Monday November 9th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week because it has been a while, I have more than one. And not all are reading related but humour me please, I am in a sharing mood ūüôā

First – I invite you to enjoy our mural homage to “Shh! We have a plan.” by Chris Haughton. Mini trees and birds by my class. Mural design courtesy of my husband. .

Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

We read some fantastic titles during the week before Halloween for #classroombookaday. Bone Dog squeaked in with the most love.

Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

This art has nothing to do with any book but I just had to share – the colour, the light, the vibrancy and the joy . . . .

Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

And finally my favourite “reading photo” of the week is all about the giggles. Happy, happy, happy.

Monday November 9th, 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.


I am committed to a return to my blog and a sharing of my reading and teaching life.

I credit Marla Frazee for this as I shared in this post: Sunday Reflections: Honest Truths, Metaphorical whales and the “in between” place

Also on my blog:

Wrapped up in shades of black and grey (in honour of Picture Book Month)

I haven’t shared a Monday post in two weeks so I have a number of titles that I am excited to highlight here!

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

Oh my, my, my, my. And, well, wow. You might have noticed I am slightly speechless over this one. It is moody. Lonely. Emotional. Sweet. Lovely. Sigh. Of course, I had to buy it.

Lenny & Lucy Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Shoe Dog by Megan Mcdonald

I don’t have a dog. I am not that attached to my shoes. But still – if I had a dog and if it chewed up all of my shoes, well, I am not so sure . . . This is book is about some serious pet love. And patience. And it is pretty darn cute.

Shoe Dog Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Gorgeous and inspiring historical fiction. A must read.

A Dance Like Starlight- One Ballerina's Dream Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Color Monster by Anna Llenas

A pop up title that is all kinds of amazing.  The perfect book to pair with My Blue is Happy and to break out the coloured pencils and start some really wonderful conversations.

The Color Monster Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Hueys in None the Number by Oliver Jeffers

A Hueys tour of counting and numbers and the concept of zero. Quirky and wonderfully odd.

The Hueys in None the Number Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School by Simon Puttock and Ali Pye

Shy little Mouse is always somewhere but where? Endearing.

Mouse’s First Night in Moonlight School Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Katie Woo No More Teasing written by Fran Amnushkin and illustrated by Tammie Lyon

I bought five of these Katie Woo titles the other day. Ideal additions to my early readers collection.

Katie Woo No More Teasing Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Story of Diva and Flea written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi

Yep, all kinds of charming. A seriously winning author/illustrator combination. Paris! Incredible characters. Lots to love here in this illustrated chapter book. Would make a perfect read aloud in a primary classroom.

The Story of Diva and Flea Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

I’ll Be There¬†by¬†Holly Goldberg Sloan

Fast paced, impossible to put down.

I'll Be There Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan 

And then there was a sequel. I had a Goldberg Sloan marathon. If you are in a reading slump, these YA novels are the perfect books to pick up. Personally I was looking for serious escapism and these dramatic stories and wonderful writing fit the bill perfectly!

 Just Call my name Monday November 9th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 59/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 363/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 64/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 43/50 books read

Up next? I am reading to escape so¬†The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty is an ideal story. When do I ever ever read adult fiction? Usually never. It is wonderfully ridiculous and like zone out T.V. Perfect.

Monday, November 26th, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Join a fabulous group of readers who share their weekly reads from picture books to young adult novels by participating in Jen and Kellee’s meme. If you are looking for new book ideas, this is a fantastic place to start!

The reading and the blogging about my reading are guilty pleasures this week. I am supposed to be finishing report cards. The reports are coming along but the reading and celebrating cannot be sacrificed!

I read a lot of wonderful picture books this week. Most of them fit into one of two categories: sweet or humourous. And a few were neither or straddled both. This is how I categorized my top ten favourite picture books reads this week:

Picture books of the Sweet variety :

Spork written by Kyo Mclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault¬†I am a big fan of Virginia Wolf written by this author/illustrator team but I had yet to read this earlier book. A lovely story about being meaningful when you are truly needed. Arsenault’s illustrations are as always, stunning.

