pages.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titlesInside Outside by Lizi Boyd

Simple adventures over the seasons inside and outside of the house.

 Wordless Whispers and Shouts: There's a Book for That Some wonderful wordless titles

Monday August 12th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

 

IMWAYR

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 reads!

I did lots of picture book reading this week – often lugging stacks of books to the pool to read while my children had swimming lessons. I did my best to narrow the books I want to feature this week to ten:

Journey by Aaron Becker

Gorgeous. Inspired. I shared this with my family and we had so many connections to other stories and experiences. My children thought of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Howl’s Moving Castle, Airborn . . . A book that lures you right back to the beginning to start it again. A book you won’t be able to resist. It’s a must own.

Journey  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg

Very creative – such an experience seeing what unfolds with each lifting of the flaps. Celebrates imagination and doodles that might become  . . .

Andrew Drew and Drew #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Wag by Patrick McDonnell

Why is it exactly that Earl’s tail wags so enthusiastically? It takes a while to get to the answer but it is absolutely worth it. Adorable.

Wag #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting and Ronald Himler

A very special story about an important tree that a family visits everyday. When it turns out this tree is dying, it is heartbreaking. Touches on the life cycle of trees, environmental hazards, community, hope. So many possibilities for the primary classroom.

Someday a Tree #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

No Roses for Harry! written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

How did I not know there were other stories about Harry (of Dirty Dog fame)? And wow, am I glad I found out!

no roses for harry #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Long Way Away by Frank Viva

I am still not sure of this title. I appreciate the concept of two stories in one – told either front to back or back to front – very creative. But . . . I kind of felt like the images could have stood on their own. I think this could easily have been a fantastic wordless title. I will see what my students think in the fall. With this book I really need “test readers” to try it out and see . . .

a long way away #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Matchbox Diary  by Paul Fleischman illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline 

I wasn’t quite prepared for just how beautiful these illustrations would be. The cover hints at the story’s concept and not the beauty of what is inside. Still – the concept – sigh. Just amazing. History, stories and memories told through unveiling of various contents of a number of matchboxes. Also love the intergenerational connection! A favourite of the year absolutely.

MatchboxDiary #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Goodbye Mousie written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Jan Ormerod

A well done title that deals with the death of a pet – how will it be handled by a preschooler? Illustrations of the family interactions are warm and natural.

goodbye mousie #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Bluebird by Bob Staake So I will confess that I have been avoiding this book since it was published. I think every staff member at Vancouver Kidsbooks (my local bookstore) has tried to share it with me or inquired whether I’ve read it yet. And, I’ve made multiple excuses. “Not in the mood.” “The cover just doesn’t grab me.” “I’ll look at it next time I’m in.” The truth? The cover has been whispering to me – “I’m going to get to you in a big way.” I knew I would love this book. I knew I would find it powerful. I knew I would find multiple ways to share it with my students and that our conversations would be huge and raw and honest as conversations with kids about great books often tend to be. I’m not going to share details about this book. I’m sure everyone but me has already experienced it. I will just say that this time at the book store, I read it and then, it came home with me.

 Bluebird #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frog: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle

A fantastic nonfiction read. What was happening to the golden frogs in the Panama? Could they be saved? This book explores the thinking and research of the scientists who tried to answer these questions. A longer read but could be shared even in upper primary over multiple read aloud sessions. So much to discuss – purposes of zoos we might not have known, ecology, environment, endangered species . . .

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I continue to try and read early chapter books and graphic novels that are already in my classroom This week I read:

Ivy + Bean (Book 1) by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall 

Somehow I have never sat down and read an entire Ivy + Bean. What was I thinking? They are more delightful than my skimming through titles had conveyed. Spunky characters in all the best ways. A friend of ours loves reading them with his daughter. He says it best:

“I like that these books have a bit of a wicked edge to them, a lovely appreciation of 7-year old anarchists. Nothing saccharine about Ivy&Bean.”

Ivy&Bean #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka 

Also realized that I had never read the first Lunch Lady title. I didn’t really read this so much as read it along to a running commentary from my children asking me which part I was at or what had just happened or did I think that . . . Wow, do kids love Lunch Lady! A series I always love recommending.

Lunch Lady #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read Sold by Patricia McCormick

A difficult but important read. A book that I hope is in all high school libraries.

Sold #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I am currently reading Eleanor and Park (almost finished!)  Loving it so far 🙂

I also finished

Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Steven L. Layne

Appreciated Layne’s voice and passion for making reading something that is adored by students everywhere. He makes it very clear however, that this passion begins with the environment we create in our classrooms. There are many people who need this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have a few novels I want to read that are due back at the library at around the same time so it will be a due date competition that determines what I read!