Spring Update #MustReadin2017

t’s time for our first #MustReadin2017 update!

How are you doing with your list? Making progress? Only read a few? Distracted by other titles? Please share!

Like, last year, I made a list of 30 titles and made a commitment to try and read most of them. Ideally, at least 20 is my plan. My #mustread lists serves as launch pad for my reading year. I am happy to revisit the list when I am in a reading slump or not sure of what to read next. Other times, new titles are on my radar and I don’t even think twice about the list. When I need it though, it’s there full of reading inspiration.

I am happy to report that four months into 2017, I have read ten titles. So, it looks like I am exactly on track – a third of the way into the year and I have read one third of my list.

Here are the titles I have completed with a little bit of raving about each one.

Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes (MG)

Celebrate as Garvey is able to find himself and move beyond the self-doubt, the teasing and bullying and the pressure of his father’s expectations. A novel in verse.

Saving Red by Sonya Sones  (YA)

YA. A novel in verse. Many themes are covered. Mental health, homelessness, family.

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz (MG)

Incredibly researched, full of magical and historical details. Not surprised this title was honoured when the Newbery honor titles were announced.

Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb  (MG)

So many things are explored: trust, loyalty, commitment, forgiveness, judgement, prejudice, love. A powerful middle grade read.

every-single-second

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon  (YA)

This book is a story of being ridiculously human. About hope and faith and choices and kindness. About family and responsibility and dreams.

the-sun-is-also-a-star

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz (MG)

An emotional MG read about one young girl’s OCD that begins to spin out of control. Highly recommended.

finding-perfect-elly-swartz

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas (MG)

This book explores the Iranian Hostage Crisis, dealing with middle school while still figuring out America and all of the complexities of family and friendship a 12 year old girl from Iran might experience. And it’s super funny and touching and so wonderfully written!

it-aint-so-awful-falafal

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart (MG)

Dramatic and hard to put down. There were parts of this story I found absolutely creepy. Kids who love action driven books will love this story. Kids are devouring this book in my class. They pass it back to me and agree, “Some parts were creepy!”

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan (MG)

Holly Goldberg Sloan has a way of showcasing characters in stories that we don’t always see together.  Short is a story all about friendships between generations. It’s also about a play and all of the wonderful behind the scenes preparations. I fell in love with the characters here. A must read middle grade novel!

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen (MG)

This middle grade novel will keep readers on the edge of their seat. Weevil and Ani are very likeable characters and it is easy to cheer for them. Mystery, adventure and interesting character dynamics.

I also read and loved Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones which was on my #MustReadin2016 list and I never got to it. Placing these books on a list like this really does help me keep them in mind!

If you have been participating in #MustReadin2017 and written an update post, please share using the #MustReadin2017 hashtag!

Leave your link in the comments if you have written a post. Please try to visit a few of the other #MustReadin2017 bloggers/readers and get inspired! And of course, everyone loves comments to know that you have visited!

Want to know more about #MustReadin2017? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read lists. This is a community of inspiring readers!

Next update will be on September 7th 2017!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

 

Monday February 2nd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week I am sharing a photo of students engaged with a variety of nonfiction texts during “Nonfiction Reading Day” – where we devote our Reading Workshop time to reading nonfiction. Of course, for many readers, nonfiction reading happens all week but this focus allows all children to read more nonfiction, more widely.

Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I was excited to share our #MockCaldecott results and reflections here. In mere hours, we will know the actual medal and honor winners. So excited!

Monday February 2nd 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

I realize that much of my reading this week was nonfiction picture books. Lots of variety and as usual, I learned so much. Some highlights:

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest by Steve Jenkins

If you want to climb Mount Everest, what would you need to know? This book is filled with facts about history, geography and the myriad of challenges that climbers might encounter.

The Top of the World Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Animals in Flight by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

An older Jenkins title that I found in my school library. I was most interested in the history of flying creatures and the different ways various wings function.

Animals in Flight by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Higgins Bond

Focuses on a variety of butterflies and the threats to their environments. Framed with specific ideas about how to change human actions to make a difference to butterflies like planting native plants, protecting swamps and marshes and not trying to catch live butterflies for collections.

