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 Weeks' Posts
- Text Sest: Rethinking Explorers, Books Featuring Diverse US Grandparents and Grandchildren, and Books Featuring International Grandparents. These posts are part of a series on more in-depth details for the text sets shared in my NCTE presentation.
- New Book Alert: The Knights Before Christmas. This fun new Christmas parody features three knights who try to defeat the newest invader ... Santa!
- #3rdfor3rd: my students have shared several favorite books in the last few weeks, including The Witches and Ms. Rapscott's Girls.
Tulip and Rex Write a Story (2015) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by Sarah Massini. This book is a follow-up to Tulip Loves Rex and features the same main characters. In this book, Tulip and Rex receive a wonderful present - a blank book and a new leash - which prompts them to take a walk. This walk turns into a hunt for new words, which form the beginning of a fantasy story. This is a cute book for encouraging kids to pay attention to their lives for story ideas.
Goodnight, Good Day (2015) by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Rebecca Malone. This adorable bedtime story follows around an amorphous yellow dog who is not ready to go to bed. Aimed at the toddler-set, the book offers some good advice for getting ready for bed, including imagining that you are tired and dreaming up the next morning.
Kindergarten Luck (2015) by Louise Borden and illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. Our librarian shared this book with me this week - she really enjoyed its message about how a positive outlook can impact your day in a positive way. For me, the message didn't come through quite so clearly. Most of things that happen during the day are positive. I think it might have been a stronger book if something actually negative occurred that Theodore was able to work through due to his sunnier outlook.
Two is Enough (2015) by Janna Matthies and illustrated by Tuesday Mourning. This is a new book to add to my collection of books that celebrate the diversity of and within families. This book is a rhyming ode to two-person families (specifically, a parent or a grandparent and a child) and takes you on a journey through the seasons of the year, beginning in winter and wrapping up in fall. I think an Author's Note would have been a welcome addition here, to help children understand how common two-person families might be and to help guide them towards recognizing the commonality of this kind of family rather than just seeing it as "other."
The Marvels (2015) by Brian Selznick. I have been patiently waiting my turn in the public library queue for this incredible book, letting students pass around the school library's copies. It was well-worth the wait. In this third book in his wordless-picture-book-exploded-into-novel-length style, The Marvels turn meta-narrative as the first story (told solely through the pictures) becomes entwined with the second (told in text), which makes for an incredible read.
The Marvels was also a topic of discussion in a session I attended at NCTE dealing with the lack of LGBTQ books for Intermediate readers (or middle grade - those between picture books and young adults). One of the speakers made the point that some books with LGBTQ characters or issues are "invisible" in many ways, because book summaries, trailers, and even library cataloging schemes fail to highlight or even mention potential links. Book reviews and trailers for this book tend to skip or gloss over the fact that one of the main characters in the book is a gay man who lost his partner to AIDS. I wonder whether some reviews did so intentionally to avoid stirring up potential controversy ...