Monday April 22nd, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme to share all of your reading from the week – everything from picture books to young adult reads.

I’ve enjoyed sharing some new classroom books with my class this week. Many of them I was able to read aloud and enjoy all of the rich discussion they sparked.

My favourite five picture books of the week:

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons written and illustrated by Il Sung Na This is a gorgeously created book to introduce young readers to all the wonders of the changing seasons as they follow a little rabbit through the pages. He hops through the winter white and eventually ends up in the spring, outfitted in his new brownish fur. Beautifully captures the transition between winter and spring. My students were intrigued by how the artist seemed to have created her own paper to make collages.

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit Il Sung Na review

Pirateria: The Wonderful Plunderful Pirate Emporium written and illustrated by Calef Brown Oh, the writing and questions this book inspired . . . Read here for student reviews.    Imagine entering a pirate store with every imaginable piece of pirate gear. What would you choose? Interested in learning about how to avoid the gallows? Well, at Pirateria, they have a class for that! Told in energetic rhyme and illustrated in moody hues, this book was a huge hit in my classroom! We could have spent all day just examining the eye patch page. The book is worth owning just for that wonderful page!

Pirateria

The Frank Show written and illustrated by David Mackintosh My students LOVE David Mackintosh. Earlier in the year I shared Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School with them. As soon as I pulled out this new Mackintosh book they instantly started talking about the book they knew. Such distinctive and kid friendly quirky style. This title is all about a young boy who thinks his Grandpa Frank is not going to be an interesting share at Show and Tell. But, watch out for the older generation! Boy do they pull out all the stops. I am a sucker for any title with a well done intergenerational relationship so . . . hooked! A really, really great book to share to highlight how wonderful it is to get to know our grandparents.

The Frank Show

Chameleon’s Colors written and illustrated by Chisato Tashiro We have been a little chameleon obsessed in my room lately. So this book was a real treat. It poses the very interesting question: What if other animals happened to change their colours? Or do original colours serve important purposes? Art. Science. Wonder.

chameleon_large

Prickles vs. The Dust Bunnies (A Balloon Toons comic) by Daniel Cleary There are some really fantastic Balloon Toons comics out there. This, is absolutely one of them! I was just going to book talk this book and give a few sneak peeks but ended up reading the whole thing aloud. So much fun as a shared read! So, really, be honest, who doesn’t struggle with the odd dust bunny (or an infestation under those hard to move couches)? This little book will have you thinking about dust bunnies with a whole new respect. And maybe a little empathy? A big smiles and giggles book!

Prickles vs the Dust Bunnies

Things got busy this week with this and that and strangely I didn’t finish any novels. Maybe it was reading all of the #IRA2013 tweets! But, I am close to finishing Requium by Lauren Oliver and am loving sharing Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan with both my student book club and as a read aloud with my children.

Next up? The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore.

Happy Reading one and all! Have a great week.

Monday February 4th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Kellee and Jen’s meme to share all the reading you have done over the week – everything from picture books to young adult novels! Connecting with the #IMWAYR community is such a great way to hear about fantastic books “new to you.”

I had a big weekend of reading. Part of it was that I fell into many books I just couldn’t put down so I was able to read more novels than usual in a work week.

The Spindlers written by Lauren Oliver This was a title I have been reading to my children as a nightly read aloud. An interesting fantasy title about the world Below – full of drama and action and slightly scary parts. Liza has to rescue her brother’s soul that has been stolen by the Spindlers and the rescue mission is full of risk and odd, magical creatures, many of them menacing. The idea that her little brother’s soul was stolen was creepy enough to warrant a request from my son not to read it right before bed. This lasted just a few nights until the adventure was too addictive and we had to read this book nightly! A really gripping fantasy story for the middle grade crowd.

The Spindlers

Glory Be written by Augusta Scattergood Set in Mississippi in 1964 in the heat of summer and the heat of the civil rights movement. This is a story of one strong girl, her family, her friendships and her drive to make sense of the prejudice and fear around her. The letter Glory sends to the local paper to question the town’s decision to close the pool is absolutely brilliant. What voice and what conviction in such a young girl. I had wanted to read this story for a long time and it is now in the hands of my ten year old daughter who is devouring it.

Glory Be

Dying to Know You written by Aidan Chambers I picked this book up and could not put it down. Yes, I was intrigued by the story and the characters but it was the style of writing and the fact that Chambers tells this story through the voice of a nameless 75 year old narrator that just held me. The narrator’s voice was so strong, so vulnerable, so lyrical – I just loved it. Of course, read this book because the storyline is very clever but the writing will wow you. A young adult realistic fiction title.

dying to know you

Ordinary Beauty written by Laura Wiess Not a book to dip your toe into – you need to jump right in and be with the character as she tells the story of her painful, abusive childhood full of neglect. Sayre’s mother is an addict and she is dying. Sayre’s life story is told alongside her present day dramatic struggle on a wintery night to reach her mother’s bedside and confront her feelings about what is happening. This story is extra raw for me as I have taught students whose lives have many similar elements to Sayre’s childhood – extreme poverty, horrible living conditions, exposure to things children should not even conceive of . . . A hard book to read but what a story . . .

ordinary beauty

Books I am starting this week: Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky is next up for our student book club. I haven’t read this title yet so will be reading along with the kids. With my own children, I have just started reading The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens. This is a book I have wanted to read for a while so am excited to share it with my children. Next novel up for me? Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King – this just arrived for me at the public library. I requested it after loving King‘s Ask the Passengers.

Picture books I enjoyed this week included many nonfiction titles:

Hello Oscar! a Zoe and Beans story by Chloe and Mick Inkpen I keep seeing Zoe and Beans books at the public library and decided I should finally read one – very sweet little illustrations – lovely for story time with the younger set.

HelloOscarCover

A Perfect Day by Carin Berger Perfectly depicts the wonder and magic of a snow day. Love this illustrator’s style.

a-perfect-day-coever

Speaking of snow – I highlighted some nonfiction snow books on my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday post, including this title, The Story of Snow. Read this post to hear more about these snow books.

story-of-snow

Adopt a Glurb by Elise Gravel I really enjoy so many of these Balloon Toons titles! This one is especially quirky and hilarious. Can see this being hugely popular with my students.

adopt a glurb

I Have a Dream by Dr Martin Luther King Jr with paintings by Kadir Nelson. I shared this with my own children and we had very thoughtful discussions. Kadir Nelson’s beautiful art makes Dr. King’s words so accessible and powerful through the intimate experience a well done picture book can create.

i-have-a-dream

Have a happy week of reading everyone!