Monday, November 18th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


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! This is always my favourite way to discover what to read next.

The picture books I enjoyed this week:

999 Tadpoles written by Ken Kimura and illustrated by Yasunari Murakami

My, oh my, a lot can certainly happen on route from one pond to another. The illustrations in this book are highly engaging – it’s a lot of fun to imagine what 999 growing tadpoles might look like. The story is not that complex but it is an amusing book to let students explore. What happens when one pond becomes too small and very cautious Parent Frogs need to move their quite humongous family to a bigger water hole?

999 Tadpoles #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague

My students were delighted by this very charming version of the classic Three Little Pigs story. Student reviews are shared here. We particularly loved the clever third pig and how she handles both the wolf and her not so focussed siblings.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Oscar’s Half Birthday by Bob Graham

There isn’t a huge amount of story here, no action filled plot. Rather there is a whole lot of moment. Family. Time together. Celebration. A Park. A picnic. Lots of community. And . . . love the multiethnic parents depicted! Takes me back to the slower pace of having little ones still in babyhood.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dream Friends by You Byun 

I had to read this title twice as the first time I was just entranced by the illustrations. A sweet little story about dream friends and the challenges for shy children to connect with others. Would love to read this with a young class and see the reaction.

Dream Friends #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Picture books I LOVED:

Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco

So first, I adore John Rocco. Second, a few pages in is an illustration of our big haired hero and his equally hair blessed friends marching across the page as “unstoppable!” Wow. And then the “station wagon capture” scene. Maybe this took me back to my own childhood full of those boat like station wagons, bell bottoms and big hair . . . Yes, this book definitely had the nostalgia advantage. But, I also loved the story of a little guy who equated his hair with superpowers and sees the world as a series of adventures and rescues where heroes fare best. Truly sweet. Big points for the illustrations. Would love to see another Caldecott next to Rocco’s name for this!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers

This title gets full points for its highly appealing “revision” to make a book absolutely kid appreciated. Mind you, not just kid, as my husband read it and instantly wanted to buy a copy for his father for Christmas! It is the creative license that this book celebrates – the humour, the scribbles, the reinventing of a character . . . that I love. Also worth noting – I showed the book trailer to my class and they ask me about 15 times a day if I have bought the book yet! (Can’t wait to book talk this tomorrow and let this book loose into the hands of my classroom full of readers who will energetically devour it!) I think this book delivers the message that we can all be writers and imagine characters that we can bring to life. SO MUCH FUN.

BattleBunny #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I have also been reading through some new purchases for my “almost ready for chapter book” set.

Mr. Putter and Tabby See the Stars by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

I remember reading many Mr. Putter titles when my children were younger and have a real soft spot for all of these characters! This book gives Mr. Putter’s tummy a starring role. Oh what midnight walks do for the digestion!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

I giggled through this entire story of Mr. Putter in his long socks and baggy shorts doing his training for a Senior’s Run. Very funny.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa Spring Babies by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Betsy Lewin

One of my little readers so loved the first Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa title. She read it to me. She read it to the principal. She keeps it in her book box as a kind of treasure. These early readers are a perfect stepping stone to longer chapter books. This title is particularly wonderful to let children explore the miracle of babies on a farm.

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished and loved Living with Jackie Chan by the brilliant Jo Knowles

Knowles just has vulnerability and raw emotion down. I was one of those readers of Jumping Off Swings that wanted to know more about Josh. This novel certainly delivered. A beautiful story of family, of healing, of facing mistakes and figuring it all out (sort of). Loved all of the characters in this story. Now my only problem is that I’ve read every book Knowles has written. Looking forward to anything else she might do!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I just started reading If you Find Me, a YA novel by Emily Murdoch and can’t put it down.

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

Our BLG book this week was The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague read by BLG reader, Dan.



We all know and love the tale of The Three Little Pigs. This story is an extremely amusing twist on the classic story. Here we have pigs with bad junk food habits, luxurious swimming pools and escape vehicles like scooters and bicycles. Early on in the story in became evident that the third pig was again the pig with the most brain power! One female student pointed out that this pig was the only girl pig. This started a little whispering among a few boys.

