Tag Archives: Judith Viorst

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Februrary Fun!

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.

I have discovered some wonderful new picture books this week that I’m excited to share!

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Red: A Crayon’s Story – Michael Hall

I love books that have different layers of interpretation and I can see Red as having the potential to stimulate some deep discussions with older children. Red is a crayon who doesn’t fit in – he has a bright red label, but never quite feels as if he belongs and is miserable. The reason is – he’s actually a blue crayon with a red label. Readers know this, but Red doesn’t realize until a new friend offers him some insight on his true color. This story is simple, clever celebration of inner diversity. Simple prose, colorful illustrations – this book is a gem! 

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I Don’t Want to Be A Frog! – Dave Petty

I absolutely LOVED this book!  It’s hilarious and carries a great message about self esteem and self acceptance.  Little Frog does NOT want to be a frog – in fact he would rather be ANY other animal than a slimy, wet, bug eating frog!  Beautiful illustrations, funny and I am already thinking it would be a great writing anchor for “What Animal Would You Rather Be?”   Fantastic book!

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Click Clack Peep! – Doreen Cronin

Here’s another “Click, Clack” book to add to my collection, and while it doesn’t quite live up to the original “Click, Clack, Moo!” – I enjoyed it very much!  The story centers around a little duck who is not going to sleep.  The cows, and all the animals provide amusing suggestions on how to get this little duck to sleep, while Farmer Brown has no clue what is going on.  This book would make a great gift for new parents! 

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The Bear Ate Your Sandwich – Julia Sarcone-Roach

This is a VERY clever book with a surprise ending that your students will love but likely not suspect!    You left your sandwich on a park bench while you left to play with your friends and when you come back – it’s gone.  What happened to it?  And so begins the detailed recounting of what happened to your sandwich – a bear at it!  Or did it?  Hilarious and fun – this book is a perfect read-aloud and would make an excellent anchor for re-telling an event in sequence with lots of examples of transition words. 

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One Big Pair of Underwear – Laura Gehl

Fun, rhyming text and hilarious illustrations – this is an excellent book for teaching counting and the importance of sharing!  Silly and fun – and we all know how much kids love listening to us read the word “underwear”!

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Sick Simon – Dan Krall

Simon is sick but he still goes to school… and spreads his germs to everyone!  Hmmm…I was not quite sure about this one because the illustrations were pretty disgusting – graphic illustrations of phlegm and mucus – Blech!  But I believe that was intentional!  This is a must book for the classroom during cold and flu season as it is an effective way to talk about germs and how illness is spread.   

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Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons – Sara Levine

“Have you ever wondered what we would look like if we didn’t have any bones? It wouldn’t be pretty.” These are the first lines from this interesting, interactive Nonfiction book. A conversational, question-answer format, this book introduces young readers to different skeletons – from humans to animals. Great for introducing comparing and a perfect read-aloud in a primary classroom. Engaging, interesting and fun!  Thank you, Carrie Gelson, for introducing me to this book!

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Lulu’s Mysterious Mission – Judith Viorst

I first learned of this book from our amazing teacher-librarian at my school.  She told me how much her own two girls had loved this beginning chapter series and now it was a very popular book in our library.  I also noticed on Alyson Beecher’s blog post Kid Lit Frenzy  that it had recently won a Cybil award (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards) for best early chapter book 2014.  And who doesn’t love anything written by Judith Viorst?  So… I knew I had to read it!  This is actually the third installment in the Lulu series – and begins with Lulu’s parents going out of town and leaving her with a babysitter – Ms. Sonia Sofia Solinsky!  Lulu is NOT pleased and concocts many different plans to bring her parents home, until Ms. Solinsky reveals a secret!  This book has simple enough text for beginning readers but is chocker-block full of fun!  I loved it and am now going to put my name on the wait list in our library for the other two!

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 The Crossover – Kwame Alexander

Josh Bell
is my name.
But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame
Folks call me that
’cause my game’s acclaimed,
so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame.
My hair is long, my height’s tall.
See, I’m the next Kevin Durant,
LeBron, and Chris Paul.

WOW! Oh Wow! From the second you start reading this book, you will not be able to stop! Basketball loving, dread-locked Josh Bell stole my heart and he will steal yours. This book was recently awarded the Newberry for 2015 and has been getting a lot of buzz. I was reluctant because I don’t really like basketball and am not a huge fan of books in verse. But this book is nothing like anything I’ve ever read: dazzling characters with amazing voices; rollicking, rhyming, bouncing rhythm; extraordinary writing; a powerful ending; themes of sportsmanship, family, siblings, coming of age, diversity, death, courage… This book is brilliant, funny, poignant, entertaining. And in case you haven’t inferred – I LOVED this book! YOU MUST READ IT! And if you teach grades 6-9 (I’d go as low as grade 5) YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK TO YOUR CLASS! Okay, I’ll stop.

