Monday January 20th, 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. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

This week I had serious plans to read a number of novels. These plan got put on hold when I went to the library Tuesday evening and came home with stacks and stacks of nonfiction picture books. I fell into a kind of nonfiction reading marathon. I share some of these titles here and some I will share on Wednesday for Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by KidLit Frenzy.

Here are the picture books (fiction and nonfiction) that I loved this week: 

Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills written by Renee Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Not only a glimpse into the life of Harlem Renaissance singer Florence Mills but a story of courage, commitment and the power to make change. Really enjoyed this picture book biography.

 Harlem's Little Blackbird #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sophie’s Squash written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

This book passed the “it’s so funny/charming I can’t help giggling” test when I read it aloud to my son. Cute, cute, cute. Charming and then some. A beautiful story about a child who does things a little differently. Not enough books celebrate persistence, creativity and passion in children so well. And whoa . . . the ending! LOVE.

Sophie's Squash #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

After reading Manfish to my class, I had to read this title! We spent Friday afternoon reading this book and filling out a Knew/New sheet to reflect our learning. (Thanks Adrienne Gear! Love all of the BLMs for reflecting about thinking/learning) Another fantastic picture book biography sharing the life of the inspiring Jacques Cousteau.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

My students adding some pictures to their thinking:


This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration written by Jaqueline Woodson and illustrated by James Ransome

Lyrical and lovely. A story of family across generations as they move to the big city from the South. The Great Migration represented the movement of African Americans from rural Southern towns to the cities in the North. This migration was inspired by the hope and promise of better treatment, better opportunities and better education. This story weaves a rope through one family’s experience and tells a beautiful story of connection, love and new beginnings.

 This is the Rope #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise written by Susan Blackaby and illustrated by Carmen Segovia

A delightful winter story – full of humour, charm and spectacular surprises. Read my students’ reviews here. The illustrations are absolutely stunning.

 Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Raven and the Loon written by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and illustrated by Kim Smith

In the time of before, both raven and loon had all white feathers. They decide to make beautiful coats for each other. The process and the result does not play out perfectly smoothly. An energetic and entertaining Inuit tale.

The raven and the loon #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Shubert 

I adored this wordless fantasy title. A little bit of fear, a big bit of adventure and the largest bit of flying over stunning landscapes all over the world. I want my own copy of this book . . . Or at least a red umbrella that can take me travelling!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines 

Well to begin with – these illustrations are vibrant, saturated with colour and interesting design. I read a few poems, really liked some, kept reading and soon realized, I liked a lot of these poems. And the why is the important part. They aren’t generally preachy and unrelated to the everyday. They are about the here and now. There are poems that reflect mindfulness (being in the moment), poems that talk about anger, poems that talk about PTS after experiencing war. A lot in this little book of poetry. Some of my favourite lines?

I have never fired a gun

but have shouted words

that pierced and stung.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee

How have I not read this book sooner than this? I adore Marla Frazee. Adore. So I’m not sure how I had yet to pick this title up. Now it is heading off to school with me tomorrow to provide some Monday morning giggles for my students! Let’s just say when a “pee tree” is the cause for a happy ending, this title is guaranteed to have high levels of kid appeal.

 Boot and Shoe #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali

Quite a title. The whole process of creating this book between two illustrators who didn’t share a language and talked via an online translator was fascinating to my students. The images are powerful and full of symbolism at every turn. This title is inspired by the true story of Orundellico (named Jemmy Button) who was taken from his home in Tierra del Fuego to England to experience “civilization.” I think this book is so well done and don’t want to say anymore – go into it with eyes wide open

 Jemmy Button #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore created Libraries for Children written by Jan Pinborough and illustrated by Debby Atwell

Well. . . Anne Carroll Moore now has superhero status as far as I am concerned. Loved this story of how one woman acted as a champion for children’s access to books, libraries and beautiful spaces.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished one novel:

Prodigy by Marie Lu

I am quite hooked into this fast paced dystopian tale. Drama. Psychological twists and turns. Unexpected outcomes. I plan to read the final book in this trilogy during the next few weeks.

 Prodigy #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What’s next? I think I will return to my list of novels from last week that I need to get to – Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick and The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. 

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 5/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 46/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 3/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 17/65 complete

Happy Reading everyone!