Place for Butterflies Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mites by Valerie Bodden

Magnified things we never actually see in our day to day life are quite creepy – yet incredibly fascinating. Made me want to vacuum.

Mites Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read

Nine Words Max by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by David Huyck

Max is too talkative – wouldn’t it be great if he could only say nine words at a time? Ideal, think his brothers. But is it? Clever.

 Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dolphin SOS by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki with illustrations by Julie Flett

This was one of those read alouds where at one point the silence in the room was thick – surrounding us like fog – it seemed like we could see it and feel it all at once. Such a beautifully emotional book about three dolphins off the coast of Newfoundland who became trapped in the ice in a cove. The townspeople had to listen to their cries for days before they finally intervened when government wouldn’t help. There is a moment between a dolphin and one of the rescuers that is just awe inspiring. Based on a true story.

Dolphin SOS Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Death and grief healed by memories and community. A lovely, accessible picture book.

The Memory Tree Britta Teckentrup Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Gift for Mama by Linda Ravin Lodding illustrated by Alison Jay

I love Alison Jay’s illustrations and this book, set in Vienna, was an absolute visual and historical treat. A circular story about Oskar trying to find a perfect gift for his Mama for her birthday. Yet, he keeps encountering people in need of his gift and trades each of them for something new. Themes of kindness, generosity and optimism.

a gift for mama Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

I finished this morning. Incredible.

crossover Monday February 2nd 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next?  My children and I continue reading The Shadowhand Covenant (Book Two of the Vengekeep Prophecies) by Brian Farrey. With my class, I have started Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles. Oh, so very good!

I am starting The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy (one of my #MustReadin2015 titles)

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 43/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 4/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 10/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 3/50 books read

Monday December 22nd, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is this picture of two girls buddy reading together at the carpet. I loved watching them take turns reading pages and making predictions about the story.

Monday December 22nd, 2014 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

Warning: This post contains a lot of picture books! I tried to only feature my favourites of the week. I had a lot of favourites! I will try to be very brief in my commentary.

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Picture book perfection. LOVE this title and everything it says about home and family.

Nana in the City Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Blizzard by John Rocco

A title full of different things for different readers – nostalgia for a different, simpler time, adventure imagined, celebration of family and neighbourhood and just plain wow of winter and weather. Rocco is fast becoming one of my very favourite book creators.

Blizzard Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Lion vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer

Just saying, this is one clever rabbit. And he is more than he seems. Lots of layers to this story.

Lion vs Rabbit Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Songs of the Water Boatman written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

Come to the pond and experience it like you have never imagined through vivid images, fascinating facts and gorgeous illustrations.

Songs of the Water Boatman Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Illustrations to get lost in, absolutely stunning. Fascinating to have a glimpse into the thinking and passions of Roget. Inspires list making of many kinds. Looking forward to sharing this with my students.

The Right Word Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The next four picture books were donated to Seymour School by author Hiromi Goto – I was able to take them home to read before they become part of our collection in January. Thank you Hiromi!

Wow Wow and Haw Haw George written by George Murray and illustrated by Michael Pittman

An adaptation of a Celtic legend. Enjoyed the colour palette, the connection to nature and the pacing of the story. I know this will be a hugely engaging read aloud.

Wow Wow and Haw Haw Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World by Celia Godkin 

I am a big fan of Godkin’s information story books. I always learn many new things and this book was no exception.

Skydiver- Saving the Fastest Bird in the World Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Tweedles Go Electric written by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Marie Lafrance 

Lots of fun with the energetic and charismatic Tweedles and their choices that were very much ahead of their time. History. “Green” priorities. Charming energy to this one!

The Tweedles Go Electric Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress written by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Isabelle Malefant 

A title about diversity and gender stereotypes. Perfect title to spark discussions about acceptance, individuality and classroom community.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack

Never expected a bed time story about the joy of the read aloud to begin with a duck in the fridge and end with a household full of animals and the power of a story!

