Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.24.17

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

Teach 4th/5th grade and need titles for striving readers?  Take a look here.

A round up of newly published spring titles here!

I loved Lauren Wolk's upcoming book, Beyond the Bright Sea.  My review here.

Whether you are teaching conservation, being a change maker or science, you'll want one of these water books.

Picture Books

Big Cat, Little Cat
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
5/5 stars
I am not a cat person.  While I lie more on the dog side of the line, I have also never owned a dog.  My life cards have not fallen in a way that would allow it to work.
I tell you this because there aren't many cat stories that my heart melts for.  I think I found one.  Mostly because it didn't matter what Cooper decided to use for his main characters.  This book is going to be the perfect, just right for the moment book for many young readers. Losing a beloved pet, or any family member is hard and difficult to understand.  And while this book isn't going to solve their heartbreak, it is going to fill just a tiny hole.

Tidy by Emily Gravett
4/5 stars
What happens when a badger goes a little too far with tidying up the forest?  Environmental effects are quickly shown before our badger friend realizes he needs to solve his problem.
The fun in this book are in the little details in the illustrations.  

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt
5/5 stars
Everything you're hearing about this book is true.
It is laugh out loud hilarious.  Cannot wait to share this book, over and over and over.  
And like I said in my Goodreads review.  Glad I read it before putting it out for the kids to check out, because I'm never going to see this book until the last day of school.  There is going to be a long hold wait for this one!

Be Quiet!
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
5/5 stars
Oh gosh, another one that had me laughing out loud.  I'm so glad to have books like this one and ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS because they are going to get so many kids reading books.

I Don't Draw, I Color!
I Don't Draw, I Color! by Adam Lehrhaupt
4/5 stars
Add this to your growth mindset collection.  Would be good for the beginning of the school year to talk about strengths and how we express ourselves will look different from one another.

I Just Want to Say Good Night
I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora
4/5 stars
Reminds you that some things about childhood are universal.  No matter where you live, children resist bedtime!  Gorgeous illustrations.

My Kicks: A Sneaker Story!
My Kicks! by Susan Verde
4/5 stars
This book was a definite for my collection!  Love how the boy recalls everything that has happened to his sneakers - the good and the bad - and that they are hard to part with.  Until....  If you have not checked out the thread Scott Fillner (@sfillner) started about this book and his students writing odes to their kicks, it's one you need to go find!

Rolling Thunder
Rolling Thunder by Kate Messner
5/5 stars
The concept of Veterans Day/Memorial Day/Labor Day is hard for young students to grasp.  And while this book won't completely close the gap, it will give young readers an understanding that we remember people, they did something important for our country, and we respect them.  Messner does not shy away from content vocabulary so there is plenty of opportunities for discussion with readers.

Early Chapter Books

Agnes and Clarabelle       Agnes and Clarabelle Celebrate!
Agnes and Clarabelle and Agnes and Clarabella Celebrate! by Adele Griffin and Courtney Sheinmel
4/5 stars
I love this new series from the Read and Bloom series by Bloomsbury!
If your readers are looking for more Frog and Toad style books - this is where you'll want to send them!  Episodic stories, but the theme of friendship shines through in each chapter!

Graphic Novels

CatStronauts: Mission Moon
CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
4/5 stars
I have no doubt you'll have readers for this series!  Pulling in some STEM and using humor, this book is about 4 cat astronauts who are headed to the moon to build a solar power plant to avoid Earth's energy crisis!  Looks like subsequent books will also be about space, so I'm happy to see this new setting in this graphic novel series.

CatStronauts: Race to Mars
CatStronauts: Race to Mars by Drew Brockington
4/5 stars
This time the crew is set fora mission to Mars, but there is a space race involved as three other cat space programs are all set on being the first to Mars!

Middle Grade

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
Cilla Lee-Jenkins Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan
4/5 stars
Loved this early middle grade novel.  Perfect for 2nd-4th grade readers.  There is humor, real life experiences, and I know readers will love meeting Cilla.  Bought a copy for my classroom library and book talked it right away!

Counting Thyme
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
5/5 stars
A book that had gotten pushed off in my stacks, and I knew I wanted to get to it, so I made sure it ended up on my #mustreadin2017 list.  So glad I read it and got to know Thyme and Val.  Beautiful story and I'm glad it was told.  In Conklin's hands, it is deftly woven into a story that breaks your heart and mends it back together by the power of hope and family.

Currently Reading

The Shadow Cipher (York, #1)
York - The Shadow Cipher series
by Laura Ruby

Worst Fairy Godmother Ever! (the Wish List #1)
The Wish List:  The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
by Sarah Aronson

I have so many books checked out from the library and in my personal to be read stacks.  Have they figured out a way to not sleep yet?

Happy Reading!


  1. Loved Legend and Be Quiet. Both are so fun. I have a copy of Cilla from NCTE, but never got to it. I'll have to move it up on my list. York sounds interesting.

  2. Counting Thyme has been on my TBR list for a while and I really need to get to it soon.

  3. I'm glad to hear more about Big Cat, Little Cat, have seen it praised quite a lot on FB. You have shared many books I want to read, like Tidy, love Emily Gravett's books, but each one either new or have already heard of them sound very good. I'm always looking for funny books for the youngest granddaughter who adores them. Thanks for those, too! Have a wonderful week, Michele!

  4. Don't worry, I am more than enough of a cat lady for the both of us! ;-) Big Cat, Little Cat looks very sweet.

    Be Quiet just looks hilarious, I loved Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce, and just know I'm going to love this one!!!

  5. So many great books here! I appreciated reading your review of Beyond the Bright Sea. I agree that Wolk can really write, but Wolf Hollow didn't work for me. I'll consider giving this one a chance.
    Counting Thyme is also on my must read list this year. I'm glad it sounds good.

  6. I hadn't heard of MY KICKS before. Just put that on my to-read list!

    I just got THE LEGEND OF ROCK PAPER SCISSORS at my library but haven't read it yet. After reading your thoughts, I can't wait! <3

  7. You've got a great round up of books that I'll have to order from my library! Since I was on vacation last week, I stuck to books I already had in my Kindle. Thanks for your great suggestions! Have a wonderful week!

  8. We are always so thankful for your posts because we learn about so many new books. Can't wait to read Agnes and Clarabelle and Oh Gosh!

  9. Rolling Thunder looks like one I will want to get. I love Kate Messner's work anyway, but there aren't many good books on these topics.

  10. A new Emily Gravett that I didn't know about! Have to find that one soonest. Rolling Thunder and I don't Draw Color also look great.

  11. Loved Big Cat, Little Cat, even though I'm more of a dog than cat person. It was just lovely, sweet & touching.

  12. So pleased to see your thoughts here about Castronauts - was curious about these titles. Isn't Counting Thyme incredible? Wow. Wow. Wow, that book!

  13. I should never ever visit your blog when I'm trying to save money on books because I want to buy at least half of these right now. You know I'm a cat person, so I'm all over Big Cat, Little Cat and Catstronauts (and my library doesn't have them! Argh!!)