Monday January 26th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week with all of the buzz of #MockCaldecott, I had many to choose from. But this photo of these two boys quietly reading is my favourite. It captures what happens when there are a few free moments in our class – students grab books and read. Choices and habits that are simple, sure, solid. Love.

For a peek at some related #booklove attached to our  #MockCaldecott, head over to my classroom blog and read about our guessing of title #3 in Aaron Becker‘s trilogy: Journey, Quest , . . . .? 

Monday January 26th, 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.

imwayr

Favourites of the week:

A Perfectly Messed Up Story by Patrick McDonnell

There are many things I adore about this little title. The value it places on books. It’s philosophical musings. The coffee rings. The wit. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

A Perfectly Messed up Story Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Stormy Night by Salina Yoon

Sweet through and through. A stormy night and a brave little bear (with the help of his family) handles the noises of a storm.

Stormy Night Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jonathan & Martha by Petr Horácek 

Playful and fun with lift up parts, cut outs and worms that battle into a tied up companionship, this books has huge potential for our buddy reading collection.

Jonathan & Martha Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas written by Lynn Cox and illustrated by Brian Floca 

What a story! An elephant seal that felt at home in a river in Christchurch New Zealand. When the well meaning townspeople bring her out to the ocean where they assume she will be safer and more content, she manages to return time after time.

Elizabeth-Queen-of-the-Seas- Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Maudie and Bear written by Jan Ormerod and illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Anything Freya Blackwood and I am a little in love. Interesting reactions to this title. Our little Maudie is full of spunk, personality and . . . .but bear is calm, solid and consistent. Full of patience and love. Would be interesting to talk with children about what they think about the interactions. I think Maudie actually represents many little ones who are quite focussed on self.

Maudie and Bear Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished (book #4 from my #MustReadin2015 list) The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Lots of love. Lots of pain. Grief and mourning muddled up with falling in love and living. Some stop you in your tracks images and lines. Wow.

The Sky is Everywhere Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I finished reading Twerp by Mark Goldblatt to my children as our family read aloud. I highly recommend this title if you haven’t read it. It would make an ideal middle school read aloud (Grade 6 and up I think) Tonight we started reading The Shadowhand Covenant (Book Two of the Vengekeep Prophecies) by Brian Farrey

I am reading The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 5/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 32/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 4/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 5/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 2/50 books read

 

Favourites of 2014

Here are my favourite titles of 2014! Another wonderful year of reading – always in awe of the amazing authors and illustrators out there that give us the important gift of stories.

The best of the best (published in 2014) for me?

14 favourites and no more than 14 words of raving about each title. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2013 (13 books, 13 words) and in 2012 (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. This year I get one more book and one more word to play with! 🙂

This year I chose to spread my book love evenly between picture books and novels. 7 and 7. I will be sharing my nonfiction favourites in a post of their own this week so I focussed a little more on fiction here.

In no particular order – my 7 favourite picture books of 2014:

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Absolutely charming. And wonderfully slow – yes, like a sloth.

Sparky Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin written by Chieri Uegaki with illustrations by Qin Leng

A story of determination, perseverance and creativity. Dream. Be courageous. Such messages.

 Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

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

Thanks To Katherine Applegate and all of those who have loved Ivan, we love Ivan too.

ivan Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

A cover that hints at mystery and strange happenings and . . . ? Tender. Sweet. Kind

 The Farmer and the Clown Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

Persistence and love wrapped in brown, green and a little brother’s smile.

 The Girl and the Bicycle Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Any Questions? by Marie-Louise Gay

A story starts with a blank white page . . .

 Any Questions Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Pulls you deep into a “theorizing hole.” Digging in, around and out is highly satisfying.

 sam and Dave Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

And the novels that touched me – often making me pause and just connect with the state of being and living and loving. Novels roll out stories that transform our thinking with beautiful words on a page – the characters in these books have stuck with me.

The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

Vulnerability. A touching exploration of grief. Superb writing and of course, little Frankie Sky.

 The Summer of Letting Go Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Bird by Crystal Chan

One girl raised in grief and superstition chases living. Sad and spectacular imagery.

 Bird Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Friendship trials and celebrations. Growing up with hearing loss and super powers.

El Deafo Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Nest by Esther Ehrlich

Chirp. Joey. Solid but broken. Love their observations, their coping strategies, their complicated friendship.

Nest Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Tears, faith, outrage, peace. What a story. Wiles pulls you right into 1964.

Revolution Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Rose does things differently. But much a lot more bravely. Such a read.

Rain Reign Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Full of raw mistakes and huge hopes. Energizing despite the grief and pain.

I'll Give you the sun Favourites of 2014 There's a Book for That

Please share your own favourites of the year . . . 

Monday December 15th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is this picture taken during Reading Workshop. It highlights that all kinds of readers choose all kinds of books. Dr. Seuss? Check. Browsing some Elephant and Piggie titles? Check. Some amazing graphic novels? In Raina Telgemeier‘s Sisters, absolutely!

Monday December 15th, 2014 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.

imwayr

My favourite picture books of the week?

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

The end pages alone are reason to own this book. (That’s my current #1 reason why I must have it) Poet and artist celebrate nature’s successes. Who has been around for a long time and continues to thrive? Introduced in order of their evolutionary arrival, read poems and facts about such creatures as the squirrel, ants, geckos and diatoms. Fascinating and a lyrical experience all at once. Blending of art, poetry and nonfiction.

Ubiquitous Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan

Wow. These illustrations. So very, very beautiful. Octopus is overwhelmed by the curious seahorses who find her so fascinating. She seeks out a quieter home but eventually misses her friends. I like the honouring of needing space but that it isn’t necessarily forever.

Octopus Alone Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

123 versus ABC by Mike Boldt

Super silly – an ideal title for reading aloud and then left to be read and reread individually and with a buddy. Such fun! Is this an ABC book or a counting book? The argument between letters and numbers travels through the pages. It doesn’t take long to catch on to what is happening but it sure is fun following it all through to the end. I bought this book for my classroom library.

123 Versus ABC Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by 12 Award Winning Artists

Lovely lullaby poems made even lovelier by the various artists who illustrated this collection. It’s difficult to pick a favourite page but I certainly had fun trying. I did choose a favourite poem though: Wooden Town. I can just imagine that I would have been reading this poem to my children when they were younger again and again and again.

Goodnight Songs Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

And in novel reading . . .

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg (Middle Grade)

A novel in verse set in Haiti. Serafina lives in poverty with her family and her ambitious dreams of one day being a doctor. At eleven, she tries to convince her parents to send her to school. Hardships and natural disasters abound but Serafina’s strength and dreams persist.

Serafina's Promise Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Young Adult)

What a read. Sad. Vulnerable. Full of raw mistakes and huge hopes. Grief. Passion. Love. Despair. Family dynamics of so many varieties. It seems a book that pulls the reader through so many emotions may leave that reader exhausted and done by the end of the pages. Yet, this title is strangely energizing. It leaves you wanting more. Rooting for everyone. Lighter.

I'll Give you the sun Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have started The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney. I am still reading The Turtle of Oman: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye. I don’t seem to pick this title up very often and tend to keep starting other books. This week it’s time to get it read or abandon it.

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 79/100 novels complete (I have made the pile of 21 titles I must finish in order to meet this challenge. Will I get it done is the big big question)

Goodreads Challenge: 570/650 books read (49 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 131/65 complete