Tag Archives: Dr. Seuss

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Celebrate Earth Day With Great Books!

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

The week leading up to Earth Day is a great opportunity to share a range of wonderful picture books to help start conversations about the importance of doing our part to care for the earth.   While there are dozens to choose from, I have tried to highlight some old classics, new releases, and inspiring true stories.

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet – April Pulley Sayre

WOW!  This amazing new  book is filled with stunning photography and lyrical rhythmic text – perfect for reading aloud.  A “Thank you” letter to the earth, celebrating all of the wonderful creatures of natural wonders.  The end notes provide suggestions for ways we can help the environment.  I also appreciated the detailed notes about the photographs – which are truly breath-taking.  Great anchor to inspire “Thank you, Earth” writing and poetry.

Giving Thanks Jonathon London

I love this book and have previously shared it at Thanksgiving.  On a walk through the forest, a young boy learns from his father how to show gratitude for all the beauty he sees.   His father thanks the earth, sky, frogs, crickets, hawk and deer, the trees and the mushrooms.  The boy feels embarrassed by his father’s ritual of thanking everything he sees, but after trying it himself, realizes the power of gratitude.  Gorgeous fall painting illustrations by Gregory Manchess.

Our Big Home: An Earth Poem Linda Glaser

Beautiful and inspiring.  Not only could you use this book for Earth Day but also for acceptance and inclusion – no matter who you are, what race or culture you come from – we all share this world and are responsible for its care.  This book is filled with joy and a sense of wonder at this “home” all humans share.

 

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World – Melanie Walsh

I think that one challenge of teaching about Earth Day is helping kids know practical ways they can take care of the earth, besides doing garbage duty at school.  This book gives young readers clear examples of how they can help.  From turning off the water while brushing their teeth, to using both sides of the paper while drawing, kids will enjoy learning simple ways they can care for the environment.   I love the large size of this book, making it great for sharing.  It’s visually appealing and cleverly designed with flaps and includes clear, simple language.

My Green Day Melanie Walsh

A companion to 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World, this book outlines through picture, simple sentences and colourful illustrations how we can all try to be more environmentally friendly in our every day activities.   Hidden pictures, flaps to lift and holes makes this a fun book for sharing and reading.

The Earth Book – Todd Parr

With simple language and his colorful signature illustrations, Todd Parr describes to young readers how they can do their part to help the environment.  Great concrete examples showing how we can all do our part to make a difference.  Use to inspire younger students create their own “Todd Parr” style Earth Day poster!

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What Does It Mean to Be Green?  – Rana DiOrio

A young boy and girl explore all the different ways they can be Green over the course of a day. They discover lots of amazing facts (like our food travels an average of 1,500 miles to be on our plate!)  I like how DiOrio takes the buzzword “green” and explains it clearly to children, giving them lots of ideas for being “green” themselves.

What Matters – Alison Hughes

Great new book for Earth Day!  This is 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. (Think Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed but for the earth!) I also think this book would be great for introducing the concept of the inter-connectedness of ecosystems.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Liam is a curious boy living in a drab, gray city. One day, he finds a few dying plants growing through an old railroad track.  Liam waters and prunes the plants until they grow into a lush garden that overtakes the entire city.  By the end of the book, greenery covers the rooftops and pops up in the most unexpected places.  I LOVE this magical story and notice something new every time I read it.  If you haven’t shared this with your class yet – it’s a MUST read!

The Lorax – Dr. Seuss

“UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not!”

Way back in the 1960’s, long before “going green” was a mainstream concept, Dr. Seuss introduced young readers to the impacts of clear-cutting on the environment.  Written and illustrated in classic Dr. Seuss style, but this book focuses on more serious themes of consumerism, economics, deforestation, and the environment.  A great choice for older students that will stimulate some great discussions about environmental conservation.

The Wartville Wizard – Don Madden

This book was published in 1986 but it’s message will never be outdated.  A cranky old man who spends his days cleaning up the litter left by his fellow townspeople. One day he receives “the power over trash,” which gives him the ability to send the garbage right back where it came from! When the townspeople find their garbage stuck to them, they learn a valuable lesson. Great pictures, great story!  This book is lengthy so would make a great read-aloud for older students.  (Warning – references to cigar butts and beer cans.)

