Monday January 4th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. I haven’t been teaching for 2 weeks, so sharing from my house. This week I am sharing a photo of our Christmas book stack 🙂 Lots of reading in our house!

Monday January 4th, 2016

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

On the blog:

For #nfpb2015 I shared my 20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015

Our #MustReadin2015 community shared year end update posts

Please note: If you want to share a #MustReadin2016 list, we will begin sharing lists (connect here) January 6th, 2016

My Celebration this week was all about Simplicity

On the eve of back to school, I made some wishes. Sunday Reflections: Wolves and Wild Wishes This post is inspired by the novel The Wolf Wilder (discussed more below)

Books I loved:

I read a lot of picture books this week, I am going to share just my favourites of the bunch.

Picture books:

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail

A superb lesson in persuasion and just the right words for the argument you are trying to make. Also a “Can I get a pet?” story with so much new and amusing. Loved this title.

One Word from Sophia Monday January 4th, 2016

Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett

I always find Pett’s illustrations very, very charming and this book is no exception. When you find an egg and vow to look after the hatchling, you just never know. Lots of fun!

Lizard from the Park

Mother Bruce by Ryan T Higgins

Funny. Funny. Funny. I laughed out loud in the book store. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. This is a serious charmer. The perfect combination of curmudgeonly and adorable characters.

Mother Bruce

The Dog that Nino Didn’t Have written by Edward van de Vendel and illustrated byAnton Van Hertbruggen

Something about this book. First of all, I would like to hang all of it on my walls. Each page. Blown up to huge proportions. And the story. . .  It is a little out there. It is about lonely and longing and then having and adjusting. And then wondering. I loved it. In fact, I gifted it to myself. Couldn’t resist.

Dog that nino didn't have

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

I confess that I just never thought about picking this book up. I saw great reviews but it just didn’t speak to me. Finally, I found it at the library and started reading. It is quite wonderful and yes, I was missing out. I can see that this would have pretty fantastic read aloud appeal.

the-princess-and-the-pony

Frances Dean who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif

The illustrations are completely divine. The story, pretty cute.

Frances Dean who Loved to Dance and Dance2

Puffling Patrol by Ted and Betsy Lewin (2012)

I learned so much in this nonfiction text. Absolutely fascinating account of a the authors’ visit to a town in Iceland during 2008 to watch how a community helps young pufflings confused by the town’s lights make their way to the sea.

Pufflng Patrol 2

 

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

Bold, full of colour. Such a fantastic autobiography!

Scraps

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear written by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Such an interesting format. Really a lovely little book.

Finding Winnie

Novels:

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

This book. This book. This book! I fall more and more in love with Rundell’s writing with each novel I read. Part adventure. Part fairy tale. Many parts brave and wonderful. Russia. Winter. Snow. Wolves. And beautiful, bold children. A must, must read!

Monday January 4th, 2016 The Wolf Wilder

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

A novel in verse. Highly recommended. What is life like when you don’t look like everyone else and your dreams and aspirations are “not what we do here”? This book, set in 1969 Vermont, is an incredible story of one young girl. Courageous, vulnerable, amazing.

Full Cicada Moon Monday January 4th, 2016

Final updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 71/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 471/415 books read COMPLETE! 

#MustReadin2015: 18/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 95/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 52/50 books read COMPLETE! 

A WONDERFUL reading year – even though all of my goals weren’t met, they sure were inspiring!

And 2016 Reading Goals begin:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 1/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 5/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 1/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 1/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 2/50 books read

Next up? I am reading More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera

 

20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015

I so often agonize over this list, my favourite nonfiction titles of the year. Which titles should go on my favourites list? I have a very special spot for nonfiction picture books and LOVE being part of this Wednesday community hosted by Alyson Beecher.

I literally ran out to the library to pick up holds in the middle of writing this post to squeeze in a few more nonfiction reads. Then, I tried reading and blogging at the same time. I have mastered reading and folding laundry (although the sock matching often goes south) but reading while typing is a tad too challenging. So I took some breaks, read a few more books and made a few changes. Finally, 20 favourites emerged.

2015 Nonfiction Picture Books 20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

I always have a love of picture book biographies I might share in my classroom. So these featured big on this list.

In Mary’s Garden by Tina and Carson Kugler

In Mary's Garden  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Sky Painter written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Aliona Bereghici

The Sky Painter  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for ThatWhich Trombone Shorty written by Troy Andrews and illustrated by Bryan Collier

Trombone Shorty  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear written by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Finding Winnie  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López

Drum Dream Girl  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli

Tricky Vic- The Impossilby True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

swan the life and dance of anna pavlova  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

After experiencing water shortages this year on the rainy south coast, water is also on my mind. I found relevant and wonderful 2015 titles.

