Monday August 10th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer, I am not surrounded every day with little readers so . . . I am choosing moments from the year not previously shared. Here is a moment during Reading Workshop where quiet reading had to be interrupted for some choral reading together!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday August 10th, 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

I missed last week because we were away on holiday so this post includes two weeks of reading. I will try to be brief!

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairy Tale Retellings

A collection of picture books featuring whales and details of my gray whale sighting!

My classroom library: Beyond the books, 10 important features

A celebration in photos of our time away

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers

Books I read and loved:

Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

This title was waiting for me in my mailbox when I arrived home from my trip. Thank you Tundra Books! I had a hard time getting past the cover – isn’t it gorgeous? And then I looked under the book jacket – the book jacket is 2 sided. There was some swooning and dancing before I could sit down and read this book. Once I read it, I missed my class! This book will be a title I share in the first week of school when I still have my class from last year. I can’t wait to see how those students respond. Sonya is raising chickens and takes her job ever so seriously. Not only does she care for these chickens, she adores them. One night, there is a lot of noise out in the coop and Sonya needs her parent’s guidance to navigate what has happened. A story about nature, responsibility and hope.

Sonya's Chickens Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for Thatv

Ninja! by Arree Chung

This book is full of cheeky energy! Would be very fun to read aloud to a young group of listeners.

ninja arree chung Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Crankenstein written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat

Hmm. . . I think there are some mornings when Crankenstein lives at my house. I won’t say who in my family seems to disappear when he arrives. But let’s just say I have met this character!

Crankenstein Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The New Small Person by Lauren Child

A sweet and honest little story about adjusting to a new sibling.

The New Small Person Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo

Loved the illustrations and that the main character in need of a hug was a cactus! Think this would prompt lots of discussions about not making assumptions. Very cute.

Hug-Me Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Grasshopper & the Ants by Jerry Pinkney

A gorgeously illustrated rendition of the popular fable – with a bit of a musical twist.

The Grasshopper & The Ants Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Sona and the Wedding Game written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

I learned so much about Hindu wedding ceremonies! This book was pure delight.

 Sona Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin

A different kind of grieving – for a way family might have been. A story of courage and secrets and friendship. Would make a wonderful book club title.

Ruby on the outside Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

I read this in one sitting while we were away on holiday. I got completely caught up with the characters. So much vulnerability, I worried about everyone. a beautiful book about relationships, honesty and living your truth.

Openly Straight Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

None of the Above by I.W. Gregario

What an important YA title about a character who is intersex – something she does not discover until she is eighteen years old. Author I.W. Gregario is a practicing surgeon as well as an author so the medical aspects of the book are well explained. But this is more than a scientific read – it is very much a story of a girl who must come to terms with ignorant reactions from her peers and her own developing understanding of who she is. How can something physical define so much? Does it?

 None of the Above Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

George by Alex Gino

I picked this up at my local public library in the ARC section. How much do I love that this is a middle grade novel? It is a book I would love to have in my classroom library if I was teaching grade 4 again. What I know to be true – reading about experiences and differences removes ridiculous stereotypes and confusion and cruelty stemming from simple ignorance. Books like this allow children to read about a transgendered child and be able to get some of their questions answered. For a transgendered child, well, wow this book would mean everything. Also, I must celebrate these characters. Of course George is wonderful – she is open and honest and real. Also loved her brother and best friend. And the principal! Fantastic read. Look for it from Scholastic later this month.

George Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

A group of us has a twitter chat coming up this Wednesday to talk about this book. I can’t wait! For now, I will say this. I teared up three times reading it. Cynthia Lord, what a writer!

Handful of stars Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 45/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 275/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 15/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 52/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 31/50 books read

Up next? My children and I are reading Mark of a Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen and I am reading (finally, I know, I know) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Monsters, monsters everywhere

Monsters, monsters everywhere

Monsters have cast a certain magic over our classroom lately.

We’ve been reading about monsters.

Talking monster characteristics.

Designing monsters.

Sketching monsters.

Painting monsters.

Talking about monsters living with us. Because . . . hey, what if?

Stories to come. We are writing.

It all started with this book:

Leonardo Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

And then, we looked at a few more monster titles. Some monster images. Thank you Elise Gravel for some wonderful monster inspiration on your website! We made a gigantic chart about all of the monster features we noticed like: fangs, claws, blueberry bodies (you know squishy and round), humongous heads, extra eyes (and other body parts), horns and other strange features.

We drew monster designs.

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

By the next week, we were ready to pick a particular monster and “grow him/her” into our monster piece.

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Add some paint and some creative energy from your peers, and my, oh my, what happens . . .

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Some monsters are born!

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Boo! Are you scared? Just a bit? We won’t tell!

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Now that you are in the monster mood, you might want a book selection, or two to explore. Here are 18 of my favourite monsterish creature titles:

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Picture Books about Monsters

Monsters? Creatures? Is there a difference? I’m sure if we asked some of these characters, they would have an opinion.

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Strange Creatures in Picture books

Picture books that feature monsters and other strange creatures:

Crankenstein written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santant

Love Monster by Rachel Bright

My Teacher is a Monster (No I am Not) by Peter Brown

Prickles vs. The Dust Bunnies (A Balloon Toons comic) by Daniel Cleary

The Gruffalo written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Raising Your Own Pet Monster by Elise Gravel 

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

Wilfred written and illustrated by Ryan Higgins

The Monstore by Tara Lazar

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty

The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell

The Tale of Jack Frost by David Melling

The Book that Eats People is written by John Perry and illustrated by Mark Fearing.

Plantpet by Elise Primavera

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

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie by Joel Stewart

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Happy Picture Book Month!

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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.

IMWAYR

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!