Monday November 17th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is of these two boys acting out Elephant and Piggie titles during buddy reading. They got completely into the roles!

Monday November 17th, 2014 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 found a wonderful bunch of picture books this week. Sharing my favourites here:

Countablock written by Christopher Franceschelli; art by Peskimo

This book is literally a block. A chunk of interesting pages in a sort of board book format but think super size. Count up to 100. Throw in a little cause and effect (Three boxes become. . . (turn the page) three forts) Lots of counting. Bright colours. And a surprise at the end. So much fun that I had to buy it for our classroom buddy reading collection. I know the kindergarten kids will delight in sharing this title with my students.

Countablock Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

Piggie has a surprise and Gerald needs to wait to find out what it is. If you know Gerald, you can imagine that waiting is not a talent he has. His impatience is very amusing. What exactly is the surprise? Well . . . it is worth the wait. And, no, I’m not telling.

Waiting is Not Easy! Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Norman, Speak! written by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Qin Leng

So what happens if the dog you get from the animal shelter doesn’t understand your language? Well, Norman’s new family are willing to do a lot so that they can begin communicating with Norman. My students found this book very interesting!

norman, speak! Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

May the Stars Drip Down written by Jeremy Chatelain and illustrated by Nikki McClure

A beautiful, soothing lullaby. A work of art.

May the Stars Drip Down Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Watch this video of Nikki McClure talking about making the images for this book. Soothing. Calm. Slow. Beautiful.

Big Bad Bubble written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Rubin and Salmieri are quite the team. They make quirky books. This one is especially silly and the monsters especially fetching. It will not appeal to everyone. Some might find it too odd.  I think as a read aloud it has big potential and will be one of those books that certain kids will obsess over.

Big Bad Bubble Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

More monster love. Leonardo may not be the best monster but he has some pretty great endearing qualities.

Leonardo Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Small Medium Large: A Book about Relative Sizes written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Tomek Bogacki

Amazing title to support the vocabulary around describing sizes from minuscule to enormous. So very clever.

Small Medium Large Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Oh Flora, on ice and with an energetic penguin, you are the perfect blend of graceful and flummoxed as your skating partner appears and reappears mid move. Absolutely charming.

Flora and the Penguin Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Reading Sam & Dave Dig a Hole pulls you deep into a “theorizing hole” and digging in, around and out is highly satisfying. Picture book brilliance through and through.

I loved that after reading this title, I could finally read Travis Jonker‘s fantastic post:

6 Theories on the Ending of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

I am not going to add any of my theories here. I just love that 1) Right from the cover, the wondering begins.

I hope they don’t bury the dog,” my husband commented when I handed him the book to read.

And 2) as soon as you finish, you have to start again to deal with that “Huh? Hold on” kind of feeling.

Can’t wait to share this with my class.

 Sam & Dave Dig a Hole Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What Can a Crane Pick Up? written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrated by Mike Lowery

I bought this book for many reasons. So many that I will actually start a list.

  1. I love the rhyming text. And I don’t usually like rhyming text.
  2. I think this is a perfect book to read and reread to get the rhythm right.
  3. So . . . it is the ideal buddy reading book and will go in our buddy reading bin.
  4. Any excuse to visit the nostalgic place of construction equipment that I no longer get asked to read since my son is 12 and not a toddler anymore. Sigh.
  5. The bright illustrations.
  6. And . . . there is a page of cartons and cartons of library books (held up by cranes using chains and hooks). Yep!
  7. So with number 6, I was pretty much sold. Which is probably obvious.
  8. I need this crane to come with me to the library 🙂

What Can a Crane Pick Up?

I also finished the brilliant Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Verse novels hold so much power to literally wrap us up in evocative images and in this case, personal history. In some senses, it feels like spying to be so close. A beautifully written memoir of a time and a place – oh so personal but yet, with connections and links to many more than young Jacqueline Woodson. A gift to readers.

brown girl dreaming

Next? I am in the middle of  Nest by Esther Ehrlich and then plan to read Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

It’s Picture Book Month! This week I shared two posts in celebration:

pb month logo

Picture Books that Celebrate Courage

 Picture Books that Celebrate Courage

Picture Books that Model Perseverance

 Perseverance

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 72/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 531/650 books read (38 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 120/65 complete

Monday July 1st, 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! The #IMWAYR community is a fantastic community of readers with many wonderful titles to share.

