Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season

It’s December – the time to think about gifting books! How I love to help with shopping lists! Making a picture book list to give is one of my favourite holiday traditions. I started with 12 in 2013 and moved to 20 in 2014.  In 2015 and 2016, I bumped the list to 25. Once again, I am happy once again to celebrate 25 incredible titles for 2017! Looking to buy a special picture book (or books) for someone in particular? Here is a beautiful selection to consider.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make its readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Does it freeze time? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh? Our world needs more laughter!

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

So a duck and a mouse take up residence in the belly of a wolf. Only Barnett and Klassen could pull this off. We all need a little wonderful wackiness in our lives.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Why Am I Me? written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

I loved this lyrical, beautiful book full of questions and musings about self, identity and the wider world.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Nearly wordless. All about important things. Kindness. Trust. Simplicity.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

A completely endearing title about one little boy’s route to being brave.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

An allegorical tale that will make you giggle and nod vigorously and leap up and shout in agreement. Our voices cannot be silenced. Oh, this book is timely. Cannot recommend it enough.

the-rooster-who-would-not-be-quiet Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Windows by Julia Denos and illustrated E.B. Goodale

I could read this book endlessly. It is so calm and quiet and the little details are exquisite.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Liz Climo

So, so very funny. Who could have guessed that a pet unicorn could be so problematic? You might never look at cupcakes the same way again!

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Milo and Georgie written by Bree Galbraith and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Moving is hard. Kids are quirky. It isn’t always easy to embrace change. Or maybe it is , , , This book celebrates adjusting to the new however we might approach things. Charming.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for ThatLittle Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

This wordless title won my heart. Graphic panels. Sweet characters. Generosity and kindness. What more could you want in a picture book?

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Oh so clever! A very chatty conversation in the middle of a wordless book. A.k.a. a really hopeful wordless book interrupted by many words. Hilarious!

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

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.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

This is How We Do it: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe

What do you eat for dinner? What is school like?  What is your daily routine? What do you do for fun? How do you help your family? These details define us and unite us. They make us realize how we all have similar routines even though things in our day can be vastly different. Based on the lives of seven real children from around the world.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Lines by Suzy Lee

This book is beautifully brilliant. Wordless and full of complete surprises and incredible movements (exquisitely implied).

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

This book begins with an eye that was drawn too large. Where it ends up? Oh my! A creative and inspiring journey.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chien

This title should ideally inspire endless poetry writing and will definitely help you see the world with a little more wonder. Gorgeous all around.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs written by Carol Murray and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

So much fun – lots of creepy and not so creepy crawlies flit, skitter and wander across these pages. Lots of information and delightful poems to share.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Now by Antoinette Portis

Being in the moment has never been celebrated with such lovely wonder and beauty.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

If You Were the Moon written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim

What would you do if you were the moon? A poem travels line by line, page by page on one side of each two page spread and on the other, more information about the moon. Incredible illustrations by Jaime Kim.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat

Find yourself completely surprised. This book. In awe.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Another Way to Climb a Tree written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Oh this book. Sweet. Inspiring. Creative. A perfect mix of text and illustrations.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Danielle Daniel 

Sparse words, gorgeous illustrations and a message of strength.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

Perseverance and risk taking are a journey. Love the way they are depicted here.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Can an Aardvark Bark? written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Created by nonfiction royalty, this book is a winner! Animal sounds. And many other cool things you might have wondered.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

This story is an absolute adventure. It’s all in the details and such details! Lola the armadillo spills orange liquid all over a white chair in a cart wheeling mishap. It is viewed as an absolute disaster! The end of the world! The end of everything! As she escapes her own mess, she runs into many other catastrophes. In the end, some important resolutions are explored. A book to get lost in.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams

A nonfiction title exploring ecosystems and the importance of keeping oceans healthy. Children will develop an understanding of food chains and how living creatures are interconnected in specific environments.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.

 

Monday October 9th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week.

Loved reading aloud this title on Friday as I had a little walking skeleton dressed for the occasion!

Monday October 9th, 2017

Our #classroombookaday titles focussed on story telling and becoming writers. So glad I chose to share these titles so early in the year. Some highlights from our learning included:

  • The middle is where all of the good stuff happens.
  • Tell more!
  • Write the stories around you.
  • Illustrations also tell stories. Pictures have important details.
  • Everyone loves to share stories!

