It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers
This week, I’m featuring a collection of recently released picture books and novels! Hope you find a few titles that you will be able to use in your classroom!
Monday, Wednesday and Every Other Weekend – Karen Stanton
So many students I teach come from divorced families and share their time between parents. While some may view this as challenging, the positive and realistic viewpoint portrayed in this book allow the reader to understand the many different emotions that are a part of living in two places. I loved the detailed acrylic artwork and the gentle tone of the text. A great Connect book for children experiencing a similar situation and a great book for discussing families and feelings.
Sophie Sleeps Over – Marisabina Russo
Sophie is excited to be going to her first sleep-over at her “best friend’s” house. But after carefully deciding what to bring and packing many treasures and goodies, she arrives at her friends’ house only to discover she is not the only “best friend” who was invited to sleep over. This book is charming and deals with the ever so sensitive best friend dilemma in a light-hearted and realistic way.
A Gift For Mama – Linda Raven Lodding
Oskar is looking for the perfect gift for his mother’s birthday. He takes to the bustling steeets of Vienna to search for possible gifts and begins to trade one gift for another and another. This is a wonderful story and I enjoyed the circular structure of ending where it began. The illustrations by Alison Jay (The Cloud Spinner) are wonderful. (How does she make that crackle texture?) A simple, heartwarming story about kindness and what really is the most precious gift.
Following Papa’s Song – Gianna Marino
I LOVED this book! The vibrant illustrations are amazing and I loved how the fictional story weaves in many scientific facts about whales and migration. Little Blue has many questions for Papa as their pod of whales prepares for migration – How will they know the way? Will he be able to keep up? What will they see along the way? Papa answers all the questions, but Little Blue’s curiosity leads him away from the group on his own exploration and eventually loses Papa. Whale calling reunites the two. A wonderful book filled with interesting whale facts and stunning illustrations.
Big Bug – Henry Cole
This concept book introduces younger readers to the idea of scale and comparison. The book begins with a beautiful close up of a ladybug and then zooms out from bug, to flower, to a cow and eventually ends at the expansive sky, then zooms back in from the sky to a tree, a house to a window and finally ends with a dog. Each page compares the previous size to the next. Very few words but vibrant and colorful illustrations.
The Green Line – Patty Farquharson
This book is so clever and original! In it, you follow a child’s path on a walk through the park by putting your finger on the line and tracing the path – across a street, down hills, splashing through puddles, and rolling down a hill. The photographs are amazing and combine with the doodle line that the child is making. I LOVED this book and am excited to have my students make their own “line” walk. I also like that there is an underlying theme about noticing wonders around you.
Nine Words Max – Dan Bar – al
This book is quirky, funny and a tribute to words! I loved it! Max is a Prince who loves to talk – and talk and talk! His brothers, on the other hand, are of the “less is more” mindset when it comes to words. When the King and Queen go away on a trip, they leave the brothers in charge of Max. They cast a spell on him, which permits him to speak using only nine words at a time. But when a dignitary arrives, the brothers come to realize the importance of Max’s words. This book is a clever satire on the impending loss of language that occurs when social media limits communication to characters 140 characters or less!
Millhouse – Natale Ghent
A wonderful book for reading aloud to a grade 3-5 class! Millhouse is a charming hairless guinea pig who loves everything to do with the theater, especially Shakespeare. When his actor owner dies, he is left in a pet store, surrounded by a cast of animal characters – some nice and some not so nice. (Think Charlotte’s Web’s barn animals only in a pet store!) Millhouse is ridiculed by the other pets and is made an outcast in the pet store (actually it was VERY sad!) but through a series of events (fortunate and unfortunate) he eventually finds happiness. I found this book to be quite emotional in parts as the pets were very cruel to Milly and I think would lead to some great class discussions. Great illustrations!
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire – Polly Horvath
LOL! This chapter book was hilarious! Wacky and weird and so much fun to read! Madeline’s hippy, self-absorbed parents have been kidnapped by the foxes. Madeleine, on a search to find the, hires Mr. and Mrs. Bunny to help her. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny drive a Smart Car and wear Fedoras and the cast of other characters are equally as quirky! Filled with adventure, mystery and humor – I know that my students will love this as a read-aloud
The ACB with Honora Lee – Kate De Goldi
SOOO many things to LOVE about this book! A young girl, Perry, whose parents seem too busy to really spend any time with her, develops a beautiful relationship with her gran, Honora Lee. during her weekly visits to the Senior’s home where she lives. Honora suffers from some form of dementia and has an unusually keen interest in the alphabet. During her weekly visits, Perry decides to make an alphabet book. She and her grandmother begin to make it together, but soon, everyone in the home becomes interested and wants to contribute. The writing is beautiful – simple and easy to read yet leaves spaces for our thinking. This story touched my heart in many ways – I made connections to my own grandmother. I loved the relationship between Perry and her gran and how, despite her gran’s memory loss, they formed such a strong connection through the stories they shared while making the alphabet book. A truly touching book.
Thanks for stopping by this week! Please leave a comment and let me know which books caught your eye!