Monday November 6th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week.

On Halloween morning our room was full of readers. Like this witch rereading some favourite picture books.

Book sharing circles and talking about our preferences is always an activity that promotes lots of book love.

Our #classroombookaday titles were selected specifically because Halloween was this week. We had monsters, witches, goblins, ghosts and lots of laughs.

Classroom Highlights 

My Monday posts now also contain some a lot of sharing from my week in the classroom.

Early in the week, the witches arrived. They are still around grumbling and whispering stories of their terrible Halloween nights or of their anger that Halloween is over. My little authors are telling these stories. Stay tuned!

This little writer is hard at work on her witch story.

In the Art and Discovery studio we drew about our families and things we like to do together.

Then we sat and told the stories of our pictures.It is always a treat when we can end our day listening to our current read aloud The Wild Robot, drawing and doodling as we listen.Sometimes our morning writing is to talk about Roz, the robot, the main character in The Wild Robot.

We were also very inspired by our #classroombookaday titles this week

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.

Books I enjoyed:

I managed to read a lot this week so am limiting this list to my favourites from the pile!

Wild One by Jane Whittingham with illustrations by Noel Tuazon

A celebratory romp through the day leaves a little one in an exhausted heap at day’s end. Incredible end pages and fun illustrations – this book is a bed time poem full of all kinds of surprising guest animals. Put it on your list as a gift book for parents of littles.

Jane is Jane from Raincity Librarian, a regular #IMWAYR blogger and I was thrilled to meet her at her Book Warehouse book launch Saturday.

Her she is signing her book that I purchased for a friend having a baby next month!

Creepy Pair of Underwear! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

I will admit to having my doubts that this team could pull off another incredible title featuring Jasper rabbit. But they do! Glow in the dark creepy underwear is pretty amusing.

I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds 

You really will feel calmer after reading this book. The perfect title to have in classrooms that practice mindfulness strategies.

Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman and Zachariah OHora

There is a lot going on in this book beyond the lemmings repeatedly leaping into the ocean. A hilarious story about the importance of reading.

You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Liz Climo

This may be my favourite Ame Dyckman book so far. So, so very funny. Who could have guessed that a pet unicorn could be so problematic?

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

So a duck and a mouse take up residence in the belly of a wolf. Only Barnett and Klassen could pull this off.

These two not only make incredible books together. They make book trailers to make you giggle.

Refugee by Alan Gratz.

I think the cover recommendation by Ruta Sepetys captures the essence of this book – engaging and important. I would go so far as to add necessary. This is a book I want to hand to everyone. Sadly, it is relevant now just as it was relevant more than 70 years ago. I think this book is either one you will devour in a few sittings or read slowly over time. I took my time. I had to stop to process. To make room for bad dreams. To worry. To cry.

This book.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 54/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 266/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 42 books behind schedule.

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2017: 39/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

Monday May 23rd, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been absent from #IMWAYR for a few weeks and oh, how, I have missed it! I am back and thrilled to be here. How I adore this community.

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. As you might have anticipated, I have a few to share this week.

Here is my Reading Warrior surrounded by her morning reading 🙂

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

An engaged buddy reading moment.

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

More buddy reading joy.

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

For our #classroombookaday, I have three weeks of titles to share.

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That Monday May 23rd, 2016 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:

I have been processing leaving my school and this seems to be the only blogging I have done.

I am leaving – – > Changes Ahead: Slice of Life

It’s confusing – – > Not Enough Feet: Slice of Life

Trying to find peace – – > Celebration: Standing in the Middle

Books I enjoyed:

In three weeks, there have been many books! So I worked hard to narrow it down to my ten favourite recently read picture books. In no particular order:

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

So very clever. Literal twists and turns! Quite the reading experience exploring the feeling of time’s passage on a road trip.

Are we there Yet? Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Rules of the House written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matt Myers

Never open the red door! This is the firm rule of the house. So, what would you do? I can see kids actually finding this kind of scary . . .

Rules of the House Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Willems is more than brilliant and doesn’t disappoint in any way in this last Elephant and Piggie title.

TheThankYouBook Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Horrible Bear written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora

I love this title more and more as I think more about how truly smart it is. Exploring immediate reactions, mistakes and forgiveness. Another wonderful collaboration from Dyckman and OHora.

Horrible Bear Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Nerdy Birdy written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies

Reynolds and Davies? I couldn’t wait to lay eyes on this one. I love all that it explores – these birdies navigate social norms and emotions rather than the skies. Lots to talk about.