Duck in the Fridge Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

A Piece of Cake by LeUyen Pham

On route to visit his friend, mouse trades away all of the pieces of cake he was planning to deliver. No worries, some more trades can happen to find some ingredients to bake a new cake! Loved how the “offerings” on route back to make a cake were not the ones you would have suspected. Clever.

A Piece of Cake Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

this ORQ (he cave boy) written by David Elliot and illustrated by Lori Nichols 

A “child wants pet” “parent says no” story from “cave people time” Absolutely adorable.

this ORQ (He Cave Boy) Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Flat Rabbit by Bárður Oskarsson

You know, I like this book – almost gave it a higher rating but thought intended audiences – children-  might not know what to do with this title. Is that because we protect them from such subjects (death)? Not sure. There is something honest and real about this book. And the end, though abrupt on first read, is then somehow full of our fragility. Not many picture books allow the characters to just not really know. And leave it there . . .

The Flat Rabbit Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy 

Incredible. Sharks are probably the most terrifying of all creatures to me and yet I found myself fascinated and full of questions reading this book.

 Neighborhood Sharks Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

In other reading:

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman

Ideal to read and discuss a chapter at a time. Eastern philosophy bound up for the very young.

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Super Lexi is not a Fan of Christmas by Emma Lesko

This series featuring Lexi by Emma Lesko is an important addition to our school and classroom libraries. Lexi reminds us that kids are unique, we can support them with flexibility and that we all have something to teach each other. I like how this story gives kids permission to find the holiday “hoopla” varying degrees of overwhelming! Realistic school setting and nice job with friendship dynamics.

Super Lexi is Not a Fan of Christmas Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle

I have discovered so many beautiful novels in verse as of late. This title, by Engle, inspired by her Grandmother is full of courage, family and a rich history.

Wild Book Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye

I finally picked this book up after weeks of setting it aside and enjoyed its conclusion. Quiet pace and some beautiful images – a story of a young boy and his strong connection to his grandfather.

The Turtle of Oman Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by Shane W. Evans 

A truly beautiful and important book. Highly recommended. Another novel in verse –  heavy in loss and anguish, light in hope and dreams of new possibilities.

the red pencil Monday December 22nd, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? I am reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray I have a huge list beyond this! Likely after this I will be balancing thin with thick novels in my TBR pile trying to reach my goal of 100 novels by 2015! Hopelessly ambitious, that’s me!

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 83/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 591/650 books read (41 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 136/65 complete

 

Monday December 15th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is this picture taken during Reading Workshop. It highlights that all kinds of readers choose all kinds of books. Dr. Seuss? Check. Browsing some Elephant and Piggie titles? Check. Some amazing graphic novels? In Raina Telgemeier‘s Sisters, absolutely!

Monday December 15th, 2014 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

My favourite picture books of the week?

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

The end pages alone are reason to own this book. (That’s my current #1 reason why I must have it) Poet and artist celebrate nature’s successes. Who has been around for a long time and continues to thrive? Introduced in order of their evolutionary arrival, read poems and facts about such creatures as the squirrel, ants, geckos and diatoms. Fascinating and a lyrical experience all at once. Blending of art, poetry and nonfiction.

Ubiquitous Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan

Wow. These illustrations. So very, very beautiful. Octopus is overwhelmed by the curious seahorses who find her so fascinating. She seeks out a quieter home but eventually misses her friends. I like the honouring of needing space but that it isn’t necessarily forever.

Octopus Alone Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

123 versus ABC by Mike Boldt

Super silly – an ideal title for reading aloud and then left to be read and reread individually and with a buddy. Such fun! Is this an ABC book or a counting book? The argument between letters and numbers travels through the pages. It doesn’t take long to catch on to what is happening but it sure is fun following it all through to the end. I bought this book for my classroom library.

123 Versus ABC Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by 12 Award Winning Artists

Lovely lullaby poems made even lovelier by the various artists who illustrated this collection. It’s difficult to pick a favourite page but I certainly had fun trying. I did choose a favourite poem though: Wooden Town. I can just imagine that I would have been reading this poem to my children when they were younger again and again and again.

Goodnight Songs Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

And in novel reading . . .

