Monday October 2nd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a  reading photo of the week. Well, honestly each week I share some photos from the week. It’s hard to pick just one!

Princess in Black titles are VERY popular in our room!

While the “people” are resting, we should probably read them The Story of Diva and Flea. I love that books are pulled out even during play opportunities.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.

Our #classroombookaday titles have continued to explore relationships.

These titles are all about friendships and choices and allowed us to talk about the way we treat each other.

We don’t always write about our #classroombookaday titles but I am already excited by the thoughtful responses students are sharing.

Then we explored a variety of ways kindness can manifest. Hank Finds and Egg is the first “tell aloud” (wordless book) I have shared with this group. They fell in love!

I wrote a post about some minor changes coming on my blog: Dear Blog Readers – sharing more of what is happening in my classroom. So each week I will share a few photos of classroom highlights here.

Classroom Highlights

We began working with Maggie, our Artist in Residence in the Art and Discovery Studio. Up first? Self portraits!

I was supposed to be away for a day but then in the end, didn’t have to be absent. Part of the preparation was to have the students write Dear Guest Teacher letters. They are pretty wonderful I think! I encourage writers to be fearless – to write in pen and cross out and give mistakes a hug for helping us to learn!

Books I enjoyed:

It Takes a Village by Hilary Rodham Clinton and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Frazee brings so much to this title. A simple and powerful book.

If I Had a Little Dream written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Melissa Castrillo

A celebration of possibilities from a child’s perspective. Beautiful.

Love the dreaming this little bunny did on her bed fashioned out of Keva Planks! My class loves to play with these!

That’s Me Loving You written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Teagan White

Such a lovely little book to support children with many things: connection, loss, attachment.

Away written by Emil Sher and illustrated by Qin Leng

I really like this title. A story shared through notes between a busy Mom and daughter. Illustrations by Leng are superb.

One of my students wrote a great note to her Mom this week. After hearing some students tell me that my all black outfit made me look like I was going to a funeral, she thought about her Mom’s wardrobe choices and made this note! 🙂

Secrets I Know by Kallie George and Paola Zakimi

A poetic, lyrical title about the wonders of the world: big and small.

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors written by Drew Daywalt with pictures by Adam Rex

Absolutely hilarious and entertaining! I am going to need to get a copy of this book for my classroom. Students will love this imagined backstory that inspired the game Rock Paper Scissors.

Dough Knights and Dragons written by Dee Leone and illustrated by George Ermos

Lots of rhymes, lots of cute and a wonderful example for young readers about coming up with creative solutions to a problem.

The Antlered Ship written by Dashka Slater and illustrated by The Fan Brothers

Mock Caldecott? Yes! Gorgeous. I particularly enjoyed the sense of wonder and questioning in this book.

Isadora Moon Goes to School by Harriet Muncaster

The first book in a cute little series about a girl who is half-vampire and half-fairy and trying to find the perfect place for her school setting.

The Infamous Ratsos by Kara Lareau and illustrated by Matt Myers

Such a fun little title about two brothers who work very hard to be bad but just aren’t!

Pie Girl (Piper Green, #5) written by Ellen Potter and illustrated by Qin Leng

I love Piper Green. I read every new title and enjoy each of them. This one did not disappoint. Piper wants to be Pie Girl but things just don’t seem to go her way.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Oh my goodness me. This book is fantastic. Creepy. Gruesome. Lots of blood and gore but lots of suspense and great story telling (and retelling) Despite the creepy and violent parts, this is definite middle grade material! Fairy tale sharing at its finest.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 50/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 223/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 50 books behind schedule.  Nice even number that is too large for my liking! Yikes.

#MustReadin2017: 23/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 28/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 33/50 books read

Up Next? I am starting Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis

Monday November 23rd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. I love this scene from buddy reading. Notice how the little K is leaning right in with my Grade 3 student learning about sharks. I adore this photo as it captures so much.