“Girls are quite smart.”

“I’m smart and I’m not a girl.”

“True . . . “

Students were quite perplexed that pig number one and two were eating potato chips and drinking pop and not making any nutritious choices. When they saw the third pig picking carrots and tomatoes from her garden, there was a collective relief. “Very healthy!”

There were many giggles at how the pigs responded to the wolf’s request to let him in and general consensus that pig number three had built a house that we would all like to live in!

“I wish I had that house.”

“Me too.”

“Me too.”

“Me too.”


Student reviewers respond:

Andrew rates this book 5/5 and writes: My favourite part is when the wolf was exhausted and lying on the grass from all that huffing and fuffing. I noticed spots on the 2 pigs. I have a connection from The Three Ninja Pigs – like the 3rd pig was wise too. What show were the pigs watching? I like the happy ending in the book. to the author: I like your book!

Joeli rates this book 3/5 and writes: Why did the wolf did not ask for food from the pig in the first place? Why instead did he want to eat the pigs? Why did the wolf think he can blow bricks. It is impossible to blow bricks. Why is potato chips so important for the first pig? Which one is important to the pig – potato chips or his life?

Brian rates this book 5/5 and writes: My favourite part was at the end when it said the wolf will be bad “hardly”. I am worried that the wolf might eat the 2 pigs. The funny part was when the wolf fell on the grass. What was kind was that the first pig said “Do you want a chip?” and the second pig said “Do you want a soda pop?”

Soleen rates this book 5/5 and writes: I like the part when the pigs were watching TV. I like the part when the wolf was on the grass and when the wolf said he will not be mean again. I wonder if he will be mean again and eat the pigs?

Sara rates this book 5/5 and writes: The pigs are funny because they can swim. I don’t like the wolf. The pigs are cool because they can build.

Shereese rates this book 5/5 and writes: The funny part was the wolf was on the grass. The pigs gave the wolf chips. The wolf and the pigs went swimming. 

Grace rates this book 5/5 and writes: I think it was funny when the pigs said, “Not now – we are watching our favourite show.” The girl pig is healthy and the other pigs eat sody pop and potato chips. I wonder if the wolf is going to eat the pigs because the wolf said “hardly” My favourite part is when the girl makes the other pigs clean their rooms and then they swim. 

Kevin rates this book 5/5 and writes: I loved when the wolf fell in the grass. I loved when the wolf tried to blow the brick house down and I like when the pigs said We are watching our favourite show and got knocked out. I loved when the wolf made friends with the pigs. The first pig was not smart and the second pig was not smart too but the third pig was smart because she build a brick house.

Ibtihal rates this book 5/5 and writes: I liked the part when the pigs were watching a show. How did his face turn green? Why was he so angry? Why did he huffed and puffed? He was so funny in the end that wolf. I wish I was the 3rd pig. Whey did they like potato chips and pop and shows?

Vicky rates this book 5/5 and writes: My favourite part is when the wolf was lying on the grass because it looked like it fainted. I have a connection to The Three Little Pigs. My favourite part is when the wolf blew the houses down and then one pig went on his scooter. 

Hyo Min rates this book 5/5 and writes: My favourite part was when the wolf couldn’t blow the number 3 house. Why did the wolf say hardly? My other favourite part was at the end of the book, the wolf was nice. The number 3 pig was smart. Maybe the bricks are stronger. 

Calvin rates this book 4/5 and writes: I love how he never knows he can blow down the houses. The wolf got knocked out. I liked the part when the pigs and the wolf was in the pool. 

Little buddies and big smiles

Today we invited our little buddies in K/1 up for some actual book sharing! We read favourites like:

Alphabet Adventure by Audrey and Bruce Wood



How do Dinosaurs Count to Ten by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague


Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss


The engagement, the smiles and the chattering said it all! What a fun experience! We can’t wait until next week 🙂

Reading an alphabet adventure story.


Reading about dump trucks and zooming cars.


A quiet few minutes on the carpet


Time to stop and discuss what is happening.


Searching for letters!