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg (Middle Grade)

A novel in verse set in Haiti. Serafina lives in poverty with her family and her ambitious dreams of one day being a doctor. At eleven, she tries to convince her parents to send her to school. Hardships and natural disasters abound but Serafina’s strength and dreams persist.

Serafina's Promise Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Young Adult)

What a read. Sad. Vulnerable. Full of raw mistakes and huge hopes. Grief. Passion. Love. Despair. Family dynamics of so many varieties. It seems a book that pulls the reader through so many emotions may leave that reader exhausted and done by the end of the pages. Yet, this title is strangely energizing. It leaves you wanting more. Rooting for everyone. Lighter.

I'll Give you the sun Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have started The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney. I am still reading The Turtle of Oman: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye. I don’t seem to pick this title up very often and tend to keep starting other books. This week it’s time to get it read or abandon it.

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 79/100 novels complete (I have made the pile of 21 titles I must finish in order to meet this challenge. Will I get it done is the big big question)

Goodreads Challenge: 570/650 books read (49 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 131/65 complete

Monday December 8th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is another gem from buddy reading. I captured this little guy mid-point. I love how my students interact and have such fun with the K class. It is a highlight for all of us!

Monday December 8th, 2014 #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

Oh you should see my beautiful piles of books to read – they are spread out in multiple places around my house. I did dip my toe into reading some of them. But people in my house were sick and I wasn’t = lots more housework for me. Housework and soup making. People in my house needed to go to lots of dance rehearsals = less time for reading for me. It’s the way it goes! My reading plans are still all about meeting my goals for the year but the countdown to 2015 is certainly on . . .

I did manage to choose my must own/must share picture books for my Gift Books 2014 post. Check it out if you missed it and see if your favourites are there. Would love to hear which books would make your list if you would like to leave a comment. #Booklove shared is the very best kind!

Gift Books 2014

And I read some lovely books:

Haiti my country: Poems by Haitan Schoolchildren Illustrated by Rogé

This title is stunning. The portraits are incredible – full of joy, somber, movement and stories. And the poems . . . Written by Haitian teenagers – these poems celebrate nature. They touch all of your senses with the images of Haiti – pink flowers, ripe mango, dancing Haitian trees, humble little huts, a garden of gold . . . One of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books I had to purchase this title. I want to share it with my students and immerse them in the images these young poets create.

Haiti My Country Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade written by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Christian Robinson

I like how the power of observation and the eye for detail are honoured here. But not just of the external, extraneous details. Instead, details of our interactions and our intentions. One little girl misses nothing and reminds everyone about how we treat each other.

smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Are you a Ladybug? A Backyard Book by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries

I have many of these Backyard Book titles in my classroom collection and was happy to add this one. I posted about using these titles in my classroom here.

 Are you a Ladybug? Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Loathe You by David Slonim

If you are a monster, you might express your deep feelings by substituting the word loathe for love. Fun to read aloud and giggle over. A perfect addition to my list of monster stories.

I loathe you Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lord of the Forest written by Caroline Pitcher and illustrated by Jackie Morris

Oh, trust me, this cover is a mere peek. Each illustration is absolutely this stunning throughout the entire book! Little tiger goes in search of the Lord of the Forest. When he is grown and has cubs of his own, the secret of who is Lord is revealed.

 Lord of the Forest Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Add me to the list of Albie fans. Being kind is still absolutely underrated which is ridiculous but true. Albie reminds us all of many things. Most of all – how very challenging it is to be true to yourself.

Absolutely Almost Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

This was a reread for me as I read it aloud to my children. Easily one of my favourite novels of all time. Both of my children loved it. Incredibly written. Doug Swieteck is our hero. If you have read this book, you are nodding your head. If you haven’t, go, find a copy and soon. Can’t recommend this book highly enough. Middle grade perfection.

Okay for Now Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

A novel in verse. Again, I will say, that novels with sparse words often haunt us with the most powerful images. This book made me very sad. Not quite ready to articulate the many reasons why. An important read.

 home of the Brave Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have started I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I am also still reading The Turtle of Oman: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye. With my children, I have begun Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 77/100 novels complete (yes, more than 20 to go! I have faith!)

Goodreads Challenge: 560/650 books read (48 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 128/65 complete

Monday November 17th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is of these two boys acting out Elephant and Piggie titles during buddy reading. They got completely into the roles!

Monday November 17th, 2014 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

I found a wonderful bunch of picture books this week. Sharing my favourites here:

Countablock written by Christopher Franceschelli; art by Peskimo

This book is literally a block. A chunk of interesting pages in a sort of board book format but think super size. Count up to 100. Throw in a little cause and effect (Three boxes become. . . (turn the page) three forts) Lots of counting. Bright colours. And a surprise at the end. So much fun that I had to buy it for our classroom buddy reading collection. I know the kindergarten kids will delight in sharing this title with my students.

Countablock Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

Piggie has a surprise and Gerald needs to wait to find out what it is. If you know Gerald, you can imagine that waiting is not a talent he has. His impatience is very amusing. What exactly is the surprise? Well . . . it is worth the wait. And, no, I’m not telling.

Waiting is Not Easy! Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Norman, Speak! written by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Qin Leng

So what happens if the dog you get from the animal shelter doesn’t understand your language? Well, Norman’s new family are willing to do a lot so that they can begin communicating with Norman. My students found this book very interesting!

norman, speak! Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

May the Stars Drip Down written by Jeremy Chatelain and illustrated by Nikki McClure

A beautiful, soothing lullaby. A work of art.

May the Stars Drip Down Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Watch this video of Nikki McClure talking about making the images for this book. Soothing. Calm. Slow. Beautiful.

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

Rubin and Salmieri are quite the team. They make quirky books. This one is especially silly and the monsters especially fetching. It will not appeal to everyone. Some might find it too odd.  I think as a read aloud it has big potential and will be one of those books that certain kids will obsess over.

Big Bad Bubble Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

More monster love. Leonardo may not be the best monster but he has some pretty great endearing qualities.

Leonardo Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Small Medium Large: A Book about Relative Sizes written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Tomek Bogacki

Amazing title to support the vocabulary around describing sizes from minuscule to enormous. So very clever.

Small Medium Large Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Oh Flora, on ice and with an energetic penguin, you are the perfect blend of graceful and flummoxed as your skating partner appears and reappears mid move. Absolutely charming.

Flora and the Penguin Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Reading Sam & Dave Dig a Hole pulls you deep into a “theorizing hole” and digging in, around and out is highly satisfying. Picture book brilliance through and through.

I loved that after reading this title, I could finally read Travis Jonker‘s fantastic post:

6 Theories on the Ending of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

I am not going to add any of my theories here. I just love that 1) Right from the cover, the wondering begins.

I hope they don’t bury the dog,” my husband commented when I handed him the book to read.

And 2) as soon as you finish, you have to start again to deal with that “Huh? Hold on” kind of feeling.

Can’t wait to share this with my class.

 Sam & Dave Dig a Hole Monday November 17th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What Can a Crane Pick Up? written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrated by Mike Lowery

I bought this book for many reasons. So many that I will actually start a list.

  1. I love the rhyming text. And I don’t usually like rhyming text.
  2. I think this is a perfect book to read and reread to get the rhythm right.
  3. So . . . it is the ideal buddy reading book and will go in our buddy reading bin.
  4. Any excuse to visit the nostalgic place of construction equipment that I no longer get asked to read since my son is 12 and not a toddler anymore. Sigh.
  5. The bright illustrations.
  6. And . . . there is a page of cartons and cartons of library books (held up by cranes using chains and hooks). Yep!
  7. So with number 6, I was pretty much sold. Which is probably obvious.
  8. I need this crane to come with me to the library 🙂

What Can a Crane Pick Up?

I also finished the brilliant Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Verse novels hold so much power to literally wrap us up in evocative images and in this case, personal history. In some senses, it feels like spying to be so close. A beautifully written memoir of a time and a place – oh so personal but yet, with connections and links to many more than young Jacqueline Woodson. A gift to readers.

brown girl dreaming

Next? I am in the middle of  Nest by Esther Ehrlich and then plan to read Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

It’s Picture Book Month! This week I shared two posts in celebration:

pb month logo

Picture Books that Celebrate Courage

 Picture Books that Celebrate Courage

Picture Books that Model Perseverance

 Perseverance

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 72/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 531/650 books read (38 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 120/65 complete

Monday October 27th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

I hope everyone was able to get lost in a book or two or three just like these guys did in Buddy Reading this week!

Monday October 27th, 2014 #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

My favourite picture books of the week:

Ms. Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome!) written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley

In this delightful tale, Miss Brooks gives her students the opportunity to connect with their inner story telling selves. But things get really interesting when Missy realizes that she can use her creative energies and wild imagination to tackle real life problems. Say problems named Billy Toomey . . .

Check out my students’ reviews here.

Miss Brooks' Story Nook #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The trailer is delightful

Giant Dance Party written by Betsy Bird and illustrated by Brandon Dorman

Stage fright explored by big blue fluffy monsters and a feisty little girl.

Giant Dance Party Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

This book is absolute kid humour. In fact, one of my students found it at the library and insisted I read it and consider reading it aloud. I think I just might because it would be a LOT of fun to share with a group. A hungry monster continues to be outwitted by a group of ever multiplying bunnies.

Don't Play with Your Food Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

H.o.r.s.e. a game of basketball and imagination by Christopher Myers

I read this aloud at dinner to my family and my twelve year old son and husband – both who enjoy basketball – were quite enthralled. Love the friendly banter and boasting and the focus on stretching both skills and creativity.

HORSE Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Rosie and Buttercup written by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

Oh, so very, very real when it comes to sibling relationships. Don’t you sometimes wish you could just give your annoying little sister away? What if you could? This title explores that question in such a tender and honest way. No blame – just exploring normal feelings of being irritated and having reached the point of frustration.

 Rosie and Buttercup Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young

Such an interesting title – exploring the concept of memories – so Nancy, our elephant main character, is perfect.

Nancy Knows Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Oliver’s Tree by Kit Chase

Adorable illustrations of these three friends. What kind of tree can an elephant belong in? Two friends support Oliver to find out.

Oliver's Tree Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Early readers/younger chapter books:

Annie’s Adventures (The Sister’s 8 Book 1) written by Lauren Baratz-Logsted with Greg Logsted & Jackie Logsted

My daughter devoured all nine titles in this series and I have some girls in my room beginning to read the series so I thought I should read one so I can talk with my students. Lots going on – mystery, sibling negotiation and sister power. Quite sophisticated writing and longer than a typical early chapter book – verging on a middle grade read at over 100 pages.

Annie's Adventures Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Humphrey’s Playful Puppy Problem written by Betty G. Birney and illustrated by Priscilla Burris

I find these Humphrey’s Tiny Tales to be the ideal balance between interesting plot and supported text to be the perfect early chapter title.

Humphrey's Playful Puppy Problem Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Novels: (both in verse)

Caminar by Skila Brown

There is something about a heavy story being light in words. Novels in verse can capture images and emotions with so much power that the reader must just stop. This is a beautifully done story – set in Guatemala in the early 1980s when mountain villages are wiped out in the name of searching for rebels. Family. Community. Courage. Nothing is what it once seemed. A powerful story for mature middle grade readers.

Caminar Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Libertad by Alma Fullerton

One night I read Caminar in one sitting and the next morning I woke up and devoured Libertad before getting out of bed. Another novel in verse, also set in Guatemala with a focus on courage and family, Libertad tells the story of a boy forced to protect both himself and his brother after their mother dies as they scavenge for garbage in the Guatemala City Dump. Determined to find his father in America, Libertad brings his brother Julio on a journey to family, freedom and safety. But will each decision be the right one? Is the risk too great? Is their dream even possible? I couldn’t put this book down.

Libertad Monday October 27th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I am still reading The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson and have a large pile of novels just in from the library that I am excited to dive into.

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 69/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 484/650 books read (continue to remain 48 books behind, still keeping it under 50!)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 111/65 complete