Monday October 1st, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. This week I am fully celebrating the joy of buddy reading with our younger K buddies.

#classroombookaday titles from 2 weeks ago were all about the changing season.

Last week we read about kind acts and gestures. And going beyond because we want to be giving and caring.

Classroom Highlights 

Follow along with us through our classroom twitter account @CuriosityRacers

I had to share our completed dot art completed for International Dot Day.

I have already tweeted this but had to share here too. This was one of my favourite comments from last week – when we brainstormed what we noticed about all of these titles, someone shared, ” They have characters and creatures that are real if you believe in them.” Still smiling.

The incredible title Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak has inspired us to create our own mini books. Front and back covers are complete. Stay tuned for more.

In morning math explorations we investigated square tiles and pentominoes.

Days later this group requested to use the materials again during free choice time. 🙂

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.

Books I loved:

Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung

Reds, Yellows and Blues each think they are the best. But then, some mixing occurs and everyone gets a much brighter, more colourful perspective.

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh 

Papa Rabbit had to go North to find work when the rains didn’t come. A big party is organized for his return, but Papa still doesn’t come home. So Pancho Rabbit sets out to find his father. An allegorical tale that speaks to the challenges and struggles faced by families illegally crossing borders hoping for a better life for their families.

A House That Once Was written by Julie Fogliano with illustrations by Lane Smith

I can’t decide if the text or the illustrations are more beautiful here. Both are truly incredible. This will be part of our Mock Caldecott list – can’t wait to share it in January with my class.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

I love everything about this book. I kind of want to carry it around and read it to everyone I meet. Imagine all the conversations that could be shared asking “Where did your name come from??

Come with Me by Holly M. McGhee with illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre

Oh this little book has a lot to say about how to be in the world.

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna

Love the illustrations – this crazy orange colour and those incredible snails. Essential themes for our times – looking closely, getting lost in nature, unstructured play, losing our devices (here, quite literally).
A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider–The Story of E. B. White by Barbara Herkert with illustrations by Lauren Castillo

Wow. A beautiful biography.

Older Not Wiser (Bad Nana) by Sophie Henn

An illustrated chapter book with lots of humour. The British expressions may require a little bit of assistance navigating but this one has high kid appeal.

Up next? I am still reading Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 36/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 14/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 168/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 55 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2018: 19/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 21/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 31/40 books read

Gift Books 2016: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season

I love to book shop all year round. In the winter holiday season, I love to insist everyone else should partake. 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.  Last year I bumped the list to 25 (2015). And this number seems to be the sweet spot. There are lots of books to love! It is a joy to recommend many of my favourites of the year!

Gift Books 2016: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Which books make the list? There are some things I think about. 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?

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

Simply the perfect mentor text for poetry writing. Enough said. Well, except to point out that the illustrations are especially swoon worthy.

Daniel Finds a Poem Monday April 11th, 2016

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato

I think this picture book has shades of pure perfection within it. A spotlight on the ridiculous “must be” wedding planning that occurs when love should just prevail. And please note, this is love for love’s sake. Not love that fits in any cookie cutter mold. How I adore this book.

WormLoves Worm

Where’s the Elephant? by Barroux

Beyond a search and find which it seems to be just a few pages in. Not at all. It is a statement about development encroaching on habitat. Of what this means to our world and the animals in it. Powerful. So, powerful. The perfect book to introduce environmental studies. To begin conversations. To worry about. And maybe to inspire change.

Wheres-the-Elephant Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Return by Aaron Becker

The third book in a trilogy (give the entire collection!). I love each book for particular reasons. This title must be experienced so that you can see how it continues the stories started in Journey and Quest. I think this cover image is my favourite of the three.

Return

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

I echo what so many others say – oh, if this book had only existed when my children were small. It has so much going on! Each page is full of details and yet a very lovely story of one family unfolds throughout. Spend ages on each page.

the-airport-book

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell with illustrations by Rafael López

This is such an inspiring book based on actual events in San Diego – how a neighborhood can be changed and strengthened by art. Illustrator Rafael López is more than the illustrator here – he is the inspiration for the character of the muralist.

Maybe Something Beautiful

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

This book is absolutely delightful. Since actual letters and personal mail is quite the novelty in this day and age, surprises arriving by post really are special. Maybe too much so . . .

