Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12.19.16

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.

Yay, time for winter #bookaday!

Last Week's Adventures

A list of books that I WISH were eligible for the 2016 Caldecott, but are not!

A list of longer nonfiction that the Sibert committee may be looking at!

Picture Books

Dinosaurs in Disguise
Dinosaurs in Disguise by Stephen Krensky
4/5 stars
Oh, I can see young dinosaur enthusiasts loving this one!  I loved the environmental friendly message at the end.

Poles Apart
Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis
3/5 stars
A book that allows me to work on my accents - fantastic!  The penguin family decides to go for a trip, but due to the dad's directional sense... they end up in the North Pole, where they meet a polar bear (I do like how the book subtly teaches kids that penguins and polar bears do not live in the same location).  The polar bear wants to see where the penguins live so the dad penguin and his directions are off again.  With stops in the United States, England, Australia (see, lots of accents!) and other locations.

Informational Texts

A Poem for Peter
A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney
5/5 stars
A beautiful celebration of the life of Ezra Jack Keats.  A longer biography, but written in poetic verse format which may keep younger readers going (instead of longer prose).  The illustrations by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, done in Keats' style are absolutely gorgeous and recapture the magic very well.  I love the cover art with young Peter holding Keats' hand.

Transitional Chapter Books

Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy! (Press Start! #1)
Press Start! Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy! by Thomas Flintham
4/5 stars
A new series from the Scholastic Branches and it's going to be a hit with young readers.  I simply love how this series reaches a variety of readers.  I think it's a perfect series for students in 1st-4th grade.  Mostly transitional chapter books, they are so fun that even when kids are reading full-fledged middle grade novels, they return to the series when new books are released.
This new series combines adventure with video games!  How many of your readers will be interested just knowing that?  I know a lot of mine will!  Short chapters, illustrations that come right out of an 8-bit game and familiar video game lingo will keep them reading.  The first book is already in the January Scholastic catalog, check it out!

Middle Grade

What Elephants Know
What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein
4/5 stars
An amazing book.  Beautifully written. Follow Nandu in this coming of age story where he tries to help save his family's elephant compound.
Fans of The One and Only Ivan who read it when it first published, will enjoy this book.  I think it is well written, but I wonder how young audiences will respond to it.

Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang (Fenway and Hattie, #2)
Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang by Victoria Coe
5/5 stars
A longer review will be published in a couple of weeks, but just know I love this second book in the series even more than the first.  There is so much to do with this great book!

Currently Reading

Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge, #1)
Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schultz
Another #mustreadin2016 book I'm trying to squeeze in!


  1. I just got A Poem for Peter this week and am so looking forward to reading it. That cover is just gorgeous! I haven't even read the first Fenway Hattie book so I need to get on that.

  2. When you teach young kids- you start to love their kind of books!

  3. I still have to read the sequel to Hook's Revenge. I should just add it to my Must Read in 2017 list!

  4. So many great titles here - We loved Poems for Peter and can't wait to read Fenway and Hattie.

  5. I can't wait to get my hands on the second Fenway and Hattie book! I loved the first one!

  6. Have heard some amazing things about What Elephants Know - really want to read it!

  7. Fenway and Hattie is a cute series. Fenway is such a lovable, sweet, and funny dog!

  8. I really enjoyed A POEM FOR PETER but I'm still not sure as to who its intended audience is. It feels more like an adult book in kids' clothing.

  9. Welp, I haven't read any of these books, so I can't comment on whether I liked them, too, but they all look great! I really want to read A Poem for Peter. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Press Start immediately looks like a book that will fly off the shelves in many libraries!!

  11. I'm going to read Hook's Revenge #2 this week for my #mustread :) I hope you like the first!

    Happy reading this week, and happy holidays from my family to yours <3

  12. I'm still waiting for my copy of A Poem for Peter to arrive. I am so excited for that one. I grew up adoring Snowy Day.

  13. I keep reading such great stuff about A Poem for Peter. I just put a hold on it. I have much love for everything Jack Keats. What Elephants Know might have to go on next years must read list.

  14. I just received A Poem for Peter yesterday and really looking forward to reading it.