After reading Ralph Tells a Story we were inspired to make a list of story ideas in our writer’s notebooks. I can’t wait to read about overflowing bathtubs, funny families and big and little adventures!

Monday October 9th, 2017Classroom Highlights 

In this recent post Dear Blog Readers,  I explained how I will be sharing more of what is happening in our classroom each week. Some highlights:

On Wednesday and Thursday evening we hosted Goal Setting Conferences with parents and students. It was really lovely to meet families (including older and little siblings) and participate in meaningful conversations about learning, happiness and engagement. I loved this drawing left behind by one little brother. It reminded me to listen with big ears!

Monday October 9th, 2017

Kindergarten students have so much to share. I love to pop in to the K classrooms on my prep to see what is happening. One little author/illustrator read me her animal book. 🙂

Monday October 9th, 2017

One of my students wants to be a poet. She shared her notebook with me this week. During Choices time one afternoon, she was working on her writing. She turned to a new page and exclaimed, “I love when a blank page turns into a story.” Her supportive Mom had taken her to the public library this week and helped her to sign out some poetry titles!

Monday October 9th, 2017

We have been writing to the people in our school community. I love this letter to our school engineer:

“Parm Thank you for everything. Our light is broken Parm. Can you fix it please and pretty?”

Here are our wipe off math mats patiently waiting for us to return from music and recess so we can continue practicing decomposing numbers to add.

Monday October 9th, 2017Little mathematicians at work! Overheard: “Let’s try that one again. I think we’ve almost got it.” Math is social! When we work together our learning multiplies.Monday October 9th, 2017Students are now taking the lead solving math riddles. This student is crossing out numbers on the 100s chart that have been eliminated by specific clues. Her classmates are so attentive!

Monday October 9th, 2017

After choral counting, we notice so many patterns! My job? To record all of the thinking that is shared.

Monday October 9th, 2017

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.

Books I enjoyed:

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat

Kind of impossible to talk about this book without giving anything away. I will just say this. I read a LOT of picture books. I often find books that touch an emotional nerve or inspire a sense of awe or make me laugh out loud. I am amazed at the calibre of titles that continue to be published. But I don’t often find myself completely surprised. This book surprised me. The ending caught me off guard and I loved it!

La La La: A Story of Hope written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Jaime Kim

Well, wow. This book – with only these three little repeated utterances: La, La, La and some more than expected and then some illustrations – pulls off an experience that is pretty incredible. I read a bit of criticism in the reviews about this being a challenging title to share as a read aloud. I think in a room with an adult who knows his/her readers and where there is space for wondering and talk, this book would be amazing. I need to get my own copy and prove it very soon.

La La La- A Story of Hope 2

The Wish Tree written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham

In search of a wish tree . . . There is much here about unwavering belief, hope and kindness. A magical experience.

Hooray for Books! by Brian Won

I am not quite sure what could be better than a book about book love. Such a celebration!

Hooray for Books!

Imagine by John Lennon with illustrations by Jean Jullien

A gorgeous picture book of the famous song by John Lennon. I will be sharing this as November 11th approaches. An important book to inspire conversations about peace.

Animal Camouflage: Search and Find by Sarah Dennis and Sam Hutchinson

Can’t wait to put this title out for some of our Soft Start mornings. I know students will pour over it as they learn about continents and various animals. Just beautiful.

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

I was so excited to finally have the chance to read this book and I couldn’t put it down. It was full of surprises and the ending just about knocked me over. I now feel like my students who read Mighty Jack last year and then whined all year about the second in the series not yet being published. Consider this my first whine: WHEN is Book 3 coming?

Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis

Wonderfully quirky, gentle and true. The unbelievable becomes believable in this middle grade novel about a girl who literally has a bee hive in her hair. Not a bee hive hair style. A hive of bees who take up residence. Really. She also has a missing brother. A there, but not really, mother. A boy named Birch waiting to be her friend. And . . . those bees. Loved this book!

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 52/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 231/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 49 books behind schedule.  Under 50 this week!

