Monday March 5th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. This week I have a few to celebrate.

This reader is checking out a student written book that is part of our collection. Writers and readers go hand in hand 🙂

I know Mock Caldecott is a special thing in our room when last year’s students pop in to find out who our winners were and then stay to read the books!

Here are my fairy tale fans all sitting at the same table reading the same series! Pretty cute!

Our #classroombookaday titles, as always, have been inspirational.

Art, words and discussions were incredible after these titles.

Again – the impact of these books is evident in comments and writing.

One child was very moved by the book Red: A Crayon’s Story. She writes:

“I really like this theme because it really pours our feelings out. It’s like you have a big bucket on your head and the theme walks to your head and your feelings swish around and you start to be emotional and I love that. The book is telling you to express yourself and be your own person or colour. Cause that’s what makes us unique.”


I haven’t posted in a while – some good excuses include – heading to Bellingham (on a very snowy Friday) to attend the Western Washington’s Children Literature Conference.

Amazing authors and illustrators included Kevin Henkes, Sophie BlackallPam Muñoz Ryan and Benjamin Alire Sáenz. They are all wearing tiaras here – for a you kind of had to be there – kind of a reason.

We also attended nErD Camp Bellingham on Sunday and it was a pleasure to spend the day with so many educators, librarians and literary wonders. We always love hanging out with nErD camp Bellingham founder Adam Shaffer.

Classroom Highlights 

There has been art with Maggie in the Art and Discovery studio.

Science with UBC students during UBC reading week. Students shared science and we shared favourite books of course!

Lots and lots of math thinking as we explore multiplication and division concepts.

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:

There’s a lot of them . . . some not yet released so mark your calendars!

Hello Hello  by Brendan Wenzel (available March 20th, 2018)

Beyond wonderful. This title features numerous animals connected by sometimes simple and sometimes surprising common features. The author’s note explains that many of these creatures are in trouble and need human awareness and action to remove them from the endangered and critically threatened lists. Ideal for young young readers as well as school age children. Highly recommended.

Watch this amazing trailer – you’re going to want this book!

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World written by Susan Hood and illustrated by 13 extraordinary female illustrators

I fell in love with this book at the mere concept. It’s nonfiction perfection – inspired poetry, additional information and incredible illustrations by some of my favourite illustrators out there. Hood chose her subjects – often girls and young women – that might not yet be known or are not all know well in order to introduce readers to inspiring role models. Well known girls and young women like Ruby Bridges and Malala Yousafzai are also included.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

The same author illustrator team that brought us Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? is back! If you know this book, you are already sold!

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (released in June 2018)

Another inspiring woman who young readers will want to know more about. Add this one to your biography collections. Katherine Johnson is the mathematician who ensured that the Apollo 13 returned safely to Earth. Such a story! Written in an engaging style ideal for Elementary readers.

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter written by Mark Gonzales and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

A beautifully written letter from father to daughter, this book celebrates culture, identity and family roots. A celebration of diversity and self. Just gorgeous.

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini (released April 2018)

A must have for library and classroom collections – perfect title to complement our studies of shapes found in the world. Another beautifully illustrated title by Amini. This book is absolutely stunning. A celebration of both shapes and traditions. So pleased to include it in my classroom library.

The Boy and the Blue Moon written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Ashley Crowley

Blue like you haven’t quite imagined. Text and illustrations are the perfect complement. One part magic, another part imagination, a big splash of whimsy all seeped and soaked in the bluest of blues.

George the Hero Hound by Jeffrey Ebbeler (coming March 20, 2018)

Sometimes a farm comes with a dog. George knows his way around the farm but is under appreciated until he does something heroic. Charming and amusing.

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Celebrates the magical and beautiful way words can collide and come together.

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay 

I love this entire series of Lulu books. Perfect for the Grade 2 to 4 classroom. Lulu’s patience and persistence is admirable and readers will be rooting for this dog from the sea!

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess (Young Adult)

This truly is a story of rock and roll, fathers and sons, addictions and recoveries, loves and loss. A beautifully executed novel in verse.

Knock Out by K.A. Holt

House Arrest – this book’s companion novel- is a book I haven’t stopped raving about. Both titles are written in powerful and personal verse. I couldn’t put either one down. This is the story of little Levi – just a baby in House Arrest – now growing up and ready to have his own story. But when you have always been the one to protect, how do you find your way and engage with the world in big and brave ways?

