Monday June 26th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a  reading photo of the week. Here are a few from the past week.

A row of readers.

Monday June 26th, 2017Getting comfy.Monday June 26th, 2017Pouring over I Yam a Donkey! during buddy reading.Monday June 26th, 2017#classroombookaday photos. I have a few to share! We have explored lots of themes in this last month!

So, I have been missing in action here for about a month. Lots of reasons – all about being busy, busy, busy. My daughter’s dance year end show and competitive season has been a very enjoyable full on commitment (involving many full weekends). Any extra time has been about the year end stuff – report cards, class organizations, supporting friends who are switching jobs. And . . . I have been filling my own fitness schedule with lots of dance – Zumba classes, an Adult Hip Hop and a month ago, I started Adult Tap. So much fun! I took years of tap dancing when I was a child and it is all coming back to me. I am looking forward to a summer full of dance, gardening and reading catch up. Hurrah for the #bookaday challenge.

Other relevant news – I am returning to my primary roots and will be teaching Grade 3 again in the fall. Very excited to transform my room from a Grade 4/5 class back to a primary room. Especially excited to once again, work on the classroom library!

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 2015Books I enjoyed:

Dragon was Terrible written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Absolutely charming and ever so naughty, this dragon. I am now on the lookout for a classroom copy of this book. Who can tame this dragon? It is no easy feat. But the journey is beyond hysterical!

Give Me Back my Book! by Travis Foster and Ethan Long

Two friends argue over one green book. As their argument progresses, the reader learns all about the components of a book and enjoys some humorous twists. 

Goldfish Ghost written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Lisa Brown

This title might be passed over by some as a little too out there and dark. I think it is quietly clever and speaks to some important themes: the cycle of life, belonging and companionship. A Well Mannered Young Wolf written by Jean Leroy and illustrated by Matthieu Maudet

It seems that good manners do not serve wolves very well. Loved this one!

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Oh, how I want this title for my Grade 3 classroom library this fall! Juana does NOT love learning English or a bunch of other things. But she also is very specific about what she does love. All is detailed in this wonderfully illustrated early chapter book. Hoping for more of Juana in the future!

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

How I adore Alex Petroski – an 11 year old who records his world on his iPod to sent into space to show what Earth is really like. His journey to capture the essence of Earth reveals all the details of his vulnerable and complicated existence. HIGHLY, highly recommended!

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

A young adult realistic fiction read. Two sisters. Two parents that haven’t delivered. A lot of pain, neglect and figuring it out. My fourteen year old loved this one.

The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey

Shane has moved to a new city with his Mom and his classmates at his new school only know him as Shane, a baseball playing guy in middle school. But Shane’s past surfaces and how he navigates the upset and stressors of this is handled so believably. An important book for our school and classroom libraries – this one about a trans child transitioning from female to male.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 29/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 139/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 36 books behind schedule (yikes!)

#MustReadin2017: 15/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 21/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 23/50 books read

Up Next? I have a stack of novels from the library and am part way through If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Wrapped up in shades of black and grey

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

Here in B.C. we have been experiencing some dark, rainy days. Daylight savings means we just found an extra hour of light in the morning but our afternoons disappear into evening black far too soon. Yet darkness is not all about doom and gloom. It also means cozy, long stretches to read or bustle about inside. Darkness can pull us together for seasons of celebration and special events or provide us with solitude for introspection and calm. Bright is beautiful but so is dark. Whether we seek out the mystery and unexpected or the opportunity to settle into the quiet.

All of the dark has got me thinking about picture book covers. I started a list to see if I could come up with a number of titles that come specially wrapped in blacks and greys. My list ran off the page and I realized that many of my favourite books reside here. Is it just me or is there a certain elegance to these titles?

When you need a break from the bright, pick up one of these beautiful books.

25 titles to swoon over.

Wrapped up in Shades of Black and Grey There's a Book for That

Listed alphabetically by author.