This year was the end of school, so lots of winding down before my reading can really wind up. Looking forward to much more time to read this summer! Which has now started! Hurrah!

I read quite a few picture books this week and I really did not love them all. Here are the best of the week – including some wonderful board books that I plan to add to our buddy reading bins for when the Kindergarten class comes to read with us.

One of our best moments of the last week was exchanging letters with our little buddies before we began buddy reading this week. The smiles say it all!

IMG_7254

Board books

Odd One Out: In, Out and All Around by Guido Van Genechten A fun look and find book that introduces a number of language concepts. Perfect to share together and discuss what is observed. Three questions on each page leaves lots of room for talking:

Who is hiding behind the brick wall?

Who has lost their house?

And who is ready to go to a dance?

Careful scanning over the page reveals that one little snail is sporting fancy earrings 🙂

in, out and all around

Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi Absolutely simple and sweet with cut out peek a boo eyes. Ideal when attention span and reading skills are both developing.

peekaboo1

Caveman a B.C. Story by Janee Trasler A hilarious tale told one word at a time in ABC order. Much humour and much to infer. Another title to add to the growing favourite ABC books.

caveman

Book of Play: with Northwest Coast Native Art I am trying to bring in more Aboriginal stories and images into our book collection. This is another board book that will be fun to interact with (counting pages, matching, ABC page) but that also has gorgeous Native art from various Native artists.

book of play

Picture books:

A Boy and his Bunny written by Sean Bryan with illustrations by Tom Murphy My class loves A Girl and her Gator and A Bear and his Boy created by the same author/illustrator pair. This book actually came first, but I added it to our classroom collection last. What I love about all of these titles is that the illustrations are so simple but have huge impact. The rhyming text is never awkward and children love to read and reread these books over and over. This book in particular is a wonderful mentor text for giving examples – what are all of the things that work out perfectly fine with a bunny on your head? Armies can be led, peanut butter can be spread, you can drive a moped, etc., etc.

a boy and his bunny

The Woods by Paul Hoppe A sweet testament to the creative thinking/imagining that can go into avoiding the dark at bedtime. A little boy realizes that his favourite bunny is missing and he must enter the woods to find itOn his night time journey, he finds much more than his missing bunny.

the-woods-by-paul-hoppe-bedtime-story.childrens-book

Redwoods by Jason Chin It’s not just that redwood trees are majestic, this book brings some kind of added magic to learning about these forest giants. Part fantasy, part nonfiction – this title by Chin is a magical information story book. Learn about each level of the tree from small sapling to the canopy hundreds of feet off the ground in a redwood tree over 350 feet tall! A book that needs multiple read throughs to truly absorb and think about all of the details. One of those titles that I am reluctant to return to the library. I think I need my own copy . . .

Redwoods by Jason chin

Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert I am a huge fan of Geisert and particularly love his wordless titles. Ice and The Giant Seed (featured here) are must reads if you have yet to discover them. In this title, we bear witness to the devastating and phenomenal effects a storm has on the farm country in the American Midwest. What do animals do? How do people react? What kind of damage happens? Study these pages and find out.

thunderstorm

I also finished the novel Twerp by Mark Goldblatt Narrated with such vulnerability. Gets to your gut – where we all must check in with what is right and what is wrong. A story of friendship, of choices and of dealing with the consequences. Starts slow and then doesn’t let you go. Told through the journal of sixth grader Julian Twerski, this story is much more than the details of the event that prompted the “journal writing” consequence. Allows us to ask those hard questions: What is a bully? What do we do for friends? How do we take responsibility for our choices. So well written.

twerp

Currently reading? The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. A rare adult readI also have a number of professional reads on the go -including Catching Readers Before they Fall which I am loving. My book piles are everywhere I look and I am very excited about the reading that might happen over this week!

Happy reading everyone!

Monday June 24th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

 

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! The #IMWAYR community is a fantastic community of readers with many wonderful titles to share.

