Monday March 13th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Or two, or three . . . 

Friday afternoon reading peace.

Monday March 13th, 2017

This is kind of my all time favourite photo right now! These two are celebrating Spring Break reading choices. Reading is the thing!

Monday March 13th, 2017

More Spring Break reading plans

Monday March 13th, 2017

#classroombookaday titles

Monday March 13th, 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.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

It’s Slice of Life Season so many posts (and not quite as much reading):

Reading Workshop Truths: Slice of Life #12 12 truths of Reading Workshop

Inspiration sources: Slice of Life #11 On Spring Break, where will I find writing inspiration?

The Buddy Reading Phenomenon: Slice of Life #10 Buddy reading is about so much more than reading

Finding Community: Slice of Life #9 Feeling at home in my new school

But I’ve got this: Slice of Life #8 I want my room to be where life long readers are made

Kid collecting: Slice of Life #7 My morning walk involves a kid or two

Room 202: Slice of Life #6 Wondering why my new classroom feels so much like home

Books I enjoyed:

Bloom by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Mary Lundquist

A beautiful book about seasons and time and growing. A perfect gardening book. Also a perfect parent child connection book.

Liam Takes a Stand by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Josh Holinaty

Sibling rivalry can sometimes be way over the top. What if you’re the littlest brother? This book will make you smile. And kind of thirsty.

Noisy Night by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Brian Biggs

Lots of noise in this very tall apartment building? Who is making it? A fun story time read aloud. Warning: it might get loud!

The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

Oh yes – clever commentary on our social media world.

A Year of Borrowed Men by Michelle Barker and illustrated by Renné Benoit

During the war, three French Prisoner’s of War are sent to work on Gerda’s farm in Germany. Told from a child’s perspective, this book is a very human look at hard times in European history. Full of tender and sweet moments and the harsh realities of suspicion sand cruelties of war.

The Dance of the Violin by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić

A story of young violinist Joshua Bell. He wants to compete in an important competition. Can he convey the movement he hears as he plays? Or will nerves win out? Incredibly illustrated.

The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel

This Toon tale made me a little sad. A biography of sorts of The Great Antonio, the true story of Antonio Barichievich, Montreal strong man. All the things he could do! Gravel doesn’t shy away from featuring Antonio’s eccentric and troubled later life.

Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

I had a group of students reading this book for Book Club and it was the only title I hadn’t read. I quite enjoyed this story of a special Upside Down Magic classroom for a group of children who can’t seem to learn or execute magic in more normal ways. Well developed and sensitive characters elevate this young middle grade novel beyond a simple fantasy story.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 12/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 73/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books ahead of schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 13/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 11/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart 

Monday March 14th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This week I had a morning visitor who told me after looking through the shelves: “Wow, animals sure are grumpy!” She has a point!

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Books we have recently read:

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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:

A celebration post: Now Here

Daily Slice of Life posts:

Collections from a Day

When the day starts with a pop up heart

Other Things

Let’s talk about this child: written after 2 nights of parent/teacher conferences

The Reading Warrior

Writing Truth – the comments on this post are so interesting

The season of dreams

Books I enjoyed:

Lost. Found. written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Every book I read illustrated by Matthew Cordell makes me love him more. This is a perfect book to prove that images can carry a story with just a few repeated words. My only complaint? I loved it too much. I need my own copy.

Lost. Found.

All the Dear Little Animals written by Swedish author Ulf Nilsson and illustrated by award winning Eva Eriksson. Translated by Julia Marshall.

This book is about three children: Esther, the boy who is our narrator and Esther’s little brother Puttie. Esther finds a dead bee and decides to dig it a little grave. Our narrator confesses that he is afraid of everything, especially of dying but after a few disparaging comments from Esther, decides that he can write things, like about how horrible death is. Off they go, shovel, poem and little coffin in hand to bury the bee. “Poor little bee”, says Esther, “but life must go on.” Then a plan hatches. There must be dead things everywhere – shouldn’t they find these things and bury them all? The children’s idea grows into an idea for a business. They call it Funerals Ltd.

