I finally had THAT week! It was the first Sunday since April that I had time to sit down and get through a HUGE stack of picture books. I'm highlighting just the best. Please be sure to visit me on goodreads to see everything I read this week. And because of lots of reading, there's just a minimal amount of writing. But definitely check these out!
How to Read a Story by Kate Messner
This was my favorite of the week. Loved loved loved it.
I read it very quickly at ALAMW this January and loved it. But to have the time to pour over it and think of the possibilities of it in the classroom and to take in each of the little details Mark Siegel added to the illustrations... Such an amazing book.
If you are a teacher of reading, please please find this book and add it to your August/September rotation!
Stars by Mary Lyn Ray
This book was beautiful. The writing was gorgeous, but what made it memorable was Marla Frazee's illustrations. There were pages that I would love to have as prints. Our 1st grade does a unit on space and patterns of stars. This would be a lovely fiction tie-in. But then you could also use it to talk about imagination or about looking on the bright side of things or being positive or thinking outside of the box or...
This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary
This book has been given a lot of book love from Carrie Gelson and Mr. Schu, which means it's a book I should just go ahead and buy. So, yes, I did. Another book to use for imagination or thinking outside of the box... And inferring! And talk about wanting prints to be framed, oh, there's at least 4 that come to mind right away! Gorgeous book.
Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
Author/illustrator of Tap the Magic Tree is back with another interactive book. This time, a wonderful bedtime story that should be read over and over and over. I have enjoyed all of the interactive books I've read lately, but this one is special. Sometimes it just made me go, "ohhhhh!"
Sea Rex by Molly Idle
Rex and friends are back. While I think Tea Rex is my favorite, I love the illustrations in this one. Maybe it's because we're getting close to summer and I'm pining away for the outside and water, but I reread the book just to see the illustrations. A couple of times :)
17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore by Jenny Offill
This book was humorous and definitely made me laugh - don't staple your brother's hair to the pillow, don't show your underpants by doing a cartwheel, don't dunk the mom toy in your mashed potatoes... But the last page was a bit off setting. The little girl is apologizing to her mom for doing everything and receiving a hug, but behind her back is the stapler that had been taken away. So is her apology real? Change that page and it would've received higher stars.
Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood
Go girl power! We use many different versions of Cinderella, but I like this one for its uniqueness. I like that Cinderella is a tough cookie and one that works on spaceships instead of donning the beautiful dress. I like that she doesn't go right for the marriage part at the end. I like the vocabulary Underwood uses - like naming the pet mouse, Murgatroyd. The illustrations are different than what I would expect - bold and earth toned.
Informational Picture Books
Gingerbread for Liberty by Mara Rockliff
There seems to be more and more picture books that focus on a small moment that is part of a bigger time. This picture book focuses on a German baker, Christopher Ludwick, who wanted to help his adopted country, the colonies, fight in the American Revolution. He wasn't the strongest fighter, but he was able to do what he did best to help his country - feed them and use food for bargaining!
Stand Straight, Ella Kate by Kate Klise
I loved this picture book biography about Ella Kate Ewing, a giantess. Her life was interesting and how she went about living it and the changing view she had about herself definitely made this picture book one I would use again. I thought by writing it in the first person gave it more voice.
Transitional Picture Books
The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman
As I mentioned last week, I'm always very excited to find good, transitional chapter books. Well, this one has such fun tongue-in-cheek humor, that will make it fun to use as a read aloud, or for those kids who appreciate a witty book. I'm thrilled this will be part of a series. I will be looking for the next installation fall of 2016!
Anna, Banana and the Friendship Split by Anica Mrose Rissi
This is a tricky book because it's a bit more than a transitional chapter book, but I wouldn't call it middle grade. Full chapters and a longer story, but this book will appeal to the younger reader. This is a great books for those kids who are ready for longer books, but need just a bit more stamina in order to read middle grade books.
I liked this book, I loved the illustrations, but I had a hard time with how mean Sadie was to Anna. I liked how positive Anna was, even when things weren't going her way. She will be a good role model for young kids.
Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise
This is the second Kate Klise book, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise on my list today.
I read this book because it is part of our 2016 IL Bluestem Choice Awards list.
This book is told entirely in letters. The letters go back and forth between administrators, teachers, secretary and students from a school and the owner of a fountain company. It's funny, the illustrations are gorgeous and the format is different.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
This is the first Dessen book I've read in awhile, but it reminds me of why I've read them in the first place. They are entertaining, real and good stories.
I like this part: "Once you realized this, experienced something that made it crystal clear, you couldn't forget it. Like a face. Or a name. However you first learn that truth, once it's with you, it never really goes away." pg. 75
Rump by Liesl Shutoff - it's my June re-read challenge book!
The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon - my first Summer Break 2015 read
Rules by Cynthia Lord - a #mustreadin2015 book!