Monday May 15th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week.  It’s been a few weeks since I have posted so here are a few . . .

A student brushing up on the original fairy tale as she begins the story of Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

Some serious Scaredy Squirrel fans read together during buddy reading!

Here are a few #classroombookaday photos to share

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

Books I enjoyed:

Town is by the Sea written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith

I am not sure if it is humanly possible to illustrate this book more beautifully. I almost couldn’t breathe looking at these pages. The story is lyrical and full of vivid images. The beauty of the seaside is a sharp contrast to the reality of the daily life in a mining town.

The Fog written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Kenard Pak

Well. Where to begin with this book? There is so much that is clever and charming but there are heavier themes to explore for each reader to discover. I can’t wait to kid test this one and see what the reactions will be. Very worth getting your hands on this title!

Caring for Your Lion written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Troy Cummings

A wonderful mentor text for the primary grades. Often the text and the pictures don’t completely match and this is hilarious and scary all at the same time as we follow the step by step instructions of how to look after a mail order lion. I shared this with a group of Grade 1 students who were thrilled to share what animal they might like to order in the mail!

The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper

Another wonderful Elephant & Piggie recommended title. I loved this book and then I read this post by Travis Jonker and loved it more. (If fidget spinners have taken over your school – read the link for a smile)

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

We LOVE Super Narwhal in my classroom! Love, love, love. It is the perfect blend of amusing, informative and just plain cute.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold 

I read this in one sitting. An ideal read aloud for a Grade 2 or 3 classroom. There is so much here. Bat, his family and a little orphaned skunk make up a cast of characters that you must meet.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

This book is flying through my Grade 4/5 classroom. Friendship issues, fitting in, sibling stressors and growing up. The perfect middle school title. A graphic novel.

Moon Shadow by Erin Downing

Some fantastic elements that middle grade readers will love. For me personally, too much magic. But I can see young readers devouring this book. Recommended for Grade 6 and older because of the romance themes and nasty friendship dynamics.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

This YA novel is hard to put down. Fabiola Toussaint joins her aunt and female cousins in Detroit. Newly arrived from Haiti without her mother who has been detained by immigration, Fabiola has much to navigate in this new world full of dangers and threats and uncertain security. Highly recommended.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 25/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 123/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 10 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 14/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 18/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 18/50 books read

Up next? I have a few titles on the go including Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt

Monday January 23rd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. I have missed some Mondays getting back into the swing of school so I have a few photos to share.

Students were eager to check in with their reading goals and think about which genres they needed to read.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

I loved reading their reflections.Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

When you finish a beloved series and the next book is not yet published.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Time to read everyday!

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Reading to some Grade 2 students who came for a visit.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Eager audience.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Hurray for Mock Caldecott! Here are our winners.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 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:

Our Mock Caldecott list for 2017

Joining in with the Nonfiction Picture Book 2017 challenge with Alyson Beecher

My Must Read in 2017 novels

I still have people sending me links to #MustReadin2017 lists Join us here

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017

Books I enjoyed:

I have decided to include briefer summaries/responses to the books I am sharing in order to buy more time to do more reading and more blogging. So the book love remains but it will be expressed in fewer words.

Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer

Mysterious and a little scary. Stunning illustrations.

fog-island

Coyote Moon written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline

I absolutely loved this nonfiction title about a mother coyote needing to feed her pups. Definitely reminds us how challenging survival can be.

coyote-moon

Little Elliot’s Big Fun by Mike Curato

Friendship and fun. But sometimes big fun can be a little intimidating and we really need our friend.

le-big-fun

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Just incredibly illustrated. An ideal seasons book full of so many sensations.

goodbye-summer-hello-autumn

I am Not a Number written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer and illustrated by Gillian Newland

This will be a title I share with my students as we start to read about the residential school experience next month. Heartbreaking.

IANAN_cover.indd

Everyone . . . by Christopher Silas Neal

Everyone feels all kinds of things. Simple with the power to soothe and remind us how similar we all are.

everyone

Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robertson

LOVED this biography of Ada Lovelace. I learned so much.

ada_s_ideas_cover

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

This is my favourite in the series!

ada-twist-scientist

Saving Red by Sonya Sones

YA. A novel in verse. Many themes are covered. Mental health, homelessness, family. Really enjoyed this title.

saving-red

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter 

YA. Easy to fall hard for the characters here.

the-serpent-king

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 18/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 6/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 2/50 books read

Up next? I am almost finished reading The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Monday November 23rd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. I love this scene from buddy reading. Notice how the little K is leaning right in with my Grade 3 student learning about sharks. I adore this photo as it captures so much.

