Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season

It’s December – the time to think about gifting books! How I love to help with shopping lists! Making a picture book list to give is one of my favourite holiday traditions. I started with 12 in 2013 and moved to 20 in 2014.  In 2015 and 2016, I bumped the list to 25. Once again, I am happy once again to celebrate 25 incredible titles for 2017! Looking to buy a special picture book (or books) for someone in particular? Here is a beautiful selection to consider.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make its readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Does it freeze time? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh? Our world needs more laughter!

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

So a duck and a mouse take up residence in the belly of a wolf. Only Barnett and Klassen could pull this off. We all need a little wonderful wackiness in our lives.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Why Am I Me? written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

I loved this lyrical, beautiful book full of questions and musings about self, identity and the wider world.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Nearly wordless. All about important things. Kindness. Trust. Simplicity.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

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

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

An allegorical tale that will make you giggle and nod vigorously and leap up and shout in agreement. Our voices cannot be silenced. Oh, this book is timely. Cannot recommend it enough.

the-rooster-who-would-not-be-quiet Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Windows by Julia Denos and illustrated E.B. Goodale

I could read this book endlessly. It is so calm and quiet and the little details are exquisite.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Liz Climo

So, so very funny. Who could have guessed that a pet unicorn could be so problematic? You might never look at cupcakes the same way again!

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Milo and Georgie written by Bree Galbraith and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Moving is hard. Kids are quirky. It isn’t always easy to embrace change. Or maybe it is , , , This book celebrates adjusting to the new however we might approach things. Charming.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for ThatLittle Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

This wordless title won my heart. Graphic panels. Sweet characters. Generosity and kindness. What more could you want in a picture book?

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Oh so clever! A very chatty conversation in the middle of a wordless book. A.k.a. a really hopeful wordless book interrupted by many words. Hilarious!

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

If I Had a Little Dream written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Melissa Castrillo

A celebration of possibilities from a child’s perspective. Beautiful.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

This is How We Do it: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe

What do you eat for dinner? What is school like?  What is your daily routine? What do you do for fun? How do you help your family? These details define us and unite us. They make us realize how we all have similar routines even though things in our day can be vastly different. Based on the lives of seven real children from around the world.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Lines by Suzy Lee

This book is beautifully brilliant. Wordless and full of complete surprises and incredible movements (exquisitely implied).

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

This book begins with an eye that was drawn too large. Where it ends up? Oh my! A creative and inspiring journey.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chien

This title should ideally inspire endless poetry writing and will definitely help you see the world with a little more wonder. Gorgeous all around.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs written by Carol Murray and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

So much fun – lots of creepy and not so creepy crawlies flit, skitter and wander across these pages. Lots of information and delightful poems to share.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Now by Antoinette Portis

Being in the moment has never been celebrated with such lovely wonder and beauty.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

If You Were the Moon written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim

What would you do if you were the moon? A poem travels line by line, page by page on one side of each two page spread and on the other, more information about the moon. Incredible illustrations by Jaime Kim.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat

Find yourself completely surprised. This book. In awe.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Another Way to Climb a Tree written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Oh this book. Sweet. Inspiring. Creative. A perfect mix of text and illustrations.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Danielle Daniel 

Sparse words, gorgeous illustrations and a message of strength.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

Perseverance and risk taking are a journey. Love the way they are depicted here.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Can an Aardvark Bark? written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Created by nonfiction royalty, this book is a winner! Animal sounds. And many other cool things you might have wondered.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

This story is an absolute adventure. It’s all in the details and such details! Lola the armadillo spills orange liquid all over a white chair in a cart wheeling mishap. It is viewed as an absolute disaster! The end of the world! The end of everything! As she escapes her own mess, she runs into many other catastrophes. In the end, some important resolutions are explored. A book to get lost in.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams

A nonfiction title exploring ecosystems and the importance of keeping oceans healthy. Children will develop an understanding of food chains and how living creatures are interconnected in specific environments.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.

 

Monday October 23rd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week.

Love how this little brown bench is a magnet for readers!

Our #classroombookaday titles helped us to talk about bullying and all of the assumptions and complicated feelings that happen when someone is unnecessarily cruel and others bear witness.