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

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Gleam and Glow written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Peter Sylvada

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

The Black Book of Colors written by Menana Cottin and illustrated by Rosana Faría

Nighttime Ninja written by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young

Willaboughy and the Moon by Greg Foley

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

I Know a Bear by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

This is not my Hat by Jon Klassen

In the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Our King has Horns! written by Richard Pevear and illustrated by Robert Rayevsky

Big Bad Bubble written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

The Dark written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Swan written by Laurel Synder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien

Friends by Mies van Hout 

Happy by Mies van Hout

Surprise by Mies van Hout 

Ten Birds by Cybele Young

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

Happy Picture Book Reading!

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Picture Books that celebrate courage

To celebrate Picture Book Month I have been sharing a variety of picture books and the conversations I am having about them with my students, my children and others. This post is a kind of conversation with my self. I am reading the novel Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt to my own children and it often comes up that Doug, the main character, has to be brave in so many ways.

How do picture books depict bravery? Courage? Conviction? Strength?

In, oh, so many ways . . .

Each of these titles features a character who comes face to face with fear, who takes a risk, who stands up or stands out. Each book is full of inspiration.

Ten of my favourites:

Picture Books that celebrate courage Twenty titles There's a Book for That

And ten more:

Picture Books that celebrate courage Twenty titles There's a Book for That

Twenty Picture Books that celebrate courage:

Those Shoes written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed

Ruby’s Wish written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Willow Finds a Way written by Lana Button illustrated by Tania Howells

Bird Child written by Nan Forler and illustrated by François Thisdale

The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman

Sheila Rae, the Brave written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Spuds written by Karen Hesse and illustrated by Wendy Watson

Soccer Star written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Renato Alarcão 

Across the Alley written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Creepy Carrots written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

The Dark written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Hello, my Name is Ruby by Phillip C Stead 

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

Suki’s Kimono written by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

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

What picture book titles on this theme would you share? I would love to hear your favourites!

Happy Picture Book Month!

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Monday September 29th, 2014

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. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

Picture book love overflowed. Ten favourites from the week:

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

I will admit that I coveted this book from first just the title and then, once revealed, the cover. Yes, of course, because I adore Marla Frazee but also because . . . what a cover. It hints at mystery and strange happenings and . . . ? This book could have been so many stories. If you haven’t yet experienced it, don’t you have numerous story lines floating about in your head? It surprised me with its tenderness, the sweet, the kind. All the more amazing of course, because it is wordless. I cannot wait to experience this next through children’s eyes when I share it with my class.

the farmer and the clown Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

My, my, my, my. What a package of brilliance and wonder and beauty. A quiet forest walk in the dark with highlights of little bits of magic. Amusing. Beautiful. Wow. And wordless . . . Yet, I imagine this in children’s hands and all I hear is natter, natter, natter.

Flashlight Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Best Book in the World by Rilla Alexander

All about the journey that books take us on – how it is somewhat endless and circular and full of all kinds of wonderful.

the best book in the world Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Catching Kisses written by Amy Gibson and illustrated by Maria Van Lieshout

Love these illustrations in a very big way. Gorgeous visually all around. A book that is comforting, soothing and about the power of connection.

catching kisses Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Once Upon a Memory written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Renata Liwska

Ode to memories and inspiration for dreaming up more. The perfect book to inspire a list, a discussion, a story . . .

 Once Upon a Memory Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Rock-A-Bye Room written by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Amy Bates

I found this at the library and instantly wished I could read it multiple times to a near sleep toddler – it is the perfect bedtime book. If I find it in board book version, I will buy multiple copies to gift to new parents. Just lovely all around.

Rock a bye room Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

And Two Boys Booed written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

I love books that capture what it is like to be courageous in everyday moments. This is one of the best.