 

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever –  H. Joseph Hopkins

This is a beautiful picture book biography of Kate Sessions, the woman who transformed dry San Diego into a beautiful, tree-covered city.  Lots of text-to-text connections to Miss Rumphius!  A passionate, inspiring celebration of nature.  Gorgeous illustrations.

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia – Miranda Paul

This is the true story of a Gambian woman who was troubled by the plastic garbage bags littering her community. Not only did the bags make an ugly mess, but they also caused illness and death among people and livestock. Isatou and other women cleaned the plastic bags and recycled them into plastic purses. Such a great book!

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The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales – Dawn Casey

This is a gorgeous anthology of seven traditional tales from around the world, each one promoting a sustainable lifestyle and living green.  Readers learn about the ways that different cultures around the world try living in harmony with the rhythms and patterns of nature.  Included are suggested activities to go along with each story including creating a a song-line painting, cooking “anything-goes soup”, making a cornhusk doll, and growing your own tomatoes.   Love the link of Earth day and cultural diversity.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Earth Day, everyone!

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Filed under 2018 releases, Earth Day, environment, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Summer Preview – Part 2

 

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’mIt’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

This week, I am highlighting the rest of my list of summer previews!  In case you missed it, you can read Summer Previews – Part 1 here.

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Dewey Bob – Judy Byron Schachner

This looks like it will be a charming book about a sweet raccoon who lives by himself with his many collections of treasures but is missing a friend.

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Little Miss, Big Sis – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Anything written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a winner – and with illustrations by Peter. H. Reynolds this is one to watch for!  The story explores the wonders of becoming a big sister and celebrating the arrival of a new baby into the family.

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Water is Water – Miranda Paul

A beautiful, descriptive look at the water cycle.  This one is not only one to use for science but also a beautiful example of descriptive language and sensory images.

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Rude Cakes – Rowboat Watkins

Who knew cakes were so rude?   A wacky book about manners.  This one looks like it will bring some laughs!

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One Word From Sophia – Jim Averbeck

Sophia desperately wants a pet giraffe and tries varied techniques to convince her parents to get her one for her birthday. Looks playful and fun and will be a great addition to my list of “persuasive” anchor books!

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What Pet Should I Get? – Dr. Seuss

A never-before-seen book by Dr. Seuss about a brother and sister trying to decide what pet to buy from the pet store.  I can’t wait to read this one!

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I Yam a Donkey! – Cece Bell

Hysterical and silly look at grammar as a Yam lectures a clueless and grammatically challenged donkey.   A perfect book for all ages – great in an English class to discuss importance of using proper grammar.

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Maple and Willow Apart – Lori Nichols

I’m looking forward to reading this third book in the charming  Maple and Willow series.  In this book, Willow has to adjust when Maple starts school.  I love the artwork in these books and the strong sibling bond.

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Sea Rex – Molly Idle

I love everything Molly Idle writes.  I fell in love with Flora as she danced with a Flamingo and skated with a Penguin and am now looking forward to Cordelia swimming with her Sea Rex friend.

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Something Extraordinary Ben Clanton

This looks like it will be a great anchor book for writing!  Have you ever wished for something extraordinary? Like the ability to fly? Or to breathe underwater? What if you could talk to animals?  What would you wish for?

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Piper Green and the Fairy Tree – Ellen Potter

This is the first in a new early chapter book series about a girl who says everything that’s on her mind (for better or worse) and has something unusual in her front yard: a fairy tree. I’m sure this will be a popular one at my school!

Big Dog and Little Dog (Reader) – Dav Pilkey

This series originally came out as board books but are now available as Level 1 readers.   Looks like a sweet series by the master of the super wedgie!

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

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading – Christmas Classics (part 1)

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.

Today was the official start to the holiday season – December 1st.  A day when the excitement and anticipation of Christmas I felt as a child still lingers inside my heart and my home.  So today I happily went into to the basement storage and began to pull out the Christmas tubs –  the lights, the living room decorations, the Christmas mugs and plates, the wrap, the wreath, the Christmas cookie cutters, the advent calendars. It smelt like cinnamon and pine needles.  But my favorite tub of all is the tub that stores my Christmas books – my yuletide treasures.  These are the books that have been read through hundreds of times to my boys while they were growing up and to my students over the years.   I opened up the tub and greeted my books like old friends.  The collection has grown over the years but each book holds a special memory for me.  These books have brought me so much joy and are a gentle reminder that the only thing I ever really want for Christmas is my family, my dog and a good book.