My favourite picture books of the week:

Trains Go written and illustrated by Steve Light A fantastically colourful and loud (when it is read) board book about various trains and the wonderful sounds that they make. Love that this book is extra long in its shape – adds to the visual appeal. This book will be ideal for our board book collection for when Kindergarten buddies visit. Really – who doesn’t love to make loud train noises? Whoooooooosh! 

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

Yoon and the Jade Bracelet written by Helen Recorvits and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska A beautifully illustrated picture book about a little girl from Korea who is struggling to feel part of the friendship and social groups at her new school. When another girl borrows her jade bracelet and then won’t give it back, Yoon must find a way to deal with this very real friendship/bullying issue. An important multicultural story about the challenges of finding one’s place in someplace that is new.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke An engaging and adorable photographic tale of the sloths that live in a sanctuary in Costa Rica. Full of information and hilarious, endearing photos.

a little book of sloth There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

Iggy Peck Architect written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts The illustrations in this book are so wonderful – I must admit I was a little disappointed to learn that the text was in rhyme. It didn’t ruin the story by any means – but . . . I am not usually much of a fan of rhyming text. Still – I would recommend this title that celebrates creativity, passion and ingenuity. Perfect way to launch a study of structures, bridge building or architecture.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

The Table Where Rich People Sit written by Byrd Baylor and illustrated by Peter Parnall Such a wonderful reminder to celebrate the riches of family, nature and the wonder of the world. Beautiful.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

The Great Snortle Hunt written by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Kate Hindley A fun book for a younger story time. Loved the illustrations. More rhyming text – but suits the playful story of a serious search for a Snortle.

The Great Snortle Hunt - There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt My class absolutely adores Melanie Watt. Somehow, I had missed reading this title. Very funny as most Scaredy Squirrel titles are. Some kind of amazing beach phobic suit! Loved the feared creatures that inhabited the waters of Scaredy Squirrel’s imagination!

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you Reading?

I also finished two novels

Paperboy by Vince Vawter An eleven year old boy has his life thrown for a loop when he takes over his friend’s paper route for the month of July. Trying to navigate the world with a strong stutter is a theme in this story but there is much happening. All about relationships, choices and discovering who you are. Set in Memphis in 1959. I enjoyed this novel on many levels – for a window into the life of a boy who stutters, it’s a great piece of historical fiction and an important middle grade read that teaches students more about the racism that was so prevalent at these times in the South. Read Vawter’s Nerdy Book Club post that discusses this novel (his first).

Paperboy

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder I must admit that while reading this novel I was constantly irritated by the cover because . . . well, I tend not to read novels that look like sappy romance stories. This looks like one but it certainly isn’t. More of a story of relationships gone wrong – a controlling and obsessive boyfriend, an abusive step father . . . I didn’t love this young adult novel but I appreciated that it tackles the topic of realizing that a relationship isn’t safe and drawing a line. 

Falling-For-You-Lisa-Schroeder-

Next up? Twerp by Mark Goldblatt 

Monday June 17th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

 

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! A fantastic way to learn about new titles.

Phew! Reports cards are finished (just moments ago) and some exciting field trips happened and busy busy June events and so my picture book reading was not what it has been . . . This week I am only going to share three picture books and three novels.

Here goes . . .

1-2-3 Dinosaurs Bite! A Prehistoric Counting Book An American Museum of Natural History Illustrated by Steve Jenkins I purchased this board book to be used when our kindergarten buddies come up to read. It’s fun – there are literal bite marks in the book. And . . . Steve Jenkins! Say no more. At the back there is more information about what the 5 dinosaurs on these pages actually ate and close up looks at some of the dinosaur features. So much fun for dinosaur enthusiasts!

1-2-3-Dinosaurs-Bite-American-Museum-of-9781402777226

 

What Will Hatch? written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Susie Ghahremani I adored this title as soon as I saw it in the bookstore. It is structured to be a simple guess and confirm read aloud with beautiful pictures and then there is more information in the back about each of the oviparous animals featured in the book. The extra information shared includes: time in egg, mother, where and siblings. There are eight animals featured including crocodiles, sea turtles, caterpillars and the platypus. Initial text is lyrical and rhythmic:

Sandy ball. What will hatch? (flip the page)

Paddle and crawl. Sea turtle.

