Monday August 7th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a  reading photo of the week.

This week, I would like to instead share an article. I had the honour of sharing a student’s story –  first with author/illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo and then with writer Alexandra Alter about Suzanne’s incredible book My Beautiful Birds. Alexandra included this story in her New York Times article

Children’s Authors Take on the Refugee Crisis

It was an unforgettable experience to organize a Skype with Alexandra and Nour and listen as Nour told her story. It will be something that I think about forever – the resilience and hope and love in this young girl’s voice as she talked about everything that she’s lost and found.

I am sharing this here with the #IMWAYR community because I know all of you know the power of books to change lives. This book told Nour’s story and gave her truth voice and audience. So powerful.

If you haven’t yet read this book – buy it! It’s a must have for our school and classroom libraries.

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.

On the blog:

Summer Maintenance in the Classroom Library. Step 2: Weed

This is the second in a series of posts about working in the classroom library over the summer break.

Books I enjoyed:

I had a bookstore visit and read a lot of picture books and nonfiction titles this week. Some even followed me home. Surprise, surprise!

Some of my favourites:

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

This title is an incredible celebration of looking at “mistakes” as opportunities instead of something purely negative and wrong. A creative and inspiring journey. Such an important title to share in our classrooms.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist written by Jess Keating and illustrated my Marta Álvarez Miguéns

Eugenie Clark is some kind of incredible! A scientist. A risk taker. A creative thinker that allowed the world to look at sharks through a different lens. Jess Keating shares Eugenie’s story to honour and celebrate curiosity and perseverance. Lots of additional information in the back pages including a detailed time line of Clark’s life and accomplishments. Gorgeous end pages too!

Teacup written by Rebecca Young and illustrated by Matt Ottley

This is a somewhat haunting and extremely beautiful story about a boy who must leave his homeland in a boat clutching a teacup full of soil The ocean journey brings peace, drama and unexpected surprises as he sails in search of a new home.

Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead 

Gentle and sweet. A book about compassion and care.

Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

A lovely little wordless title with lots of room for talk and questions. What is community? Who should we care about? What matters?

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

A completely endearing title about one little boy’s route to being brave. Loved.

A Squiggly Story written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Mike Lowery

Perfect for writer’s workshop. Clearly sends the message that all writing is story telling – marks on the page, drawings, words (regardless of spelling). I I were a K or Grade 1 teacher, I would be snapping this one up. As a Grade 3 teacher, I am also pretty tempted.

Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

Power plays on the playground have lots of dynamics. Creatively explored in this little gem.

This Beautiful Day written by Richard Jackson with illustrations by Suzy Lee

This beautiful book. Wow is Suzy Lee talented! A celebration of rainy days and optimistic attitudes. Lovely all around.

If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel by Elise Gravel

So I am calling this a favourite, fought over classroom book for 2017/2018. And I KNOW I am going to be right. This book will be inspiring some funky sketchbooks in my students’ futures. Again, guaranteed.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

So I kind of love everything about Clayton Byrd. And Williams-Garcia, whoa, can this woman write! A must read middle grade title.

Alvin Ho (Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things) by Lenore Look with illustrations by LeUyen Pham

I was pretty thrilled to find this title as I think it will be my first classroom read aloud in the fall. A lot of things in the world frighten and overwhelm Alvin including speaking out loud at school. So wonderfully portrayed in a humorous, relatable way by Look. I am buying the series!

Patina by Jason Reynolds

I share all of my book love for this title (released later this month) here.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 43/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 185/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 32 books behind schedule (ten better than last week!)

#MustReadin2017: 18/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 25/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 31/50 books read

Up next? I am reading The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Mock Caldecott 2016

Oh this process is a tricky one – deciding on the most beautiful of the beautiful. This year I am sharing twelve titles with my students. But if I could include Canadian illustrators, I would have fifteen titles here. Check out the bottom of the post for books from Canadian illustrators that I would love to include.

I LOVED this experience last year. Read about Mock Caldecott 2015 here and here.

