Monday, November 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11-12-18

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews and recommendations!

Books I Read this Week:

This week the Cybils reads kept coming! Here are some of this week's picture book selections:
Well, I couldn't read Dear Girl without tearing up.
I love Hey, Wall and see it pairing nicely with Maybe Something Beautiful.
I'm not new at sharing What If..., but it is new to me! It of course is fabulous and would make a great read aloud to spark discussions and bouts of creativity.
Will Bear Share is a sweet board book that looks at what we can share and what we don't need to share. Like a toothbrush.

A House that Once Was  is one that I immediately loved. It reminds me of A House Held Up By Trees in style and story. It also made me think of the house that Sophie Blackall is currently sifting through in the most magical way. Check out her instagram pictures about it if you aren't sure what I'm talking about. You'll be glad you did!
Business Pig reminded me a LOT of Boss Baby, which I've watched a fair number of times...not by choice.

See any of your favorites here?

I've also shared some holiday gift book ideas this week. Click below to visit!

I'm Currently Reading:

I take my book to school and back each day. Before morning meeting begins we read on the rug in our circle. Kids stagger in from busses, drop offs, and breakfast in the cafeteria, so I've found that low lights, soft music, and reading is the perfect way to use that 15ish minutes before announcements. That being said, I LEFT MY BOOK AT SCHOOL THIS WEEKEND. And didn't go back to get it. So, I'm still reading this one ;)

Have a great reading week!
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Holiday Gift Book Reviews & Giveaway!

This gorgeous collection of books comes from Candlewick Press, Big Picture Press, & Nosy Crow

First Up:

Around the World in 80 Puzzles by Aleksandra Artymowska

Big Picture Press, September 2018
Over 90 pages of puzzles, story, and answer keys

A gorgeous book for the sharp of eye! Large two-page spreads take puzzle seekers around the world as they spot differences, journey through mazes, and look for hidden images. Fun for kids and for grown kids!

One lucky reader will win a copy of this book to keep or gift!
Enter below, and good luck!

Pop-Up Fun!

Ten Horse Farm by Robert Sabuda

Candlewick Press, April 2018
20 pages of pop-up magic!

This book is based on a real farm in upstate New York that is owned by the author.
Small hands will delight in slowly turning each page, unveiling a new and exciting scene each time. You don't need to be horse crazy to be amazed by this book, but for those horse crazy littles in your life I don't think you'll want to pass this one up!

One lucky reader will win a copy of this book to keep or gift!
Enter below, and good luck!

Did Someone Say they Love BIG Books?

City by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Candlewick Studio, September 2018
40 pages of oversized images that depict all that makes a city, a city!

Hailing from Sweden, Ingela Arrhenius has created a funky-huge book that your little might want to stretch out on the rug to read! I can't help but imagine how cool these pages would look framed on the wall! Whether you live in a city or want to be transported to one, this is the book for you!

A Poem a Day!

Sing a Song of Seasons: A nature poem for each day of the year 

selected by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
Nosy Crow, October 2018

You might think I've saved my favorite title for last. And you might be right, but I'd never admit such a thing. This book is the perfect addition to any poetry loving home or classroom. Seriously, if you don't know what to get for your child's teacher this year, this should take away the guess work for you! I will be using this one every day from here on out.

Now, for the Giveaway!

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11-5-18

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews and recommendations!

Books I've Recently Read:

Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr
Candlewick Press, November 2018
Realistic Fiction
320 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

Astrid is unstoppable. She is spunky and daring and headstrong. Originally published in Norway, this novel has already be translated into 19 languages and adapted for the stage! Described as being a mix between Pippi Longstocking and Anne Shirley, you won't miss the intense Heidi vibe to this tale.
A mix of adventure, relationship highs and lows, the fragility of the heart, and a lot of snow.

Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt
Candlewick Press, November 2018
Realistic Fiction
304 pages
Recommended for grades 5+

Get this one. This was one that I couldn't wait to get back to, that I thought about later, and yearned to spend more time with. When I closed this book tears were streaming down my face.
The cleverness of this book is in how it is laid out. How you get more more and insight and information that changes the way you perceive and process the story. This was a hard one to read. My teacher self and my mother self were pulled upon to relate, to question, to grieve, in different ways.
The tears don't come in the beginning, despite the story opening at a wake for a 13-year-old child. They won't come until you really come to terms with how you would have treated that boy in life.
This one will get you.

Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure by Torben Kuhlmann
Translated by Henry David Wilson
NorthSouth Books, 2018
112 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

The illustrations in this oversized chapter book are by far the star. The story felt a bit disjointed, and rushed. But those illustrations, they are something else. I'm still mulling over my feelings about this one. I do think my third graders will enjoy it.

