Monday April 24th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Typically, I have more than one to share!

I love happening upon keen readers perched all over the room.

Monday April 24th, 2017

I am the #1 Reader spotter. I find them no matter where they hide!

Monday April 24th, 2017

Buddy reading spots

Monday April 24th, 2017

Lots of #classroombookaday photos to share. Can you see a theme in each collection?

Monday April 24th, 2017 Monday April 24th, 2017

Monday April 24th, 2017

Monday April 24th, 2017

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

Books I enjoyed:

Out of Wonder Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjorie Wentworth illustrations by Ekua Holmes

Here, I am speechless about this book. I can’t wait to begin reading poems from it aloud to my students. It will be inspiring more words. More poetry. More imagining. BUY this book! Your classroom or library need to have this title.

This is How We Do it: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe I featured this title here.

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Going Places by Ellen Potter with illustrations by Qin Leng

This series is so popular with a few of my students. It has appeal for independent readers from a really broad age range. I had Grade 2s who loved this series. Now I have Grade 4s who love these books. This fourth title is a lot of fun. I love Piper’s bold conviction.

Princess Cora and the Crocodile written by Laura Amy Schlitz with illustrations by Brian Floca

I am pretty certain that most pet lists do not include crocodiles. This one turns out to be pretty amusing and wonderfully, hilariously heroic.

Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key 

An incredible adventure story that will have you on the edge of your seat. A Gulf Coast Hurricane creates conditions absolutely terrifying for 13 year old Cort and his two neighbours he is trying to keep safe.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson 

Jade is a black student on scholarship at a mostly white private school. She questions the supports and opportunities offered to her as she struggles to figure out what she wants in her future. This title explores so many relationships: family, friendships, mentor/mentee, student/teacher. Jade’s voice is one that will weave questions into your head that will remain there for some time. Loved all of the things this book made me think about.

Matylda Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee 

This little book is all kinds of tender indeed. It holds you up through the heartbreaking and consoles you through all the hard. A beautiful middle grade read about friendship and grief and all the many ways to hope.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 21/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 112/365 books read

Progress on challenge: On schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 13/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 18/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 16/50 books read

Up next? I am reading a bunch of things including Moon Shadow by Erin Downing

The Wonder of Women: Ten nonfiction picture book biographies

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Nonfiction 10 for 10 event is back for year two! I welcome any opportunity to celebrate fantastic nonfiction picture books. Thank you to Cathy Mere from Reflect and RefineMandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning  and Julie Balen of Write at the Edge for hosting this meme. Click here to read all of the top ten lists shared.

Nonfiction 10 for 10

On Wednesdays, Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy also hosts the #nfpb2014 event where bloggers can link up to share nonfiction picture book titles. As always, thanks to Alyson for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Go here for this link up.

NFPB 2014

Last year for #nf10for10 I shared favourite nonfiction titles – many that I have used with my class over the last few years in a variety of ways.

This year, I chose to focus on nonfiction picture book biographies that feature inspiring women. I have read numerous biographies to my class this year – including some of the titles below. I am very conscious of making sure my students are exposed to both inspiring women and men. These stories spark so much wonder, discussion and learning.

In honour of wonderful women . . .

Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell

The brilliant Patrick McDonnell won a Caldecott Honor for this title for very good reason. It is an absolute detailed dream of the little girl who grew up to be the inspiring Jane Goodall. Little Jane drags her stuffed monkey Jubilee through the woods, around the farm and all about the great outdoors. We see sketches from Jane’s own nature journals. We learn about her lifetime passion for animals. We hear about her dreams to go to Africa. And then it is so . . . Jane’s dreams really did come true.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A Nivola

A wonderful read aloud to share with upper primary (and older) students about finding your passion and making it your life’s work. I love this book for many reasons. The depiction of Earle’s curious childhood in the water, descriptions of moments in her life that truly shaped and changed her, beautiful and enticing illustrations and this very important message: “You can’t care if you don’t know.” In this story, this message applies to ecology and caring for our natural world but it is a message that applies to so many things. One worth thinking a lot about.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

I love the style of this book – the visual style and the appealing narration. It makes the story both interesting and accessible for young readers. And what a story! An important biography about determination, changing general opinion and beliefs and following a dream. While I want all of my students to hear this story (I have purchased my own copy for my picture book biography collection), there are some children that I specifically have in mind who will rejoice in the messages of this book.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Maker’s Strike of 1909 written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A fabulous story made even more spectacular by Melissa Sweet’s illustrations. This book tells the story of Clara Lemlich who was instrumental in the labour movement in the garment industry in the early 1900s. Introduces children to themes of work place safety, worker’s rights and individual strength and resolve.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry

I will admit that I bought this book because I was captured by its gorgeous cover and I knew it was about an inspirational woman who transformed an entire city. Love it for its passionate celebration of nature. For its gorgeous illustrations. Or for its important historical journey back in time beginning in the 1860s with a little girl named Katherine Olivia Sessions. A little girl who brought lush, green life to the city of San Diego. A woman who studied science when other women and girls did not. A woman who took what she had learned it and applied it in the most important of ways and brought a city to life. And oh, that cover . . .

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills written by Renee Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Not only a glimpse into the life of Harlem Renaissance singer Florence Mills but a story of courage, commitment and the power to make change.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

 Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore created Libraries for Children written by Jan Pinborough and illustrated by Debby Atwell

Well. . . Anne Carroll Moore now has superhero status as far as I am concerned. Loved this story of how one woman acted as a champion for children’s access to books, libraries and beautiful spaces. Moore opened the first children’s room in the New York Public Library. She made that this was truly a place for children full of art, natural collections, story tellers and most importantly books and children to read and celebrate them.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

 Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile written by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb

Such an inspiring story about Dorothy Thomas, an absolute book hero. Dorothy’s dreams of a fine brick building where she could be librarian never materialized. But her role in bringing books to a community was huge. True testament to how books change lives and connect community.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Queen of the Falls by Chris VanAllsburg 

How could a 62 year old woman plan and execute a stunt such as going over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Here is the story of Annie Edson Taylor, determined to make her fortune by being the first person to go over the falls.  A compelling and sad story. This blurs nonfiction and fiction as it is told by master story teller VanAllsburg but I feel it has enough connection to Taylor and the events surrounding this stunt to make it fit the nonfiction category.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

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, beautifully illustrated. What an amazing relationship between teacher and student. What a tribute to the power of education. So much to this book.

The Wonder of Women #nf10for10 event There's a Book for That Picture Book Biographies

Thanks again to Cathy, Julie and Mandy for the inspiration and hosting this event!

Happy reading and sharing everyone! Hurray for nonfiction picture books!

Monday January 20th, 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!

This week I had serious plans to read a number of novels. These plan got put on hold when I went to the library Tuesday evening and came home with stacks and stacks of nonfiction picture books. I fell into a kind of nonfiction reading marathon. I share some of these titles here and some I will share on Wednesday for Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by KidLit Frenzy.

Here are the picture books (fiction and nonfiction) that I loved this week: 

Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills written by Renee Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Not only a glimpse into the life of Harlem Renaissance singer Florence Mills but a story of courage, commitment and the power to make change. Really enjoyed this picture book biography.

 Harlem's Little Blackbird #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sophie’s Squash written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

This book passed the “it’s so funny/charming I can’t help giggling” test when I read it aloud to my son. Cute, cute, cute. Charming and then some. A beautiful story about a child who does things a little differently. Not enough books celebrate persistence, creativity and passion in children so well. And whoa . . . the ending! LOVE.

Sophie's Squash #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

After reading Manfish to my class, I had to read this title! We spent Friday afternoon reading this book and filling out a Knew/New sheet to reflect our learning. (Thanks Adrienne Gear! Love all of the BLMs for reflecting about thinking/learning) Another fantastic picture book biography sharing the life of the inspiring Jacques Cousteau.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

My students adding some pictures to their thinking:

#IMWAYR

This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration written by Jaqueline Woodson and illustrated by James Ransome

Lyrical and lovely. A story of family across generations as they move to the big city from the South. The Great Migration represented the movement of African Americans from rural Southern towns to the cities in the North. This migration was inspired by the hope and promise of better treatment, better opportunities and better education. This story weaves a rope through one family’s experience and tells a beautiful story of connection, love and new beginnings.

 This is the Rope #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise written by Susan Blackaby and illustrated by Carmen Segovia

A delightful winter story – full of humour, charm and spectacular surprises. Read my students’ reviews here. The illustrations are absolutely stunning.

 Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Raven and the Loon written by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and illustrated by Kim Smith

In the time of before, both raven and loon had all white feathers. They decide to make beautiful coats for each other. The process and the result does not play out perfectly smoothly. An energetic and entertaining Inuit tale.

The raven and the loon #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Shubert 

I adored this wordless fantasy title. A little bit of fear, a big bit of adventure and the largest bit of flying over stunning landscapes all over the world. I want my own copy of this book . . . Or at least a red umbrella that can take me travelling!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines 

Well to begin with – these illustrations are vibrant, saturated with colour and interesting design. I read a few poems, really liked some, kept reading and soon realized, I liked a lot of these poems. And the why is the important part. They aren’t generally preachy and unrelated to the everyday. They are about the here and now. There are poems that reflect mindfulness (being in the moment), poems that talk about anger, poems that talk about PTS after experiencing war. A lot in this little book of poetry. Some of my favourite lines?

I have never fired a gun

but have shouted words

that pierced and stung.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee

How have I not read this book sooner than this? I adore Marla Frazee. Adore. So I’m not sure how I had yet to pick this title up. Now it is heading off to school with me tomorrow to provide some Monday morning giggles for my students! Let’s just say when a “pee tree” is the cause for a happy ending, this title is guaranteed to have high levels of kid appeal.

 Boot and Shoe #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali

Quite a title. The whole process of creating this book between two illustrators who didn’t share a language and talked via an online translator was fascinating to my students. The images are powerful and full of symbolism at every turn. This title is inspired by the true story of Orundellico (named Jemmy Button) who was taken from his home in Tierra del Fuego to England to experience “civilization.” I think this book is so well done and don’t want to say anymore – go into it with eyes wide open

 Jemmy Button #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore created Libraries for Children written by Jan Pinborough and illustrated by Debby Atwell

Well. . . Anne Carroll Moore now has superhero status as far as I am concerned. Loved this story of how one woman acted as a champion for children’s access to books, libraries and beautiful spaces.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished one novel:

Prodigy by Marie Lu

I am quite hooked into this fast paced dystopian tale. Drama. Psychological twists and turns. Unexpected outcomes. I plan to read the final book in this trilogy during the next few weeks.

 Prodigy #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What’s next? I think I will return to my list of novels from last week that I need to get to – Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick and The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. 

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 5/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 46/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 3/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 17/65 complete

Happy Reading everyone!