 

whatwillhatch

Little Red Hood  by Marjolaine Leray I find this book divine. although it may well be a picture book better suited for adults and older children. Scritchy, scratchy black, white and red lines and scribbles tell a version of Little Red Riding Hood. But this text is cheeky, dark and bold. Let’s just say that Little Red is not a typical victim in this story.

PYB_LittleRedHood_Cover[1]websize(3)

 

I also finished three novels. Books are my escape when I should be writing report cards so somehow 🙂 I managed to squeeze this reading in!

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan I didn’t love this book but the concept was certainly interesting. Two teens are convinced that their only route into elite colleges will be to truly stand out. Good grades and interesting activities, service hours and hobbies simply won’t cut it. They need a story. A story that will show that they are capable and have overcome challenges. So how about a kidnapping and recovery? But a kidnapping doesn’t just happen to you. Unless you plan it . . . So one of the girls will be the victim and the other will be her rescuer. It all seems good on paper. When it actually begins to play out, it is a whole other story . . . Certainly a commentary on the competition students feel to secure their future. Just an okay read for me.

accomplice

The Room by Emma Donoghue This is definitely an adult read but since it is narrated by a five year old, I included it here. I avoided this book for a few years thinking it would just be too upsetting. It was impossible to put down and I finished it in a day. Upsetting but so much more – a testament to a mother’s love, a story of survival, of honouring freedom and choice and of a little boy who is a little boy and knows nothing different.

ROOM

The Misfits by James Howe This book was recommended to me by the amazing Dickens Teacher Librarian Cheriee and perfect timing as I had just read this wonderul post by author Vicki VanSickle: YA is Too Late: Gay characters in Middle Grade Fiction. This book has so much to make it a must read for middle grade readers. Themes of friendship, bullying, diversity, glbt. The dialogue in this book is fantastic and the characters and friendships are wonderful. A book about a group of kids who decide to stand up to the name calling that exists at their middle school. Highly recommended.

The Misfits

Next up? I just picked up a number of holds at my pubic library including Paperboy by Vince Vawter. And now that reports are over I plan to test out some early readers/easy chapter books I just picked up to hook my class as soon as they return in September. Picking some of my favourites now!

Monday June 10th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! A fantastic way to learn about new titles.

It’s report card writing season so my reading has been interfered with . . . But I managed to sneak in some fantastic titles!

In picture books . . . .

I found three new lovely board books for my Kindergarten buddy reading collection:

Northwest Coast Native Animals by Kelly Robinson Students loved the gorgeous illustrations and many connected to art they have seen in their homes and relative’s communities up north. Bright, beautiful and perfect for sharing.

northwest coast native animals

Good Morning World by Paul Windsor A lovely board book that celebrates nature and the world around us. Students have loved sharing this title with their little buddies.

native_nw_morn

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes I was pleasantly surprised by the stunning colours of the seasons in this story. Such a gentle tale about an old bear dreaming about his days as a cub. Soothing and sweet.

old bear

Other picture books I enjoyed:

Ivy Loves to Give by Freya Blackwood I think Freya Blackwood is such a gifted illustrator. I adore her blog.  This is a picture book perfect for a story time setting about a little girl, Ivy, who loves to gift things she finds to whoever is near. Often, her gifts don’t quite match the needs of the recipient but her generosity is treasured.

ivy-loves-to-give

Museum Trip a wordless book by Barbara Lehman This book is about getting lost on many levels – but quite nicely not about lost and being scared. More of an adventure – getting lost in the pictures of mazes quite literally . . .

museum trip

My two favourite picture books of the week:

Big Wolf and Little Wolf: The Little Leaf that Wouldn’t Fall by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Olivier Tallec Oh how I am coming to adore these two long snouted wolves and their adventures through all that is friendship and nature and love. Devotion. Bravery. Patience. I don’t want to give anything away so I will just say that there is much that is simple and celebratory of the wonder and complexity of nature and near the end a moment of pure beautiful.