This year I am extremely excited to go through this process again with my new class. I will use the same 3 questions I used with my grade 3/4 class but I have simplified the language a little bit to be more appropriate for this group of Grade 2/3 students.. Students answer each question for each book with a rating of 1 – 5,

This book is a book kids will really like. 1  2  3  4  5

The illustrations in this book are excellent. 1  2  3  4  5

The illustrations are a great fit for the story.  1  2  3  4  5

Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

Here are the twelve titles on our Mock Caldecott 2016 list. Listed alphabetically by illustrator (as they would be shelved on last year’s Caldecott Honor artist Lauren Castillo‘s picture book shelves 🙂 )

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

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

Special Delivery written by Phllip C. Stead and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Special Delivery Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein

The Night World Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

The Skunk written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

The Skunk Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

Float by Daniel Miyares

Float Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

My Pen by Christopher Myers 

My Pen Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

Wolfie the Bunnie written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

Wolfie the Bunnie Mock Caldecott 2016 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 Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

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

Market Street Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach 

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

Lenny and Lucy written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Lenny & Lucy Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

The Whisper Mock Caldecott 2016 There's a Book for That

These Canadian OMG titles are not to be missed when we are doing illustration swooning of the best of the best kind. Unfortunately, these are not eligible for the Caldecott medal.

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

Ask Me Bernard Waber Suzy Lee

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

This is Sadie

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

sidewalk flowers

Which titles would you include for Mock Caldecott 2016?

Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

It is November and that means it is Picture Book Month!

Time to read and celebrate all things picture book. For me, it’s the perfect excuse to generate lists!

This week’s list? Picture books that capture the essence of childhood. With actual children in them! When I started looking at some of my favourite picture books, I realized that many of them were actually not about children. Many feature animals (bears are strangely (or not) represented) or a lot of adults. Some are about children but feature animal characters. These can be fantastic and very easy for children to connect to (I’m thinking everything Kevin Henkes does). The ones with “real children” characters can sometimes have heavy themes or be a little too forced. They don’t all ring true. We can’t pluck a character off the page and believe that child could quickly leap into a playground full of children and completely blend in. Or beautifully stand out . . .

Move into chapter books and boom, there are the kids! Marty Macguire. Clementine. Billy Miller. Flora Belle Buckman. William Spiver. Dory Fantasmagory. Piper Green. Nate Foster. Popeye and Elvis. There are no shortage of children behaving like children.

Finding them in picture books? Not as easy. Hence, my list.

These 20 titles are all about kids and all that they are. Childhood and all of the quirky, all of the lovely, all of the human, all of the unique. Sometimes the messy and challenging. Sometimes the sweet and lovely. All of it absolutely honoured and celebrated. These 20 books all hold a special place in my heart.

I would love to know which books you would add to this list and why. Please share in the comments.

Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

On the list because? Children have some interesting, not always sensible, problem solving strategies.

 Stuck Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

The Frank Show by David Mackintosh

On the list because? Kids worry about not being the coolest, the best, the greatest. Even in the Grandparent department.

The Frank Show Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine, written by Allison Wortche and illustrated by Patrice Barton

On the list because? Primary students need to navigate a lot in a day – sometimes doing the most simple of things like growing seeds: envy, friendship, forgiveness, competition

 Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile

On the list because? Little ones have a hard time doing just nothing or even turning off their racing imaginations. Those busy brains are pure delight!

Let's Do nothing Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

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

On the list because? Children notice what we should. Especially the very beautiful and amazing things in the world.

The Man with the Violin Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies

On the list because? When given the chance to do the right thing, children usually will. Eventually.

Ben Rides on Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Yuyi Morales wrote and illustrated Niño Wrestles the World

On the list because? Children love to embrace the wild and amazing energy of their heroes.

 Nino Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

On the list because? Being brave sometimes requires a little wisdom from someone who has been around for a while. Or a little magic.

Nana in the City Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Wilfred Gordon Macdonald Partridge  written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas

On the list because? Childhood is about navigating the road between making memories and learning from the memories others share

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Blizzard by John Rocco

On the list because? Snow day after snow day after snow day and the chance to be a hero. Childhood magic!

