Monday May 26th, 2014

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 novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list! 

My favourite picture books of the week:

The Birdman written by Veronika Martenova Charles and illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Balouchko and Stephan Daigle

Based on a true story, The Birdman is a story seeped in grief and hope. A tailor in Calcutta loses his family in a tragic accident and his paralyzed by sadness and mourning. His heart begins to fill again with hope and lightness when he releases a small, caged bird he has bought at the market.  He begins to work again to earn money to buy more sick birds – for the sole purpose of nursing them back to health and setting them free. The afterward talks about the real tailor and how his story happened to be told in this uplifting picture book.

The BirdMan #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Hole by Øyvind Torseter

I am such a fan of quirky, kind of “out there” books that work. Not to say they have to absolutely make sense. They just have to delight. This book does that. There is quite literally a hole running from front to back cover. This hole is the source of confusion and many perplexing moments for the main character who discovers this hole in his new apartment. It seems to move about and not go where he thinks it might. Finally, he captures it and takes it to be tested. Does he get the answers he is looking for? Problem solved? Read and see what you think.

To peek at all of the wonder that is this book, read more about it here on Brain Pickings.

The Hole #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Cactus Soup written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Phil Huling

The classic Stone Soup tale – this time with some Mexican flavour. Set in the time of the Mexican Revolution, this cactus soup is flavoured and enhanced by tamales, chorizo and tortillas.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Tiger in my Soup written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

When a little brother wants a big sister to read his book to him, his imagination and passion for the story allows fantasy to mix with reality and lines blur between story and life. Tigers seem to be everywhere . . . I absolutely adored these illustrations.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Xander’s Panda Party written by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Matt Phelan

There is much that I love in this story – Phelan’s illustrations, the ever complicated process of planning a party that includes all, the learning about animal classification and symbiotic relationships . . . And in many ways I was charmed by the language. There is much that is delightful in many of the expressions and phrasing. It’s just the rhyme . .  Not sure if I can get past the rhyming – a personal thing – but what makes this a 4 instead of 5 stars for me.

Xander's Panda Party #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Running Shoes written by Fredrick Lipp and illustrated by Jason Gaillard

This isn’t the first time I have read this book. I read it a few years ago with a class. But I shared it with this group of children and we had some amazing conversations and the students did some insightful writing – all of which made this feel like a fresh read. When the “number man” (census counter) gives Sophy a pair of running shoes, she can finally make her dream come true and attend school. The shoes are her “ticket” to be able to manage an eight k.m. run to the closest school attended by all boys. A year later, when the “number man” returns, Sophy shares what she has learned and the dreams she has for her future. Set in a Cambodian village, this book is a testament to the importance of access to education for all children. Reading this story is the continuation of the conversations we have been having about access to education and further education for girls and boys alike.

Sharing a few written responses from my students. The provocative prompt I gave them (before we read this book) was: Only some children need an education. Not all children need to go to school.

I won’t learn and it will make me sad. I would learn from my brother secretly. I would be bored, lonely, sad and frustrated with no school. I would tell my brother “Share your thinking with me!”

I hope that the children will go to school in good luck. Or they won’t know stuff. The Mom and Dad is too busy to teach them.

I think if they don’t go to school, they don’t get smart. In school, it’s not just work. There is some playtime too. School helps your brain work. You get a smarter brain. School is fun!

It’s not fair if I didn’t go to school. I would be sad. I think that is wrong! If I didn’t go to school, I would not get an education and couldn’t be a doctor, that would be hard. School is ME! It helps me. School gives me life. I am happy to go to school to learn.

Running Shoes #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton

I celebrate any book that reminds us to honour gratitude  – from the big to the small!

Awesome book of thanks #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

How Many Jelly Beans? A Giant Book of Giant Numbers written by Andrea Menotti and illustrated by Yancey Labat

Huge in size and huge in fun – this book allows children to explore large numbers via imagined piles of candy! Planning both a math/art lesson with this book for later this week!

