Monday February 2nd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week I am sharing a photo of students engaged with a variety of nonfiction texts during “Nonfiction Reading Day” – where we devote our Reading Workshop time to reading nonfiction. Of course, for many readers, nonfiction reading happens all week but this focus allows all children to read more nonfiction, more widely.

Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I was excited to share our #MockCaldecott results and reflections here. In mere hours, we will know the actual medal and honor winners. So excited!

Monday February 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.


I realize that much of my reading this week was nonfiction picture books. Lots of variety and as usual, I learned so much. Some highlights:

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest by Steve Jenkins

If you want to climb Mount Everest, what would you need to know? This book is filled with facts about history, geography and the myriad of challenges that climbers might encounter.

The Top of the World Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Animals in Flight by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

An older Jenkins title that I found in my school library. I was most interested in the history of flying creatures and the different ways various wings function.

Animals in Flight by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Higgins Bond

Focuses on a variety of butterflies and the threats to their environments. Framed with specific ideas about how to change human actions to make a difference to butterflies like planting native plants, protecting swamps and marshes and not trying to catch live butterflies for collections.

Place for Butterflies Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mites by Valerie Bodden

Magnified things we never actually see in our day to day life are quite creepy – yet incredibly fascinating. Made me want to vacuum.

Mites Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read

Nine Words Max by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by David Huyck

Max is too talkative – wouldn’t it be great if he could only say nine words at a time? Ideal, think his brothers. But is it? Clever.

 Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dolphin SOS by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki with illustrations by Julie Flett

This was one of those read alouds where at one point the silence in the room was thick – surrounding us like fog – it seemed like we could see it and feel it all at once. Such a beautifully emotional book about three dolphins off the coast of Newfoundland who became trapped in the ice in a cove. The townspeople had to listen to their cries for days before they finally intervened when government wouldn’t help. There is a moment between a dolphin and one of the rescuers that is just awe inspiring. Based on a true story.

Dolphin SOS Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Death and grief healed by memories and community. A lovely, accessible picture book.

The Memory Tree Britta Teckentrup Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Gift for Mama by Linda Ravin Lodding illustrated by Alison Jay

I love Alison Jay’s illustrations and this book, set in Vienna, was an absolute visual and historical treat. A circular story about Oskar trying to find a perfect gift for his Mama for her birthday. Yet, he keeps encountering people in need of his gift and trades each of them for something new. Themes of kindness, generosity and optimism.

a gift for mama Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

I finished this morning. Incredible.

crossover Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next?  My children and I continue reading The Shadowhand Covenant (Book Two of the Vengekeep Prophecies) by Brian Farrey. With my class, I have started Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles. Oh, so very good!

I am starting The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy (one of my #MustReadin2015 titles)

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 43/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 4/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 10/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 3/50 books read

Just . . . How big is the world . . . anyway?

Britta Teckentrup’s How Big is the World? certainly inspired us to ask that question and many more as we followed little mole on his journey to discover just how big the world is by asking all of the creatures he meets on his important journey to find his answer. From spiders to whales, all of the creatures give him an answer but each one is different.

how big is the world

Some questions we began to wonder as we read this book:

Does everyone have their own thoughts about the world and how big it is? (Jena)

Will the little mole ever find out? (Truman)

Will the mole have another big question after this question? (Lisa)

Does the world ever end? (Sergio)

I wonder if you want the world to end, if you have to go off the world? (Jenny)

Well then how big is space? (Jeremiah)

Litle Mole does have an answer for his Papa when he returns.

“How big is the world?” whispered Papa. “As big as you want it to be,” said Little Mole quietly and he went to sleep.

This made lots of sense to some of us.  “That’s because each animal had a different answer!” “It depends on who you ask!” “The animals could only talk about what they knew.” But Catriona wasn’t satisfied. “That isn’t true,” she said shaking her head. “It is a specific size.”

Britta Teckentrup is also the author/illustrator of Grumpy Cat and Big Smelly Bear which are very popular books in our picture book bins.