Monday September 28th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week I had to share a very special reading moment. This is one of many reading duos that happens during afternoon reading where a more confident reader spontaneously reads aloud to a growing reader who joins in when he or she can. It it a pretty delightful thing to watch.

Monday September 28th, 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

I missed last week’s post due to a computer glitch so this is 2 weeks worth of updates. I narrowed it down to my favourite picture books to keep the list reasonable.

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Ten dinner invitations I would accept in the world of MG/YA fiction

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

An honest check in regarding the literacy in my new classroom: Celebration: From Here

Celebration: Little Sparks (a week later we are beginning to fan those little sparks)

Books I loved:

I am Yoga written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Gorgeous. It reads calm and pure just like its message.

I am yoga Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney

I was so thrilled to share this title as a read aloud and am even more excited to invite my last year’s students to a recess read aloud later this week (we pre-loved this book back in June). So much silly, so much funny, rhymes that work and a trail of suspense as we move through a refrigerator adventure. We laughed a lot during this book but there was also lots of absolutely “captured” little faces waiting to discover what would happen next! Josh Funk managed to achieve an ideal balance between the silly and the adventure. I actually read this aloud to an adult after school on Thursday who was equally captivated. It’s that good that you immediately want to rush out and find a listener!

Some highlights of our read aloud experience:

  • Early on when Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast announced that they were going to race for the last drop of syrup, one little boy started to quietly chant, “Share it! Share it!” At the end, he shook his head. “See, they should have shared.”
  • On page four, one child leaned into another and announced: “I like this book already.”
  • During the bean avalanche, one little boy started shaking his head, “Oh oh. The beans are waking up and getting cranky.”
  • When BVW did his thing (avoiding a spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t read it), many children began a conversation that ended with general consensus that BVW should be eaten!
  • There was pure despair when the butter was going to be shared. “No, don’t let the butter die!”
  • During playtime, about 30 minutes after we finished the book, one little boy came up to me and said very seriously, “I’m voting for the waffle.”
  • This was our #classroombookaday book of the week with many many votes and a little note scrawled on the chalkboard that I discovered at the end of the day “+ 500 more”

Lady Pancake Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

In a Cloud of Dust by Alma Fullerton and illustrated by Brian Deines

An important book that depicts how access to education is so very complicated. With a bicycle, a long arduous walk transforms into a manageable ride.

In A Cloud Of Dust Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted: Birdie Friends by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Nate Wragg

This is one sweet book. So lovely that I will soon be featuring it on the blog with student reactions (also very sweet). I am completely smitten with Elwood.

Elwood Bigfoot Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Water Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija

I adore all of these titles by Salas and Dabija but am perhaps most excited to share this one with my class when we begin our theme on water in a few weeks. Such an amazing book to allow students to think more broadly and creatively about something so much a part of their lives.

Water Can Be Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hilo: The Boy who Crashed to the Earth by Judd Winick

Oh Hilo! Joy. Adventure. High degree of action. Engaging characters. An absolute winner in the graphic novel department.

Hilo Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

It is totally cliche to talk of being completely lost in a book about being lost in the mountains. But, this book pulled me in and I had a really difficult time putting it down. Lori Lansens is one of my all time favourite writers so I couldn’t miss this title when I heard it was released. An incredible survival story that leads us nowhere safe through memories, dreams and visions. Wolf Truly sets off on his eighteenth birthday to jump to his death from a ridge overlooking Palm Springs. Up on the mountain he meets three women, three generations of one family who become stranded with Wolf. This is a story you won’t soon forget.

The Mountain Story Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 54/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 332/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 60/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 39/50 books read

Up next? I am reading a number of titles including Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ( a rare adult read)

Monday December 29th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a weekly reading photo of the week each week but because of winter break, I haven’t been with my students. So I decided to share a favourite from late spring during buddy reading time. How I love all of the reading that happens in my room.

