Tag Archives: Barbara Reid

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Old and New Books About Snow!

Happy New Year everyone! I’m a little “off” this week – Tuesday felt like Monday… yesterday felt like Tuesday… in any event I’m a bit late for this post but better late than never, I say!

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Kelowna, we have had snow on the ground since the end of October!!! Winter is HERE and what better way to celebrate the snow than to share a few SNOW BOOKS??? There are SO many SNOW books to choose from by I have tried to narrow it down!

Here are my top 10 (okay – 19!) favorite books (some old, some new) about SNOW! I have grouped the books into a few categories: waiting for snow, celebrating snow, animals in snow, and visualizing snow. ENJOY!

GearTip – if you don’t have a hard copy of the book, check online for the YouTube read-alouds!


A Thing Called Snow – Yuval Zommer

With the support of each other and help from friends along the way, Fox and Hare embark on a wonder-filled journey to find snow. GORGEOUS illustrations! (I will be writing that comment a lot in this blog!!!)

Waiting for Snow – Marsha Diane Arnold

Adorable story time read-aloud about animals waiting for the first snowfall, some more impatiently than others. Giggle worthy in some parts but also gentle themes of being patient, waiting for the right time, as well as loving and supporting your friends while they wait.

Waiting for Winter – Sebastian Meschenmoser

Start off with the adorable fuzziness of a squirrel waiting for his first snowflake.. add a deer, a hedgehog, and a bear, mix in some humor, friendship, and wintry wonderfulness, and you get this magnificent picture book.

If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here– Simona Ciraolo

A summer-loving boy dreads the coming of winter but discovers that each season has specialness when you spend it with your family. Great anchor book for talking or writing about favorite seasons.

We Want Snow- A Wintery Chant – Jamie A. Swenson

Lively and fun rhyming text about kids who want the snow to fall so they can play in it. Readers will enjoy their snow chant and want to join in! Fun to see how the children change the chant at the end when they are tired of snow! I would use this book to inspire kids to write their own “Snow Chant”!

Only the Trees Know – Jane Whittingham

Another book about waiting for winter that was released this past fall. This is a beautifully illustrated book about the changes of the seasons and paying attention, seen from the viewpoint of an impatient young rabbit. The small rabbit spends his days pestering everyone he can, asking when winter will come. Finally his grandmother tells him to ask the trees. Lovely story.


Snow SongA.K. Riley

Lovely poetic celebration of snow told in a simple narrative as a young girl explores outdoors on a snow day. The book is full of descriptive words, metaphors and interesting verbs, making it a great anchor book for descriptive or poetic writing about snow. Playful illustrations.  

A Perfect Day – Carin Berger

A simple story but I’ve always loved the “feel” of this book! Its a celebration of winter as we join children making first tracks, gliding on skis, having snowball fights and building snowmen and forts. Gorgeous collage illustrations. A great book for talking about winter activities.

Perfect Snow – Barbara Reid

I have used this book SO many times for “making connections”. Barbara Reid PERFECTLY captures the excitement and anticipation of a snowfall on a school day! Signature plasticine illustrations are perfect, too!

A Sled for Gabo – Emma Otheguy

Snowy Day meets First Stop on Market Street! A young boy who is in a new town feels discouraged when he sees all the kids sledding in the snow and he doesn’t have a sled. But with the help of a loving community he discovers the joys of his first snowy day. Lovely story dealing with a tough topic.


Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story – Sean Taylor

In this gentle introduction to hibernation, we follow a child and his grandma through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for winter. Along the way, we spot the sleeping animals through lovely cut-away illustrations. Info about hibernation habits is included at the back. Would be a great one to pair with Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (next in this list!)

Over and Under the Snow – Kate Messner

This was the first book in Kate Messner’s “Over and Under” series and I remember how delighted my students and I were reading it for the first time and discovering the wonder and magic that lies beneath the wintery landscape.

Whose Tracks in the Snow? – Alexandra Milton

Really lovely illustrations, and the simple, rhyming text is perfect for Pre-K and K. I especially loved the actual-size tracks in the end papers.