Nerdy Birdy Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Thunder Boy Jr. written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

I have been waiting for this book since I heard Morales discuss it at Western Washington’s Children’s Literature Conference more than a year ago. Now, I am thrilled to have just purchased tickets for my husband and I to go hear Alexie speak here in Vancouver! (June 21st – tickets via Vancouver Kidsbooks if you are local) This book is all kinds of special. All about identity, family, who we are and what our name represents.

Loved listening to this interview.

 Thunder Boy Jr. Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Puddle by Hyewon Yum

Is there anything better than puddle jumping? Likely not! This book is full of rain and creativity.

Puddle Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

This is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier

100% charming. A book that celebrates the beautiful process of reading.

This is Not a Picture Book Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary Grandpré

So fascinating! Made me go and look at multiple images of Kandinsky’s work.

The Noisy Paint Box Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Stay! A Top Dog Story by Alex Latimer

I can see some children becoming absolutely lost in the detailed notes and letters in this book. Lots of fun!

Stay! Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Novels:

Booked! by Kwame Alexander

This is the second Alexander title that made its rounds in my family – both children, my husband and I read it. I think we all took different things from it to love. There is lots to love!

Booked Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

This is some book. Dramatic family relationships, young love, coming of age, and New York in 1977 and all that that means . . . the Son of Sam murders and the fear surrounding this time, fires, black outs, financial hardships. I highly recommend this YA title.

Burn Baby Burn Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers

This is one of those titles that you can pick up and not put down until done. On the one hand, this is the story of a girl trapped in a well and all of the scary and terrible about this. But this little book also contains lots about the ugliness of middle school relationships, the vulnerability of children, our inner voices and introspection . . . .

The Girl in the Well is Me Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 19/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 147/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 16/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 22/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 19/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

Gift Books 2015: 25 picture books to give this season

Making a picture book list to give is becoming one of my favourite holiday traditions. I started with 12 in 2013 and moved to 20 in 2014. This year 25 made the list. Why not? There are a lot of books to love!

Gift Books 2015: 25 books to give this season

Of course, I have not read every book out there. But I believe in picture books for every reason and so, I have read a lot! A lot, a lot. Some have stood out. Some I must insist upon. Going picture book shopping? Here is my list of 25 titles that I think are absolutely worth owning and therefore, worth gifting. Fantastic titles in both fiction and nonfiction. My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make its readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Does it freeze time? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh? Laughing, I always think, is very underrated.

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond

I was smitten just with the end pages. Based on a true story, this title goes back to Ontario forests of 1914. It is a memory, a story. And what a story. How incredible to think about this experience where a fire caused humans and animals to connect in an incredibly quiet, necessary way. The illustrations here are stunning.

Out of the Woods 2015 Gift Books

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

This book. It speaks to wild wishes, big possibility and the amazing of the simple and natural. Love, love, love.

Something Extraordinary 2015 Gift Books

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing.

Last Stop on Market Street 2015 Gift Books

Wolfie the Bunnie written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

Charming, humorous and sweet This book has much to offer. Sibling dynamics. The brilliance of children. Humour, giggles, and wows.

Wolfie the Bunny 2015 Gift Books

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López

Gorgeous. Inspiring. Saturated colours and beautiful art. The true story of one girl’s dream to drum.

Drum Girl Dreaming

Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted: Birdie Friends by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Nate Wragg

One sweet book. About the quest to belong and have friends. Some serious perseverance here.

Elwood Bigfoot 2015 Gift Books

The Bear Report by Thyra Heder

I don’t even have words. A must own. Really, truly beautiful. This title makes me cry and sigh and sit in absolute awe. I refuse to even write about the plot. Just trust me and go buy this book.

The Bear Report 2015 Gift Books

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

It’s lush and moody and at the same time sweet and hopeful. I had all kinds of wishes. I wanted to shrink down and wander about this little garden. I wanted the book to be quilted so I could gift it as a “stuffie” type treasure to little ones to snuggle with. I wanted each image, framed, to hang on my wall. This is a book to love.

The Little Gardener 2015 Gift books

Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim

This book is magical. The text suggests all kinds of connections between ours and the animal world. Talk about perseverance, creativity and inspiration. Or, just get lost in the illustrations.

Wild Ideas 2015 Gift Books

Marilyn’s Monster written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Matt Phelan

What do you do when everyone gets a monster and yours never arrives? Marilyn grows impatient with the endless waiting. So she ventures out to make her own difference.

Marilyn's Monster

Bright Sky Starry City written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Aimée Sicuro

A beautiful story of father and daughter, of a curious girl wondering about space and astronomy, of a glorious sky full of stars and constellations.

Bright Sky, Starry City 2015 Gift Books

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Wordless perfection. I love everything about this book. How it is about little things, being in the moment, noticing, kindness . . .