 Monday December 29th, 2014 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 did a lot of reading this week trying to meet my 2014 goals. Unfortunately, my plans have been sidelined by a very painful possible pinched nerve in my shoulder and an allergic reaction to medication. Not a lot of fun. I can read, but not as much and typing is many shades of excruciating. So I am trying a few minutes at a time to write this post today.

Here are my favourite picture book titles of the week – covers only. Can’t type the details.

Born in the Wild  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That

shooting at the stars  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That Winter is for Snow  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That Mama  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Iridescence of Birds  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Kid Sheriff  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Lizzie Nonsense  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That

big bug  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That Draw!  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That 100 Bears  Monday December 29th, 2014 There's a Book for That

In novels I finished:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray 

Unfortunately, not a fit for me. Too much paranormal not enough normal for my tastes.

A great and terrible beauty

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Again, Raina nails the teenage voice.

Drama

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg

Fantastic middle grade read. Made me smile and cry.

Milo

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

I am a huge fan of the Raven Cycle books.

Blue Lily There's a Book for That

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Absolutely incredible and completely heartbreaking.

Rose Under Fire

Next up? I have just started  Wake up Missing by Kate Messner. Then I am going to try and meet my Goodreads goal so lots of picture books and hopefully a few more novels before the 31st. Trying to reach 90 novels instead of 100.

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 88/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 617/650 books read (26 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 24/30 complete (finished 3 this week!)

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 143/65 complete

 

 

Monday November 3rd, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week comes from buddy reading Wednesday afternoon:

Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

It’s Picture Book Month!

So far, I have shared two posts in celebration:

Same of Different? featuring The Hueys in The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers.

Picture Books to Help you Giggle 20 titles to read aloud (and laugh along with) to little listeners (Kindergarten/early primary and beyond)

pb month logo

But back to sharing my reading from the week: 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

The picture books that stood out:

The Girl who Heard Colors written by Marie Harris and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

I have been quite curious about synesthesia after reading A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. I had no idea there was a picture book about it that could introduce synesthesia to children in a way that makes sense. I think this book does a brilliant job. Highly recommend this as a read aloud in primary/early intermediate classrooms.

the girl who heard colors Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Some Bugs written by Angela Diterlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

The text is delightful and the illustrations, divine! I see why this title is getting Caldecott buzz. I want to shrink down to insect size and crawl about this insect world.

Some Bugs Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow

Wow. What a simply gorgeous title. Lyrical and full of wonder. A beautiful book to highlight the magic and vast variety of falling leaves. I found myself searching the ground for diverse leaves on my walks all last week after reading this book.

Fall Walk Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma written by Diane Fox and illustrated by Christyan Fox

Hilarious. This one is going to haunt me until I am able to read it aloud – such a craving! Funny, funny, funny – kind of like having a backseat driver “helping” tell a story. Annoying for the narrator. Amusing for the readers.

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I saw this trailer on KidLit Frenzy this week and immediately sought out the book.

The Very Inappropriate Word written by Jim Tobin and illustrated by Dave Coverly

So very clever. I love the word collecting. The power of the “inappropriate” word and how a word lover is intrigued by the sounds, the images and the impact!

The Very Inappropriate Word Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for ThatThe trailer is quite amusing:

Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t) written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley

After reading Ms. Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome!) last week, I realized I hadn’t read this title yet. How was that possible? LOVE this book. Love Miss Brooks. I covet her book piles. Her inspired outfits. Her lounge about and read moments. And of course this book is worth reading just for the stick on warts page.

Miss Brooks Loves Books! Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Monsterator by Keith Graves

Mixed reviews on the story in my classroom but the mix up a monster flaps at the end got lots of attention.

 The Monsterator Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

When a Monster is Born written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Nick Sharratt

I book talked this title early in the week and heard it be read over and over during buddy reading. Lots of fun to read aloud. Has the “if – then quality” of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 

When a Monster is Born Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read:

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso 

I have a thing for witch characters with lots of spunk. Maybe because they aren’t the stereotypical pink girly girl? Not sure. But Salem will be popular in my room. I am sure about that.

