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.
Last Week's Posts
- Top 10 Favorite Books of Third Graders - survey results are in, as my third graders share their favorite books, authors, and series. Previous surveys include first grade, second grade, and overall.
Bad Bye, Good Bye (2014) by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Jonathan Bean. This charming and wrenching picture book has jumped to the top of my Caldecott list. With sparse language and incredibly detailed illustrations, this book draws out the pain, process, and eventual acceptance that comes with moving. I think children and adults will be drawn to this book and its powerful message.
Rain! (2014) by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christian Robinson. This one is a close runner-up for the Caldecott discussion as well. I loved this heartwarming little story that contrasts the perspectives of a child and his/her elderly neighbor on a rainy day. For me, the interaction between these two far outstrips the similar scenes in The Farmer and the Clown. I also celebrate the fact that this is a story featuring a diverse cast of characters, including the child and many background neighbors too.
Emily's Blue Period (2014) by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Lisa Brown. I really liked how this picture book uses art and art history to talk about the impacts of divorce on children, both through the eyes of Emily and her little brother. I also liked the connection to writing, as many teachers I know use "heart maps" ala Georgia Heard for helping students brainstorm ideas for stories and personal narratives. This would be a great mentor text for discussion big topics and what might be in your own heart too.
Gaston (2014) by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Our librarian read this book aloud to my students on Friday, and they really enjoyed the story and the artwork. Several took it upon themselves the give the book a closer inspection afterwards as well. I really appreciated the message of this book - accepting that who you are depends on who you are on the inside and not on the outside. Though this strong message of self-acceptance and self-actualization is cloaked in dog form, I think it is an important one for students to internalize.
The Iridescence of Birds a book about Henri Matisse (2014) by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper. I really liked the writing and organization of this story, focusing on the influences and environment of the young Henri Matisse. The artwork did not impress me in particular, but I think this book would be a great resource for art teachers to introduce Matisse to their students and to encourage kids to think about their own lives and how to turn them into art.
The Change Your Name Store (2014) by Leanne Shirtliffe and illustrated by Tina Kugler. This Seuss-inspired rhyming story follows the journey of young Wilma Lee Wu as she contemplates changing her name. I appreciate how the story draws connections to names and cultures and that it includes a wide variety of diverse names in the illustrations, but I wish there had been a little bit more to this story. A brief end note about names, meanings, and countries of origin would really have made this a more useful resource for a class discussion instead of just a cute idea.
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 0 so far (maybe some after the Caldecott announcement is made!)
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 2
Multicultural Children's Book Day is coming soon - January 27th! I hope you'll join me and many others in sharing and celebrating books that honor multicultural characters, themes, and ideas. Check out their blog for more information, including daily author interviews for the month of January!