This week I will be sharing my favorite old  Christmas “classics” … (next week some of my more recent favorites!)

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Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? – by Jan Brett (2002)   In her classic detailed Nordic style, Jan Brett tells a delightful tale of a young boy from Finland and his ice bear who help to scare away a group of trolls who are coming to gobble up a Christmas feast.  This book is a wonderful read-aloud, great for predicting and questioning.   My son would laugh every time I got to the line “Have a bit of sausage, kitty!”  These trolls certainly won’t be knocking again next Christmas!

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The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher – Robert Kraus (author of Leo the Late Bloomer)  This book was first published in 1969 and was one of my favorites when I was younger.  I sadly did not keep a copy of the book but was thrilled to see it re-issued.  This book is such a fun read-aloud.  Great rhyming patterns which sound rather “Grinch” like at times.  While the villagers are sleeping, the Cookie Sprinkler Snitcher comes and steals all the cookie sprinkles so the mothers cannot decorate their Christmas cookies in the morning!  Lots of great connections for those of us who love to decorate those Christmas cookies!

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Little Robin’s Christmas – by Jan Fearnly (first published 1998)  This book was first published under the title “Little Robin Red Vest” so I was a bit surprised to learn the title had been changed.  But regardless of the title – it is a sweet story of a generous robin who has a vest for every day of the week.  But leading up to Christmas, he gives away each one of his vests to different chilly friends who need something to keep warm. By the time Christmas arrives, poor Robin has no vest and begins to freeze on the rooftop… when a surprise visitor delivers a special gift.  I love this book – it is a tender story with a message of sharing and kindness.

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Harvey Slumfenberger’s Christmas Present – John Burningham   (first published 1993)  After arriving home early Christmas morning, a tired Santa discovers he has one present left in his sack – a present for Harvey Slumfenberger.  Santa knows this is the only present Harvey will get on Christmas morning, so he sets back out to deliver it.  Since his reindeer are already asleep, Santa sets out on foot.  He travels by foot, ski, helicopter, horse – everything he can do to deliver this present.  I adore this book – I adore the determination of Santa.  I adore John Burningham’s soft watercolor illustrations.  I adore the fact that we never find out just what the present was that Santa travelled so far to give to Harvey  The book ends with the line “I wonder what it was?” –  which has invited many wonderful discussions amongst my students over the years.  (My favorite answer is when someone says ” I think it was a book”! ( sigh! )

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Little Tree – e.e. Cummings (first published 1958)  “Little tree  little silent Christmas tree   you are so little   you are more like a flower  who found you in the green forest   and were you very sorry to come away”   This book is an illustrated version of e.e. cumming’s beautiful Christmas poem about a brother and a sister who find a tree in the streets and bring it home.  While they are walking home with it, they speak to the tree, asking it questions and comforting it.  This is a favorite of mine – the illustrations are soft and calming and the tenderness in which the children care for the tree is heartfelt.

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The Snowman – Raymond Briggs (published – 1978)  Long before “graphic novels” had made their debut, Raymond Briggs brought us this classic wordless picture book which is written in the style of a graphic novel.  This charming story depicts a young boy’s adventure with a snowman who comes to life one night in his dreams.  The book has been turned into a Christmas “wordless” cartoon set to music that is apparently as classic in the UK is as the Grinch is in North America.  This story is magical, whimsical, delightful.  I have a The Snowman stuffy that plays the music from the movie – that’s how much I love this book.

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss. (first published in 1957 – and still going strong!)   No list of Christmas classics would be complete without the Grinch.  Every Who down in Whoville has memorized this amazing story of the true meaning of Christmas.  And in an age of outrageous consumerism – it’s a good one to revisit and remind ourselves that what is most important at Christmas is not an upgraded bamboozle or cardinker – but being “heart to heart and hand in hand” with those we love.  I read this story every year.  I watch the TV show every year.   I never will I tire of it.

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The Polar Express – Chris VanAlsburg  (1986 Caldecott winner) This book is a holiday tradition in our house, as I’m sure it is in many homes.  Every year, before my boys go to bed on Christmas eve, I read it aloud.  They are teenagers now, but still sit quietly on either side of me and listen to the magical words and savor the extraordinary illustrations.  After reading the last page, I take out a small bell from my pocket and ring it – making sure that we can all still hear the sweet sound.  I am all grown up but I can still hear the sound of the bell.  Can you?

What Christmas classics do you love to read at this time of year?

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