Salem Hyde #1 Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Like others, I am hoping there will be other books to follow this title because these characters and this world are just too intriguing to say goodbye to. As I was reading, I kept thinking how great this title would be as a read aloud – mystery, adventure, suspense, fantastical characters. I could also put it in the hands of so many previous students and know that it would be loved. But it also has wide appeal – I know both my 12 year old daughter and son would fall into this book. It hooks you quickly and keeps you intrigued throughout. Perfect middle grade fiction.

The Mark of the Dragonfly Monday November 3rd, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next?

This is a challenge! I have so many great titles that just came in at the library. But I think The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm is the one calling loudest to me!

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 70/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 508/650 books read (continue to remain 36 books behind, now under 40 titles! Take that you 55 from a month ago!)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 118/65 complete

Monday October 20th, 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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

I read a few  picture books and many early/young chapter books and graphics this week.

Any Questions by Marie-Louise Gay

What a beautiful picture book. It highlights the story telling process, the magic of children’s questions and the imaginative journey of a gifted author/illustrator into the land of stories. Once upon a time . . .  Marie-Louise Gay tells us that a story begins with a blank white page. But her pages are never blank and white – when they are gifted to us, lucky readers, they are full of whimsy, happy clutter and childhood. Layer upon layer for read through after read through with little readers. Always something to happen upon on each page even if you miss it the first time through.

Any Questions Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The book trailer is delightful – especially hearing Marie Louise-Gay‘s warm and animated voice. After meeting her on Saturday at the Vancouver Children’s Literature Round Table’s Breakfast, it is even more charming. I am thrilled to bring my signed copy of her book into school this week!

 signed Any Questions Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Of course, I also had to purchase the two Marie-Louise Gay books I didn’t have in our class collection.

When Stella was Very, Very Small by Marie-Louise Gay

All of the Stella titles feature Stella as a young girl but this title takes us back to her toddler days. She is, of course, charming, curious and cute as a bug.

When Stella was Very, Very Small Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What are you Doing Sam? by Marie-Louise Gay

I particularly love the Sam titles – the interactions between Stella and Sam that begin with Sam are quite charming. In this book, Sam decides to teach his dog Fred some tricks. This is quite an interesting endeavour. Fred, as usual, has his own ideas.

 What are you doing Sam? Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Extraordinary Warren: A Super Chicken by Sarah Dillard

This was a wonderful find at the bookstore this weekend. Thanks to a donation to classroom libraries at my school, I got to go book shopping. My plan was to purchase more early chapter series and graphic titles for our class collection. This reads as part graphic, part early chapter. Filled with humour, adventure and interesting character interactions, I predict this will be a hit with many little readers in my room!

 A Super Chicken Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Baby Mouse: Monster Mash (#9) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

It is October. Halloween is approaching. Reading this title was only fitting. Love the layers to the story about friendship, peer pressure and bully behaviour.

Monster Mash Baby Mouse Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Picture Day (Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe #1) by Susan Nees

Another Branches series by Scholastic.  I wondered if this title was going to be a “pink” book considering the cover and all of the rosy hues. I was pleasantly surprised by the character development and character interactions in an early chapter book title full of busy illustrations. Missy’s friend Oscar has some creative ideas about saving Missy’s identity crisis on picture day when her mother stifles her creative fashion spirit.

Picture Day Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Class Pets (Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe #2) by Susan Nees

I tried out another title just to check consistency and I enjoyed this one too. Perfect level for beginning chapter book readiness. Lots of colourful photos, easy to connect to school settings/plot lines and lots of humour.

 Class Pets Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Monkey Me #1 Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey by Timothy Roland

This Branches series is a little more complex than the Missy titles – more text and less illustrations. Still, great for a young chapter book series. After eating a special banana at the museum, Clyde has the tendency to become a monkey (literally) for portions of every day. Sometimes more than once. Silly, humorous and full of adventure.

Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey Monday October 20th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished After Iris by Natasha Farrant

I so loved this book – I am a fan of the chaos, eccentricities and love in this Gadsby family. The parents? Yikes. The “au pair”/guardian? Fantastic. The sibling interactions? So true. Told through Blue’s film transcripts and diary entries, this is a must read middle grade novel. One of my #MustReadin2014 titles.

IrisUp next? I am still reading The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson – so happy with this title as I think both of my children will love it. Thinking of purchasing it as a futre family read aloud. We are big fans of fantasy. Still reading Okay for Now to my children- such a book to inspire discussion

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 65/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 471/650 books read (currently 48 books behind – not getting this much lower but keeping it under 50! I need a picture book blitz day or two or three)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 111/65 complete

 

Monday October 13th, 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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next 🙂

I read some beautiful picture books this week, including many nonfiction titles:

Silence by Lemniscates (an illustration studio of artists and designers)

The perfect title to encourage us to embrace quiet and be mindful of what we hear and sense. I think this is an ideal book to inspire a walk outside to find a quiet spot to just be still and notice. A gorgeous title gifted to my classroom by the magical Kim Balke who does Expressive Art Therapy with many of my students.

Silence #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Quest by Aaron Becker

I was so excited to open this book and just experience the imaginative journey that Becker captures on the page. The reader is pulled through each illustration, all the while attempting to absorb every tiny detail. So wonderful that this is a picture book (wonderfully wordless) so that it can be experienced again and again.

Quest #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Jenkins and Page always introduce us to the most unique creatures and impart the most interesting of facts. The perfect book to read a page or two at a time. The format is engaging – each animal is introduced with a mini letter/question and answer.

“Dear Pufferfish: You’ve got me worried – are you going to explode?”

“No, I won’t burst. I’ve inflated my body . . . “

Creature Features #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

The Rat by Elise Gravel

I think I might have heard this title shared between children about twenty times this week. There are many giggles about the yucky eating habits and its tail which serves a multitude of purposes.

The Rat #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

The Slug by Elise Gravel

More silly and more gross but lots to learn and ponder. My students adore this series. We are in the middle of some “fan art” to send to Elise Gravel 🙂

the slug #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

I have continued reading a number of early/young chapter books as I am interested in introducing a number of new series to some of my readers just getting comfortable with chapter books.

Humphrey’s Tiny Tales: Really Wheely Racing Day by Betty G. Birney

I have some students reading the Humphrey series but for those not quite ready for a longer chapter book, this “Tiny Tales” series is perfect! Cute illustrations and larger text make it non-intimidating and attractive for readers growing their confidence.

Humphrey's  Really Wheely Racing Day #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Mortimer Keene: Ghosts on the Loose by Tim Healey and Chris Mould

Okay, some really really gross ghosts are featured in another Mortimer Keene title. Rhymes, fantastically odd and creepy illustrations and an English school setting.

Ghosts on the Loose #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Lulu Bell and the Moon Dragon by Belinda Murrell; illustrated by Serena Geddes

An Australian title featuring Lulu Bell and her best friend Molly who are preparing for the Moon festival that Molly’s Mom wants to share. I liked this young chapter book a lot – in a tiny story, many things of interest were happening: learning about the Moon festival, supporting a younger sibling finding a way to connect with friends and humpback whale sightings. Lots of illustrations and an interesting story line make this a series I would like to share in my room. I will be purchasing more titles in this series.

lulu bell and the moon dragon #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

I also read Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Family and sibling dynamics so fresh and honest. Humorous, amusing and believable. Everyone in my family read and enjoyed this title – my son, daughter and husband. Now we have Raina’s books being passed from person to person – all of us are big fans!