It Came in the Mail

A Hungry Lion or a dwindling assortment of animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

This book is very funny. Very, very funny. It requires that wonderful page flipping back and forth phenomenon – “Did that really happen?” I don’t want to give anything away but will say the surprises delighted me. Can’t wait to read this to a group of children.

a-hungry-lion-or-a-dwindling-assortment-of-animals Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Knowing Book written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich with illustrations by Matthew Cordell

When this book was first published, someone said it was my kind of book. It is most definitely my kind of book. I think it might also be your kind of book. Gently perfect.

The Knowing Book

The Night Gardener by the Fan brothers 

This is just a wow title. It has so much of what I love in a picture book – some surprises, a intergenerational connection, a sense of wonder, lots of creativity . . . Divine.

The Night Gardener Monday April 11th, 2016

Barnacle is Bored by Jonathan Fenske

This book is so well done. Talking about the story is giving away the story. So I’ll just say this: clever, really funny, perfect read aloud to inspire much conversation about how to look at life.

Barnacle is Bored Monday August 15th, 2016 There's a Book for That

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad

This book of poetry is kind of pure perfection. Julie Morstad’s illustrations. Julie Fogliano‘s beautiful images. I can’t pick a favourite poem. But I have many a favourite line.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

The Sound of Silence written by Katrina Goldsaito and illustrated by Julia Kuo

This book is just incredibly beautiful in its simplicity – the search for silence. One to share and share again. The illustrations are captivating.

the-sound-of-silence

Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

Full of all kinds of fabulous Hatke-esque characters and its star – the Goblin, is one to root for. This will be loved.

nobody-likes-a-goblin

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce just might be my favourite grump. Lots of giggles here.

hotel-bruce2

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle

Oh Flora, you sure can move. And this time with not one, but two, dancing partners. Stunning all around!

Flora and the Peacocks Monday May 30th, 2016 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

Like many, I eagerly anticipated this title. Klassen is so unique. I love the subtle things here. The hints. The suggestions. The not neatly wrapped up ending. The room for readers to do some work.

We Found a Hat

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

Finding Wild written by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Where can you find wild? What is wild to you? Why do we need wild? How is wild beautiful and dangerous all at the same time. Just so full of wow.

Finding Wild Monday May 30th, 2016 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Listzs by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Júlia Sardà (coming in October)

Quirky with gorgeous illustrations and prompts wonderful list making. A great book to share with children who appreciate all the lovely language in the lists. Highly recommended.

the-liszts

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

So very clever. Literal twists and turns! Quite the reading experience exploring the feeling of time’s passage on a road trip.

Are we there Yet?

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Because picture books are especially treasured as they lull us to sleep.

twenty-yawns

 

The Water Princess by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

This might be my favourite title by this author/illustrator pairing. The illustrations here are incredible.

the-water-princess

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Brilliant. So rich with possibilities to share and talk about perspective, self and the world.

they-all-saw-a-cat

Be a Friend by Salina Yoon

Well, I am absolutely smitten. This book speaks of friendship and individuality and acceptance and patience. I am kind of in love.

Be a Friend

Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.

Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

It is November and that means it is Picture Book Month!

Time to read and celebrate all things picture book. For me, it’s the perfect excuse to generate lists!

This week’s list? Picture books that capture the essence of childhood. With actual children in them! When I started looking at some of my favourite picture books, I realized that many of them were actually not about children. Many feature animals (bears are strangely (or not) represented) or a lot of adults. Some are about children but feature animal characters. These can be fantastic and very easy for children to connect to (I’m thinking everything Kevin Henkes does). The ones with “real children” characters can sometimes have heavy themes or be a little too forced. They don’t all ring true. We can’t pluck a character off the page and believe that child could quickly leap into a playground full of children and completely blend in. Or beautifully stand out . . .

Move into chapter books and boom, there are the kids! Marty Macguire. Clementine. Billy Miller. Flora Belle Buckman. William Spiver. Dory Fantasmagory. Piper Green. Nate Foster. Popeye and Elvis. There are no shortage of children behaving like children.

Finding them in picture books? Not as easy. Hence, my list.