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and her Tribute to Veterans 
by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson
Calkins Creek, 2012
40 pages

I snagged this from the library to read in honor of Veterans Day, and will be ordering a copy for my classroom. Reading this aloud to my students will spark conversations around Verterans Day, serving our country, the power of one person's idea and drive, and of course, the significance of the poppy.

I'm Currently Reading:

(Book 1)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 8, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-8-18

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews and recommendations!

Books I've Recently Read:

Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher
McElderry Books, October 2018
Historical Fiction
304 pages
Recommended for grades 4-8

I can't think of many books I've read that are set in the 13th century, and I'm sure many young readers will say the same! This story is based on records of an actual polar (pale) bear that was sent as a gift from King Haakon IV of Norway to King Henry III of England around the year 1251. Fletcher has imagined how the bear traveled from Norway to England, and who it was that cared for her. In her story she puts a young boy in this role. A young boy that is also far from home, and away from all he knows. 

One of the most interesting pieces of history written into this story is in the last few pages. Which means I want to tell you, but feel that I shouldn't.
Readers will be captivated by this bear's journey, and will want to read on and on to discover her fate. Young Arthur will steal hearts as he searches for a birthright that may no longer be his.

H is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z by Sydell Rosenberg, illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi
Penny Candy Books, 2018
40 pages
Recommended for all!

When a woman named Any emailed me asking if I'd be interested in sharing a book of haiku on my blog I was of course interested. The more we corresponded, the more I learned how special this book is. The poems were written by Amy's mother, who passed in 1996. On the day of the funeral Amy made a pact with her brother and sister-in-law to publish a book of their mother's writing.
I'm so glad they tackled this project, one poem at a time. The result is a wonderful collection for us all to enjoy. Amy included a note to readers, followed by an essay written by Sydell. In those pages readers will be welcomed into the book, and be encouraged to write their own poetry. I especially love the reminder that the strict 5-7-5 that haiku often follow in America, is not a golden rule to this Japanese art form. Let no boundaries hold your words back!
I love the lively illustrations found in this collection. 
A perfect addition to a classroom library!
Please visit this link to read more about Sydell and the story behind this book.

Potato Pants by Laurie Keller
Christy Ottaviano Books, October 2018
40 pages
Recommended for pant and potato lovers everywhere.

Do you love The Scrambled States of America as much as I do?! If so, you will be delighted to see that the creator of that hilarious book is back with potatoes wanting pants!
This spud on the cover desperately wants a pair of pants, but when an eggplant he is trying to avoid is in the shop he vacates quickly. We've all been there...
Anyway, in an attempt to not be seen by the eggplant he was ATTACKED *pushed* by the day before, the potato laments over not being able to get into the store to get his PANTS before they are sold out! Are you feeling the stress yet? This is a serious problem!
With a lot of laughs, and a good amount of self-talk around solving his problem, readers will get a kick out of this story!

Link to the blog tour below!

Nominations are open! Head to the Cybils site to nominate your favorites in 2018 children's lit!

I'm Currently Reading:

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem *Blog Tour and Giveaway!*

Welcome loyal blog readers, newcomers, and people who accidentally clicked a link and ended up here! I am happy to share with you the final stop on the blog tour for Christopher Healy's latest book: A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem!
Here you will find info about the book, a few of my thoughts, an educator's guide, a sample of the audio book, a video from the illustrator, AND a chance to win a signed copy! Whew, let's get to it!
Coming in at nearly 400 pages, this story is one you can really sink yourself into!
In this alternative historical fiction story I found myself stretching to many new "what ifs".
What if the power-houses of history were not as gifted or upstanding as we think they are?
What if women had been given half a chance to show what they are capable of?
And what if Molly Pepper and her new friend Emmet Lee were really all that were standing between life as we know it, and the unveiling of a dastardly plot that would rewrite history?

This is a book for the reader that wants to question, wants to imagine, wants to laugh, and wants to find answers. 
In these pages you will do more than risk life and limb to stop an evil plan, you will also slow down and dig deeply into what it means to love your parents, miss your parents, feel let down by your parents, and to feel like a let down to your parents. There is so much here.
(These might be words on our radar at present)

Molly Pepper is much more clever and brave than I'll ever be, so I thoroughly enjoyed running by her side in this story!

Blog Tour Stops:

24-SepNovel Novice  Post by Christopher Healy
25-SepA Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
26-SepUnleashing Readers
27-SepTeach Mentor Texts
28-SepNovel Novice  Review
29-SepMaria’s Melange
1-OctThe Flashlight Reader
2-OctNerdy Book Club
3-OctBook Monsters
3-OctNovel Novice Q and A with Chris
4-OctBluestocking Thinking
Links copied from Unleashing Readers
Thanks for stopping by!