It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture 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
- Books about Modern Immigration and Immigrants. This collection of books by two different authors feature fictional stories about the possible stories behind ancient Chinese inventions.
- Poetry Friday: Won Ton and Chopstick. This new book in haiku continues the adventures of poetry-loving cat Won Ton as he is introduced to a new threat ... a puppy!
- Photos Framed: a fresh look at the world's most memorable photographs. This fascinating photography book is geared towards middle or high school-aged kids, but I posted the review over at my photography blog, Boost Your Photography, as the images and the analysis are interesting for readers of all ages.
P. Zonka Lays an Egg (2015) by Julie Paschkis. This is a lovely little 'imagined' folktale about the origins of the Ukrainian pysanky eggs (or, the singular, pysanka). It is also a great story about the power of noticing and celebrating the world around you, plus, who can dislike a story with a rooster accidentally named Gloria? I look forward to sharing this book along with some of my own pysanky eggs that I picked up on my own travels through Europe.
Seeds of Freedom: the peaceful integration of Huntsville, Alabama (2015) by Hester Bass and illustrated by E. B. Lewis. (Review copy provided courtesy of Candlewick's inagural Best in Class mailing.)
Seeds of Freedom tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement during 1962 and 1963 through the lens of Huntsville, Alabama. Readers are exposed to many of the major issues of the time, like not being allowed to try on shoes, not being served in restaurants, and not having integrated schools. References are made to violent reactions elsewhere, but the focus is on the creativity and peaceful ingenuity of residents, such as the three woman and baby arrested at the lunch counter or Blue Jeans Sunday at Easter time. This is a great book for introducing younger and intermediate students to the issues of Civil Rights in an understandable context.
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade (2015) by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Christian Robinson. I really wanted to like this book, and I did really like the illustrations - especially the diversity of kids represented! But the story was SO simplistic. One little girl raises one little finger and suddenly the whole world decides to be nice to each other? Switching from being a bystander to doing something about it takes more work than that.
Juan Bobo Goes to Work: a Puerto Rican folktale (2000) by Marisa Montes and illustrated by Joe Cepeda or, in Spanish, Juan Bobo Busca Trabajo. This folktale is a favorite read aloud during our Latin American unit. Students love the foolish innocence of Juan Bobo, and this is a great book to see prediction skills in action, as hapless Juan follows his Mama's advice each day ... with disastrous results!
Lost City: the discovery of Machu Picchu (2003) by Ted Lewin. This book tells the true story of Hiram Bingham's efforts to find the lost Inca city of Vilcapampa in 1911 but instead being introduced to Machu Picchu. What I appreciate about this "discovery" story is the credit given to locals and local knowledge, and it's a great book for helping kids discuss the idea of "discovering" something some one already knows about.
Wintersmith (2006) by Terry Pratchett. The third Tiffany Aching book was my least favorite the first time when I read these books, but I liked it much more now. I appreciated seeing how the idea of 'being a witch' continues to grow and develop.
Thanks for the Discworld and Terry Pratchett-related recommendations. Please do keep them coming!
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 10 books, 2 dedicated posts
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 80 books, 24 dedicated posts (Books about Modern Immigration and Immigrants)