Monday June 30th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


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.

I will admit that reading is a little strange lately. I have no idea when I might be teaching again due to this lengthy labour dispute between B.C. teachers and the employer with no end in sight. Thanks to all who read and offered messages of support with my recent post: Standing on the Sidewalk. It feels a little bittersweet when I find a book I love – I found last week I was taking books to the picket line and sharing them with the children there with us (my children and those of my colleagues). For me, so much of what I love about books is the possibility of the magic that is created when an amazing book meets a group of students. I so miss my students. Sigh.

The picture books I enjoyed this week:

Whose Nest? by Lynette Evans with illustrations by Guy Troughton

Such a fun and interesting title. Guess which creature belongs to which nest from a few sentences of hints and a peek at the nest. Lift the flaps to discover who uses the nest – from birds, to reptiles, to small mammals. The group of children I read this to (ranging in age from 5 to 11 years old) were all enchanted.

Whose nest? #IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Gravity by Jason Chin

I love everything Jason Chin does and this book was no exception. Simple text conveys all young children need to understand about the concept of gravity. Stunning illustrations do much of the work. More information in the back of the book gives extra details for inquiring minds.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Dizzy written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Sean Qualls

The story of Dizzy Gillespie. I grew up in a house full of jazz so was intrigued by this biography. The illustrations are fantastic and the text conveys the energy of Dizzy’s rise to fame. How he came up with his unique style is so interesting.

Dizzy #IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Red Kite, Blue Kite written by Ji-li Jiang and illustrated by Greg Ruth

This was probably the wow of the week for me because I most wanted to rush it into a classroom of children and share it. Rich in truth and history (based on the story of the author’s family friend), this book is set during the Cultural Revolution in China. It is the story of father and son –  separated by distance and circumstances, they stay connected through kites in the sky. Heartbreaking but full of hope. Such a beautiful book.

Red kite, blue kite #IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Symphony City by Amy Martin

This book is a little bit challenging to connect with – on my second read I ignored the text and just payed attention to the illustrations. Sometimes, I think a book would be better as a wordless title. This book fits that category. Illustrations are full of wonder and a seventies vibe.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Girl of the Wish Garden written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Nasrin Khosravi

The back story for how this book came to be is so interesting. The illustrations were first published in a Farsi version of the Thumbelina story and the author used the pictures as the inspiration for this retelling of her own Thumbelina story. Certainly not the Thumbelina story that may be familiar, but definite threads of the well known tale are present here. This book is all about magic, mystery and fantasy elements. Did I love it? Not completely but found the illustrations stunning and would be interested to read the text aloud with children to see their response.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Finished one novel: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina

What a book. Loved the power of the female characters – their resolve, their vulnerability, their strong characters. A book about bullies and walking in fear. But more importantly, a book about finding strength from many places to begin walking on. Highly recommended YA realistic fiction.

#IMWAYR June 30th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? Enjoying The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel as a read aloud with my children. I am reading Cress by Marissa Meyer (one of my #MustReadin2014 titles)

A reminder for anyone out there with a #MustReadin2014 list, think about sharing an update on your blog for July 1st, 2014. Share using the #MustReadin2014 hashtag. I plan to share a list of the titles I have read since the last update. So excited to see what everyone has been reading and loving. I will host a link up here. Here is my Spring update – I confess I have only read four titles from my list since this post but have grand plans for a summer of reading!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 45/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 307/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 17/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 76/65 complete


Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Next reads

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

NFPB 2014

I have been reading and sharing lots of nonfiction with my class lately but none of these titles have been “new to me” books. Today, I am sharing my pile of  “next reads” – a pile that is sitting on my shelf and that I plan to get to this week. I am always on the lookout for titles to add to our classroom collection or for must reads to share aloud. I think I have discovered some treasures!

What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? by Steve Jenkins (published 1997)

I have a collection of Steve Jenkins titles and use them often, every year in my room. Somehow I had missed this one and so when I saw it at the bookstore, it chased me home! These things happen . . .

#NFPB2014 There's a Book for That Next Reads

Whose Nest? by Lynette Evans with illustrations by Guy Troughton (published 2013)

I am a little bit obsessed by nests. Fallen bird’s nests sit in our kitchen windows. I have pieces of an empty wasp nest in my classroom nature collection. We have made clay nests for imaginary birds as part of an art project. So when I found this book at the library in the new nonfiction collection, I knew I had to read it.

#NFPB2014 There's a Book for That Next Reads

Wow! I Didn’t Know That Surprising Facts About Animals by Emma Dods with illustrations by Marc Aspinall (published 2013)

In my classroom, I have a number of fact collectors. If you teach primary children, you probably do too. They follow me around and tell me facts. Nonfiction reading time buzzes with sharing, “Listen to this . . . ” “Did you know. . . ?” This book will happily make its rounds in my classroom so that my fact collectors have some more information to happily store away!

#NFPB2014 There's a Book for That Next Reads

Summoning the Phoenix Poems and Prose about Chinese Musical Instruments by Emily Jiang Illustrations by April Chu (published 2013)

The lovely Crystal Brunelle sent this to me. I plan to read it, share it and then gift it to our school library where it can be enjoyed by all of the children in the school. We have many children who play musical instruments and I know they will be intrigued by the variety of instruments shared in this book. Gorgeous illustrations and poems accompany each description of an instrument.

#NFPB2014 There's a Book for That Next Reads

Gravity by Jason Chin (published 2014)

I am such a fan of Jason Chin’s books and children are always fascinated by them. I was lucky enough to win this title in a give away by the very generous Margie Myers-Culver It arrived in my mailbox at work on a day when I needed an act of kindness. I have been saving it as a treat, smiling at it daily as it sits on the top of my “to read” pile! I know from Margie’s review that I will be delighted and transported (had to fit a gravity reference in there!)

#NFPB2014 There's a Book for That Next Reads

There is nothing like an interesting pile of books just waiting to teach me so many things. How I love nonfiction picture books!

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction titles.

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 71/65 complete! Hurrah!