I read this book years ago but shared it with this class after the scene in The Year of Billy Miller where the bird flies into the window and dies. I believe that we need to allow children to explore books about death and books like this make the cycle of life not so scary. Highly recommended.

9781903458945

InvisiBill written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

Busy, busy, busy. Everyone is busy. Too busy it seems to notice what happens when you are not well . . . noticed. Charming and kind of hilarious. My class loved this one!

Invisibill

Kyle Goes Alone written by Jan Thornhill and illustrated by Ashley Barron

Goes meaning “gotta go” as in to-the-bathroom. So you can imagine how fun this will be for kids! Layer upon layer of rainforest in these rich illustrations and information about sloths and camouflage in the back of the book.

Kyle-Goes-Alone

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Such an intriguing book. I spent part of it terrified by jellyfish (a new phobia I think) and other parts immersed in Suzy’s grief. A story of courage and confusion and the deep, hard work that is navigating grief. The science included here was fantastic.

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 71/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 13/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 8/50 books read

Up next? I have packed a lot of novels for a week away on the coast. Can’t wait to share a week from now (or possibly in two depending when we are back) First up? Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

Monday February 8th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Again, I have had a 2 week gap so I might have to share a few photos!

First, I always love to share our #classroombookaday Friday vote results (fewer voters this week as many children away ill)

#classroombookaday

I loved this photo of one of my students reading her book review to an adult visitor.

#IMWAYR

I also love this reading moment – picture walking a wordless book together.

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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

A nonfiction post about our Mock Sibert group on Goodreads

Two Celebration posts Last week’s The Moments and this week’s Proud! 

A Sunday Reflection post thinking about relationships in the classrooms: 6 hours x 5 days x 10 months

My very first Slice of Life post: Should Be

Books I enjoyed: (2 weeks worth so just my favourites)

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. I adore this book. I see much raving in my future.

WormLoves Worm

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

I thought this in process picture drawn by my newly arrived from Saudi Arabia student was particularly meaningful after reading Salina’s Nerdy Book Club post

BE a FRiend

Many students drew and wrote about this title this week when we voted for our favourite picture book of the week.

Be a Friend

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Well, well, well. A celebration of books, of voice, of change. Such a book.

The Book Itch

Funny Bones:Posada and his Day of the Dead Calveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

The 2016 Sibert medal. An incredible biography of an artist who spoke to and of the people of Mexico.

Funny Bones

Lickety-Split by Robert Heidbreder and illustrared by Dušan Petričić

Nonsense words can be ever so delightful.

Lickety-Split

What this Story needs is a Hush and a Shush by Emma J.Virján

These Pig in a Wig titles are must haves in a primary classroom. This one explores the necessity and challenges of bed time.

What this story needs is a hush and a shush

Sprout Helps Out by Rosie Winstead

Helping is not always a neat and tidy thing.

Sprout Helps Out

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I read this aloud to my family and all of us were addicted. Absolutely engaging and fast paced. Highly recommended.

A Night Divided

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Wow. This book hits on so many themes: perseverance, coming of age, friendship, finding one’s place. All with a roller derby backdrop. Pretty spectacular.

Roller Girl

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera

So, hmmm. I did really like this book. 4 stars and lots of thinking worth of liking. But, I didn’t like the main character all that much. I liked him less and less and less as the book went on. That doesn’t make a book not great for me but it leaves me unsettled. However, I loved many of the other characters. A lot. A LOT, a lot. This book rotates around some serious depression and in such a long title, I found it exhausting. Again, not a reason to not like a book. But I would say the reading experience is more unhappy than not  if truth be told. Also, there are some wild kind of plot lines here. It all works but it is a journey. So in the end, would I highly recommend this title? Not so sure. Glad to have had the experience. Glad to put it down.

