Tuesday, November 26, 2019

COVER REVEAL! - Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog


I hope you've read Lisa Papp's adorable series about sweet Madeline Finn and her love for dogs.  Here are the first two books in the series:

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog          Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog

The very first thing we learn about Madeline is she does NOT like to read.  In fact, she is so determined in her dislike of reading she claims to not even like reading the menu of the ice cream truck!  However, thanks to her local librarian, Madeline is encouraged to read... to Bonnie, the library dog!  Madeline finds herself at the library every week to read to sweet Bonnie and the best thing about Bonnie is she just listens.  She doesn't tell Madeline she's wrong or slow and best of all she's help Bonnie to keep trying.  But one day Bonnie doesn't come to the library and Madeline learns she has to think of all the positive feelings she has when she's with Bonnie in order to succeed.  And when Bonnie does come back, she has a surprise for Madeline!

In the second book, Madeline learns that there are lots of pets who are waiting for forever homes and they are usually found in animal shelters.  After visiting her local shelter, she learns that there are many animals who need some love and donations.  Madeline puts together a drive for supplies and invites everyone to visit the shelter and to bring a blanket and a book.  When the day arrives, Madeline thinks people aren't coming as the time goes by and no one comes.  It's a big surprise for her when lots of people show up - there had been a line at the library to check out books, that's why everyone is so late!  All of the animals are read to and get some love... some may even find their forever home!

Now it's time for book 3 in this lovely series!  I'm so excited to share more about Madeline and her love for dogs.

Here's the summary for Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog:

Madeline Finn and her pet dog Star are off to Walker Oaks, a retirement community where Star will take his tests to become a therapy dog. Accompanied by Mom, Mrs. Dimple, and Bonnie, she and Star make their way through a variety of challenges and meet several new friends. But Madeline Finn can't stop thinking about an elderly man in a wheelchair, who never smiles. Is there something she and Star can do to help?

This final companion book to the previous Madeline Finn and the Library Dog and Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog provides a heartwarming exploration of the therapy dog training process and a realistic and appealing example of a young person making a difference in her community.

I'm in love with it already!  From the little sneak peak I had I can tell you this may be my favorite book yet!  Be sure to look for it in September 2020!

And now the moment you've been waiting for!  Introducing:

Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog
by Lisa Papp
published by Peachtree Publishers

Aren't you in love?  Make sure it is on your fall TBR list.  It's going to be a great book to use to talk about compassion and care within your communities - maybe even within your own book community!

Thanks to Elyse at Peachtree for letting me have this wonderful opportunity to share the cover with everyone!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Spotlight on Poetry!

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Spotlight:  Poetry!

Some recent poetry finds!

Soccerverse by Elizabeth Steinglass
Soccerverse: Poems About Soccer
written by Elizabeth Steinglass
illustrated by Edson Ikê 
22 poems about varying parts of the game told in varying poems!  My favorite poem is "The Fans" which is about parents coming to watch a game but when they are near, you pretend you don't hear the instructions they are yelling!  Ha, that's true regardless of the sport :)  
Backmatter includes information about the different types of poetry with a key that lists the poem names and the type of poem it is.

I Am Someone Else by Lee Bennett Hopkins
I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending
collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
illustrated by Chris Hsu
Hopkins, the great collector of poetry, put together a wonderful anthology of pretend and role playing for his readers.  A fun collection of poetry about stepping into someone else's shoes from being a pirate to a pilot, these poems will delight young readers who love to imagine.

Thanku by Miranda  Paul
Thanku: Poems of Gratitude
edited by Miranda Paul
illustrated by Marlena Myles
A book that should be read and shared cover to cover.  This collection of poetry that celebrates what true gratitude is and can be - something that is done throughout the year, the seasons, celebrating nature and family and animals and everything in between.  
Each poem is labeled with the type of poetry and the backmatter includes a guide to each poetry - with a note saying please try this at home!  
Also included in the backmatter is a quick biography of all the poets and some of their other work.  Paul also includes a note that reminds us that while this book will often be put with Thanksgiving books, it really is meant to be shared year round.
A portion of the proceeds will be going to We Need Diverse Books.  Another celebration about this book!

Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle by Laura Purdie Salas
Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready for Winter
written by Laura Purdie Salas
illustrated by Claudine Gévry
Told in lyrical verses, young readers learn tricks of animals to stay warm in wintertime.  Like other Salas' books, she includes small facts about each animal in small print on the page for further information.  The backmatter includes more information about the ways animals stay warm as well as additional information about each animal. 
This pairs well with the nonfiction book Wait Rest Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins.