Classroom Highlights 

My Monday posts now also contain some sharing from my week in the classroom.

Students had so much to say about all of our #classroombookaday titles this week. Their written responses were also rich. One sentence can be so powerful when the talk leading up to it has been so layered.

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.

I didn’t get a lot of reading done this week. Part of the reason – I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the largest ever Professional Development Conference hosted in B.C. – a Super Conference with over 6 000 attendees. Two days of learning (Friday and Saturday) from some amazing educators and presenters. On the Saturday I presented two workshops and was honoured to share my love of nonfiction picture books and my passion about Reading Workshop with those who attended my sessions.

Further reading to complement both of my sessions is posted on this blog: Reading Workshop Resources and Nonfiction Resources. A comprehensive book list for nonfiction titles is here.

I presented in a gorgeous room with a beautiful view of the water (not seen in this photo) but wow, there were a lot of seats!

Books I enjoyed:

If You Were the Moon written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim

So excited about this book! I brought it along to share at my session. What would you do if you were the moon? A poem travels line by line page by page on one side of each two page spread and on the other, more information about the moon. Incredible illustrations. Jaime Kim is fast becoming a favourite.

Older than The Stars by Karen C. Fox and Nancy Davis

It’s hard to believe this book does what it does. Told partly in a rhythmic repetitive poem and partly in longer sections of text, the origin of the universe – the big bang theory – is explained for young readers. I will be sharing this with my students soon.

Today Is the Day by Eric Walters and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Based on true story of an orphanage in Africa that helps children celebrate their birthdays – some who don’t even have a registered birth. Extra details in back matter. These stories by Walters and Fernandes are so special.

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief written by Joanna Rowland and illustrated by Thea Baker

This title explores the complicated emotions of loss and grief. How do we hold on to our memories? How powerful is forgetting? Why does it seem to get easier and then harder again? In this title, a young girl participates in a number of things to help her hold on and remember the one she lost. She makes a memory box, asks others to talk and share their own memories and begins to enjoy new experiences (making new memories). While this book has a gentle, soothing feel, it doesn’t pretend that having somebody die is easy. Many pages reveal the confusing, contemplative, lonely feelings involved in grief. This title would be an ideal title to share in the classroom to initiate discussions about grief or to read with a child experiencing loss.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 52/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 249/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 45 books behind schedule.

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 35/50 books read

Up next? I am still reading Refugee by Alan Gratz Wow, what a book!

 

Mock Sibert 2016

The Sibert Award is given annually to the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year. Although the Sibert Award is not just for picture books, that is where I am focussing my predictions.

Honestly, I believe that the Sibert medal may go to a longer text and I don’t believe I have read that book. I am very excited to see what the announcement will be next week!

I read a lot of fantastic nonfiction last year but I focussed on texts suitable for younger readers because of switching grades this year (from a 3/4 with mostly Grade 4s to a 2/3 with mostly Grade 2s). Looking over some of the best of nonfiction lists, I think that there is a lot that I missed.

To be honored/win the Sibert Award, the book must include these important elements and qualities:

  • Excellent, engaging, and distinctive use of language.
  • Excellent, engaging, and distinctive visual presentation.
  • Appropriate organization and documentation.
  • Clear, accurate, and stimulating presentation of facts, concepts, and ideas.
  • Appropriate style of presentation for subject and for intended audience.
  • Supportive features (index, table of contents, maps, timelines, etc).
  • Respectful and of interest to children.

Based on this criteria, I have chosen 3 titles that I think may be honored when the Sibert titles are announced.

What I am really thinking about when making these selections are supportive features or documentation included somewhere in the text and that the books are really engaging for children. I am also very swayed by illustrations and I felt that each of these had a very unique and interesting style. Definitely the illustrations contributed in large ways to the appeal of the book.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France  by Mara Rockliff with illustrations by Iacopo Bruno (March 2015 Candlewick Press)

I love the connection here to the importance of the scientific method. And it is also quite the story! The back pages include much additional information. Big kid appeal: mind control, magic forces, money making, Kings and Queens . . . Doesn’t get much better! Of course the ultimate power turns out to be science!