These 20 titles are all about kids and all that they are. Childhood and all of the quirky, all of the lovely, all of the human, all of the unique. Sometimes the messy and challenging. Sometimes the sweet and lovely. All of it absolutely honoured and celebrated. These 20 books all hold a special place in my heart.

I would love to know which books you would add to this list and why. Please share in the comments.

Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

On the list because? Children have some interesting, not always sensible, problem solving strategies.

 Stuck Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

The Frank Show by David Mackintosh

On the list because? Kids worry about not being the coolest, the best, the greatest. Even in the Grandparent department.

The Frank Show Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine, written by Allison Wortche and illustrated by Patrice Barton

On the list because? Primary students need to navigate a lot in a day – sometimes doing the most simple of things like growing seeds: envy, friendship, forgiveness, competition

 Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile

On the list because? Little ones have a hard time doing just nothing or even turning off their racing imaginations. Those busy brains are pure delight!

Let's Do nothing Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić

On the list because? Children notice what we should. Especially the very beautiful and amazing things in the world.

The Man with the Violin Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies

On the list because? When given the chance to do the right thing, children usually will. Eventually.

Ben Rides on Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Yuyi Morales wrote and illustrated Niño Wrestles the World

On the list because? Children love to embrace the wild and amazing energy of their heroes.

 Nino Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

On the list because? Being brave sometimes requires a little wisdom from someone who has been around for a while. Or a little magic.

Nana in the City Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Wilfred Gordon Macdonald Partridge  written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas

On the list because? Childhood is about navigating the road between making memories and learning from the memories others share

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Blizzard by John Rocco

On the list because? Snow day after snow day after snow day and the chance to be a hero. Childhood magic!

Blizzard Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford

On the list because? Learning about forgiveness is one of childhood’s most powerful lessons. Often as adults, we still don’t have it figured out.

 Desmond Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Float by Daniel Miyares

On the list because? Children approach rain in the best of ways. All in. Rubber boots, puddle jumping, sailing of boats!

Float Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

On the list because? Little ones have lots and lots of stories to tell. If you don’t ask, they will remind you to.

Ask Me Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

On the list because? Thee is something particularly magical about childhood faith and hope.

Sparky! Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

I’m Bored  written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

On the list because? “I’m Bored!” is a childhood theme song! But “Kids are boring.” Those are fighting words!

I'm Bored Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

On the list because? All children need to have a little piece of Sadie inside of them and have space to let it shine!

This is SadieTwenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Harriet You’ll Drive Me Wild! written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Marla Frazee

On the list because? When you are little, it seems to be all too easy to make parents a little crazy.  Just like that. Pesky is too easy. But forgiving and hugs are part of it all too.

Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

John Patrick Norman McHennessy – the boy who was always late. by John Burningham

On the list because? Everyday holds huge imaginative possibilities. Even if others don’t quite embrace our wild stories, we persist in telling them. And maybe they are true . . .

John Patrick Norman McHennessy – the boy who was always late. Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Millie Fierce by Jane Manning

On the list because? Sometimes when we discover new found ferocity, it takes a little while to tame. Inner strength and big doses of kindness, we need them both.

Millie Fierce Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Singing Away the Dark written by Caroline Woodward  and illustrated by Julie Morstad

On the list because? A lone walk through the woods is a journey of many small moments of bravery. Singing to combat the fear? A perfect strategy.

Singing Away the Dark Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

How I love sharing picture book lists during this month of picture book love!

Happy Picture Book Reading!

pb month logo

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s topic? Top Ten Auto-buy Authors But I kind of switched it up . . .

I approached this theme with some flexibility.  First, I only included picture books. Second, my list is all about illustrators, not authors (although some both illustrate and write their books). And top ten? Nope. I have twenty. But I split it into two lists of ten in order to kind of follow the rules. 🙂 10 + 10 = 20

My top ten lists this week are all about my auto-buy illustrators. These artists help make picture books that are irresistible.

I read a lot, a lot, a lot of picture books. Narrowing these lists down was a challenge!

When it became apparent that I couldn’t limit my list to just ten, I decided to make a list of female illustrators and a list of male illustrators. Both make the best books ever! I am so excited to honour them here. For each illustrator, I have included my favourite (or one of my favourite) books that they have illustrated.