Blizzard Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford

On the list because? Learning about forgiveness is one of childhood’s most powerful lessons. Often as adults, we still don’t have it figured out.

 Desmond Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Float by Daniel Miyares

On the list because? Children approach rain in the best of ways. All in. Rubber boots, puddle jumping, sailing of boats!

Float Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

On the list because? Little ones have lots and lots of stories to tell. If you don’t ask, they will remind you to.

Ask Me Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

On the list because? Thee is something particularly magical about childhood faith and hope.

Sparky! Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

I’m Bored  written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

On the list because? “I’m Bored!” is a childhood theme song! But “Kids are boring.” Those are fighting words!

I'm Bored Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

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

On the list because? All children need to have a little piece of Sadie inside of them and have space to let it shine!

This is SadieTwenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Harriet You’ll Drive Me Wild! written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Marla Frazee

On the list because? When you are little, it seems to be all too easy to make parents a little crazy.  Just like that. Pesky is too easy. But forgiving and hugs are part of it all too.

Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

John Patrick Norman McHennessy – the boy who was always late. by John Burningham

On the list because? Everyday holds huge imaginative possibilities. Even if others don’t quite embrace our wild stories, we persist in telling them. And maybe they are true . . .

John Patrick Norman McHennessy – the boy who was always late. Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Millie Fierce by Jane Manning

On the list because? Sometimes when we discover new found ferocity, it takes a little while to tame. Inner strength and big doses of kindness, we need them both.

Millie Fierce Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

Singing Away the Dark written by Caroline Woodward  and illustrated by Julie Morstad

On the list because? A lone walk through the woods is a journey of many small moments of bravery. Singing to combat the fear? A perfect strategy.

Singing Away the Dark Twenty Picture Books that capture the essence of childhood

How I love sharing picture book lists during this month of picture book love!

Happy Picture Book Reading!

pb month logo

 

Monday August 31st, 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. I love this Henry and Mudge love!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday August 31st, 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

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful male/female friendships in MG literature

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Room Full of Nonfiction A mini tour of the nonfiction in my classroom

A Celebration post about #booklove starring The Good Little Book

Sunday Reflections: Literary Nest Building 101

Books I read and loved:

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

I love this nonfiction series – lovely poetry, stunning illustrations and interesting and detailed back matter. A must have for classrooms and/or libraries.

A Rock Can Be Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virján

Super silly. Super simple. Perfect for kids just learning to read – lots of repetition – a quality little book.

What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Good Little Book written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Marian Arbona

I adore this book on many different levels. What a perfect book to get us thinking about heading back into classrooms! The end pages are incredible!

 The Good Little Book Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson

Love the tones in this sweet little book about friendship and being noticed.

To the Sea Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

I actually hugged this book in the bookstore after I read it. A regular conversation between a father and his young daughter perfectly captures the energy and wonder of a particular time of childhood. Love this book! And the illustrations, wow!

Ask Me Bernard Waber Suzy Lee Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

Yes, Josh Funk if you are reading this, this book made me teary. A book about the every day moving on process of grieving the loss of a loved one and wrapping yourself up in the love of those still with you. Just beautiful.

Boats for Papa Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Leo is a charmer. A ghost that needs to find out where he is appreciated.

Leo a Ghost Story Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt

So clever Ms. Watt! This is one thick picture book – full of the stages of grief (hilariously conveyed) and lots of humour. Just delightful. Can see using this with older grades and having students write about their own self-talk through the stages of grief attached to a particular event.

Bug in a Vacuum Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Blue on Blue written by Dianne White and illustrated by Beth Krommes

Rain, beautiful rain. This book celebrates the dark colours and images of a rain storm. The illustrations are incredible.

 Blue on Blue Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

This is a wonderful title. Such creative twists on Little Red Riding Hood – crafted into quite a different tale. Love the shades and repetitive colours.

 The Tea Party in the Woods Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

I read this to myself and had to whisper certain lines aloud because I was certain they would be a treat to say. Yep! Wow Kate DiCamillo can write!

