We are citizens: A place to begin to talk about our membership in the world #pb10for10 2018

Picture book 10 for 10 is here!  This is one of the best days of the year to share picture book love and to increase your knowledge of picture book titles.

This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Thanks to both of them for the work they do to promote this wonderful day of picture book sharing!

This is my 7th year participating in this event. In 2012, I shared ten beloved titles. In 2013, I went with a theme: Connections across the generations. In 2014, I shared ten “go to” titles on various themes like generosity, courage and forgiveness. In 2015. I highlighted favourite historical fiction titles. In 2016 I chose books that may inspire philosophical discussion.Last year my list included 10 titles I described as beautifully quirky.

This year my list reflects my thinking about how I want picture books to support our discussions and thoughts about what it means to be a citizen – in our classroom, in our communities, in this world. When we look up the word citizen in the dictionary, there is a lot in the definition about being an inhabitant, a member of a group or society and about having certain legal and protected rights. In basic definitions, there isn’t much included about responsibilities to others.  I am wanting to begin to explore the idea of our global citizenship – beginning with who we are and how we treat others and getting ready to think about who we are in the world. What are all of our rights? What are our responsibilities?

How do we treat those around us? How do we develop our capacity to understand our role in a bigger world?

When I started to research definitions of global citizenship, I found many words and ideas that spoke to what I want to explore and foster in our classroom this year.

What is global citizenship? Who is a global citizen?

“An ethic of care for the world.”  Hannah Arendt

“It is a way of living that recognizes our world is an increasingly complex web of connections and interdependencies. One in which our choices and actions may have repercussions for people and communities locally, nationally or internationally.” From the IDEAS for Global Citizenship website

” . . . someone who sees himself or herself as being part of an emerging world community and whose actions help define this community’s values and practices.” from The Global Citizens’ Initiative website

I teach primary students and believe that these children are fully capable of examining and talking about world issues. But we need to begin with the immediate  (ourselves) and examine how we interact in the specific world around us. These conversations will allow us to begin looking further to talk about our connections globally.

More books will come. A lot more books. But we will begin here.

We will read They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel to remind ourselves that we all view things from different perspectives and that these perspectives are shaped by our experiences and our feelings of comfort and fear.

We will read Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers to remind ourselves that we share this planet with a huge variety of people and other living things and that we can be awed by the amazing but that we are also bound by responsibilities to care for all inhabitants of this Earth.

We will read Why Am I Me? written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko to explore questions about our personal identity and to celebrate our diversity and connection.

We will read Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein to understand that kindness is not only contagious but that kindness passed on grows and strengthens.

We will read When we Were Alone written by David A. Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett to honour personal histories and to talk about resilience. Our history connects us just as deeply as our present. Experiences continue to shape relationships and identity.

We will read Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford to remind ourselves to forgive and that we may need help practicing forgiveness.

We will read The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin so that we can talk about how our voices cannot be silenced and the incredible power of speaking up.

We will read Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love to talk about self expression and to remind ourselves “that anyone can be anything they want to be,” (as one of my students explained this year after hearing this book)

We will read The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein so that we can talk about helping and protecting wildlife as we go about our lives and interactions. This book will allow us to talk about how courage is in doing what you know is right even when you are told not to do it.

We will read I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët to witness what it is to be an upstander. Because we know when we witness something that is wrong and there are all kinds of ways to respond.

Follow along on twitter using the #pb10for10 hashtag. All posts will be linked on the Google Community Site for Picture Book 10 for 10

pb-10-for-10What titles would you add to this list?

Happy picture book reading!  

Monday January 11th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This week, it was all about #MockCaldecott joy! Here are our winners! 3 honor ttiles and the medal went to The Bear Ate Your Sandwich!

Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Our #classroombookaday titles were gorgeous this week – all about the forest and animals in the woods Next week we will be reading a number of nonfiction titles about animals in winter. These books helped build our background knowledge and vocabulary.

Monday January 11th, 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:

Ready for a year of reading? I am with my Must Read novels of 2016

Would you like to make a list and join the community? Link up here: #MustReadin2016 So far there are 24 lists!

For my first Nonfiction Picture Book post of 2016, I shared some #MockSibert predictions

My Celebration post was all about our #MockCaldecott 2016 results

Books I enjoyed:

I am reading for the Cybils (nonfiction titles) and readjusting to being back at work (Anyone else finding this exhausting?) but I did manage to read some lovely books I would like to share.

