Monday January 29th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Don’t you just love this little reader in his Pjs (pyjama day) surrounded by Toon comics?

Our #classroombookaday titles were our second week of #MockCaldecott titles

Now we are ready for more in depth discussion and analysis

Classroom Highlights 

We loved having our Let’s Talk Science volunteers come in to talk changing states of matter with us. We learned what sublimation means by exploring dry ice.

In math, we have been investigating multiplication. This table explored 24 and made arrays and matching equations.

I love the classroom when it is full of readers – little buddies from the K class came to read!

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.

Books I enjoyed:

Marigold & Daisy by Andrea Zuill

A charming little read about new sibling envy. These snails are adorably hilarious.

Watersong by Tim McCanna with illustrations by Richard Smythe

This is onomatopoeia at its best! Vivid illustrations accompany these gorgeous sounds.

There’s a Snake in my School written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross

When it’s pet day . . . This snake is a whole lot of fun for everyone. Well maybe not for that grumpy headmistress!

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield

Earth tells its story = perfect to answer and inspire questions for curious kids!

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

This is definitely YA. Heartbreaking. I adored both main characters. One of those titles you just can’t put down. Friendship, care and compassion alongside some pretty horrific cruelty and abuse.

Up next? I am reading Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 2/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 25/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books ahead of schedule

#MustReadin2018: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 1/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 2/40 books read


Monday April 7th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

The novels I finished:

My children and I were very excited to finish The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen. We listened to The False Prince on a family road trip and were instantly hooked on this series. I read both The Runaway King and The Shadow Throne aloud. There is something about Jaron’s way with the world that appealed to us in many ways. This is the ideal MG trilogy – highly entertaining and engrossing. Adventure. Intrigue. Battles and Heroes. And, an ending to celebrate! “Are you sure there isn’t a fourth book?” my daughter asked as soon as we were finished. Then she went on to tell me that there might be because I probably didn’t know. I will happily be wrong on this one!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

A definite 5 stars for me. I loved so many things about this MG title. The friendships. The interactions with family. The connection to nature and the loons. The many many choices that Lucy needs to make. Take a photograph or be in the moment. Tell the truth or a creative almost version. Tell a story or adhere to a wish. The last few chapters have many amazing lines. My favourite is uttered by Grandma Lilah:

“Don’t ever choose the people who don’t matter over the ones who do.”

Half a Chance  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up in novels? My children and I started Jinx’s Magic by Sage Blackwood – all of us had read Jinx individually and really loved the story. I am starting Threatened by Eliot Schrefer. I am very curious about this book – Endangered was a favourite.

I read quite a few picture books this week. Here are my favourites:

Wild by Emily Hughes

Love, love, love! The illustrations are just incredible. I love the feel of the paper and the way that each page is so deliciously detailed. The eyes on the main character are huge and expressive throughout. I love her mossy wild hair, her knit brows and her determined stance. Her ability to wreak havoc in her unhappiness is amazing – just as her joy radiates off the page when she is truly, wild and free. I must share this with my students and see what they think. I think I might have to buy this book. It is so wonderfully unique.

Wild  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Cub’s Big World written by Sarah L Thomson and illustrated by Joe Cepeda

A sweet little story about a young polar bear discovering his Arctic habitat.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Slightly Annoying Elephant written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross.

An elephant shows up to live at Sam’s house and all kinds of silliness begins. My students shared reviews here. Their consensus was that the elephant was more than slightly annoying!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Children who Loved Books by Peter Carnavas

This books celebrates books in many ways: owning books, reading books, treasuring books and carting books home from the library. Books make everything fit. They connect and soothe. They are necessary.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sitti’s Secrets written by Naomi Shihab Nye and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

I saw this book featured on Gathering Books blog and was able to find it at the public library. What appealed to me was a little girl getting to know her Grandmother even though they didn’t share a language in common. Many of my students don’t speak their first language fluently and find interesting ways of communicating with various relatives. There are many things I loved about this book. It celebrates that despite distance there are threads that connect us. Mona’s quick connection to her Grandmother rang so true. A beautiful book to share.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

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

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.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Time to Sleep Sheep the Sheep! by Mo Willems

A small little bit of humour near the end gives this book an edge beyond a simple bedtime book. Fun! Perfect for buddy reading with the Ks!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 27/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 179/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 13/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 47/65 complete

Happy Reading to all of you!


Monday February 17th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

The picture books I enjoyed this week (yes, I too notice a theme of silly!):

Just Me and 6,000 Rats: A Tale of Conjunctions written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon

A wonderful way to learn about conjunctions while reading an amusing story about a boy and his 6,000 rats who follow him everywhere. As you might imagine, the rats have quite the impact on everyone he meets. But along the way we get to learn how using words like but, until, since, etc can stretch our sentences!

