Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/19/15


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


Picture Books


Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (2014) by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Grace Zong (A Junior Library Guild Selection). This Chinese New Year retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears features poor Goldy Luck, who is worried about being unlucky for another year. Her fear of bad luck (and her extreme tiredness) lead her into some predictable situations ... but with a twist for the ending! (H/T Multicultural Children's Book Day Blog.)


Hug Machine (2014) by Scott Campbell. This very endearing book follows the day in the life of the self-proclaimed "Hug Machine!" Kids will love the variety of people and objects that are validated and hugged in this book. My students giggled throughout and enjoyed making predictions.


Nana in the City (2014) by Lauren Castillo. This is a great book to use to discuss compare-contrast structures with kids, as they can examine the two different halves (days) of this story. It is also useful to talk about the differences between perceptions and realities and help them to see how opinions can grow and change when presented with more information.


Maple (2014) by Lori Nichols. I was a child who befriended a tree, so I could easily identify with Maple and her growing relationship with her birth tree. This is also a good book for discussing how to deal with a new baby in the family.


Apples to Oregon: being the (slightly) true narrative of how a brave pioneer farmer brought apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, and cherries (and children) across the Plains (2004) by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. I will admit to being confused by this book. I understand the idea behind tall tales, and I understand the idea behind historical fiction, but this mash-up of the two didn't quite work for me. Why not tell a more straight-forward take on the idea of transporting fruit trees across the plains without somehow having an entire family in a comically-small wagon that then disappears midway through? Not planning to add this to our fourth grade Pioneers US History unit. (H/T Aileen Stewart.)

  

I See the Sun series by Dedie King and Judith Inglese. I read three books in this series this week: I See the Sun in China, I See the Sun in Nepal, and I See the Sun in Afghanistan. Each bilingual story tells of the passage of a single day in that country told through the eyes of a child. The artwork is a mixture of drawing and collage (including photographs), and the extensive notes at the end provide details about the specific town or village and why the characters names were chosen. This could be an interesting format for students to follow in creating their own "I See the Sun" series about a day in their life.

Poetry


Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold (2014) by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen. This charming collection of winter-based poems is well-matched by the detailed illustrations and the informative paragraphs about the plant, animal, or object being featured in the poem. Children will love exploring the illustrations and imagery of the poem - as well as following the journey of a certain red fox across the pages.

Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 0 so far (maybe some after the Caldecott announcement is made!)

Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 8 new books, 2 dedicated posts (Cinderella, bilingual poetry)


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.

Happy Reading!

14 comments:

  1. You have some great PB on this list! Nana in the City is a favorite. I loved the scene of them in Central Park, so much so I had to buy a print!

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    1. Thanks, Michele! What a lovely scene to have up, agreed!

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  2. I was a bit confused by Apples to Oregon too, but then tall tales aren't really my thing so that type of story is generally lost on me. Winter Bees is at the top of my TBR stack. Hoping to get to it before Caldecott announcements. I really liked Nana in the City and Hug Machine. Still need to find Maple.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one. I "get" the idea behind tall tales but maybe not the idea behind turning an actual story into a tall tale ... sort of.

      Winter Bees is so lovely, you really should. Hug Machine was a fun one to read to kids, and Maple was cute but simple.

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  3. When I first saw the Apples to Oregon title I was excited because I have a student studying pioneer women, but it doesn't sound like a good one to add to her collection. I loved Nana In The City & The Hug Machine, both so warm & friendly. Thanks, Katie!

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    1. Warm and friendly are the perfect adjectives, Linda. No, I wouldn't add Apples to Oregon to any list of informational books, which is a disappointment, because I think the actual story would be fascinating for kids.

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  4. Thanks for telling us about Goldy Luck and the Three Panda. It is always good to learn about new versions of traditional tales.

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    1. You're welcome, Tammy and Clare! It actually inspired me to start putting together a post on Chinese versions of traditional tales, because I realized that I have quite a few.

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  5. Again so many great titles. I love the cover of Winter Bees. I'll try to get hold of it, and Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas soon, like before Lunar New Year!

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    1. The illustrations for Winter Bees are just super, agreed. Goldy Luck is a great fit for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

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  6. I really need to get Hug Machine and Nana in the City. Everyone keeps talking them up!

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    1. Definitely. My students loved them too!

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  7. I should post an announcement soon about Multicultural Children's Books day! I have Hug Machine and Nana in the City from the library. I should be getting to them very very soon - this weekend hopefully! :) We did a fractured fairy tale theme and explored quite a number of Cinderella titles - apparently there are over 200 versions. :P

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    1. Judy Sierra's book Cinderella has 100s documented, but I like focusing on the well-done picture books.

      We are going to do fractured fairy tales as a play later in the year - have any favorites??

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