More Happy Than Not

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 38/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 5/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 11/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 6/50 books read

Up next? I am reading The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

It is November and that means it is Picture Book Month!

Time to read and celebrate all things picture book. For me, it’s the perfect excuse to generate lists!

This week’s list? Picture books that capture the essence of childhood. With actual children in them! When I started looking at some of my favourite picture books, I realized that many of them were actually not about children. Many feature animals (bears are strangely (or not) represented) or a lot of adults. Some are about children but feature animal characters. These can be fantastic and very easy for children to connect to (I’m thinking everything Kevin Henkes does). The ones with “real children” characters can sometimes have heavy themes or be a little too forced. They don’t all ring true. We can’t pluck a character off the page and believe that child could quickly leap into a playground full of children and completely blend in. Or beautifully stand out . . .

Move into chapter books and boom, there are the kids! Marty Macguire. Clementine. Billy Miller. Flora Belle Buckman. William Spiver. Dory Fantasmagory. Piper Green. Nate Foster. Popeye and Elvis. There are no shortage of children behaving like children.

Finding them in picture books? Not as easy. Hence, my list.

These 20 titles are all about kids and all that they are. Childhood and all of the quirky, all of the lovely, all of the human, all of the unique. Sometimes the messy and challenging. Sometimes the sweet and lovely. All of it absolutely honoured and celebrated. These 20 books all hold a special place in my heart.

I would love to know which books you would add to this list and why. Please share in the comments.

Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

On the list because? Children have some interesting, not always sensible, problem solving strategies.

 Stuck Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

The Frank Show by David Mackintosh

On the list because? Kids worry about not being the coolest, the best, the greatest. Even in the Grandparent department.

The Frank Show Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine, written by Allison Wortche and illustrated by Patrice Barton

On the list because? Primary students need to navigate a lot in a day – sometimes doing the most simple of things like growing seeds: envy, friendship, forgiveness, competition

 Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile

On the list because? Little ones have a hard time doing just nothing or even turning off their racing imaginations. Those busy brains are pure delight!

Let's Do nothing Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić

On the list because? Children notice what we should. Especially the very beautiful and amazing things in the world.

The Man with the Violin Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies

On the list because? When given the chance to do the right thing, children usually will. Eventually.

Ben Rides on Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Yuyi Morales wrote and illustrated Niño Wrestles the World

On the list because? Children love to embrace the wild and amazing energy of their heroes.

 Nino Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

On the list because? Being brave sometimes requires a little wisdom from someone who has been around for a while. Or a little magic.

Nana in the City Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Wilfred Gordon Macdonald Partridge  written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas

On the list because? Childhood is about navigating the road between making memories and learning from the memories others share

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Blizzard by John Rocco

On the list because? Snow day after snow day after snow day and the chance to be a hero. Childhood magic!

Blizzard Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford

On the list because? Learning about forgiveness is one of childhood’s most powerful lessons. Often as adults, we still don’t have it figured out.

 Desmond Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Float by Daniel Miyares

On the list because? Children approach rain in the best of ways. All in. Rubber boots, puddle jumping, sailing of boats!

Float Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

On the list because? Little ones have lots and lots of stories to tell. If you don’t ask, they will remind you to.

Ask Me Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

On the list because? Thee is something particularly magical about childhood faith and hope.

Sparky! Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

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

On the list because? “I’m Bored!” is a childhood theme song! But “Kids are boring.” Those are fighting words!

I'm Bored Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

On the list because? All children need to have a little piece of Sadie inside of them and have space to let it shine!

This is SadieTwenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Harriet You’ll Drive Me Wild! written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Marla Frazee

On the list because? When you are little, it seems to be all too easy to make parents a little crazy.  Just like that. Pesky is too easy. But forgiving and hugs are part of it all too.

Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

John Patrick Norman McHennessy – the boy who was always late. by John Burningham

On the list because? Everyday holds huge imaginative possibilities. Even if others don’t quite embrace our wild stories, we persist in telling them. And maybe they are true . . .

John Patrick Norman McHennessy – the boy who was always late. Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Millie Fierce by Jane Manning

On the list because? Sometimes when we discover new found ferocity, it takes a little while to tame. Inner strength and big doses of kindness, we need them both.

Millie Fierce Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Singing Away the Dark written by Caroline Woodward  and illustrated by Julie Morstad

On the list because? A lone walk through the woods is a journey of many small moments of bravery. Singing to combat the fear? A perfect strategy.

Singing Away the Dark Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

How I love sharing picture book lists during this month of picture book love!

Happy Picture Book Reading!

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Wrapped up in shades of black and grey

It is November and that means it is Picture Book Month!

Here in B.C. we have been experiencing some dark, rainy days. Daylight savings means we just found an extra hour of light in the morning but our afternoons disappear into evening black far too soon. Yet darkness is not all about doom and gloom. It also means cozy, long stretches to read or bustle about inside. Darkness can pull us together for seasons of celebration and special events or provide us with solitude for introspection and calm. Bright is beautiful but so is dark. Whether we seek out the mystery and unexpected or the opportunity to settle into the quiet.

All of the dark has got me thinking about picture book covers. I started a list to see if I could come up with a number of titles that come specially wrapped in blacks and greys. My list ran off the page and I realized that many of my favourite books reside here. Is it just me or is there a certain elegance to these titles?

When you need a break from the bright, pick up one of these beautiful books.

25 titles to swoon over.

Wrapped up in Shades of Black and Grey There's a Book for That

Listed alphabetically by author.

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Gleam and Glow written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Peter Sylvada

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

The Black Book of Colors written by Menana Cottin and illustrated by Rosana Faría

Nighttime Ninja written by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young

Willaboughy and the Moon by Greg Foley

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

I Know a Bear by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

This is not my Hat by Jon Klassen

In the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Our King has Horns! written by Richard Pevear and illustrated by Robert Rayevsky

Big Bad Bubble written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

The Dark written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Swan written by Laurel Synder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien

Friends by Mies van Hout 

Happy by Mies van Hout

Surprise by Mies van Hout 

Ten Birds by Cybele Young

How I love sharing picture book lists during this month of picture book love!

Happy Picture Book Reading!

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Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection

There are so many beautiful picture books out there in the world.

Books make lovely gifts that become part of a family’s story world.

So how to choose?

Board books always make wonderful gifts but so do picture books that will be part of a child’s collection of read again and again stories. Not every book gift needs to be given thinking only about babyhood and the first few years. Give a book that can be grown into. A book that tells a story families will want to share repeatedly. Stories to be savoured and talked about and wondered about.

These suggestions have a definite theme of being in the moment and noticing the world – the big moments, the small things, the important feelings. Because childhood soars by. These titles remind us to experience it as fully as we can.

Here are 20 titles I would gift new parents and why they need to be on the family book shelf:

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Listed in alphabetical order by author.

Yard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

No matter what the journey, no matter what is possessed along the way, family matters most of all.

 Yard Sale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Facing fears is a lot easier with a Nana by your side. I love what this book says about home, family and the wisdom of grandparents.

Nana in the City Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

Simple and reassuring. The power of walking in the neighbourhood: being, noticing, connecting.

A Good Night Walk Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing.

Last Stop on Market Street Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Snatchabook written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty

This book reminds us that everyone needs to be read to. A life with bedtime stories is rich indeed.

The Snatchabook Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

A book about a problem that needs solving and having wonderfully, persistently, kind intentions.

 Hank Finds an Egg Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

The ins and outs of waiting. And wondering. And hoping. Patience is underrated in life but celebrated in this beautiful little book.

If you want to see a whale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries. Four Families. One Delicious Treat. written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

An opportunity to talk about cooking together over time. Tradition. Changes. Savouring of sweet treats.

