Monday December 26th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This week I got a little carried away ūüôā

Here is a photo of Reading Workshop taken in the last week of school. Nothing makes e happier than readers reading.

Monday December 26th, 2016 There's a Book for That

One day last week I snuck into school to label some new to my class books ready to be book talked in January. Here’s to thieving from our family bookshelves and some great new purchases!

Monday December 26th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Christmas gift bookstack (my children’s haul)

Monday December 26th, 2016 There's a Book for That

And for Elisabeth Ellington, one more student self-portrait

Monday December 26th, 2016 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:

Favourites of 2016 РNo more than 16 words about 16 favourite books

2016-favourites

Books I enjoyed:

The Snurtch written by Sean Ferrell and illustrated by Charles Santoso

Well, if we all have a Snurtch – and I suppose we do – I would hope that mine is this cute. A charming story that reminds us of all the emotions and moods inside of us.

the-snurtch

Blue Penguin by¬†Petr Hor√°ńćek

This is beautifully illustrated! My librarian friend and I went for coffee the other day but we started our visit at the bookshelf where we stood in the picture book section and helped strangers choose gifts for children and grandchildren. Something for a 3 year old? We both reached for¬†Petr Hor√°ńćek. And penguins?! Can’t go wrong.

blue-penguin

The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond

To say that I am more than happy that Desmond is going to create a series of books on endangered animals is an understatement. Each is a treasure. This one was my holiday gift to myself. A must own title.

the-polar-bear

The Journey by Francesca Sanna

The art. The sentiments. The story. This is a collage of a collection of stories of people migrating from one home in search of another. A beautiful, important book.

the-journey

The Bear Who Wasn’t There by LeUyen Pham

Go looking for a bear and you just might not find him. But lots of giggles are on every page as you meet a cast of cheeky characters.

 The Bear who Wasn't There

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

Many endearing characters. Gertie, of course and her Aunt Rae. The only thing holding me back from 5 stars for this title is that Gertie’s personality didn’t quite match her age. She seemed younger and it distracted me. Still, looking forward to more from Kate Beasley.

gerties-leap-to-greatness

A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Binder

This was a real find! Can’t wait to include this series in my classroom collection. I loved the friendship between Rip and Red. So much loyalty, faith and understanding between these characters.

a-whole-new-ballgame

LumberJanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

A little too wacky, colourful and busy for my tastes but I know this graphic series is throughly enjoyed by middle grade readers.

the-lumberjanes-1

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

Looking for more mystery titles for my students and realized I hadn’t read this one by Mass. Really enjoyed the friendship here and Jeremy’s search for all kinds of answers.

jeremy-fink

The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage

A think a perfect summer would be to rent a little house in Tupelo Landing so that I could spy on Mo and Dale and get a closer look at their adventures. Love these books! (And yes, I know this is a fictional world but after three titles, it all seems so real)

The Odds of Getting Even  by Sheila Turnage

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 68/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 348/400 books read

Progress on challenge: 45 books behind! Under 50 books to go . . .

#MustReadin2016: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 47/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 49/50 books read

Up next? I am working on The Raven King – likely my last #mustreadin2016 I will manage to get to! I started this book in the summer but had to put it down when school got busy – it needs uninterrupted reading time.

Monday June 8th, 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 K class. Don’t you just love how completely enthralled this little guy is in this story? Absolute focus. It helps that his buddy is an expressive, keen reader. Ah, book love shared!

Monday June 8th, 2015 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 reading this week included:

The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud

Another adventure of the busy, bustling searching high and low kind. Papa Bear must find Little Bear who has again disappeared. This time, some of the searching happens on a tropical island. What fun!

The Bear's Sea Escape Monday June 8th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Fly by by Petr¬†Hor√°ńćek

Highly amusing. The story of the highly misunderstood and under loved house fly.

The FLy Monday June 8th, 2015 There's a Book for That

A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

I love all of these books by Aston and Long. This is particularly gorgeous and full of fantastic information about various nests. I loved the neighbourly nests.

A Nest is Noisy Monday June 8th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

I preordered this book based on its gorgeous cover and the buzz I was hearing about it being a beautiful book about whales and oceans and measurement and wow. And, wow! An incredible read aloud for children who love to be amazed by nature. I loved the illustration of the blue whale’s mouth with 50 people standing in its lower jaw! Hoping Jenni Desmond decides to do more books with a nonfiction flair. This is a must own.

The Blue Whale Monday June 8th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Lulu Belle and the Sea Turtle written by Belinda Murrell and illustrated by Serena Geddes

This is the second Lulu Belle that I have read and I am so impressed with this young chapter book series. Perfect for primary students to read independently or a fun read aloud for those little readers not quite able to read on their own. This title is about sea turtles, art shows, a family adventure and a small Australian Aboriginal community.

 Lulu Belle Monday June 8th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Son of a Gun by Anne de Graaf 

Whoa. A fast read. Haunting. Powerful. About civil war in Liberia and children who are kidnapped and forced to become soldiers. Based on interviews with former child soldiers. Lines in this book stopped me cold.

Son of a Gun Monday June 8th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 28/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 211/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 11/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 46/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 21/50 books read

Up next? I continue to read Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles At school, my students and I are more than half way through Jack by Liesl Shurtliff

Monday January 26th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week with all of the buzz of #MockCaldecott, I had many to choose from. But this photo of these two boys quietly reading is my favourite. It captures what happens when there are a few free moments in our class – students grab books and read. Choices and habits that are simple, sure, solid. Love.

For a peek at some related #booklove attached to our ¬†#MockCaldecott, head over to my classroom blog and read about our guessing of title #3 in Aaron Becker‘s trilogy: Journey, Quest , . . . .?¬†

Monday January 26th, 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

Favourites of the week:

A Perfectly Messed Up Story by Patrick McDonnell

There are many things I adore about this little title. The value it places on books. It’s philosophical musings. The coffee rings. The wit. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

A Perfectly Messed up Story Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Stormy Night by Salina Yoon

Sweet through and through. A stormy night and a brave little bear (with the help of his family) handles the noises of a storm.

Stormy Night Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jonathan & Martha by Petr Horácek 

Playful and fun with lift up parts, cut outs and worms that battle into a tied up companionship, this books has huge potential for our buddy reading collection.

Jonathan & Martha Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas written by Lynn Cox and illustrated by Brian Floca 

What a story! An elephant seal that felt at home in a river in Christchurch New Zealand. When the well meaning townspeople bring her out to the ocean where they assume she will be safer and more content, she manages to return time after time.

Elizabeth-Queen-of-the-Seas- Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Maudie and Bear written by Jan Ormerod and illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Anything Freya Blackwood and I am a little in love. Interesting reactions to this title. Our little Maudie is full of spunk, personality and . . . .but bear is calm, solid and consistent. Full of patience and love. Would be interesting to talk with children about what they think about the interactions. I think Maudie actually represents many little ones who are quite focussed on self.

Maudie and Bear Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished (book #4 from my #MustReadin2015 list) The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Lots of love. Lots of pain. Grief and mourning muddled up with falling in love and living. Some stop you in your tracks images and lines. Wow.

The Sky is Everywhere Monday January 26th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I finished reading Twerp by¬†Mark Goldblatt¬†to my children as our family read aloud. I highly recommend this title if you haven’t read it. It would make an ideal middle school read aloud (Grade 6 and up I think) Tonight we started reading The Shadowhand Covenant (Book Two of the Vengekeep Prophecies) by Brian Farrey

I am reading The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 5/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 32/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 4/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 5/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 2/50 books read

 

Monday February 3rd, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

I celebrated many happy #booklovish things on my classroom blog this week. Read here for a few smiles (especially if you have read Rump by Liesl Shurtliff).

My favourite picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) reads of the week:

Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka

The sequel to A Ball for Daisy which won the Caldecott Medal. I know not everyone loves Raschka but I really do. And I think that this title is so special. It completely captures the feeling of suddenly realizing you are lost and the absolute joy of being found.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lucky Ducklings written by Eva Moore and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

This is based on a true event where a bunch of little ducklings did get lost down a storm drain and had to be rescued. Wonderful illustrations. Well written repetition. A perfect title for reread after reread.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Voyage written by Veronica Salinas and illustrated by Camilla Engman

A book that definitely needs more than one read. This one is philosophical and contemplative. How do we face what is new? How do we begin to belong? How are we understood? How do we manage the unknown? What makes us feel a part of things? How do we extend compassion and welcome to others? All of these questions are addressed as a little duck finds itself in a new place and moves through a range of emotions from confusion and fear to joy and calm. Would children navigate this book on their own? Not sure. I think it would be best in a read aloud/discussion situation.

The Voyage #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

My Elephant by Petr Hor√°ńćek

Often for little ones, it seems everyone is too busy for play and fun. This is the case for the boy in this story. Grandma and Grandpa are often occupied but his elephant is never too busy! Elephant and boy get up to all kinds of imaginative antics.

My elephant #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister

Any book which inspires wonder and questions gets points in my world. Questions about the natural world and some stunning illustrations – like the one of the whale with this text:

Does a whale make up a song so other whales will sing along?

This would be a wonderful mentor text for children’s own natural wonderings . . .

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Under the Snow written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance R Bergum

It really is one of nature’s most interesting mysteries and magic – where does everything go in winter? How do animals survive? What do all of the creatures we see at other times of the year do all winter long? Children often know some things about hibernation – but what else might happen during the cold, cold winter? Which creatures really do sleep winter away? Informative and beautifully illustrated. Feel like you are peeking into winter hiding places of animals and creatures that seemed to disappear. Of course, this would be perfect to read with Kate Messner‘s Over and Under the Snow

Under the Snow #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jumping Penguins illustrated by Marije Tolman with text by Jesse Goossens

This is a gorgeous and engaging animal concept book – I featured it this week in my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday post. An amazing blend of facts, whimsy and wonder.

Jumping Penguins #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What if you had Animal Hair? written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Howard McWilliam

I bought this on a whim with a Scholastic order because I recognized Sandra Markle as an author of lots of nonfiction. I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried out a page with my own children and they insisted we read the whole book. And then we had to look through it all again and choose which animal hair we would most like to have. Lots of information about animal fur and hair – told in an engaging way and connected to our everyday life. For example, did you know that . . .

If you had three-toed sloth hair, you’d never be alone. Because of the algae, your hair would be home to many different kinds of harmless insects.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Frog and Friends: Frog Saves the Day written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Josee Masse

I continue to be impressed with this set of Frog and Friends titles. This one has two distinct stories inside featuring lots of adventures with the animals that live near frog. This title features a dramatic rescue and some serious confusion about what exactly a train might be. Lots of pictures, interesting dialogue and well told stories.

frog saves the day #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

 The Vengekeep Prophecies written by Brian Farrey

I read this aloud to my children and it was often difficult to put it down and enforce bedtime. Gripping, full of adventure, magic and the perfect blend of humour and fantasy to keep both of my eleven year old listeners (one boy, one girl) captivated. This is really well done fantasy. It is fresh with many unexpected twists and turns. We loved the main character – a mediocre (at best) thief from a long line of thieving tricksters, the Grimjinxes, Jaxter Grimjinx has heart and morals that one might not have expected. Lots of action. Many disasters. Ethical choices. And magical and fantastical creatures that surprise, amuse and astound. My children instantly asked if there is more of this Brian Farrey writing out there to feast their curious eyes upon. Both were thrilled to hear that there is a next title: The Shadowhand Covenant. If I was the prophecy kind . . . I would say for certain that there will be more time with these characters in our read aloud future.

Vengekeep Prophecies #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Living written by Matt de la Pena (One of my #MustReadin2014 titles)

While this is fast paced and full of action, I don’t recommend anyone bringing this along for a vacation read. I would not want to be in a boat, near a boat, near the ocean, on a beach or anywhere tropical and islandish when reading this book. In fact, I think if ever I might have taken a cruise, this book might have convinced me not to! I had to start there because this book has a lot of OMG scary disasters and survival. It also has mystery, deception and dystopian themes thrown in. And at this point, I can say no more without giving away important plot points. Well written YA fiction for certain!

The Living #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I am reading¬†Marie Lu‚Äės¬†The Champion¬†to finish the trilogy. After this, I think I will read Far Far Away by Tom McNeal. I have started Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures¬†by¬†Kate DiCamillo¬†with my children. So, so good! With my new Junior Book Club at school, I am reading Charlotte’s Web .

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 79/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 5/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 30/65 complete

Happy Reading to all!

Monday May 27th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

 

Join¬†Jen and Kellee‚Äôs meme¬†and share all of your reading from picture books to young adult reads! Such a fantastic way to learn about ‚Äúnew to you‚ÄĚ titles by exploring all of the blog posts shared! Share your own reading on twitter via the hashtag #IMWAYR

My picture book obsession has continued and so again I have many books to share. Like the last few weeks, I will keep it to my ten favourites.

Brief Thief written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo¬†Absolutely hilarious. Dare you to read this and not laugh. Or at least smile. Definitely smirk. My daughter called it disgusting when I read it to her which made me love it all the more.¬†So of course I had to share it with my students.¬†The first three pages each have one sentence. On page three, we find out that the main character (a likeable lizard) has to go poo. Well, of course, ¬†. . . that got everyone’s attention. One child even shared that he often had a meal, went to play and then (like the lizard) had to run back in and take a poo! Oh thank goodness, we have created an environment where connecting is valued ūüôā Anyway, I don’t want to give much of the plot away as this book really does need to be experienced. I will say though that the “briefs” on the cover are stolen to deal with a toilet paper crisis, there is a battle with a “conscience” and in the end, heroes (of sorts) win out. That’s all I’m saying (Except – Go read the book!)

 It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

My New Shirt¬†written by¬†Cary Fagan and illustrated by¬†Dusan Petricic This pair work so wonderfully together. Their recent Mr. Zinger’s Hat is one of my favourite picture books of 2013. My New Shirt came out in 2007 and I happened upon it at my public library today. This isn’t a book for those that don’t like a longer picture book. It is on the lengthy side and would likely be best shared with readers 8 and up just so that the length can be managed and the humour appreciated. It is basically about a young boy who is gifted a new white dress shirt every year on his birthday by his grandmother. This year when his “Bubbie” gives him the shirt, he has a sort of “out of body” experience (that involves an image of endless white shirts floating towards him) and the shirt ends up getting dropped out the window. What happens from there is an amusing romp through the neighbourhood and around the eclectic neighbours as the chase is on after the shirt (keenly held in the pet dog’s teeth)! Maybe this book especially appeals to me because I have “gift receiving¬†anxiety” It’s a lot of pressure to receive a gift gracefully – especially one you might not like – although I have never thrown anything out of the window!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

The Big Question written and illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch¬†A simple little picture book that tackles a huge life question: “Why am I here?” Turning the pages allows us to hear many answers to this big question. “You’re here to kiss the clouds,” says the pilot. “You are here to obey,” the soldier states. “So that you many learn patience,” the gardener shares. The book takes us through many answers from people and animals alike. It ends with the wisdom that as you grow, more answers will reveal themselves and includes a place in the back to make notes for when answers are discovered. This book won the Bologna Ragazzi award in 2004. Original edition is in German.

The Big Question It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Backbeard and the Birthday Suit written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott All about fun and ridiculous pirate fashion. One of the best pirate books out there. Backbeard is the quintessential pirate Рhairy, stinky, and full of pirate swagger.

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Puffin Peter written and illustrated by Petr Horacek Absolutely stunning illustrations. A story about friendship, the similarities and differences in birds and the importance of being specific. And whoa . . . a gorgeous whale page!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping written and illustrated by Melanie Watt When I shared this book with my class, we had to pull out every Scaredy Squirrel book in the room and these books travelled from child to child during independent reading time. Scaredy Squirrel is the most wonderfully anxious, eccentric character out there. How can you not love a squirrel who dons a survival kit to bring an extension cord to a power outlet so that he can watch TV shows about camping in the safety of his own tree? (Think I just summarized the book in one very long and exhausting sentence) Hilarious!

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping It's Monday! What are you Reading? 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.

The Princess and the Pig It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Not your Typical Dragon written by¬†Dan Bar-el and illustrated by¬†Tim Bowers¬†What happens when a little dragon is born into a long line of wonderful fire breathers and can’t manage to even produce a little puff of smoke? A story about diversity, acceptance and realizing what you need.

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Little Red Riding Hood written by Lari Don and illustrated by Celia Chauffrey I have been collecting many fairy tales for our class collection and loved the illustrations in this version. Some twists from the original tale. A Barefoot Books book so just beautifully done and contains a story CD. 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Just Ducks! written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino I love the gentle narration infused with facts in this beautifully illustrated book about ducks! And I love ducks. This book would have been a treasure to my childhood self.

Just Ducks! It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

In other reading, I finished two fantastic middle grade novels.

Bigger than a Breadbox written by¬†Laurel Snyder¬†So powerful. A sensitive story about a young girl coping with the separation of her parents. Captures emotions and thinking that is so personal and raw. The magic in this book is really well done. It seems possibly impossible and I’m sure would entice young readers to continually ask themselves, what would they do in Rebecca’s place? While this book is about the break up of a marriage and what it does to a family, it also handles all of the emotions of moving to a new place and new school so well. Important and real family moments. Friend anxiety. A perfect middle grade selection.

It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

Hold Fast written by Blue Balliett This is the first Balliett title I have read. I was very curious about this novel. I have seen people rave about it and others have some pretty specific criticism. I was quickly captured by the brilliant word/literacy reverence and the rhythms of language. What held me was the power of family and faith and the desire for home. Such an important book.

Hold Fast It's Monday! What are you Reading? There's a Book for That

What’s next? Homesick by Kate Klise. This was a recommendation made to me by another blogger from the #IMWAYR community, Ms Yingling, when she saw I had read another title about a child of a hoarder. Will be interesting to see how this topic is handled in this novel.

Fly Free

We love making art in our classroom. It seems always to be more powerful when it is a response to a book we have read. I don’t think it is hard to figure out why – books inspire us to think and feel and reflect and respond. Art is all about responding creatively to what we are thinking about. So the picture book/art connection is a powerful one.

There is a bit of a story to how my Grade 2/3s happened to create these pictures:

 Fly Free! There is a Book for That

It started with the¬†wonderful¬†book The Secret Message that author Mina Javaherbin sent to our class after we had made a connection with her when we reviewed her book Goal! This book, based on an ancient ¬†Persian poem by Rumi, tells the story of a wealthy ¬†merchant and his parrot. The beautiful bird sings of longing and dreams of freedom and yet, his only reward is a larger cage. When the merchant travels to India, the parrot asks him to tell his wild parrot friends of his captivity and how he misses flying in the forest. The birds manage to send a secret message back to their parrot friend in Persia, ensuring his route to freedom. This story inspired many questions and lots of discussion. Big themes of course involved freedom and the merchant’s right to keep a wild bird captive.

The Secret message

Students were not impressed by the larger cage that the merchant bought the parrot. They felt it didn’t come close to measuring up to the beautiful forest where wild birds flew free. This got me thinking about an art project I had pinned to my art boards on Pinterest. It was from the wonderful art blog Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room. This project also looked at birds and cages and questioned captivity. Inspired by this project, I decided to have the students draw their own bird cages that they could have birds perch upon. We also incorporated the message from Mina when she signed her book for us: Fly Free!

Students began by drawing an elaborate bird cage with black crayon and oil pastel. We thought about a door to the cage and making it stand out as firmly closed. Some students began with mock up sketches to think about shape and design.

 Fly Free! There's a Book for That

Finished cages were elaborate and beautiful. We talked about how we liked the idea of these cages for decoration but not for keeping a bird inside!

 Fly Free! There's a Book for That

We then made our birds after looking at many picture books and nonfiction books that featured parrots but also other exotic and beautiful birds with interesting colouring and decorative bills. A favourite was a book that celebrated being observant about the details of different birds: Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek. Simply gorgeous! The striped beak of this little puffin made its way onto many finished birds! We loved the layered colours and the loose lines that outlined this beautiful bird.

 Fly Free! There's a Book for That

Drawings started with crayon. Some looked very puffinesque (thanks Petr!)

 Fly Free! There's a Book for That

Other birds came in different shapes.

 Fly Free! There's a Book for That

Some students were very excited to make their birds multicoloured using layers of crayon and oil pastels.

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Two colours on the beaks were very popular

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Big theme? Pride!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

And smiles!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Students then cut out their birds and the signs they had made that expressed either: Freedom of Fly Free. They positioned them on the page so it was clear that the birds were perched outside the cages and voila – beautiful art projects with a message!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

Fly Free! There's a Book for That!

The great thing about this project? As we worked on it over multiple days, our discussions continued. As students worked, they talked about blending colours, interesting birds and what it means to be free. What could be better?

Thanks to Mina Javaherbin for such an important book!