Monday December 17th, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?¬†Celebrate your weekly reading by joining Jen and Kellee’s meme and link up with other reading enthusiasts sharing their reads from picture books to young adult reads.

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

I enjoyed many great books during this past week and tried to fit in some last minute Nerdy Book Club nominations ūüôā

Picture Books I loved:

Neville¬†written by Norman Juster and illustrated by G. Brian Karas¬†I read this book with my reading group and we shared questions we had before, during and after the story. An amazing book to inspire questions and discussion. A boy moves to a new town and heads out for a walk, unhappy about his move and convinced he will be friendless. When he begins to yell the name “Neville!” interesting things begin to happen. I adored this book.


Jangles, a BIG fish story¬†by¬†David Shannon¬†Part folklore, part mystery, part adventure – all good ūüôā Gorgeous oil paintings give this book an eerie aura.


Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills I agree, of course, with many other readers that this book is an ideal story to share when highlighting the writing process. Love the little yellow bird and the big tree of inspiration.

Rocket cover

Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan¬†Stunning art helps narrate this story of a nighttime adventure in the forest. Perfect for teaching about nocturnal animals.


Chopsticks Amy Krause Rosenthal Scott Magoon¬†A fun story about friendship, independence and loyalty with just the right dose of humour “mixed in.”


A few holiday stories shared with my class: 

Home for Christmas by Jan Brett My students loved paying attention to the detailed illustrations for hints of what was coming up next in the story. I have many holiday books by Jan Brett on my bookshelf. Always so festive and sweet.


Just Right For Christmas by Birdie Black and Rosalind Beardshaw This book was shared in my class this week, more details¬†here.¬†A story with elements of¬†Phoebe Gilman‚Äės¬†Something from Nothing¬†or¬†Joseph Had a Little Overcoat¬†by¬†Simms Taback.¬†

just right for Christmas

Some non-fiction themed books:

The Journey: Stories of Migration written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lambert Davis I have been sharing sections of this book all term with my class as we learn about migration. The illustrations were vivid and detailed and the stories very easy to follow for my Grade 2/3 students. Lots of learning!

stories of migration

A Strange Places to Call Home written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Ed Young The pictures in this book are incredible and I really enjoyed reading more about each creature and their strange habitats at the back of the book. Did I love all of the poems? Some more than others . . .

strange place to call home

The novel I finished this week was a young adult read called Ask the Passengers by A.S. King. Great characters and beautiful writing. I quickly requested other titles by this author from the library. Astrid Jones holds her feelings and questions close as she tries to navigate small town life and big world questions with a family not really along for the ride. Everyone in her two parent, two kid family feels very much on their own and so Astrid connects with the unknown passengers on the planes that fly overhead. A story that explores love, friendship and family dynamics.

Girl lying on sand, reaching up to the sun

Just Right for Christmas

Maria brought in a sweet little holiday story for us today: Just Right for Christmas written by Birdie Black and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw. Thanks to the generosity of the BLG law firm, we have a beautiful new book every week to listen to! This one will make a great addition to Seymour library’s holiday collection!

just right for Christmas

On Christmas Eve, the King brings home a beautiful roll of bright red cloth and his sewing maids snipped and sewed until they had made a beautiful cloak for the princess. What a perfect gift! The scraps were put outside at the back door. The cloth is discovered by Jenny, an employee from the castle who takes it home to make a jacket for her mother. She places her scraps at her back door and Bertie Badger delights in his discovery of the perfect fabric for a hat for his pa. And on it goes.

There was some discussion about whether it was okay to take cloth left out behind a house. ¬†“Are they robbers?” someone asked. Other children understood that this was a great way to pass on things that weren’t needed so that there was no waste. We enjoyed the part of the story that repeated: “snipped and sewed. . . snipped and sewed . . .” One little boy whispered part way through, “Psst! This book is for the Rhyme and Repetition bin!”¬†

As students noticed that the cloth scraps kept getting passed on there were these question: “How will it end?” “Will it ever stop?” Gracie made a great prediction here: “There will be no more scraps finally and everyone will see that the gifts are made out of the same fabric.” Someone else suggested,”Maybe the last scrap will be for the top of the tree! A red star!”

Students noticed other things: “Oh I know! It went from big to small. The scraps!” “It’s the same cloth into different things!” “The cloth went from people to the animals as it got smaller.”

The final page of the book has everyone skating on the ice decked out in their new gifts made from the beautiful fabric with nothing wasted!

A story with elements of Phoebe Gilman‘s Something from Nothing or Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback.¬†

Student reviewers respond:

Kelvin: The girl snipped and sewed. Everyone snipped and sewed! The raccoon tried to steal stuff that was valuable. They made gifts with a cloth.

Pheonix: They each made something for someone. I like that book so much.

Shereese: I like when they are skating on the ice. The princess had the cloak on.

Ava: When the King got the cloth, he passed it around the town. The King got cloth and passed it on. It was pretty darn good.

Kassidy: I like the part when all the animals take the fabric. Tehy used it for presents. A princess is in the story.

Ashley: I like this book a lot. My favourite part was things going on and on and on and on. I like the pictures a lot.

Giovanni: I liked it when they snipped and sewed.

Vicky: My favourite part was when the king bought the cloth. I was thinking about Christmas. Marian, why did you choose this book? I noticed the cloth got smaller and smaller.

Heman: My favourite part was when Bertie Badger made a hat. I noticed that the creatures were getting smaller. They all used the same fabric for the gifts.

Kala: It was neat when Badger found the red cloth and decided to make a hat for his Pa. I also liked when the maid left the red scraps on the steps.

Brian: My favourite part was when they passed it on and on and on. I love Maria. She is the best. She is a good reader. I like when she reads to us. I wish that she can stay forever.

Gracie: My favourite part is when they are skating. I liked the book a lot. I think the animals are cute.

Arianne: I like when they make a red jacket for the princess. Squirrels make gloves for his wife.

Kevin: My favourite part was when Bertie Badger made a hat. I like when the animals stole the hat. I noticed that the creatures all used the same fabric for the gifts.

Ethan: My favourite part was when they took the cloth. That was so hilarious. The animals are so cute.