Here Be Monsters written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

What a brilliant book to read aloud. Dare you to read it and not burst out a pirate accent! The rhyming is divine and the plot adored by young listeners. My students wrote reviews of this book on our class blog Curiosity Racers.

Here be Monsters #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hippospotomus written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross

Hippopotamus has a red spot on his bottomus and every jungle animal offers advice. Nothing works! Completely ridiculous and silly with hilarious rhymes throughout.

” . . .A needle in the bottomus

Will rid you of the spotomus.”

Despite his perfect shotamus.

The cure was in vain.

The ending is ever so clever.

Hippospotamus #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Hey, Rabbit! by Sergio Ruzzier

This title appeals to the imaginative and the curious. What is in rabbit’s suitcase? Something for everyone? Each friend makes a remarkable discovery. Will there be anything left for rabbit? Sweet and creative.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

And the train goes . . . by William Bee

I can just imagine travelling back in time to the days when my son was obsessed with every kind of large moving vehicle and the sounds it made. We would have had to read this book over and over and over again. All kinds of colours and wonderful sounds.

Clickerty-click, clickerty-clack

clickerty-click, clickerty-clack . . .

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb

Aunt Amelia comes to babysit and strays a little from the list left by the children’s parents. Let’s just say there is a lot of mud, ice cream consumption and late night reading marathons on the agenda. Would the children like Aunt Amelia to come again? Absolutely! A perfect story for storytime.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Helen’s Big World The Life of Helen Keller written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares

What an incredibly inspirational book about Helen Keller and her brilliant teacher Annie Sullivan. This book has quotations by Keller on every page. Beautifully illustrated. What an amazing relationship between teacher and student. What a tribute to the power of education. So much to this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Novels I finished:

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell (This was a #MustReadin2014 title)

I read this aloud to my children and we adored it. We savoured the quirky, the hilarious and the eccentric. We smiled at the characters. We were lulled by the whimsy. And we were charmed by the brilliance of DiCamillo. 5 stars: all glowing and magical!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Far Far Away written by Tom McNeal

How to describe this book? There is a huge surprise midway through so I’m not even going to touch the plot. But I will talk about the writing. Gorgeous. Eerie. Fairytales intertwined with modern day. Small town charm. Big time mystery. Ghosts. Friends. Love. And the theme of devotion – played out in many ways – some sweet, some heroic, some disturbing.

Far, Far Away #IMWAYR There's a Book for That February 17th 2014

Next up? I just started Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur. My children and I are hoping that The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen arrives at my work address tomorrow. We are more than a little excited to begin this title and plan to make it our next family read aloud!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 11/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 101/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/65 complete

Cottonwool Colin – a lesson for Moms

The fabulous team of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have brought us a fantastic story to read to our Moms! Yep, our Moms. By the time we finished laughing and gasping through Cottonwool Colin, the consensus was – this is a book for Moms!

This book is all about tiny mouse Colin Smally, the youngest and smallest of ten mouse siblings. So small that his Mom only agrees to allow him outside into the great big world if she can wrap him in cottonwool. Now he would be safe from the elements, from falling, or worse, having something landing on him! All would be well. But when Colin (wrapped in cotton) gets mistaken for a snowball and tossed into a freezing river, everything suddenly seems very dangerous. And it is – he is chased and needs to swim to escape and then chased again . . .

When Colin, (sans cottonwool) ends up back at his mouse cave, his mother is very upset.

“Colin, ” she shrieked. “Anything could have happened to you!

Everything did happen to me, ” he whooped.

Colin’s Mom begins to grant him more freedom to explore the world. And Colin ventures out ready for many more adventures (the fear, the hurt, the risks?  All worth it!!)

So I asked our listeners: “So, what do we think?”

Lisa: “His Mom learned a lesson. His Mom should not worry so much and let him play.”

Oh yes, without hesitation we agreed! “Don’t be scared Moms!” ‘Don’t be too worried!” “Let it go!” “Let them have fun.” “Don’t keep your kids right with you.”

Jena: “Trust them because one day they’ll get older and they won’t know how to take care of themselves.”

Lisa: “Yeah. Kids need to go around in the world to know what’s out there.”

“My mom doesn’t need that book though,” said Scott. “Because I’m bigger than a mouse.” 🙂

I am a teacher but I am also a Mom and I have to admit that, like Colin, my students are probably smarter than me on this one! Breathe, let it go, don’t worry so much . . .