Tag Archives: Jon Klassen

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – First Look at 2016 Books!

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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

I’m a bit late with this Monday post but excited to be sharing my first post featuring books published in 2016 that I have recently read…

Batman’s Dark Secret – Illustrated by Jon J. Muth

Oh, how I love anything Jon Muth illustrates.  So when I saw his name on this Batman Book, I knew I had to read it.  I’m not exactly a Batman expert but would say that, while rather dark, this is an excellent re-telling of Batman’s origin from the perspective of a young Bruce Wayne.  Jon J. Muth’s life-like watercolor illustrations are nothing less than phenomenal.

Be a Friend – Salina Yoon

This is a must have book for 2016!  Heart-felt story of Dennis – an “ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways” – through miming.  So much heart leaps out the the pages of this book.  Love the conversations it can start about how we can communicate without words by listening with our hearts.

Ballet CatDance! Dance! Underpants!  Bob Shea

Poor Butter Bear does not want anyone to see her underwear!  I didn’t think the follow-up could be as funny as the Ballet Cat , but this second book in the series will have beginning readers rolling on the floor with laughter.

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                                                                 Worm Loves Worm – J.J. Austrian

This one took me by surprise.   Sweet and simple, this book manages to discuss gender, sexuality and “changing the way things have always been done” in a natural, lovely way.  (My T-T Connection: And Tango Makes Three)

Bear is Not Tired – Ciara Gavin

Adorable.  Bear Bear lives with the Ducks and sometimes he forgets he is not a duck.  But then winter comes, Bear does not want to hibernate because he does not want to miss out on any duck adventures. But can he stay awake? Great for younger ones to make connections to trying to stay awake and also for the season cycle of a bear.

Pax – Sara Pennypacker

Haunting, moving, poetic, powerful.  Gorgeous illustrations by Jon Klassen and extraordinary writing by Sara Pennypacker.  Wow.  I sobbed.  My heart broke and then reassembled.  As soon as I finished I wanted to start over.  It’s now under my pillow.  Pax is a fox who was rescued and raised by 12 year old Peter.  They are inseparable friends and depend on each other for everything.  But when war breaks out, Pax is returned to the wild and, soon after, Peter sets out on a journey to reunite with his beloved friend.  So many layers of heart and thought in this book.  It will be on many people’s top reads of 2016 – and right now it’s on the top of mine.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics – Chris Grabenstein

The much-anticipated, puzzle-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling, award-winning Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library!  Inventive, fun, and MORE puzzles!  

Cockatoo, TooBethanie Deeny Murguia

Silly word play and very cute birds!  Fooling around with words is the fun in the book.  There’s Cockatoos in tu-tus and toucans who can can-can in tutus, too.  You get the idea!

When Mischief Came to Town – Katrina Nannestad

A little girl from Copenhagen comes to live with her grandmother, on a small island after her mother dies.  A touching book about grief and healing. I LOVE this character. She is fun and full of life and helps the traditional islanders “loosen up” and enjoy life.  This would be a great book for grades 3 and 4 and a wonderful book to help anyone who has lost someone dear to them.

Thanks for stopping by!  Which title has caught your eye?

 

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

Celebration Saturday – Snow, Gold Medal and RFTLOI Celebrations!

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I’m happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week.

Here are the things I’m celebrating this week:

1)  SNOWFALL –  We had a significant snowfall here in Vancouver – unusual for the Westcoast, particularly at this time of year.  The best part was that the snow did not turn to rain and wash away.  We enjoyed some sunny days with a lovely white blanket!  More snow  is expected next week so likely I will be doing another snow dance in my kitchen!  Even my 15 yr old got outside to enjoy some sledding and snowball fun with his friends!

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2) REPORT CARDS – Report cards are finished!  This is always a huge relief when all the comments and marks complete and handed in!  Hooray!

3) BOOK LAUNCH – This Tuesday, March 5th, Vancouver Kidsbooks will be hosting a book launch for my new book – Nonfiction Writing Power!  It should be a wonderful evening with family, friends and colleagues.  Will post more about this next week!

4) GOLD MEDAL GAME:  The men’s Olympic gold medal hockey game aired at 4 am our time – so we set our alarm and got up to watch.  Although it doesn’t look like my 3 boys are excited (photo below) – we were thrilled to win the gold medal!  It did feel a little anti-climactic after the Women’s gold medal game and the Men’s semi finals… and of course nothing can beat Sydney Crosby’s overtime goal to win gold in Vancouver in 2010!  We are proud of our Canadian hockey teams and all the athletes who kept us on the edge of our seats for 2 exciting weeks!

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4) READING FOR THE LOVE OF IT CONFERENCE – Last Thursday and Friday I attended the 38th Reading For the Love of It Conference in Toronto – the largest reading conference in Canada.  Close to 4000 teachers attend from across the country and the line up of speakers, authors and presenters each year is incredible.  I was honoured to be invited to present two sessions – one on Reading Power and the other on Writing Power.  The sessions went so well and I was overwhelmed by the positive response from everyone!  It was truly an experience I will never forget – and certainly one of my most “celebrated” moments of the year so far!

Below are my highlights and some photos from the conference:

  • Dinner with my publisher Mary Macchuisi from Pembroke, along with other Pembroke authors including;  Kathy Lundy, Larry Shwartz and David Booth.  Mary brought along a copy of my new book, Nonfiction Writing Power, which I got to see for the first time.  Always a thrill to see all your work complete!

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Mary and me with my new book Nonfiction Writing Power         Me with Pembroke author David Booth (my hero!)

  • A full house at my first session!  I wasn’t sure that very many people would come to my session, since this was my first visit to Toronto and most of my work is in on the west coast. It was exciting to see a great turnout at both of my sessions.   (Before I started, I took a photo of the keen crowd! )

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  • During my session on Writing Power – I was speaking about the difference between editing and revision and when I spoke about the fact that editors can do the editing but only the writer can do the revision because it is their “vision” – someone from the audience made a sound I couldn’t quite make out.  It turns out she had just experienced a huge “ah-ha moment” with her “outside voice”!  It was beautiful!

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  • Listening to illustrator Steven Kellog talk about his experience collaborating with Patricia McLachlan on Snowflakes Fall – the book written in honour of the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary school.  Steven Kellog lived in a farm in Sandy Hook and his children went to that school.  It was a moving presentation – not a dry eye in the house.

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Steven Kellog signing my book.

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Meeting Jon Klassen – a most unassuming and humble and very young man!  And of course he wore a hat!  His presentation was on “words and the spaces between”.  LOVED it!    Here he is signing my book.

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  • Meeting my editor for the first time!  Kat Mototsune has been my editor for all four of my books.  She is AMAZING at what she does.  Because we live on opposite sides of the country, we have only corresponded through email.  At the Pembroke reception on Thursday night – I got to meet her for the first time!  What a thrill it was to sit and talk with her about her side of the publishing process.  And I now have a face to the name!  (for my next book!)

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  • Pembroke author Kathy Gould-Lundy (author of Creating Caring Classrooms and Teaching Fairly in and Unfair World as well as many other books) received a special award at the banquet dinner for her contribution to the conference over many years.  Kathy teaches in the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University.  She is smart, humble and kind and I adore her.  (in the photo is Kathy and her son on the right, me on the left and Stenhouse President Dan Tobin in the back)
  • My cousin lives in Toronto with his fiancé and their brand new baby.  I spent a few hours visiting them and meeting baby Oscar for the first time.  An added bonus to my amazing trip.  baby oscar

I had an amazing week, filled with many things to celebrate and be grateful for!  Thank you for reading my blog!

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Filed under Celebration Saturday, Recent Workshops