Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.20.15

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.

This was not a good reading-during-the-week week.  I found time to squeeze in a chapter or two before my eyes shut before bedtime.  I crammed in all of my reading over the weekend.  Saturday afternoon was a beautiful day to sit outside and read in the sunshine.  LOTS of crammed picture book reading over the weekend!

Picture Books

See You Next Year
See You Next Year by Andrew Larsen
4/5 stars
I really liked this book for the writing.  The author concentrated on an event that happened every year - his family taking a trip to the beach.  Each page gives concise details about what happened during the week.  I would use it to show students how to write about an event.  How not to overwrite, and add too many details, but think about the sights, smells and sounds around you.  The soft, muted illustrations added to the fun story.

Marilyn's Monster
Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen
5/5 stars
I had heard good things about this book, but I was so pleasantly surprised.  This may end up in my personal collection yet.  Great book for growth mindset.  Would pair well with Going Places by Peter Reynolds - talk about how you don't always have to do things the way everyone else is doing it.

Look! by Jeff Mack
4/5 stars
Told using just 2 words, a young boy learns the value of stories.  I'm adding this to my Mock Geisel unit for the end of the year.

Fly! by Karl Newsom Edwards
4/5 stars
Another one for the Mock Geisel unit.  Using movement verbs, a fly tries to act just like all the other insects but learns he has his own movement.

There's No Such Thing as Little
There's No Such Thing as Little by LeUyen Pham
5/5 stars
This one took me by surprise.  I fell in love with this simple book about perspective after the first few pages.  As these two little children teach us, it's all about how you look at things.  The strategically placed die-cut holes, add to the magic of the book.  I love Pham's illustrations - I should have known I would want this book!

Monkey and Duck Quack Up
Monkey and Duck Quack Up! by Jennifer Hamburg
4/5 stars
PreK/Kg students are going to love this silly rhyme book.  They will laugh at how Duck just won't cooperate, especially at the end of the story!

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti
4/5 stars
Thank you to Kristen Picone for this recommendation!  
Add this book to your beginning of the year pile.  Perfect to discuss:  what is a superhero?  how does one act?  how can you act like a superhero in your life?  in the classroom?
Yes, this book will appeal to young readers, but older readers will be able to apply it to their life.

Informational Texts

Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World's Most Memorable Photographs
Photos Framed by Ruth Thomson
4/5 stars
This is a great text for a classroom or library to have.  Teachers could use these famed photographs to look closely.  Talk about the parts and how they come together to equal a whole.  What did the photographer see?  Why was the picture taken?  What is the story?  Close reading can start by looking at pictures - a picture is worth a thousand words.  What does each one say?

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage
The Case For Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
5/5 stars
Wow.  Just a really important book.  Well written and beautifully illustrated.  I loved the story before I read the author's and illustrator's notes at the end of the book.  It buried it's way into my heart!  What an important book.

Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends
Terra and Bella by Carol Buckley
5/5 stars
Thank you to Jason Lewis for telling us about this book.  I can see why it won your students' March Madness!
I loved this story of the unlikely friendship between an elephant and dog.  I read Jodi Picoult's newest book last year, Leaving Time, and it took place in an elephant sanctuary, which is the setting of this PB as well.  It was so interesting to see the photographs, I think that part of the story will also be interesting for students.  
This is a book that is being added to my collection!

Graphic Novels

Bad Babysitter (Babymouse, #19)
Babymouse: Bad Babysitter by Jennifer and Matt Holm
5/5 stars
I adored pg. 11.  The last frame needs to be in a frame!  And passed out to all girl readers.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
4/5 stars
I've had this book for awhile and just haven't read it.  I knew I needed to when I heard that 3rd and 4th graders at my school were reading it.  I knew it was more for middle school, but didn't know the content of the book.
Telgemeier does a great job weaving in story lines to create this story.  It's about working hard at something, it's about figuring out who you are.  Telgemeier deftly manages story lines of self identity - understanding your sexuality - all in the setting of a middle school musical production.


Pocket Poems
Pocket Poems by Bobbi Katz
4/5 stars
Celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day?  Keep this one close by!

Currently Reading

The Whisper (The Riverman Trilogy, #2)
Yup, still reading The Whisper by Aaron Starmer.  The first book had me interested.  I'm having a harder time getting into this second one.  I'm still waiting for it to pick up.

On Deck

Yup, it's still Echo.  I think I'll get to it this week, though!

Happy Reading!


  1. Lovely array of books! Jeff Mack is brilliant, isn't he? Can't wait to read so many books that you've listed! :)

  2. Wow, what a collection of titles. It took me a while to get through it as I kept heading off to Goodreads and then adding things to my wishlist on Amazon. Thanks so much for the heads up about Look and Fly. I'm always searching for these kinds of titles for emergent readers.

  3. I can't wait to read the newest Babymouse!

    And good call on Look! for the Geisel, or as one of my friends just called it this weekend, the Mo Willems award. ;)

  4. You did a lot on the weekend, Michele! I love the look of See You Next Year. My family goes to the beach every year & this might be a good one to take along with us! All the others look so good. I bought Photos Framed for a student who is studying photography & it's perfect for her learning/study! Yes, Echo is on my list too, but I have a few others to read first. Thanks much for all & have a great week!

  5. I have to get Marilyn's Monster. There's No Such Thing as Little is another going on my TBR. Thanks!

  6. Telgemeier does an amazing job addressing such an important topic without waving flags and calling out that her book is about sexuality. I think that is what makes it so well done.
    I need to read the new Babymouse. She is just the best!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  7. I used Drama for my book club with young readers here in Singapore and they absolutely loved the story. I have been on the lookout for A Case for Loving - hope to find it soon. :)