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:

Yes, I have been blogging! 🙂

In honour of Picture Book Month: Twenty Books that Capture the Essence of Childhood

For #nfpb2015 Nonfiction on my radar: Winter 2015

My #celebratelu post this week honours the progress and positive in my classroom: Celebration: What’s Working

Books I loved:

There are quite a few because I did some picture book therapy. Anyone else do this? Often? I have a feeling I am not the only one who has figured this out!

I made some great progress on my nonfiction reading:

Toad Weather written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

This book is FANTASTIC! I love much about it – starting with those wonderful polka dot boots on the cover! This is a fictionalized account of an actual toad crossing that really, truly happens every year in Pennsylvania. Markle shares a beautiful story about this pretty amazing natural phenomenon and the way that people become part of the story (in a good way thankfully!) But, this story has some 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

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

Gorgeous. Inspiring. Seriously, these colours. I loved everything about this book!

Drum Girl Dreaming

Flowers are Calling written by Rita Gray and illustrations by Kenard Pak

I particularly loved Pak’s illustrations here. Learn all about the colours, shapes and unique aspects to flowers and just who interacts with them (and why and how).

Flowers are Calling

And I read some incredible picture books:

Please, Open this Book! written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

This is one of the most clever follow up titles ever. First read and appreciate Warning: Do not Open this Book! You could just read it on your own, but I recommend experiencing it as a read aloud with a group of eager listeners. And then, comes this one. I giggled multiple times at the bookstore and of course, brought it home with me. Cannot wait to share all of its amusing and interactive pages with my class tomorrow. Love the mushy yellow banana.

Please, Open this Book!

Little Miss, Big Sis written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Sometimes becoming an older sibling is eagerly anticipated and quite a beloved experience. This title captures just that.

Little Miss, Big Sis

Where are my Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

An entertaining reading message. Favourite books are amazing. And everyone (everyone!) needs picture books!

Where are my Books?

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

Okay, this is a book I love. It speaks to wild wishes, big possibility and the amazing of the simple and natural. Love, love, love.

Something Extraordinary

Dear Yeti by James Kwan

Charming and adventurous. Two explorers set out in search of a yeti. told through a series of letters. Great mentor text for writing.

Dear Yeti

Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato

These Little Elliot titles seem like they should be just too sweet and not quite work. But instead, they are absolutely sweet and completely capture the reader. No overly sugary after taste. Just big breath, full heart moments. Well done Mike Curato, you have something amazing figured out.

Little Elliot, Big Family

Miss Hazletine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Birgitta Sif

For the cat fan. For the extra timid. For the reader who appreciates inspired courage and stepping out of your comfort zone. Delightfully quirky.

Miss Hazletine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats

And the amazing YA novel . . . Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

I am such an absolute fan of Schmidt. He regularly knocks me over while at the same time offering up such grounded, beautiful stories. This was an early morning read and cry book. I finished it all at once because how could I possibly put it down? Beautiful. Hopeful. Heartbreaking. A reminder that we all need each other and that family is about who is in your corner.

Orbiting Jupiter

Up next? I continue reading MosquitoLand by David Arnold because other reading ended up calling to me. Happy to be back into this title.

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 61/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 390/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 70/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 45/50 books read

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection

There are so many beautiful picture books out there in the world.

Books make lovely gifts that become part of a family’s story world.

So how to choose?

Board books always make wonderful gifts but so do picture books that will be part of a child’s collection of read again and again stories. Not every book gift needs to be given thinking only about babyhood and the first few years. Give a book that can be grown into. A book that tells a story families will want to share repeatedly. Stories to be savoured and talked about and wondered about.

These suggestions have a definite theme of being in the moment and noticing the world – the big moments, the small things, the important feelings. Because childhood soars by. These titles remind us to experience it as fully as we can.

Here are 20 titles I would gift new parents and why they need to be on the family book shelf:

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Listed in alphabetical order by author.

Yard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

No matter what the journey, no matter what is possessed along the way, family matters most of all.

 Yard Sale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Facing fears is a lot easier with a Nana by your side. I love what this book says about home, family and the wisdom of grandparents.