Winter Dance – Marion Dane Bauer

All the animals fox knows do a variety of different activities to prepare for winter, from flying south to hibernating, but fox is unsure of what he should do. Beautiful, poetic text and GORGEOUS illustrations in this one! (See? I told you!)

Once Upon a Snowstorm – Richard Johnson

Absolutely gorgeous illustrations fill this heartfelt wordless picture book about a little boy who gets separated from his father during a snowstorm. With the help of the woodland animals, he finds his father again.


(and great anchor books for writing!)

After the Snowfall – Rich Lo

A quiet, gentle story that made me want to have a cup of hot chocolate!!! Beautiful illustration perfectly captures the wonder of nature and beauty of a forest after a snowstorm. Sparse text makes this a perfect book to practice visualizing! Don’t show the pictures right away – invite the students to sketch their “thinking pictures” that come to mind while they listen to the story.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow – Cathy Camper

Did you know that snow makes sounds? This is one of my FAVORITE books about snow (I feel like I’m saying that a LOT!!) with so many things to LOVE – it’s a counting book, an intergenerational story (grandmother and grandaughter), a diverse story (family is Lebanese), a great anchor book for teaching onomatopoeia (all the sound of snow when you step on it, throw it, shovel it. The quiet of snow is also a sound.) I developed one of my OLLI lessons connected to this book – you can download the free lesson HERE

Snow – Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Rylant is up there in my top 10 (maybe even my top 5??) picture book authors. This book is an ode to the beauty and magic of the many different kinds of snow: soft, fat, light and heavy. Intergenerational, gorgeous illustrations, lyrical descriptions, personification, sensory details – this book has it all! LOVE!

Winter Eyes – Douglas Florian

Twenty-eight original, whimsical, humorous, descriptive, quirky poems about winter by my favorite children’s poet. Every poetry technique and structure you could ever want. Mic drop.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found one or two new titles that caught your eye!

Coming up next week….. my top 10 new books for celebrating Lunar New Year!

Leave a comment

Filed under 2022 releases, New Books, Poetry, Seasons, Snow Books, Top 10 Tuesday, Winter Books

Top Ten Tuesday – Outdoor Learning Anchor Books – part 2


Last week, I posted my Ten for Ten book list featuring my top ten books for inspiring and supporting Outdoor Learning.  You can read that post HERE.  The response was overwhelming, as many teachers are looking for different ways to support their students this fall during Covid times.  I discovered so many amazing books connected to this, I decided to continue “the love” in a second post.

Here are ten more (I can’t count very well!) recommended books for inspiring and supporting your Outdoor Learning lessons, including indigenous stories and professional resources.


A Walk in the Forest – Maria Dek

I love being in the forest.  It fills my soul.  This book really makes me want to go into the forest, feel the forest dirt under my feet and the forest air in my lungs.  So simple, yet so evocative. A beautiful book.


Step Gently Out – Helen Frost

Step outside, take some time to be still and just watch the world. Get down low to the ground or close to some plants, and you’re sure to see tiny animals going about their business. This book beautifully captures the wonder we experience when we notice the beauty of nature.  A perfect read-aloud before taking a nature walk with your class.

The Golden Glow Benjamin Flow

This quiet, beautiful story, originally published in French, is about a botany-loving fox on a mission to find a rare golden glow flower. Along his trek, he passes through many trees, mountains, flowers and friends.  When he finally reaches the rare golden glow flower, he realizes that it needs to stay where it is.  Instead of picking it, he carefully draws it in his journal instead, so he can remember it.  Lots of great messages and topics to “infer” and discuss in this one!

A Bug Girl: A True Story – Sophia Spencer and Margaret McNamura

At a very young age, Sophia Spencer develops a deep passion for bugs.  Despite the bullying she receives, with the help of her mother, she finds “her people” –   hundreds of women scientists rallied around her through encouraging letters.  This is an inspiring true story celebrating women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself.

36205504. sx318

Picture a Sky Barbara Reid

In Barbara Reid signature clay illustrations, this book is a perfect anchor for transforming our understanding and thinking about the ever-changing sky.  Great for cloud watching, imagining, and art.

39876509. sx318

Tiny, Perfect Things -M. H. Clark

Such a beautiful book intended to help young readers become aware of the wonders around them every day.   A child and grandfather’s walk around the neighborhood leads to a day of shared wonder as they discover all sorts of tiny, perfect things together.   Rhythmic storytelling and detailed illustrations.


Just in Case You Want to Fly – Julie Fogliano

Let’s take a trip!  Delightful rhyming text and collage pictures depicting the important things to take with you on a trip.  Ends with a map with an “x” so readers can find their way home.  Lovely rhyming text.  I would use this for inspiring students to make their own map and list for things to take on their trip.


Please Take Me For A Walk – Susan Gal

A simple and endearing story of a 4 legged friend who just wants to go for a walk!  Read this like YOU are the dog begging and telling why you want to go on the walk.  Your students will love it!  Great for persuasive writing and story mapping.  

34002082. sx318

Windows Julia Denos

Lovely picture book of a child exploring his little world and many other worlds, all beautifully framed in a window.  Gentle celebration of neighborhoods, diversity, stories, imagination, and home.

35793024. sx318

The Things That I Love About Trees – Chris Butterworth

I love trees.  I love changing seasons.  This book has both.  I love this book. It’s a  simple look at trees throughout the seasons of one year.   Connection to The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.

A Walk on the Shoreline – Rebecca Hainnu

A follow up toA Walk on the Tundra, this book is full of interesting facts about the  Canadian Arctic, and in particular, the rich plants and animals the Inuit gather and hunt during the short Arctic summer months.  Both books would be excellent companion books for your study of Inuit culture, land, and traditions.  Recommended for older readers due to the longer text.

Lessons From Mother Earth – Elaine McCleod

Tess visits her grandmother and learns about the earth, how it has sustained her and her family, as well as how to pick just the right amount of berries and plants.  Lovely story celebrating nature and learning about how the indigenous people respect and care for the earth.

I Help – Caitlin Dale Nickolson

A young boy follows his grandmother, walking, listening, picking, praying, eating, just as she does.  Simple text full of rich cultural traditions and values of his Cree heritage.  Written in both English and Cree.  Beautiful large book with gorgeous illustrations.


Messy Maths: A Playful Outdoor Approach – Juliet Robertson

I have seem lots of mentions on this book on social media sites so it’s definitely one teachers are using.   The author’s first book, Dirty Teaching” (below) was first published in in 2014 and was extremely popular in the UK, where she is from.

Dirty Teaching – A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Outdoors – Juliet Robertson

This is a very helpful and practical resource for teachers just new to outdoor learning – full of tips and tricks “to help any primary school teacher kick-start or further develop their outdoor practice.”

27070579. sx318

The Big Book of Nature Activities:  A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning – Drew Monkman

An excellent holistic nature adventure and education book. Whether you are new to nature exploration, a teacher, a parent, a young person, or a seasoned explorer, this book has something for you. It hits on the basics and further with introductions and tips and tricks to general exploration and then the seasonal activities — which include information and considerations, so more than just go outside and play activities.

43634258. sx318

The Outdoor Classroom In Practice – Karen Constable

Inspiring, practical resource to help teachers make the most of the outdoors all year round.  Gorgeous colored photos and a month-to-month guide that explores theme-related play experiences.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have found one or two books that caught your eye!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the last weeks of summer!


Leave a comment

Filed under environment, Indigenous Stories, New Books, Outdoor Learning, Picture Book, Professional Books, Read-Aloud, Top 10 Tuesday, Writing Anchor book

It’s Monday- What Are You Reading? Spring into Third Term with New Books (part 2)

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

Last week, I posted Part 1 of my “Spring into Third Term” book collection and this week, I’m excited to continue with Part 2!  Lots of great books in this list – from global warming, to Earth day, to celebrating imagination and creativity… there is sure to be a book for you and your class here!

Sometimes You Fly – Katherine Applegate

“Remember then with every try, sometimes you fail. Sometimes you fly. What matters most is what you take from all you learn.”   And there lies the premise of this stunning new picture book by the amazing Katherine Applegate (One and Only Ivan, Crenshaw, Wishtree).  Whimsical illustrations and perfect examples of how learning from mistakes will lead to great accomplishments.  Would make a perfect gift for graduations, baby shower, first birthday.  LOVE this one!


I Love My Purse – Belle DeMont

A great book to start conversations with younger students about celebrating individual choices and moving beyond “boys” and “girls” stereotypes.  Charlie loves his purse and brings it to school one day.  Despite the objection of others, he remains steadfast in his “purse love” and eventually influences others to tap into what they love as well, be it make-up, shirts or sparkly shoes. Wonderfully illustrated by Sonja Wimmer.


What Matters – Alison Hughes

If you are looking for a new book for Earth Day... look no further!  (Think Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed but for the earth!)   A wonderful look at the ripple effect of how one small act – picking up garbage that isn’t yours – has repercussions to make the world cleaner and better.  I also think this book would be great for introducing the concept of  the inter-connectedness of ecosystems.

Harry and Walter – Kathy Stinson

Endearing inter-generational tale of a wonderful, unusual friendship between Harry, who is 4 3/4, and Walter, who is 92 1/2. They live next-door and do all kinds of things together –  ride their tractors, grow and eat tomatoes, and play croquet.  Then, Harry has to move. This is a heartwarming story of friendship and the importance of elders in our lives. Whimsical illustrations by Qin Leng.  This book actually came out last summer.  I love Kathy Stinson and can’t believe I missed this book!


My Wounded Island – Jacques Pasquet

This book, originally published in French, is a heartbreaking story of a northern island slowly disappearing into the sea and introduces the concept of “climate refugees” to young readers (and to me!)  Beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated.  Would make an excellent introduction to a unit on climate change or northern indigenous cultures.  I also like the use of metaphor:”the beast” in the story is actually global warming.


On Our Street – Our First Talk About Poverty Dr. Jillian Roberts

A gentle, honest book answering a series of questions about homelessness and different types of poverty.  I really liked the mix of real pictures and illustrations,  helping to make the information understandable and easy to relate to.  I also enjoyed the addition of quotes.  Not a book a child would necessarily pick up and read on their own, but definitely an excellent book to share and spark a class discussion.


When Sophie Thinks She Can’t... – Molly Bang

While I have used When Sophie Gets Angry- Really, Really Angry many times for making connections to managing feelings and emotions, this new “Sophie” book is the perfect anchor for introducing the concepts of “Fixed” and “Growth” mindsets to your students, as well as problem solving and perseverance.  Would also be a great Math read-aloud as  Sophie is frustrated with tangram puzzles.

Picture the Sky – Barbara Reid

The sky tells many stories: in the weather, in the clouds, in the stars, in the imagination. This book inspires us all to look up…. way up… and see and think about the sky in a different way.   A perfect anchor book for spring, for art and for sharing and writing stories of the sky.   I am a huge fan of Barbara Reid’s work and her brilliant Plasticine illustrations.   A perfect companion to her book Picture a Tree.

What If – Samantha Berger

WOW!  This is a stunning book about creativity, imagination, and believing in yourself.  Gorgeous mixed media illustrations.  Inspires, empowers and encourages the creative spirit in all of us.   Great end papers and notes from the author about how she was inspired to write this book.  LOVE this one!  (Release date is April 10th)


The Big Bed – Bunmi Laditan

Humorous picture book about a girl who doesn’t want to sleep in her little bed, so she comes up with a plan to get her dad out of her parent’s bed in order to move in herself.  This would make a great anchor book for problem solving and persuasive writing as the little girl identifies the issue, researches it, and creates a very persuasive presentation of possible solutions.  Any parent who has struggled with their kids’ sleeping arrangements will make LOTS of connections but wondered, at times, if parents would connect more than kids!


The Pomegranate Witch – Denise Doyen

I really enjoyed this eerie tale told with lovely, lyrical text with wonderful word play, reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.  Five children plan to storm the wall and steal some pomegranates from a tree guarded by a witch.  A great fall read-aloud and not-so-scary choice for leading up to Halloween.  Gorgeous illustrations by Eliza Wheeler.


Grains of Sand – Sibylle Delacroix

If grains of sand were seeds, what kinds of things would they grow into if you threw them in your garden? Ice cream? Pinwheels?    This is a short, sweet story of a boy and girl who bring sand home from the beach in their shoes, and then wonder what would happen if they planted it.  A perfect anchor book for inspiring “imagination pocket” writing!  Love the simple black and white images with splashes of blue and yellow.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope one or two titles caught your eye!




Filed under 2018 releases, Creating, Earth Day, environment, Friendship, Growth Mindset, Immagination, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Poverty

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? New Books for Back to School 2017

download (23)

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

Back to school means lots of new books for new lessons!  Here are a few of the great new titles I’ve been reading!

Imagine – John Lennon, Yoko Ono Lennon, Amnesty International illustrated by Jean Jullien

John Lennon’s iconic song has been transformed into a beautiful picture book and has been published in partnership with Amnesty International for the International Day of Peace on September 21st.   Like the song that inspired it, Imagine invites people to imagine a world at peace, a world of kindness.   As Yoko Ono says in her foreword, “Every small, good thing that we do can help change the world for the better.”   An Imagine website has been launched in nine countries and five languages. Visitors, including young children, can submit their own messages of peace, read those from around the world, and share messages of peace and hope on their social media programs.  Please consider inviting your students to participate.

Carson Crosses Canada

Carson Crosses Canada – Linda Bailey

Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey is a delightful book celebrating Canada! Annie and her dog Carson are on a road trip across Canada from BC to Newfoundland to visit Annie’s sister. Along the way, they stop and visit many amazing sites and see the unique landscape of each province. This book is lively and fun with simple text and bright, whimsical illustrations. I loved the map of her journey and the end papers! This would make a great anchor book to introduce a unit on Canada in your primary class or celebrate Canada 150!

Image result for picture the sky barbara reid

Picture the Sky – Barbara Reid

So excited to see this companion book to Picture a Tree.  In her classic colorful Plasticine style, Barbara Reid explores the stories of the sky – from the weather, to the stars,to the seasons, and to our imagination – in all its moods and colors.  The sky is all around us, but it is always changing.   This book is perfect for visualizing!

Kevin Henkes new

In the Middle of Fall – Kevin Henkes

This wonderful new book by Kevin Henkes will have your senses tingling!  The colors are vibrant and simplistic, it features adorable woodland creatures, and is everything you could want in a book about the changing seasons.  I also liked the fact that it focuses on mid-late fall, when all the changes have already happened.   Great anchor for writing as well – lots of triple scoop words and similes – “the apples are like ornaments”.   I love fall and I love this book!

Tweet bird

Nerdy Birdy Tweets – Aaron Reynolds

Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds Is an important book to read to students. Nerdy Birdy learns a valuable lesson about the impact of social media on friendship and the dangers of and posting things about someone else without their permission, Great anchor book to start the conversation about digital citizenship and being responsible and respectful when using social media.


Lovely Jess Hong

A celebration of diversity – in all its shapes and sizes!  Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly – we are all LOVELY!  Colorful, bold illustrations and simple text.  This is a great book to build classroom community!

Image result for hello harvest moon

Hello, Harvest Moon – Ralph Fletcher

If you are looking for an anchor book for descriptive, sensory language – look no further!  Ralph Fletcher’s new book (companion to Twilight Comes Twice) follows the moon as it rises and describes all the things it shines on.  Gorgeous illustrations and filled with rich, descriptive language and literary devices.  I would definitely use select pages from this book to do a “Found Poetry” lesson.  (Children highlight favorite words from the text, then use the words to write their own poem.  Additional words can be added.)

“With silent slippers
it climbs the night stairs,
lifting free of the treetops
to start working its magic,
staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow.”

There's nothing to do

There’s Nothing To Do!  – Dav Petty

Loved this third book in the Frog series!  (I Don’t Want to Be a Frog! and I Don’t Want to Be Big! are the first two).  This Frog cracks me up, and all three books will have kids laughing out loud.  This book features Frog dealing with boredom and, while his friends make lots of suggestions, turns out that sometimes nothing is the best thing to do! Sweet message and great voice.

Image result for why am I me

Why Am I Me? – Paige Britt

Wow!  LOVE this book.  The story follows two young children who are curious about why they look the way they do wand why other people look how they do.  It is a celebration of diversity and humanity, about love and compassion for one another, despite color of skin or our appearance.  I’m using it tomorrow with my grade 2’s and 3’s as we explore self identity.  Love the deep-thinking questions and the powerful message.

THinking Cap

Sarabella’s Thinking Cap – Judy Schachner

Loved this book for so many reasons.  One – the illustrations are GORGEOUS (I predict a Caldecott nomination!) Second – the story about a girl who has trouble focusing because she spends so much time in her “Imagination Pocket” – is one that many children will be able to connect to.  Third – the supportive teacher who helps her design her own “thinking cap” which helps transform her creative imagination into something visible.  A wonderful story celebrating daydreaming, imagination, and one great teacher!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lots of great books out there for you to share!  Hope you found one that you can share in your classroom!  Happy reading, everyone!






Filed under 2017 releases, Canada, Connect, Diversity, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Picture Book, Read-Aloud, Writing Strategies

Top 10 Tuesday – Ten Favorite Snowy Titles

top 10

Here in Vancouver, the winter season brings mostly rain.  So when the snow does fall, as it did this morning, there is great excitement at school.  These are the opportunities to “cash in” on the winter excitement by reading and writing about SNOW!

Here are my top 10 books (some old, some new) to inspire snow writing, snow art and lots of snow connections.

1. Snow – Sam Usher

Delightful addition to your winter collection with an added bonus of grandfather-grandson relationship, toys that come to life and an unexpected ending.

2. Perfect Snow – Barbara Reid

This is the BEST connection book about a snowfall in a school yard and two boys’ plan to build a snow fort at recess.  Amazing signature Plasticine artwork by Barbara Reid.

3. Snow – Cynthia Rylant

I use this book to inspire writing and as an anchor to teach similes and personification.   It is filled with gorgeous language, gorgeous illustrations and I love Cynthia Rylant.

4. Over and Under the Snow – Kate Messner

Amazing link to science and winter habitats, this book looks at life under and over the frozen ground.  Great inspiration for an art lesson too!

5. Stella, Queen of the Snow – Marie Louise Gay

Oh, how I love Stella books!  Sam asks questions about the snow; Stella gives delightful answers.

6. The Snow Angel – Angela Mcallister

A snow angel comes to life.  Lovely story with a little excitement and mystery.

7. The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats

No list of snow books would be complete without this classic tale.

8. A Perfect Day – Carin Berger

A charming, delicate, happy book. The illustrations are detailed and precious. Lots of connections and a great inspiration for art.

9. Once Upon a Northern Night – Jean E. Pendziwol

Gentle, lyrical poem about the wonder and beauty of a northern winter night.  Soft snow, twinkling stars, frost etched on a window pane.  Gorgeous.

10. Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost

One of my favorite winter read-alouds.  Calm. Peaceful.  Perfect for visualizing.

10. The Snow Speaks – Nancy White Carlstrom

Gorgeous poetic language describes the magic of a first snowfall.  This is one of my favorite anchors for descriptive writing.

So there you have it!  (Yes, I cheated again!  There are actually 11 books listed! )

What’s your favorite snow or winter book to share?


Filed under Top 10 Tuesday, Winter Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – Conference discoveries


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.

I just returned from an amazing few days in Toronto at the 38th annual Reading For the Love of It conference.  This is one of the biggest reading conferences in Canada – equivalent to the IRA in the US.  Between 3,500 – 4,000 people attend this conference.  I was very fortunate to be invited to present two sessions,  (more about that in a later blog!) along with a spectacular line up of authors and speakers.  There was a VERY large publishers display with an impressive number of vendors from local bookstores selling large collections of picture books and novels.  So of course I used this as an opportunity to discover some new titles!

Perfect Snow

Perfect Snow – Barbara Reid

Barbara Reid was presenting at the conference and I was fortunate enough to hear a portion of one of her fantastic sessions.  I also lined up (yes, I’m a groupie!) and had my books signed!   I have a large collection of her books at home (The Party is one of my special “Connect” books!)  but had never seen this title, published in 2009.  In her trademark vibrant Plasticine style, Barbara Reid captures the joy and excitement of two boys planning and playing in the snow in the school yard at recess.   A perfect book for making connections!  (I’m planning to read it tomorrow at school as we are experiencing an unusual snow fall in Vancouver today!)


Thrilled to have Barbara Reid sign my book!

The Stamp Collector

The Stamp Collector – Jennifer Lauthier

This book, published in 2012, was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and a recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. WOW – this book is AMAZING!     It is based on a true story story of a young boy from China who is a stamp collector and another boy who is a writer.  The stamp collector grows up and becomes a prison guard;  the writer grows up and, like many writers all over the world, is imprisoned for something he wrote.  And thus, the two mens’  lives become connected.  The story is powerful and moving.  I stood reading it at the Fitzhenry and Whiteside booth at the publishing display and fought back tears!  The illustrations by Francois Thisdale are remarkable.  This is definitely a book for older students and excellent for practicing questioning and inferring.

Letter Lunch

Letter Lunch – Elisa Gutierrez  (OWL publishing)

This book is brand new and I had a chance to read it at the conference.  At first, it seems like a simple story but after a more careful look, you realize how clever it is!  A hungry brother and sister are searching for something to eat.  They begin an adventure of “letter searching” – as the two search for letters for lunch!  Innovative and creative – kids will love finding letters in everyday places.  An alphabet book plus a whole lot more!


Numeralia – Jorge Lujan

Now let’s move from a unique alphabet book to a unique counting book!  From 0-10, this book illustrates clever and unique examples of numbers.  I liked how sometimes the numbers were hidden within the picture and other times represented by the number, some much more obvious than others.  I think children will enjoy trying to “infer” the “connections”!  My thinking was definitely stretched by this book!  The illustrations are quirky and enchanting! What Happens When...

What Happens When…Delphine Chadru

Another charming and clever book that stretches thinking and invites inferences!  What Happens When…invites the reader to think about all those everyday objects that disappear – the balloon that floats away, the sock that gets lost in the dryer, our shadow when the sun goes down.   After each question is posed, the page opens up to reveal a wordless,  imaginative possibility of what may have happened to the object.  I could see this being a book that students become very engaged in, as well as promotes them to think of their own object that often goes missing and imagine the possibilities of what happens to it.

Mommy, Am I Pretty? – Margot L. Denomme

This book has an important message about self esteem and inner beauty and I believe is a MUST read for every parent (especially parents of girls) and teacher!  The important message about true beauty being found from within is one that can be shared in every classroom and in every home.  I loved the simplicity of the text and the delightful child-like water color illustrations.  A very powerful book!

Secrets in the Fire

Secrets in the Fire – Henning Mankell

The grade 7 teacher at my school read this book aloud to his class and told me how powerful a book it was and how many rich discussions came from it.  “Adrienne – you have got to read this book!”   I am very glad he recommended it to me.  This book, written by Swedish writer Henning Mankell,  is based on the story of real-life land mine victim Sofia Alface.  The story tells of this heroic young girl who survives a civil war in her country of Mozambique after the murder of almost everyone in her village.  It would make an excellent selection for a literature circle selection for grades 6 and 7 and the book has apparently been adapted for film.

Thank you for reading my blog!  What books have you been reading this week?


Filed under Connect, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Picture Book