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Raindrops Roll  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Water is Water 20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

And then there are always certain nonfiction topics I am obsessed with: nests and eggs, whales, plants and seeds, endangered animals, Australian animals and rocks. I found titles that covered most of these things from 2015’s offerings.

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

The Blue Whale  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor

Trapped! A Whale's Rescue  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Nest  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Big Red Kangaroo written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne

big red kangaroo  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Emu written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne

Emu

Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild is written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Stephen Walton. Virginia McKenna (from the Born Free Foundation)

Counting Lions:  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

A Rock Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija

A Rock Can Be  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Others that stood out are of course by favourite nonfiction writers Nicola Davies and Steve Jenkins

I (Don’t) Like Snakes written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Luciano Lozano

I Don't Like SnakesHow to Swallow a Pig by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

How to Swallow a Pig  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

Books published by Flying Eye books are often hugely beautiful and extremely interesting. This one about monkeys completely charmed me.

Mad About Monkeys by Owen Davey

Mad about Monkeys  20 favourite nonfiction titles of 2015 There's a Book for That

What are your favourites of 2015?

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015

It is that time of year where picture book love is celebrated and shared! Yes, Picture book 10 for 10 is here!

This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Thanks to both of them for the work they do to promote this wonderful day of picture book sharing!

This is my fourth year participating in this event. In 2012, I shared ten beloved titles. In 2013, I went with a theme: Connections across the generations. Last year (2014) I shared ten “go to” titles on various themes like generosity, courage and forgiveness.

This year I decided to share ten historical fiction titles that are favourites of mine. When we can engage children with wondering and thinking about another time and place and what it was like for people who lived then, our discussions automatically center on who we are as people. Such rich and important conversations to have. Many of these titles can also be shared with students as we try and read more diverse titles in our classrooms.

Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

My top ten favourites on this theme: Historical Fiction

That Book Woman written by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Small (2008)

What is more beautiful than bravery and perseverance to bring books into the homes of children who don’t even have the chance to go to school? Set in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s, this book is inspired by the Pack Horse Librarians who brought books by horseback to areas where there were few if any schools and no libraries. A story about the power of books, the devotion they are given and the magic that happens when a reader is made.

 That Book Woman Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue (2001)

A story of friendship, prejudice and courage set in the American South in 1964. Beautifully written – lyrical text and honest emotions, this book is one of the best historical fiction picture books I have read.

Freedom Summer Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

Busing Brewster written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by R.G. Roth (2010)

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.

 Busing Brewster Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

Shi-shi-etko written by Nicola Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave (2005)

Shi-shi-etko has only four more days until she must attend residential school. She spends these precious days with her family, in nature gathering her memories and avsorbing the wisdom of her family. Such a beautiful book about a very heartbreaking topic. My students were mesmerized. And full of questions.

 Shi-shi-etko Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

Lizzie Nonsense by Jan Ormerod (2004)

The illustrations in this title are incredible. It is nostalgic. Lonely. Gives us a glimpse of the hardships of early pioneer life. Set, so very beautifully, in Australia.

Lizzie Nonsense Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis (2001)

This author/illustrator combination create absolute magic. So much in one little picture book with huge implications for discussion. In a segregated town, black and white don’t mix. A fence that represents the division of race becomes just a fence at the end of the story when a whole row of girls perches atop it.

 The Other Side Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

Elsie’s Bird written by Jane Yolen and David Small (2010)

It is the late 1800s and Elsie has lost her mother. Her father moves her to the Nebraska prairie from their home in Boston. When Elsie’s beloved canary escapes his cage she must venture out into the landscape of this new quiet, open space. Both Yolen and Small are at their best – this is a literary and visual treat.

Elsie's Bird Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

Red Kite, Blue Kite written by Ji-li Jiang and illustrated by Greg Ruth (2013)

Rich in truth and history (based on the story of the author’s family friend), this book is set during the Cultural Revolution in China. It is the story of father and son –  separated by distance and circumstances who stay connected through kites in the sky. Heartbreaking but full of hope. Such a beautiful book.

