It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from pictures books through YA by Jen of Teacher Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.
This week I shared a collection of Fun Picture Books about Imaginary Friends - Visible and Invisible. Reading the most recent addition, Beekle, made me start thinking about other books about unusual friends and started the ball rolling for this post.
This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. My third-grade students thought this book was a riot. I shared it as part of our paper blogging challenge this week to write about what they want to be when they grow up. Moose is a great example of not letting anyone (and, err ... reality) get in the way of your dreams. Students have been re-reading this one constantly, including large-group reads during their break time. (H/T Pernille Ripp.)
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. I love their earlier River of Words: the story of William Carlos Williams, so I was excited to be the first in the library hold line for this new title. Will definitely share this one with students when we get to talking about how and why to use a thesaurus. Fascinating to read how the idea evolved and to see the original meaning-based organization of the first edition.
Ish by Peter Reynolds. We shared Ish last Monday as part of International Dot Day. (Most students had already read The Dot previously.) I enjoyed the message of "ish" over perfectionism and the triumph of art and creativity.
A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme by J. Patrick Lewis. I love sharing these poems with students and using them to aid in our study of geography. You can read more details, including an example poem in my post Teaching Geography with Poetry.
Mock Newbery lists are being posted! Check out the one from Anderson's Book Shop. (I have read 9 of the 24 so far, and two of those nine are below.)
West of the Moon by Margi Preus. This story blends historical fiction with Norwegian folktales, as the main character struggles to find and reunite with her father during the high tide of American immigration. Personally, I did not find this story particularly enthralling, nor did I find much of a pull towards Astri, our narrator. Much like last week's The Night Gardener, I had a vague "I've read this before" feeling of a Julie of the Wolves crossed with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire (ARC provided via Net Galley). Now this was a mix of historical fiction and folktale that I absolutely loved. The frame of the narrating monk provides an interesting style and substance that immediately drew me into the story and the characters. Once the Prince and the Pauper-style switch is underway and Baba Yaga enters the scene, you will be hard-pressed to put this book down, honeycakes.
The publisher has pitched the book at ages 12 and up, so it is on the tale end for the Newbery. I would agree with the older age range, as I think the complicated structure of the frame story and narration might be difficult for younger readers to be drawn in by.
In non-Newbery news, I borrowed Dragon Slippers and Dragon Flight this week from a student and really enjoyed them. Young Creel is an amusing heroine, in the style of Cimorene from Dealing with Dragons. Forced by her aunt to fake her own dragon kidnapping (in an attempt to have her rescued and married off, of course), Creel discovers some of the realities behind the dragons of myth. Fun, engaging reads.