Monday November 27th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Sharing reading and learning from the past 2 weeks.

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. This one was taken when we went to visit the Grade 3 & 4 class down the hall while they were having Camp Read. Tents, shoes and books everywhere! Every student in my classroom brought along a favourite picture book to share. Nobody Likes a Goblin is being devoured by these two readers.

Our #classroombookaday titles from last week allowed us to have some serious conversations about the world.

Writing was rich. Some students shared some very personal writing connected to their own experiences with leaving their countries because of war. We have started to talk about books as mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors (from Rudine Sims Bishop) and students instantly began to use this language to describe their connections to the books.

We watched a short video of the actual Kunkush, the cat who inspired Lost and Found Cat and students reread the book many times looking at the photographs in the back and having serious discussions.

This week with #classroombookaday, we laughed a lot!

Some of these titles inspired students to create their own retellings!

Which made one author very happy (and flattered)!

Classroom Highlights 

My Monday posts now also contain some sharing from our week in the classroom.

One student is working on a How to Draw book! How great is this?

More #classroombookaday thoughts

In the Art and Discovery Studio, students are working on paintings about significant places. I love the stories these pictures hold.

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 enjoyed:

Windows by Julia Denos and illustrated E.B. Goodale

This will be one of our Mock Caldecott titles. I could read this book endlessly. It is so calm and quiet and the little details . . . Just divine.

All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Mike Curato

Warmth of family traditions. Rich descriptions. Stunning illustrations. This one is fabulous!

What If You Had Animal Eyes? by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Howard McWilliam

This series is such a favourite in my classroom. I loved this one in particular. Would be great to pair with Steve Jenkins’ Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay

I can’t get enough of these Lulu titles. I have now ordered the entire series for my classroom. This one was particularly endearing. I could just imagine children planning hedgehog runs. A wonderful transitional chapter book.

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick

A younger middle grade title than Sonnenblick typically writes but some pretty serious threads – bullying, domestic abuse, addictions, poverty. For readers who like books with lots of issues and rooting for the underdog, Maverick is a character they will want to meet.

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

I had a hard time putting this one down – the mystery makes it addictive. But this book is beyond a mere mystery. Matthew is the last one to see the toddler who goes missing on his block. But he sees everything from his upstairs window. Matthew’s OCD makes it difficult for him to venture out of his home. Matthew wants to help find the child but this means he needs to face numerous fears and delve into grief and worries from his past.

Up Next? Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 57/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 280/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 49 books behind schedule.

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 35/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2017: 40/50 books read

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Picture Books about Love

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

This week’s theme? All about Romance – I am going to take liberties with this theme and stretch it and shape it to be all about love. Love as in romantic love or connection love. Deep friendship. True devotion. Care, concern, warmth.

10-picture-books-about-love

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage written by Selina Alko and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

A nonfiction title about Richard and Mildred Loving whose marriage and love were questioned because of their race. A story of determination, persistence and the power of love and family.

The Case for Loving- The Fight for Interracial Marriage

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

Love, love, love, love! Love because it’s love, not because it is celebrated in any particular way.

WormLoves Worm

Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed

This book celebrates love in the happiest and most joyful of ways. But it doesn’t scrimp on the realities of love: loss, pain, frustration, forgiveness, sacrifice. Love is all of it and this book delivers. It takes you on a journey sailing through a myriad of emotions and delivers you on the other side, changed. Better. Brighter. Exhausted.

I often tell people that yes, I have a picture book favourite even though I LOVE many books. This is it. This one here. How I adore this book!

pete-and-pickles

The Day I Became a Bird by Ingrid Chabbert and Guridi

I am utterly enamoured by the illustrations in this book about a boy willing to be a bird to attract the attention of the girl he swoons over.

the-day-i-became-a-bird

Hunwick’s Egg written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Pamela Lofts

Hunwick’s egg never hatched although it provided him with companionship, faith and an important secret. Yes, he realized his egg was not an egg at all but a perfectly shaped stone and he loved it all the more.

