Monday August 7th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a  reading photo of the week.

This week, I would like to instead share an article. I had the honour of sharing a student’s story –  first with author/illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo and then with writer Alexandra Alter about Suzanne’s incredible book My Beautiful Birds. Alexandra included this story in her New York Times article

Children’s Authors Take on the Refugee Crisis

It was an unforgettable experience to organize a Skype with Alexandra and Nour and listen as Nour told her story. It will be something that I think about forever – the resilience and hope and love in this young girl’s voice as she talked about everything that she’s lost and found.

I am sharing this here with the #IMWAYR community because I know all of you know the power of books to change lives. This book told Nour’s story and gave her truth voice and audience. So powerful.

If you haven’t yet read this book – buy it! It’s a must have for our school and classroom libraries.

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.

On the blog:

Summer Maintenance in the Classroom Library. Step 2: Weed

This is the second in a series of posts about working in the classroom library over the summer break.

Books I enjoyed:

I had a bookstore visit and read a lot of picture books and nonfiction titles this week. Some even followed me home. Surprise, surprise!

Some of my favourites:

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

This title is an incredible celebration of looking at “mistakes” as opportunities instead of something purely negative and wrong. A creative and inspiring journey. Such an important title to share in our classrooms.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist written by Jess Keating and illustrated my Marta Álvarez Miguéns

Eugenie Clark is some kind of incredible! A scientist. A risk taker. A creative thinker that allowed the world to look at sharks through a different lens. Jess Keating shares Eugenie’s story to honour and celebrate curiosity and perseverance. Lots of additional information in the back pages including a detailed time line of Clark’s life and accomplishments. Gorgeous end pages too!

Teacup written by Rebecca Young and illustrated by Matt Ottley

This is a somewhat haunting and extremely beautiful story about a boy who must leave his homeland in a boat clutching a teacup full of soil The ocean journey brings peace, drama and unexpected surprises as he sails in search of a new home.

Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead 

Gentle and sweet. A book about compassion and care.

Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

A lovely little wordless title with lots of room for talk and questions. What is community? Who should we care about? What matters?

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

A completely endearing title about one little boy’s route to being brave. Loved.

A Squiggly Story written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Mike Lowery

Perfect for writer’s workshop. Clearly sends the message that all writing is story telling – marks on the page, drawings, words (regardless of spelling). I I were a K or Grade 1 teacher, I would be snapping this one up. As a Grade 3 teacher, I am also pretty tempted.

Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

Power plays on the playground have lots of dynamics. Creatively explored in this little gem.

This Beautiful Day written by Richard Jackson with illustrations by Suzy Lee

This beautiful book. Wow is Suzy Lee talented! A celebration of rainy days and optimistic attitudes. Lovely all around.

If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel by Elise Gravel

So I am calling this a favourite, fought over classroom book for 2017/2018. And I KNOW I am going to be right. This book will be inspiring some funky sketchbooks in my students’ futures. Again, guaranteed.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

So I kind of love everything about Clayton Byrd. And Williams-Garcia, whoa, can this woman write! A must read middle grade title.

Alvin Ho (Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things) by Lenore Look with illustrations by LeUyen Pham

I was pretty thrilled to find this title as I think it will be my first classroom read aloud in the fall. A lot of things in the world frighten and overwhelm Alvin including speaking out loud at school. So wonderfully portrayed in a humorous, relatable way by Look. I am buying the series!

Patina by Jason Reynolds

I share all of my book love for this title (released later this month) here.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 43/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 185/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 32 books behind schedule (ten better than last week!)

#MustReadin2017: 18/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 25/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 31/50 books read

Up next? I am reading The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Monday April 18th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This week it is all about reading a Jon Klassen favourite to your little brother during buddy reading!

Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

For our #classroombookaday, we loved lots of books about community and home.

Monday April 18th, 2016 #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 2015

On the blog:

Teeny Tiny Toady: Questions and Answers with author and illustrator

Diverse Children’s Books: Water in our World

Books I enjoyed:

Ida, Always written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso

This is a tender book about friendship and loss. Allows for conversations about preparing for a death and carrying on. A very special (fictional) story based on a real connection between two bears in New York’s Central Park Zoo.

Ida, Always Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Teeny Tiny Toady written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi

I featured this title this week with an interview with author and illustrator answering questions from my students. A sweet little rhyming book all about clever solutions, tiny sister power and love for family that conquers all! And peeking under the book jacket is a must!