My ten auto-buy female illustrators listed in alphabetical order:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Freya Blackwood illustrated Harry and Hopper I love the scratchy, loose lines and the mood Blackwood creates through shading and colour.

harry and hopper Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Lauren Castillo wrote and illustrated Melvin and the Boy I love Nana and her wonderful cape and thought it was wonderfully Caldecott worthy, but I have such a soft spot for this sweet little book.

Melvin and the Boy Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Marla Frazee illustrated All the World It is so absolutely calming and charming and full of all the world’s memories.

All-the-World Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Emily Hughes wrote and illustrated Wild which I am more than a little wild about

Wild Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Suzy Lee created the wordless treasure Wave I am quite sure these waves are moving across the pages here.

 Wave Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Qin Leng illustrated Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin – there is one page oh so very full of green that I fell in love with.

 Hana Hashimoto Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Yuyi Morales wrote and illustrated Niño Wrestles the World I already loved this title but then I heard Yuyi read it aloud and I was even more smitten. Such joyous energy and escapades in this book!

Nino Wrestles the World Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Julie Morstad’s illustrations in This is Sadie are swoon worthy. Seriously, this cover!

This is Sadie Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

LeUyen Phan absolutely blew me away with The Boy Who Loved Math

 The Boy Who Loved Math Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Erin E. Stead illustrated the stunning  If You Want to See a Whale If you follow this blog you know I have a serious thing for whales. The one in this book? I find it particularly captivating.

If you want to see a whale Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

My ten auto-buy male illustrators listed in alphabetical order

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Jonathan Bean illustrated Bad Bye, Good Bye which I found wonderfully delightful. Look at the expressions conveyed just on the cover.

Bad Bye, Good Bye Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Peter Brown won me over with his book The Curious Garden that he wrote and illustrated. Doesn’t it make you want to go plant a seed or two or twelve in some unexpected places?

Curious Garden Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Oliver Jeffers just keeps making more books. Picking a favourite is challeging. I’m going with The Heart and the Bottle which will tug at your heart.

heart in the bottle Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Jon Klassen is the Caldecott King but it is his illustrations in House Held up by Trees that I find the most incredible.

househeldupbytrees Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

E.B. Lewis has done so many titles that are powerful but his illustrations in My Best Friend might be my favourite.

 My Best Friend Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Patrick McDonnell’s illustrations are so whimsical and full of teeny tiny characters that are very large. South is gentle and lovely.

south Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Christopher Silas Neal’s books with Kate Messner are stunning but it is illustrations in Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives that I want to celebrate here.

 Lifetime Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Mark Pett won a special award in my room for The Girl and the Bicycle during our Mock Caldecott process He sent a very special gift for his number one fan (see below).

The Girl and the Bicycle Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

John Rocco does many wonderful titles. He wrote and illustrated Blackout which is likely my favourite. The blues. The blacks. Wow. Wow. Wow.

 Blackout Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

David Small does the most delicate, detailed drawings for historical fiction titles. I couldn’t choose my favourite. So instead I picked One Cool Friend which I also love.

 One cool Friend Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Who are your auto-buy illustrators? 

Could you choose ten? Or stop at twenty? It’s difficult!

Monday June 1st, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week.  I love this photo of my student reading to his little K buddy. They were sitting in amongst books behind a bookshelf reading together. Calm, content, engaged. I love this photo 🙂

Monday June 1st, 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.

imwayrYard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

When I first heard about this book, I was so very excited. So many of my all time favourite picture books have been written by Eve Bunting. So many of the books I have loved lately have been illustrated by Lauren Castillo. A book with their combined talents? What could be better? Well, that is a loaded question. Certainly, not much could be better. But, I should have anticipated that this amazing talent combined would also mean a whole lot of emotion captured in a picture book experience. Eve Bunting tells such important and raw stories. Lauren Castillo‘s illustrations have a charming, nostalgic, open feel. This book slowly, gently, beautifully delivers. It managed to knock me over by the time I reached the back cover. Full of love, connection and a child’s need for security, this is a beautiful, important book.

