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
- 3rd Grader Book Recommendation: True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. This student-written review shares her love of The True Blue Scouts and the amazing language of Kathi Appelt.
- Review of Mysteries of the Golden Temple. I was really impressed with this girl-focused series featuring diverse characters traveling to other countries. This one is set in Thailand.
- Review of Bubbles: Big Stink in Frog Pond. Yep, it's a book about a farting frog. That's about the extent of my review of it too.
- Kid Lit Blog Hop and Facebook Linky. There's still time to add your posts and Facebook page to the current Kid Lit Blog Hop!
Isla (1995) by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Elisa Kleven. This sequel to Abuela (reviewed as part of my series on modern immigration stories) follows the young girl and her grandmother on another imagined trip, this time to see the Isla where her Abuela lived and to visit with her aunt, uncle, and cousin who still live there. This is a great story celebrating US-Caribbean connections, as well as the power of family.
Blue Frog: the Legend of Chocolate (2011) by Dianne de Las Casas and illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker. This story comes from an Aztec legend about the origins of chocolate (although no bibliographic information is given). Overall, I thought this was a cute story to share with kids - and one to get them pondering the mystery of a world without chocolate!
The only thing that threw me was the middle of the book, when the story exactly repeats itself for two, two-page spreads. (The kids hear the song, they go to the village to get their mothers, the kids and mothers hear the song, they all go back to the village, the kids and mothers hear the song again.) Odd.
This is Sadie (2015) by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad. This charming little tale invites us into a day in the life of Sadie and her wild imagination, with a focus on the power of books and stories. Kids will certainly connect with her inventiveness and voice. My only tiny criticism was that the literary references were pitched above the heads of the likely readers. (How many kids today even have heard of The Jungle Book and few little kids actually read any Lewis Carroll, even if they have seen the movies? Why not pick books that are better known as books and not as Disney movies?) (H/T Earl at The Chronicles of a Children's Book Writer.)
Gordon Parks: how the photographer captured black and white America (2015) by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jamey Christoph. I am embarrassed to admit that I had not heard of Gordon Parks before learning about his biography. He was a powerful photographer of Jim Crow and Civil Rights era America, and the first black photographer at Life magazine. This picture book biography details his childhood as well as his career and its impact. Read more about Parks and see links to his archives over at my photography blog. (H/T The Horn Book Magazine.)
One Family (2015) by George Shannon and Blanca Gómez. This charming counting book is so much more. One is not just one, when it is a pair of shoes or a hand of cards. And one can be any number when it comes to "one family." This picture book is a celebration of families, in all their quirky uniqueness. The illustrated families include grandparents, mixed race couples, twins, single parents, young boys in Sikh turbans, gay couples, and so much more. This would be a great mentor text for a getting-to-know you activity, where each child could illustrate a page representing whatever number describes their "one family." (H/T The Horn Book Magazine.)
Jack: the true story of Jack and the beanstalk (2015) by Liesl Shurtliff. Following the success of her first fractured-fairy-tale novel, Rump, Liesl Shurtliff is back with her version of the story of Jack and that beanstalk. You do not need to have read Rump to understand Jack, but you will miss out on some of the ways their stories interact. This is another clever and entertaining read. Though it took me a little while longer to get into the story this time, it was overall enjoyable.
Echo (2015) by Pam Muñoz Ryan. This lovely, lyrical novel weaves together three individual stories into its powerful conclusion. I have had this one sitting on my TBR stack, eagerly awaiting the end of the school year. I will admit to quickly skimming past the reviews of others recently, as I didn't want anything to spoil my reading of this book! So I will leave my review at this ... it was well worth the wait!
Challenges and Summer PlansThis summer I am again joining in the amazing community and discussion of #cyberPD. This summer's book is Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8. Click here to read more about #cyberPD or click here to join the Google+ discussion group!
#Bookaday Challenge update: days read a book 18/21, books read 24/90
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 12 books, 2 dedicated posts
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 130 books, 28 dedicated posts (this week: Review of Mysteries of the Golden Temple)