Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings

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

TTT

This week’s topic? Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read

I decided to focus on books I have read and loved: 5 of my favourite picture books and 5 of my favourite MG/YA novels. I love fairytales and stories with nuances of fairytale elements. But, I am very particular. It is a pleasure to share what I consider to be some of the very best in this list.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Picture Books:

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma written by Diane Fox and illustrated by Christyan Fox

Hilarious. Kind of like having a backseat driver “helping” tell a story. Annoying for the narrator. Amusing for the readers. Little Red Riding Hood like you have never before heard it.

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and GrandmaTop Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Princess and the Pig written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

This lovely little read manages to link to many classic fairy tales while telling a great original story and poking fun at just about everything! A pig and a princess switch places and the happy ending is not what you might predict.

Princess and the Pig Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Me and You by Anthony Browne

Browne tells simultaneous stories, letting us into the world of Goldilocks while at the same time we revisit the familiar story about the bears.  On the left, sepia images of the little girl, out on an errand with Mom and then suddenly, lost. Her story is wordless, told just through the images. On the right, we follow little bear and his Mummy and Daddy as they head out for a walk and then return home to find a stranger in their home. A version of the Goldilocks story that we are very familiar with. This story blurs the absolutes of fairy tale right and wrong and introduces a lovely element of empathy.

 Me and You Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat

Certainly not the Three Little Pigs story we thought we knew! A fan of pig power? Girl power? Stories where the bullies don’t win? This book delivers! Kiya!

 The Three Ninja Pigs Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be by Mini Grey

This book is told from the perspective of the pea! A pea, who plays quite an active role in the outcome of this tale . . .

 mini Grey Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Novels:

Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Such an interesting twist on the fairytale we know. Loved reading this aloud to my class. Why is this book so special? The children loved the whole idea that this was the “back story” of a well known tale. They felt they were in on some secrets! And what characters! We were rooting for Rump. We loved Red and the Trolls and Nothing, the donkey! We all agreed that the King and the Miller were terrible. The pixies fascinated us. Children begged and pleaded for me to read this book at every possible free minute of out day.

 Rump Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli 

The story of the Frog Prince but told from the perspective of the pond and the frogs. The prince is now a frog and must adjust to pond life and to talking like a frog. It is more difficult than it seems. Certain sounds aren’t possible thus, The Frog Prince is De Fawg Pin. Learn a lot about frogs. And their life cycle. Meet Jade, Pin’s mate. Despise the hag. Root for the froglets! Read this aloud to a group of children and prepare for spit out your milk laughter. Chortles. Giggles. Guffawing. The first in a trilogy.

 The Prince and the Pond Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Breadcrumbs written by Anne Ursu

Inspired by the classic story The Snow Queen with all kinds of modern everything. Yet magical fantasy that feels utterly timeless. Read this to my children who loved the mix between fairy tale and real life and all of the references to stories and books they knew. Beautiful as a read aloud – the words just come off the page, swirl around and we are immersed in the book.

Breadcrumbs Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

I became quickly hooked on all things Shannon Hale after reading this book and went on to read the complete Books of Bayern series. Fast paced. Lots of magic. Fantastic characters. The perfect book to get lost in.

 The Goose Girl

Cinder written by Marissa Meyer

Honestly, I was surprised by how addictive this story was for me. I thought it would be a light read but I was drawn in to the drama and intrigue despite suspecting some of the secrets unveiled late in the novel quite early on. Futuristic, fantasy/sci-fi with fairy tale elements and high drama.

 Cinder

What are your favourite fairytale retellings? 

Monday February 16th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This was taken during buddy reading with the Ks. What I love about it? That children are everywhere. All reading. Under things. On the carpet. At tables. Walking around. Reading, reading, reading.

Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR 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

Loved some special books this week – here are a few of my favourites:

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) by Peter Brown 

Everyone has read this book, I know, I know. I kept not reading it thinking I might buy it. How I love Peter Brown! Then I tried to reign in my book purchasing and requested this title from the library. Now, of course, I really want it . . . My logic around not buying books usually fails. Miserably.

I adored this book. It’s sweet and funny. But also tender and kind of vulnerable. That’s how it struck me at least. All about perspective of course but also about opening yourself up to viewing someone in a new way.