 Sisters #IMWAYR There's a Book for That Monday October 13th 2014

Up next? I am reading (and loving) After Iris by Natalie Farrant. After this? The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson 

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 65/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 461/650 books read (currently 46 books behind – slowly trying to get this down to 0 from that scary 54 number that is haunting me)

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 111/65 complete

For anyone who shared a #MustReadin2014 list, the plan is to share an update (in whatever form and no matter what your progress) on Tuesday (October 14th). I will host here on this blog. Would love to hear what you have all been reading. I admit in advance, I have made little progress on my list since the last update. I have been reading, just other titles!

Monday October 6th, 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.

Picture book highlights:

Musk Ox Counts written by Erin Cabatingan and illustrated by Matthew Myers

One of my beloved #IMWAYR bloggers sent me a gift card when the strike finally ended to buy a few new treasures for my classroom. This is one of my selections – lots of silly, perfect humour delivered through illustrations, pacing and dialogue and some favourite characters – zebra and musk ox back again. I can’t wait to share this with my students and know it will quickly become a buddy reading time favourite. Thank you to Linda for the smiles and giggles all wrapped up in this title!

Musk Ox Counts #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

Perfect Square by Michael Hall 

Some books go for a clever kind of creativity that manages to be bold without being loud. I finished this book and just smiled. Impressive.

 Perfect Square #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

Open This Little Book written by Jesse Klausmeier and illustrated by Suzy Lee

Yippee! This book makes me want to grab hands with a bunch of little ones and spin about and then settle into a story time session where I have the time to indulge in the requests to “read it again” please! A book that celebrates the magic of stories and quite literally pulls you in closer to examine every detail. What fun.

Open-This-Little-Book #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

I read this first through teary eyes. The beginning sentence is too beautiful. And oh how I love Ivan. He occupied our hearts – my students and mine when we read Applegate’s special novel The One and Only Ivan in the spring. I have to practice reading this book multiple times before tomorrow so that I can read it without my voice catching when I look up at those little faces who love Ivan too.

 Ivan #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

I also read a lot of early/young chapter books in anticipation of lots of book talks on the horizon:

Princess Posey and the Perfect Present by Stephanie Greene 

I have a number of girls in my class who have been asking me to get this series for our class library. I had read one title in the past and tried another. Definitely sweet and perfect for young readers. In my classroom, these are a comfort read for those students ready for chapter books but easing in to the whole idea of reading titles a little longer and more complex.

princess posey #2 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

Mortimer Keene: Attack of the Slime by Tim Healey and Chris Mould

Amazing illustrations full of creepy and creative things, this title comes from Britain and is told in rhyming text. I think this would go over best if I read parts of it aloud and then let students read it on their own independently. There are many more complicated words and vocabulary so this is not for the beginning chapter book reader – a little more confidence and skill are needed to be able to tackle this title with success.

Mortimer Keene Attack of the Slime #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

Kung Pow Chicken Let’s Get Cracking by Cyndi Marko

I continue to be impressed by Scholastic’s Branches series. This is full of action and lots of images – kind of a cross between a heavily illustrated chapter book and a graphic novel. Lots of silly escapades and much kid humour. I am predicting this series will be very popular in my class.

Kung Pow Chicken Let's Get Cracking #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

And two graphic novels:

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Okay, yes, I admit, I have never read Smile until this weekend. I had read parts of it. I had heard it summarized by my daughter in huge detail numerous times, but I had never sat down and read it cover to cover. No reason for this – just a fact. Then I went to see Raina this week when she was in town promoting Sisters and of course, I was completely charmed. And now, I have read Smile and yes, I am in the fan club.

Smile #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Well, wow. All kinds of honest and vulnerable and powerful and hilarious. I could not put this book down. There are too many reasons why this book is fantastic and so beginning a list is just silly. But, wow, am I in awe of how this story is told, how friendship issues are explored and highlighted, how the power and powerlessness of a “disability” was portrayed through a child’s perspective . . . Okay, yes, I just started a list. If you haven’t yet, go read the book. Immediately.

El Deafo #IMWAYR There's a Book for That October 6th 2014

What’s Next? Probably Sisters by Raina Telgemeier I am currently enamoured with these authors telling their stories and their truths through the graphic genre.