Extended book trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BONWz5Ao82E

Funny clip by the author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO2-u1258UU

 

Thanks for stopping by!  What book(s) caught your eye?  I’d love to know!

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Filed under Award Winner, Beginning Chapter Book, Book in Verse, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Sports

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – Exciting Releases for Fall!

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

Despite my heartbreak at the fact that I will not be sharing these books with my students tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day after that due to the ongoing teacher’s strike in B.C., I am happy to share them with you in the hopes that you are not on strike and can share them with YOUR students! I’ve had a little more reading time this past week so was able to read a few longer books.

The Boundless

The Boundless – Kenneth Oppel

WOW!  This is an action packed adventure that I could not put down!  It tells the story of a young boy, Will Everett who is a first class passenger on The Boundless, the greatest train ever built.  (Think Titanic only a train!)  I loved how Kenneth Oppel has woven Canadian history and famous Canadian personalities (including Sasquatch!)  throughout the book, making it an excellent link to Social Studies.  Add a little magic and a few creepy bits and you have a fast-paced read-aloud!

Egg and Spoon

Egg and Spoon – Gregory Maguire

Another wow for this YA book!  Egg and Spoon reads like a Russian fairy tale.  It is filled with exquisite writing, laugh out loud humour, fascinating and often twisted characters. It is the story of two young woman: a city girl born of privilege and a country girl suffering from poverty and loss.  After a case of mistaken identity, both Elena and Ekaterina, or Cat,  begin an adventure across Russia and up to the North Pole on a quest to save their country.  I really liked how Maguire wove Russian culture, legends and characters, including Baba Yaga,  through the story.  At times, I felt the plot was more suited for younger children but the writing style and complex plot makes it definitely one for the older crowd.  If I’m being completely honest, I felt that some parts were a little confusing and complicated and other parts went on too long – but overall well worth the read!   

The Swallow: A Ghost Story

The Swallow – A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

Interesting that I happen to read two books featuring two female characters whose lives become entwined.   This one is AMAZING – I could not put it down!  It tells the story of the friendship of two 12 year old girls living in Toronto in 1963.  Polly – outgoing, bubbly, passionate… Rose – introverted, quiet and loves to sing and who, we discover, can see and talk to ghosts!  The story goes back and forth between the two different points of view.  This is truly a MUST READ book!  Enchanting, magical, mysterious – a great ghost story and a wonderful story of friendship.  I LOVED it!

Everybody Bonjours!

Eveybody Bonjours!  by Leslie Kimmolman

This book follows a little girl and her family on a trip to Paris. The text is simple, the illustrations are charming.  Lots of French sites, sounds, smells and tastes – a peak into French life.  I think this would be a wonderful anchor book for writing about Canada or other countries.  There is more detailed information at the back of the book.  I want to go to Paris now, please! 

And Two Boys Booed – Judith Viorst

This new Judith Viorst book was released this week! It is an adorable story of a little boy who gets an extreme case of nerves when he has to sing in the talent show. Perfect for making connections! This book rhymes, it has lift the flaps and has a song that you will all be singing after just one read! Love Judith Viorst and I LOVE this book!

Bluebird

Bluebird – Lindsey Yankey

I was totally drawn to this book by the cover.  A bird’s eye view from a bird’s eye view.  This is a charming story about a bluebird who is searching for her friend, the wind.  The repetitive text and the extraordinary details in each picture makes this a perfect read-aloud or quiet bed-time sharing.  I love how determined the little bird is.   As soon as I got to the last page, I went back and read it again!

Take Away the A

Take Away the A – Michael Escoffier

What fun this book is to read!  It’s a delightful alphabet book goes through the alphabet and offers words where you take away a letter and get a new word. So, for example, for letter A, “beast” becomes “best” when you take the A out. The concept is a simple but so clever and humouous! I have already thought about ways of using this in class – having the students try to create their own “take away” words! 

I'm Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes

I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes – Marilyn Singer

Sadie is all packed for her rustic family camping trip:  patent shoes? check!  ballerina skirt? Check!  Sparkly suitcase? Check!  I loved the spunk of this girl, who despite her “girlie-girl” appearance is a great role model for girl power!  She is fearless and determined to find Bigfoot and protect her family.  Great rhyming pattern and bright, colorful illustrations!

 

Dojo Daycare

Dojo Daycare – Chris Tougas

Six rowdy children spinning out of control in their Dojo daycare, despite their master’s effort to demonstrate “honor, kindness and respect”. Fun, great illustrations, wonderful rhyme – a perfect read-aloud. Kids will LOVE this one!

The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing

The Writing Thief – Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing – Ruth Culham

“It’s been said that mediocre writers borrow, but great writers steal” Using children’s literature to teach writing – could there be a more perfect book for me? And since it would appear that I may have some more time on our hands next week, I’m excited to be spending it exploring this new book by Ruth Culham! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know which book caught your eye?

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Filed under Alphabet book, Friendship, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Novels, Professional Books, Read-Aloud, Social Studies, Writing Anchors