Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.21.14

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.

Yea, I got back in my reading groove this week.  I somehow had a ton of picture books pile up but I started making sure I read one/day and I'm getting through them!

Picture Books

Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual
Aviary Wonders, Inc. by Kate Samworth
5/5 stars
This book was so cool and weird, but really cool!  Check out my review HERE

Duck & Goose Go to the Beach
Duck and Goose Go To The Beach by Tad Hills
4/5 stars
I love these sweet friends!  And the ball makes a cameo!  Great for a friendship unit or characters - do you use Notice and Note for young readers?  This would be a good one for contradictions!

Flight School
Flight School by Lita Judge
5/5 stars
Loved this story, loved the things that Penguin says - he has the soul of an eagle".  The best line was "He'd just needed some help with the technical parts."  Don't we all???

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett Krosoczka
5/5 stars
This one surprised me, I had not expected it to be this good.  Use it to teach so many central messages!  This is one I must have in my library now!

Following Papa's Song
Following Papa's Song by Gianna Marino
4/5 stars
Sweet story that introduces young readers to how whales migrate and how they communicate.

Please, Louise
Please Louise by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
3/5 stars

Have You Seen My Dragon?
Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
4/5 stars
Cute counting book with amazing drawings.

Informational Texts

How Big Were Dinosaurs?
How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge
3/5 stars

On Kiki's Reef
On Kiki's Reef by Carol Malnor
4/5 stars

Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey
Handle with Care by Loree Griffin Burns
5/5 stars
Fantastic account of the life cycle of a butterfly.  The photographs are amazing.  A lot of nonfiction features are added into this book.  

Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World
Eye to Eye How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins
4/5 stars
Great to use for animal adaptations.

The Dolphins of Shark Bay
The Dolphins of Shark Bay by Pamela S. Turner
5/5 stars
This series is amazing.  The factual information that is presented in such a fascinating way. I appreciated the way this author added humor into the story.  Great mentor text for the scientific procedure.  

If You Find a Rock
If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian
4/5 stars
I was very surprised with this book.  It wasn't a scientific account of the 3 different rocks.  It was about the way we see rocks - for skipping rocks, for a worry stone, for a hiding place for insects.  Go outside and find a rock - how would you classify it?

I am Amelia Earhart
I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer
3/5 stars

Geisel Award
from 2008:

There is a Bird on Your Head!
There Is a Bird On Your Head by Mo Willems (2008 winner)
5/5 stars - this is my favorite Elephant and Piggie!  Favorite line, "They're love birds!"

First the Egg
First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
4/5 stars

Hello, Bumblebee Bat
Hello, Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde
4/5 stars

Jazz Baby
Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler
3/5 stars

Vulture View
Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre
4/5 stars

from 2009:

Middle Grade

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms, #1)
Five Kingdoms:  Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull
4/5 stars
This was the first book I ever listened to on audio that I had never previously read.  I found myself really having to focus, I'm so used to zoning out when I'm driving (yikes, that doesn't sound good...).  I loved the first Fablehaven, so it's always hard to meet the same expectation.  Sky Raiders was good, but still not the same quality.  It seemed like the book took a really long time to set up to the ending.  It had constant action throughout the book, which should keep most readers interested.  I know I'll continue the series.

Continuing to Read

The Summer I Saved the World . . . in 65 Days
The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz
Fun so far!

Be Careful What You Wish Fo...
Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer
My adult choice!
This is the 4th book in the series and I've enjoyed all of them so far.  This one has been slower to start, but I love following this family drama.  Great for historical fiction and family saga fans.


  1. I am impatiently waiting for Aviary Wonders to come in at my library. I am so intrigued by this book ever since I heard Donalyn talking about it at MRA back in March.

    1. I'm so jealous you were at MRA! I'm hoping to go next year, it sounded great! Yes, this book is so interesting! A lot of possibilities... if you can suspend belief for a bit! Can't wait to see what you think of it!

  2. Michele, nice list and I am glad to see that I have many of these titles. Vulture View is a terrific low level reader but I really think I would like to read Peanut Butter and Jelly Fish-I love to read aloud anything ocean related since our school sits on the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay. In fact, the PreK teacher and I were just looking out my library windows. She had spotted a dolphin swimming in lazy circles feeding on something. We would sequel each time it rose up in an arc above the water. So beautiful.

  3. I keep hoping to find the Loree Griffin Burns and Aviary Wonders book at the library. What usually happens is that I give up hope and end up buying for my OWN library! I'd like to find and read all of Lita Judge's books this summer--have really loved the couple that I've read so far. I was disappointed in PB & Jellyfish so was very interested to read your very positive review. Will have to go back and reread and find more in it!

  4. These look like charming books for the younger grades!

  5. Wow, Michele, you read so many this week. I need to get Aviary Wonders and Flight School-some great bird books here. And, The Summer I Saved The World in 65 days looks fun. Thank you!

  6. You are always so impressive Michele! Thank you for sharing and for rating what you share, so I know which to read :)

    Happy reading this week!

  7. Holy cow. This is a lot of books! I have to get that Peanut Butter Jellyfish book. The title made me laugh out loud. :o)

  8. I so loved Jeffrey Archer when I was in my university years. Intense, fast-paced, so many twists and turns. I love all the picture books you shared here. The Geisel challenge sounds so amazing, I'm tempted to join in! I have to find Aviary Wonders In the next time I visit the library. :)

  9. What a great group of books. I want to get to the Aviary book so badly. I just haven't gotten my hands on it yet.

  10. Wow, so many books here! Right off the bat I went to look up Aviary Wonders Inc., that cover really caught my eye! I will be trying to get that one soon! I love Peanut Butter and Jellyfish! I just had the pleasure of meeting Jarrett and getting a signed copy of BP&JF for my son. It will be awhile until I'm going to be reading it to my little guy though (he is due in June), so I read it to a 3 year old girl and was delighted at how much we both loved it. What awesome words sprinkled throughout! A sweet story with vibrant artwork!