leaf that wouldn't fall

A Hen for Izzy Pippick written by Aubrey Davis and illustrated by Marie Lafrance I confess to falling for this book before I even read it. I loved everything about the cover – the greens, the pluck of the girl and hen marching across the page, the quirky title . . . So I could have been disappointed. But not even close. I adored this book through every page (and it is a longer picture book). This book celebrates what we don’t often encounter in a picture book: honesty and a fierce determination to simply do what is right. Yet, this story is not overly dramatic. It is actually quite amusing and whimsical. We meet Shaina who in protecting a hen that belongs to the illusive Izzy Pippik starts a bit of a chicken invasion in her small village. All the while waiting for the return of Izzy Pippik. This story is inspired by Jewish and Islamic traditional texts.

hen for izzy pippik

I also finished two novels:

Clementine and the Spring Trip written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Marla Frazee In my family, Clementine has reached a sort of cult status. Even though we read our first Clementine story way back (five years ago) when my chldren were five, they have not become too old for another Clementine story. Each time, a new book in the series is published, we need to read it! Immediately! We read this story in probably three sit down read aloud sessions and felt like we curled up with our old friend. Many giggles over the mystery of the very unpleasant odour of Bus #7. Can’t wait for the next one!

clementine

As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins I liked this book but I didn’t love it. I thought I should at least really like it. But it was simply just “like” Even though the writing is great. . .  The storyline is very interesting. The characters have some wonderfully odd elements to them. Yet, nothing pulled at me to keep reading this book. It was like being offered a very nice cup of tea. But I just don’t really like tea – I want my strong black coffee. Lots of adventure and some of it was very dramatic but I never felt on the edge of my seat. A story of a summer trip that goes sideways in every way.

s easy as

What is on my reading horizon? I just started Torn Away by James Heneghan as a read aloud to my children. I started reading Accomplice by  Eireann Corrigan – a young adult novel I knew very little about going in so we shall see . . . I have many books on hold at the library and looks like they might all arrive at once! So I had better get these report cards written!

Monday May 20th, 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 reading from picture books to young adult reads! Such a fantastic way to learn about “new to you” titles by exploring all of the blog posts shared! Share your own reading on twitter via the hashtag #IMWAYR

This week has been a lot about books! A LOT of books! A lot of reading. Early morning reading. Reading over coffee. Reading while folding the laundry (I have this down to an art) Much browsing, some (well, a little more than some :-)) buying and many bookstore hours passed surrounded by . . . books! Is there any better way to spend one’s time?

For the second week in a row, I have narrowed my picture books down to my ten favourites of the week to share here:

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead I spent a week one summer in a house by the sea, wanting to see a whale. I never did. I think I needed this book to help me out. It reveals the ins and outs of waiting. And wondering. And hoping. And wow, is it gorgeous! This is my new go to gift book because adults and children alike will love it. (I might add that the first person I gifted it to was me!)

If you want to see a whale

Wilfred written and illustrated by Ryan Higgins Last week on my #IMWAYR journey through blog posts I happened upon this title on Nicole’s blog Bluestocking Thinking She called this book a “keeper” and I must agree. It is absolutely odd. Wilfred is a big hairy monster in a land of bald beings. But odd is wonderful. And this book is so much more – a story of kindness and friendship and of being compassionate. I loved this little story and cannot wait to share it with my students.

Wilfred

Line 135 written by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine The previous book by these two – Little Bird was one of my favourite titles of 2012. In fact, it will likely be a favourite of all time. Line 135 has a very different feel. But it shares something that I love with Little Bird: it celebrates a beautiful sense of self and human connection. A picture book adults will love – themes of travel, wonder, being who you are. But, if shared right with a group of children – this could be magic.

Line 135

How to by Julie Morstad Morstad is a picture perfect picture book illustrator. She sends memories, dreams, wonder and magic from the page to her reader. Find this book. Buy it. Treasure it. Read it often and believe in everything.

morstad

Ben Rides On written and illustrated by Matt Davies I want to say everything about this book because I found it so wonderfully fun! And sweet. And funny . . . But I am going to try and say nothing more. This book needs to be experienced. Read it without expectation or bias and enjoy . . . 

ben rides on

Fantastic review of this book on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

A Stick is an Excellent Thing written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by LeUyen Pham A celebration of the outdoors and playful encounters! Should be read while lounging under a tree or marching through meadows.