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 64/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 450/650 books read (currently 44 books behind – slowly trying to get this down to 0 from the scary 54 I noticed a few weeks ago)

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 108/65 complete

Monday July 21st, 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.

A strange #IMWAYR post for me because there are no picture books included here. We were away for an entire week and I just packed novels in my bag. But, oh, what novels . . . The first two were titles on my #MustReadin2014 list

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Eerie. Haunting. Painful. Beautiful. Captures family dynamics – holding these messy aspects up in all of their raw and real glory. If you have read this book, you know, it isn’t possible to write details that aren’t spoilers. So leaving it here. Wow.

 We Were Liars #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner 

Should have been just so sad but somehow this title was light and full of hope. Truly beautifully done -this is the YA fiction I want my daughter to read as a teen. Easily one of my favourite YA titles of 2014. I loved the vulnerability in the characters, the exploration of grief, the superb writing and of course, little Frankie Sky.

 The Summer of Letting Go  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

I can’t quite remember who told me that I should read this book. Many, many thank yous! These characters will be with me for some time. A powerful story of the complexities of friendship, the reign of a bully, what it means to stand up and stand out, of finding home . . . Mix in the music of the Beatles, the vibe of the mid-seventies and a stop the world storm and whoa, what a novel. If you haven’t read this book, put it high up on the TBR list.

If I Ever Get Out of Here  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

 Bluffton by Matt Phelan

Purely and perfectly captures long ago summers on the page – specific of a particular place and era – Muskegon, Michigan in the early 1900s with Buster Keaton. Certain images lift of the page and invite you to step right inside. Phelan is brilliant.

Bluffton  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

This is an adult novel, a rare read for me. I am including it here because the main character is a 13 year old boy and it is told through his eyes. Upsetting but beautifully written.

 The Round House  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

 

Next up? I am reading Son by Lois Lowry. And many holds are coming in from the library so due dates will determine what comes after this!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 51/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 347/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 82/65 complete

Monday July 29th, 2013

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 reads! These #IMWAYR posts are a great place to “shop” for new titles.

Favourite picture books from the week:

The Hueys in It Wasn’t Me by Oliver Jeffers The second title in The Hueys books by Jeffers. Sometimes an argument becomes bigger than the original source of conflict. This simple little picture book highlights exactly this phenomenon. For anyone who spends anytime with children, this story rings very true!

 It Wasn't Me There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco An emotional historical fiction title set during the American civil war. Touches on themes of war, slavery, racism and survival. Definitely for older readers.

Pink and Say There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Carmine – A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet An extremely clever alphabetical retelling/fractured tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Wander through bolded words in ABC order and Sweet’s signature artistic style – part collage, part detailed panels and so expressive. Loved the vocabulary and the fresh approach to this classic tale.

Carmine A Little More Red There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

A House is a House for Me written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Betty Fraser I simply adore Mary Ann Hoberman and her gift for rhyme. And Fraser’s illustrations make me nostalgic for childhood ease. First published in 1978, this title is one long poem about everything that can be a house. All about homes/houses for just about everything. My favourite was no surprise: A book is a house for a story.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

The Night Riders by Matt Furie One of my newest favourite wordless titles. This is some kind of adventure into the world of real and fantastical nocturnal creatures and amazing things that happen beneath the light of the moon. One of the best things about the book? The jacket unfolds into a double sided poster of images from the story. Here is a link to Matt Furie’s interview with The Beat (the daily news blog of comics news, reviews, and information) about this, his first book. 

Looking for more wordless titles? I just created a Pinterest board with all of my favourites.

Night Riders There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Bruno Munari’s ABC First published in 1960, a wonderful graphic ABC book.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Flora McDonnell’s ABC Bright, bold and beautiful. This has inspired some art project ideas . . . A study in letters, opposites and clever pairings. Each page has 2 objects beginning with a specific letter. Some of my favourites? The large giant with a tiny red glove perched on his thumb, a regal tiger with a teapot balanced on his head and a rhinoceros sniffing at a radish. So fun.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Anticipating fall book talks, I am trying to catch up on some graphic novels and early chapter book titles. This week I read two winners.

