Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Mock Orbis Pictus results 11.14.18

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017
Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

This year I decided to try NCTE's Mock Orbis Pictus as a way for students to read and critique nonfiction picture books.  I wrote about our decision to try this here and shared the how and our list of books here.

I can't tell you the number of times I was stopped in the hallway by young readers who wanted to tell me their thinking about one of our nonfiction picture books.  This definitely showed me that nonfiction reading has a needed and regular place in our read alouds. 

Yesterday our students voted on their favorites.  They could vote for the book they felt should win the award, one they felt should win an honor and a recommended title.  These are the same categories the actual Orbis Pictus Committee uses.  Their votes were weighted to help us see a clear winner.  I love seeing what nonfiction made an impact with readers.  Out of our five winners, four were picture book biographies and our winner was expository nonfiction.  Two of the picture books featured athletes, one featured revolutionary girls and one featured explorers.  If you talk to our students, they had clear feelings as to why certain books should win and while we used the Orbis Pictus criteria when discussing these books, for eight to ten year olds, it's still which book they enjoyed the most.  

Without further ado, here's our selections:

Meadowview School's Mock Orbis Pictus Recommended Books:

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
Shaking Things Up
by Susan Hood

Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
Girl Running
by Annette Bay Pimentel

Meadowview School's Mock Orbis Pictus Honor Books:

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
Otis and Will Discover the Deep
by Barb Rosenstock

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Game Changers
by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Meadowview School's Mock Orbis Pictus Award winner:

Cute as an Axolotl: Discovering the World's Most Adorable Animals
Cute as an Axolotl
by Jess Keating

We're looking forward to hearing what the real committee selects at Saturday's NCTE Awards Luncheon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Our 2019 Mock Caldecott list 11.13.18

Image result for caldecott award        Image result for caldecott award

One of my favorite things we do at our school is celebrate books.  While we do this year round in many different ways, it's the Mock season that is the most fun.  We have finally whittled down our list and have our 2019 Mock Caldecott selections ready to read with our 2nd-4th grade classrooms!  Here's what we'll be reading this year:

by Yuyi Morales

The Day You Begin
The Day You Begin
written by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by Rafael López

written by Juan Felipe Herrera
illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Thank You, Omu!
Thank You, Omu
by Oge Mora

by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Drawn Together
Drawn Together
written by Minh Lê
illustrated by Dan Santat

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
Otis and Will Discover the Deep
written by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Katherine Roy

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
What Do You Do With a Voice Like That?
written by Chris Barton
illustrated by Ekua Holmes

A House That Once Was
a house that once was
written by Julie Fogliano
illustrated by Lane Smith

Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse
Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse
written by Marcy Cambell
illustrated by Corinna Luyken

Hello Lighthouse
Hello Lighthouse
by Sophie Blackall

Alma and How She Got Her Name
Alma and How She Got Her Name
by Juana Martinez-Neal

Julián Is a Mermaid
Julián is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love

Zola's Elephant by Randall de Sève
Zola’s Elephant
written by Randall de Sève
illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

What If...
What If…
written by Samantha Berger
illustrated by Mike Curato

When I cultivated our list this year I took in consideration:
  • number of female illustrators vs male
  • illustrations that are representative of diverse readers
  • diverse illustrators
  • stories that young readers will enjoy
I'm really excited about this list and can't wait to get started with our readers at school!

Monday, November 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11.12.18

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.

As I was getting ready to work on my posts for the upcoming week last weekend, I received the unexpected and unwelcome news that a very special family friend passed away.  It took my breath away and I needed time to grieve and be with family.  I knew writing posts could wait.
I've got some posts for this week, including sharing our Mock lists.  I'm going to take next week off again.  It's Thanksgiving week and I think spending time with family is just what is needed.
I hope you've found some books to read and are cuddling up and staying warm.  That's what we're doing in the Midwest.  Here's what I've found to read this past week.

Last Week's (or two weeks ago...) Adventures

Some new picture book biographies for you.

Have you heard about Scholastic's upcoming "Acorn" line of books?

Picture Books

Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites
Stop, Go, Yes, No! A Story of Opposites
by Mike Twohy
A follow up to his Geisel Honor winning book, this is another fun book to read and figure out the story.  Told completely in opposites, we get the story of a cat who just wants to be left alone and a dog who really wants a playmate.  I think it's fun to read and discuss these stories that have a storyline that is told not just through the text.

by Tomie dePaola
A book that probably resonates more with me right now than our young students.  dePaola reminds us to take the time and sit and listen and hear and be quiet.  A good book to add to your mindfulness set.

I Don't Want to Go to Sleep
I Don't Want to Go to Sleep
written by Dev Petty
illustrated by Mike Boldt
I think this one is my favorite Frog book!  I giggled the whole way through!  Frog doesn't want to go to sleep, but really he doesn't want to hibernate.  I know many young readers who are going to laugh at Frog's many reasons!

The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings
The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings
by Richard Byrne
This will be fun to read to the younger crowd.  It's a mystery - who is erasing the chalk's drawings?  Could it be.... eraser??  Perhaps predictable, the ending is still fun.
The illustrations are done in chalk on black paper which really makes the colors pop!