Who Named Their Pony Macaroni? by Marilyn Singer
Who Named Their Pony Macaroni: Poems About White House Pets
poems by Marilyn Singer
illustrated by Ryan McAmis
This time Singer points the spotlight at some of the 4-legged creatures that lived at the White House.  Each animal is spotlighted for its interesting contributions to the presidency.  I'm pretty sure these pets had no idea how big of a deal their owners were, and as such definitely acted like the animals they were!  I liked reading the additional information about the pets in the back of the book.

Happy, poetic reading!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - books for independent readers - 11.21.19

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've got some early readers this week for your readers who are beginning to read independently.  Check these fun books out!

Can You See Me? by Bob Staake
Can You See Me?
by Bob Staake
This book is part of the Random House "I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books" series and it is definitely reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss book.  Told in rhymes, a color-changing animal camouflages itself against different colors while children try to spot it.  There are a few words that are tricky - daredevil pilot, tulip, peppermint - that will have young readers really relying on comprehension and the illustrations to figure them out, however most of the words are decodable as part of a rhyme.  I think this book will definitely appeal to young readers.

Bear Is Awake! by Hannah E Harrison
Bear is Awake! An Alphabet Story
by Hannah E. Harrison
I was wondering how this would be an alphabet story, but if it is done by Hannah Harrison, I knew it would be good!
Told in just a few words, all beginning with a consecutive letter of the alphabet, an entire story is told.  Starting with a bear waking up in the middle of winter and finding a surprised little girl in her cabin, and then going through their day.  Full of surprises and funny events, this book will have young readers pouring through the illustrations.  Some words are easily figured out as they match illustrations, others will require a stronger vocabulary - intrigued, kaput, oblivious.
I've read through this alphabet book a few times now and I keep finding something else to notice!  

by Aiko Ikegami
Wordless picture books are some of my favorite books to use with readers because kids can make stories from pictures.  They do this naturally and I love to see the things they see in the story that I might miss.
In Hello, we see a friendship emerge from two characters who come from different planets where spoken language may be a barrier, but drawing becomes a common language.  It's a beautiful friendship story

Horse & Buggy Paint It Out! by Ethan Long
Paint It Out!
by Ethan Long
This book reminded me just a little bit of the interactions you find in the Elephant and Piggie books or the Ballet Cat books.  Horse is getting ready to paint a mural with some help from his friend, Buggy (a fly), but Horse gets more paint on himself than the wall.  With help from his friend, they work together and get the mural painted.
Readers will enjoy the humor in this story!

See Me Play by Paul Meisel
See Me Play
by Paul Meisel
I like the stories Meisel has created at this beginning reading level.  They often feature animals, especially dogs, and there is always a humorous ending.  So often these lower level books are so dry because of the controlled text, but Meisel always is able to add a funny spin to his stories.

Penny and Her Sled by Kevin Henkes
Penny and Her Sled
by Kevin Henkes
I think this is my favorite Penny book since Penny and Her Marble!  Penny is such a determined young character and this time she takes on the weather!  Penny's determination is no match for the weather, and no matter how much she wants it to snow, it just doesn't happen.  But Penny is also very creative and even if she can't use her sled in the snow, she finds new ideas for it.  It's Penny's mom who gets her to think outside of the box and find something snow-y to wait for!

Hope some of these great stories find their way into your students' hands!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - what's in my nonfiction stack? 11.20.19

Wednesdays 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.

Here are some nonfiction picture books that jumped out of my stacks:

You Are My Friend by Aimee Reid
You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood
written by Aimee Reid
illustrated by Matt Phelan
Wow, this book brought me right back to my childhood.  I spent a lot of time watching Mister Rogers and Sesame Street.  Little did I know the positive lessons I was learning through these shows.  After reading this picture book, it brought back a lot of positive memories and I had to go find some old episodes on youtube.  My teenage daughter was laughing at the way he was talking to the camera, but I couldn't help but notice and wonder - I watched Fred Rogers talk to the children that were watching through that camera.  He explained, he noticed, he questioned, all while having a conversation with his young viewers.  I can't think of too many shows today that interact with the viewers in the same patient way... in the way that you were considered his equal, perhaps Mister Rogers with more knowledge, but you knew he would share it all with you.  
Definitely a story to share now, especially with the upcoming movie!

Karl's New Beak by Lela Nargi
Karl's New Beak: 3-D Printing Builds a Bird a Better Life
written by Lela Nargi
illustrated by Harriet Popham
Karl is an Abyssinian ground hornbill.  Like many other birds, Karl relies on his beak to dig for food, scoop the food up, and eat!  However, Karl's bone that supports his beak was weak and as a result his beak would wear away. 
The rest of the book details the steps veterinarians took to help Karl regain his use of a beak.

Rise! by Bethany Hegedus
Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou
written by Bethany Hegedus
illustrated by Tonya Engel
Wow.  What a powerful and stunning book.  From the words, that tell Maya's harsh upbringing - going back and forth from a caring household that was deep in the south where there was civil unrest, to back with her mother where she was sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend.  The gorgeous illustrations paint vivid colors that show Maya's will to rise and succeed.  
Backmatter includes a detailed timeline with additional information.
I can see why this book has been mentioned on Mock Caldecott lists.

Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature
Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature
written by Marcie Flinchum Atkins
We often talk about hibernation, but rarely do we talk about all the different ways animals - and plants - go dormant in the winter.  However, there are similarities to note, for example, how animals take a pause, some longer than others, to become warm.  Plants and animals also both slow down and restrict movement.  Differences are also noted, like how long dormancy lasts. 
Told in quick, lyrical sentences, this informative book is a perfect read aloud and a book that readers will want to linger over because of the stunning photographs.

As always, happy nonfiction reading!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

new publishing imprints - spotlight on Make Me a World Imprint

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The Make Me a World imprint comes from the brilliant author and illustrator, Christopher Myers.  He's creating a list of books that break down the barriers that are in front of children and giving them a space where they are free to ask questions and to dream.  I'm excited to see how this list continues to grow!
Here are the first books from this imprint.

Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! by Annie Sieg
Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!
by Annie Sieg
The picture book that is published by this imprint is a beautiful one that celebrates women and music and expression.  Taking place during the 1940s when many men were off at war, women came together to get done what needed to get done and also find ways to support each other.  One of the ways was through music.  While the group of women featured in this jazz extravaganza are real historical figures, author Annie Sieg details in her author's note that the character of Mama Mable is meant as a representative of the amazing singers that took the vocal lead of the bands at the time.  With bright colors and designs, this is a beautiful story to share with readers this fall!

written by Akwaeke Emezi
Wow.  This book blew me away.  I will be honest here - the first half of the book really sets up the characters and setting and it was hard for me to fall into the story.  However, once you truly understand the metaphor of this story, you'll see how brilliantly the author has pieced this story together.
This is the story of Jam and her good friend, Redemption.  They live in a world that has similarities and differences from our own.  The "monsters" of the town have been eradicated by the "angels".  Right from the start, Jam - who is a trans girl and selective mute - wants to know more about the history of monsters and angels.  We can tell that while the information about them is available, it's not spoken about widely.  Jam lives in a supportive home environment with her artistic mother and father.  We are given a brief background about when Jam's parents realized she was trans and we see the love and acceptance from her parents.  Jam's mother is busy working on a large piece of artwork and after countless hours finishes.  It's when Jam accidentally cuts herself on the art that the figure within the piece ends up coming to life.  This large creature, who Jam names Pet, is here to hunt and needs Jam's help.  
I love how this story fits the creative theme of the Make Me a World imprint.  This is a world that doesn't conform to what is considered "normal".  And the way it is constructed and comes to life in front of us is unique and creative.  I love that Jam is a trans girl and is accepted as that and it's not at all what the story is about, it's just who she is as our main character.  Listed as YA I think it will reach readers in upper middle school through high school.

by Sarah Deming
I'm looking forward to reading this one next.  Here's the Goodreads summary:

When Gravity Delgado walks into Cops 'n Kids, a no-frills Brooklyn boxing gym, and starts working with the legendary Coach Thomas, she joins a true melting pot of fighters. There's the flirtatious Lefty (a southpaw), hard-to-beat D-Minus ("They call me D-Minus 'cause I'm all you need"), artistic Kimani "Monster" Browne, and a host of others. At the gym, Gravity finds the unexpected: the father she's never had in her coach, not one but two romantic prospects, and, most importantly, a love and skill for boxing. If she can stay focused, despite her troubled home life, she might just have a shot at the Olympics.

With each blow, each jab, and each punch, Sarah Deming draws her readers into the gritty and inspiring world of Gravity Delgado, a Jewish Dominican teenager growing up in Brooklyn and aspiring for greatness.

Pet has already seen some major recognition as a National Book Award Finalist.  I am looking forward to this imprint and the stories it will be providing to young readers!

Monday, November 18, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11.18.19

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

Some new picture books and a middle grade about computing superstar, Katherine Johnson

Books about some DYNAMIC DUOS, perfect for kg-3rd grade readers!

My nonfiction picture book stack here

Picture Books

Five Minutes: (That's a Lot of Time) (No, It's Not) (Yes, It Is)
Five Minutes (That's a lot of time) (No, it's not) (Yes, it is)
written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick
illustrated by Olivier Tallec
The title really says it all.  The entire book is different scenarios that take five minutes, but depending on what it is is the perspective of how long it feels.
Waiting to be called back to the dentist... fast 5 minutes.
In the dentist chair... slow 5 minutes.
Kids will relate to this book!

Talia and the Very Yum Kippur
Talia and the Very YUM Kippur
written by Linda Elovitz Marshall
illustrated by Francesca Assirelli
Grateful my friend Kristen Picone told me about this one!  I do not have many books that celebrate the Jewish New Year, will be adding this one to my list.
Talia helps her grandmother prepare for a special feast but in her young mind, Yom Kippur becomes YUM Kippur and break-fast is breakfast.  Fun story!

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
written by Sy Montgomery
illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
A fun story about a very curious octopus.  Inky the octopus escaped from the National Aquarium in Wellington, New Zealand.  Inky had been brought there after being caught in a lobster trap by a fisherman.  Injured and young, he was kept at the aquarium but not for long!  Inky escaped through a small drain pipe in the floor that lead back into the ocean.  Making international news, Inky became a superstar!  

written by Adam Rex
illustrated by Claire Keane
If you've ever seen the Disney show "Phineas and Ferb", then you'll know the voice of Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  That's the voice I had in my head when I read this story.
A super villain (the Dr. D. voice) crashes into a mall, ready to cause havoc everywhere when a young toddler stops him with her questions of "why?"... he entertains these questions and the answers finally get him to the root of his problems.

What Is a Refugee?
What is a Refugee?
by Elise Gravel
I really like the explanation this book provides about refugees, what is a refugee, why would they need to leave, what their feelings are, and what it's like to assimilate into a new place.  At the end, Gravel includes statements from young refugees that will help young readers understand these are young people just like them.  There is also a list and short bio of "famous" refugees.
The only thing I'm not sure about are the illustrations.  Lots of white refugees and light brown skin color refugees.  Some of color, an even smaller number wearing hijab.  I'm not sure the illustrations are representative of all refugees, but I also don't want to make assumptions.  Just something I noted.

Middle Grade

The Real McCoys
The Real McCoys
by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr
If you have kids who love the hybrid style book like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this is a series you want for your library.  There are three books published so far and I'm hoping for more! 
The series is a mystery - Moxie is looking for a new partner for her detective agency since her best friend has moved away.  For the time being, she's trying to solve them on her own.  The first mystery is solving who took the beloved school mascot, Eddie the Owl.  She has a list of suspects and trying to figure out who positively took it is a tough case to crack.  Luckily her brother, Milton, is able to step in and help out.
I loved how the text and illustrations went together in this novel.

Currently Reading

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)
The Toll
by Neal Shusterman
I'm trying to savor this one and since I have zero time to read, the 1-2 chapters I read each night is definitely helping me read this slowly....

It's my busy time of the year!  NCTE and then we roll into the holidays and my daughter has the Paralympic Swimming Nationals.  I have a full week of posts for you this week and then I'll be in and out until 2020!  Hope you're finding more time than me to read!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesdays - what's in my nonfiction stack? 11.13.19

Wednesdays 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.

Books that have been in my nonfiction stacks:

A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein
A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation
written by Barry Wittenstein
illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Wow.  This is a powerful book.  Just when you think you've read about and understood MLK Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, you read this and learn even more.  Between the powerful words and the illustrations that make a statement, this is a book you're going to want to have for Civil Rights discussions and for teaching Civil Rights time period and about MLK.

Did You Burp?: How to Ask Questions...or Not!
Did You Burp?  How to ask questions...or not!
written by April Pulley Sayre
illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
No, it's not a book about burping, although bodily functions do make an appearance in this book!  It's all about questions - asking, answering, when to ask, when not to ask, how to ask, what they sound like, question words.... A great book to use when getting ready for inquiry or at the beginning of the school year!

Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda  Paul
Little Libraries, Big Heroes
written by Miranda Paul
illustrated by John Parra
I love the combination of Paul's voice and Parra's illustrations.  They join together for this beautiful story that honors and celebrates Little Free Libraries founder, Todd Bol.

Firefighters' Handbook by Meghan Mccarthy
Firefighters' Handbook
by Meghan McCarthy
This all-about book gives a lot of information about firefighters that kids may or may not know and asks the readers to think about do they have what it takes to be a firefighter.  Interactive - there are a couple of quizzes to take - and thought-provoking since it tells you many of the tests a person needs to take and do in order to become a firefighter.  

As always, happy nonfiction reading!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - Dynamic Duos! 11.07.19

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.

Today is a roundup of books featuring dynamic duos!  These books show friendship at its best - even when it's hard to be friends these duos show how to use cooperation and their words to accomplish anything!

Frank and Bean by Jamie Michalak
Frank and Bean
written by Jamie Michalak
illustrated by Bob Kolar
I'm really hoping this will be a series because there is so much in here that young readers will enjoy.  Friendship, music, and laughter prevail with these two unlikely friends.  Frank (the hot dog) likes is quiet, calm, and predictable.  Bean (the, uh, bean...) is loud, silly, and doesn't always understand social cues.  Frank is a writer, although he likes to keep his writing under wraps.  Bean is a musician who is looking for a song.  While the ending may be predictable, it's pretty funny how they get there!
This book is perfect for readers of the King and Kayla series.

Monkey & Robot by Peter Catalanotto
Monkey and Robot: Friends and Neighbors
by Peter Catalanotto
This is the third book in the series, but the first I've read!  I will definitely be checking out the other books.
It is a graphic novel that has episodic chapters.  (added to note that this is the first graphic novel format in the series, the other 2 books are early chapter books)  The stories reminded me a lot of Frog and Toad - 2 friends that have different personalities.  Each story has a simple problem and one of the friends helps solve it.  Lots of inferring opportunities in the stories.  Perfect for grades 2 and 3 readers!

The Great Louweezie by Erica S. Perl   Lost and Found by Erica S. Perl 

Happy Fell by Erica S. Perl   All the Fun Winter Things #4 by Erica S Perl
Arnold and Louise series
written by Erica S. Perl
illustrated by Chris Chatterton
This dynamic duo is also perfect for talking about character traits since they are pretty much the opposite of each other!  Arnold the bear and Louise the chipmunk are best friends even if they don't always see eye to eye.  Each book has about five chapters and comes in at just under 60 pages.  Each book has a problem that carries on throughout the entire book and often has the two characters at opposite ends of the problem.  But their friendship is stronger than their problem and they always find a way to work it out. 
Great for 1st-3rd grade readers.

Chick and Brain by Cece Bell
Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!
by Cece Bell
Another one that I hope will become a series.
This early graphic novel format chapter book is a silly story featuring the characters of Brain (character with super big feet, body, and a large brain for hair) and Chick (character that is... well, a chick).  Chick is a super polite character who expects all the characters to be super polite as well, nagging them until they are all super frustrated.  Brain, who readers will expect to be super smart, doesn't come off that way except Brain is the only character who can infer danger.  Another good one to use for inferring!

Warren & Dragon Volcano Deluxe by Ariel Bernstein   Warren & Dragon Scary Sleepover by Ariel Bernstein
Warren & Dragon series
written by Ariel Bernstein
illustrated by Mike Marlbrough
Here are books three and four in the series (they do not have to be read in any particular order).  Warren is a second grade boy and Dragon is his best friend (of the imaginary sort... he's actually a dragon stuffed animal).  Each book focuses on a real-life problem which makes this such an engaging series for young readers - they can see themselves within the pages of the book.
In Volcano Deluxe, Warren learns to put aside his wants and desires and do something nice for others.
In Scary Sleepover, Warren learns to not always listen to the crazy advice of his best friend, and to face his fears with the help of another friend.  He also figures out that using his voice and speaking up often is the best advice!
This transitional chapter book series is perfect for young readers who are looking for longer books with chapters but are still building stamina.  I recommend this series for mature kindergarten readers through third grade readers.

Hope you found some books for the readers in your life!  Maybe they can read... with  friend!