Monday April 13th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This picture makes me completely smile. This is one of our readers from the BLG law firm that visits with a new book each week. He is reading us Strongheart: The World’s First Movie Star Dog. I love that one listener couldn’t remain seated and stood next to him through the entire read aloud.

Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This week it has to be two photos as it just gets cuter! My class so loves to be read to!

Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This week I also shared details of some very special buddy reading we did when we had a K class visit us from another school.

Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR 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.


I read a wide variety of picture books this week:

Gaston written by Kelly Dipucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson

What makes family? Having your Dad’s blue eyes or feeling like you belong? This book lets us ask those important questions. There will also be some giggles and smirks along the way.

Gaston Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham

I love all that John Burningham does! He captures vivid childhood imagination so very well.

The Way to the Zoo Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Strongheart The World’s First Movie Star Dog by Emily Arnold McCully

What an interesting story about a retired police dog that started acting in silent movies. We learned about Strongheart’s training, how he needed to be taught how to play and about his deep connections to his owners. My students were captivated.

Strongheart Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Coyote Run by Gaëtan Dorémus

Wild wordless about the wild west. Won’t be for everyone but should be experienced.

Coyote Run Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sam’s Pet Temper written by Sangeeta Bhadra and illustrated by Marion Arbona

This book explores many aspects of anger and self control – some really quite well. Others, still not sure as I haven’t had a chance to “kid test” this book. Love how strategies of calming down are explored.

Sams Pet Temper Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Camp Rex by Molly Idle

This book made me nostalgic for story time with my own children – I can see this being a read it again and again title when they were small. Charming. Sweet. Silly.

Camp Rex Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Enemy by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch

I can see this book being used in a high school class and keeping conversation going for days. Not a book I would pick up and read without previewing with a primary class. Could intermediate classes manage this? Absolutely. There is much to talk about. It poses such large and important questions about war. Just who is the enemy?  What and whose purposes does war serve? How do we remember the humanity behind each soldier? Powerful.

Enemy Davide Cali Serge Bloch Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

In other reading:

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

I literally laughed out loud multiple times reading this book. It is absolutely silly and full of fantasy, imagination and “made-up-ish-ness” attached to many things. It is over the top at the same time as absolutely accurately portraying sibling dynamics, parent frustration and little child antics. Full of wonderful illustrations, this has ADORED written all over it.

Dory Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

 The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Whoa Maggie. What a girl you are. Voice bellows from the pages. What a family. So much that is challenging. Not much that is perfect. So very endearing.

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

If you just read the poems in this book, I suspect it would garner its fair share of 5/5 ratings. But then there is Gabi and her story. Her story is everything. She is surrounded by issues via her family, her friends, her own experiences. Drug addiction. Teenage Pregnancy. Coming out. Family rejection. Teenage hormones. Teenage dreams. Grief. Angst. Passion. Gabi is . . . such an out there character -not out there as in extreme or strange but out there in terms of honest and real and relatable. Loved this novel for so many reasons. Highly recommended.

Gabi A girl in pieces Monday April 13th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 18/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 145/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 8/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 30/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 14/50 books read

Up next? I am about to begin Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai

Some new wordless favourites

 Some New Wordless Favourites There's a Book for That

I am always pleased when I uncover new wordless (or nearly wordless) titles to share with my students. These books are ideal for allowing us to sit back and let our imagination follow the author/illustrator to wonderful places. I use wordless books to build storytelling skills, enhance visual literacy, practice inferring and asking questions and for amazing oral language opportunities.

This post elaborates on why I think wordless books are so important in the classroom and how I use them.

Here are a handful of words about some new wordless favourites:

The Night Riders by Matt Furie 

 An adventure with real and fantastical nocturnal creatures. Oh what can happen by the light of the moon!

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Making a friend, being both graceful and wonderfully clumsy. Perfectly not perfect.

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Red Hat by Lita Judge What can we get up to with a knitted red hat? Playful. Full of joy.

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert Chase a storm through farm country and notice every little detail. Brilliant.

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Kitty and Dino and Sara Richard What happens when the new pet is a dinosaur who has come to share the house with Kitty (who is really having none of it)? Wild antics.

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Bear Despair by Gaetan Doremus You upset me? I eat you! My students responded best: “This bear is ruled by his amygdala!”

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Unspoken by Henry Cole Haunting. Multi-layered. A springboard to discussions about slavery and the Underground Railroad.

Some wordless favourites: There's a Book for That

Monday, January 7th, 2013

It’s Monday!  What are you reading? 

orange pear spread

Join the #IMWAYR community participating in Kellee and Jen’s meme and share your reading from picture books to young adult novels.

Such a fantastic way to learn about “new to you” titles!

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

I enjoyed a lot of picture books this week including some board books for the collection I am building for Wednesday buddy reading with the Kindergarten class.

Picture books I loved:

the bear in the book

The Bear in the Book by Kate Banks and illustrated by Georg Hallensleben. This book is so lovely. It’s a story within a story of sorts that captures the gentle quiet moments of bedtime story time between parent and child. As the mother and little boy settle into their bedtime routine, they read a story about little bear settling into his winter hibernation. Love how it portrays the intimacy of the mother/child interactions as they talk about the story, ask/answer questions, etc.

Duck Rabbit by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld Delightful!



Good News Bad News

Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack Sparse in text but full of humour and lots of space to infer, discuss and wonder. A fantastic book to teach about perspective, optimism/pessimism and patience.

I cannot wait to share this with my class. I can imagine that it will be one of those stories where we can’t get through a page without everyone talking and then it will travel from book box to book box as it is read and reread.

Nighttime Ninja written by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young Stunning illustrations by Young.

nighttime ninja

Bear Despair by Gaetan Doremus I can see many thinking this book is either atrocious or hilarious. When animals keep stealing his teddy, this bear does the first thing he thinks of to do in his angst and frustration . . he gobbles them up. In the There was an Old Lady style of . . . wow, how can anything else fit in that tummy? Curious to see how children will respond. I have the feeling they will think it is very funny and it will certainly prompt many discussions about choices and managing our anger/frustration. A wordless book.

bear despair cover

Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc Fantastic for independent rereads or sharing during buddy reading. Silly, creative illustrations with lots of room for discussion/comments.

animal masquerade

Board Books I loved (and now own :-)):

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett

orange pear

Thank you Bear by Greg Foley


Nonfiction titles:

Who’s Like me? Nicola Davies Marc Boutavant

who's like me

Who Has these Feet?


In other reading:


I finished Small Damages by Beth Kephart and absolutley adored it. The perfect first novel to complete in 2013.

Lyrical. Everything mixes up – the past, the present, the longing, the worry and the beautiful Spanish landscape and food. Slow and full – like a beautiful, well spiced meal over a long night. What was particularly lovely in this book was the strength of character and the wisdom in the main character. I also loved Kenzie’s relationship with Estela, the house cook who taught her much more than delicious Spanish cooking. Looking forward to reading more titles by Kephart.

wonder 12 for 2012

I finished reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio to my own children. Must admit I enjoyed this novel just as much if not more on a second read – perhaps because I was sharing it with my own children who are ten years old – the same age as many characters in the book. I was surprised at how often my voice broke when I read this aloud especially since the plot was not a surprise. My son who is typically a “fantasy or not interested” reader loved this book. Hoping that this opens him up to more realistic fiction. My daughter who reads everything snatched the book away as soon as we were finished to go reread her favourite parts!  Such a beautiful story about the power of human spirit.

I am currently reading The Diviners by Libba Bray and just started The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver as the new read aloud with my children.