Who’s that Knocking at My Door? by Reinhard Michl and Tilde Michels (1993)

A colleague lent this to me as she said it reminded her of Out of the Woods by Rebecca Bond – another interesting animal encounter with animals that typically aren’t near each other. This is a rhyming book and a work of fiction but if you can get your hands on it, it pairs wonderfully with Out of the Woods.

 Who's That knocking Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen and E. Walker 

A stunning, poetic ABC book by Flying Eye Books – a publisher I adore more and more. This title is simply stunning.  A perfect gift for bird lovers.

Beautiful Birds Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

I finally got my hands on a copy of this title and shared it with my family over dinner one evening. We talked for a long time about just the cover which I think is so striking. Such an important story about a family’s fight for their children’s equal education.

Separate is Never Equal Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein

A cheerful little title of parent/child attachment.

Tad and Dad Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle with illustrations by Freya Blackwood

Blackwood’s illustrations are the perfect complement to this story of trying to remember details of a mother who has passed away. Honest, real and important. Tells the story of a little girl who experiences sadness and grief as she grows from a child to an adult. While sad, it also offers hope and promise of healing.

Her Mother's Face by Roddy Doyle with illustrations by Freya Blackwood Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers

Really? Really, how great is this?! An absolutely unique and amazing alphabet story book.

Once Upon an Alphabet Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

I listened to all of the podcasts about this (The Yarn) over the summer and was eagerly anticipating finally reading this graphic novel. It did not disappoint. This book captures not just a time period that is meaningful to me but many things that I feel are brave in a novel (graphic or otherwise): intergenerational relationships, tough family dynamics, strong emotions, life that isn’t all pretty (in this case substance abuse issues).

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm Monday January 11th, 2016 There's a Book for That

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 2/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 12/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 2/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 3/50 books read

Next up? I continue reading More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera (so captivating) and am reading A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen aloud to my family. We are all addicted!

 

Picture books to help you giggle

To celebrate picture book month, I am sharing peeks into the wonderful conversations I get to have with children about particular picture books. When I thought about writing a picture book post today, no conversations leaped out at me to share. I have no students here at home on a Sunday morning and I have been reading my own children the amazing novel Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. But . . . just yesterday evening, I was talking to Vancouver kindergarten teacher Sharon Hales about how great Elephant & Piggie titles are. She is a huge fan! (Great taste!) And, of course, I asked a few times – “Have you read . . . ?” “Do you know author . . . ?” 

Hmmm, this was a conversation about picture books . . .

So I started thinking, if I were a kindergarten teacher, what would be must own picture books for my classroom library? Books guaranteed to inspire giggles and choruses of “Read it again”? Quickly, I started a list on a scrap piece of paper. I ran out of room! This post is the result. 🙂

Grab one of these, grab a child or a kindergarten/early primary class and prepare for smiles and giggles!

Picture books to help you giggle There's a Book for That

And because once you start laughing, you need to laugh some more:

Picture books to help you giggle There's a Book for That

Picture Books to help you giggle:

Count the Monkeys written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Z is for Moose written by Kelly Bingham and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky 

I’m Bored  written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Prudence Wants a Pet written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Brief Thief written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

Warning: Do not Open this Book! written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld 

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

Interrrupting Chickenby David Ezra Stein

Chester by Mélanie Watt

You’re Finally Here by Mélanie Watt

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

Such a joy to share these favourite titles – perfect for the younger set but appealing to happy readers of all ages!

Are you in the picture book mood? Share some favourites! It’s Picture Book Month!

pb month logo

Monday September 1st, 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.

Lots of picture books in my reading week. The ones I loved:

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

I always think that when I read a really fantastic wordless title that I should have many words. But my review is just about raving. This book has everything I love, love, love about picture book magic. Sigh. Soar. Divine.

 The Girl and the Bicycle #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

Mr. Frank by Irene Luxbacher

I always love books about connections between grandparents and grandchildren. This book is nostalgic and tender. Just lovely.

Mr. Frank  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

Give and Take by Chris Raschka

Well, well, well . . . This book holds some great potential for some fascinating philosophical discussion inside of its 32 pages. How far can greed go? What is selfish? Is there a line? What about giving? Can we give too much? Such an interesting little book.

Give and Take  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

My Pet Book by Bob Staake

Bright, book adoration. What can be better?

My Pet Book  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

This book went on a wish list of mine after reading some great reviews. Now I have read the book and am sure I need to get it into my classroom! Delightful is the best way to describe this title. I adore the unique creatures. I am impressed by Julia’s problem solving finesse. And who doesn’t love a journey into someone else’s imagination? Such fun.