Nana in the City Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

Simple and reassuring. The power of walking in the neighbourhood: being, noticing, connecting.

A Good Night Walk Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection 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.

Last Stop on Market Street Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Snatchabook written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty

This book reminds us that everyone needs to be read to. A life with bedtime stories is rich indeed.

The Snatchabook Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

A book about a problem that needs solving and having wonderfully, persistently, kind intentions.

 Hank Finds an Egg Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

The ins and outs of waiting. And wondering. And hoping. Patience is underrated in life but celebrated in this beautiful little book.

If you want to see a whale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries. Four Families. One Delicious Treat. written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

An opportunity to talk about cooking together over time. Tradition. Changes. Savouring of sweet treats.

A Fine Dessert Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Read this book early and often and send the message – our life is going to be a life where we are surrounded by books and reading and all of the magic that will guarantee.

 The Fantastic Flying Books Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

What is at eye level for our little ones? Flowers and many other interesting things. Children notice many things and give so freely.

Sidewalk Flowers Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Wave by Suzy Lee

There is nothing like the joy of a big expanse of beach and the waves that roll in and out. This wordless book captures all of the all the excitement, fear and wonder of a child’s beachside experience.

 Wave Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski 

Such a beautiful book for those who appreciate the soothing power of bedtime books. Sleep is a wonderful thing!

Sleep Like a Tiger Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

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. Wonderful connections to favourite book characters.

This is Sadie Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

There is kindness and then there is putting others’ happiness before your own. Kindness between siblings is very special.

 The Girl and the Bicycle Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

I Wish You More written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld 

This book captures hope and love in a sweet, endearing way.

I Wish You More Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Blackout by John Rocco

Time. Time together. Time together as a first priority. This book reminds us of how very important this is. Because everything can get in the way. But only if you let it . . .

 Blackout Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

All the World  written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Simple rhyming text pays tribute to the small simple things our world has to offer like a tomato blossom or a fire to take away a chill.

All-the-World Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

A wonderful story about siblings, mistakes, owning up and doing what’s right.

 Three Bears in a Boat Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection 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?

The Man with the Violin Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Happy by Mies van Hout

What could be better than a bright and bold celebration of our emotions?

Happy Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Give books.

Read books.

Share books.

Often.

Monday April 6th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This is buddy reading at its best. Kids everywhere. Engaged. Reading. Talking. Laughing. Did I say engaged? Because, really, that’s what it’s all about.

 Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also shared an emotional Celebration post this week. All about how very much I have loved having my current class for (for many of them) a third year. There is much to be said for teaching children over multiple years.

 Celebration post

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

The picture books I loved this week:

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Wordless perfection. I love everything about this book. And I own it. I pick it up everyday and swoon.

sidewalk flowers  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

A fantastic nonfiction picture book biography. True inspiration.

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Big Red Kangaroo written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne

I shared this book in my nonfiction post this week.

big red kangaroo  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

My Pen by Christopher Myers 

I left this at the bookstore but haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. 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 know this book will soon become part of my collection. I want to share it with each group of children I teach for forever . . .

My Pen  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Wish You More written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld 

I want any of these wishes to be true. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I Wish You More  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

See You Next Year written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Todd Stewart

The illustrations are beautiful – such magic in the way light is shown. Nostalgia, memory inducing book. Power in the “same every year” summer vacation.

See You Next Year  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Cardinal and the Crow by Michael Moniz

The message? Pride and foolishness go hand in hand. Inspired by Aesop’s fables. For bird lovers, the illustrations are divine.

The Cardinal and the Crow  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Chicken Big by Keith Graves

Kids LOVE silly. This book is bursting with it.

Chicken Big  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

NonRandom Acts of Kindness (Life of Ty #2) by Lauren Myracle

I am so excited that this young chapter book exists. I started with #2 but will be finding number one and adding both to my classroom collection. Ty is believable, the story line is relevant and I liked the friendship/family dynamics explored.