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 29/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 33/50 books read

Up next? I have a lot of transitional chapter books on the go as I get ready to book talk more titles for my classroom!

Gift Books 2016: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season

I love to book shop all year round. In the winter holiday season, I love to insist everyone else should partake. Making a picture book list to give is one of my favourite holiday traditions. I started with 12 in 2013 and moved to 20 in 2014.  Last year I bumped the list to 25 (2015). And this number seems to be the sweet spot. There are lots of books to love! It is a joy to recommend many of my favourites of the year!

Gift Books 2016: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Which books make the list? There are some things I think about. Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make its readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Does it freeze time? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh?

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

Simply the perfect mentor text for poetry writing. Enough said. Well, except to point out that the illustrations are especially swoon worthy.

Daniel Finds a Poem Monday April 11th, 2016

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato

I think this picture book has shades of pure perfection within it. A spotlight on the ridiculous “must be” wedding planning that occurs when love should just prevail. And please note, this is love for love’s sake. Not love that fits in any cookie cutter mold. How I adore this book.

WormLoves Worm

Where’s the Elephant? by Barroux

Beyond a search and find which it seems to be just a few pages in. Not at all. It is a statement about development encroaching on habitat. Of what this means to our world and the animals in it. Powerful. So, powerful. The perfect book to introduce environmental studies. To begin conversations. To worry about. And maybe to inspire change.

Wheres-the-Elephant Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Return by Aaron Becker

The third book in a trilogy (give the entire collection!). I love each book for particular reasons. This title must be experienced so that you can see how it continues the stories started in Journey and Quest. I think this cover image is my favourite of the three.

Return

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

I echo what so many others say – oh, if this book had only existed when my children were small. It has so much going on! Each page is full of details and yet a very lovely story of one family unfolds throughout. Spend ages on each page.

the-airport-book

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell with illustrations by Rafael López

This is such an inspiring book based on actual events in San Diego – how a neighborhood can be changed and strengthened by art. Illustrator Rafael López is more than the illustrator here – he is the inspiration for the character of the muralist.

Maybe Something Beautiful

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

This book is absolutely delightful. Since actual letters and personal mail is quite the novelty in this day and age, surprises arriving by post really are special. Maybe too much so . . .

It Came in the Mail

A Hungry Lion or a dwindling assortment of animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

This book is very funny. Very, very funny. It requires that wonderful page flipping back and forth phenomenon – “Did that really happen?” I don’t want to give anything away but will say the surprises delighted me. Can’t wait to read this to a group of children.

a-hungry-lion-or-a-dwindling-assortment-of-animals Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Knowing Book written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich with illustrations by Matthew Cordell

When this book was first published, someone said it was my kind of book. It is most definitely my kind of book. I think it might also be your kind of book. Gently perfect.

The Knowing Book

The Night Gardener by the Fan brothers 

This is just a wow title. It has so much of what I love in a picture book – some surprises, a intergenerational connection, a sense of wonder, lots of creativity . . . Divine.

The Night Gardener Monday April 11th, 2016

Barnacle is Bored by Jonathan Fenske

This book is so well done. Talking about the story is giving away the story. So I’ll just say this: clever, really funny, perfect read aloud to inspire much conversation about how to look at life.

Barnacle is Bored Monday August 15th, 2016 There's a Book for That

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad

This book of poetry is kind of pure perfection. Julie Morstad’s illustrations. Julie Fogliano‘s beautiful images. I can’t pick a favourite poem. But I have many a favourite line.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Sound of Silence written by Katrina Goldsaito and illustrated by Julia Kuo

This book is just incredibly beautiful in its simplicity – the search for silence. One to share and share again. The illustrations are captivating.

the-sound-of-silence

Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

Full of all kinds of fabulous Hatke-esque characters and its star – the Goblin, is one to root for. This will be loved.

nobody-likes-a-goblin

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce just might be my favourite grump. Lots of giggles here.

hotel-bruce2

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle

Oh Flora, you sure can move. And this time with not one, but two, dancing partners. Stunning all around!

Flora and the Peacocks Monday May 30th, 2016 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

Like many, I eagerly anticipated this title. Klassen is so unique. I love the subtle things here. The hints. The suggestions. The not neatly wrapped up ending. The room for readers to do some work.

