Monday, July 3, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - ALA picture book edition 7.03.17

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

Actually, here is a round up of the last two weeks of reading!  I took off last Monday because I was celebrating my weekend at ALA!

Check out this new transitional chapter book series - Jasmine Toguchi.

A mentor text for your nonfiction picture book collection - Can An Aardvark Bark?

Don't miss this new middle grade novel - Bubbles

A new interactive book to entice all readers - Say Zoop!

My 2018 Mock Geisel long far!

My 2018 Mock Sibert long far!

My 2018 Mock Newbery long far!

My 2018 Mock Caldecott long far!

Picture Books

Claymates by Dev Petty
5/5 stars
How I love holding this book in my hands!  I first read it at NCTE 2016.  June seemed so far away.  This book is not only hilarious, it is so inventive and creative, it's going on my Mock Caldecott!  Make sure you find a copy!

Life by Cynthia Rylant
5/5 stars
This book is clutch to your heart beautiful!  I was just at ALA where I saw Brendan Wenzel accept his 2017 Caldecott Honor award for We All Saw a Cat.  While I loved the illustrations in that book, this one will take your breath away even more.  Just amazing.  The text is beautiful too in the message it relays to the reader.  I think this book would make a great read aloud to discuss the deep message that is conveyed through the deceptively short text.  This book will make a great graduation or baby shower gift.  

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
After the Fall by Dan Santat
5/5 stars
THIS is Dan Santat at his best.  I loved Beekle, but this one may even surpass it.  Illustrations are fantastic, perfect color palette.  The message in this book will hit home with readers.  Great conversations about not giving up, trying when it's hard, determination.  Do not miss this book this fall!
publishes October 3rd

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett
5/5 stars
Classic Barnett-Klassen.  Laugh out loud funny yet still quirky.  It's a must pre-order.
publishes Oct. 10th

Don't Forget Dexter!
Don't Forget Dexter! by Lindsay Ward
4/5 stars
Perfect for the young reader!  Told from the perspective of a lost toy dinosaur.  Love how Lindsay Ward pieces together her artwork!
publishes January 1st

Bizzy Mizz Lizzie
Bizzy Mizz Lizzie by David Shannon
4/5 stars
I enjoyed all of the different takes on how bees would do things - from getting straight Bs (because in the bee world that's better than As) to being a member of the Junior Honey Scouts!  Will be a cute read aloud!
publishes Oct. 10th

Why Am I Me?
Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt
5/5 stars
Understanding identity starts at a very young age.  This is a book that asks tough questions that aren't really supposed to be understood by young children, but gets them to think about who they are.  With the amazing artwork of Sean Qualls and Selina Alko, this book is a must-have for classroom discussions!
publishes Sept. 12th

Small by Gina Perry
4/5 stars
Love this sweet little book!  Told from the perspective of a child - looks at the world around her and shares what makes her feel small and what makes her feel big!  I love how it's the girl's perspective because what makes her feel small are often things that we don't notice as adults.  I think young readers will see themselves within this story!
publishes Aug. 1st

The Great Pasta Escape
The Great Pasta Escape by Miranda Paul
4/5 stars
Told in the vein of Kelly DiPucchio's Everyone Loves Bacon/Everyone Loves Cupcake and Laurie Keller's Arnie the Doughnut.  Full of puns, readers are sure to laugh and come back for more!
publishes Aug. 29th

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine
5/5 stars
Warning - Mock Caldecott alert!  This book is absolutely going on my list!
Full of imagination and creativity - I can't wait to share this book with young readers.  Beautiful words by Esenwine and AMAZING illustrations by Fred Koehler.  Don't miss this one!
publishes Sept. 19th

Middle Grade

Kat Greene Comes Clean
Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske
4/5 stars
I enjoyed this story about Kat who is dealing with her mom's OCD with cleaning and germs. We see how this illness takes over her mom and then affects Kat.  The kids in the story are in fifth grade, which makes this story accessible to younger middle grade readers.  The only complaint I have about that is there is discussion of menstruation.  It's a very small scene in the book, but I know many teachers who will not put in in the classroom because of that.  That scene would have made more sense if the characters were older (yes, I know fifth graders get their periods, but because this book will appeal to younger readers, I also know teachers and parents who will complain... just putting it out there).  I also did not like the best friend.  I don't think she really understood how her actions were selfish.  Bottom line, I think this story - the plot and the characters - will appeal to readers.

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie
5/5 stars
This is another book that I am giving just a few details because I'll have a much longer post closer to the release date.  In the meantime, just know that you need to have it on your must-purchase list!  This is a PERFECT book for readers who are looking for something just a bit spooky that actually is a great book about friendship.
publishes Oct. 10th

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
5/5 stars
This book is everything everybody is saying about it.  Brilliant.  Relevant.  Important.
I'll have a post coming out closer to release date.
publishes September 26th

Professional Reading

Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters
Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst
5/5 stars
This would be a great book to use with teachers who are ready for a change from whole group lessons, novels.  This book goes into some discussion and ideas without giving every little detail.
This was a good book for me just to cement ideas and beliefs that I have about teaching reading with readers.
I really liked the Book-Head-Heart concept that is introduced in this book.  I saw a tweet about it early last fall but never got into it, needed the additional information this book provided.  I'm looking forward to trying it out in the fall.  

Currently Reading

Tumble & Blue
Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley
Love the characters and the way Beasley wraps them around your heart!

On Deck

Patina (Track, #2)
Patina by Jason Reynolds
I want to savor this one!

Happy July Reading to all!


  1. A lot of these books are on my tbr list. Life by Cynthia Rylant looks beautiful. She is one of my favorite authors. She was a classroom favorite when I taught first grade, too. I am eager for Wishtree and Tumble and Blue.

  2. I am so appreciative of all the work you put in to your blog so we know about the up and coming books and your personal favorites. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I have a digital ARC of Patina, and I'm making myself wait a bit to read it because I know it will be a quick read and I don't want it to be over too soon! Jason Reynolds is such a talented writer.

  4. Lots of good books her to add to my reading list. I am also holding off on the ones I already have but I'm not sure how long that will last. Thanks for all you good recommendations.

  5. I'm so envious that you've gotten to look at all those wonderful books not out yet! Thanks for the heads up & the titles! I loved "Life" so much that I ordered it. Happy Reading!

  6. Lots of great books! I loved Wishtree and think it's a must read for every classroom. I can't wait to get my hands on Patina because Ghost was one of my favorite books. I loved After the Fall and it was even better when I shared it with my class and saw their reaction to it. They caught something important that I missed. The rest will be added to my very long TBR list.

  7. I'm pretty envious about all those picture books too! And the new Jason Reynolds!

  8. I have no idea where to start with this list of books Michele. I am green with envy! I'm so looking forward to reading Life and that cover for Flashlight Light is spectacular.

  9. How exciting to get a sneak peek at so many amazing books - we have so much to look forward to!

  10. It was great seeing you at ALA, Michele, if only in passing.

    I'm bummed I missed reading The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse at the Candlewick booth. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on an F&G. :)

    I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts about Patina!

  11. I've ordered Life from the library, and I can't wait to read it. I love everything I've ever read by Cynthia Rylant. Hope I get it soon. Have a great week!

  12. So many good books here (and jealous of your ARCs)! I am still waiting for Claymates to arrive from the library ... the illustrator is local and I think she would make a fabulous school visit!

  13. I really appreciate this, Michele...thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the book.

  14. I am sitting here putting a number of titles on my "TBR" list. Thanks for sharing your list and loved seeing you at ALA and getting to spend some time together. Next I need to go through your mock lists.

  15. WOW! This was a good week for you!!! :) So nice to see you tonight! And I know I'll see you virtually soon :)

    Happy reading this week!

  16. I just added an entire stack of to-be-read in my Goodreads list, thanks to your post! These are all amazing titles, but I am heartbroken that so many of them are not out yet. Do know that I am glowing green with envy. :)

  17. I would do ANYTHING to get my hands on Wishtree! Jealous! I can't find After the Fall up here yet, but I just requested Life and Claymates from my library. Thanks for sharing these great books!

  18. I'm jealous of all the books you got to read!