Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.28.15

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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

How I use information from reading logs.

What nonfiction picture books are must haves in your classroom? Here are mine.

I love a good monster book to read in October.  Check out the books Sterling Publishing has here.

Picture Books

Double Happiness
Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling
4/5 stars
The uniqueness of this story is what will stay with me.  A story about a brother and sister's move to a new city, far away from their home in San Francisco.  Jake looks at the move as a new adventure whereas Gracie sees the move as leaving her extended family behind.  Told in prose, the lyrical words and beautiful illustrations make this story one you will think about long after you close the book.

Product Details
The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka-Dot Pants by Eric Litwin
3/5 stars
As with the other "Nuts" book, read on its own, it is a cute story with fun illustrations by Scott Magoon.  But pair it with the audio, then it's catchy and fun to sing along!

Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-loving Rubber Ball
Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins
3/5 stars
I have not read the Toy trilogy, which introduces us to Lumphy, StingRay and Plastic.  I wonder if I had, if I would have had a stronger attachment to the picture book?  I enjoyed it, but it didn't stick to me.  However, it did lead me to finding the first chapter book in the trilogy, which I'll get to at some point!  I do think this is a wonderful mentor text for character and perspective.  What can we tell about each character?  How does each character answer the question - what is their perspective?

Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller
4/5 stars
I loved the "old-fashioned" story that had what the heart of Thanksgiving is to me - family coming together with a feast that is cooked together.

Where's Walrus? And Penguin?
Where's Walrus? And Penguin? by Stephen Savage
4/5 stars
I wish Stephen Savage got more recognition for what his books do for young readers.  I feel like he understands what is going to get them engaged with reading and making books interactive and fun.  This one is no exception.  I think I loved seeing what Walrus was going to be up to even more in this sequel since he had his friend, Penguin, along with him!

Simon's New Bed
Simon's New Bed by Christian Trimmer
4/5 stars
I love a good dog vs. cat story, especially one with as much humor as this one.  Great life lesson at the end - one we need daily reminders of!

Informational Texts

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman     Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
by Marc Tyler Nobleman
4/5 stars
Thanks to Myra at Gathering Books for including these two books in her Wednesday nonfiction posts.  They were really interesting to read, especially as graphic novels are enjoying more and more popularity.

Middle Grade

My Dog Is Better Than Your Dog (Crimebiters! #1)
CrimeBiters: My Dog is Better Than Your Dog by Tommy Greenwald
3/5 stars
One of the books that will be featured at Scholastic Book Fairs and Book Clubs, this first in the series book will be sure to hook young readers - a crime fighting vampire dog?  Fans of Bunnicula will really enjoy this one.

Currently Reading

The Secret Hum of a Daisy
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
Gorgeous gorgeous writing.

So much to read, so little time.  So much reading in the edges.  I so appreciate the time I had Sunday morning just to sit and read in the quiet, uninterrupted morning hour.  I really thought about it and wondered if kids know what that's like - falling into their story, their books, their reading.  I'll write more about it tomorrow.

Be sure to return on Friday - it's Mentor Text Friday and this week..... it's Little Elliot Big Family!  So happy Little Elliot is back!

Hope you have a great reading week!


  1. I got Crime Biters at my school's book fair, but I have yet to read it. It looked like a book that would interest my students.

  2. I have a lot of Tommy Greenwald fans in my library but hadn't yet heard about Crime Biters, so I'm glad to get a quick peek. Thank you for sharing!

  3. All of the great picture books! I have to stop looking at them, but at least I was able to get a digital copy of Double Happiness. (There's a new Sheep book by Nancy Shaw-- have good memories of reading those with my daughters.)

  4. I won a copy of Double Happiness, am looking forward to it! Will look for Where's Walrus and Simon's New Bed. They look cute, Michele. I loved 'Secret Hum of a Daisy", hope you enjoy it too. Have a great week!

  5. Can't wait for the new Little Elliot! I love Stephen Savage's illustrations. Happy reading week!

  6. These are ALL new to me except your current read. I need to put them on my TBR list!

  7. I loved Bill the Boy Wonder. Such a great book!

  8. Somehow I have to remember to come back and check out your blog on Friday. I love Little Elliot. I'm also interested in reading some of Stephen Savage's titles. I loved The Secret Hum of a Daisy.

  9. I loved the NF PB starter kit. I'm going to look for Double Happiness. Thanks!

  10. What a great list if books! Where's Walrus is a particular favourite of mine. I think Double Happiness could be a great book for a lot of my young patrons who are dealing with moving to a new city/country. Thanks for sharing!

  11. The Secret Hum of a Daisy was our book club book a few months ago. Our entire club loved it! We had so much to talk about. It is such a gorgeous book--you are right. I am so glad you are enjoying it. :)

  12. Isn't Secret Hum of a Daisy an incredible read? Enjoy! I saw Sharing the Bread at the bookstore yesterday and it caught my eye but didn't have time to read it.

  13. I read Simon's New Bed this week too. I thought it was so much fun! Almost all of the other books you've written about today are on my to-read list :-).

  14. Thank you so much for the shout-out! So glad that you found and enjoyed the picturebook biographies of the creators of Superman and Batman - I did find them immensely fascinating. I should read The Secret Hum of a Daisy soonest.