Zola's Elephant
Zola's Elephant
written by Randall de Sève
illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
With illustrations that go back and forth showing two different perspectives, we see the idea's of the main character and what she thinks is happening next door and compare them with what is actually happening with the neighbor.  Beautiful illustrations!

Middle Grade

Maybe a Mermaid
Maybe a Mermaid
by Josephine Cameron
This upcoming middle grade (April 2019) is a beautiful coming of age story that has friendship and family at the heart of the story.
Anthoni just wants to find a True Blue Friend, but that's hard to do when you're always on the move.  Mom is in promotional home sales (think Mary Kay/Avon type sales) and is always looking to sign up her next worker.  They are headed on a much needed vacation, but the Showboat Resort in northern WI doesn't quite measure up to the memories mom has from her youth.  
Once they get up there, things go from bad to worse.  Anthoni isn't sure she can find her True Blue Friend and she discovers that mom's business isn't doing as well as she thought it was.
Readers will fall in love with Anthoni and cheer for her quest of friendship.  With a dash of mermaid magic, Anthoni discovers that sometimes a True Blue Friend might be right in front of you the whole time.
This is a cannot be missed read for 2019!

How to Steal a Dog
How to Steal a Dog
by Barbara O'Connor
I can't tell you how long I've owned this book.... yet it has remained unread.  That happens to the best of books - I own more than I'll probably ever be able to read.  It's a problem...
So, it went on my #mustreadin2018 list.  So glad that it did!  I was thinking of readers that would want this book next and also classrooms that may want to use it as a read aloud!  I can see readers falling in love with these characters.

Young Adult

The Outsiders
The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton
There are a few "classics" in the canon that I have not read, this being one of them.  When my 8th grade daughter came home saying she had to read it, could she talk to me about it... I knew this was my opportunity to read the book finally.
I can see how this book was so popular years ago and how, even though it's older, I see how it can still be seen as relatable now.
I didn't love the book.  Not sure why.  I liked some of the characters.  The plot was relatable.  Maybe too predictable?  Maybe because there are so many current books that have similar topics that are better written (in my opinion.....)?
Regardless of the reason, this one was just ok for both my daughter and me.  I thought I would watch the movie after I read the book, but I really don't have a desire to do that.  I'll probably go read instead :)

Currently Reading

by Barbara O'Connor
Looking forward to reading this one - everyone has loved it so far!

Happy Reading this week!  I hope I get the chance to see many of you in person at NCTE this week!  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

#road2reading Challenge - Scholastic's upcoming Acorn series 11.01.18

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

I am jumping for joy!  I had heard this rumor but didn't know much about it.... But now I can report it's all true!  Scholastic has a new series of books publishing this spring that specifically targets the 4-7yo range and will follow the format of their Branches books!  Whoo hoo!!  This series is called "Acorn".

Image result for scholastic acorn

I have long praised the Branches series.  They are so appealing to readers that fall in the guided reading levels L-P.  Branches typically reaches readers that are high first graders to striving fifth graders.  I love that so many of them feature full color layouts and they all have inviting illustrations.  Fun topics and characters that appeal to readers keep these books in high demand.  They are all series and they cover many genres and even span into the graphic novel format.

Now that I've seen the start of the Acorn collection, I can tell you these books are going to be so popular with readers.  Yes, they will appeal to the intended audience of ages 4-7.  But they are also going to appeal to readers older than that who are looking for chapter books that they can read by themselves.   Scholastic says the Acorn series will fall in guided reading levels E-K, which will appeal to my second grade intervention students.  They will love these short chapters, each an episodic story, that usually include a humorous story with endearing characters (yes, even a Crab grows on you!).  Each book has three chapters with the books lasting between 48-64 pages.

I've read the first four books in 4 out of the 6 series.  I loved all of them.  We've met Dav Pilkey's Dragon character before and we know he is such a sweet character.  The "Hello, Hedgehog!" series, written by Norm Feuti, introduces us to Hedgehog and his friend, Harry.  They are good friends who may be opposites but compliment each other in every way.  In the "Unicorn and Yeti" series, by author Heather Ayris Burnell, we meet another set of opposite characters who are sparkly, magical and fun!  And my favorite, because everything Jonathan Fenske does is fun, is "Hello, Crabby!".  As always, his characters stay true to themselves and hilarity will ensue.  I love seeing some old favorite characters pop up in this series.

Many of the stories are told through speech bubbles, similar to what graphic novels look like.  Something the series does is color code the speech bubbles.  For example, all of Unicorn's speech bubbles are orange and Yeti's are purple.  This is a good visual way for young readers to be able to track who is doing the talking.

Two more series will be coming as well - "Princess Truly" and "Mister Shivers".  The last one sounds perfectly creepy - I know a lot of kids who will line up for that!

The first four books in the series shown below will be publishing in May 2019.  A few follow ups will publish over the summer and then all of the series will get books 1-3 in the Fall of 2019.  Make sure you have these books marked down for your readers.  I'm so excited for the possibilities of these books!

A Friend for Dragon by Dav Pilkey   Sparkly New Friends by Heather Ayris Burnell   Do You Like My Bike? by Norm Feuti   Hello, Crabby! by Jonathan Fenske