 Yard Sale Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Wish by Matthew Cordell

Becoming a parent was not an easy feat for my husband and me. Infertility. Pain. Longing. All of these things were my world for four years. Finally, our second in vitro attempt was successful and now I have 12 year old twins! Honestly, reading this book made that turmoil feel like yesterday and I am teary each time I read this title. However, despite the sad emotions there is so much hope and celebration here. What a special book.

WIsh-Matthew Cordell Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

I so appreciate Matthew Cordell for capturing, so tenderly, the feeling of wishing for that very wanted child.

Water is Water written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Lyrical, informative, and beautiful. This nonfiction picture book is the perfect book to launch a study of water. I think it will be one of the first books I share with my new class in the fall along with many hands on water experiments.

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hippos are Huge! written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Matthew Trueman

I will be sharing this title along with student reviews later this week. A fantastic nonfiction picture book read aloud.

Hippos are huge! Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea

I could rave and rave about this little gem. Suffice it to say as soon as I finished reading this title aloud, my class felt compelled to write notes to the author begging for more from Sparkles and Ballet Cat!

 Ballet Cat Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

 Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

No 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke

This illustrated chapter book is ideal for younger readers but better still I think, a perfect read aloud for a Grade 1-3 class early in the year. Much to love in this title: the unique characters, the entertaining dynamics and the beautiful setting of Africa. So very, very good.

No1_Car_Spotter Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Early on I wasn’t so sure about this novel. There was nasty middle grade interactions that made me absolutely cringe. Cruelty, insensitivity, racism. Miserable stuff. But midway through, I began to love the friendship developing between Apple and Evan. Evan is a kid I wish existed in every school – so many young people need him to help navigate the social world that can be so cruel. He approaches it with wise perspective and personal strength. He’s just plain smart and really right on so many levels. Lots to think about and talk about in this debut novel.

Blackbird Fly Monday June 1st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 27/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 205/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 11/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 44/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 20/50 books read

Up next? I am delighted to be once again reading Deborah Wiles: Love, Ruby Lavender

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection

There are so many beautiful picture books out there in the world.

Books make lovely gifts that become part of a family’s story world.

So how to choose?

Board books always make wonderful gifts but so do picture books that will be part of a child’s collection of read again and again stories. Not every book gift needs to be given thinking only about babyhood and the first few years. Give a book that can be grown into. A book that tells a story families will want to share repeatedly. Stories to be savoured and talked about and wondered about.

These suggestions have a definite theme of being in the moment and noticing the world – the big moments, the small things, the important feelings. Because childhood soars by. These titles remind us to experience it as fully as we can.

Here are 20 titles I would gift new parents and why they need to be on the family book shelf:

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Listed in alphabetical order by author.

Yard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

No matter what the journey, no matter what is possessed along the way, family matters most of all.

 Yard Sale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Facing fears is a lot easier with a Nana by your side. I love what this book says about home, family and the wisdom of grandparents.

Nana in the City Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

Simple and reassuring. The power of walking in the neighbourhood: being, noticing, connecting.

A Good Night Walk Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing.

Last Stop on Market Street Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Snatchabook written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty

This book reminds us that everyone needs to be read to. A life with bedtime stories is rich indeed.

The Snatchabook Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

A book about a problem that needs solving and having wonderfully, persistently, kind intentions.

 Hank Finds an Egg Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

The ins and outs of waiting. And wondering. And hoping. Patience is underrated in life but celebrated in this beautiful little book.

If you want to see a whale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries. Four Families. One Delicious Treat. written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

An opportunity to talk about cooking together over time. Tradition. Changes. Savouring of sweet treats.

A Fine Dessert Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Read this book early and often and send the message – our life is going to be a life where we are surrounded by books and reading and all of the magic that will guarantee.

 The Fantastic Flying Books Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

What is at eye level for our little ones? Flowers and many other interesting things. Children notice many things and give so freely.

Sidewalk Flowers Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Wave by Suzy Lee

There is nothing like the joy of a big expanse of beach and the waves that roll in and out. This wordless book captures all of the all the excitement, fear and wonder of a child’s beachside experience.

 Wave Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski 

Such a beautiful book for those who appreciate the soothing power of bedtime books. Sleep is a wonderful thing!

Sleep Like a Tiger Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Sadie is enchanting. She embraces life – both the real and the imagined parts with gusto. Wonderful connections to favourite book characters.