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:

Yes, I have been blogging! 🙂

In honour of Picture Book Month: Twenty Books that Capture the Essence of Childhood

For #nfpb2015 Nonfiction on my radar: Winter 2015

My #celebratelu post this week honours the progress and positive in my classroom: Celebration: What’s Working

Books I loved:

There are quite a few because I did some picture book therapy. Anyone else do this? Often? I have a feeling I am not the only one who has figured this out!

I made some great progress on my nonfiction reading:

Toad Weather written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

This book is FANTASTIC! I love much about it – starting with those wonderful polka dot boots on the cover! This is a fictionalized account of an actual toad crossing that really, truly happens every year in Pennsylvania. Markle shares a beautiful story about this pretty amazing natural phenomenon and the way that people become part of the story (in a good way thankfully!) But, this story has some rich messages beyond a fascinating story. I love that it reminds us to notice and experience the natural world no matter what the weather, no matter what our mood.

Toad Weather

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López

Gorgeous. Inspiring. Seriously, these colours. I loved everything about this book!

Drum Girl Dreaming

Flowers are Calling written by Rita Gray and illustrations by Kenard Pak

I particularly loved Pak’s illustrations here. Learn all about the colours, shapes and unique aspects to flowers and just who interacts with them (and why and how).

Flowers are Calling

And I read some incredible picture books:

Please, Open this Book! written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

This is one of the most clever follow up titles ever. First read and appreciate Warning: Do not Open this Book! You could just read it on your own, but I recommend experiencing it as a read aloud with a group of eager listeners. And then, comes this one. I giggled multiple times at the bookstore and of course, brought it home with me. Cannot wait to share all of its amusing and interactive pages with my class tomorrow. Love the mushy yellow banana.

Please, Open this Book!

Little Miss, Big Sis written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Sometimes becoming an older sibling is eagerly anticipated and quite a beloved experience. This title captures just that.

Little Miss, Big Sis

Where are my Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

An entertaining reading message. Favourite books are amazing. And everyone (everyone!) needs picture books!

Where are my Books?

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

Okay, this is a book I love. It speaks to wild wishes, big possibility and the amazing of the simple and natural. Love, love, love.

Something Extraordinary

Dear Yeti by James Kwan

Charming and adventurous. Two explorers set out in search of a yeti. told through a series of letters. Great mentor text for writing.

Dear Yeti

Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato

These Little Elliot titles seem like they should be just too sweet and not quite work. But instead, they are absolutely sweet and completely capture the reader. No overly sugary after taste. Just big breath, full heart moments. Well done Mike Curato, you have something amazing figured out.

Little Elliot, Big Family

Miss Hazletine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Birgitta Sif

For the cat fan. For the extra timid. For the reader who appreciates inspired courage and stepping out of your comfort zone. Delightfully quirky.

Miss Hazletine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats

And the amazing YA novel . . . Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

I am such an absolute fan of Schmidt. He regularly knocks me over while at the same time offering up such grounded, beautiful stories. This was an early morning read and cry book. I finished it all at once because how could I possibly put it down? Beautiful. Hopeful. Heartbreaking. A reminder that we all need each other and that family is about who is in your corner.

Orbiting Jupiter

Up next? I continue reading MosquitoLand by David Arnold because other reading ended up calling to me. Happy to be back into this title.

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 61/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 390/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 70/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 45/50 books read

Nonfiction Picture Books – grow a beginning collection

Recently I created a list of 20 picture books to be gifted to new parents/grandparents to begin growing a picture book collection of beautiful books. I purposely did not include any nonfiction titles because I had this list in mind – 20 incredible nonfiction titles that should be on the family bookshelf.

This list includes recent releases and some favourites I have had for some time. I looked for books that inspire wonder and curiosity about nature and the world. On this list are titles that cover specific concepts with rich language and stunning images. None are too lengthy or complex. The books that are more detailed are perfect for sharing in chunks with a parent/adult reader.

Shopping for gift books for a family? Think nonfiction picture books! Here are 20 beautiful titles:

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Listed alphabetically by author

A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

There are so many different kinds of nests for so many different creatures. This book is a treasure.

Nest Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

On A Beam of Light- A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

Wonder, curiosity and thinking outside of the box. Accessible Einstein!

 Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Gravity by Jason Chin

Visual story telling, simple text explain a complex concept so that all readers can grasp it.

 Gravity Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Just Ducks! written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

Gentle narration infused with facts in this beautifully illustrated book about ducks!

Just Ducks Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

Explore just how enormous a blue whale really is. Gorgeous.

The Blue Whale Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Some Bugs written by Angela Diterlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Will absolutely inspire some bug hunting! And maybe collecting. Break out the magnifying glasses.

 some Bugs Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray illustrated by Kenard Pak

Beautiful lyrical text. Will get everyone outside to listen to beautiful and varied bird song.

HaveYouHeard Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Betsy Thompson

Counting. Guessing. Lovely repetition.

eggs123 Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

The format is engaging – each animal is introduced with a mini letter/question and answer.

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

What happened on the first day each animal was born? Children love to wonder about animal babies.

My first day Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and their Parents by Lita Judge

How do mammals care for their babies? Will inspire many conversations about how young children are cared for too.

Born in the Wild Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge

Were all dinosaurs gigantic? If they were walking around today, just how big would they be?

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim

Will prompt a discussion about perseverance, creativity and inspiration.

Wild Ideas Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons written by Sara Levine with illustrations by T.S. Spookytooth 

A fun interactive style. What kind of animal would you be if . . . ?

bone by bone Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

A beautiful poetic title about the water in our world.

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Oh these photographs and this beautiful language. Walking in the rain? You will want to go.

Raindrops Roll Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Lifetime written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Math is all around us. Gorgeous illustrations. Fascinating animal facts.

lifetime Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Feathers Not Just for Flying written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen

How do birds use their feathers? For so much more than flying . . .

feathers Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Forest Has a Song poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater  and illustrated by Robbin Gourley 

Beautiful poems about the forest – the perfect place to wander.

Forest has a song Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Mama Built a Little Nest written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Poetic text showcase all of the different nests birds build for their babies.

Mama Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Give books.

Read books.

Share books.

Often.

Monday February 9th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week, I had some computer glitch and lost my photos from the week – no idea why. Thankfully, I tweeted some so I can still share some book love happening in my classroom here!

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

I read some fantastic picture books this week. I have decided to share – many but briefly – couldn’t get it down to under ten favourites. Not a bad problem. 🙂 Fiction and nonfiction picture book joy!

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

What do you do when you find a whale lost in a storm? Help it of course. And it just might help you communicate something that needs telling. Sweet.

 The Storm Whale Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo

Absolutely wonderful. Castillo is such a story teller. This book rings true with the magic of childhood, the nostalgia of summer holidays and the quirky dynamics of family interactions. Love the surprises!

The Troublemaker Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli

Being number one is always most important . . . or is it?

Number One Sam Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Kate Hindley

This would be a fantastic mentor text for procedural writing. Adorable illustrations and a fun little escapade – bath time with a woolly mammoth.

How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Hermelin: The Detective Mouse as told to Mini Grey

I really do adore Mini Grey! This story is utterly charming.

Hermelin Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy

Alyson Beecher pointed me in the direction of this book. Amazing nonfiction title about what it would be like to train to go into space! Perfect for the primary classroom.

Astronaut Handbook Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Firebird written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers 

First read through, I spent this whole book swooning over the illustrations. And then I remembered that there was text. The first line of this book – just so beautiful:

the space between you and me is longer than forever

Firebird Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Bone by Bone written by Sara Levine and illustrated by T.S Spookytooth 

I put this on a nonfiction wish list after reading some reviews. This is my newest nonfiction title to rave about. Really, you need this book if you have a primary classroom. So engaging. So fun. Lots to learn.

 Bone by Bone Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray illustrated by Kenard Pak

These illustrations are fantastic. Lots of facts at the end of the book and beautiful lyrical text through out.

HaveYouHeard Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Forest Has a Song poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater  and illustrated by Robbin Gourley 

The forest is possibly my favourite out-in-the-world place. So, these illustrations, these poems – well, I was smitten.

Forest has a song Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished one novel. another from my #MustReadin2015 list:

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

I loved every member of this wonderful family. I rooted for each of them, celebrated them, smiled so big it hurt my cheeks. This is what family is. Loved the noisy, messy mumble jumble of every day love and family connection explored in this book. A happy, hilarious MG read.

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I am about to start Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 7/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 55/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 5/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 14/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 5/50 books read