NonRandom Acts of Kindness (Life of Ty #2)  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña (YA)

Where to begin? These characters, sigh. I feel like I could go for a walk and I might find them standing on a corner, watching people go by. I would want to run up and talk about courage and honesty and deep morals and true loyalty. I would want to buy them a sandwich. I would want to know that their worlds are all going to be okay. I’m hopeful. Which doesn’t really tell you anything about this book. I will say this, I am fast becoming a de la Peña fan. If you haven’t read any of his books, start here. Soon.

We Wre Here  Monday April 6th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 16/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 134/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 7/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 29/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 13/50 books read

Up next? I am almost finished The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern And then it is to Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero 

Picture books to help you giggle

To celebrate picture book month, I am sharing peeks into the wonderful conversations I get to have with children about particular picture books. When I thought about writing a picture book post today, no conversations leaped out at me to share. I have no students here at home on a Sunday morning and I have been reading my own children the amazing novel Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. But . . . just yesterday evening, I was talking to Vancouver kindergarten teacher Sharon Hales about how great Elephant & Piggie titles are. She is a huge fan! (Great taste!) And, of course, I asked a few times – “Have you read . . . ?” “Do you know author . . . ?” 

Hmmm, this was a conversation about picture books . . .

So I started thinking, if I were a kindergarten teacher, what would be must own picture books for my classroom library? Books guaranteed to inspire giggles and choruses of “Read it again”? Quickly, I started a list on a scrap piece of paper. I ran out of room! This post is the result. 🙂

Grab one of these, grab a child or a kindergarten/early primary class and prepare for smiles and giggles!

Picture books to help you giggle There's a Book for That

And because once you start laughing, you need to laugh some more:

Picture books to help you giggle There's a Book for That

Picture Books to help you giggle:

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

Z is for Moose written by Kelly Bingham and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky 

I’m Bored  written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Prudence Wants a Pet written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Brief Thief written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

Warning: Do not Open this Book! written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld 

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

Interrrupting Chickenby David Ezra Stein

Chester by Mélanie Watt

You’re Finally Here by Mélanie Watt

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

Such a joy to share these favourite titles – perfect for the younger set but appealing to happy readers of all ages!

Are you in the picture book mood? Share some favourites! It’s Picture Book Month!

pb month logo

Monday September 23rd, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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! The #IMWAYR crowd always has so many fantastic titles to share.

IMWAYR

The picture books I adored this week:

The Lonely Book written by Kate Berhheimer and illustrated by Chris Shelban

A story that tells many stories of how relationships with books can be so special. Sometimes a book is beloved by many and passes from hands to hands to hands. Sometimes a book’s qualities are treasured by one for any number of reasons. And sometimes a book, worn and well read, finds the best place to be and the reader who is most in need of its magic.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sing . . . sing a song . . . lyrics by Joe Raposa, story in pictures by Tom Lichtenheld

Yes, this is a book of that song Sing, Sing a Song. Starts off wordless. Our frustrated little bird demonstrates perseverance and finds some confidence after being serenaded by a joyful guitar player. Full of happiness and smiles. Just a lovely little book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Worth watching the video on youtube:

Tommaso and the Missing Line by Matteo Pericoli

One sentence summary: Tommaso goes in search of a line that has disappeared from a beloved drawing.

Wow. This is a book that asks to be shared and discussed. In big ways. With big questions. What inspires art? Does a piece of art contain a piece of the inspiration? Do things exist differently in our memories? Can art capture a memory? Can it prevent it from fading? Love this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I am the King by Leo Timmers

Part of why I was drawn to this book is that it is very pink but appears to not be a pinkish book (it isn’t) and also because last year my class fell in love with Timmers’ book The Magical Life of Mr. Renny so I was curious. This is an interesting book. Maybe one that on first read might not seem so interesting but then when you think about the potential questions it might inspire, its interest level elevates. Various animals find a golden crown and convinced it fits them perfectly, each announce, “I am the King!” The next animal finds that assertion preposterous, dons the crown (in a totally different way) and claims “King” status for themselves. Finally, the crown lands at the feet of Lion. Lion puts the crown on his head and all of the animals cheer that “Lion is the King.” That is just that.

