Monday July 1st, 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! The #IMWAYR community is a fantastic community of readers with many wonderful titles to share.

This year was the end of school, so lots of winding down before my reading can really wind up. Looking forward to much more time to read this summer! Which has now started! Hurrah!

I read quite a few picture books this week and I really did not love them all. Here are the best of the week – including some wonderful board books that I plan to add to our buddy reading bins for when the Kindergarten class comes to read with us.

One of our best moments of the last week was exchanging letters with our little buddies before we began buddy reading this week. The smiles say it all!

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Board books

Odd One Out: In, Out and All Around by Guido Van Genechten A fun look and find book that introduces a number of language concepts. Perfect to share together and discuss what is observed. Three questions on each page leaves lots of room for talking:

Who is hiding behind the brick wall?

Who has lost their house?

And who is ready to go to a dance?

Careful scanning over the page reveals that one little snail is sporting fancy earrings 🙂

in, out and all around

Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi Absolutely simple and sweet with cut out peek a boo eyes. Ideal when attention span and reading skills are both developing.

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Caveman a B.C. Story by Janee Trasler A hilarious tale told one word at a time in ABC order. Much humour and much to infer. Another title to add to the growing favourite ABC books.

caveman

Book of Play: with Northwest Coast Native Art I am trying to bring in more Aboriginal stories and images into our book collection. This is another board book that will be fun to interact with (counting pages, matching, ABC page) but that also has gorgeous Native art from various Native artists.

book of play

Picture books:

A Boy and his Bunny written by Sean Bryan with illustrations by Tom Murphy My class loves A Girl and her Gator and A Bear and his Boy created by the same author/illustrator pair. This book actually came first, but I added it to our classroom collection last. What I love about all of these titles is that the illustrations are so simple but have huge impact. The rhyming text is never awkward and children love to read and reread these books over and over. This book in particular is a wonderful mentor text for giving examples – what are all of the things that work out perfectly fine with a bunny on your head? Armies can be led, peanut butter can be spread, you can drive a moped, etc., etc.

a boy and his bunny

The Woods by Paul Hoppe A sweet testament to the creative thinking/imagining that can go into avoiding the dark at bedtime. A little boy realizes that his favourite bunny is missing and he must enter the woods to find itOn his night time journey, he finds much more than his missing bunny.

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Redwoods by Jason Chin It’s not just that redwood trees are majestic, this book brings some kind of added magic to learning about these forest giants. Part fantasy, part nonfiction – this title by Chin is a magical information story book. Learn about each level of the tree from small sapling to the canopy hundreds of feet off the ground in a redwood tree over 350 feet tall! A book that needs multiple read throughs to truly absorb and think about all of the details. One of those titles that I am reluctant to return to the library. I think I need my own copy . . .

Redwoods by Jason chin

Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert I am a huge fan of Geisert and particularly love his wordless titles. Ice and The Giant Seed (featured here) are must reads if you have yet to discover them. In this title, we bear witness to the devastating and phenomenal effects a storm has on the farm country in the American Midwest. What do animals do? How do people react? What kind of damage happens? Study these pages and find out.

thunderstorm

I also finished the novel Twerp by Mark Goldblatt Narrated with such vulnerability. Gets to your gut – where we all must check in with what is right and what is wrong. A story of friendship, of choices and of dealing with the consequences. Starts slow and then doesn’t let you go. Told through the journal of sixth grader Julian Twerski, this story is much more than the details of the event that prompted the “journal writing” consequence. Allows us to ask those hard questions: What is a bully? What do we do for friends? How do we take responsibility for our choices. So well written.

twerp

Currently reading? The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. A rare adult readI also have a number of professional reads on the go -including Catching Readers Before they Fall which I am loving. My book piles are everywhere I look and I am very excited about the reading that might happen over this week!

Happy reading everyone!

Monday April 8th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share what you have been reading from picture books to young adult titles!

It’s been about three weeks where I have just not been to the bookstore or the library and sourced out picture books I loved. Well, back to school hit along with a very productive trip to the bookstore and I have some new to me titles to highlight this week! 

In the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dusan Petricic I think Larsen is able to share some quite lovely moments between family members in his picture books (like the girl and her Poppa in The Imaginary Garden). This book has beautiful moments between brothers – those endless play days and nights that seem to not have an end during our childhood. But there is also the loneliness when one sibling enters a new stage and doesn’t have as much time for family. Yet certain things happen to bring everything back to what it should be and we realize the strength of family connection. This story, like John Rocco‘s Blackout, delivers the magic of what happens in a neighbourhood and in a family when all of the lights go out. And . . .  Dusan Petricic . . . so you know, it’s going to be wonderful!

in the tree house

Friends by Mies van Hout I literally leaped when I saw this title in the bookstore – as I adore Happy done in a similar style. I used that title to inspire some wonderful fish art of our own earlier in the year:

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Can’t wait to see what this book might inspire! What adorable little monsters.

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The Dark written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen I made a trip to the bookstore this weekend precisely to purchase this title. Klassen is the perfect illustrator for this book – he brings so much depth and emotion – fear, wonder, mystery – to black sections of a page. The concept is very clever – the dark is given full presence as more than an entity but an actual character. And if you have been reading reviews and wonder about that page of many words, I found this interview with the book’s editor very interesting.

The-Dark

Unspoken A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole I finally experienced this amazing title. What a story is told through these striking images. Much to discuss. Much to think about quietly. Loved this book.

unspoken

Tree Ring Circus by Adam Rex Many things end up in a very curious tree. Fun illustrations but it is the rhythmic and whimsical language that make this book a hit. I read a portion out loud and this book travelled through my class like wildfire. It begs to be read aloud.

treeringcircus

And one sweet little board book: Big and Small by Guido Van Genechten A lovely search and find – perfect to share with our K buddies when they come for buddy reading.

big and small

I have so many books on the go, that I didn’t end up finishing any novels but am sure enjoying the three books I am reading! My children and I are fully into The Runaway King and loving it! I just started Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan with my student book club. This is a reread for me and can’t wait to discuss it with the group. I am almost done One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Oh these little girls, what characters. How did I not read this book sooner?

Hope to have more novels on next Monday’s What are you reading post!