A Stick is anExcellent Thing

The Secret Message written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Bruce Whatley Mina Javaherbin, with her wonderfully generous spirit, sent us this beautiful story and it was such a pleasure to share it with my class! We are currently creating art pieces in response and I hope to be able to share them later this week! A story about how precious freedom is! Shared by Mina from her childhood memories of being told this story (based on a poem by Rumi) by her father.

The Secret message

Kumak’s Fish written and illustrated by Michael Bania Some might know that fishing is a lot about patience and definitely something about luck. But how about cooperation? And hooking sticks? And an entire village? Much fun in this delightful story set in the Arctic.

Kumak's Fish

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes I bought this in board book version for our buddy reading with the Ks. Lilly has the best ideas about chocolate. Enough said.

Lilly-s-Chocolate-Heart-9780060560669

Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers written and illustrated by Calef Brown My class adored the humour in so many of these poems! Fun things to do? Count the cavities (and promise to be better about brushing!), debate the merits of raising fleas for income and explain how quickly you could catch that runaway waffle and gobble it up! With all Brown’s books, it is the illustrations that make them especially amazing!

dutch sneakers

This was a special week for our class because Calef Brown (the real guy) came to visit our school! Kala, who has been a super fan of Brown’s whimsical words and quirky art kept a countdown sign outside of our classroom. Finally, it was zero more sleeps and truly – Calef Brown Day!

IMG_7048

Students were thrilled to show Calef the art we had done inspired by his book Pirateria! It doesn’t get any more special than being able to invite an author/illustrator to come and check out a bulletin board he inspired! Thank you Calef Brown!

IMG_7053

In other reading, I finished four novels: 

Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff Mystery. Fantasy. Magic. This book had it all! Requires the reader to remain completely alert to follow this story through its multiple narrators. Fun, certainly. Wonderful for middle grade readers.

A Tangle of Knots

Stolen written by Lucy Christopher This is the book that had the biggest impact on me this week. I started it early Friday morning and resented my errands of the day for intruding into my reading time. Don’t begin this book without some hours of uninterrupted reading time ahead. And be prepared for a tough read. This is a story of kidnapping and it has much good, bad and ugly yet by the end, nothing is clear. We know for certain that Gemma has been taken. We know she is in the middle of nowhere. We watch her attempts at escape, her terrifying interactions with the middle of the Australian desert (full of nothing and camels and red sand and poisonous everything) and settle into her memories and confusion. Her interactions with her abductor are psychologically intimate and raw. Yet her kidnapper is also the one who rescues her often. Is it care or control? Love or obsession? Nothing is black or white. Beautifully written. Haunting.

stolen

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Yes, I am a Charlie fan. Yes, this is a must read book. Sad and funny and vulnerable and worrisome. Fantastic characters. Addictive.

Perks-of-Being-A-Wallflower-Review

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu This novel touched on a theme I have never read about in a middle grade or young adult novel – hoarding. Lucy is the youngest of three children and the only one still living with her mother, until she is old enough to move out. Her mother’s hoarding makes her home life basically unbearable and a desperate secret. The conditions she lives in are truly disgusting. She keeps going by holding on to dreams of a “normal” life two years away when she is old enough to leave home. But then something happens that changes all of her plans.

dirty little secrets

 

Next up? I borrowed Bigger than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder from my daughter’s collection. And I plan on jumping in to a number of fairytales that I will then share with my reading group. We currently believe that fairy tales are the ultimate in drama and can’t get enough of them!

Monday April 15th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share what you are reading from picture books to young adult novels. The #IMWAYR community consistently has wonderful suggestions if you are looking for new book ideas! This week, I read everything from board books to adult novels.

A little “bookish” news:

I was thrilled to have a post about my student book club on the Nerdy Book Club blog this week. Click here if you would like to read it. I appreciated all of the comments and enthusiasm for the joys of sharing the love of reading with groups of students.