Red kite, blue kite Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

A Single Pebble: A Story of the Silk Road by Bonnie Christensen (2013)

An appealing book on so many levels – the history, the geography, the adventure, the culture – wow. The story begins with one girl in China (ninth century China) who dreams of traveling The Silk Road trade route. Not able to travel even part of the way with her father, she asks him to bring a single pebble to send along the road to a child somewhere further along. The path of the pebble is incredible as it is passed from person to person finally ending up in Italy. My son read this book and found it fascinating – all of the old maps and interesting journey.

 A Single Pebble Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries. Four Families. One Delicious Treat. written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall (2015)

This book does so much. As we travel through time with a recipe for a simple summer dessert, we are treated to a history lesson that is much more than how kitchen utensils and appliances have changed. Sometimes, history titles have heavy themes. This one is about the everyday of cooking together. Pure delight.

A Fine Dessert Monday Historical Fiction Titles: ten of my favourites for #Pb10for10 2015 There's a Book for That

I have other favourites on this theme that I didn’t include. Check out my Historical Fiction Pinterest board.

Follow along on twitter using the #pb10for10 hashtag. All posts will be linked on the Google Community Site for Picture Book 10 for 10

pb-10-for-10

Happy picture book reading!  

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection

There are so many beautiful picture books out there in the world.

Books make lovely gifts that become part of a family’s story world.

So how to choose?

Board books always make wonderful gifts but so do picture books that will be part of a child’s collection of read again and again stories. Not every book gift needs to be given thinking only about babyhood and the first few years. Give a book that can be grown into. A book that tells a story families will want to share repeatedly. Stories to be savoured and talked about and wondered about.

These suggestions have a definite theme of being in the moment and noticing the world – the big moments, the small things, the important feelings. Because childhood soars by. These titles remind us to experience it as fully as we can.

Here are 20 titles I would gift new parents and why they need to be on the family book shelf:

Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Listed in alphabetical order by author.

Yard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

No matter what the journey, no matter what is possessed along the way, family matters most of all.

 Yard Sale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Facing fears is a lot easier with a Nana by your side. I love what this book says about home, family and the wisdom of grandparents.

Nana in the City Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

Simple and reassuring. The power of walking in the neighbourhood: being, noticing, connecting.

A Good Night Walk Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing.

Last Stop on Market Street Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Snatchabook written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty

This book reminds us that everyone needs to be read to. A life with bedtime stories is rich indeed.

The Snatchabook Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

A book about a problem that needs solving and having wonderfully, persistently, kind intentions.

 Hank Finds an Egg Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

The ins and outs of waiting. And wondering. And hoping. Patience is underrated in life but celebrated in this beautiful little book.

If you want to see a whale Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries. Four Families. One Delicious Treat. written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

An opportunity to talk about cooking together over time. Tradition. Changes. Savouring of sweet treats.

A Fine Dessert Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Read this book early and often and send the message – our life is going to be a life where we are surrounded by books and reading and all of the magic that will guarantee.

 The Fantastic Flying Books Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

What is at eye level for our little ones? Flowers and many other interesting things. Children notice many things and give so freely.

Sidewalk Flowers Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Wave by Suzy Lee

There is nothing like the joy of a big expanse of beach and the waves that roll in and out. This wordless book captures all of the all the excitement, fear and wonder of a child’s beachside experience.

 Wave Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski 

Such a beautiful book for those who appreciate the soothing power of bedtime books. Sleep is a wonderful thing!

Sleep Like a Tiger Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Sadie is enchanting. She embraces life – both the real and the imagined parts with gusto. Wonderful connections to favourite book characters.

This is Sadie Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

There is kindness and then there is putting others’ happiness before your own. Kindness between siblings is very special.

 The Girl and the Bicycle Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

I Wish You More written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld 

This book captures hope and love in a sweet, endearing way.

I Wish You More Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Blackout by John Rocco

Time. Time together. Time together as a first priority. This book reminds us of how very important this is. Because everything can get in the way. But only if you let it . . .

 Blackout Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

All the World  written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Simple rhyming text pays tribute to the small simple things our world has to offer like a tomato blossom or a fire to take away a chill.

All-the-World Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

A wonderful story about siblings, mistakes, owning up and doing what’s right.

 Three Bears in a Boat Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

The Man with the Violin written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

This is an important story of what we miss by not being in the moment. How many beautiful experiences are lost on us as we rush through our days?

The Man with the Violin Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Happy by Mies van Hout

What could be better than a bright and bold celebration of our emotions?

Happy Picture Books for New Parents: Building a beautiful collection There's a Book for That

Give books.

Read books.

Share books.

Often.

