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 finding books for younger readers. Seedlings has a great new series to check out.
It's week one of #GNCelebration. See how I use GN in guided reading.
Ready to celebrate the book birthday of the new Little Elliot? Some mentor text ideas here.
My reading teacher's heart was happy this week. I celebrated here.
Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
You look at the cover of the book and you think this will be a concept book about shapes. Clearly that's what my library thought too since there is a "concept shapes" sticker on the cover.
Yeah, that's not what it's about.
It's about friendship. There is a line on each page about friendship and what it means. The shapes do a little illustration, often with some short dialogue, but that's about it for there being shapes in the book. Certainly not teaching about shapes. Maybe my library should have read the book before slapping the sticker on there.
I do think you could use the lines about friendship with older students and have them write "longer" about what the line means.
Deceiving little cover and title....
The Only Child by Guojing
Beautiful wordless text. Absolutely would've been a Caldecott contender if the author were American.
I was so happy to see the author's note at the beginning of the text because it makes a difference as you read the book. The author was born under China's one-child rule and grew up as an only child. This experience went into the creating of the book.
Be sure to look for it in December.
Thank you to Edelweiss Above the Treeline for the advanced e-copy.
I Used to be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Seeger's brilliant use of cutaways and simple text to get at the heart of a child never fails to amaze me. This wonderful book about fears and perceptions will go into my Mock Geisel for sure.
Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin
Great book for early readers. With minimal text on each page, we follow a fire company into a fire. The illustrations are gorgeous! Another book for my Mock Geisel list!
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle
This book has been popping up on some Mock Caldecott lists, and deservedly so. The color palette the author uses is beautiful.
Transitional Chapter Books
Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief by Alex Milway
The first Pigsticks and Harold book was cute. I like finding those chapter books to pass off to my students who want chapter books but need them to be reader friendly for those who are just ready for them.
This second Pigsticks and Harold book is hilarious. There is a mystery to be solved and Pigsticks and Harold are on the case.
The lines are laugh out loud funny. Enjoy these:
pg. 1 "and best of all, someone would win the Spirit of Tuptown Prize for being brilliant."
(I love that, I want a prize for being brilliant.)
pg. 24 Pigsticks is interviewing Pirate George, a large hippo "I know you're hiding something." "All right, it's true! I'm wearing pink underpants."
pg. 25 Pigsticks is interviewing Bonzo, a dog "What's your alibi?" "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." "No, Bonzo, that's a lullaby."
I think this book would actually make a really good read aloud too for a younger classroom. Maybe start with this one and let the students read the first one on their own?
Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins
I'm looking forward to sharing this book with our 3rd and 4th graders. A book about kids, magic school, and wonky magic, this is sure to be a hit with readers.
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
So heartbreakingly beautiful. I think it's hard to read about a child who has lost their mother. But I fell so hard while reading this book. Holczer has a command of language that you don't read too often. It reminded me a lot of Natalie Lloyd. This book and Snicker had me stop several times, look away from the book, and just think and ponder about what I read. A line I want to treasure:
pg. 303 "....sometimes believing something didn't make any kind of rational sense."
She's right. It doesn't.
I've got a few books on my radar to start next. Just need to figure out what will be next!