 Mesmerized Mock Sibert 2016

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli (March 2015 Viking Books)

There is something about swindlers and con artists that are immensely interesting! A con associated with something as well known and famous as the Eiffel Tower? Well! There are many stories within stories here and plenty of other historical and place specific information throughout the text. If I had an older grade, I would love to read this aloud!

Tricky Vic- The Impossilby True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli Mock Sibert 2016

How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (September 2015 HMH Books for Young Readers)

I love everything that Jenkins and Page do I will admit. That doesn’t make me biased, just constantly impressed. This title is particularly interesting because of the “how to” aspect. Of course it is also a great model for instructional writing – amazingly interesting instructional writing. Additional information is always rich in Jenkins/Page titles. Perfect for further reading.

How to Swallow a Pig Mock Sibert 2016

I looked back at past medal and honor titles and usually winners are longer picture books or middle grade illustrated texts taking a variety of formats. If brief texts with incredible visuals (illustrations or photographs) and strong back matter were to be considered, I think these 2015 titles could also be contenders. Who knows? Maybe they will be!

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre (January 2015 Beach Lane Books)

Raindrops Roll Mock Sibert 2016

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin (May 2015 Roaring Book Press)

Water is Water 2015 Gift Books

A Rock Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija (March 2015 Millbrook Press)

A Rock Can Be Mock Sibert 2016

What are your #MockSibert choices?

I am excited to once again join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. My goal is to read 100 nonfiction titles this year. Most will be picture books but I will also read some longer texts. Many, but not all will be published recently (2014-2016). There are some older titles I have missed that I want to catch up on.

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2016. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

nfpb2016logo

 

20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015

I so often agonize over this list, my favourite nonfiction titles of the year. Which titles should go on my favourites list? I have a very special spot for nonfiction picture books and LOVE being part of this Wednesday community hosted by Alyson Beecher.

I literally ran out to the library to pick up holds in the middle of writing this post to squeeze in a few more nonfiction reads. Then, I tried reading and blogging at the same time. I have mastered reading and folding laundry (although the sock matching often goes south) but reading while typing is a tad too challenging. So I took some breaks, read a few more books and made a few changes. Finally, 20 favourites emerged.

2015 Nonfiction Picture Books 20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

I always have a love of picture book biographies I might share in my classroom. So these featured big on this list.

In Mary’s Garden by Tina and Carson Kugler

In Mary's Garden  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Sky Painter written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Aliona Bereghici

The Sky Painter  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for ThatWhich Trombone Shorty written by Troy Andrews and illustrated by Bryan Collier

Trombone Shorty  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear written by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Finding Winnie  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

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

Drum Dream Girl  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli

Tricky Vic- The Impossilby True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

swan the life and dance of anna pavlova  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

After experiencing water shortages this year on the rainy south coast, water is also on my mind. I found relevant and wonderful 2015 titles.

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Raindrops Roll  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

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

Water is Water 20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

And then there are always certain nonfiction topics I am obsessed with: nests and eggs, whales, plants and seeds, endangered animals, Australian animals and rocks. I found titles that covered most of these things from 2015’s offerings.

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

The Blue Whale  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor

Trapped! A Whale's Rescue  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Nest  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Big Red Kangaroo written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne

big red kangaroo  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Emu written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne

Emu

Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild is written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Stephen Walton. Virginia McKenna (from the Born Free Foundation)

Counting Lions:  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

A Rock Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija

A Rock Can Be  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Others that stood out are of course by favourite nonfiction writers Nicola Davies and Steve Jenkins

I (Don’t) Like Snakes written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Luciano Lozano

I Don't Like SnakesHow to Swallow a Pig by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

How to Swallow a Pig  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Books published by Flying Eye books are often hugely beautiful and extremely interesting. This one about monkeys completely charmed me.

Mad About Monkeys by Owen Davey

Mad about Monkeys  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

What are your favourites of 2015?

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Monday September 28th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week I had to share a very special reading moment. This is one of many reading duos that happens during afternoon reading where a more confident reader spontaneously reads aloud to a growing reader who joins in when he or she can. It it a pretty delightful thing to watch.