This is Sadie Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

There is kindness and then there is putting others’ happiness before your own. Kindness between siblings is very special.

 The Girl and the Bicycle Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

I Wish You More written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld 

This book captures hope and love in a sweet, endearing way.

I Wish You More Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Blackout by John Rocco

Time. Time together. Time together as a first priority. This book reminds us of how very important this is. Because everything can get in the way. But only if you let it . . .

 Blackout Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

All the World  written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Simple rhyming text pays tribute to the small simple things our world has to offer like a tomato blossom or a fire to take away a chill.

All-the-World Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

A wonderful story about siblings, mistakes, owning up and doing what’s right.

 Three Bears in a Boat Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

This is an important story of what we miss by not being in the moment. How many beautiful experiences are lost on us as we rush through our days?

The Man with the Violin Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Happy by Mies van Hout

What could be better than a bright and bold celebration of our emotions?

Happy Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful 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

 

 

 

Monday December 22nd, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is this picture of two girls buddy reading together at the carpet. I loved watching them take turns reading pages and making predictions about the story.

Monday December 22nd, 2014 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

Warning: This post contains a lot of picture books! I tried to only feature my favourites of the week. I had a lot of favourites! I will try to be very brief in my commentary.

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Picture book perfection. LOVE this title and everything it says about home and family.

Nana in the City Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Blizzard by John Rocco

A title full of different things for different readers – nostalgia for a different, simpler time, adventure imagined, celebration of family and neighbourhood and just plain wow of winter and weather. Rocco is fast becoming one of my very favourite book creators.

Blizzard Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Lion vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer

Just saying, this is one clever rabbit. And he is more than he seems. Lots of layers to this story.

Lion vs Rabbit Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Songs of the Water Boatman written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

Come to the pond and experience it like you have never imagined through vivid images, fascinating facts and gorgeous illustrations.

Songs of the Water Boatman Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Illustrations to get lost in, absolutely stunning. Fascinating to have a glimpse into the thinking and passions of Roget. Inspires list making of many kinds. Looking forward to sharing this with my students.

The Right Word Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The next four picture books were donated to Seymour School by author Hiromi Goto – I was able to take them home to read before they become part of our collection in January. Thank you Hiromi!

Wow Wow and Haw Haw George written by George Murray and illustrated by Michael Pittman

An adaptation of a Celtic legend. Enjoyed the colour palette, the connection to nature and the pacing of the story. I know this will be a hugely engaging read aloud.

Wow Wow and Haw Haw Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World by Celia Godkin 

I am a big fan of Godkin’s information story books. I always learn many new things and this book was no exception.

Skydiver- Saving the Fastest Bird in the World Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Tweedles Go Electric written by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Marie Lafrance 

Lots of fun with the energetic and charismatic Tweedles and their choices that were very much ahead of their time. History. “Green” priorities. Charming energy to this one!

The Tweedles Go Electric Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress written by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Isabelle Malefant 

A title about diversity and gender stereotypes. Perfect title to spark discussions about acceptance, individuality and classroom community.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack

Never expected a bed time story about the joy of the read aloud to begin with a duck in the fridge and end with a household full of animals and the power of a story!

Duck in the Fridge Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

A Piece of Cake by LeUyen Pham

On route to visit his friend, mouse trades away all of the pieces of cake he was planning to deliver. No worries, some more trades can happen to find some ingredients to bake a new cake! Loved how the “offerings” on route back to make a cake were not the ones you would have suspected. Clever.

A Piece of Cake Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

this ORQ (he cave boy) written by David Elliot and illustrated by Lori Nichols 

A “child wants pet” “parent says no” story from “cave people time” Absolutely adorable.

this ORQ (He Cave Boy) Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Flat Rabbit by Bárður Oskarsson

You know, I like this book – almost gave it a higher rating but thought intended audiences – children-  might not know what to do with this title. Is that because we protect them from such subjects (death)? Not sure. There is something honest and real about this book. And the end, though abrupt on first read, is then somehow full of our fragility. Not many picture books allow the characters to just not really know. And leave it there . . .

The Flat Rabbit Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy 

Incredible. Sharks are probably the most terrifying of all creatures to me and yet I found myself fascinated and full of questions reading this book.

