Monday August 28th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a  reading photo of the week.

In a few weeks I will have students again to snap some pictures of but for now – here is a photo of our first planned read aloud – getting some moral support from a friend.

Monday August 28th, 2017


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 haven’t posted an #IMWAYR post for a few weeks as we have been travelling so this post highlights some favourites from a few weeks of reading.

On the blog:

Sharing a nonfiction title: A Bear’s Life

For picture book 10 for 10: Beautifully Quirky titles

These next 2 posts are part of a 5 part series on my blog:

Summer Maintenance in the Classroom Library. Step 3: Additions

Summer Maintenance in the Classroom Library. Step 4: The details

Books I enjoyed:

Today by Julie Morstad

Of course, this is Morstad stunning. I can see individuals or small groups getting lost in these pages.

How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh? by Alison Limentani

As much as a . . . A wonderful book about comparing mass.

Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

This wordless title won my heart. Graphic panels. Sweet characters. Generosity and kindness. What more could you want in a picture book?

Can an Aardvark Bark? written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Created by nonfiction royalty, this book is a winner! Animal sounds. And many other cool things you might have wondered. Of course, this will be a new addition to our nonfiction library this fall. A must have for classrooms and libraries.

The Darkest Dark written by Chris Hadfield and illustrated by the Fan Brothers 

A little boy’s relationship with the dark, the sky, the universe. Astronaut Chris Hadfield tells his story and the Fan Brothers bring it to life. Wonderful!

A Small Thing . . . but Big written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Brave acts are made of many small moments. Lovely.

Ally-saurus & the Very Bossy Monster by Richard Torrey

A fantastic title to share with young readers dealing with how to be with each other in play. Themes of friendship, relationship, being brave, standing up for yourself and others. Perfect for classroom discussions or library story time.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

I absolutely adored Charlie. His journey is a must read experience.

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson

This middle grade novel is not an easy read. Mississippi in the 1950s for a young black girl was about nothing easy. Rose is a character I can’t wait to follow and so was thrilled to see that Jackson has a second title being released next year.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

I have heard the hype. I have seen the tweets about the ending leaving too much unanswered. I loved every bit. This book captured me. I couldn’t put it down and read it all in one early morning sitting. Would love to read this aloud to a class but think it is better suited to an older class (not Grade 3)

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 46/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 197/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 41 books behind schedule. I need another bookstore visit!

#MustReadin2017: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 27/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 32/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy

Monday December 28th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This is from my final week before the holiday break. One of my little readers is proudly sharing poems from her poem book with an intent listener.

Monday December 28th, 2015

We have almost chosen our winners for our Mock Caldecott. But, not quite. It will be the first thing we do when we return. Final voting and tabulating results.

Monday December 28th, 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.


It’s been two weeks since I posted an #IMWAYR post so this post includes two weeks of reading.

And since I last posted, I blogged. A lot.

On the blog:

One of my favourite ever Top Ten Tuesday posts: Favourite Read Aloud Experiences

I celebrated after a busy last week of work: (Brief) Ramblings and the Happiness Train

I made some best on the blog lists:

Best of my Book Lists (2015)

A Year of Thinking (2015)

Celebration: Literacy to Fill the Year (2015)

For #nfpb2015, a collection of nonfiction titles I have been reading

Which ten titles would you like to find under the tree? I had a list of picture books

As I do every year, I compiled a favourites list. This year it includes 9 picture books and 6 novels.  Favourites of 2015

Books I loved:

Picture books:

Stella Brings the Family written by Miriam B. Schiffer and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

An inclusive solution to inviting “someone special” to a special day party.

Stella Brings the Family Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Winter is Coming written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Jim LaMarche

I reserve a really huge place of awe in my picture book heart for illustrator Jim LaMarche. This book is absolutely stunning. Ode to a season. Honouring nature. Celebrating quiet and focus and wonder. I had to buy this book.

Winter is Coming Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Wait by Antoinette Portis

The simplicity of stopping to “be” with all that is around us. So very lovely.

Wait Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Marguerite’s Christmas written by India Desjardins and illustrated by Pascal Blanchet

This was the one holiday book I purchased this Christmas. The illustrations are from another time and place. The story is about Marguerite and her quiet life that shifts a little one Christmas Eve. Loved this book.Marguerite's Christmas Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That


Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Twelve year old Grayson is navigating middle grade friendships, the grief of losing his parents and the fact that, while born male, he feels female. A school play and an inspiring teacher provide opportunities for risk, change and understanding. A solid middle grade read.

Gracefully Grayson Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

 This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki with illustrations by Jillian Tamaki

A YA graphic novel about summer places, family changes and all of the awkward and in between of sliding into adolescence.

This One Summer Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The True Blue Scouts of SugarMan Swamp by Kathy Appelt

I will admit I worried as I began to read this title. Appelt’s The Underneath was just too mythical/magical/spirtual for me. So at certain early on points, I worried. But the balance between Chap’s story and the racoon scouts, soon pulled me in to this beautiful tale.

True Blue Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

I loved everything about Stella – her courage, her determination, her devotion to family and her journey as a writer. A book about some hard and ugly things (racism and prejudice) with lots of beautiful people to bring us hope.

Stella by Starlight Monday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Whoa. A start and don’t put down until done book. Dog as hero. Boy with the weight of the world. Honest truths are the hardest because we don’t often tell them. Beautifully told. Absolutely gripping.

Honest-TruthMonday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The War That Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I love historical fiction when it is really well done – when the story is enhanced by a time and a setting that literally transports you. In this book, well done is left in the dust. This is excellent writing, an incredible story rich with complex characters living in challenging circumstances. This novel twists from the ugly cruelty of abuse to the powerful healing of connection. It offers up hope and courage mixed with lots of pain. One of the best novels I have read in some time.

The War That Saved my LifeMonday December 28th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 70/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 447/415 books read COMPLETE! 

#MustReadin2015: 18/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 78/100 titles

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

This is the final #IMWAYR posts of 2015. Happy New Year and Happy Reading to this wonderfully generous community of book lovers. Like many of you, I will miss the participation of the passionate reader, educator and blogger Debbie Alvarez (Styling Librarian) who passed away last week after a three year battle with cancer. Debbie was one of the first bloggers to welcome me when I dove into sharing my reading life in the blogging world. I learned much by sharing with her and I will miss our book conversations.

Monday October 14th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! The #IMWAYR crowd always has so many fantastic titles to share.



I read quite a variety of picture books this week. My favourites:

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Before reading this action packed colourful picture book, I had never heard of lucha libre – the theatrical professional wrestling popular in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries. I was very pleased that Niño with his little white boxers and red face mask was the first hero of the lucha libre world for me. The fact that he outsmarts his opponents with moves like the Tickle Tackle and the Popsicle Slick make him even more endearing. I can see this being a favourite book of many a preschooler with some wild and crazy energy. What fun!

Nino Wrestles the World #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes 

The illustrations in this story made it quite special. It is a wonderful introduction to Hindu literature and mythology through a quite creative adaptation of how the poet Vyasa convinces Ganesha to scribe the epic poem, the Mahabharata. This story involves delicious sweets and a super jumbo jawbreaker. Part silly, part spectacular, this is a fun visual adventure.

Ganesha's Sweet Tooth  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Look, a Book! written by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood

The text of this title is simple – the premise simply – wow, look where a book might take you – on adventures and rides through imaginative landscapes. I am such a fan of illustrator Freya Blackwood and again, found her illustrations simply magic.

Look, a Book!  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Cat with Seven Names written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Christine Davenier

If you have ever had a pet that liked to share himself/herself with others very generously (and often motivated by food treats if truth be told) then this is a book to connect to. In this story, a cat wanders in and out of many different lives in a neighbourhood, eventually connecting the individuals into a community and being reunited with his owner who explains that this friendly feline will likely visit again. With themes of solitude and loneliness, this story has a happy feel good ending.

The Cat with the Seven Names  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Can I keep him? by Steven Kellogg

First published in 1971 – loved the older style drawings by Kellogg. A little boy tries to convince his mother that numerous animals would make the ideal pet. Finally he finds the perfect companion to keep him occupied as Mom is busy with her daily tasks. The fantasy element made this story lots of fun as a read aloud.

Can I keep him?  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Really? Really! Really, Seeger is just too clever. Her books never fail to delight, engage and entertain. Such a wonderful book to share with my class. They were all completely engrossed guessing what would happen as we flipped the page – what word would the cutout reveal? What image? Amazing!

One Boy  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Carnivores written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat

Oh so, so good. And it scored high on the giggle meter when I read it to my children. Such a clever premise – attempting to have us see these carnivores as well meaning with lots of self control. When true natures win out, Reynolds and Santat have us smiling a little guiltily as we root for these carnivorous characters who just can’t help themselves . . .

Carnivores  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I finished The Boy on the Wooden Box a memoir by Leon Leyson

An emotional read. Every story of the war speaks to our humanity – the cruelty and kindness of people, the devastation and hope in such horrific times. This is the story of Leon Leyson, one of the youngest members of Schindler’s list. It is the story of his childhood taken by war, his family and their love, of his time during Nazi occupation in the WWII and of his chance to actually have hope of a future. Highly recommended.

The Boy on the Wooden Box  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What’s up next? I just started reading The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Next on the list is Crazy by Han Nolan.

What are you reading this week?



Happy Halloween!

What a fun and exciting day we had today!

We started with a spooky read aloud, The Soup Bone written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Margot Tomes.

This book is about a little lonely old woman who goes in search of a bone to make her soup a little more tasty. No bones in the the cupboards or the drawers or on the shelves. Not one bone anywhere. So the little old woman decides to go digging for a bone. This struck us as quite disgusting! “Eeew! The bone will be dirty!” ” Will it be a dino bone?” “Maybe a skeleton bone?” Well a skeleton was exactly what she found. The little old lady shrieked and ran away. When the skeleton decided to “skittle- skattle” into the house, Markus piped up “So finally she’s got some company!” And as we read on, we decided this story was a friendship story after all!

IMG_1384Following a spooky story time in the library with Ms. S after recess, we did math.

Today it was Pumpkin Patch Glyphs. Everyone had to design a pumpkin in a way that answered four questions.

Then everyone else had to look at the legend to learn more about their classmates as they examined the features of each pumpkin: stem, eyes, nose and mouth.

For example,  someone who loves chocolate would have a pumpkin with triangle eyes.

Is your favourite treat chips? Well then circle eyes for you. Lots of fun to look at all of the pumpkins up on the wall and make conclusions – most people like scary costumes for example. Glyphs are a way of organizing and representing data!

Some completed pumpkins:

Hailey is a chocolate lover who is not so sure about pumpkin pie.


Shae-Lynn does NOT like pumpkin pie and has yet to try pumpkin seeds.


Truman likes sweet treats and strange costumes.


In the afternoon, it was all about pumpkins!

These unsuspecting pumpkins donated by the Rotary Club . . .


turned into fabulous jack o’ lanterns with the help of our Big Buddies from Division 1.


Even a little bride on her way to a wedding stopped in to do some carving!


Final results looked something like this: successful carving and a big mess 🙂


Happy Halloween 2011!