Leroy Ninker Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White

An emotional middle grade novel about two sisters who need to take care of each other when their Dad leaves them at a gas station. I couldn’t put this book down.

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart

From the title and the cover, one would think this is a light hearted novel. There is humour but it is full of emotions. In fact, I woke up early one morning worried about the character and had to finish the book to make sure all was okay. What do you do when you are twelve, you have lost your Dad and money is an issue? This title explores this reality in creative, but always authentic and sensitive ways. Fantastic characters and family dynamics.

Death  by Toilet Paper Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I read this in one sitting and if I had time, I would have started on page one and read it all over again. So beautiful. So heartfelt. So human.

the house on mango street Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 50/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 309/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 58/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 33/50 books read

Up next? I am still reading and LOVING  The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and then will begin Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s topic? Top Ten Auto-buy Authors But I kind of switched it up . . .

I approached this theme with some flexibility.  First, I only included picture books. Second, my list is all about illustrators, not authors (although some both illustrate and write their books). And top ten? Nope. I have twenty. But I split it into two lists of ten in order to kind of follow the rules. 🙂 10 + 10 = 20

My top ten lists this week are all about my auto-buy illustrators. These artists help make picture books that are irresistible.

I read a lot, a lot, a lot of picture books. Narrowing these lists down was a challenge!

When it became apparent that I couldn’t limit my list to just ten, I decided to make a list of female illustrators and a list of male illustrators. Both make the best books ever! I am so excited to honour them here. For each illustrator, I have included my favourite (or one of my favourite) books that they have illustrated.

My ten auto-buy female illustrators listed in alphabetical order:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Freya Blackwood illustrated Harry and Hopper I love the scratchy, loose lines and the mood Blackwood creates through shading and colour.

harry and hopper Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Lauren Castillo wrote and illustrated Melvin and the Boy I love Nana and her wonderful cape and thought it was wonderfully Caldecott worthy, but I have such a soft spot for this sweet little book.

Melvin and the Boy Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Marla Frazee illustrated All the World It is so absolutely calming and charming and full of all the world’s memories.

All-the-World Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Emily Hughes wrote and illustrated Wild which I am more than a little wild about

Wild Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Suzy Lee created the wordless treasure Wave I am quite sure these waves are moving across the pages here.

 Wave Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Qin Leng illustrated Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin – there is one page oh so very full of green that I fell in love with.

 Hana Hashimoto Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Yuyi Morales wrote and illustrated Niño Wrestles the World I already loved this title but then I heard Yuyi read it aloud and I was even more smitten. Such joyous energy and escapades in this book!

Nino Wrestles the World Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Julie Morstad’s illustrations in This is Sadie are swoon worthy. Seriously, this cover!

This is Sadie Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

LeUyen Phan absolutely blew me away with The Boy Who Loved Math

 The Boy Who Loved Math Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Erin E. Stead illustrated the stunning  If You Want to See a Whale If you follow this blog you know I have a serious thing for whales. The one in this book? I find it particularly captivating.

If you want to see a whale Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

My ten auto-buy male illustrators listed in alphabetical order

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Jonathan Bean illustrated Bad Bye, Good Bye which I found wonderfully delightful. Look at the expressions conveyed just on the cover.

Bad Bye, Good Bye Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Peter Brown won me over with his book The Curious Garden that he wrote and illustrated. Doesn’t it make you want to go plant a seed or two or twelve in some unexpected places?

Curious Garden Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Oliver Jeffers just keeps making more books. Picking a favourite is challeging. I’m going with The Heart and the Bottle which will tug at your heart.

heart in the bottle Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Jon Klassen is the Caldecott King but it is his illustrations in House Held up by Trees that I find the most incredible.

househeldupbytrees Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

E.B. Lewis has done so many titles that are powerful but his illustrations in My Best Friend might be my favourite.

 My Best Friend Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Patrick McDonnell’s illustrations are so whimsical and full of teeny tiny characters that are very large. South is gentle and lovely.

south Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Christopher Silas Neal’s books with Kate Messner are stunning but it is illustrations in Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives that I want to celebrate here.