We Found a Hat

Ida, Always written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso

This is a tender book about friendship and loss. Allows for conversations about preparing for a death and carrying on. A very special (fictional) story based on a real connection between two bears in New York’s Central Park Zoo.

Ida, Always Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Finding Wild written by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Where can you find wild? What is wild to you? Why do we need wild? How is wild beautiful and dangerous all at the same time. Just so full of wow.

Finding Wild Monday May 30th, 2016 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Listzs by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Júlia Sardà (coming in October)

Quirky with gorgeous illustrations and prompts wonderful list making. A great book to share with children who appreciate all the lovely language in the lists. Highly recommended.

the-liszts

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

So very clever. Literal twists and turns! Quite the reading experience exploring the feeling of time’s passage on a road trip.

Are we there Yet?

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Because picture books are especially treasured as they lull us to sleep.

twenty-yawns

 

The Water Princess by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

This might be my favourite title by this author/illustrator pairing. The illustrations here are incredible.

the-water-princess

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Brilliant. So rich with possibilities to share and talk about perspective, self and the world.

they-all-saw-a-cat

Be a Friend by Salina Yoon

Well, I am absolutely smitten. This book speaks of friendship and individuality and acceptance and patience. I am kind of in love.

Be a Friend

Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.

Monday October 3rd, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Teaching in a new to me school has kept me very busy. I didn’t get to post last week so am sharing reading highlights from the past 2 weeks.

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. My students have fallen deep into the land of graphic novels. Ben Hatke‘s Little Robot is a favourite.

Monday October 3rd, 2016

This student is showing me that 2017 is not “coming soon” in terms of the next Hilo instalment. When you are an impatient fan, time moves too slowly.

Monday October 3rd, 2016We have continued to love exploring theme for our #classroombookaday titles. What theme is explored with these titles?

Monday October 3rd, 2016

And these?

Monday October 3rd, 2016

Student voice is beginning to inform our reading community. Some of the wisdom posted up through Reader’s Statements.

Monday October 3rd, 2016

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

Books I enjoyed:

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Brilliant. So rich with possibilities to share and talk about perspective, self and the world.

they-all-saw-a-cat

Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear by Mônica Carnesi

This book is just plain adorable. What do you do if your very good friend Bear hibernates and sleeps away winter?

beatrice-and-bear

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson and illustrated by David Shannon

The story of the Peacemaker and his message of peace and unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. An important lesson about democracy.

hiawatha-and-the-peacemaker

I loved both of these Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! titles.

We are Growing! by Laurie Keller

A humorous account of grass growing.

we-are-growing

The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

Amusing. Full of cookie crumbs and math learning.

the-cookie-fiasco

Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

A perfect beginning graphic series: funny, amusing and wonderfully quirky.

 Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova

What a gorgeous graphic memoir. A year in the life of the author when her mother leaves her in Russia with her Grandparents to travel to America for a year. Visually stunning.

a-year-without-mom

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Oh, this book.Who would think that ice fishing, Irish dancing, magical elements and heroin addiction could be combined to create a story that is impossible both to put down and then to keep from immediately passing on. I have much gratitude to Kate Messner for writing this book.

SeventhWish_r6-2-199x300

Rescued by Elliot Schrefer

A hard book to read. There is so much injustice here for Raja, an orangutan brought to the states to be a pet/brother for a young boy. As time passes, it becomes even more wrong. Is there a way to make things right?

rescued

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 43/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 262/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 32/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 31/50 books read

Up next? I am reading It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

Monday May 23rd, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been absent from #IMWAYR for a few weeks and oh, how, I have missed it! I am back and thrilled to be here. How I adore this community.

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. As you might have anticipated, I have a few to share this week.

Here is my Reading Warrior surrounded by her morning reading 🙂

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

An engaged buddy reading moment.

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

More buddy reading joy.

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

For our #classroombookaday, I have three weeks of titles to share.

Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That Monday May 23rd, 2016 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:

I have been processing leaving my school and this seems to be the only blogging I have done.