 Neighborhood Sharks Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

In other reading:

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman

Ideal to read and discuss a chapter at a time. Eastern philosophy bound up for the very young.

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Super Lexi is not a Fan of Christmas by Emma Lesko

This series featuring Lexi by Emma Lesko is an important addition to our school and classroom libraries. Lexi reminds us that kids are unique, we can support them with flexibility and that we all have something to teach each other. I like how this story gives kids permission to find the holiday “hoopla” varying degrees of overwhelming! Realistic school setting and nice job with friendship dynamics.

Super Lexi is Not a Fan of Christmas Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle

I have discovered so many beautiful novels in verse as of late. This title, by Engle, inspired by her Grandmother is full of courage, family and a rich history.

Wild Book Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye

I finally picked this book up after weeks of setting it aside and enjoyed its conclusion. Quiet pace and some beautiful images – a story of a young boy and his strong connection to his grandfather.

The Turtle of Oman Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by Shane W. Evans 

A truly beautiful and important book. Highly recommended. Another novel in verse –  heavy in loss and anguish, light in hope and dreams of new possibilities.

the red pencil Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? I am reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray I have a huge list beyond this! Likely after this I will be balancing thin with thick novels in my TBR pile trying to reach my goal of 100 novels by 2015! Hopelessly ambitious, that’s me!

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 83/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 591/650 books read (41 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 136/65 complete

 

Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

Well, it’s a new month. Teachers in B.C. still don’t have a contract. Not sure when a pay cheque with my name on it is ever coming my way again . . . Sigh.

So I am making another picture book wish list! (July’s version is here) It’s supposed to be helping me not want to buy books for my classroom. (It doesn’t!) It does help me stay convinced that picture books are one of the best things in life. They bring much joy. Joy that is multiplied with rereads.  🙂

So, this month’s picture book dreaming includes these ten titles (some not yet released)

Knock Knock My Dad’s Dream for Me written by Daniel Beaty with illustrations by Bryan Collier (December 2013)

Loss. Hope. Upset. Deep love. All in 32 beautiful pages. I can’t recover from this book. I think I need to own it. And read it to children and let their responses and observations work their magic.

Knock Knock My Dad's Dream for Me Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

Flight School by Lita Judge (April 2014)

Seriously, I can’t get over how adorable this little penguin is – the turned in toes, the aviator glasses, the multi-coloured feathers (would be wings). And that he claims he has the soul of an eagle? Melt.

Flight School Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

The Grudge Keeper written by Mara Rockliff with illustrations by Eliza Wheeler (April 2014)

Work with seven, eight and nine year olds and you experience drama – small things can become big things quickly. We work to keep perspective. A book that allows us to think about holding on when we should be letting go, about forgiveness and the power of blame. Yes, please. One for us.

 The Grudge Keeper Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett (April 2014)

I am still in awe of just how brilliant The Boy and the Airplane was. Some say that they like this title more. And “well done wordless”? It is a weakness of mine . . .

The Girl and the Bicycle Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

Julia, Child written by Kyo Maclear with illustrations by Julie Morstad  (July, 2014)

Read it. Loved it. Left it at the bookstore. Now I keep thinking about the potential as a read aloud. How it would inspire children to conjure up recipes and concoctions for helping adults stay true to what’s important. Can’t you just imagine? The writing. The list making. The art. Oh. Oh. I am so easily convinced.

Julia, Child Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

My Teacher is a Monster (No, I am Not) by Peter Brown (July 2014)

September is around the corner. We all need some laughs. And oh how I adore Peter Brown!

 My Teacher is a Monster Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo (September 2014)

My Mom is one funky, energetic Nini (what my children started calling her and it stuck) who adores her grandchildren. I love stories with relationships that span the generations. I love the spunk of those a little wiser and more experienced and the adventures they can invite little ones to join. I also love every illustration by Lauren Castillo. Clearly, this book is meant for me.

Nana in the City Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle (September 2014)

Because really – graceful penguins and Flora? We loved pink and flamingoes. Can’t wait for blues and a little ice.

Flora and the Penguin Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (September 2014)

I just love how this sounds. Don’t you want to own a house by the sea and fill it with creatures when you need to spice up your world. Noisy, odd creatures? All the better!

