Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2.20.17

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

A beautiful and timeless picture book - This house, once by Deborah Freedman

Two new books that are featured at the Scholastic Book Fair!

February is Black History Month - some amazing picture book biographies to share!

Using nonfiction picture books with your readers who are on the #road2reading?

Picture Books

You Don't Want a Unicorn!
You Don't Want a Unicorn by Ame Dyckman
5/5 stars
I laughed out loud when I read this at NCTE.  I laughed out loud when I read it to my 11yo.  I laughed out loud when I gave it to my colleague to read and I kept asking what part she was on.  It's actually kind of dangerous since I'm recovering from walking pneumonia and whenever I laugh, I cough.  
Go ahead.  You try and read this book without laughing.

The Green Umbrella
The Green Umbrella by Jackie Azúa Kramer
4/5 stars
An imagination is a wonderful thing.  But the thing about imaginations is they are all different.  In this sweet book, a green umbrella is something different for each character but the question is, can they use it together?

Watersong by Tim McCanna
4/5 stars
Unique story - told through onomatopoeia and beautiful illustrations that tell the details of the story.  This would be a great text to use with Sara Pennypacker's Pax.  

If I Had a Little Dream
If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden
5/5 stars
This is one of those books that may be more loved by the adults reading it than the young readers.  I think it can be used as a mentor text, a book that inspires writing, a book to share with a loved one. 

Informational Texts

Mae Jemison
You Should Meet: Mae Jemison by Laurie Calkhoven
4/5 stars
I like that this series is featuring people who are still alive.  So often we read about people who did some pretty fantastic things, but we're reading about them after they are no longer with us.  
And Mae is a fellow Chicagoan - definitely someone I want to know more about!

Middle Grade

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers (Stinkbomb and Ketchup Face)
Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers by John Dougherty

4/5 stars
And another you will laugh out loud book!  A short, but complex book - there is an unnamed narrator that breaks the fourth wall and speaks to the reader letting you know some of what is going to happen.  Then the characters themselves know they are in the story, so while they don't speak to the reader, there is an understanding that they are characters in a book.  And then there are multiple problems because each time the characters go to figure out a solution, another problem arises.  There is a lot of tongue in cheek humor, slapstick comedy and play on words in this book.  I think it would be a fun and quick read aloud to do with a class.

Bubbles by Abby Cooper
4/5 stars
Loved this middle grade read!  Unfortunately it doesn't come out until July, but make sure it is on your list!  I have a blog post about this book coming out closer to the release date.

Currently Reading

The Serpent King
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Day off tomorrow, looking forward to time to read and getting other things done!


  1. I've ordered You Don't Want a Unicorn from my library and can't wait to read it. Looks hilarious!

  2. Enjoy your day to read The Serpent King! It's a great one. I had If I had a Little Dream in my hand at the bookstore but didn't have time to look through it. Need to go back! Take care of yourself!

  3. You really make me want to read You Don't Want a Unicorn. I may have to get myself a copy. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  4. Enjoy The Serpent King-wonderful! I went back to read some of your earlier reviews, too. noting This House, Once. If I Had a Dream sounds lovely, and Have Watersong, but still need to read it. Thanks, Michele!

  5. What a fantastic week - so many 4 and 5 out of 5 ratings! You Don't Want a Unicorn sounds hilarious, and I loved that early reader biography of Mae Jemison - such an inspiring role model!

  6. Ooh! A new Deborah Freedman! So excited about that one. I will have to get Stinkbomb to read to my son--sounds like just the kind of book he enjoys. Looking forward to your thoughts on Serpent King!

  7. You Don't Want a Unicorn sounds very funny. The Stinkbomb book sounds very interesting.

  8. The Serpent King is in my TBR pile here at home. I'm hoping to get to it sometime soon. Stinkbomb sounds like a riot too. I'll look for it. Great list!

  9. After reading your comments above, I now may not want a unicorn, but I definitely want to read You Don't Want a Unicorn! I am waiting for The Serpent King to become available as an audiobook from my local library.

  10. You've definitely convinced me to get my hands on a copy of You Don't Want a Unicorn now! Enjoy The Serpent King--fantastic book!

  11. I am reading The Serpent King right now, too! I am listening to it.

    You Don't Want a Unicorn is at the top of my list. It sounds hysterical!