Monday October 15th, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Link up and share your week’s reading from  picture books to young adult reads on Jen and Kellee’s meme. I always find my TBR piles grow and grow as I sift through all of the fabulous titles shared!

This week I was able to share some favourite picture books for the first time as read alouds and I also read many titles new to me.

I shared The Hueys in the New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers with our primary SR (Social Responsibility) gathering this week (3 classes together). We often read books to the children that spark discussion about all kinds of topics that fall under the social/emotional umbrella. I chose this book because of its message about daring to be yourself and not always having to be the same as everyone else around you. It also reminds us that we do not need to be afraid of those “rule breakers” who aren’t worried about being unique and standing out. The students were very intrigued with the funny little Hueys and they loved learning that a sweater to us is a jumper to someone in another part of the world. Loved it so much that every time I said “the bright orange jumper” they joined in so that we were a little chorus! This book has BIG time LITTLE kid appeal.

I also read one of my favourite books to my class this week: Hunwick’s Egg by Mem Fox and illustrated by Pamela Lofts. One of my students showed me a treasure he had found – a stone shaped jut like an egg. “It’s really just a rock,” he told me in a whisper. “But maybe kind of magic because it seems like an egg.” Well . . . I hardly need an excuse to say “There’s a book for that!” But in this case . . . my , my, my . . . there sure is a book! Hunwick’s Egg is an absolute treasure about a little bandicoot named Hunwick who finds out that his special egg is actually just a stone but loves it deeply still. Although his egg never hatched, it provided him with companionship, faith and an important secret. Egg or stone, this was his friend. It was such a pleasure to share a favourite title with a new group of children. And then when we got to pass the stone around that had been shared with me. Well . . . sometimes magic happens during a day for just a few moments and this was one of those moments.

I also found a number of wonderful new to me picture books at the library this week:

The Potato People by Pamela Allen This book is about a Grandma and grandson who make creatures out of potatoes. As time passes, the potato creatures begin to wither and sprout. Grandma buries them in her garden and wow . . . Lots of learning about how potatoes are grown! I also love the bond between Grandma and grandson and that they sing the potato song: “One potato, Two potato, Three Potato, Four.” I recited this poem as a child and sang it twenty years ago when I was teaching children in Slovakia! A little nostalgic moment 🙂

Don’t Worry Douglas  by David Melling A sweet little story about Douglas the loveable bear who learns that telling the truth is most important when asking for help to solve a problem.

You are a Lion and other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo I shared this book with my seven year old niece and she instantly got down on the floor and tried out all of the poses, giggling all the while. A very fun, interactive book that introduces yoga poses to young children.The page layout is ideal: a two page spread with instructions: “Sit with feet together. Hold on to toes. Legs flap! You are a . . . ” Flip the page and find out: “. . . Butterfly” Would be perfect for a rainy day story time when everyone needs some movement!

One for All – All for One written by Brigitte Weninger and illustrated by Eve Tharlet. The illustrations are delightful – very endearing little animals. A story about being courageous, identifying inner strength and relying on the strength of friendship.

Can Hens give Milk? by Joan Betty Stuchner and Joe Weissmann This book is a hilarious exploration of the question . . . Can hens give milk? It logically approaches how to have hens start giving milk. The only problem is the premise to begin with is completely without logic! It goes something like this:

I see cows giving milk. Cows graze on grass. If chickens were fed grass, they would produce milk! Let’s give our chickens grass to eat! 

This story is about Tova and her family who live in the town of Chelm (a mythical village, populated, according to Jewish folklore by fools!) Cannot wait to share this with my class and see how they respond!

I also just finished Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George. A wonderful suspenseful middle grade read: part mystery, part fantasy, part intrigue . . . And it seems this title will be the first in a series. Since I am reading my daughter’s copy, I think I see some future book gifts ahead! She is a big Jessica Day George fan and now I understand why! The most interesting thing about this book for me? The fact that the castle itself was a main character! Next book up? The Raven Boys! I just picked it up from the library!