Monday, December 3, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 12/03/18

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.

Recent Posts

Picture Books

We'll be doing a Mock Caldecott again this year, so I have been doing my best to try and catch up on possible picture book contenders for this year. These are a few I had time to browse from our school library's display.

A House That Once Was (2018) by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith. This is a soft and quiet kind of book, and my fifth graders instantly settled down as the read aloud began. There are some really interesting things going on here, artistically, especially between the two art styles of the "real" and the imagined sections of the book. Lovely.

Teddy's Favorite Toy (2018) by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Madeline Valentine. I love that this is a book about a boy and his favorite doll - and that it is NOT a story about any issues with him being a boy with a favorite doll. What I loved less was the weird break into unrealistic at the end as his mom (literally) swoops in to the rescue. Some of my students felt that this was too much like Knuffle Bunny and too predictable of a story.

Middle Grade

The Bigfoot Files (2018) by Lindsay Eager. Class president and all-around-perfect student Miranda is hiding a secret at home: her mother is obsessed with finding evidence of Bigfoot and other legendary creatures, often pulling Miranda from school to accompany her on wild jaunts around the country following elusive leads. Miranda has had enough and decides to plan once last adventure to prove to her mother than there's nothing out there to find.

I absolutely adored Linday Eager's debut book, Hour of the Bees, and it's subtle blend of magical realism and lavish descriptions. I'm not sure it worked as well here, especially for a book premised on whether an unrealistic creature is possible or not. I found this book far less satisfying. (An advanced review copy of this book was provided by Candlewick. All thoughts are my own.)

What books are on your ALA award lists?

Happy Reading!


  1. I need to get focused on collecting Caldecott contenders soon too, as that's my first project with my Children's Lit course in January. A House That Once Was is one of my favorite titles of the year.

  2. I adored Hour of the Bees and am eagerly looking forward to The Bigfoot Files. I'm a Canadian and ever since I discovered that the Caldecott winners had to be American I've stopped focusing on it so much. Hurrah that the Cyril's are more global awards!

    1. Yes, I wanted to love Mock Caldecott units, but I just can't. We can love the books though, and add a few global ones.

  3. I really enjoyed A House That Once Was, such a lovely, gentle text, with beautiful illustrations to match.

  4. Awww -- A House that Once Was felt so sweet and a bit nostalgic. Back when I was a child, we could probably find old houses and possibly even slip in unnoticed to explore. These days, it seems impossible as regulations require demolition or they're boarded up for safety reasons. Like you, I enjoyed the two different art styles throughout. Such a great topic of discussion to have with children. Thank you for the shares, Katie!

  5. I loved A House That Once Was, too, & I did enjoy The Bigfoot Files as well. Other Caldecott favorites include The Patchwork Bike, A Big Mooncake for Little Star, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, Hello Lighthouse and Herrera's Imagine. Wow, there are more, so many gorgeous ones this year. Hard to imagine how they can choose.

  6. A House That Once Was has such a magical cover. I am eager to get my hands on it!

  7. I absolutely fell in love with The House That Once Was - so glad to hear that you and your students enjoyed it tremendously! :) I agree, the art is multi-layered.


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