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead

Ode to imaginations and pickle sandwiches. Absolutely charming.

Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Toys in Space by Mini Grey

What happens if you leave your toys outside all night? Well, they’ll be abducted by aliens of course.

Toys in Space Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature poems by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Heard

Oh these illustrations. This book is a treasure. The poetry is varied – many poems became my favourites. I tried to list them but kept changing my mind! A beautiful book to give, to have, to read.

 Outside Your Window Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I find myself strangely without words on this title. The pages are seeped in vulnerability for so many reasons. There are some hard and heartbreaking pages. It’s a quick read that follows you around for days. I can see why the Schneider committee selected this book. A YA read.

Girls like us Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I am reading The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds 

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 61/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 5/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 15/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 5/50 books read

Monday February 9th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week, I had some computer glitch and lost my photos from the week – no idea why. Thankfully, I tweeted some so I can still share some book love happening in my classroom here!

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

I read some fantastic picture books this week. I have decided to share – many but briefly – couldn’t get it down to under ten favourites. Not a bad problem. 🙂 Fiction and nonfiction picture book joy!

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

What do you do when you find a whale lost in a storm? Help it of course. And it just might help you communicate something that needs telling. Sweet.

 The Storm Whale Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo

Absolutely wonderful. Castillo is such a story teller. This book rings true with the magic of childhood, the nostalgia of summer holidays and the quirky dynamics of family interactions. Love the surprises!

The Troublemaker Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli

Being number one is always most important . . . or is it?

Number One Sam Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Kate Hindley

This would be a fantastic mentor text for procedural writing. Adorable illustrations and a fun little escapade – bath time with a woolly mammoth.

How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Hermelin: The Detective Mouse as told to Mini Grey

I really do adore Mini Grey! This story is utterly charming.

Hermelin Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy

Alyson Beecher pointed me in the direction of this book. Amazing nonfiction title about what it would be like to train to go into space! Perfect for the primary classroom.

Astronaut Handbook Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Firebird written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers 

First read through, I spent this whole book swooning over the illustrations. And then I remembered that there was text. The first line of this book – just so beautiful:

the space between you and me is longer than forever

Firebird Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Bone by Bone written by Sara Levine and illustrated by T.S Spookytooth 

I put this on a nonfiction wish list after reading some reviews. This is my newest nonfiction title to rave about. Really, you need this book if you have a primary classroom. So engaging. So fun. Lots to learn.

 Bone by Bone Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray illustrated by Kenard Pak

These illustrations are fantastic. Lots of facts at the end of the book and beautiful lyrical text through out.

HaveYouHeard Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Forest Has a Song poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater  and illustrated by Robbin Gourley 

The forest is possibly my favourite out-in-the-world place. So, these illustrations, these poems – well, I was smitten.

Forest has a song Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished one novel. another from my #MustReadin2015 list:

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

I loved every member of this wonderful family. I rooted for each of them, celebrated them, smiled so big it hurt my cheeks. This is what family is. Loved the noisy, messy mumble jumble of every day love and family connection explored in this book. A happy, hilarious MG read.

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher Monday February 9th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I am about to start Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 7/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 55/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 5/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 14/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 5/50 books read

 

 

 

Celebration: Children’s Art

Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.

celebrate link upThis week I had a visit from someone that spent a lot of time in my classroom last year. She walked into the class, paused and took in all of the wall space and displays.  “I just love all of the art in this classroom. It is always so amazing.” she commented. Yes, I thought, I think so too!

The art all over our walls and on display in the hallways speaks to our spirit, our creativity and our community. Making art together every week is a happy time. Time to talk, to problem solve, and to share. We often have three to four projects on display at once. Often a picture book has been an inspiration for these projects. I also regularly read a variety of art blogs for great ideas.

This week, I am sharing some final projects as well as some in process photos of art projects created in my classroom over the last 12 months or so. I celebrate the art my students produce! It is always a source of joy.

I hope it brings as much happiness to you as it does to us to be surrounded by colour and creativity everyday!

