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
- #3rdfor3rd: Once Upon a Marigold. Third grade Hania shares her thoughts about the first book in this delightful series.
- New Book by Louis Sachar - Fuzzy Mud! Tomorrow marks the debut of a new middle grade novel by this award-winning author.
- Bit of a slow week for posts, as I was traveling, but it means that I have a lot of novels to catch up on for this week's IMWAYR!
I Wish You More (2015) by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Yet another reason to LOVE this author-illustrator combination and yet another reason why I am joining in the Amy Krouse Rosenthal author study as part of the Global Read Aloud. This predictable text, I wish you more ____ than ____, will be appealing to young readers, while the meanings and examples will draw in older ones. This is a book to contemplate and discuss.
(Also, while Googling for an image of the cover, I stumbled upon this bit of amazingness ... You can order personalized copies of the book. Beyond just sticking the child's name on the cover, their name is included in the phrases within the story as well as within many of the illustrations - written in chalk on the sidewalk or sand on the beach. I couldn't resist ordering one for my new nephew!)
Saltypie: a Choctaw journey from darkness into light (2010) by Tim Tingle and illustrated by Karen Clarkson. Continuing my recent Tim Tingle obsession with this picture book memoir, which details some of his family's history told through Tim's eyes as he learns more about his grandparents struggles with racism (including the original of the phrase "Saltypie"). This powerful story concludes with an equally powerful author's note that challenges the reader to recognize their own stereotypes or misconceptions about modern American Indians.
There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky (2009) by Teri Sloat and Stefano Vitale. The additive-type of story is not normally my favorite, but it works in this version of "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" though it's hard to read the words without lapsing into sing-songy rhyme. Plus the second half of the story drops the cumulative repetition.
There is some very lovely and imaginative artwork during the book, but the last two layouts (of the girl actually discovering the cave at Altamira) trouble me. It is implied that these illustrations realistically represent the cave and its paintings, but they do not. The bison are true to style, but the human figures and basically the entire second page of planets, dots, and the old man, are not. (H/T Linda at Teacher Dance.)
Salsa: un poema para cocinar / a cooking poem (2015) by Jorge Argueta and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. This bilingual poem celebrates the process of making salsa using a molcajete. While salsa does not need to be an exact science of portions and measurements, it would be difficult to make just by reading the poem. It seems a huge oversight to not include a traditionally-written version of the "recipe" in the back of the book too. (H/T July/August 2015 issue of the Horn Book.)
Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 (2015) by N. Griffin and illustrated by Kate Hindley. This cute, fast-paced mystery novel features third-grader Smashie McPerter and her best friend Dontel who find themselves investigating a series of crimes, beginning with the disappearance of their new class pet, Patches the hamster. Smashie responds to the crisis as she does in many situations - with the creation of an appropriately designed suit. But will that be enough to foil this thief? (A review copy of the book was provided by the Candlewick Best in Class mailing. All thoughts are my own.)
Belly Up (2010) by Stuart Gibbs. One of my students from last year was a huge Stuart Gibbs fan, and I acquired Spy School and Spy Camp for our classroom library. I checked out Belly Up from the library but will definitely be getting it and the sequel, Poached, for my students. Main character Teddy Fitzroy lives just outside the FunJungle Zoo with his parents. After getting busted for a series of pranks (giving water balloons to chimps, for example), he finds it hard to get people to believe him when he stumbles onto evidence that zoo mascot Henry the Hippo might have been murdered. This mixed up mystery will keep readers attention, as will the narrators amusing tone and sense of humor.
Pickle: the (formerly) anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School (2012) by Kim Baker and illustrated by Tim Probert. And speaking of pranks ... though Ben started it all with his first prank, he realizes that he really needs a dedicated team to continue to up the ante. This diverse group of talents (and backgrounds) decide to hide behind the sham of a "League of Pickle Makers" club to get official school sponsorship. But as the pranks start to escalate, Ben and his friends need to decide what is really important and what they really want to stand for. (H/T We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series.)
Challenges and Summer Plans#Bookaday Challenge update: days read a book 57/63, books read 90+/90 !!
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 12 books, 2 dedicated posts
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 158 books, 35 dedicated posts (new this week: Fuzzy Mud!)