Monday February 17th, 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. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

The picture books I enjoyed this week (yes, I too notice a theme of silly!):

Just Me and 6,000 Rats: A Tale of Conjunctions written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon

A wonderful way to learn about conjunctions while reading an amusing story about a boy and his 6,000 rats who follow him everywhere. As you might imagine, the rats have quite the impact on everyone he meets. But along the way we get to learn how using words like but, until, since, etc can stretch our sentences!

Here Be Monsters written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

What a brilliant book to read aloud. Dare you to read it and not burst out a pirate accent! The rhyming is divine and the plot adored by young listeners. My students wrote reviews of this book on our class blog Curiosity Racers.

Here be Monsters #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hippospotomus written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross

Hippopotamus has a red spot on his bottomus and every jungle animal offers advice. Nothing works! Completely ridiculous and silly with hilarious rhymes throughout.

” . . .A needle in the bottomus

Will rid you of the spotomus.”

Despite his perfect shotamus.

The cure was in vain.

The ending is ever so clever.

Hippospotamus #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hey, Rabbit! by Sergio Ruzzier

This title appeals to the imaginative and the curious. What is in rabbit’s suitcase? Something for everyone? Each friend makes a remarkable discovery. Will there be anything left for rabbit? Sweet and creative.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

And the train goes . . . by William Bee

I can just imagine travelling back in time to the days when my son was obsessed with every kind of large moving vehicle and the sounds it made. We would have had to read this book over and over and over again. All kinds of colours and wonderful sounds.

Clickerty-click, clickerty-clack

clickerty-click, clickerty-clack . . .

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb

Aunt Amelia comes to babysit and strays a little from the list left by the children’s parents. Let’s just say there is a lot of mud, ice cream consumption and late night reading marathons on the agenda. Would the children like Aunt Amelia to come again? Absolutely! A perfect story for storytime.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Helen’s Big World The Life of Helen Keller written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares

What an incredibly inspirational book about Helen Keller and her brilliant teacher Annie Sullivan. This book has quotations by Keller on every page. Beautifully illustrated. What an amazing relationship between teacher and student. What a tribute to the power of education. So much to this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Novels I finished:

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell (This was a #MustReadin2014 title)

I read this aloud to my children and we adored it. We savoured the quirky, the hilarious and the eccentric. We smiled at the characters. We were lulled by the whimsy. And we were charmed by the brilliance of DiCamillo. 5 stars: all glowing and magical!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Far Far Away written by Tom McNeal

How to describe this book? There is a huge surprise midway through so I’m not even going to touch the plot. But I will talk about the writing. Gorgeous. Eerie. Fairytales intertwined with modern day. Small town charm. Big time mystery. Ghosts. Friends. Love. And the theme of devotion – played out in many ways – some sweet, some heroic, some disturbing.

Far, Far Away #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Next up? I just started Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur. My children and I are hoping that The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen arrives at my work address tomorrow. We are more than a little excited to begin this title and plan to make it our next family read aloud!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 11/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 101/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/65 complete

Cottonwool Colin – a lesson for Moms

The fabulous team of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have brought us a fantastic story to read to our Moms! Yep, our Moms. By the time we finished laughing and gasping through Cottonwool Colin, the consensus was – this is a book for Moms!

This book is all about tiny mouse Colin Smally, the youngest and smallest of ten mouse siblings. So small that his Mom only agrees to allow him outside into the great big world if she can wrap him in cottonwool. Now he would be safe from the elements, from falling, or worse, having something landing on him! All would be well. But when Colin (wrapped in cotton) gets mistaken for a snowball and tossed into a freezing river, everything suddenly seems very dangerous. And it is – he is chased and needs to swim to escape and then chased again . . .

When Colin, (sans cottonwool) ends up back at his mouse cave, his mother is very upset.

“Colin, ” she shrieked. “Anything could have happened to you!

Everything did happen to me, ” he whooped.

Colin’s Mom begins to grant him more freedom to explore the world. And Colin ventures out ready for many more adventures (the fear, the hurt, the risks?  All worth it!!)

So I asked our listeners: “So, what do we think?”

Lisa: “His Mom learned a lesson. His Mom should not worry so much and let him play.”

Oh yes, without hesitation we agreed! “Don’t be scared Moms!” ‘Don’t be too worried!” “Let it go!” “Let them have fun.” “Don’t keep your kids right with you.”

Jena: “Trust them because one day they’ll get older and they won’t know how to take care of themselves.”

Lisa: “Yeah. Kids need to go around in the world to know what’s out there.”

“My mom doesn’t need that book though,” said Scott. “Because I’m bigger than a mouse.” 🙂

I am a teacher but I am also a Mom and I have to admit that, like Colin, my students are probably smarter than me on this one! Breathe, let it go, don’t worry so much . . .