 Teeny Tiny Toady Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Anna Carries Water written by Olive Senior and illustrated by Laura James

Set in the Caribbean, this is the story of young Anna who strives to master the task of carrying water on her head. This story is beautifully illustrated and is, more than anything, a story of childhood: wanting to be grown up, wanting to be able to do what older siblings can do, wanting to face a fear.

Anna-Carries-Water Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler

I love the fantasy and imaginative elements of this story. One day Ernest D decides to explore the world beyond the pond . . .

Beyond the Pond Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

 Mr Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

It seems that the moon has landed on Mr. Squirrel’s tree. Or has it? It definitely seems to be the case and he has quite the time trying to be rid of it.

Mr Squirrel and the Moon Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

One Day, The End Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Stories by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrated by Fred Koehler

Simply short stories full of images of all that happens in between. Perfect for Writer’s Workshop to talk about the importance of details, the power of illustrations, visual literacy, the large possibilities in small moments.

One Day, The End Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Princess in Black (#2) and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

I love nothing better than reading these titles aloud to my class. They love them! This one was lots and lots of fun!

The Princess in Black Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I can’t stop thinking about this book. One of the best books I have read. Ever. Sepetys just keeps getting better. This is some kind of historical fiction. Full of adventure, war time atrocities, human kindness and connection. It also tells the story of a real historical event that many of us know nothing about – the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the biggest and most tragic disaster in maritime history. Heartbreaking, compelling, an incredible read.

Salt to the sea Monday April 18th, 2016 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 15/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 115/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 13/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 16/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 14/50 books read

Up next? I am in the middle of All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor

Picture Book Wishlist: July 2015

Summer time is a lovely time for picture book dreaming. Don’t you think?

Last year at this time, book shopping was not a possibility for me due to a very lengthy teacher’s strike here in B.C. I am now happily back into my book purchasing groove but even us book lovers must prioritize. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to unlimited book buying funds.

Yet, these titles are calling to me! So I thought I would celebrate them in a list. Hopefully, these books will be able to make it into my classroom collection because I can’t wait to share them with students.

 Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Shared by publication date:

Float by Daniel Miyares (June 2015)

Wordless and wonderful. Themes of discovery, persistence, problem solving and creative thinking. And simply beautiful. I would love to add this title to my wordless book collection.

Float  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein (June 2015)

This is truly brilliant. A dark, usually known world, is busy and alive when it is explored at night. Slowly, morning happens. And wow, does it happen beautifully. All about the magic of light.

The Night World  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson (June 2015)

Teachers are always looking for amazing books that explore all there is to explore about friendship. Everywhere I turn there is book love for this title. I can’t wait to find it.

To the Sea  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

First Grade Dropout written by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Matthew Cordell  (July 2015)

I have read some wonderful reviews of this title (here and here) that have convinced me that this book needs to be in my collection. Intense emotions, Humiliation. Moving forward. Compassion and community. All of these are themes to explore in a primary classroom.

First Grade Dropout  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee (July 2015)

I read this beautiful review of this title on the blog What to Read to your Kids and I knew I had to own it. I too am a fan of Waber and Lee but I am completely smitten with stories that portray little moments of family relationship.

Ask Me Bernard Waber Suzy Lee  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes (August 2015)

When I first read Emily Hughes‘ Wild (a library copy) aloud to my class, I admitted that I really loved the book and wished I had a copy for our classroom. One child remarked: “You really should buy it. Otherwise, you might go a little crazy.” Wise words 🙂 Wild is now a beloved book that I own. The pages I have peeked at on various blogs make it very obvious that I must also bring The Little Gardener into my collection.

The Little Gardener  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (August 2015)

I love fairytales and stories with nuances of fairytale elements. But . . . I am very particular. I find that I either love these titles or I find them barely mediocre. My students are always asking me to purchase more fairy tale stories for our collection and I want to find them the best. From the reviews I have read, this will be a title I will happily add to our growing collection.

 The Ta Party in the Woods  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson (August 2015)

I love the whole idea of this book. We don’t often meet ghosts in picture books. But many children believe they are out there. I love books that celebrate imagination and big believing. And also – Mac Barnett! Christian Robinson! No need to say more.

Leo a Ghost Story  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Lenny & Lucy written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead (October 2015)

I think Erin Stead is one of the most talented illustrators out there. Off the charts, can’t quite believe it, oh my, oh my, talented. When the brilliant Stead duo do their thing, I need to own the book. It’s that simple.

Lenny & Lucy  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler  (October 2015)

I am hearing lovely book buzz about this title. Reviews contain words like imagination, curiosity, magic . . . Sounds delightful!

Beyond the Pond  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for ThatWhat picture books are you dreaming of?