How Many Jelly Beans #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilli Carré

I am always so intrigued by the variety of stories and art shared in Toon Comics. This title tells the story of some pretty wonderful night time adventures. Love the dark hues of blues and blacks on these pages.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

I also finished two novels:

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan 

When my students write book reviews, they don’t stick to the rules of 5 stars. Sometimes they give the book 10 stars or even 1 000. So I am going to borrow from their rule book in rating this book. I give it a hundred stars. Because, yes, I loved it. Yes, it was beautifully written. Yes, it made me cry. All of those things that typically make me eagerly assign 5 stars to a story. But this book also was SO much more. A story that is fictional but not at all. Because Habo’s story could be, might be and in fact, is, playing itself out STILL in Tanzania for other albino citizens. This book speaks to everything both beautiful and horrific about humanity. This book had me – still teary eyed, begin to search the names and organizations that Tara Sullivan lists in the back of her book. Which did me in even further. More stars because of an author’s note that reminds us just how very true a story like this is – true in our world – NOW. A human rights crisis. One that needs attention. One that needs to stop. “Be that one person,” – the words Sullivan leaves us with in her author’s note. Read this book and remind yourself to be more human than less. A story that will never leave the reader. And never should.

goldenboy #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Body in the Woods by April Henry

I was in the mood for a fast paced mystery story – this did deliver. Was it good? Hmm, not so much.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for ThatIn my class, we finished The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I shared our closure with this beautiful novel here: Ivan: One, Only, Ours.

 Ivan #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for ThatNext up? I am reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and hope to get to The Girl who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 40/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 265/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 16/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 64/65 complete

 

 

Monday May 19th, 2014

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 novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. The best way to grow your TBR list!

My favourite picture books of the week

If You Listen written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Stefano Vitale 

How do you know someone is with you even when they are not physically there? A little girl needs reassurance from her mother about how to cope with missing her Dad who is no longer with her. Did he pass away? Has he left the family? It isn’t clarified. The important aspects of the story are how to deal with loss, grief and acceptance of love (whether immediate or far away). First published in 1980 and redone in 2002 with these gorgeous illustrations.

If you listen #IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Once Upon a Balloon written by Bree Galbraith and illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant 

An intriguing story about imagination, sibling dynamics and an act of kindness. This title explores the land of “what if” and the power of belief just as much as it celebrates the story telling whims of an older brother who knows he has a captive audience in his younger sibling. The ending brings an entire other aspect to this story and allows the reader to think about what it is to be kind and compassionate.

#IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Awesome Book of Love! by Dallas Clayton

Love, love, love. Not any one kind in particular but simply love that is huge and all encompassing. My favourite line?

“or just being around when the others have gone or about letting go when you want to hold on.”

A true celebration of love.

#IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Set by the lake in Tanzania, a mother speaks this lullaby to her child as they see father off in the morning and greet him again at the end of a busy day. Vividly illustrated. A story of routine, daily chores and family love.

#IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Tippy-Tippy-Tippy Splash! written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Candace Fleming has such fun with language in this story of Mr. McGreely and his annoyance with the rabbits that make him so angry. Always trying to better these “wily twitchwhiskers” Mr. McGreely finds himself always outdone. Finally, he figures out a way to work with rather than against these “flop eared” foes. Silly and fun, a sequel to Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

#IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Moonday by Adam Rex

Absolutely odd. Stunning illustrations. It will either work for people or it won’t. The cover enchanted me and I felt persuaded to come along on Rex’s imaginative journey asking, “What if the moon ended up perched in your backyard?”

#IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Samsara Dog written by Helen Manos and illustrated by Julie Vivas

Not necessarily a picture book for younger children. Emotional and thoughtful. Based on Buddhist concepts of Samsara and Nirvana, this story tells the tale of a dog who lives many lives, learning and growing in each of them. Finally, he lives the life that allows him to feel deeply, to know much and to give fully.

#IMWAYR May 19th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill

Amazing nonfiction – Shackleton’s story of the Endurance’s attempted voyage to Antarctica. Uniquely illustrated by Grill. This book is ironically a book about exploration that needs to be explored for its every detail. Read this aloud to my children (who are eleven) and we were all captivated. I had to own this book as soon as I heard about it and was in no way disappointed.

Shackleton's Journey #IMWAYR May 19th 2014 There's a Book for That

I finished two novels and am now avidly reading Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan 

Completed:

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee 

This was a #MustReadin2014 title

Vulnerable. Beautiful. Sad and full of grief while at the same time magical and full of hope. What a story.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy #IMWAYR May 19th 2014 There's a Book for That

Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

I don’t know where to start with this book. The reader must suspend belief and be transported by the sweet song of a young girl and the power of a beautiful voice to heal so much that is wrong. A book full of many examples of choices with huge consequences. Hauntingly beautiful. A story about the power of grief to overwhelm and surround us. Full of so many different kinds of moments- worrisome, sweet and lovely, angst filled. Upper middle grade. Highly recommended.

Nightingale's nest #IMWAYR May 19th 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? After finishing Golden Boy, I plan to begin A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 38/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 249/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 16/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 63/65 complete