I also appreciated being mentioned in Assistant Superintendent Shelley Burgess’ (@burgess_shelley) blog post: Becoming Leaders of Readers Thank you Shelley for including so many links back to my blog (posts that detail favourite books)! I always love talking and recommending books.

My reading this week . . . 

I am currently collecting board books to set out when the Ks come up for buddy reading. Board books I read this week and added to our bin:

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins Bright, colourful engaging! Would love to use this as an inspiration for buddy art making . . .

Hooray for Fish

Hello, Doctor written by Michael Coffier and illustrated by Matthieu Maudet Seriously clever. If a board book can make you laugh in just a few pages, you know it is good.

Hello

I’m the Biggest thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry Loved watching my Grade 2/3s try this out on their little K buddies. They were so excited to see if it had registered that the giant squid continued his boasting from inside the whale. Adorable!

im-the-biggest-thing-in-the-ocean-7820538

I read a number of fantastic picture books this week. Too many to narrow down so my reviews are brief!

The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis This author/illustrator combination create absolute magic. So much in one little picture book with huge implications for discussion. A fence that represents the division of race becomes just a fence at the end of the story when a whole row of girls perches atop it. I want my own copy of this book.

The-Other-Side_Large

Me Want Pet written by Tammi Sauer illustrated by Bob Shea Definitely cute but when kid tested, it gets a better response. My own children laughed and laughed. Obviously the urging a parent for a pet is an age old issue 🙂

Me Want Pet

Chloe, instead by Micah Player An amazing book to share with a child dealing with conflicting emotions about a new sibling. Simple, bright and effective.

chloe instead

The Museum written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds As always Peter H. Reynolds makes movement and magic on the page. Such a wonderful celebration of art. I am not a total fan of rhyming text but the playful, joyous images allowed me to get over being slightly irked . . .

The Museum

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka I know not everyone loves  Raschka but I really do. Few words are used and they are barely needed – the illustrations relay all of the emotions, pride and accomplishment in the process of learning to ride a bike.

everyone-can-learn-to-ride-a-bicycle

The Red Hat by Lita Judge Basically wordless but tells such a story. Wow. Playful and smile provoking.

red hat

Oy Feh So? written by Cary Fagan illustrated by Gary Clement Sometimes a picture book is great because kids will like it but adults will love it and will therefore read it with so much expression and joy that it is enjoyed all the more by the listeners. Thus, it becomes elevated to “better” after the repeated, happy readings. Read this book. You will see what I mean.

oy feh so

A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija Wow. Stunning imagery. Turns the imagination up to high.

leaf can be

All of these wonderful picture books and . . .  I still had some time to read and finish some amazing novels.

One Crazy Summer written by Rita Williams-Garcia 1968. California. The Black Panthers. Civil Rights. Three little girls who need to know about their mother. I loved the relationship between the sisters and everything about Delphine. An important read. I can’t wait to share with kids. Thinking a future book club book . . .

one crazy summe

The Runaway King written by Jennifer A. Nielsen Oh, did I set the bar high with my children! We finished this Saturday and on Tuesday we have tickets to see Jennifer Nielsen in person! This is a read aloud/book experience that I doubt I will be able to match. When reading this aloud with my children I must admit there were times I wanted to continue reading after I sent them to bed. Had to use a lot of self-restraint not to do so! This book continued the high drama, adventure and intrigue that we loved in The False Prince. We are big Jaron fans. My son finds his spunk hilarious and we are continually impressed by his loyalty, quick thinking and brilliant plans. We loved many other characters too – Imogen of course and also Fink. We are now very anxiously awaiting the third book in this trilogy.

The Runaway King

Little Bee written by Chris Cleave I don’t often read adult novels. Not sure if it is that they sometimes just feel too heavy . . . I had heard a lot about this title though and was glad to read it. The highlight of the book is the narration (in her sections) by Little Bee herself. Strength. Survival. Resilience. She is immersed in all of it. Hard to discuss any aspects of this novel without giving away important plot points. I did love the message that collecting and telling stories can save us. I believe this fully.

Little Bee

Next up? I’m reading my children Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan which is the book I am doing with my student book club. Love this title! Tonight I will start Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I feel in the mood for some dramatic fantasy. I’m sure this will deliver.

What are you reading?