 Lifetime Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Mark Pett won a special award in my room for The Girl and the Bicycle during our Mock Caldecott process He sent a very special gift for his number one fan (see below).

The Girl and the Bicycle Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

John Rocco does many wonderful titles. He wrote and illustrated Blackout which is likely my favourite. The blues. The blacks. Wow. Wow. Wow.

 Blackout Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

David Small does the most delicate, detailed drawings for historical fiction titles. I couldn’t choose my favourite. So instead I picked One Cool Friend which I also love.

 One cool Friend Top Ten Tuesday: Ten plus ten equals twenty auto-buy Illustrators

Who are your auto-buy illustrators? 

Could you choose ten? Or stop at twenty? It’s difficult!

Picture Book Wishlist: July 2015

Summer time is a lovely time for picture book dreaming. Don’t you think?

Last year at this time, book shopping was not a possibility for me due to a very lengthy teacher’s strike here in B.C. I am now happily back into my book purchasing groove but even us book lovers must prioritize. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to unlimited book buying funds.

Yet, these titles are calling to me! So I thought I would celebrate them in a list. Hopefully, these books will be able to make it into my classroom collection because I can’t wait to share them with students.

 Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Shared by publication date:

Float by Daniel Miyares (June 2015)

Wordless and wonderful. Themes of discovery, persistence, problem solving and creative thinking. And simply beautiful. I would love to add this title to my wordless book collection.

Float  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein (June 2015)

This is truly brilliant. A dark, usually known world, is busy and alive when it is explored at night. Slowly, morning happens. And wow, does it happen beautifully. All about the magic of light.

The Night World  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson (June 2015)

Teachers are always looking for amazing books that explore all there is to explore about friendship. Everywhere I turn there is book love for this title. I can’t wait to find it.

To the Sea  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

First Grade Dropout written by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Matthew Cordell  (July 2015)

I have read some wonderful reviews of this title (here and here) that have convinced me that this book needs to be in my collection. Intense emotions, Humiliation. Moving forward. Compassion and community. All of these are themes to explore in a primary classroom.

First Grade Dropout  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee (July 2015)

I read this beautiful review of this title on the blog What to Read to your Kids and I knew I had to own it. I too am a fan of Waber and Lee but I am completely smitten with stories that portray little moments of family relationship.

Ask Me Bernard Waber Suzy Lee  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes (August 2015)

When I first read Emily Hughes‘ Wild (a library copy) aloud to my class, I admitted that I really loved the book and wished I had a copy for our classroom. One child remarked: “You really should buy it. Otherwise, you might go a little crazy.” Wise words 🙂 Wild is now a beloved book that I own. The pages I have peeked at on various blogs make it very obvious that I must also bring The Little Gardener into my collection.

The Little Gardener  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (August 2015)

I love fairytales and stories with nuances of fairytale elements. But . . . I am very particular. I find that I either love these titles or I find them barely mediocre. My students are always asking me to purchase more fairy tale stories for our collection and I want to find them the best. From the reviews I have read, this will be a title I will happily add to our growing collection.

 The Ta Party in the Woods  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson (August 2015)

I love the whole idea of this book. We don’t often meet ghosts in picture books. But many children believe they are out there. I love books that celebrate imagination and big believing. And also – Mac Barnett! Christian Robinson! No need to say more.

Leo a Ghost Story  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Lenny & Lucy written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead (October 2015)

I think Erin Stead is one of the most talented illustrators out there. Off the charts, can’t quite believe it, oh my, oh my, talented. When the brilliant Stead duo do their thing, I need to own the book. It’s that simple.

Lenny & Lucy  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for That

Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler  (October 2015)

I am hearing lovely book buzz about this title. Reviews contain words like imagination, curiosity, magic . . . Sounds delightful!

Beyond the Pond  Picture Book Dreaming Wish List July 2015 There's a Book for ThatWhat picture books are you dreaming of? 

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.