My #TBR pile is growing with new purchases for my classroom library, recommended by my students. We'll see how many of these I can get through, since I expect most to disappear from the library on Monday!
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 Teach 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.
Anansi the Trickster, Part 1 introduces five different Anansi tales retold by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Janet Stevens. My students absolutely love Anansi and all the trouble he gets in to (and out of). Part 2, next week, will look at Anansi picture books by other authors and illustrators.
The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo. I didn't think too much of this book when I first read it, but I decided to share it with my students this week, because we had a PJ/Stuffed Animal spirit day, and it fit well with Edward Tulane. The kids really enjoyed the story and keeping an eye on the sneaky raccoon. You need the see the illustrations to appreciate this one, and I think it will come up again when our Mock Caldecott conversations get rolling. (H/T Elisabeth at The Dirigible Plum.)
Neighborhood Sharks: hunting with the great whites of California's Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy. Just wow. The artwork and level of detail in this book is stunning, and it is a great mix of draw-you-in story, nonfiction information, and details about the scientists who study sharks. I had to share this book with a former student who loves sharks, and she sat down and immediately devoured the whole thing. This one should definitely be a part of your Caldecott conversation.
Celebrating the Poetry of Paul Fleischman with Joyful Noise and Big Talk. I got to hear Paul Fleischman speak twice this week, and this post highlights some of the reasons I love his poetry writing, especially, and how I use it with my students.
Rain Reign is a brand new book from Ann M. Martin, told from the perspective of Rose, a young girl with a diagnosis of high functioning autism. There were some great and engaging things about this book, but I was hoping for more. Having recently read a spate of both fiction and nonfiction books about children with autism (Life, Animated and The Reason I Jump, among others), I was looking for new insights, new ways for a child to recognize his or herself in this book. Will be interested to get some student perspectives on this one.
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech. I love Sharon Creech, and I was hoping to love this book as well, but for me it fell a little flat. None of the characters seemed developed beyond broad generalizations, in contrast to a book like Walk Two Moons where even minor characters immediately seem to come to live on the page. So much focuses on the adult's point-of-view as well, rather than the mysterious boy left on the porch, that I wonder whether it would grab a child's attention or not. Would love to hear other opinions. (H/T Adrienne at Reading Power Gear.)
Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch. This brand new entry from Pseudonymous Bosch kick-starts a new series, after the conclusion of his five-book Secret Series. (Though maybe not required, reading the first series first will make this book make more sense later on.) I was really drawn to the initial books in the Secret Series, but I felt like the stories reached a point where they seemed to just be going on-and-on without much plan or development, and this book gave me that same feeling again. I think readers of the first series might enjoy this book, but I'm not sure that it would hook new readers. Interested to hear what others think.