Monday May 18th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This photo perfectly captures what happens when a new, impatiently waited for title arrives in our classroom library! An instant list posted to the cover and a happy little smirk for the first reader!

Monday May18th, 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 wasn’t able to post a #IMWAYR post last week so this post captures two weeks of reading.

Favourite picture books (fiction and nonfiction)

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach 

One of those read alouds that must begin again as soon as it ends – this isn’t the story it first appears to be. Adorable, hilarious and full of delight.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Have You Seen my Monster? by Steve Light

There are monsters everywhere – look very closely. You might also find a triangle, a circle and a quatrefoil. Yes, really.

Have You Seen my Monster? Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

A chicken. With arms. Wings? Nope, none of those. Henny learns to embrace her unique possibilities. Quirky but sweet.

Henny Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

I Don’t Like Koala written by Sean Ferrell and illustrated by Charles Santoso

Is your stuffed animal watching you? This little koala just might be. An odd little book about a stuffed creature that is not beloved but is everywhere.

I Don't Like Koala Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

I, Fly The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

Wow, such learning happens when a fly arrives to plead his interest quotient to a bunch of children studying butterflies. Such voice! I can’t wait to share this with a class.

I, Fly Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva

So very, very clever.

Outstanding in the Rain Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries. Four Families. One Delicious Treat. written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

This book does so much. As we travel through time with a recipe for a simple summer dessert, we are treated to a history lesson that is much more than how kitchen utensils and appliances have changed. I am in more than a little bit of awe.

A Fine Dessert Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Emu written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne. Papa Emu plays a starring role in this nonfiction title. Read my review here.

Emu Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Drive: A Look at Roadside Opposites by Kellen Hatanaka

There is a commercial I have seen a few times that celebrates a driving experience that has the children in the back seat fully plugged into their devices while the parents sit peacefully in the front seat pleased as can be to be avoiding noise, arguments, etc. from their children. While I will admit to ordering my children at times to “Be quiet!” I don’t want them zoned out on a device while we are in the car. I would prefer that they are watching the passing scenery, drawing or listening to an audio book. Even, oh my goodness, using the time to think and be. So I love this book that honours the view out the window and connection to the world as we travel through it. Tuned out to be tuned in is not my idea of the way things should be. Look out the window and notice! This book gives one a great starting point for lots of examples.

Drive- A Look at Roadside Opposites Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

In novels, I read . . .

A graphic title

Zita The Space Girl by Ben Hatke

I don’t always love graphic novels with lots of adventure and action. But this one? It’s a keeper! I now want all three titles for my classroom collection.

Zita The Space Girl Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Yes, it is really as good as you’ve heard. Beautifully written, beautifully imagined. An absolute must, must read!

Echo Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

I read this in almost one sitting. One family, almost completely cut off from the rest of the world have their lives shaped and controlled by a step-father’s prophecies about the future. What happens when the one who protects might also put you at risk? How can one boy live a double life? Haunting. Upsetting. Utterly addictive.

Watch the Sky Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

A story about family and connection, grief and moving on. Ari and her older brother Gage are basically homeless – couch surfing and staying in shelters while trying to turn their lives into something stable with a real future. The secrets, the instability, the worries are huge. Can they keep their little family together and still hope for the future? I couldn’t put this one down.

 Paper Things Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Shadowhand Convenant by Brian Farrey

I read this title aloud to my children. We read the first in the trilogy about a year ago and were completely captured by these unique characters in such a fresh fantasy story. This story continued to keep us guessing right until the last pages.

Shadowhand Covenant Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 25/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 188/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 10/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 40/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 18/50 books read

Up Next? Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin My children and I waited (and waited and waited some more) for the 3rd title in The Books of Beginning trilogy to be released. Finally, it is here and so we are happily reading The Black Reckoning by John Stephens. The Emerald Atlas was published in 2011 and The Fire Chronicle published in 2012 so as you can see, our wait was long!

Monday January 19th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week, the photo I love best was taken during Reading Workshop on Friday. Everyone was so excited to get down to reading. These girls all settled on the carpet reading various comics and picture books. Two girls are engaged in an animated discussion about Sam & Dave Dig a Big Hole. Lots of books. Lots of book love.

Monday January 19th, 2015  #IMWAYR 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

Favourites of the week:

Are You Awake? by Sophie Blackall

This book is all about adorable little child questions that happen when there should be sleeping. From the Mom’s perspective, oh dear, go to sleep little one. From the reader’s point of view? Pure delight. And I adore Sophie Blackall‘s work, so = extra great!

Are you awake? Monday January 19th, 2015  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Camel in the Sun written by Griffin Ondaatje and illustrated by Linda Wolfsgruber 

Not sure where to begin with this book. Such an emotional and serious read. A beautiful book all around. Themes of kindness, compassion and empathy. More suited for older readers/listeners. Although, in an interactive read aloud, younger listeners could manage it. A fable of sorts.

Camel in the Sun Monday January 19th, 2015  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Gus & Me The Story of My Grandad and my First Guitar written by Keith Richards and illustrated by Theodora Richards 

I was seriously skeptical with this one. Musician writes a children book . . . and his daughter illustrates it . . . ? But, actually, this was a lovely title. The text was well done. I really liked some of the illustrations – especially the guitar atop the piano page. And, it has so many elements I love in a picture book – a relationship between generations, family connections, special memories. Well done, Mr. Richards.

Gus & Me Monday January 19th, 2015  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Priscilla and the Hollyhocks written by Anne Broyles and illustrated by Anna Alter 

This is the story of Priscilla, a young slave, who is sold to a Cherokee family and then must walk with them along the “Trail of Tears” when they are relocated. Hollyhock flowers represent a link to her childhood memories of family and her mother. An important historical read.

Priscilla-and-the-Hollyhocks- Monday January 19th, 2015  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

My Blue is Happy written by Jessica Young and illustrated by Catia Chien

This book almost leaps about shouting, “Don’t you want to use me for a writing activity prompt? You do, don’t you?” Yep, yes I do! I fell quickly for this book exploring the emotions of colour, asking us to look at typical colour feelings from another perspective. And, wow, Catia Chien is impressing me at every turn. Gorgeous illustrations.

My Blue is Happy Monday January 19th, 2015  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read two novels:

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied by Jess Keating

Captures the intensity of this middle school age – the navigating the social world, the figuring out of who one is with lots of humour, surprises, embarrassment and joy. As my daughter, who happens to be 12, and have a twin brother, said “this book is so real.” Ana is a character you will want to keep reading.I will definitely be picking up Jess Keating’s next novel and soon!

How to Outrun a Crocodile when Your Shoes are Untied

Going Over by Beth Kephart 

I am not sure if this book spoke to me so intensely because I have read so much literature set in Central/Eastern Europe. Or because I lived in what was once Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1992 just after the wall went down in a small town that really was slow to “westernize”and shake off Communist influences. All of that is part of it. A lot of it is that Kephart is so ridiculously talented. This is a story and a piece of art. I can see reading this book over and over because it is so very, very rich in imagery and emotion. It is painful. It is beautiful. It is haunting. Loved this book. And I haven’t even touched the plot. Just go. Find it. Read it. Let the images swirl about. Be with these characters. Fall into this time. What an experience.

Going Over_FC

Next up? Reading another title from my #MustReadin2015 list The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 26/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 3/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 4/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 2/50 books read

 

Picture Books that model perseverance

It’s Picture Book Month and I have picture books on my mind. I am beginning to think in lists. Often. It may be a syndrome. Picturebooklistitis? Something like that.

On Friday, I had some parent meetings in the a.m. It was lovely to talk about students who have demonstrated improvement in goal areas due to persistence, determination and creative approaches to problems. Heading home, after school, I started thinking about picture books on this theme of persistence.

What exactly was I thinking about? All of the synonyms for perseverance: persistence, tenacity, determination . . . But also being able to solve problems with creativity or a different/unique approach. A lot of it has to do with being able to focus but also being able to think outside of the box. Sometimes it is just about, simple but tough, hard work and diligence.

I think all of these picture books highlight a particular aspect of this theme and in their own way, model perseverance.

Twenty favourite titles:

These ten beauties:

Picture Books that model perseverance

And ten more:

Picture Books that model perseverance There's a Book for That

Twenty picture book titles that model perseverance:

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Prudence Wants a Pet written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

Papa’s Mechanical Fish written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Rosyln Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth by Marie-Louise Gay

Ice by Arthur Geisert

Flight School by Lita Judge

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore

The Mighty Lalouche written by Matthew Olshan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds 

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires 

A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead

Oscar and Hoo written by Theo and illustrated by Michael Dudok De Wit

Queen of the Falls by Chris VanAllsburg 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Ten Birds by Cybèle Young

In case you’ve missed them, I have been making more lists:

Picture Books that celebrate courage

Picture Books to make you giggle

Happy Picture Book Month!

pb month logoAs always, please share your favourite titles on this theme!