Yea for Spring Break reading! I've had PILES of books to get through! And although I didn't read everything in those piles, a dent was made!
I read so many picture books this week. I'll discuss the ones that were real standouts. If you would like to see all the picture books I read be sure to click on my GoodReads link on the sidebar!
Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi
(review featured HERE)
Baseball Is... by Louise Borden
This book was a fantastic find. I was so impressed with the writing that I moved it right up to my list of mentor texts. The vocabulary is so rich and well organized. The amount of content in this picture book is impressive.
Say Hello Like This! by Mary Murphy
I really like this one for teaching adjectives, and thinking about the appropriate words to describe things. My first thought was to use this book with very young readers, but I think you could use this with even an older class to help them understand specific word choice. I like how the author describes how a cat's hello is "prissy and proud".
EIEIO How Old MacDonald Got His Farm by Judy Sierra
Very cute take on how Farmer MacDonald changes his city yard (he's tired of mowing it) into a compost growing organic farm... with a little help from one very smart little red hen!
Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds
Use to teach central message - thinking outside of the box is good!
2006 Geisel Award Challenge
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman
Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day by Jean Van Leeuwen
A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom
Henry and Mudge and the Great-Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant (2006 Geisel Award winner)
Waiting for Hi, Fly Guy!, it's on hold for me at the library!
The Scraps Book by Lois Ehlert
Beautiful book narrated by Ehlert showing readers her inspirations for her artwork from her books, how she creates the art, how she works. Seeing the personal artifacts that helped create her artwork is very touching. This would be a perfect companion book to read to a class after they did an author study of her picture books. I think students would really get into seeing the beginning stages of some of her books!
Sea Turtle Scientist by Stephen R. Swinburne
I will have to feature this series in another post. So much to write about! I learned so much more about these fascinating creatures in this text.
I Am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer
Good introduction to Abraham Lincoln's life to very young readers. Written in narrative format.
Firefly July poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko
Poems that are very accessible for young readers, all centered and organized around the seasons. Variety of poets, but all illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
Early Chapter Books
Like Bug Juice on a Burger by Julie Sternberg
I really like this series for young readers. The titles are always very clever and make me laugh. The main character, Eleanor, goes through similar things kids go through everyday which makes the reader relate to her. In this book, Eleanor is off to sleep-over summer camp for the first time. After a rough start, things get better!
This is the second book in the series of three. While there are small references from the first book, you don't have to read the books in order.
Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake by Julie Sternberg
My Goodreads summary: This is the third book in the series, and probably my favorite. I love Eleanor. She is spunky, yet kind. She speaks her mind, but thinks of others. Sternberg has done an excellent job making Eleanor real. She deals with real problems that kids face everyday. Matthew Cordell's illustrations add to the story without being distracting for young chapter book readers.
This third installment made me love Eleanor more. Eleanor's best friend is Pearl. We've seen her in the other 2 books and know they have a close relationship. In this book Ainsley moves in, and the best friends have to face the test so many friendships go through - can a best friend of 2 go to best friends of 3? Amongst this test, Eleanor's dog is sent away to doggie training camp and Eleanor has to get over stage fright to perform in her class play. As if that's not enough for a fourth grader to deal with, Eleanor gets her first tasting of kids teasing her about a potential crush.
This series is great for teachers to use when teaching writing. Eleanor and Pearl are prone to using similes, especially at the beginning of each book. And what a great hook in each book. Here's this book's - "I did a mean thing. A very mean thing. To a new girl AND to my best friend. I HATE that I did it. But I did. This is worse than carrot juice on a cupcake or a wasp on my pillow or a dress that's too tight at the neck. I hope you never do anything that mean. I really do." Love these hooks!
And this part is funny, because it's soooo true. "And then the boy who sits behind me, Nicholas Rigby, started humming the Disney song "It's a Small World." He hummed and hummed, just loud enough for me to hear. "Shh!" I told him. I turned and glared at him, too. Because Nicholas Rigby is always getting us in trouble. Plus, I knew I'd never get that song out of my head."
Middle Grade Books
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
It seems like all the books written these days for middle grade/YA are dystopian society books. Luckily, this one is something different - space. I liked that it had a different concept and it wasn't until the end of the book that it got a little far fetched. Maisie was a fun character. Strong girl who faces life head on even with a physical disability (think the Schneider Award committee will be reading this one???)
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
I read this book with my daughter so we could participate in the Twitter #SharpSchu Book Club! I read this book when I was a child and then now. It was definitely two different reads. I loved the book as a child. I remember trying to emulate Harriet. Now, I can't believe what a bully Harriet is and how unbelievable that she never understood how she did something wrong. Thinking back on the younger me, I really hope I wasn't mean like that! But, if I took a step back and think about Harriet and how her character inspired many writers, it takes on another meaning!
Every Day After by Laura Golden
Fantastic historical fiction set place in the Depression-era. Lizzie is a fantastic character, one that the reader bonds with and wants to climb in the book and help. So many layers to this book as there are multiple problems that Lizzie has to overcome.
Odd, Weird and Little by Patrick Jennings
My Goodreads summary: I really liked what this story wanted to tell. It's about bullying and fitting in. It's about being brave and being different. I loved the idea of that story. The author did a great job of capturing that middle grade voice. The things the kids do and say happen at school. It's that line kids cross all the time - being that secretive bully - the one where what you're doing is mean and hurtful but doesn't cross the line of getting suspended or expelled. Some kids think it's a right of passage, and they are allowed to cut other kids down like that. But it's not ok. And it shouldn't be tolerated. So great idea to the story, but I wish the author had stayed on the realistic fiction side of the story.... It made it seem ridiculous.
Continuing to Read
Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
Rethinking Intervention by Shari Frost
Reading with my ears....
Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull
As I've mentioned, this is the first book I've listened to on CD. It's nice getting a book "read" during a time I don't normally read. But, it is harder for me to listen to a book than read it. This is proving I am definitely a visual learner! There are times I miss something and I can't just flip back a page or go back a paragraph to see where my comprehension broke down. It's good to stretch ourselves though, try something new!