It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Much Needed Book Joy

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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: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

Well, it’s been quite a week.  Lots of emotion, lots of fear, lots of unknowns…  I found myself being drawn into the negative events on the news and became swept up by it all.

And so, this weekend I turned off the news and turned to books… A distraction? Perhaps. But reading these brand new picture books brought me pieces of joy, as they always do. And joy was what I needed this week.

(A big thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a box of joy!)

How to Be A Hero – Florence Parry Heide

What does it mean to be a hero?  Fame?  Cover of a magazine?   What does it take?  Bravery? Brains? Kissing a princess?   Gideon learns a good hero keeps their eyes open to the world.  Empowering, delightful and love the boy-centered fairy tale.

The Storybook Knight – Helen Docherty

“Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read.”

A charming story with the perfect message – violence is not the answer – books are!  With a gentle rhyme, we meet a Leo, the mouse, whose parents would rather him be swinging his sword rather than turning a page.  So Leo heads off to tame the  dangerous dragon… with a stack of books!   Love!

  The Wish Tree – Kyo Maclear

Sweet seasonal book with a tender message about believing in something when no one else seems to.  Poetic text and lovely illustrations.

Good Morning, City – Pat Kiernan

This book is written by Pat Kiernan, well-known morning anchor on NY1, New York City’s 24-hour news channel.  (Being from the west coast of Canada, I was not familiar with him, but apparently he was born in Calgary!)  It describes a city waking up and all the activities from early to mid-morning.  I really enjoyed the short, poetic descriptions combined with sound words. A great choice for visualizing and is now on my list of anchor books for when I teach onomatopoeia!  Beautiful illustrations with amazing use of light gradually brightening on each page. This is definitely one to check out!

Sleep Tight Farm – A Farm Prepares for Winter – Eugenie Doyle

Gentle, lyrical story about a farm getting ready for winter. Helps children understand this season of the year, and how the work of one season prepares for another. Stunning illustrations.  Lovely author’s note at the back.

Real Cowboys – Kate Hoefler

I love this gentle telling of the wonders of the west.  Soft poetic text and lovely illustrations.  I really liked the focus on positive personality traits: real cowboys cry; they are good listeners, willing to ask for help, patient and hard workers.  This book is quiet and moving with a subtle, but important lesson on empathy. 

Before Morning – Joyce Sidman

I adore everything Joyce Sidman writes… so was excited to see her new book about a family’s anticipation of a “snow day” following a snow storm.   This book is one you will need to pour over – with much of the story being told through the details in the illustrations – perfect for inferring!  I appreciated that Joyce Sidman includes an explanation of what an “invocation” poem is (poem that invites something to happen) inspiriting students to write their own!  Gorgeous “scratch-board” illustrations by Beth Krommes.

First Snow – Bomi Park

This book, translated from Korean, is quiet and charming, and captures the magic of snow and childhood wonder.  Simple, soft, and beautiful. 

Samson in the Snow – Philip C. Stead

Another gentle story of friendship from Philip Stead, this one about a woolly mammoth, a bird, a mouse and some dandelions.  Oh, how I love the quiet, gentle, kind and hopeful way he tells a story.  Gorgeous illustrations.

It Is Not Time for Sleeping ( A Bedtime Story) – Lisa Graff

Rhythmic, cumulative text describes a young child going through his nightly bedtime routines.  A perfect bedtime story – but also great for making connections in an early primary class.  Charming illustrations by Lauren Castillo. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Which books have caught your eye?

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6 Comments

Filed under 2016 releases, Family, Friendship, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, making connections, New Books, Winter Books

6 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Much Needed Book Joy

  1. I found this week that I had to unplug too – I was just getting too swept up in the anger and the frustration and the fear. Sometimes you just need to step back and take some time to process what’s going on before you can figure out how to move forward, and for those of us who live for books, reading can be just the break we need to refresh ourselves!

  2. lindabaie

    I too, stepped away. Last week filled me up with so many worries. I won’t stop watching for long because there is much I want to be aware of, but the break helped. Thanks for all these wonderful books. I have Before Morning, a wonder of a book, but the early ones you shared are all knew, and look terrific, too, like that Storybook Knight! And I’m really looking forward to Sleep Tight Farm! Have a good week, Adrienne!

    • Thanks, Linda. As a Canadian, the impact of the election is not as personal and troublesome. I was, however, watching in horror as it all unfolded and feel that we are ALL affected in some way. These books certainly helped me to focus on positive things for a while! Thinking of you.

  3. These picture books, so filled with love and acceptance are indeed the antidote. As I read through this list I thought of all the work teachers do to raise student consciousness. Teaching is indeed a subversive activity. I am content.

  4. So many of these look so fantastic. I was sick all weekend but I craved a bookstore visit to just surround myself in books. Instead I ordered a few online so that I now own all of the titles I plan to use for Mock Caldecott. I must get Before Morning. I own all of Joyce Sidman’s books and I have been waiting for this one!

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