Hunwick's Egg

Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon

Pancakes. Jacques Cousteau. Jazz tunes. The joy and the solitude of New York city. Finding someone who gets you and shares your quirky tastes. It all comes together in this delightful story.

herman-and-rosie-900x1024

Ida, Always written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso

A sweet tender story of loving and letting go.

Ida, Always

Pierre in Love written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Petra Mathers. 

A beautiful picture book about being in love and being brave enough to admit it.

pierre in love

Bear in Love written by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

Finally bear and bunny meet, convinced they have each found the perfect friend. For bear it is a cute little bear and bunny thinks he was found a lovely big strong bunny. Confusion aside, the two friends sit together and chat and sing as the sun goes down. A feel good book that made us all smile!

bear in love

City Dog Country Frog written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Jon J Muth

Willems’ simple text, pictures and words tell the tender story of  friendship, the passage of time, young curiosity and calm wisdom.

City-dog

Which book would you add to the list?

Monday January 23rd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. I have missed some Mondays getting back into the swing of school so I have a few photos to share.

Students were eager to check in with their reading goals and think about which genres they needed to read.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

I loved reading their reflections.Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

When you finish a beloved series and the next book is not yet published.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Time to read everyday!

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Reading to some Grade 2 students who came for a visit.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Eager audience.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 There's a Book for That

Hurray for Mock Caldecott! Here are our winners.

Monday January 23rd, 2017 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 2015

On the blog:

Our Mock Caldecott list for 2017

Joining in with the Nonfiction Picture Book 2017 challenge with Alyson Beecher

My Must Read in 2017 novels

I still have people sending me links to #MustReadin2017 lists Join us here

Celebration: Mock Caldecott Reflections 2017

Books I enjoyed:

I have decided to include briefer summaries/responses to the books I am sharing in order to buy more time to do more reading and more blogging. So the book love remains but it will be expressed in fewer words.

Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer

Mysterious and a little scary. Stunning illustrations.

fog-island

Coyote Moon written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline

I absolutely loved this nonfiction title about a mother coyote needing to feed her pups. Definitely reminds us how challenging survival can be.

coyote-moon

Little Elliot’s Big Fun by Mike Curato

Friendship and fun. But sometimes big fun can be a little intimidating and we really need our friend.

le-big-fun

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Just incredibly illustrated. An ideal seasons book full of so many sensations.

goodbye-summer-hello-autumn

I am Not a Number written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer and illustrated by Gillian Newland

This will be a title I share with my students as we start to read about the residential school experience next month. Heartbreaking.

IANAN_cover.indd

Everyone . . . by Christopher Silas Neal

Everyone feels all kinds of things. Simple with the power to soothe and remind us how similar we all are.

everyone

Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robertson

LOVED this biography of Ada Lovelace. I learned so much.

ada_s_ideas_cover

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

This is my favourite in the series!

ada-twist-scientist

Saving Red by Sonya Sones

YA. A novel in verse. Many themes are covered. Mental health, homelessness, family. Really enjoyed this title.

saving-red

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter 

YA. Easy to fall hard for the characters here.

the-serpent-king

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 18/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 6/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 2/50 books read

Up next? I am almost finished reading The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Favourites of 2016

Which books stand out from a year of reading? It’s a difficult list to make. The turmoil is sweet though as I get to revisit favourite books and the memories I have attached to them. I made this list quickly this year. No second guessing. Quick and determined. These books are especially wonderful from the list of many that I loved this year.

The 16 books that made the final cut? They showcased beautiful words and imagery. I got lost in the sounds, in the text, in the beauty of the language and in the wonder of the illustrations. These titles also spoke to my heart. All of the emotions are here. Especially hope. Hope feels particularly important this year.

16 books and no more than 16 words of raving. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2015 (15 books, 15 words) In 2014, it was Favourites of 2014 (14 books, 14 words) In 2013, it was Favourites of 2013 (13 books, 13 words) and in 2012 (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. Each year, I get one more book and one more word to play with!

 Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

This year I chose 8 picture books and 8 novels. (Nonfiction favourites will be in another post)

First the picture books!

Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies 

A sweet, colourful adventure that allows us to talk about loss in a gentle, imaginative way.

Grandad's Island Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Ida, Always written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso

Full of love. This book honours relationships and reveals all of the emotions in letting go.

Ida, Always  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

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

Art can change a neighbourhood and pull together community in some beautiful ways.

Maybe Something Beautiful  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

What is poetry? Open your eyes to the world and you will find it.

Daniel Finds a Poem  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

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

Love is love. Love is love. Love is love.

Worm Loves Worm  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

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

Poetry that lets us meander across the page picking words and images to celebrate. Perfection.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

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

The search for silence. Be in awe of the calm and simplicity.

The Sound of Silence  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

 Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith

Follow a little penguin through a largely pessimistic day. Then some perspective happens (mostly) . . .

 A Penguin Problem  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

These novels completely absorbed me.

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

A lone bee buzzing in your ear. A story wrapped up in history and magic. Believe.

hour of the Bees  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor

A title that celebrates family, community, resilience and strength of character. And one very amazing boy.

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Captivating. Root for a kid that has much against him and can run like the wind.

ghost  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Hope wins. An emotional story of a family coping with cancer treatment and holding it together.

Counting Thyme  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

A 9/11 story. In the midst of loss, shock and pain is connection, hope and love.

 The Memory of Things  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

When Friendship Followed me Home by Paul Griffin

There will be tears. Sadness. Bits of your heart will break. Worth it. So worth it.

when-friendship-followed-me-home  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Full of adventure, wartime atrocities, human kindness and connection. Incredible historical fiction.

Salt to the sea  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Beautiful, emotional and raw. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe.

Pax  Favourites of 2016 There's a Book for That

Please share your own favourites of the year . . .

Wishing everyone a 2017 full of new favourites and lots of reading!

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.

Monday February 8th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Again, I have had a 2 week gap so I might have to share a few photos!

First, I always love to share our #classroombookaday Friday vote results (fewer voters this week as many children away ill)

#classroombookaday

I loved this photo of one of my students reading her book review to an adult visitor.

#IMWAYR

I also love this reading moment – picture walking a wordless book together.

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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

A nonfiction post about our Mock Sibert group on Goodreads

Two Celebration posts Last week’s The Moments and this week’s Proud! 

A Sunday Reflection post thinking about relationships in the classrooms: 6 hours x 5 days x 10 months

My very first Slice of Life post: Should Be

Books I enjoyed: (2 weeks worth so just my favourites)

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. I adore this book. I see much raving in my future.

WormLoves Worm

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

I thought this in process picture drawn by my newly arrived from Saudi Arabia student was particularly meaningful after reading Salina’s Nerdy Book Club post

BE a FRiend

Many students drew and wrote about this title this week when we voted for our favourite picture book of the week.

Be a Friend

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Well, well, well. A celebration of books, of voice, of change. Such a book.

The Book Itch

Funny Bones:Posada and his Day of the Dead Calveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

The 2016 Sibert medal. An incredible biography of an artist who spoke to and of the people of Mexico.

Funny Bones

Lickety-Split by Robert Heidbreder and illustrared by Dušan Petričić

Nonsense words can be ever so delightful.

Lickety-Split

What this Story needs is a Hush and a Shush by Emma J.Virján

These Pig in a Wig titles are must haves in a primary classroom. This one explores the necessity and challenges of bed time.

What this story needs is a hush and a shush

Sprout Helps Out by Rosie Winstead

Helping is not always a neat and tidy thing.

Sprout Helps Out

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I read this aloud to my family and all of us were addicted. Absolutely engaging and fast paced. Highly recommended.

A Night Divided

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Wow. This book hits on so many themes: perseverance, coming of age, friendship, finding one’s place. All with a roller derby backdrop. Pretty spectacular.