I am leaving – – > Changes Ahead: Slice of Life

It’s confusing – – > Not Enough Feet: Slice of Life

Trying to find peace – – > Celebration: Standing in the Middle

Books I enjoyed:

In three weeks, there have been many books! So I worked hard to narrow it down to my ten favourite recently read picture books. In no particular order:

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

So very clever. Literal twists and turns! Quite the reading experience exploring the feeling of time’s passage on a road trip.

Are we there Yet? Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Rules of the House written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matt Myers

Never open the red door! This is the firm rule of the house. So, what would you do? I can see kids actually finding this kind of scary . . .

Rules of the House Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Willems is more than brilliant and doesn’t disappoint in any way in this last Elephant and Piggie title.

TheThankYouBook Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Horrible Bear written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora

I love this title more and more as I think more about how truly smart it is. Exploring immediate reactions, mistakes and forgiveness. Another wonderful collaboration from Dyckman and OHora.

Horrible Bear Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Nerdy Birdy written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies

Reynolds and Davies? I couldn’t wait to lay eyes on this one. I love all that it explores – these birdies navigate social norms and emotions rather than the skies. Lots to talk about.

Nerdy Birdy Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Thunder Boy Jr. written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

I have been waiting for this book since I heard Morales discuss it at Western Washington’s Children’s Literature Conference more than a year ago. Now, I am thrilled to have just purchased tickets for my husband and I to go hear Alexie speak here in Vancouver! (June 21st – tickets via Vancouver Kidsbooks if you are local) This book is all kinds of special. All about identity, family, who we are and what our name represents.

Loved listening to this interview.

 Thunder Boy Jr. Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Puddle by Hyewon Yum

Is there anything better than puddle jumping? Likely not! This book is full of rain and creativity.

Puddle Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

This is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier

100% charming. A book that celebrates the beautiful process of reading.

This is Not a Picture Book Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary Grandpré

So fascinating! Made me go and look at multiple images of Kandinsky’s work.

The Noisy Paint Box Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Stay! A Top Dog Story by Alex Latimer

I can see some children becoming absolutely lost in the detailed notes and letters in this book. Lots of fun!

Stay! Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Novels:

Booked! by Kwame Alexander

This is the second Alexander title that made its rounds in my family – both children, my husband and I read it. I think we all took different things from it to love. There is lots to love!

Booked Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

This is some book. Dramatic family relationships, young love, coming of age, and New York in 1977 and all that that means . . . the Son of Sam murders and the fear surrounding this time, fires, black outs, financial hardships. I highly recommend this YA title.

Burn Baby Burn Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers

This is one of those titles that you can pick up and not put down until done. On the one hand, this is the story of a girl trapped in a well and all of the scary and terrible about this. But this little book also contains lots about the ugliness of middle school relationships, the vulnerability of children, our inner voices and introspection . . . .

The Girl in the Well is Me Monday May 23rd, 2016 There's a Book for That

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 19/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 147/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 16/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 22/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 19/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

Monday October 12th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This photo was taken to highlight a favourite read of the week: Bears Don’t Read by Emma Chichester Clark. You might notice (spoiler alert) that students covered up the n’t with a sticky note after we finished the book!

Monday October 12th, 2015 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

Blogging has been a challenge lately so I missed last week 😦

I have done a few posts in this last while. Celebration posts have been a necessity.

On the blog:

Celebration: This and that

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, Oh wow

Celebration: The things I have needed

Books I loved:

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel

This book is absolutely stunning. I have plans later in the year to do an art project with this title. Each page has a poem (four lines each) and a painting of a child as one of twelve totem animals. We learn about the aspects of each animal that are honoured. Bear is brave. Fox is clever. Owl is intuitive. Danielle Daniel has a beautiful website to explore.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Secret Pizza Party written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

I really do enjoy this author/illustrator duo. An ode to pizza and the crafty ways of a racoon. Lots of fun.

Secret Pizza Party Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Chicken Dance written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat

Silly, silly, silly. Dancing chickens. A barnyard talent show. Some stiff competition. Hilarious.

Chicken dance Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ninja Red Riding Hood written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat

Rhyming text. Girl power. Some pretty hip ninja moves. This title has lots to offer young readers.

Ninja Red Riding Hood Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Woodpecker Wham written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Wonderful as always from Sayre and Jenkins! I have a special fascination for woodpeckers so found this book particularly interesting.

