Tag Archives: Henry Cole

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – New picture books and novels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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

Summer Reading – Day 16 – Wordless Wonders!

I’m always on the look-out for wordless picture books because they work so well when teaching students how to infer.  There is a misconception that because there is no text, that these books are for very young readers.  Such is not the case!  I continue to be amazed by the sophisticated themes and how much the artists are able to capture through their illustrations.  Here are a few of my recent favorites:

13260743[1]   The Boy and the Airplane – Mark Pett  A young boy is given an airplane, which he plays with happily, until it gets stuck in a tree.  After many attempts to get it down, he decides to plant a tree and wait for it to grow.  Time passes and we finally see the boy – who is now an old man – able to get the airplane down.  After playing with it for a short while, he passes it on to another child.   This touching story is one that can be appreciated at many different age levels and is open to different interpretations.  I can see younger children finding the humor in the “problem solving” aspect, but see older students appreciating the various themes of patience, joys of childhood, time passing and paying it forward.  The illustrations are simple, yet capture the emotions perfectly.

6949681[1]    The Boys, by Jeff Newman, is a wonderful intergenerational story about a shy young boy,  new to the neighborhood, who is reluctant to join in a baseball game at the park.    With the help and encouragement of a group of “old-timers” sitting on the park bench, he eventually joins in. The story takes place over the span of a week and the days of the week are the included to indicate time passing.  Newman’s retro-illustrations capture the emotions of the characters subtly and skillfully – no words are necessary.  Love this book!

13592095[1]     Bear Despair – by Gaetan Doremus is a humorous story of a bear whose teddy bear keeps getting stolen.  Now if your bear kept getting stolen – what would you do?  How does Bear solve this problem?  He gets so MAD that he EATS all the animals (some much bigger than him!) who keep stealing his bear!  The result is that Bear’s stomach keeps growing and growing and we even get to see an x-type visual of the animals inside his stomach!  Now it all sounds a little bizarre – but it really is just laugh out loud funny.  Once again, the talent of an artist who is able to capture emotions though his illustrations (in this case in the style of cross-hatching) is remarkable to me.

Unspoken: A Story From the Underground RailroadUnspoken: A Story From the Underground Railway by Henry Cole is a wordless picture book about a young farm girl who discovers a runaway slave hiding in her family’s barn.  She is then faced with the dilemma of what to do.  Bravery, courage, truth are all components of this amazing historical picture book that would be an excellent anchor book to launch a Social Studies unit on the Underground Railway.   The detailed pencil drawings are beautiful and in a style that reminded me a lot of Brian Selznick’s Hugo Cabret. A great book for questioning  and inferring, as the reader needs to carefully follow the details of the illustrations to “fill in” the story.  Henry Cole even adds a note at the end of the book that asks readers to “write the words and make their own story – filling in all that has been unspoken”.   This is why I love wordless picture books!  Because they invite readers to interact and weave their thinking through the pages!   Fewer words = More THINKING!

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Filed under Infer, New Books, Picture Book