Up next:The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 4/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 51/300 books read

Progress on challenge: on track

#MustReadin2018: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 7/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 7/40 books read

Monday July 7th, 2014

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

I noticed about a week ago that I was behind on my Goodreads goal by 16 books. I had a few picture book reading blitz days and am almost caught up So . . . catching up on my reading means that I have many picture books I could share here. I narrowed it to my ten favourites of the week. Sometimes, it really is about a week where picture books have a hugely starring role!

Emily’s Blue Period written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Lisa Brown

Cathleen Daly just kind of knocks me over. Her book Prudence wants a Pet is a “I want a pet book” done that much differently that it feels unique even though the story premise seems to have been told over and over. Here is a picture book that touches on the emotions and confusion of a family separated by divorce. Such a common lived experience for so many children – the unanswered questions, the frustration, the living between two homes – yet captured in a picture book? Not so often. More often these themes are tackled in novels for middle grade readers. Here, nothing feels off limits and we truly are privy to the raw and the difficult that is divorce through the eyes of young children. Throw in some cool references to Picasso and his Blue period and wow, what a picture book.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

Sometimes, it is not a talent or exceptional skill that makes us special. Sometimes it is just enough, and even quite extraordinary, to be that one that offers connection and affection. A tribute to special pets but also to the virtues of kindness and companionship.

Extraordinary jane  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

The Day I Lost my Superpowers written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

I found this book particularly charming. It is absolutely representative of the naturally egocentric nature of a preschool age child – who feels magical and mighty and all powerful. When the limits of their own power confront them, they are able to honour the power of those around them – like the super powers of Mom!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alamagna

Begin reading this book and be instantly surprised. It is wide and extra big and it opens bottom to top so you are flipping up instead of turning pages. Gorgeous illustrations in this tale set in Paris of a lion trying to find his “place” in this beautiful European city. Eventually, he finds a spot where he is meant to be. Unique. Much of the appeal of this book is the format and the Parisian vibe.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

Wow. This story is told through minimal text, beautiful illustrations, pauses and space. Sometimes what is held in the silence and few precious seconds of a blank page turned or a page that holds just one simple image has huge impact on the overall story. Just so very well done. Themes of friendship, kindness, hope and the passing of time. Did I say wow?

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

Please go read this book – there are so many reasons – a wonderful story about siblings and mistakes and owning up and doing what’s right. Some forgiveness thrown in. Can’t go wrong. But let me tell you about the right – just page through again and again and travel through illustrations that will knock you over, make your heart sing, force you to have too many favourite pictures so you just have to love and savour each page. Oh please, Mr. David Soman be working on a new book right now I just can’t wait!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Starring Me and You by Genevieve Cote

A sweet little title for younger readers learning how to navigate the world socially and with friends through compromise, patience and acceptance.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Little Mouse by Alison Murray 

I can imagine that if this book had existed when my children were very small that we would have read it endlessly. Sometimes, an endearing name doesn’t seem to fit. Other times, it is perfect. Through a parade of animals, we learn about all the aspects of one little girl’s personality – she is brave like a lion, can stomp like a bear and be hungry like a horse. And of course, she can be quiet and cozy like a little mouse. Adorable.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

One is a Snail Ten is a Crab: A Counting Feet Book written by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Saryre and illustrated by Randy Cecil 

This counting book is hugely entertaining. It allows children to think about numbers in a variety of ways. After learning about how many feet many different creatures possess, the reader is ready to think about larger numbers like – 60 – 60 is six crabs (6 groups of 10 feet) or 10 insects (10 groups of 6 feet). Playful, creative and wonderfully amusing.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors written by Helen Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

Stunning illustrations introduce young readers to the culture and beauty of Islam through descriptive pages about a variety of things representative of Muslim culture and religion. A glossary in the back helps for those not familiar with all of the things described in the book.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Thank you to everyone who has shared their #MustReadin2014 July updates. Many are linked here or shared through the #MustReadin2014 hashtag via twitter. So interesting to see what everyone has been reading and enjoying.

This week I finished one novel:

Cress by Marissa Meyer which was my 18th #mustreadin2014 title!

I am fully captivated by these Lunar Chronicles stories even though I never thought I was going to be. I read Cinder on a whim and was hooked. I particularly love how all of the characters from previous books still play starring roles in the ongoing storylines. Dramatic, suspenseful, interesting characters. Great YA fantasy!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014Next up? I am halfway through The Riverman by Aaron Starmer. What a book! Early in the week, I plan to read The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner, which is another #MustReadin2014 title for me.

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 46/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 327/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 18/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 79/65 complete