We did gorgeous cityscape pieces last spring using black construction paper, glue lines and vibrant chalk pastel. Our inspiration for these pieces was the book by Robert Neubecker‘s Wow! City! More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

We were inspired by the “eyepatch” page in Calef Brown’s book Pirateria. Fabulous pirates guarded our hallway after everyone got to work on making some amazing pirate art. More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

Mini Grey‘s The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be was part of the inspiration for some princess and pea inspired art. More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

The book Ten Little Beasties by Ed Emberley was the inspiration for a project to make our own beasties. Lots of colour, lots of fun.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

What is Halloween without amazing witches? More about this project here.

Witches  Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

I have a thing for owls. Last year we did three projects about owls in art. This year, I just couldn’t resist sneaking one in. More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

We are VERY fortunate to have Arts Umbrella come in and do a project with us almost every year. This year we did huge insect art. Stunning!

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

We finished up some gorgeous winter castles in January and added some writing to go with the final pieces on display. I love working really large with projects!

Winter castles  Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

For Valentines and Kindness week, my class made Love Robots. Programmed to love. What could be sweeter?

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

And sometimes art going on display is not a class project, but a body of work by one child. This is an in process photo for a project to be on display after our Spring Break. Thanks to the brilliant inspiration of Miriam, who shares these wonderful children with me, to bust out the gold spray paint!

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

May your week be filled with colour, creativity and joy!

Princesses and hidden peas

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That Fairy tales are fantastic and fractured fairy tales offer fun and quirky twists on those stories that we love.

The Princess and the Pea is one of my favourite stories! So sharing it with the students was a lot of fun.

This week I shared two “alternatives” to the classic Princess and the Pea story.

First we read Mini Grey‘s The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be

This book is told from the perspective of the pea! A pea, who plays quite an active role in the outcome of this tale . . .

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Later that same day we read The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Sue deGennaro

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Our art projects were inspired by these books but I got my original inspiration from my favourite Art Blog, Deep Space Sparkle that highlighted these wonderfully whimsical Princess and the Pea projects. Princess beds, a hidden pea, glitter crowns . . . This project was a lot of fun!

What we did:

First, we drew elaborate princess beds using black crayons (I love that my students get so excited with art projects that they just jump right in and don’t worry about pencils first and everything being perfect!)

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Next we piled on the mattresses!

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Then we added a princess and started adding colour to decorations to the mattresses. We used oil pastels to add rich colours.

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

It was then time to add glitter to the crown. We did this before adding paint so that the glitter wouldn’t stick to the wet paint. Children used tiny paint brushes to add white glue on their crowns and then sprinkled gold glitter to cover. We also added a hidden pea at the bottom of the mattresses. Can you spot it in the picture below?

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

On day two, we painted – adding colour to each mattress and to the background. This princess below is thinking about royalty!

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Some students painted all mattresses the same colour for a very effective/colour coordinated look.

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Doesn’t this princess look peaceful on her pile of pastel coloured mattresses?

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

I love that this princess is perched on a pile of precariously balanced mattresses! One mattress is even a glitter mattress!

  Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Doesn’t this princess look peaceful? I have the feeling a pea isn’t keeping her up!

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

This princess makes it very clear that she cannot sleep! Oh those pesky peas!

 Princesses and Hidden Peas - There's a Book for That

Monday October 8th, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading? On this Thanksgiving Day weekend I am especially thankful for extra reading time and the community of readers that participate in Jen and Kellee’s meme each week to share what they are reading from picture books to young adult reads. I always learn so much about fantastic books by hearing about what others are reading and sharing.

I read lots of fantastic picture books this week, many discovered at my local public library.

Pssst! by Adam Rex was a lovely surprise. Having just visited the Seattle Woodland Zoo this summer with my children, this book helped me deal a little bit with my zoo “thing.” While I love that people are able to get up close and personal with the animals and that it fosters understanding and inspires awareness about the plight of many endangered animals, I also am uncomfortable about these animals being in cages and stared at all day long. This book is about a little girl wandering from animal exhibit to animal exhibit hearing from each animal about something that they need. It’s everything from tires to flashlights to bicycle helmets. Luckily there is a store across from the zoo that happens to sell everything she needs to grant all of these wishes. What these animals do with all of these objects I will leave for you to discover. But as I say, it calmed my zoo “thing.”

Squid and Octopus Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu. This book contains four wonderful little stories in one picture book. Gorgeous colours – muted blues and greens mostly with some sunny orange and yellow here and there. There is a nice mix of humour and a theme of friendship and I love the commentary by all of the other creatures in the ocean that is spread across the pages.

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Grey In this last year, I have developed quite the adoration for Mini Grey books. (Read more here.) The fabulous thing about the Traction Man titles is the focus on the celebration of play, the imagination and the just plain silly. This book is set at the beach and Traction Man has quite the adventure. One large wave draws him out to sea and he is eventually whooshed into a dark and scary cave. He is rescued by a young girl and brought to the Dollies’ Castle where he is decked out in a flowery ensemble and served raspberry ripple ice cream. How will he escape? Much of this humour may be more geared towards adults, but I think there is easily enough here to completely delight young readers as well!

The Retired Kid by Jon Agee Being a kid is sure hard work. Haven’t you heard? The child in this story heads to a retirement home, officially retiring from being a kid. At first all seems great. Lots of naps. Pool parties. Golf carts. Certainly better than spelling and violin practice. But soon aspects of retired life don’t seem so rosy. I love the image of the boy in Friday night swing dancing classes. Perhaps his kid life wasn’t so bad after all? A great book to illustrate the saying “The grass is always greener . . . “

Lines that Wiggle written by Candace Whitman and illustrated by Steve Wilson. This is a beautiful book celebrating the variety of lines that we come across in everyday life. Highlighted here in wonderful illustrations and raised off the page sparkly swirls that just begged to be traced with your finger, this book is a lot of fun to explore. Thinking of all kinds of art projects it might inspire . . .

Watch Me Throw the Ball by Mo Willems. I keep coming cross Elephant and Piggie titles that I haven’t read.  This one has the perfect message: bring fun to everything that you do! It’s all in the attitude!

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan We had friends come for dinner and one of them brought this to share as a read aloud for the adults while all of the kids (seven of them at best count) were running amuck. A beautiful story of hope reminding us to find beauty in the smallest of things. The illustrations could take one days to study. Simply so full of meaning.

I have also been reading and really enjoying Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day  George. In this busy fall, it has been more difficult to get time to read novels. This one was recommended to me by my daughter who loves George’s books. I hope to wake up early in the morning and finish it.

Monday July 30th, 2012

It’s Monday What are you Reading? Celebrating books read from picture books to young adult reads. Link up with the meme sponsored by Kellee and Jen!

I read some wonderful picture books this week!

Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog by Mini Grey (who I happen to adore – read more here) There were lots of things I loved in this book – more in the pictures than in the storyline honestly. Love the oppositely stereotypical parents (Dad in apron and Mom with her circular saw). Loved the compost bin as play site. And what could be better than a search down the Grand Sofa Canyon? It did after all uncover a hairy sweet. This book reminds us germophobes not to come between a boy and his toy. Rescues into the slimy trash heap will be attempted!

Alfie Runs Away written by Kenneth M. Cadow and illustrated by Lauren Castillo.  Alfie is upset and decides to run away announcing it emphatically. His mother “helps” him get ready. Absolutely captures the sentiments of both mother and child. Love Castillo’s illustrations.

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.

The Gardener written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small. I so love this author/illustrator team. And the book . . . We read it one night as a read aloud. Then the next day my daughter asked to read it again because she wanted to study the pictures. Lasting impressions – this book makes them! Love historical fiction delivered beautifully in a picture book!

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins. I read this with my children as one of our many nightly read alouds (we also have a novel and a book of fairy tales on the go) over a few evenings. We were fascinated, shocked and sometimes disgusted (in the best of ways) as we learned all about beetles. Plan to purchase my own copy of this book and share it in the classroom this fall! Think of the art it will inspire! And since one in four living things happen to be a beetle, they deserve some studious attention!

Middle Grade reads:

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

I am considering this for a book club pick for our student book club. Such an important time in history – would prompt a LOT of discussion. I adored this book!

Hound Dog True by Linda Urban. Now I understand why this is  such a beloved book for so many. There are so many students I know who need to read this book. They will find themselves and so much more.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm Okay, wow! I found one of the books I will read aloud to my new class this fall! Love the family dynamics between Turtle and the boy cousins. So much humour and yet lots of interesting things to discuss in terms of this time in history. Ideal read aloud for an upper primary classroom!