Sidewalk Flowers 2015 Gift Books

Pool by JiHyeon Lee

Gorgeous. Wordless. Two children dive deep and meet under a bunch of swimmers and floaters in a busy pool. What do they find there? A fantastical world. The colours, the negative space, the whimsy.

Pool 2015 Gift Books

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

This book is absolutely adorable. The perfect book for reading aloud at a story time for younger listeners. The perfect bedtime book to remind all soon to be sleepers that they are brave.

Night Animals 2015 Gift Books

Toad Weather written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Rich messages beyond a fascinating story. I love that it reminds us to notice and experience the natural world no matter what the weather, no matter what our mood.

Toad Weather Gift Books 2015

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

For inspiring gardeners. For nature explorers. Spans generations and seasons.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt 2015 gift Books

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

This is a wonderful title. Such creative twists on Little Red Riding Hood – crafted into quite a different tale. Mysterious. Unusual. Magical. The perfect read aloud for a cozy winter’s day.

The Tea Party in the Woods

Float by Daniel Miyares

Children approach rain in the best of ways. All in. Rubber boots, puddle jumping, sailing of boats! And after the rain, there is sunshine and new possibilities. Wordless and wonderful.

Float 2015 Gift Books

My Pen by Christopher Myers 

I always say there is power in the pencil (or pen, or marker, etc) – this book celebrates the creativity on the page. But on the page is so much more. I want to share it with each group of children I teach for forever . . .

My Pen 2015 Gift Books

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Sadie is enchanting. She embraces life – both the real and the imagined parts with gusto. Creative, inspired, endearing. Her story is a delight to read aloud. Morstad’s images are “ooh” and “ahh” and “wow” inducing. The combination is pure read aloud perfection.

This is Sadie 2015 Gift Books

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Lyrical and lovely. And illustrations to knock you over. Takes you through the seasons, the water cycle, childhood experiences. A must own.

Water is Water 2015 Gift Books

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Beautiful. Special. And inspirational. For little dancers to be. For those with big hearts who know what it is to share.

swan the life and dance of anna pavlova 2015 Gift Books

Lenny and Lucy written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Moody. Lonely. Emotional. Sweet. Lovely. A favourite in my room. Children responded to this gentle story of needing to feel secure.

Lenny & Lucy 2015 Gift Books

Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

Try and get past the cover with the greens, the lush, the rich and deep. Sigh. A story about nature, responsibility and hope.

Sonya's Chickens 2015 Gift Books

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

I am not sure I have words for just how breathtaking I find this title. It is a book lover’s dream. Seriously. Stop dead illustrations. Of course, I had to own this one. And ahem, you should too . . .

The Whisper 2015 Gift Books

Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.

Monday March 2nd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. I loved how intently these two boys shared favourite aspects of their picture books. Lots of #booklove and talk happening about books!

Monday March 2nd, 2015 #IMWAYR 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

I just returned from the absolutely amazing Children’s Literacy Conference at Western Washington University. Wow. Wow. And more wow. I will share more details later this week.

So while my weekend was all about books. Buying books. Listening to authors and illustrators talk about books. Discussing books. Sharing favourite books. Did I mention buying books . . . ?

Anyway, the reading of books didn’t happen a whole lot.

But when it did . . . A few favourite titles of my week.

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

This is a stunning book. Absolutely stunning. But hearing Yuyi talk about the book and about the incredible process of creating it, it is now even more stunning to me. At the conference during Yuyi’s presentation, she read this book with the audience. She read the words in Spanish, we read in English. This sparse text surrounded us in the room. It was a read aloud experience I will never forget.

viva frida Monday March 2nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Wolfie the Bunnie written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

I was so excited to find this book and it did not disappoint in any way. Charming, humorous and sweet. Perfect author/illustrator team!

Wolfie the Bunnie Monday March 2nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

You Call that Brave by Lorenz Pauli and Kathrin Schärer

The illustrations here are so much fun. This title asks the question: What is brave? Its answers pose all kinds of questions. I love the discussion that happened in my classroom with this book.

You Call that Brave Monday March 2nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Shin-Chi’s Canoe written by Nicola Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave

An emotional story of two Aboriginal children (siblings) who are sent to residential school. Accessible for younger readers. The emotional pain endured by the families and children impacted by residential schools is powerful in this book. Beautifully illustrated.

Shin-Chi's Canoe Monday March 2nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing. Oh how I adore this book.

Market Street Monday March 2nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I am in the middle of a number of novels and hope to report some completed titles next week as well as reading goal updates.

Happy Reading everyone!