So back to the questions:

  • Do we see ourselves vastly differently from the way others see us? Better? Worse?
  • Does competition prevent us from celebrating our potential for more?
  • Do some people (lions in this case) just command respect? How?

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Wumbers written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

What an amusing mixture of numbers and words to communicate little stories scattered throughout this book. Lots of fun! I just wished a coherent story ran through the entire book. Still, I passed this to a student last week and he was instantly hooked on deciphering the text.

Wumbers #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

In nonfiction:

Is This Panama? A Migration Story written by Jan Thornhill and illustrated by Soyeon Kim I reviewed this book earlier this week here.

Is this Panama? #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Tushes and Tails by Stephane Frattini

A hugely engaging nonfiction title ideal for an interactive read aloud experience. Who belongs to which tush and/or tail? It is not as easy as it many seem to guess. Under each lift the flap, one is rewarded with more information about each animal – enough to learn something new, not too much to lose the momentum of guessing, checking and discovering.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Queenie:  One Elephant’s Story written by Corinne Fenton and illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe 

A story about a gentle elephant captured and put in a zoo. This book tells the story of Queenie, but really forces the readers to think about zoos, animals in captivity and our obligations to them and treatment of them. Made me think of Eve Bunting‘s The Summer of Riley and the questions around whether a dog should be euthanized or not based on its actions in particular circumstances. Can see this book being very powerful shared with an older primary or an intermediate class.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mimi’s Village And How Health Care Transformed it written by Katie Smith Milway and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Part of the Citizen Kid series of information story books that talk about real world issues and how they affect children around the world. This book teaches readers all about what life is like when basic health care and disease prevention is limited. Set in Kenya, Mimi’s reality before a village health worker becomes attached to her village is one where she and her family lack clean water, appropriate nutrition, and protection from diseases. Simple things like mosquito netting to sleep under have huge impact.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Other reading:

Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball, an early graphic novel by Cherise Mericle Harper

Delightfully silly. My class adores this little graphic story.

Bean Dog and Nugget #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Boris Gets a Lizard an early illustrated chapter book by Andrew Joyner – part of the Branches series of books by Scholastic 

Boris desperately wants his own Komodo Dragon. He is what you might call obsessed. What is his clever plan to have his own Komodo Dragon, if even temporarily? And does his plan succeed? I can see my younger readers being interested in this title. Full colour pictures and manageable text.

Boris gets a Lizard #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library written by Chris Grabenstein

A fully engaging middle grade mystery/adventure  – even more perfect for book lovers and avid readers. Many have talked about connections to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and certainly this book has those wonderful elements of unexpected adventures set in a fantastical location with twists and turns on every page. I really liked this book. Think I would like it even more if I shared it with a class of children. I can imagine those reading this aloud to a classroom are having a delightful time of it!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up ? I am loving the novel Jinx by Sage Blackwood (and I really love saying the name Sage Blackwood, it’s so beautiful). Now that we are settled back into school routine and bedtimes, I am happy to have some dedicated evenings to continue reading The Fire Chronicle by John Stevens to my own children. We have been doing a lot of nonfiction picture book reading over the last few weeks and need to delve back into this novel that we were so excited about at the end of the summer.

Have a great reading week everyone! And if you are so inspired, check out this post and add your #5words: In 2013/2014 I will be . . . Loving the comments 🙂

Monday June 3rd, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share all of your wonderful reading from picture books to young adult novels. Such a great place to find “new” reads to delve into!