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat written by Anna Branford with illustrations by Ellana Allen Loved the nature/science/ecology connection. Perfect for my Grade 2/3/4 readers just beginning to read chapter books. And how delightful that Violet names her ladybug Small Gloria.

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Bird & Squirrel on the Run by James Burks What fun and absolutely full of silly escapades. Loved the contrast of the pessimistic and optimistic characters. Kids will love this!

Bird and squirrel There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

I also finished two novels

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater A friend passed on her ARC of this book to me. I had resigned myself to impatiently waiting for September but, I was so thrilled to read it now! Let’s just say this – I am fully just as hooked and intrigued by these Aglionby boys and the character of Blue. Intrigue, mystery, twists, upsets, revelations. This second title has it all. 

The Dream Thieves There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

Drums Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick Wow. This book subtly and not so subtly sneaks right up on you pretty quickly and holds fast. It is at times teary and heartbreaking, other times hilarious and witty and all the while, just plain good. A very human and honest look at a family hit hard by childhood illness and how they navigate the complicated business of hospitals, emotions and changing family dynamics. Stayed up half the night to finish this title. Now I get the Sonnenblick love. I’m in. Thank you to everyone who raved about this title to me. And yes, I am planning to read After Ever After – already requested from the library 🙂

There's a Book for That It's Monday What are you reading?

 

Next up? Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner and some more graphic novels in my pile!

Happy reading everyone!

Monday August 20th, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Participating in Kellee and Jen’s meme celebrating books read from picture books to young adult selections is such a pleasure. There is so much to learn in what everyone is reading and blogging about.

This week I read a number of fantastic picture books. I had a difficult time trying to narrow my favourites to the top five to keep this post to a reasonable size! But here they are – my top 5 picture books of the week:

Sector 7 by David Wiesner. I love Wiesner’s books but for some reason I had never read this one. When I found it at the library the other day, I was delighted. I am always using wordless books in the classroom  (I posted about using wordless books in the primary classroom here) and so love finding new titles to share. This book celebrates creativity, imagination and the endless possibilities in the clouds!

Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka was in a pile of books I had ordered from Scholastic last year and hadn’t yet labelled. When I read this book I was pleasantly surprised by the clever twists. First we meet Wolf who has been reading books about wolves and realizing that wolves are always portrayed as (yes, you know what’s coming) nasty, scary and greedy. He sets out to write his own book that depicts Mr. Nice Wolf acting in only lovely ways. He continuously meets animals that seem only to have met stereotypical awful wolves and they run from him. Finally a duck indulges Mr. Nice Wolf in a bit of a conversation and . . . Here’s the twist you might not have expected . . . I won’t spoil it! It’s worth finding a copy and having your own little chuckle as you read this book.

So I’ve decided that Sarah Stewart and David Small simply have not created enough picture books together. Very soon there is going to be a week where I can’t include a Stewart/Small title here and on that day, I will be very sad. This week I read The Library. All about book love and devotion. Nothing more needs to be said.

My next two favourites were sent to me in a box of “bookly delights” by a book loving friend.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce I absolutely adored this book – it fast became a favourite picture book. I love that it is so whimsical, the illustrations lure you in and you feel entangled with all of the books in the pictures. Amazing. But it also reads beautifully. I read it aloud to my two children and it was so smooth, so lyrical. Cannot wait to share this with my class this fall.

Cats’ Night out written by Caroline Stutson and illustrated by Jon Klassen. This was the first picture book that Klassen illustrated and it is so fun. I love the colours – all of the dark browns, blacks and shadows. Across each page dance cats. Cats with such serious smug expressions like they are saying, “We certainly don’t see you, dear reader,  up here doing the fox trot so elegantly in evening dresses or tuxedos.” The text is rhyming and one soon realizes that this is a counting book. Counting by twos! What fun and if you look carefully you can find numbers hidden in each illustration. A book that deserves multiple readings and begs to be shared with a friend to search for numbers, marvel at the pictures and reread the poetic text.