And Two Boys Booed Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Rain Stomper written by Addie Boswell and illustrated by Eric Velasquez

I am not really sure how it is that I haven’t celebrated this book before – considering it is all about finding ways to embrace the rain and I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest. But now that I have, let me rave. This is all about powerful language, great energy and the magic of a community of children and a rainy day. Delightful.

the rain stomper Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Ladybug Girl and Bingo by David Soman and Jacky Davis

Every time I read a LadyBug Girl title, I become more enamoured with these lovely stories and the incredible illustrations by Soman. In this title, Ladybug Girl has some big time camping adventures with her beloved dog Bingo. Of course, adventures can seem big or small according to your perspective on the world . . .

LadyBug Girl and Bingo Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Lisa Brown

I know for sure that some people will just not like this book. It is odd. It doesn’t necessarily make sense. It can be considered confusing. For me though, it is quite brilliant. Takes me right back to being a child and imagining wild and wonderful things about perhaps the most ordinary of places. Or perhaps not . . .

29 Myths Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read a sweet little beginning chapter book:  Squishy McFluff The Invisible Cat by Pip Jones and illustrated by Ella Okstad

Love the rhymes and often I don’t like rhymes. This rhyming text allows for a smoother read and predictability with the text. Lots of naughty here. Is it our darling Ava up to no good? Or her sneaky invisible kitty?

Squishy McFluff Monday September 29th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have been switching novels around a little bit and have now settled into The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 62/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 441/650 books read (currently 40 books behind which is actually progress! Last week it was 54!)

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 107/65 complete

Monday April 8th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share what you have been reading from picture books to young adult titles!

It’s been about three weeks where I have just not been to the bookstore or the library and sourced out picture books I loved. Well, back to school hit along with a very productive trip to the bookstore and I have some new to me titles to highlight this week! 

In the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dusan Petricic I think Larsen is able to share some quite lovely moments between family members in his picture books (like the girl and her Poppa in The Imaginary Garden). This book has beautiful moments between brothers – those endless play days and nights that seem to not have an end during our childhood. But there is also the loneliness when one sibling enters a new stage and doesn’t have as much time for family. Yet certain things happen to bring everything back to what it should be and we realize the strength of family connection. This story, like John Rocco‘s Blackout, delivers the magic of what happens in a neighbourhood and in a family when all of the lights go out. And . . .  Dusan Petricic . . . so you know, it’s going to be wonderful!

in the tree house

Friends by Mies van Hout I literally leaped when I saw this title in the bookstore – as I adore Happy done in a similar style. I used that title to inspire some wonderful fish art of our own earlier in the year:

IMG_5831

Can’t wait to see what this book might inspire! What adorable little monsters.

Friends_Opmaak 1

The Dark written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen I made a trip to the bookstore this weekend precisely to purchase this title. Klassen is the perfect illustrator for this book – he brings so much depth and emotion – fear, wonder, mystery – to black sections of a page. The concept is very clever – the dark is given full presence as more than an entity but an actual character. And if you have been reading reviews and wonder about that page of many words, I found this interview with the book’s editor very interesting.

The-Dark

Unspoken A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole I finally experienced this amazing title. What a story is told through these striking images. Much to discuss. Much to think about quietly. Loved this book.

unspoken

Tree Ring Circus by Adam Rex Many things end up in a very curious tree. Fun illustrations but it is the rhythmic and whimsical language that make this book a hit. I read a portion out loud and this book travelled through my class like wildfire. It begs to be read aloud.

treeringcircus

And one sweet little board book: Big and Small by Guido Van Genechten A lovely search and find – perfect to share with our K buddies when they come for buddy reading.

big and small

I have so many books on the go, that I didn’t end up finishing any novels but am sure enjoying the three books I am reading! My children and I are fully into The Runaway King and loving it! I just started Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan with my student book club. This is a reread for me and can’t wait to discuss it with the group. I am almost done One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Oh these little girls, what characters. How did I not read this book sooner?

Hope to have more novels on next Monday’s What are you reading post!