Sunday, October 23, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-24-16

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!

Books I Read This Week:

Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Benji Davies
Candlewick Press, 2016
32 pages
Recommended for all!

You know how all pictures books are great for reading aloud? Well this one seems to NEED to be read aloud. Teach reading? Then read this book to your students, no matter the age. Humorous, whimsical-eye catching art, and a perfect tie in to how stories are set up. My favorite page: when the octopus sits down to play the ukulele, "because music is good for the heart." 

Du Iz Tak by Carson Ellis
Candlewick Press, 2016
48 pages
Recommended for all!

I love a good mystery and a good puzzle, and this book is a little of both. All the text is told in a language created by author/illustrator, Carson Ellis; who, by the way, creates some amazing artwork.
I imagine myself sharing this story with my students, asking them to imagine what is being said. Are there patterns in the language? How does the text connect to the images? What do you think is being said? Curious and creative readers will enjoy!
I love the spider. Well, I detest spiders, but I love what the presence of the spider does to the story.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, 2016
56 pages
Recommended for all!

So it ends. The trilogy comes to a close as you turn the final page in this story. Remember the bear and the rabbit...and how the bear solved the problem of his hat being stolen? Some say smush, some say chomp, all agree, it didn't end well for the hat stealing rabbit. And remember the fish, that tiny hat stealing fish that brags about how clever and shifty he is. No remorse. Well, remember what happened to him? With thoughts of hat stealers getting what comes to them, readers will be delightfully curious about how two of the same creature will end this latest conundrum around one hat and two wanna be hat wearers. I mean, this thought will come to mind: Does that tortoise EAT his companion?! Or is that just me that thought that...?

I'm Currently Reading:

I have more books to read than I can make a dent in, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I chose this one based on its awesome title and fantastic cover art. Not ashamed at all! And much to my delight, I discovered by very own hometown featured in the first few pages! Thankfully I have yet to cross paths with the Evil Wizard Smallbone in real life...eek.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-10-16

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!

Autumn in New England is one of my most favorite things. And this weekend I breathed in the fall air, reveling in the feeling of crisp cool air, and warm comforting sunshine. The balance was perfect today. Which made it a wonderful day to break in the new sandbox!

Books I've Recently Read:

Pug Meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion
Illustrated by Joyce Wan
Beach Lane Books, 2016
Recommended for ages 0-7

Adorable pictures compliment this story of a pug that is put out by the new addition to the family!
Want to win the book or grab some resources to use with kids, check out this post.

Quirk's Quest: Into the Outlands by Robert Christie & Deborah Lang
First Second, 2016
Fantasy/Graphic Novel
127 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

This story will appeal to readers that like high fantasy and stories with action packed pace. 
When Quirk and his crew are shipwrecked on unknown lands, danger is high and a way out is unknown. The crew is surrounded by new creatures, unsure of who is safe to trust, and who is out to get them. The illustrations remind me of fraggles (does this date me?) with a touch of the Simpsons. The story sets itself up to lead right into the second book in the series. I do have some qualms about the book though: many of the words used and names chosen might trip up some readers. The story is not as deep as the language might play up. The cursive script used in the Captain's log is also a potential pitfall for some readers.

Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Candlewick Press, 2016
Picture Book Biography
44 pages
Recommended for grades 2+

Stunning illustrations! The author explains how this book was born after she went looking for books on female stage magicians for her daughter to read, and discovered that none existed! From that sad fact comes a gorgeous tribute to one of the greatest female magicians of all time. Addie is an inspiration in more than her magic-she is a survivor, a woman that perseveres through hardship, coming out stronger on the other side. A biography to be shared!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two
by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016
Recommended for anyone who didn't love the original books

I don't have much I want to share on this. I wish I hadn't read it, that's sort of the extent of it. I wanted so much more from my reunion with the original characters. I do NOT think scripts are my preferred style of writing. I want the meaty descriptions, not some stage notes. Aside from that, the story was flatter than I'd hoped for as well. The idea is excellent, the execution fell flat for me.

I'm Currently Reading:

Still...I was sidetracked by my ghost story!

Loving it!

Have a great week, thanks for stopping by!

Pug Meets Pig Review, Giveaway and Resources!

Pug Meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion
illustrated by Joyce Wan
Beach Lane Books, 2016

Oh how I love this little story. A strong message about the power of emotions, particularly jealousy, is wrapped up in a package of sweet and charming illustrations.
How will Pug react when a new pet moves in? One look at the cover tells it all! But will he come around?

Visit the author's website for a complete list of books, resources, and more. 

Or jump directly to the following two links:

Sue Lowell Gallion is a printer's daughter, so she has a life-long love of type, paper, and the aroma of ink. Her work has been published in magazines including Highlights and High Five, and she loves sharing books with kids as a volunteer tutor. Pug Meets Pig is her debut picture book. A second Pug and Pig adventure, Pug & Pig Trick or Treat, is coming in fall 2017. Sue lives with her family in Leawood, Kansas. Visit her at and @SueLGallion  

One winner will be shipped this awesome prize package! Perfect for book and dog lovers!
*Contest Closes 10-13-16 at 10:00pm*