Make a Wish Bear¬†by Greg Foley Yes, this book does end on a kind of predictable note but all along the way it celebrates a bunch of “strategies” for making a wish come true. I am a sucker for wishing upon a star so I thought this book was pretty special.

Plantpet by Elise Primavera¬†This book ranks up there as one of my all time favourite picture books. It was not a new read but an important “re-read”shared with my class. We savoured it and then we did some art (see below) to celebrate the wonder of Plantpet. I highlight how amazing this story is in this post. Plantpet enters Bertie’s life as a found little creature in a cage. When Plantpet‚Äôs digging seems to have no end, Bertie banishes him to a corner of the yard and soon finds himself all alone. When he recognizes how much he misses his friend, Bertie races to find him only to discover a withered little green being. The two revive their friendship in the most beautiful of ways.

Student art inspired by this story: Ode to Plantpet

Mine!¬†written by Shutta Crum and illustrated by Patrice Barton¬†This little book is almost wordless (so I am instantly a fan) . One word is used in a¬†multitude¬†of ways: “mine” Young siblings and a dog experience owning, sharing and exploring with some toys. A little love expressed happens along the way.

Books that tickle your Humour bones: 

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs¬†by Mo Willems This was a fantastic read aloud shared in my classroom this week. A twist on a classic tale that only Willems could deliver. My favourite comment from a student: “Why did the dinos want to eat Goldilocks so badly? I liked that Goldilocks.”¬†This is a Goldilocks you really must meet.

Slightly Invisible by Lauren Child I really do like Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola books. They are so much fun for children to read aloud to practice dialogue reading and expression and I love the sibling relationship: Lola’s spunk and Charlie’s patience. I particularly love Lola’s “imaginary” friend Soren Lorensen. So the fact that this character has a kind of key role in this story, makes me an instant fan.

A Pet for Petunia¬†by Paul Schmid I had seen this title on a number of blogs and booklists earlier this year and finally bought my own copy. This is certainly a book to own. Petunia wants a pet. A pet skunk. And when her parents cannot be convinced, my, oh, my does she react. Off she stomps to live in the woods where she happens to meet a real skunk. Let’s just say real life experience has a way of being a powerful teacher . . .

I’m Bored ¬†written by¬†Michael Ian Black and illustrated by¬†Debbie Ridpath Ohi I’m Bored” – oh such tedious words that parents and teachers dread. This story’s power is in the hugely large display of “I will prove I am NOT boring” that the main character shows to us.

Kids are boring.” Those are fighting words!

In between:

Won Ton (A Cat Tale Told in Haiku) written by Lee Wardlaw and illustrated by ¬†Eugene Yelchin Such a cleverly told tale of a cat finding his way into the home and hearts of a family who adopts him. Funny moments of cat quirkiness alongside tender images of a cat and “his boy.”

Something else entirely and so worth a read: 

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis Reminiscent of¬†The Hundred Dresses this beautifully illustrated picture book’s power is in the questions it suggests: What does it mean to be kind? How do our actions impact others? What does it feel like to be left out and ignored? What happens when we run out of chances? Each kindness has a chance to matter if it is in fact offered. Powerful.

I also finally finished The Search for Wondla¬†written and illustrated by Tony Diterlizzi as a read aloud with my children. We took quite a while to read this because we so frequently find picture books and non-fiction titles to share together. But every time we picked it up after a few nights off, we fell right back into this very unusual science fiction/fantasy title. Stunning artwork. Interesting story. Not necessarily the best book I’ve read in a while but certainly made for lots of great discussion with my children.

Upcoming book adventures?

I just started reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio to my own children! I loved this title when I read it and can’t wait to share it.

Last week I finished reading Clementine and the Family Meeting to my class and we just started Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm. I hope it will be a favourite for my students as it was for me!

The novel I am reading for myself is What Came from the Stars by Gary D Shmidt. Very intriguing so far.