In other reading . . . .

I read Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. This is a mystery novel that is so much more. There is definitely a mystery which keeps it fast paced and highly energized. But wow, the characters! The other story lines going on! The idiosyncrasies of a small town and its inhabitants. The power of family no matter how it is defined. If this isn’t on your TBR list, add it!

I also read The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin. Loved Kevin Cornell‘s illustrations. There were lots of funny parts in this story but I worried that it might possibly too difficult for early readers (this is an early chapter book) to follow. Different chapters are told by different characters and I didn’t think it was always clear who was who. Maybe I’m wrong. I will see how some readers handle it this fall.

I also read Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet: The Cloud Searchers (Book Three) While I am always so impressed with the art work in Kibuishi’s Amulet books, all of the battle scenes are not my thing. But if it is your thing (my son adores these) these books are pretty amazing.

 I am still reading The Search for Wondla to my children and we started listening to The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Exciting!

Monday August 13th 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Celebrating books read and enjoyed from picture books to young adult reads. Link up with the meme sponsored by Kellee and Jen.

This week was quite busy for me – organizing/revamping my classroom library. Much of my reading was picture books and early chapter/graphic novels. (Trying to make sure that I am as familiar as possible with my library – often my purchasing gets ahead of my reading!)

The one novel I finished was Blink and Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones. I had been wanting to read this young adult novel for some time. Years ago I read The Maestro by Wynne-Jones and it became one of my favourites. While I loved the mystery and drama associated with the plot of Blink and Caution, what sold me on the book were the characters. Both main characters (Blink aka Brent and Caution aka Kitty) were so accessible, vulnerable and likeable. I was along for the ride simply because I really wanted to be around these characters. Wynne-Jones did not disappoint.

Early Chapters/Graphics:

Fangbone 2 The Egg of Misery by Michael Rex. While I personally didn’t love all of the gross humour (the stinky feet did me in), I can absolutley see the appeal for my Grade 2 and 3 students. I know these books (I have #1 as well) will seldom be in a basket and frequently passed around the room and enjoyed. Lots of fun, lots of action, lots of silly.

 I also read the first book in the Captain Awesome series. Comic books. Super heroes. Yucky cafeteria food. Another book with large kid appeal.  I plan to get a few more of these titles for my classroom collection. Captain Awesome to the Rescue was written by Stan Kirby and illustrated by George O’Connor.

I spent much of this week reading picture books. Four of my favourites were:

 Press Here by Herve Tullet. How I haven’t read this book up until this point, I have no idea! I’ve frequently seen it but this week I sat in the library and actually read it. Or is that what happens with this book? It is much more than reading! Yes, I did everything asked. Pressed. Shook. Titled. Turned. Giggled. Now I must own this book for my buddy reading/sharing bin!

Elsie’s Bird written by Jane Yolen and David Small. I adored this book. I think every week I fall just a little more in love with David Small’s illustrations. I am also trying to read as many picture books within the historical fiction genre as possible because. . . . Well because I am just in the historical fiction mood in a big way! I even started a new pinterest board! Any suggestions? Please share!

Fish on a Walk by Eva Muggenthaler. I found this book at the library earlier this week and was captivated by the illustrations. It is basically wordless – just two words on each page. Opposite words like scared/brave, cranky/kind, jealous/accepting . . . Examine the pictures. Find the stories. So interactive.

Let’s Talk About Race written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Karen Barbour. I have almost nothing to say about this book right now because I have so much to say about it. Many ideas in my head, plans for themes I’m considering for this year. Philosophical discussions. Art projects. Oh, I have plans for this book . . . .

Currently I’m reading The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi to my children. It’s an engaging read aloud and we love all of the picures. I’ve just started Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage So far – wow!