I read a lot of wonderful picture books this week. Some were good. Some just okay. Some fantastic. Here are my favourites from the week:

That Book Woman written by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Small I am an absolute sucker when it comes to David Small – especially David Small does historical fiction. Add to that that this title is also about spreading the joy of literacy and books. Sigh. I am done for. Sold . . . hook, line and sinker. I knew of this book, but I had yet to sit and read it. When I read it, I instantly wondered why I hadn’t read it before. I read it first thing Sunday morning. Then I had coffee and read it again. Then I read it to my family at breakfast. Each time, I teared up. Reading it aloud, I had to stop and my daughter finished it. What is more beautiful than bravery and perseverance to bring books into the homes of children who don’t even have the chance to go to school? Set in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s, this book is inspired by the Pack Horse Librarians who brought books by horseback to areas where there were few if any schools and no libraries. My daughter instantly identified with Lark, the little girl in this family who is the “readenest child you ever did see.” Always her nose is in a book. But it is when Cal, who is not the “readin’ type” delves into reading – finding stories where he once thought there was only “chicken scratch,” that the story reached a level of instant favourite for me.

A story about the power of books, the devotion they are given and the magic that happens when a reader is made.

henson-that-book-woman

The Quiet Place written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small I also especially adore David Small when he illustrates for his wife, Sarah Stewart. These two are the masters of historical stories – conveying emotion, context and historical details always in a gorgeous story. This story is about young Isabel who immigrates to the U.S. from Mexico in the 1950s. Through a series of letters to her beloved aunt, Isabel tells her story of moving to a new country and finding her place. Simply lovely.

the quiet place

I spent Friday in the classroom of the wonderful Ms. Karen Lirenman and her fantastic Grade 1 students. While I did a lot of learning on this day, I also had the opportunity to share some of my favourite read alouds with the children. And . . . I was lucky enough to be introduced to the books of Australian author/illustrator Aaron Blabey. Karen discovered his books while on teacher exchange in Australia some years back. All of these books share certain things in common – brilliant and original character names, appealing illustrations and a celebration of individuality. I would love to have any or all of these titles in my classroom library.

Sunday Chutney written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey Sunday is new to her school – in fact she is always the new girl. Her family moves a lot. Sunday is confident and quirky in the best of ways. She has a very active imagination and very particular tastes. Always being new is not always easy but we could all learn a little from Sunday’s optimism.

sunday-chutney

Stanley Paste written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey Stanley Paste is very small and he is not at all happy about this fact. Being small is terrible until he meets Eleanor Cabbage who is incredibly tall. She too, despises her stature. But while these two are vastly different in height, they find a special friend in each other and as friendship blooms, so does some perspective about life and accepting the hand you are dealt. Delightful.

Stanley-PasteHere is Aaron Blabey talking about his book, Stanley Paste:

Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey A very special book about friendship. Pearl and Charlie are very different and it is their differences that help them to be such wonderful friends. A friendship story that is worth reading aloud and exploring. Pretty sure it will prompt some discussions about what makes a friend a friend. So well done.

Pearl Barley

Exclamation Mark written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld Such a fun concept of making an exclamation mark the main character and allowing the journey to celebrating personal importance be such a delightful one!

Exclamation-Mark

The Boy who Cried Ninja written and illustrated by Alex Latimer The cover alone hooked my students – a ninja! We found ourselves happily confused in this story – was telling the truth the problem? Or was it being believed? This little boy seemed to always be in trouble. And his outlandish (or were they?) tales made for quite the story.

boy who cried ninja

I finished just one novel this week:

Homesick written by Kate Klise This is the second novel about living with a parent who is a hoarder I have read in the last few weeks. Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu was the first. An absolutely difficult topic. What fascinates me is how these young characters deal with living in such stress and feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control. There is definitely no parent providing structure and care in these situations. This novel was lighter than Omololu’s and written for a middle grade audience. Set in a tiny town, it had the quirky appeal of small town eccentric characters and wonderful friendships that span generations. But it didn’t shy away from the fact that a young boy was being neglected and put at risk while living alone with his father who compulsively filled their home with junk.

Spoiler alert: As in Omololu’s story, there is an ending that prevents anyone from having to fully deal with completely cleaning up the mess of a house where a hoarder has lived. The forces of nature come into play in both stories (one helped along a little) Makes me think about what is the rest of the story if someone really did need to be responsible . . . ?

homesick

Currently reading? As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins 

And . . . Because there is a new Clementine story out, my children and I have put Scumble on hold, and are diving into Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker.