Monday February 17th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

The picture books I enjoyed this week (yes, I too notice a theme of silly!):

Just Me and 6,000 Rats: A Tale of Conjunctions written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon

A wonderful way to learn about conjunctions while reading an amusing story about a boy and his 6,000 rats who follow him everywhere. As you might imagine, the rats have quite the impact on everyone he meets. But along the way we get to learn how using words like but, until, since, etc can stretch our sentences!

Here Be Monsters written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

What a brilliant book to read aloud. Dare you to read it and not burst out a pirate accent! The rhyming is divine and the plot adored by young listeners. My students wrote reviews of this book on our class blog Curiosity Racers.

Here be Monsters #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hippospotomus written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross

Hippopotamus has a red spot on his bottomus and every jungle animal offers advice. Nothing works! Completely ridiculous and silly with hilarious rhymes throughout.

” . . .A needle in the bottomus

Will rid you of the spotomus.”

Despite his perfect shotamus.

The cure was in vain.

The ending is ever so clever.

Hippospotamus #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hey, Rabbit! by Sergio Ruzzier

This title appeals to the imaginative and the curious. What is in rabbit’s suitcase? Something for everyone? Each friend makes a remarkable discovery. Will there be anything left for rabbit? Sweet and creative.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

And the train goes . . . by William Bee

I can just imagine travelling back in time to the days when my son was obsessed with every kind of large moving vehicle and the sounds it made. We would have had to read this book over and over and over again. All kinds of colours and wonderful sounds.

Clickerty-click, clickerty-clack

clickerty-click, clickerty-clack . . .

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb

Aunt Amelia comes to babysit and strays a little from the list left by the children’s parents. Let’s just say there is a lot of mud, ice cream consumption and late night reading marathons on the agenda. Would the children like Aunt Amelia to come again? Absolutely! A perfect story for storytime.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Helen’s Big World The Life of Helen Keller written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares

What an incredibly inspirational book about Helen Keller and her brilliant teacher Annie Sullivan. This book has quotations by Keller on every page. Beautifully illustrated. What an amazing relationship between teacher and student. What a tribute to the power of education. So much to this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Novels I finished:

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell (This was a #MustReadin2014 title)

I read this aloud to my children and we adored it. We savoured the quirky, the hilarious and the eccentric. We smiled at the characters. We were lulled by the whimsy. And we were charmed by the brilliance of DiCamillo. 5 stars: all glowing and magical!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Far Far Away written by Tom McNeal

How to describe this book? There is a huge surprise midway through so I’m not even going to touch the plot. But I will talk about the writing. Gorgeous. Eerie. Fairytales intertwined with modern day. Small town charm. Big time mystery. Ghosts. Friends. Love. And the theme of devotion – played out in many ways – some sweet, some heroic, some disturbing.

Far, Far Away #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Next up? I just started Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur. My children and I are hoping that The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen arrives at my work address tomorrow. We are more than a little excited to begin this title and plan to make it our next family read aloud!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 11/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 101/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/65 complete

Monday October 7th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! The #IMWAYR crowd always has so many fantastic titles to share.


The picture books I enjoyed this week:

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner

Nearly wordless and wonderfully odd and quirky. Mr. Wuffles is a cat who doesn’t move unless it’s for a very good reason and he certainly doesn’t move to chase after silly toys his owner buys him. So what is it about the teeny spaceship that has Mr. Wuffles racing all over the house? You must experience this title to truly understand what is happening. At the end of the week I told my students that I would be sharing a book with them this week that is part wordless, part English and part in a language I don’t understand. They are totally intrigued. Can’t wait to see what they make of this book!

 Mr. Wuffles #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Island by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman

Another wordless title where the narrative isn’t necessarily even close to obvious. I suppose if this really bothers you, this book will be somewhat irritating. I love the illustrations and the suggestion of many story lines. My children and I shared this title over breakfast. Each of us was sort of sure we knew what was going on – all of us telling stories that went in quite different directions. Quite fun actually.

The Island #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Paper Dolls written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Although this story is definitely for a younger audience (preschool to K/1 would be ideal) I found it absolutely lovely. A beautiful story celebrating mother daughter time, imagination and playtime adventure. A little girl and her five paper dolls – the names repeat in a poem (loved “Jimmy with two noses”) have many wonderful adventures. There is a moment of cruelty handled without much attention – it isn’t explored but rather gives the story another aspect – that when something is lost or destroyed it is not gone but enters the special world of memories. Would love to gift this to a family with young children. Can see it being a favourite. And of course it has Donaldson’s rhythm and flow.

The Paper Dolls #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

I Dare You Not to Yawn written by Helene Boudreau and illustrated by Serge Bloch

A cautionary tale about how to avoid yawns that will inevitably lead to being put to bed. And oh are there some cozy, soothing temptations. Yikes, just typing this and visualizing those pages, I yawned! Me: zero. Book: one.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry written by Samantha Berger  and illustrated by Bruce Whatley 

Sorry is such an interesting phenomenon. So often children are forced to say sorry and it has no meaning at all. Martha does not voice these words willingly. It is clearly a power thing. It’s not that she isn’t nice, she just won’t admit she’s wrong. When she does finally utter them, it really does feel meaningful. Well handled in a sweet little family story.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Unicorn Thinks he’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

I love that so many important themes are handled in a story that is full of silly, whimsy and all out bling. Themes such as jealousy, friendship, diversity, and accepting someone new. Read this book to laughter and smiles and then settle in for an interesting discussion about a whole lot of stuff. Most importantly of course: How do we get it to rain cupcakes?

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Give Up, Gecko! A Folktale from Uganda retold by Margaret Read MacDonald illustrated by Deborah Melmon

A fun little story highlighting the importance of persistence and the big meanings of what is fair. Silly, fun language and a lovely story all wrapped up in one.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This week I also blogged about some great nonfiction titles I read recently –  perfect for preschool listeners right up to late primary.

In other reading, I finished Jinx by Sage Blackwood

I am so happy that I really liked this book. I really really wanted to like this book. I loved the cover, the author’s name and the promise of a storyline about wizards, witches, various kinds of magic, curses, secrets, adventure, mystery and listening trees. It might have gone the direction of not pulling it off because it seemed to promise so much. But no, it all comes together and I found myself wishing for more free time to just stay lost in this story. An excellent middle grade fantasy/adventure/mystery. Would be great for fans of The False Prince!

 Jinx #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

People seem to either love this title or they are kind of middle of the road on it. I am in the first camp. I finished it early this morning over my first cup of coffee and found myself crying twice in the last section. A really intimate little book that introduces us to Billy Miller, his family, his worries and his triumphs. A seven year old hero of the everyday. Love him. Love him. Love him.

 The Year of Billy Miller #IMWAYR There's a Book for That!

Next up?

The Boy on the Wooden Box A Memoir by Leon Leyson

Happy reading to everyone!