Monday, October 24, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10.24.16

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

I featured Part 3 of my blog series - reading longer chapter books when you don't read cover to cover.  This week I featured Candace Fleming's new book Presenting Buffalo Bill.

Are you thinking about doing a Mock Geisel?  Here are the books we're using and how it's starting.

Picture Books

Wonderfall by Michael Hall
4/5 stars
If you by chance have a collection of books to be read in the fall, make sure this one is on it!  One sentence review:  Lovely poems, each one titled with a word that is a word play on a word that ends with -ful, and includes a brightly colored Michael Hall illustration.

The Storybook Knight
The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty
4/5 stars
From the husband and wife team that brought us The Snatchabook, another fun, rhyming tale about a character that just loves to read.  This time we see the power of stories prevails over fighting.

The Journey
The Journey by Francesca Sanna
4/5 stars
Powerful book.  About a family who must escape the home and country they live in when war comes too close.  The impact of war on a family and how it makes a family become refugees.  This is such an important book to talk about with kids today.  I imagine very rich conversations with students in grades 4 and up - because picture books are really meant for everyone.

Samson in the Snow
Samson in the Snow by Philip Stead
4/5 stars
Everyone needs a friends like Samson.  One who gives away things to make others happy.  One who thinks about others.  One who helps others when they don't even ask.
Very sweet story.  Beautiful illustrations.

In Plain Sight
In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson
4/5 stars
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, which makes it a delight for the eyes.  Story about a tradition between a granddaughter and grandfather - the grandfather always hides things for his granddaughter to find... in plain sight.

First Snow
First Snow by Bomi Park
5/5 stars
Perfect perfect perfect book to read on the first fall of snow of the year.
Simple text but just gorgeous illustrations.  This one is going on my must purchase list.

Bringing the Outside In
Bringing the Outside In by Mary McKenna Siddals
4/5 stars
I love Patrice Barton's artwork.  I had not heard of this book before, but walked past it while in the library.  Noticed it was Barton's work right away and checked it out!  Rolling poem about the seasons and how the outside tends to cling to us.  Loved the incidental diversity within this book.

Informational Texts

One Day on Our Blue Planet . . . in the Antarctic
One Day on our Blue the Antarctic by Ella Bailey
4/5 stars
This is the first book I've seen in this series, but it seems to be one to check out.  This narrative follows an adelie penguin as it travels to the open water.  I had no idea a penguin could live in and around the sea for as long as it does - before it comes to solid land again.  
You could certainly read this book to pick up facts about this penguin.  The illustrations are colorful, but are often very busy.  It's hard to know what information to pick up through them.  I really liked the end pages.  The end pages at the beginning spotlight animals found above the ice in the Antarctic, the end pages at the end spotlight animals found under the ice.

Currently Reading

Like Magic
Like Magic by Elaine Vickers
I'm almost done with this wonderful wonderful book.  I have really enjoyed getting to know the three main characters and seeing how their story is being woven together.
It's taken me awhile to read the story, but by no fault of its own.  I've been taking a lot of time reading some longer nonfiction for my blog series on Wednesdays and its cut into some other reading time.  But, it's been very informative thinking how kids might approach reading longer nonfiction texts!
I will have a review about this book on Thursday.  Come back and check in!

Excited to get back to reading some more middle grade this week.  Cross your fingers!


  1. You have some great picture books on your list. Like Magic sounds great. I look forward to reading it.

  2. I love the idea of a Mock Geisel. After the Caldecott, it's definitely my favorite award. I want to read all the PBs you feature here. I'm especially excited about First Snow--looks gorgeous!

  3. Great selection of books. I'm a collection development librarian and blogger in charge of buying books of all ages for my local library and I read a lot of blogs looking for ideas from teachers and parents for books to share. These are some great ones to add to our list.

  4. So excited to read In Plain Sight- We are big Jerry Pinkney fans. The Journey also sounds intriguing. Might be a great text to introduce students to historical fiction.

  5. So many 4/5 and 5/5 books this week, sounds like a fantastic reading week! A couple of these are new to me - yay! Always excited to discover new picture books. :D

  6. I just started reading Like Magic yesterday and I'm enjoying it as well! I've been introduced to all three girls and I'm fascinated to know what else is going to happen with this box. The book also makes me want to visit Salt Lake City and its library some day! Have a great week!

  7. I'm waiting impatiently for SAMSON IN THE SNOW to come in at my library!

  8. I own a copy of Journey. Such a powerful title. You have to find Flight by Nadia Wheatley and Armin Greder too. :)