A Fine Dessert Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Read this book early and often and send the message – our life is going to be a life where we are surrounded by books and reading and all of the magic that will guarantee.

 The Fantastic Flying Books Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

What is at eye level for our little ones? Flowers and many other interesting things. Children notice many things and give so freely.

Sidewalk Flowers Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Wave by Suzy Lee

There is nothing like the joy of a big expanse of beach and the waves that roll in and out. This wordless book captures all of the all the excitement, fear and wonder of a child’s beachside experience.

 Wave Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski 

Such a beautiful book for those who appreciate the soothing power of bedtime books. Sleep is a wonderful thing!

Sleep Like a Tiger Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Sadie is enchanting. She embraces life – both the real and the imagined parts with gusto. Wonderful connections to favourite book characters.

This is Sadie Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

There is kindness and then there is putting others’ happiness before your own. Kindness between siblings is very special.

 The Girl and the Bicycle Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

I Wish You More written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld 

This book captures hope and love in a sweet, endearing way.

I Wish You More Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Blackout by John Rocco

Time. Time together. Time together as a first priority. This book reminds us of how very important this is. Because everything can get in the way. But only if you let it . . .

 Blackout Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

All the World  written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Simple rhyming text pays tribute to the small simple things our world has to offer like a tomato blossom or a fire to take away a chill.

All-the-World Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

A wonderful story about siblings, mistakes, owning up and doing what’s right.

 Three Bears in a Boat Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

This is an important story of what we miss by not being in the moment. How many beautiful experiences are lost on us as we rush through our days?

The Man with the Violin Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Happy by Mies van Hout

What could be better than a bright and bold celebration of our emotions?

Happy Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Give books.

Read books.

Share books.

Often.

Favourites of 2013

So excited to share my favourites of 2013! I had a wonderful year of reading – thanks to the amazing authors and illustrators out there that enrich our lives in so many ways.

The best of the best (published in 2013) for me?

13 favourites and no more than 13 words of raving about each title. This was my challenge last year (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. This year I get one more book and one more word to play with!

I decided to split these titles into 4 categories of what I read most of – middle grade novels, young adult novels, picture books and nonfiction picture books. 4 x 3 titles each and one bonus book = 13 titles for 2013 🙂

Middle Grade Titles:

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Brilliant, unique characters who teach us what it means to have “people”

Counting by 7s Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Inclusion. Bullies. Women’s rights. Orphans. Magic. Love where it’s needed.

Beholding Bee Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

High drama, adventure and intrigue led by Jaron: loyal, brave and charmingly plucky.

The Runaway King Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Young Adult Titles:

Living with Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles

Teenage vulnerability and humility. Best kind of uncle. Two well written male characters.

Living with Jackie Chan Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Because teenage love stories don’t often look like this. Gets you but good.

Eleanor and Park Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Intrigue, mystery, twists, upsets, revelations. Oh these Aglionby boys. And Blue . . .

The Dream Thieves Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Picture Books (fiction):

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

Because we all need reminders to stop and honour the magic all around us.

The Man with the Violin Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

The Mighty Lalouche written by Matthew Olshan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

The joy and humour of boxing adventures and the triumph of the underdog.

The Mighty Lalouche Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Wild Thing! I think we love you. Just divine. Swoon.

Mr Tiger goes Wild Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Picture Books (nonfiction):

The Boy who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos written by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Mathtastic magic that inspires little thinkers. The wonders of number devotion.

 The Boy who Loved Math Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

On A Beam of Light- A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

Wonder, curiosity and thinking outside of the box. Accessible Einstein!

 On a Beam of Light Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives  written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Math is all around us. Gorgeous illustrations. Fascinating animal facts.

Lifetime Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

And one more – published in North America in 2013. And in Australia in 2012.

Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon

Pancakes. Jacques Cousteau. Jazz tunes. New York City. Someone who gets you.

Herman and Rosie Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Please share your own favourites of the year . . .