Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10.10.16

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

Freedom Over Me is an amazing book.  The illustrations are a stand out and the writer's craft is worthy of many mentor text uses.  A quick overview here

In October I am featuring a series of longer nonfiction books and ideas to use them when you have readers that may not read them cover to cover.  Part One is here.

Picture Books

When the World Is Dreaming
When the World is Dreaming by Rita Gray
4/5 stars
If you keep a lis of books that are great for baby shower, arrival, first birthday gifts, you'll want to add this book to it.  A book that will be read in a quiet, lulling voice, it begs to be read at nighttime to put young children into a sweet sleep full of peaceful dreams.  The illustrations by Kenard Pak are gorgeous, but also soft and quiet.

Panda Pants
Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies
4/5 stars
A banter between panda child and parent.  The panda child just wants a pair of pants and has many reasons, that may or may not be logical reasons (although my favorite is because pants have pockets... we all need pockets), why they need the pants.  And the panda parent has questions, that may or may not be good questions, as to why said pants are needed.  Fun read aloud.  Read with Dev Petty's I Don't Want to be a Frog.

Miss Muffet, or What Came After
Miss Muffet or What Came After by Marilyn Singer
3/5 stars
Marilyn Singer is known for her clever reverso poems and other poetry.  Her writing style continues to be unique with this book.  Told in rhyming verse, this book takes on a play format with directions for how each scene is to be staged, a chorus and a cast of nursery rhyme characters.  
This illustrations by David Litchfield (The Bear and the Piano) are beautiful.  
The story is a bit long for the intended audience, I am interested in finding out what age reader this resonates the most with.

Shy by Deborah Freedman
5/5 stars
There are books you've heard about for awhile.  The buzz around them is wonderful.  They hype is big.
Those are the books I approach cautiously.  Timidly.
What if they don't meet expectations?  What if I don't feel the same?
I got Shy the day it released, but it took me a bit to read it.  I first wanted to bask in the cover.  The quiet, muted tones.  The peaceful lines.  
Once I finally approached the reading of the book, I took my time.  I lingered over every page.  Allowing myself time to ask questions.  Drawing my own conclusions.
And when I did, Shy entered my heart.  Because of the quiet feeling it gave me.  The hope and desire of the character.  The wanting, yet not sure of the getting.
This is a book that I hope will inspire wondering.  Encourage readers to pause.  Allow the beauty in.

The Magic Word
The Magic Word by Mac Barnett
4/5 stars
Readers will enjoy this book.  Young Pax discovers that the magic word is not really please. It's a delightful made-up fun to say word.  And Pax gets whatever he asks for with this word.  Even if it means banishing people via walruses.  Even if it means being overindulgent.  Even if it means just forgetting what it's like to just play without all the new gadgets and big watersides (although I really liked looking at those illustrations!).  Pax learns that it's the small things he misses and apologizes to those he banishes.  Except for that babysitter who won't accept his apology.  She stays banished!  Loved Elise Parsley's illustrations!

Middle Grade

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
5/5 stars
I will feature this book in an upcoming Thursday post.  
Just make sure it is on your January 2017 TBR list!  It is outstanding.

Currently Reading

Like Magic
Like Magic by Elaine Vickers

I'm actually also reading Girl on a Train.  I bought that book before it had even come out due to the comparisons to Gone Girl.  I was a fan of the writing of that book - that book was written so amazingly well that even thought I couldn't stand either main character, I was enthralled with that story!  Of course time (lots) goes by and I usually put off my "adult" reads.  But, with the movie coming out, I am going with many colleagues and friends to see it next week and I have a strict you must read the book first rule...

Happy Fall Reading!


  1. I am curious to see what you think of Girl on a Train. No spoilers but I did post my feelings about reading it last week on this week's post.

    I can see why Shy's cover spoke to you. I look forward to reading it.

  2. I definitely have Short on my list to read, since I was always the shortest in my class in elementary school! Have you nominated books for the Cybils awards yet? Think of some good ones and see if they have already been nominated!

  3. Shy wasn't on my tbr list, but after reading about it here and in another post I put it on. I'm curious about Short. It sounds like one to look forward to.

  4. I loved When The World Is Dreaming, too, Michele. It's another good one for new baby gifts! I have Short on my list from a tweet of yours! Have a good week!

  5. I can't wait to get my hands on Shy. I love Deborah Freedman's work so much. I also feel that same hesitancy you describe because I have some high expectations for this book. Glad to know that you felt it more than met yours. I will remember your advice and go slow. My college students love all my Mac Barnett PBs, so I'm sure I will have to buy this one for them.

  6. We say a copy of Shy at Nerd Camp this summer in Michigan - What a beautiful book. We ordered two copies from Amazon.

  7. SHY was so wonderful. I love those quiet, unassuming books that don't shout at you and kind of sneak into your heart.

  8. You know how much I loved Shy also!
    I have Short to read, but I have a feeling it'll have to wait until after NCTE.

    Happy reading this week :)

  9. I am so eager to see Shy. I listened to the Let's Get Busy Podcast with the author and it sounds like something perfect for many of my students (and me).

  10. I'm currently waiting for my copy of Shy to arrive, and I can hardly wait.