Roller Girl

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera

So, hmmm. I did really like this book. 4 stars and lots of thinking worth of liking. But, I didn’t like the main character all that much. I liked him less and less and less as the book went on. That doesn’t make a book not great for me but it leaves me unsettled. However, I loved many of the other characters. A lot. A LOT, a lot. This book rotates around some serious depression and in such a long title, I found it exhausting. Again, not a reason to not like a book. But I would say the reading experience is more unhappy than not  if truth be told. Also, there are some wild kind of plot lines here. It all works but it is a journey. So in the end, would I highly recommend this title? Not so sure. Glad to have had the experience. Glad to put it down.

More Happy Than Not

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 38/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 5/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 11/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 6/50 books read

Up next? I am reading The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Monday November 23rd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. I love this scene from buddy reading. Notice how the little K is leaning right in with my Grade 3 student learning about sharks. I adore this photo as it captures so much.

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 2015

On the blog:

Yes, I have been blogging! 🙂

In honour of Picture Book Month: Twenty Books that Capture the Essence of Childhood

For #nfpb2015 Nonfiction on my radar: Winter 2015

My #celebratelu post this week honours the progress and positive in my classroom: Celebration: What’s Working

Books I loved:

There are quite a few because I did some picture book therapy. Anyone else do this? Often? I have a feeling I am not the only one who has figured this out!

I made some great progress on my nonfiction reading:

Toad Weather written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

This book is FANTASTIC! I love much about it – starting with those wonderful polka dot boots on the cover! This is a fictionalized account of an actual toad crossing that really, truly happens every year in Pennsylvania. Markle shares a beautiful story about this pretty amazing natural phenomenon and the way that people become part of the story (in a good way thankfully!) But, this story has some rich messages beyond a fascinating story. I love that it reminds us to notice and experience the natural world no matter what the weather, no matter what our mood.

Toad Weather

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López

Gorgeous. Inspiring. Seriously, these colours. I loved everything about this book!

Drum Girl Dreaming

Flowers are Calling written by Rita Gray and illustrations by Kenard Pak

I particularly loved Pak’s illustrations here. Learn all about the colours, shapes and unique aspects to flowers and just who interacts with them (and why and how).

Flowers are Calling

And I read some incredible picture books:

Please, Open this Book! written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

This is one of the most clever follow up titles ever. First read and appreciate Warning: Do not Open this Book! You could just read it on your own, but I recommend experiencing it as a read aloud with a group of eager listeners. And then, comes this one. I giggled multiple times at the bookstore and of course, brought it home with me. Cannot wait to share all of its amusing and interactive pages with my class tomorrow. Love the mushy yellow banana.

Please, Open this Book!

Little Miss, Big Sis written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Sometimes becoming an older sibling is eagerly anticipated and quite a beloved experience. This title captures just that.

Little Miss, Big Sis

Where are my Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

An entertaining reading message. Favourite books are amazing. And everyone (everyone!) needs picture books!

Where are my Books?

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

Okay, this is a book I love. It speaks to wild wishes, big possibility and the amazing of the simple and natural. Love, love, love.

Something Extraordinary

Dear Yeti by James Kwan

Charming and adventurous. Two explorers set out in search of a yeti. told through a series of letters. Great mentor text for writing.

Dear Yeti

Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato

These Little Elliot titles seem like they should be just too sweet and not quite work. But instead, they are absolutely sweet and completely capture the reader. No overly sugary after taste. Just big breath, full heart moments. Well done Mike Curato, you have something amazing figured out.

Little Elliot, Big Family

Miss Hazletine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Birgitta Sif

For the cat fan. For the extra timid. For the reader who appreciates inspired courage and stepping out of your comfort zone. Delightfully quirky.

Miss Hazletine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats

And the amazing YA novel . . . Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

I am such an absolute fan of Schmidt. He regularly knocks me over while at the same time offering up such grounded, beautiful stories. This was an early morning read and cry book. I finished it all at once because how could I possibly put it down? Beautiful. Hopeful. Heartbreaking. A reminder that we all need each other and that family is about who is in your corner.

Orbiting Jupiter

Up next? I continue reading MosquitoLand by David Arnold because other reading ended up calling to me. Happy to be back into this title.

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 61/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 390/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 70/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 45/50 books read