Monday September 28th, 2015 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

I missed last week’s post due to a computer glitch so this is 2 weeks worth of updates. I narrowed it down to my favourite picture books to keep the list reasonable.

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Ten dinner invitations I would accept in the world of MG/YA fiction

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

An honest check in regarding the literacy in my new classroom: Celebration: From Here

Celebration: Little Sparks (a week later we are beginning to fan those little sparks)

Books I loved:

I am Yoga written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Gorgeous. It reads calm and pure just like its message.

I am yoga Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney

I was so thrilled to share this title as a read aloud and am even more excited to invite my last year’s students to a recess read aloud later this week (we pre-loved this book back in June). So much silly, so much funny, rhymes that work and a trail of suspense as we move through a refrigerator adventure. We laughed a lot during this book but there was also lots of absolutely “captured” little faces waiting to discover what would happen next! Josh Funk managed to achieve an ideal balance between the silly and the adventure. I actually read this aloud to an adult after school on Thursday who was equally captivated. It’s that good that you immediately want to rush out and find a listener!

Some highlights of our read aloud experience:

  • Early on when Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast announced that they were going to race for the last drop of syrup, one little boy started to quietly chant, “Share it! Share it!” At the end, he shook his head. “See, they should have shared.”
  • On page four, one child leaned into another and announced: “I like this book already.”
  • During the bean avalanche, one little boy started shaking his head, “Oh oh. The beans are waking up and getting cranky.”
  • When BVW did his thing (avoiding a spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t read it), many children began a conversation that ended with general consensus that BVW should be eaten!
  • There was pure despair when the butter was going to be shared. “No, don’t let the butter die!”
  • During playtime, about 30 minutes after we finished the book, one little boy came up to me and said very seriously, “I’m voting for the waffle.”
  • This was our #classroombookaday book of the week with many many votes and a little note scrawled on the chalkboard that I discovered at the end of the day “+ 500 more”

Lady Pancake Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

In a Cloud of Dust by Alma Fullerton and illustrated by Brian Deines

An important book that depicts how access to education is so very complicated. With a bicycle, a long arduous walk transforms into a manageable ride.

In A Cloud Of Dust Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted: Birdie Friends by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Nate Wragg

This is one sweet book. So lovely that I will soon be featuring it on the blog with student reactions (also very sweet). I am completely smitten with Elwood.

Elwood Bigfoot Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Water Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija

I adore all of these titles by Salas and Dabija but am perhaps most excited to share this one with my class when we begin our theme on water in a few weeks. Such an amazing book to allow students to think more broadly and creatively about something so much a part of their lives.

Water Can Be Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hilo: The Boy who Crashed to the Earth by Judd Winick

Oh Hilo! Joy. Adventure. High degree of action. Engaging characters. An absolute winner in the graphic novel department.

Hilo Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

It is totally cliche to talk of being completely lost in a book about being lost in the mountains. But, this book pulled me in and I had a really difficult time putting it down. Lori Lansens is one of my all time favourite writers so I couldn’t miss this title when I heard it was released. An incredible survival story that leads us nowhere safe through memories, dreams and visions. Wolf Truly sets off on his eighteenth birthday to jump to his death from a ridge overlooking Palm Springs. Up on the mountain he meets three women, three generations of one family who become stranded with Wolf. This is a story you won’t soon forget.

The Mountain Story Monday September 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 54/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 332/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 60/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 39/50 books read

Up next? I am reading a number of titles including Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ( a rare adult read)

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

I have a brand new class: a busy group of seven and eight year olds. Many of them are not used to the nonfiction read aloud. But, they love to be read to and they are fascinated when I share facts with them about the world. Nonfiction books are stories of their world and I know they will be hooked. I wandered through my collection yesterday and pulled some titles to start reading aloud.

I needed titles that are not too long. They have to have engaging photos or illustrations. Ideally, there will be some humour or an interactive element (guessing and checking). The language needs to fit and if it can be lyrical and lovely, all the better. Or punchy and action packed!

