Monday, November 2, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11.02.15

IMWAYR 2015 logo

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

I love finding out great books to read, including some of the great nonfiction that is being published.  This week, I shared I'm reading what you're reading.

I shared the new Bird and Squirrel graphic novel in the last #GNCelebration post.

Picture Books

I Really Like Slop! (Elephant & Piggie #24)
I Really Like Slop by Mo Willems
5/5 stars
I really think Mo Willems can do no wrong with Elephant and Piggie.  He could have turned the story in a different, more traditional story, but he went with the nice ending and a sarcastic line.  Love it.

Little Red Gliding Hood
Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
4/5 stars
This one surprised me.  I thought it was going to be a fractured fairy tale, but it ended up being its own story, but with fairy tale characters.  Cute story, I like that the personalities stayed true within this new story.

Book by David Miles
4/5 stars
Miles does a wonderful job explaining, in really a minimal amount of words, what it's like to get lost in a story.  However, I think this is a book to use with older students.  The message may get lost on younger readers.

We Forgot Brock!
We Forgot Brock by Carter Goodrich
4/5 stars
There seems to be a lot of books about imaginary friends, following the success of Beekle. This one is a fun one.   After a fun trip to the fair, Phillip's family accidentally leaves Phillip's imaginary friend, Brock, behind.  Will they ever be reunited?

Informational Texts

Product Details
I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer
4/5 stars
I like this series to introduce students to a basic biography. The narrative format will appeal to young readers who find it easier to listen to a story than informative facts.  I would not use this as a mentor text for biographies, but I think it does a nice job teaching young children about the person.
This particular book gave names to the emotions young Helen Keller was experiencing.  I also liked the inclusion of the braille alphabet for readers to feel, not just look at.

Graphic Novels

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure: A TOON Graphic
Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadia Spiegelman
4/5 stars
I think the graphic novels by Toon Graphics always offers something different.  This one definitely sneaks in a little history and current information about the New York subway system.  The author also includes some informational facts about the subway in the back matter.

Bird & Squirrel on the Edge!
Bird and Squirrel on the Edge by James Burks
5/5 stars
Finding Bird and Squirrel last year was such a happy day!  A graphic novel that makes the reader laugh out loud - one that makes me really appreciate the tongue in cheek humor.  I love Squirrel's OCD, Bird's laissez faire attitude.  
My students and I have been waiting for months for the release of this new Bird and Squirrel.  And it didn't disappoint.  So happy this duo is back.  

Middle Grade

The Island of Dr. Libris
The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein
4/5 stars
Some books are better when you listen to them. I think this is one of them. The narrator did a great job - distinct different voices, and the dialogue pulled you right into the story. My 10-yr old listened with me, and even though some of the characters, - Pollyanna, Tom Sawyer, 3 musketeers - were new to her, she quickly figured out their personalities and they fit right into their stories. 
The only problem I had with the book was the ending was wrapped up a little too quickly. I liked the big idea at the end about billy and his imagination. But there were some loose threads that were wrapped up too quickly and conveniently.

Currently Reading

Lost in the Sun
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Another #mustreadin2015 read.  I am really enjoying it so far - the main character isn't always likable, but being able to see both his conflicted side and the person he wants to be keeps me wanting to read!

On Deck

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass by Ammi-Joan Paquette

Happy reading this week!


  1. A new Mo Willems? Want now! We Forgot Brock also sounds good. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  2. I loved the new Mo Willems, & that Pigeon too had a little bowl! I read Book, although haven't reviewed it. I agree that it's for older kids, so many wonderful pages. Love hearing about a new Bird & Squirrel. The first was very funny. Thanks for all Michele! Enjoy Lost In The Sun!

  3. Oh my, a new Elephant & Piggie! Is this the last one? Or will there be one more? So sad that series will be coming to an end. I haven't read Bird & Squirrel--actually I don't think I'd ever heard of that book before I saw it on your blog. But guess what? I'm sure you will be surprised to learn that I'm off to order it right now! LOL. I really liked We Forgot Brock. Weird about the current trend in imaginary friends!

    1. You would not believe how weird all the trends tend to be...we all seem to come up with the same thing at the same time...I just had a manuscript rejected because the publisher said they had just signed a very similar book with the same somewhat obscure theme. Same with another book about another unusual animal--four different publishers had books about this animal in the words. Happens far more frequently than can be imagined.

    2. Thanks for including RED in your reading recap!

    3. I need a proofreader...that's "in the works" not "in the words" above!

    4. I need a proofreader...that's "in the works" not "in the words" above!

  4. Three of your books are the same as in my post this week - Mo Willems, Brock, and Bird and Squirrel. We must be thinking along the same lines! I think all three of those were my favorite reads this week. I have graphic novels in my classroom because my students like them, but they're usually not my preferred choice of reading. I actually really liked Bird and Squirrel. Now I need to go back and check out the previous books in the series.

  5. I'm hoping that the Scholastic book fair brings in Bird and Squirrel. After this week, I just ordered a couple of copies of I Really Like Slop. It will be sad when the last Elephant and Piggie series is done, but if Diva and Flea are any indication, Willems has got many more great ideas waiting emerge.

  6. I need to read the new Bird & Squirrel. I love the first two! I also need to read Helen Keller as I love Meltzer's twists of biographies. I haven't read any of the picture books either, but they all look so good! :) And you are right. Mo Willems can do no wrong.

    Happy reading this week!

  7. Love Mo Willems too, and I'm intruiged by Book!

  8. Lost in NYC looks like a great book. I might buy it to let my son look at the pictures. He loves cities because of the transportation!