Monday March 12th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Does it get any better than Dogman? For this little reader, nope, it really doesn’t.

Our #classroombookaday titles were all about celebrating Kevin Henkes!

Classroom Highlights 

We have been exploring the question: How did living things begin? by reading this wonderful book.

We were then inspired to create a mural of the beginning of life in the ocean 1.7 to 2 billion years ago. We will continue learning this week.

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:

Swimming with Seals written by Maggie de Vries and illustrated by Janice Kun

There is such a story here. This book resonates deeply as I think about all of the students I have taught who have been raised by grandparents. For all of the complicated reasons that this book hints at and then some. I teared up in the bookstore. Beautiful illustrations. A very personal story for de Vries – be sure to read the author’s note.

Florette by Anna Walker

If you love growing plants or simply wish you could, this book is a teeny bit of paradise. What happens when you need to leave your garden behind when you come to the city? Maybe, just maybe, there is a way to find green.

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon with illustrations by Lee White

Katie is kind of brilliant. That wheelbarrow full of trees over time makes a huge difference on a windy hill for a solitary man.

There’s a Bug on My Arm that Won’t Let Go by David Mackintosh

Wacky and wonderful.

Petra by Marianna Coppo

Petra is a little rock with big vision. Super cute.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki

Wow. The colours here. Poetic and lovely. I understand the early Caldecott buzz.

Don’t Throw It to Mo! written by David A Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks

Love these little titles for beginning readers. Mo is pretty adorable.

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats (King & Kayla, #1) written by Dori Hillestad Butler with illustrations by Nancy Meyers

I am SO excited about this mystery series! Many of my students couldn’t wait to read this one. Dog lovers and mystery lovers will tear through these pages of this early chapter book title.

Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon

I might have just made a special trip to the book store for this one and then read it that very night. Oh Dory, how I adore you! In this book, Dory has a loose tooth and you can just imagine her tooth fairy hopes and dreams.

Counting Sheep (Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet #2) by Jacqueline Kelly

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this historical fiction transitional chapter book series featuring Calpurnia Tate from the novel I loved. Well written and totally engaging. I can’t wait to share this one with my students and plan to purchase the other titles in the series.

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green

A Schneider Family Book award winner – this is what drew me to this MG verse novel. I started and didn’t stop reading until the final page. This book is so very special. Macy discovers the power of stories as she has to reimagine her own during a personal time of change. Full of lovely things – books, gardens, wise women and delicious cookies.

We are Okay by Nina LaCour (YA)

Sad and powerful. Absolutely beautifully written.

Up next: I am still reading The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley as I picked up a lot of other titles this week and started reading . . .

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 10/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 7/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 65/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 8 books ahead

#MustReadin2018: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 7/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 8/40 books read

Monday December 23rd, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?IMWAYR

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. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

A favourite comment I received last week was from Elisabeth Ellington who after reading that I had had a week full of 2/5 and 3/5 books, wrote:

Enjoy your week! Hope it’s filled with 5/5 books!

Such a lovely wish and I am happy to report that it certainly was a week full of wonderful books! And so, please pardon the large number I will be sharing here – I narrowed it to my ten favourite picture books of the week!

I had a lot of book celebration this week. Earlier in the week I met my Chapter Book Challenge goal and finished my 95th novel of the year! (Now I am going to try to reach 100 by the 31st! Thankful for the #bookaday challenge!) And this morning I completed my Goodreads goal of 625 books read this year! Now I have just one more reading challenge – to read the last 2 titles on my list of My Must Read Novels of 2013. These two titles are on my shelf as I type ready to be devoured by December 31st! Much to celebrate 🙂

I feel grateful for the wonderful #IMWAYR community that makes celebrating reading such a priority. Such a honour to be part of this passionate community of readers.

So . . . back to the books! My top ten picture books of the week:

These first 6 titles are all about finding joy, honouring acceptance and celebrating calm. It is an understatement when I say the last few weeks in my classroom have been challenging. These books all found me at just the right time.

Red Sled by Lita Judge

A little red sled brings an evening of adventure for some adorable forest creatures. Basically wordless except for the delicious sound effects

Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch

Gadung Gadung Gadung Gadung


My children and I Ioved the illustration of the porcupine clutching on to the antlers. Delightful!

Red Sled #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Homer by Elisha Cooper

I don’t have a dog. But this book is not just a dog lover’s book. It is also a book about family. About spending happy time. About waiting for everyone to return and about knowing someone is waiting. Love, love, love Cooper’s soothing illustrations.

Homer #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes

A funny little bird who learns to appreciate his “invisibility” as an asset rather than a deficit. Unique. Definite book I want to share with a group of children to see what is discussed.

 A funny little bird #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Augustus and his Smile by Catherine Rayner

Stunning bold black lines on the gorgeous Augustus. This tiger discovers in his smile, the simple hidden happiness we carry with us always as long as we let it in. An important message about how we all navigate the world.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

All in a Day written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Nikki McClure

Truly a book that highlights the importance of being mindful – of understanding that each day is a gift of multiple small and meaningful moments. Would be wonderful to share with All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee.

 All in a Day #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Whimsy’s Heavy Things by Julie Kraulis

A quirky little title I have never heard of – a true find at my public library. Some fairly hefty themes here of facing what weighs us down, of rethinking obstacles and finding ways to cope with what is heavy in our lives. Much to ponder. I am still thinking about how I might share this with a class.

whimsy's heavy things #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Other titles I loved:

Toot & Puddle – Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie

I am always a sucker for Toot and Puddle. The comforts and coziness of home are always depicted in the most soothing of ways by Hobbie. Thinking about Christmas gifts. Quiet time. A beautiful winter ski through freshly fallen snow. A beautiful holiday book!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Spuds written by Karen Hesse and illustrated by Wendy Watson

A serious title in many ways. A family who has little has each other and big plans. Maybelle leads her two younger siblings into the night and into Kenney’s potato field. The children dig up potatoes and drag them home. When they arrive and stack their loot on the kitchen floor, they have quite a surprise.

Spuds #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Sophie’s Fish written by A.E. Cannon and illustrated by Lee White

This is a hilarious story that grows more and more funny and finishes with a bang. Jake has huge worries about looking after Sophie’s fish Yo-Yo. Why, oh why, did he agree to take care of him in the first place? Do fish need stories read aloud? Do you need to play games with them? What if they cry? My, oh, my the things to wonder about. The last page of this book makes it absolutely awesome! Such fun.

Sophie's fish #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Long, Long Line by Tomoko Ohmura

What a wonderful book for the younger set – a great way to learn animal names. Amusing. Interesting. Lots to look at on every page. What is this line up for? An amusement ride you certainly were not expecting! And one younger readers will want to visit again and again!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Novels I finished:

The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

I finished this sequel to The Emerald Atlas with my children as a read aloud. Hugely suspenseful. Full of adventure, mystery, intense drama and intrigue. The perfect family read aloud. We are eagerly anticipating the third book in this trilogy which now finally has a release date!

The Fire Chronicle #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Crossed by Ally Condie

I don’t often get to read a trilogy one title after another but that is exactly what I am doing with this set of YA dystopian titles by Ally Condie. And it’s kind of great! Matched hooked me with the characters and philosophical questions. Crossed is full of much more adventure, drama and survival – a perfect set up for the third novel which I am just about to start. 

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

What’s next? My children and I are reading Rump by Liesl Shurtliff  I have launched into the final book in the Matched trilogy, Reached by Ally Condie. I then plan to read the last two titles on my Must Read for 2013 list: The Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom by Christopher Healy and The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Happy reading and Happy holidays to all!