 Julia's House for Lost Creatures Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

A Perfectly Messed up Story by Patrick McDonnell (October 2014)

Well, first, Patrick McDonnell is brilliant. Second, we all need to embrace mess a little more. Stories – the writing, the reading and the telling don’t always go as planned. That’s the beauty of them, after all.

A Perfectly Messed up Story Picture Book Wish List: August 2014

 

As I have said before, wish lists are a safe bet. They only become dangerous when we put them in our pocket. Which I am not going to do . . . Really.

What picture books are you dreaming about?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday February 18th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join up to Kellee and Jen’s meme and share what you have been reading from picture books to young adult novels.

I enjoyed many picture books this week. It seems many had a theme of friendship. Also dogs graced many a page and the name Hopper kept cropping up. Who knows why these things happen?

The Lonely Moose by John Segal Sometimes we think we don’t need friends. But once we’ve begun to enjoy the company of another, life can be pretty lonely once we are alone again. This is what this lovely little picture book explores.

the lonely moose

The Reader written by Amy Hest and illustrated by  Lauren Castillo I adore Castillo’s illustrations. Amy Hest never misses. Books, companionship and a snow day. This book is a wonderful nostalgic little read. The most clever thing of all? Calling the little boy the reader throughout the story. It just gives this story a whole other level.

the reader

Hopper and Wilson by Maria Van Lieshout I think there can never be too many picture books about friendship. So I was delighted to find another.

hopper-and-wilson

Harry and Hopper written by  Margaret Wild and illustrated by Freya Blackwood I am fast becoming a huge fan of Freya Blackwood’s illustrations. I love the scratchy, loose lines and the mood she creates through shading and colour. This book tackles themes of grief and a pet dying. It is done in a gentle, sweet way that respects everyone’s process.

harry and hopper

Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates Great message – that art, doodling. drawing can tell a story, allow for creativity and challenge the imagination.

dog loves drawing

You by Stephen Michael King I have a soft spot for Stephen Michael King’s illustrations. (Leaf is one of my favourites) A book that celebrates all of us.

you

Mirror Mirror written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse Beyond clever. I have been sharing these poems with my reading group and we read each poem multiple times just being in awe how reversing words and changing phrasing alters everything.

Mirror_Mirror

Some nonfiction titles:

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by  Brian Selznick I read this title to my own children. We have all read all of Selznick’s books so were excited to see his illustrations here (Caldecott honour worthy and all!) We were intrigued by how Hawkins made models of dinosaurs without having all of the definitive details that would be later discovered. Part of a story about the quest to “recreate” dinosaurs that we just didn’t know.

Waterhouse Hawkins

How the Dinosaur got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland We actually read this before The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins – it gave us all of the vocabulary to understand what is involved in erecting a dinosaur skeleton. Fascinating! And time consuming! Reading it with my children, we turned it into a memory game 🙂 Each time I got to the by the _______, I would pause and see who remembered the title! An excerpt:

“chiseled from the stone by the EXCAVATORS,
authenticated by the PALEONTOLOGIST,
and searched for by the DINOSAUR HUNTER.”

HowTheDino

I Have the Right to be a Child written by Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty Such an accessible book for children to learn about the rights of children everywhere. Gorgeously illustrated.

I have the right to be a child

I finished two novels this week:

Anything but Typical written by Nora Raleigh Baskin Is this cover not just absolutely stunning? Loved pausing in this book just to stare at it. A fantastic middle grade read narrated by a boy with autism. Themes of family, friendship and identity. So much to this story. Baskin weaves many stories into this one vulnerable tale. It is challenging enough to fit in as a preteen, what happens when you are autistic and your very reactions to the world guarantee you stand out?

anything-but-typical

Fourmile written by Watt Key This book manages to be both all about the characters and yet it doesn’t scrimp on action. There is always something going on – even under the surface of the simplest and mundane tasks like painting a fence. Sometimes the goings on are dramatic and frightening. Steeped in hurt, pain and longing, this story also reveals the vulnerability and strength in the characters. While, the main character is a twelve year old boy, some of the disturbing scenes might make this more of a young adult read. Or a middle grade . . .  with caution. I continue to love this author after first reading Alabama Moon and being blown away.

Fourmile

Next up? Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz