Friday, November 17, 2017

Spotlight Friday: Winter Reads and Christmas Stories 11.17.17


Time to get ready for the weekend!
Kick up your feet and find a good place to read.
Sharing #booklove for your classroom or library.
Spotlighting a book or two because these books deserve the spotlight!


We cannot deny it, wintertime is here.  Cold weather and all that it brings has already appeared, at least in the midwest!  Of course with that comes the holiday season!  Here are some new winter and holiday books that are out now.  Gather around the fireplace, grab a warm blanket and share some great books!

Winter Reads

When the Moon Comes
When the Moon Comes
written by Paul Harbridge
illustrated by Matt James
I can't wait to share this one!  What a perfect small moments story - when the weather is just right and the ice is ready for the season's first hockey gathering.  This book can be used as a mentor text or a book that is going to entice a lot of young readers to come back to again and again!

Willa and the Bear by Philomena O’Neill
Willa and the Bear
by Philomela O'Neill
This story was very reminiscent of Little House in the Big Woods.  Young Willa is headed to her grandparents house and while traveling in the sled pulled by carriage, loses her doll.  Her grandmother has made her a new stuffed animal, but it's not the same as her doll.  Lucky for Willa, a special forest animal helps rescue the day.

Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro
Mice Skating
written by Annie Silvestro
illustrated by Teagan White
Anything Teagan White illustrates is going to be a beautiful and timeless!  This one is no exception.  This is just the kind of story I would have loved as a child.  Reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, young readers will love the story about Lucy Mouse who loves the winter time!

Space Boy and the Snow Monster
Space Boy and the Snow Monster
written by Dian Curtis Regan
illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Space Boy and his crew are back in this winter time adventure.  The use of graphic novel like frames make this a fun read for kids.  I love the imaginative play these books showcase!



Christmas Stories

Red and Lulu
Red and Lulu
by Matt Tavares
I've shared this one before an it's one I'll continue to talk about.  Just love the story and it's definitely a new holiday favorite.  Two cardinals that are separated from each other when their home is chosen to be the Christmas tree for Rockefeller Center!

Santa Rex
Santa Rex
by Molly Idle
The next book in the "Rex" series (Tea Rex, Camp Rex, Sea Rex), this one will delight young readers as they watch the characters plus dinosaurs get ready for Christmas!  As always, the dinosaurs add more chaos than help, but it always ends up alright!

The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas by Marie Tibi
The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas
written by Marie Tibi
illustrated by Favien Öckto Lambert
Perfect book to show the Christmas spirit!  Bear always misses Christmas because it's during hibernation time.  His friends come together to surprise him with an "almost Christmas" celebration.

Ninja Claus! by Arree Chung
Ninja Claus!
by Agree Chung
I love all of the Ninja stories and this one is going to be well loved by readers as well.  Who wouldn't love to meet a Ninja Santa Claus!

We Wish for a Monster Christmas
We Wish for a Monster Christmas
written by Sue Fliess
illustrated by Claudia Ranucci
Young readers will enjoy this silly book about getting a monster for Christmas!  The rhymes almost fit perfectly into a Christmas melody!

The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker
The 12 Sleighs of Christmas
written by Sherri Duskey Rinker
illustrated by Jake Parker
From the author who gave us Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train, we have a Christmas book that is going to appeal to those young transportation buffs!  Santa's sleigh is looking a little worse for wear, but never fear, there are a lot of elf mechanics who have been waiting for this to happen!  They get to create some new sleighs for Santa.  Which one will he choose?

The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli
The 12 Days of Christmas
by Greg Pizzoli
The song illustrated by the great Greg Pizzoli!  Nothing new here except for the fun illustrations.  One young elephant enthusiastically brings home each part of the song to the delight of the other young elephant.  Not so much delight for the elephant parent!

Love, Santa
Love, Santa
written by Martha Brockenbrough
illustrated by Lee White
And this is the Christmas book that absolutely brought a tear to my eye and warmed my heart.  I have a 12 year old daughter who wants to so desperately believe in Santa, so she does.  She hears what everyone says but wants to believe in the magic that is Christmas.  It's hard to believe she's in 7th grade and still wants to hold on to this magic.  I will let her hold on to the magic as long as she wants, but when she's ready for an answer this is the book I will read to her.  It's the truth, but it still shares the magic that is Christmas.  I'm so grateful for this book.



I can't help but notice the new Christmas books I'm able to find and how few books celebrating the other winter time holidays.  Have you found some new titles?  Please share them in the comments so I can find them too!


I'm so excited because some of my favorite weeks of the year are coming up!  This week is is NCTE week and I'm so happy to be catching up with friends I don't often get to see!  NCTE is a conference that rejuvenates me and gets me excited to start the next half of the year.  I can't wait to find some new book titles and talk books with friends!  Are you going to be at NCTE this year?  I hope we run into each other!  I'll be presenting on Friday (today!) from 12:30-1:45 in Rooms 120/121.  I'll be presenting along with some of the authors I've been currently spotlighting:  Jennifer Ziegler, J. Anderson Coats, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Joan Paquette and Lisa Yee.  Stop by!
And then the week after is Thanksgiving Week!  It's one of my favorite weeks because it's filled with family and tradition!

I'll be taking off next week from blogging while I enjoy some family time.  I'll be back the following week with some end of the year posts, including My Favorites from 2017 and what to look forward to in 2018!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Sibert Smackdown books 11.15.17


Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.


One of my favorite times of the school year is the Mock season.  Our school participates in Mock Geisel, Caldecott and Newbery.  I even do a Sibert Smackdown with some groups.  I think participating in these are a perfect example of the way close reading is supposed to look like - digging in deeper, reading with a purpose and questions in mind.  Of course the best part is the book voting and assembly.  Each grade level votes for the book they see having the best criteria for that particular award and then we have an assembly to see our school winners and compare them to what the real committee chooses.  It's quite the celebration of books!

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing our school's choices for Mock books.  Today it's the books we're using for Sibert Smackdown.  What's Sibert Smackdown?  You must read Melissa Stewart's post about it!  Here's her wrap up post from last year that showcases several teachers take on the great activity.  I run this one a little different from our Mock units because books really do go head to head in this one.  The kids really dig into the nonfiction craft when they're reading, examining and critiquing these books.  The students walk away with a little more understanding of the ways authors craft nonfiction and they learn quite a bit!  Here are this year's Smackdown books:



One Proud Penny
One Proud Penny
written by Randy Siegel
illustrated by Serge Bloch

VS

Her Right Foot
Her Right Foot
written by Dave Eggers
illustrated by Shawn Harris

***

How to Be an Elephant
How to Be an Elephant
by Katherine Roy

VS

The Hidden Life of a Toad
The Hidden Life of a Toad
by Doug Wechsler

***

Can an Aardvark Bark?
Can An Aardvark Bark?
written by Melissa Stewart
illustrated by Steve Jenkins

VS

Robins!: How They Grow Up
Robins!: How They Grow Up
by Eileen Christelow

***

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
by Jason Chin

VS

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion
Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion
written by Chris Barton 
illustrated by Victo Ngai

***

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist
The Youngest Marcher
by Cynthia Levinson
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

VS

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code
written by Laurie Wallmark
illustrated by Katy Wu


There you have it.  That's how it's going down.  I'm looking forward to the discussions the students are going to have around these books!


I'm so excited because some of my favorite weeks of the year are coming up!  This week is is NCTE week and I'm so happy to be catching up with friends I don't often get to see!  NCTE is a conference that rejuvenates me and gets me excited to start the next half of the year.  I can't wait to find some new book titles and talk books with friends!  Are you going to be at NCTE this year?  I hope we run into each other!  I'll be presenting on Friday from 12:30-1:45 in Rooms 120/121.  I'll be presenting along with some of the authors I've been currently spotlighting:  Jennifer Ziegler, J. Anderson Coats, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Joan Paquette and Lisa Yee.  Stop by!
And then the week after is Thanksgiving Week!  It's one of my favorite weeks because it's filled with family and tradition!
I'll be taking off next week from blogging while I enjoy some family time.  I'll be back the following week with some end of the year posts, including My Favorites from 2017 and what to look forward to in 2018!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

#road2reading - 2018 Mock Geisel selections 11.14.17


All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools 
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.


It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

One of my favorite times of the school year is the Mock season.  Our school participates in Mock Geisel, Caldecott and Newbery.  I even do a Sibert Smackdown with some groups.  I think participating in these are a perfect example of the way close reading is supposed to look like - digging in deeper, reading with a purpose and questions in mind.  Of course the best part is the book voting and assembly.  Each grade level votes for the book they see having the best criteria for that particular award and then we have an assembly to see our school winners and compare them to what the real committee chooses.  It's quite the celebration of books!

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing our school's choices for Mock books.  Today it's our Mock Geisel books!


I'll be honest.  We have not had a good track record picking out possible Geisel selections.  I always try and tell students when we see books announced that we haven't read, it's ok... we have great new books to read now!  After every Mock Geisel season, we've always had several new books to read!  

I think one of the reasons it's so hard to pick possible contenders for this award is because it's still a pretty new award.  If I look at what won at the beginning, you would find some longer chapter books, but perhaps books filled with vocabulary that may be difficult for a beginning reader to figure out and understand.  Now, we still see longer books being selected (hello The Infamous Ratsos), but they are starting to select these longer books that do support beginning readers.

The other reason I think this award is hard to guess is many of the winners and honorees are from series that are not as mainstream as others.  Some of the recent books have come from the early reader line from Penguin and from Simon and Schuster and I have not read many of them, nor are they as touted on social media.

We'll continue to do our best guessing the contenders, but in the mean time, our kindergarten and first grade students will just have to settle for reading some really great books.... even if they're not recognized by the actual Geisel committee!

Here are our 2018 Mock Geisel titles:

Egg
Egg
by Kevin Henkes

It's Shoe Time! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!, #4)
It's Shoe Time!
by Mo Willems and Bryan Collier

Ballet Cat What's Your Favorite Favorite? (Ballet Cat, #3)
Ballet Cat What's Your Favorite Favorite?
by Bob Shea

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats
King and Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats
written by Dori Hillestad Butler
illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy (Charlie & Mouse, #2)
Charlie and Mouse and Grumpy
written by Laurel Snyder
illustrated by Emily Hughes

My Kite is Stuck! and Other Stories
My Kite is Stuck! And Other Stories
by Salina Yoon

Now
Now
by Antoinette Portis

Triangle
Triangle 
by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Jon Klassen

Frankie
Frankie
by Mary Sullivan

There's a Pest in the Garden! (The Giggle Gang, #2)
There's a Pest in the Garden!
by Jan Thomas

Snail and Worm Again (Snail & Worm, #2)
Snail and Worm Again
by Tina Kügler

A Pig, a Fox, and Stinky Socks
A Pig, a Fox, and Stinky Socks
by Jonathan Fenske


There you have it.  Are you doing a Mock Geisel?  What books would you add?  What am I missing?  What books do you think the Geisel committee are talking about?

Visit Alyson's blog to read about some more upcoming books.


I'm so excited because some of my favorite weeks of the year are coming up!  This week is is NCTE week and I'm so happy to be catching up with friends I don't often get to see!  NCTE is a conference that rejuvenates me and gets me excited to start the next half of the year.  I can't wait to find some new book titles and talk books with friends!  Are you going to be at NCTE this year?  I hope we run into each other!  I'll be presenting on Friday from 12:30-1:45 in Rooms 120/121.  I'll be presenting along with some of the authors I've been currently spotlighting:  Jennifer Ziegler, J. Anderson Coats, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Joan Paquette and Lisa Yee.  Stop by!
And then the week after is Thanksgiving Week!  It's one of my favorite weeks because it's filled with family and tradition!
I'll be taking off next week from blogging while I enjoy some family time.  I'll be back the following week with some end of the year posts, including My Favorites from 2017 and what to look forward to in 2018!


Want to talk about books for readers who are on the #road2reading?  Link up here!

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11.13.17

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.


Last Week's Adventures

I love this time of year when everyone's Mock lists and groups start!  I shared our school's Mock Caldecott list last week.

Needing more nonfiction picture books for your #classroombookaday? Then check out what the favorites are from this 4th grade class.   I also asked students about their opinions and biases of nonfiction reading are.

I hope you've enjoyed the "If You Like This, Try These" series for kids who are on the #road2reading.  Last week was the final post, have you read these transitional chapter books?

Picture Books

Three Balls of Wool
Three Balls of Wool (Can Change the World)
written by Henriqueta Cristina
illustrated by Yara Kono
translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
If you've been collecting titles about refugees, this will be another one you want to add.  Written generally, but through the notes in the back, you'll see this is a story about Portuguese refugees who fled the country during the late 1960s to find freedom.  It was a hard time to find freedom anywhere, as depicted by this book.  Families had to try and find their own ways to show any kind of individuality.
This book was published in partnership with Amnesty International and has some interesting  letters and notes included in the book.

Take Your Time: A Tale of Harriet, the Galápagos Tortoise
Take Your Time: A Tale of Harriet, the Galápagos Tortoise
written by Eva Furrow and Donna Jo Napoli
illustrated by Laurel Molk
I'm glad a fellow blogger shared this book because it really is lovely.  I related to this book so much as I rush to try and get everything done.  It all gets done quickly and I feel like I rarely do anything as well as I want, or enjoy what I'm doing to the fullest.
Harriet likes to enjoy life and do things slowly, yet with purpose.  Her friends tell her she is missing all the fast things in life so with some help, Harriet tries a few.  Great discussions about trying new things yet staying true to yourself can be had with this picture book!  Beautiful illustrations by Laurel Molk!

Read the Book, Lemmings!
Read the Book, Lemmings!
written by Ame Dyckman
illustrated by Zachariah OHora
This is one of those books that is funnier when you read it out loud.  It's the reactions of the audience that makes you love the book even more.  Silly, illiterate lemmings, who even once  they are taught, find a way to continue to be exasperating!


Middle Grade

R Is for Rebel
R is for Rebel
by J. Anderson Coats
You'll want to have this book on your radar this February.  A historical fantasy, the world building in this book is amazing.  While you can see pieces of history within this book - regimes rising up and taking over, groups being silenced and punished - Coats has created new ruling governments, traditions and cultures.  A book about rising up, staying true to yourself and new leadership.  Will be an interesting read for older middle grade readers.

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High (DC Super Hero Girls)
Wonder Woman at Super Hero High
by Lisa Yee
I've had this book for awhile and the students have seen it in my pile and have grown antsy that I hadn't read it yet.  Any time the characters are in high school I grow a little leary about giving it to 3rd and 4th grade readers.  Never fear, this is a perfect middle grade novel, especially for those who love their Super Heroes!  As someone who does not know a lot about the DC Comics, there were certainly characters I was unfamiliar with, but it didn't stop my understanding of the story.  I really liked this first book in the series and am looking forward to reading and sharing the others!

Currently Reading

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass (Princess Juniper #1)
Princess Juniper of the Hourglass
by Ammi-Joan Paquette
I'm excited to get back into this one because I've heard such wonderful things about this series.  I got this book as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and started it, but deadlines came up for other things and I never got back to it.  Now it's time!


I'm so excited because some of my favorite weeks of the year are coming up!  This week is is NCTE week and I'm so happy to be catching up with friends I don't often get to see!  NCTE is a conference that rejuvenates me and gets me excited to start the next half of the year.  I can't wait to find some new book titles and talk books with friends!  Are you going to be at NCTE this year?  I hope we run into each other!  I'll be presenting on Friday from 12:30-1:45 in Rooms 120/121.  I'll be presenting along with some of the authors I've been currently spotlighting:  Jennifer Ziegler, J. Anderson Coats, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Joan Paquette and Lisa Yee.  Stop by!
And then the week after is Thanksgiving Week!  It's one of my favorite weeks because it's filled with family and tradition!
I'll be taking off next week from blogging while I enjoy some family time.  I'll be back the following week with some end of the year posts, including My Favorites from 2017 and what to look forward to in 2018!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Spotlight Friday - our Mock Caldecott selections 11.10.17

Time to get ready for the weekend!
Kick up your feet and find a good place to read.
Sharing #booklove for your classroom or library.
Spotlighting a book or two because these books deserve the spotlight!


One of my favorite times of the school year is the Mock season.  Our school participates in Mock Geisel, Caldecott and Newbery.  I even do a Sibert Smackdown with some groups.  I think participating in these are a perfect example of the way close reading is supposed to look like - digging in deeper, reading with a purpose and questions in mind.  Of course the best part is the book voting and assembly.  Each grade level votes for the book they see having the best criteria for that particular award and then we have an assembly to see our school winners and compare them to what the real committee chooses.  It's quite the celebration of books!

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing our school's choices for Mock books.  Today it's our Mock Caldecott books!

Little Fox in the Forest
Little Fox in the Forest
by Stephanie Graegin

Life
Life 
written by Cynthia Rylant
illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Claymates
Claymates
written by Dev Petty
illustrated by Lauren Eldridge

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse
written by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Jon Klassen

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White
A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider
written by Barbara Herkert
illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Blue Sky White Stars
Blue Sky, White Stars
written by Sarvinder Naberhaus
illustrated by Kadir Nelson

The Book of Mistakes
The Book of Mistakes
by Corinna Luyken

La La La: A Story of Hope
La La La
written by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Jamie Kim

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
After the Fall
by Dan Santat

Red and Lulu
Red and Lulu
by Matt Tavares

Flashlight Night
Flashlight Night
written by Matt Forrest Esenwine
illustrated by Fred Koehler

All the Way to Havana
All the Way to Havana
written by Margarita Engle
illustrated by Mike Curato

Wolf in the Snow
Wolf in the Snow
by Matthew Cordell

Windows
Windows
written by Julia Denos
illustrated by E.B. Goodall

The Antlered Ship
The Antlered Ship
by Dashka Slater
illustrated by The Fan Brothers

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
by Jason Chin

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
Muddy: the Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
written by Michael Mahin
illustrated by Evan Turk

How to Be an Elephant
How to Be an Elephant
by Katherine Roy


There you have it.  I think our students are in for some great reading!  I'm already looking forward to February.