 Julia's House for Lost Creatures  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein

I did a lot of book store therapy this week. Not book shopping because that is not currently in the cards but bookstore “being” – perusing titles, recommending to friends, making lists. I actually laughed often while reading this book. And I need some laughs. A book that throws the usual “human = owner animal = pet dynamic” on its head. Giggles are underrated.

I'm My Own Dog  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

Mr. Brown’s Fantastic Hat by Ayano Imai

I loved the illustrations in this book. An incredible hat that grows to accomodate a number of birds come to nest. Themes of loneliness, making friends, growing community.

Mr. Brown's Fantastic Hat  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

I also read some fantastic nonfiction titles:

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Everything about this title is inspiration. What a story, first of al,l of a poet that had to share his perspective with the world. This book is full of art and words and images. It nudges the reader – go . . . write . . . share . . . create. A beautiful, beautiful book.

 A River of Words  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

Who Was Here? Discovering Wild Animal Tracks by Mia Posada

Loved the guess and read to find out aspect of this story. Would be perfect to share a few pages at a time.

Who Was Here?  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

Bizarre Dinosaurs: Some Very Strange Creatures and Why We Think They Got that Way by John Updike and Christopher Sloan

Whoa dinosaurs are wild creatures! This title shares photos of fossils and digitally modeled images along with scientific explanations of why dinosaurs were structured the way they were. Fascinating.

Bizarre Dinosaurs  #IMWAYR September 1st 2014 There's a Book for That

I am sick of typing it so you must be sick of reading it but the mess of BC Education is still happening. We still have no contract. The mediator declared an impasse. Tomorrow is NOT the first day of school as it should be. So my reading time has continued to be interrupted by things like remembering to breathe. I am almost finished and thoroughly enjoying Revolution by Deborah Wiles. Hoping to be able to escape into more books this week after picket line shifts and beginning to home school (temporarily I hope) my own children who should be beginning Grade 7 tomorrow.

Happy Reading to all of you. Thank goodness for the land of books!

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 60/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 406/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 104/65 complete

Monday February 11th, 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 have been sick for 4 days. We all know the yucky things about being sick so I haven’t been thrilled about being ill this weekend. But, for a book lover, sick days mean book days so I happily read some great novels between naps and mint tea breaks.

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King This is the second King title I’ve read (Ask the Passengers being the first) and I am fast becoming a fan of how she lays out characters and families and their sometimes strange, challenging but yet, connected dynamics. I sort of feel like I’m spying through a lit window at night into the intimate details of family relationships. Not always pretty. Sometimes all about the ugly and the weak. But so truly real.  A book with a theme of bullying and how it affects an entire family.

everybodyants

Crow by Barbara Wright This title is another great example of why I love historical fiction to learn about specific events in history I often knew nothing or little about – in this case, the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. This book is very much about Moses and his family. I loved his relationship with his spunky and wise grandmother Boo Nanny. The racial tensions and extreme prejudice are thoroughly explored in this story – going back in time to Moses’  grandparent’s experiences and forward to his father’s dreams for him. Some challenging moments in this book. A middle grade read that might be best as a read aloud where lots of discussion could occur. With room for many questions . . .

Crow

Insurgent by Veronica Roth So first off, I must say that yes, I liked this book. Yes, I’m hooked on the adventure and very curious about what will happen next. But, while I appreciate adventure and fast paced plots, I need breathing room in a story. Time to reflect and ponder. Down time. There is little down time in Roth’s books. Which is probably what makes them favourites for others but not for me. I miss the space to think. Again, like I said with Divergent, it feels like I am reading a movie. With little mood music. Just go, go, go! But I like many of these characters and so yes, count me in as someone who will read the next title in this series!

insurgent

Next up for me? Nothing but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. My children and I are loving The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens. If my voice hadn’t been so rotten this weekend we would have read much more. Such an engaging novel! And for kids, it has it all – suspense, humour, mystery, action . . .

I continue to add board books to my classroom collection for when we have buddy reading with the kindergarten class. Two new titles added this week:

Pouch! by David Ezra Stein A sweet little title about a little joey almost ready to brave the world.


Pouch David Ezra Stein

Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills My students love sharing Duck & Goose titles. So sweet. Messages always so positive. Kids read them and smile.

duck and goose needs

I also read some great nonfiction picture books this week.

Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin This book is quietly powerful which is often the very best kind. Full of quotes to read, share and ponder. The artwork is exquisite. And I love the message that peace needs to be everywhere (in our hearts, homes, schools, countries . . .) in order to impact peace everywhere else. A book to own.

peace book cover

Who Lives Here? written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Marc Boutavant I purchased Who’s Like Me? (read more here) a book in this same format and it quickly became very popular for buddy reading so I am excited to book talk this title next week. In this book, students learn all about different habitats. Very accessible for younger learners and fun lift the flap elements.

who-lives-here-

My favourite picture books of the week were . . .

Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski This was the only Caldecott honour title for 2013 that I hadn’t read. I was completely smitten when I turned to the page of the whales. Oh, the whales! Such gorgeous pictures. Love the cityscape on the first page with the tiger carrying away the huge orange ball . . . Text and illustrations mesh beautifully. This would be such a beautiful book to give as a gift to those who appreciate the soothing power of bedtime books.

Sleep Like a Tiger

Bone Dog written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann I am a big Rohmann fan. My Friend Rabbit is one of my all time favourites. So I was intrigued by this title. It tackles death (of a pet) which most books shy away from so it gets automatic points. I always think we should talk openly with kids about death as a part of life. I once wrote a post ranting about this very thing. This title also has some very sweet elements to it. And when tested on a child (my son) evoked some giggles (when the proud little dog struts back with bone in mouth after a skeleton chase!)

bone-dog

The First Mosquito written and illustrated by Caroll Simpson. A dramatic First Nations story full of supernatural beings. My students wrote reviews of this book and I shared them here.

the First Mosquito

 

Have a happy reading week!

Monday January 14th, 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 read a lot of picture books this week. Here are my favourites:

Pecan Pie Baby by Jaqueline Woodson and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. A perceptive little story about a young girl who is anxious about a new baby coming and changing the connected relationship between her and her Mama. Love Sophie Blackall’s illustrations – all the tender snuggles between pregnant Mom and daughter.

pecan pie baby

Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis and David Soman I’ve read other Ladybug girl stories but not this original book and I like it best of all. Lovely illustrations and the highlights of outdoor pretend play.

Ladybug-Girl

Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood The best part of this story is the celebration of play through some very imaginative building with boxes. (Fantastic illustrations by Blackwood) Of course, it’s also a great book to touch on anxiety about moving somewhere new.

clancy and millie and the very fine house

C.R. Mudgeon by Leslie Muir and Julian Hector There is much to this little book. A tribute to friendship, a reminder to break out of your comfort zone and be ready for new things and the celebration of individuals who really truly grab on to the world and shake all there is to find within it out! Go read it . . . so worth it!

C.R. Mudgeon

Some Cat! This was a wonderful read aloud in my room. I shared my students’ reactions here.

some cat

Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein The pay it forward story line isn’t unique for a picture book but none of us can hear this message too often: kindness passed on grows and strengthens. Loved the illustrations. Beautifully colourful and whimsical. I read this to my class and it sparked a lovely brainstorming session on how we can create more kindness in our classroom.

because_amelia_smiled

Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Robertson A boy wants a dog. A dog wants a friend. Really, they need each other. If you just look at it in the right way . . . Touching story of the need for a companion and how far some might go to find that connection. Chapter format in a picture book.

wanted the perfect pet

Bullly by Patricia Polacco Handles middle school issues of cyber bullying, friendship and loyalty very well.

Bully-cover-web

I also read some fantastic nonfiction. Read this post for more details.

In novels . . . 

DivinersI finished The Diviners by Libba Bray. This was one of my must read in 2013 titles as I’m trying to read more fantasy novels.

Wow . . .this was some book! Dramatic. (I loved the 1920s setting and characters.) Funny. At times, absolutely scary. Eerie and shivery kind of scary. Horror. Paranormal activity. Special powers. It was the kind of read where it is necessary to say to yourself, “just a book, just a book . . . ” Some nights I would turn off my light and then haunted by worries about a specific character, turn the light back on and read on.

This is a long read (578 pages) but highly addictive. The ending definitely leaves many things unanswered (hooking readers for the next in the series . . .)

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

I also read How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr.

I read this book quickly finding myself very attached to what might happen to all of the characters. The story is about two teenage girls (Jill and Mandy) who find their lives completely colliding when Jill’s Mom decides to adopt Mandy’s baby in an open adoption. Pregnant Mandy comes to live with Jill and her Mom and brings with her sadness, secrets and longing for a different life. Jill is still reeling from the recent death of her father and finds it difficult to be open to anyone. Somehow though these characters find a way to make sense to each other and the ending is . . . (I don’t want to spoil it but must say, it really touched me)

Currently, I’m reading The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver to my children and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (think this is the fourth time I’ve read this book!) with my student book club at school. We are really enjoying The Spindlers – it’s full of delightful and unique characters from “below” My son is finding the idea of spindlers a little spooky but every time I stop reading, he begs me to continue!

I am also reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver (the author that seems to be everywhere I look this week!)

Monday December 31st, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Ring in the new year with books! Link up with Jen and Kellee and participate in this weekly meme that celebrates reading (from picture books to young adult titles).

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Of course the best thing about the holidays for a book lover is . . . books and the time to read them! I enjoyed lots of late night page turning and even better, early morning caffeine fuelled reading marathons while the rest of the house slept.

This week I will start with the novels I completed:

I finished Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein just in time to name it one of my 12 favourites of 2012. I am so reluctant to write anything about this book for fear of giving anything away. It’s a story of storytellers and oh, what stories. . . Stories that shock, that crush you in one moment and fill you with hope in another, stories about friendship that will make you rethink what it means to be a friend. An amazing read. If you haven’t read it yet, put it to the top of your must read list.

codenameverity12 for 12

Words that Start with B by Vikki VanSickle This book was passed to me by the Teacher Librarian at my children’s school who happens to have an amazing blog (check it out for a variety of great book recommendations/many Canadian titles) I tried to capture my thoughts about this book and inspired by VanSickle, started them with B . . .

Best friends that make one smile just to know that friends like that matter
Bullies and some bystanders that in the end, don’t stand by
Bumps of the health and growing up kind that are so well handled
Believable characters that could just as well live down the road or around the corner

I am now on the lookout for the next title in this eventual trilogy.

wordsthatstartwithb

Divergent by Veronica Roth So I was ready for this book to be fast paced and carved out a good chunk of reading time so that I didn’t really need to put it down for long. It certainly was an adventure. I liked it. I fell right in to the world Roth delivers. I’m sure I will go on to read Insurgent. There are certainly characters I want to follow. It filled my dystopian craving (haven’t read a dystopian title lately) But . . . it’s a few days later and . . . it’s not totally sticking with me. I wrote on my Goodreads review that I felt like I was reading a movie and that is still how it feels. Much of it just did not go deep enough for me. I found the reviews on this book really extreme. People loved it or really didn’t and I can kind of see why.

divergent

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats Fantastic historical fiction in a time and a place I knew little of – Wales in the late 1200s. Two girls with very different lives yet who share much of the same day to day experiences while Gwenhwyfar works in Cecily’s home. Narrated in turn by these two characters with very distinct voices and struggles. Gripping. Brace yourself for the end. Highly recommended.

The Wicked and the Just

Picture Books:

It seems I have a thing for books with bears or there are so many books out there that feature bears in starring roles that I just cannot help coming across them . . . Not sure. What do people think? Regardless, again I found some lovely books with bears!

Leaves by David Ezra Stein This is a wonderful book that reminds us how amazing nature is as it takes us through the changing seasons from the perspective of a young bear who marvels and worries over the falling leaves.

leaves

Little Bear’s Little Boat written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter I have been on the lookout for some more board books ideal for sharing when our kindergarten reading buddies come to read with us each week. This title is so sweet with themes of growing up, being kind and accepting change.

books_Little_Bears_Little_Boat-pict

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland Saving the forest one hug and one tree at a time. You’ve got to meet this bear.

big-bear-hug

Then I went on a bit of an Elephant and Piggie reading spree. Mo Willems can do no wrong. I read Should I share my ice cream?, Listen to my Trumpet, Elephants Cannot Dance and I Broke my Trunk. All wonderful. No wonder these are consistent favourites in my class always!

I loved this title in particular – as always it is an ode to friendship but I love also how it exposed the anxiety of indecision. And melting ice cream just can’t wait . . .

should-I-share-my-ice-cream

My children and I read many of our favourite holiday picture books leading up to Christmas. A new one for us this year?

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea We loved how Pyn decorated her tree with found objects from nature and how the finding and setting up the tree linked the little girl and her father even in their sadness of a missing Mama.

christmas-tree-for-pyn

A beautiful non-fiction title my family enjoyed was Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin A simply gorgeous book detailing the birth of the Galapagos islands over millions of years and the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. This is a book we will return to often to further study the illustrations and explanations.

ISLAND-cover-web

May your 2013 be full of happiness, health and many books 🙂

My favourite twelve titles of 2012 are shared here.