Here are the ten titles I selected as beginning nonfiction read alouds:

Nest by Jorey Hurley

A series of words and beautiful images to explore birds and their nests.

nest Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

A Bird Is a Bird by Lizzy Rockwell

What makes a bird a bird exactly? A title to explore all the qualities of a bird.

A Bird Is a Bird Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

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 Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Guess What is Growing Inside this Egg by Mia Posada

Clues and images lead us to the next page where we find the answer. Perfect to read a few pages at a time.

guess what is growing inside this egg Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton

Humour, spiders and some splatting. Learning as you laugh! Perfect.

Trying to Love Spiders Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Eat Like a Bear written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Follow a bear over seasons – how and what does a bear eat?

Eat Like A Bear Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Weeds Find a Way written by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher

Lyrical and visually stunning. Appreciate weeds for their beauty and persistence.

weeds-find-a-way Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija

Beautiful nonfiction describing and hinting at all of the roles leaves can play – from “rain stopper” to “shade spiller” and many more.

leaf can be Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt

Marvel at the various interesting animal feet that different animals use to walk, climb, dig, paddle, etc. There is a guessing from a photograph aspect to this book.

 Best Foot Forward Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

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.

creature-features-Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Monday August 31st, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer, I am not surrounded every day with little readers so . . . I am choosing moments from the year not previously shared. I love this Henry and Mudge love!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday August 31st, 2015 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

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful male/female friendships in MG literature

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Room Full of Nonfiction A mini tour of the nonfiction in my classroom

A Celebration post about #booklove starring The Good Little Book

Sunday Reflections: Literary Nest Building 101

Books I read and loved:

A Rock Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija

I love this nonfiction series – lovely poetry, stunning illustrations and interesting and detailed back matter. A must have for classrooms and/or libraries.

A Rock Can Be Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virján

Super silly. Super simple. Perfect for kids just learning to read – lots of repetition – a quality little book.

What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Good Little Book written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Marian Arbona

I adore this book on many different levels. What a perfect book to get us thinking about heading back into classrooms! The end pages are incredible!

 The Good Little Book Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson

Love the tones in this sweet little book about friendship and being noticed.

To the Sea Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

I actually hugged this book in the bookstore after I read it. A regular conversation between a father and his young daughter perfectly captures the energy and wonder of a particular time of childhood. Love this book! And the illustrations, wow!

Ask Me Bernard Waber Suzy Lee Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

Yes, Josh Funk if you are reading this, this book made me teary. A book about the every day moving on process of grieving the loss of a loved one and wrapping yourself up in the love of those still with you. Just beautiful.

Boats for Papa Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Leo is a charmer. A ghost that needs to find out where he is appreciated.

Leo a Ghost Story Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt

So clever Ms. Watt! This is one thick picture book – full of the stages of grief (hilariously conveyed) and lots of humour. Just delightful. Can see using this with older grades and having students write about their own self-talk through the stages of grief attached to a particular event.

Bug in a Vacuum Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Blue on Blue written by Dianne White and illustrated by Beth Krommes

Rain, beautiful rain. This book celebrates the dark colours and images of a rain storm. The illustrations are incredible.

 Blue on Blue Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

This is a wonderful title. Such creative twists on Little Red Riding Hood – crafted into quite a different tale. Love the shades and repetitive colours.

 The Tea Party in the Woods Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

I read this to myself and had to whisper certain lines aloud because I was certain they would be a treat to say. Yep! Wow Kate DiCamillo can write!

Leroy Ninker Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White

An emotional middle grade novel about two sisters who need to take care of each other when their Dad leaves them at a gas station. I couldn’t put this book down.

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart

From the title and the cover, one would think this is a light hearted novel. There is humour but it is full of emotions. In fact, I woke up early one morning worried about the character and had to finish the book to make sure all was okay. What do you do when you are twelve, you have lost your Dad and money is an issue? This title explores this reality in creative, but always authentic and sensitive ways. Fantastic characters and family dynamics.

Death  by Toilet Paper Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I read this in one sitting and if I had time, I would have started on page one and read it all over again. So beautiful. So heartfelt. So human.

the house on mango street Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 50/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 309/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 58/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 33/50 books read

Up next? I am still reading and LOVING  The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and then will begin Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles