Tag Archives: Doreen Cronin

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – Picture Books to Celebrate Spring!

IMWAYR

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 spring break and time so I have had some extra time to READ!   I love the start of a new season and spring books are a chance to celebrate the sights, sounds and smells of outdoors, colors, flowers, gardens, bugs and animals. These books are wonderful anchors for lessons to inspire writing, art, science activities and wonder walks!  Below is a list (yes, it’s quite long!) of fiction and nonfiction books celebrating spring, including  many wonderful new titles and some of my old favorites!   I have listed the books from most recent (2016) to oldest (1949!!!)   While some may be out of print, check your local or school library for the older titles.

When Spring Comes – Kevin Henkes (2016)

Kevin Henkes brand new book is a sweet, gentle ode to spring that focuses on both nature and a child’s activities.  The writing is filled with amazing images to help the reader feel, smell see and hear spring, making it a perfect book for visualizing.  I also appreciate gentle repetition and alliteration makes it a great anchor book for writing techniques.  Gorgeous illustrations!  Love this one!

Abracadabra, It’s Spring! – Anne Sibley O’Brien (2016)

Another 2016 release, this book includes many examples of the signs of spring hidden under large flaps perfect for story time with younger primary students.  Vibrant, colorful illustrations!

Hop – Jorey Hurley (2016)

A follow-up to the beautiful book Nest, this book follows a similar pattern of using only one verb per double page spread tells the story of the day in the life of a rabbit family.  Soft Spring-colored illustrations help to tell the story.

Puddle – Hyewon Yum (2016)

This wonderful book will inspire your next Art lesson!  A young boy is frustrated because the rainy day is preventing him from going out and having fun.  That is, until his mom encourages him to draw a picture of himself jumping in a big puddle.  Eventually, they venture out to experience the puddle jumping together.  Imaginative, simple and fun!

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Crinkle, Crackle, CRACK! It’s Spring! – Marion Dane Bauer  (2015)

This book came out last year, but I only just discovered it!  This book explores the SIGHTS and SOUNDS of Spring as a boy, a  bear, and other woodland animals take a night time walk to investigate strange noises and observe the arrival of spring.   I enjoyed the repeating phrases and liked how it mentions the not-so-nice parts of spring  (mud, slush, etc) as well as the beautiful part of spring –  animals waking up, birds hatching and flowers blooming.

Flowers Are Calling – Rita Gray  (2015)

An introduction to flowers, animals, and the ways flowers attract pollinators.   Stunning illustrations and great information about nature’s interconnections. Interesting to read and gorgeous to look at.

Finding Spring – Carin Berger (2014)

 Multidimensional and magical!  This is a gentle story filled with information and visual clues exploring the change of seasons.  You will LOVE the warm, joyful art in this charming book!

 

Spring Is Here – Heidi Pross Grey (2013)

I Love how this wonderful book about the spring  ties family activities and nature together.  Gentle text, soft illustrations.  This is a book I use as an anchor for inspiring spring writing! 

And Then It’s Spring – Julie Fogliano (2012)

This book makes my heart smile.  Simple, sparse text, gorgeous, expressive illustrations.  A boy and his dog. tired of the brown of winter,  plant seeds and patiently wait for them to grow.   “Please do not stomp here. There are seeds and they are trying.”   This is one of my favorites.

Sorting Through Spring – Lizann Flatt (2013)

Nature comes to life to help children grasp “big ideas” in Math in this clever series.  In this book the concepts of patterning, sorting, and probability are explored.  This series of four books about Math concepts in seasons is perfect for the early primary students.  Other books include Counting On Fall, Sizing Up Winter, and Shaping Up Summer.

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Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms – Julie Rawlinson (2009)

Although not as charming for me as Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, I still am fond of this dear little fox who is, once again, confused by seasonal changes. In this story, he thinks that falling tree blossoms are snow and tries to get the animals to go back to their wintertime activities.  Cute read-aloud and colorful illustrations.

A New Beginning:  Celebrating the Spring Equinox – Wendy Pfeffer (2008)

A reprint soft cover edition of the classic book which can be paired with The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice.   This informative nonfiction book is filled with information describing seasonal changes.  I like the section that highlights the many cultural celebrations and festivals that welcome and honour springtime.

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Who Likes Rain? – Wong Herbert Yee  (2007)

Rain is a big part of springtime in Vancouver so this is a perfect “connect” book for my students!  Rich with rhymes and repetition of sounds, this story is about a young girl exploring the sights and sounds of rain.  This is the first in a four book series about the seasons.  Delightful illustrations!

HandSPRINGS – Douglas Florian (2006)

Douglas Florian is my favorite children’s poet.  His clever wit, playful way with words, and whimsical illustrations make his poetry books favorite read-alouds in my class.   This is one in a series of four poetry books about the seasons.

Spring’s Sprung -Lynn Plourde (2002)

In this 4 book series, which also includes Wild Child (autumn), Summer’s Vacation, and Winter Waits, Lynn Plourde uses personification to tell the story of each season.  In this book. Mother Earth rouses her three daughters, March, April and May.  They are so busy arguing with each other that they forget their job is to make the world beautiful.  Gorgeous illustrations and lovely rhyming text!

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Poppleton in Spring – Cynthia Rylant  (1999)

I adore Cynthia Rylant and hold a special place in my heart for the Poppleton early reader series.   have such fond memories of reading them to my boys when they were young and have read them over the years to many primary classes.  This is a level three beginning reader that includes three delightful stories with simple-to-follow plot lines all about Poppleton the pig and his friends, Cherry Sue the Llama and Hudson, the mouse.  In this book there is a story about spring cleaning, buying a new bike and, my favorite – sleeping in the backyard in a tent and “paying attention” to Spring.   If you have not read any of the Poppleton books, you are MISSING OUT!

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The Happy Day – Ruth Krauss  (1949)

Woodland animals awake from their deep winter’s sleep to discover the first sign of spring’a flower blooming in the snow.  This timeless book was first published in 1949 and was a Caldecott honour book in 1950.  The illustrations in this book always makes me smile.

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

What is your favorite book to celebrate the coming of spring?

 

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Filed under 2016 releases, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Seasons, Springtime

It’s Monday! What Are Your Reading? New Books for Spring!

IMWAYR

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.

Is it really March?  Well, the blossoms are blooming and so are the new books!  In the midst of report card writing, I have been taking breaks to read some amazing new books.  So here are some of the latest releases that have taken my breath away, made me laugh, cry, smile and sigh…

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If You Plant A Seed – Kadir Nelson

If you plant a carrot, a carrot will grow; if you plant a seed, a flower will grow. But if you plant kindness – what happens? If you plant selfishness – what happens? Thank you to Leslie Buffam at Vancouver Kidsbooks for introducing me to this new book by acclaimed author Kadir Nelson.  This book has simple, sparse text, breathtaking illustrations and a gentle message (with a splash of humour) about ways we can all make kindness grow. Excellent introduction to the concepts of “selfish” and “generous” and a perfect spring read-aloud for your primary class.

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The Queen’s Shadow: A Story of How Animals See – Cybele Young

I’m sort of at a loss for words when it comes to this oh-so-clever book by Canadian writer/illustrator Cybele Young (Ten Birds).  It is part nonfiction, part “who-done-it” mystery, part imaginary and a whole lot of WOW!  During the Queen’s Ball, attended by animals, a major crime occurs – the Queen’s shadow is stolen!  The Royal Detective, the Mantis Shrimp, begins interrogating all the animals in the hopes of finding the guilty party.  Each creature provides the detective with their version of the scene of the crime based on their own unique eyesight.  Sidebars provide factual information about how the eyesight of each animal works.  As each animal gives their testimony, more clues are revealed.  There is SO much to love about this book – you really have to experience it for yourself to appreciate just how amazing it is!  The exquisite illustrations are detailed and textured.  Sophisticated humour, engaging story and layers upon layers of unique story-telling. This is a smorgasbord for your eyes, an extravaganza for the mind and the most unique book I have seen in a long time. LOVE!

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Smick! – Doreen Cronin

Smile.  Author of the Click! Clack! books has created a delightful character Smick – a loveable dog who loves catching sticks and befriends a little chick!  Simple, rhyming text and bright simple illustrations.  Lots of repetition and rhyme and clever word combining (as in “stick” + “chick” = SMICK!)  would make this a great read-aloud and wonderful anchor for teaching rhyming words.

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 Sidewalk Flowers – JoArno Lawson

Sigh.  This moving, wordless picture book teaches us to notice the beauty around you and the impact of small acts of kindness.  A young girl walks through the park with her dad.  He is not paying attention because he’s on his cell phone; she notices the wildflowers and begins picking them and giving them away.  Stunning black and white illustrations that slowly introduce color as the story unfolds.  This book is tender, gentle, poignant, beautiful, transforming. 

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                                                                                   A Boy and a Jaguar – Alan Rabinowitz
This book came out last year and I can’t believe it took me so long to read it! WOW – so many things to love about this book. It tells the true story of young Alan, who struggles with a stutter. The only place he finds comfort is at the zoo, where he discovers that his stutter disappears when he talks to the animals.  “Animals can’t get words out, just as I can’t get he words out. So people ignore or misunderstand or hurt them, the same way people ignore or misunderstand or hurt me. I make a promise to my pets. I promise that if I can ever find my voice, I will be their voice and keep them from harm.”    Alan keeps his promise and grows up to become one of the world’s premier protectors of wild jaguars. Powerful, inspiring, gorgeous illustrations – this book is a gem!

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                                                                                         Blue on Blue – Dianne White
Beautiful folk art illustrations and simple, lyrical rhyming text – this is a perfect book for sharing out loud. The story takes you through a family’s experience on a farm during an unexpected rainstorm. I would definitely use this book for visualizing and sequencing a sudden storm. Beautiful detailed illustrations by Caldecott winner Beth Crommes (The House in the Night, Swirl by Swirl) would also inspire great storm art! 22747806

                                                                                                    Home – Carson Ellis

What is home? Is it a place? A space? A sanctuary? A sense of belonging? In this debut picture book, author/illustrator Carson Ellis gives readers a “transforming” perception of “home”. I loved the folk-art illustrations and the way she presents both real and non-traditional homes such as sea homes and hollow-tree homes. Simple, engaging text and a wonderful book to inspire students to create their own imaginary “homes”. Whimsical, imaginative and a loving look at the many places we call home. Love this book!

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                                                                                        All Four Stars – Tara Dairman
Attention foodies and fans of cooking shows! In this charming novel we meet 11 yr. old Gladys Gatsby who lives with a fast food, mircro-waving family. She, on the other hand, loves to cook! But when a Crème Brule disaster (small kitchen fire!) causes her to be banned from the kitchen, she ends up entering a writing contest at school. She writes about food, of course, and ends up being offered a job as a food critic! (They don’t know she is a kid!) This would make a fun read-aloud. I loved Gladys – she is an adorable character that you will be cheering for. Warning – don’t read this book when you are hungry! The food descriptions are mouth-watering!

Thanks for stopping by!  Which book caught your eye?  Write me a message to let me know!

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – New Books for Summer Reading!

IMWAYR

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

Well, summer is officially here and I’m enjoying the slower pace of life!  Time to relax, get to my very long “to do” list and enjoy reading lots of books!  After a recent visit to my favorite local book store, and a delivery of a few ARC’s – I’m happy to share some of the new books I have been enjoying!

 Kicking a Ball – Allan Ahlberg

With the excitement of the Fifa World Cup – this book caught my attention!  I am also a fan of Allan Ahlberg (The Jolly Postman;  Each Peach, Pear, Plum).  This wonderful rhyming story is about the simple joy felt by a boy kicking a soccer ball.  ‘Not eating an ice-cream Or riding a bike No – kicking a ball Is what I like!”  Sebastien Braun’s illustrations are delightful!  I think this would be a perfect anchor book to read aloud to a young primary class and certainly one that many will make connections to!

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My Pet Book – Peter Staake

Last summer, Peter Staake’s moving wordless picture book Bluebird was getting a lot of attention for its powerful depiction of loneliness, bullying, and the importance of friendship.  In his latest book, Staake takes a lighter approach in a heart-warming story of a young boy who choses a red book to be his perfect pet!  (He does not care for cats or dogs!)  I LOVE the idea that a book can be a pet!  The book is told in clever rhyme and is a joy to read aloud. I am already visualizing my class in September dragging around their favorite “pet book” by a leash around the classroom!  

Nancy Knows – Cybele Young

I so enjoyed Canadian writer and illustrator Cybele Young‘s Ten Birds (which won the Governor General’s award) and her follow up Ten Birds Meet a Monster, so was excited to see her new book Nancy Knows. Wow!  This book is a whimsical feast for the eyes!  It is the charming story of an elephant who remember lots of things, except the very thing she is trying to remember. Each captivating spread features fantastic miniature paper sculptures – it’s an extraordinary work of art as well as a delightful story of a young elephant.

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Julia, Child – Kyo Maclear

This fictional story by another Canadian author is apparently loosely inspired by the life and spirit of the real Julia Child.  It tells the story of two best friends – Julia and Simca who take cooking classes.  They begin to discover that the adult world is mundane and colorless and so decide they never want to grow up.  They begin to create recipes for “growing young” – not in a physical way but spiritually – a joie de vivre!   This book is a celebration of youth and being young at heart no matter what your age is.  Julie Morstad’s (How To, When I Was Small)  delightful illustrations are a perfect match for this book.  I’m not sure if it’s a book aimed at adults or children but it’s certainly worth a look!

The Memory Tree – Britta Teckentrup

Get your Kleenex ready as this book made me tear up a few times.  When fox is dies, his friends gather to share stories and special memories they each shared with fox.  As they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, sheltering and protecting the animals like Fox.  This book is gentle and comforting and would be a wonderful book to share with any child who may be experiencing the grief of loss.  Beautiful and touching.

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The Eagle and the Wren – Jane Goodall

As soon as I saw animal activist Jane Goodall’s name on this book I knew it would be great!  This story is based on one of her favorite childhood fables.  All the birds are arguing over who can fly the highest so owl devises a contest to see just who can.   Eagle wins the contest, flying higher than any other bird, but as it turns out, wren was hiding and riding along in Eagle’s feathers.  He begins his flight where eagle stops and soars even higher.  So who won the contest?   I can see how this book could be used to stimulate many questions and great discussions.  I love how Jane Goodall writes in a non-condescending way and is able to weave bird facts into the story.  I also loved the importance of working together to help each other achieve great things.  The illustrations are amazing!  This is definitely one I look forward to sharing with my class this fall.

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Boom, Snot and Twitty – Doreen Cronin

Besides the catchy title, I so love Renata Liwska’s illustrations (The Quiet Book) that I was immediately drawn to this book.  It is the story of three friends – Boom the Bear, Snot the Snail and Twitty the bird, each of whom look at the world differently. Boom wants adventure, Twitty likes things “as is” and Snot prefers to see if there will be better options. When a storm arrives, each deals with it in a slightly different way and eventually they collaborate to deal with it together.   I enjoyed this book and the charming illustrations, but for some reason (perhaps from the lively title?)  I had expected something a little more lively and humorous.  Instead, it was simple and soft but fell a little flat.  With “snot” in the title – I expected to laugh more!  I did like the theme of respecting each others’ differences and collaboration.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

The Museum of Extraordinary Things – Alice Hoffman

This summer, my book club summer is reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.  We all enjoyed her previous book The Dove Keepers and so far, I am enjoying this one even better.  It is a love story that takes place in New York City in the early 1900’s.  It is the story of Coralie, the daughter of a sinister museum curator who collects and exhibits “freaks” in his Coney Island side show.  Coralie is an exceptional swimmer and when she turns 13, her father creates an exhibit for her as the “Human Mermaid”, making her stay underwater in a life-size tank for hours at a time.  The book flips between her story and the story of a rugged photographer named Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father.  These two have only just met, but I’m anticipating their lives to become intertwined as the story continues.   So far, I am completely drawn into this story – the writing is excellent and I’ve made many T-T connections to The Night Circus and Water For Elephants.  A captivating story so far!

Well – that’s it for now!  Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to know which book has caught your eye!

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