Woodpecker Wham! Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I don’t often read adult novels. I always say it is because getting lost in adult dramas often makes me feel a little hopeless about the world. But this was exactly the book I needed in the last week – a title that I could get lost in. Lots of drama, lots of mystery, lots of sadness. I was happy that none of it was mine.

Big Little Lies Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 55/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 342/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 64/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 39/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Monday August 10th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer, I am not surrounded every day with little readers so . . . I am choosing moments from the year not previously shared. Here is a moment during Reading Workshop where quiet reading had to be interrupted for some choral reading together!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday August 10th, 2015 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 missed last week because we were away on holiday so this post includes two weeks of reading. I will try to be brief!

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairy Tale Retellings

A collection of picture books featuring whales and details of my gray whale sighting!

My classroom library: Beyond the books, 10 important features

A celebration in photos of our time away

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers

Books I read and loved:

Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

This title was waiting for me in my mailbox when I arrived home from my trip. Thank you Tundra Books! I had a hard time getting past the cover – isn’t it gorgeous? And then I looked under the book jacket – the book jacket is 2 sided. There was some swooning and dancing before I could sit down and read this book. Once I read it, I missed my class! This book will be a title I share in the first week of school when I still have my class from last year. I can’t wait to see how those students respond. Sonya is raising chickens and takes her job ever so seriously. Not only does she care for these chickens, she adores them. One night, there is a lot of noise out in the coop and Sonya needs her parent’s guidance to navigate what has happened. A story about nature, responsibility and hope.

Sonya's Chickens Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for Thatv

Ninja! by Arree Chung

This book is full of cheeky energy! Would be very fun to read aloud to a young group of listeners.

ninja arree chung Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Crankenstein written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat

Hmm. . . I think there are some mornings when Crankenstein lives at my house. I won’t say who in my family seems to disappear when he arrives. But let’s just say I have met this character!

Crankenstein Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The New Small Person by Lauren Child

A sweet and honest little story about adjusting to a new sibling.

The New Small Person Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo

Loved the illustrations and that the main character in need of a hug was a cactus! Think this would prompt lots of discussions about not making assumptions. Very cute.

Hug-Me Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Grasshopper & the Ants by Jerry Pinkney

A gorgeously illustrated rendition of the popular fable – with a bit of a musical twist.

The Grasshopper & The Ants Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Sona and the Wedding Game written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

I learned so much about Hindu wedding ceremonies! This book was pure delight.

 Sona Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin

A different kind of grieving – for a way family might have been. A story of courage and secrets and friendship. Would make a wonderful book club title.

Ruby on the outside Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

I read this in one sitting while we were away on holiday. I got completely caught up with the characters. So much vulnerability, I worried about everyone. a beautiful book about relationships, honesty and living your truth.

Openly Straight Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

None of the Above by I.W. Gregario

What an important YA title about a character who is intersex – something she does not discover until she is eighteen years old. Author I.W. Gregario is a practicing surgeon as well as an author so the medical aspects of the book are well explained. But this is more than a scientific read – it is very much a story of a girl who must come to terms with ignorant reactions from her peers and her own developing understanding of who she is. How can something physical define so much? Does it?

 None of the Above Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

George by Alex Gino

I picked this up at my local public library in the ARC section. How much do I love that this is a middle grade novel? It is a book I would love to have in my classroom library if I was teaching grade 4 again. What I know to be true – reading about experiences and differences removes ridiculous stereotypes and confusion and cruelty stemming from simple ignorance. Books like this allow children to read about a transgendered child and be able to get some of their questions answered. For a transgendered child, well, wow this book would mean everything. Also, I must celebrate these characters. Of course George is wonderful – she is open and honest and real. Also loved her brother and best friend. And the principal! Fantastic read. Look for it from Scholastic later this month.

George Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

A group of us has a twitter chat coming up this Wednesday to talk about this book. I can’t wait! For now, I will say this. I teared up three times reading it. Cynthia Lord, what a writer!

Handful of stars Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 45/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 275/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 15/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 52/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 31/50 books read

Up next? My children and I are reading Mark of a Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen and I am reading (finally, I know, I know) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson