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! This is always my favourite way to discover what to read next.
I read many picture books this week – many aloud to my own children, all to make up for not getting to read as much as I wanted to last week while writing report cards.
I selected my ten favourites to feature here:
Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley
Just perfectly delightful. A book about a problem that needs solving and having wonderfully, persistently, kind intentions. Sweet. Honest. So engaging. And did I mention wordless. . . ?
No Bears written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Leila Rudge
A wonderful book for inspiring story writing. Meet Ella, a little girl who loves a creative story but doesn’t love bears. She thinks there are far too many of them in stories today. So Ella is creating a story that will have absolutely no bears. Not a one! But is seems her story is getting a little assistance from a furry creature on the sidelines . . .
The Dirty Cowboy written by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Adam Rex
“Wow Mom, that illustrator did a really good job keeping all the privates private!” remarked my son after we read this book. My daughter said, “Disgusting!” a lot. What an amusing story of a very dirty (filthy, with his fair share of critters crawling just about everywhere) cowboy who decided to take a bath in the river. What happens when his loyal dog doesn’t recognize his clean scent? VERY amusing.
Busing Brewster written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by R.G. Roth
A picture book with many important themes: having a dream, the power of libraries to be transformative and what it was like to be black at an all white school. Set in the 1970s when integration was being “helped” along by forced busing – bringing black students into white schools, this story gives children a glimpse into the racial tensions of the time and the complexities of integration.
The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney
Love the desert setting of this classic tale brought to new life by the brilliant Pinkney with an almost wordless title. I particularly enjoyed the last gestures of the hare – an interesting and surprising twist with an equally important message about competition.
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong
I read this title to my children and they were absolutely fascinated by the population data conveyed through the concept in this book – imagine that the world’s population was contained in a village of 100 (each person represents millions). Facts that shocked them: how many people had some kind of faith or another, predicted population growth and the blatant inequity amongst people. Only 24 people in this representative village of 100 have enough to eat? Heart breaking message about our world.
Mud written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Oh the messy, gloopy, squishy joys of mud – this title captures it all through lyrical language and richly coloured illustrations. Perfect to practice visualizing.
Full, Full, Full of Love written by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Paul Howard
Loved the celebration of food, family and affection as Sunday dinner with his family is seen through Jay Jay’s eyes. Language ideal for preschool, early primary children. Happy, happy book.
I Lost my Bear by Jules Feiffer
A humorous ode to the child who likes to collect. A bear is lost and it seems like all is lost as we follow this little one on a melodramatic, anxious search.
Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex
Poor Billy Twitters, his parents threaten him with a blue whale if he doesn’t do his chores and keep his room clean. Of course, this is just a ridiculous threat, isn’t it? Well . . . no. And so Billy Twitters must now be in charge of a blue whale (have you noticed just how truly big they are??) and take it everywhere he goes. Eventually Billy Twitters discovers this “consequence” has an upside. Absurd and delightful, and it just so happens, the first picture book written by Mac Barnett.
I am terrible about being ahead of the game for the holidays in terms of shopping, baking, decorating, etc but we do own a beautiful collection of holiday books. I set out 24 to read next to the Advent calendars – one for each night (and there are plenty more on the shelf for when the evening calls for a few!) The one thing in the holidays I do do well – celebrate holiday stories! Tonight’s read was a new one for me:
Winter’s Gift by Jane Monroe Donovan
A beautiful story of hope and all that is important in the holiday season as an old man faces his first Christmas alone.
I also finished The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Magical. Lyrical. Beautiful. Mysterious. What a vulnerable, strange (in the best of ways) and hopeful of stories. On one level, this story is a fantastical tale of magic, mystery and monsters. On another, it is all about the most human element in all of us – wanting to be safe and belong. All along, I felt the story was beautiful. But by the end, I was in awe.
Next up? A.S. King‘s Reality Boy. And plans for many more holiday stories . . .
Happy Reading everyone!