Tag Archives: Katherine Applegate

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Last Gems of 2015

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 been quite a fall!  Many weeks have passed since I last wrote a blog post as I have been busy (oh,so busy!) teaching, presenting, traveling, writing, not to mention parenting two teenage boys!  But I now am grateful for some much needed time to catch my breath and enjoy this festive freedom!

Not blogging does not mean I have not been reading!  So I’m happy to share some of the final “new releases” of this year and hoping you will find one or two titles that catch your eye….

The Only Child – Guojing

Breathtaking wordless picture book told in a similar style to The Arrival (Shaun Tan) and The Snowman (Raymond Briggs).  This is the emotional story of a young girl, lost in the winter woods, who is trying to find her way home. Following her magical journey is an emotional rollercoaster: from loneliness and longing to love and joy.  Interesting author’s note explaining this book came out of her experiences growing up lonely under China’s one-child policy (recently reversed). 

Nerdy Birdy – Aaron Reynolds

This is an adorable book about tolerance and acceptance that every teacher should read to their class!  Great message about what it means to be cool and that it’s not just about being accepted by a group, but being true to yourself and including people that are different.  Pop-culturally relevant and very funny. 

Lenny and Lucy – Philip C. Stead

Philip C. Stead and his wife are amazing.  A quiet, comforting story of the joy of a budding friendship wrapped up in a story of moving.   Love the simple language that says so much, so beautifully. 

The Whisperer – Pamela Zagarenski

Amazing celebration of stories.  A little girl borrows a beautiful book from her teacher.  On her way home, the words seem to fly out.  When she arrives home, there are no words so she makes up her own stories for the pictures.  We get the beginning of each story for each page… stories within stories.  Gorgeous illustrations – this book is magical.

The Good-bye Book – Todd Parr

Classic Todd Parr – the “feelings man” – has created a sensitive, touching look at loss as told through the eyes of a fish who has lost his friend.  Important reminder that even though we may not have all the answers, we will always have support from those around us.

The Tea Party in the Woods – Akiko Miyakoshi

A magical winter tale that combines The Little Red Riding Hood with Alice in Wonderland in its own unique way.  A wonderful story about caring and friendship.  Japanese tone – slow, simple and fragile.  Illustrations are gorgeous.

The Bear Report – Thyra Heder

Many connections will be made to this book about a young girl who thinks researching Polar Bears for her report is “BO-RING!”  That is until a Polar Bear shows up and takes her on a tour of his

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour – Anne Michaels

16 cats acting like humans, magic, lots of tea and cakes, delightful illustrations – and lots of triple scoop words!  Adorable.. sweet… charming!  (early novel)

Crenshaw – Katherine Applegate

Magical middle grade novel is a story of friendship, family and resilience by the author of The One and Only Ivan.  Crenshaw is a loud, out-spoken imaginary cat who helps Jackson, a young boy living on the edge of poverty.  Beautiful, heartbreaking and amazing.

Thanks for stopping by!  Would love to know which book has caught your eye!

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Filed under 2015 releases, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Favorite Nonfiction Picture Books of 2014

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

Last week, I posted my favorite fiction picture books from the past year.  This week,  I’m excited to share my favorite Nonfiction Books of 2014.  Again, book selection is challenging as there are SO many to chose from.  I have also been taking a rather long break from any form of computer work over the Christmas break so I could focus on family and as a result, my descriptors are relatively short! But here they are…

FAVORITE ANIMAL BOOKS

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Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla – Katherine Applegate

A nonfiction companion to the amazing novel The One and Only Ivan.

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Creature Features – Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a master at capturing information in a captivating way both visually and descriptively.  In this book, the creatures describe their OWN features!  Great for teaching “voice” and a wonderful writing anchor.

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Animalium – Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

This is an amazing look into the world of animal classification.  Oversized book – wonderful for sharing with students and is made to feel as if you are walking through a museum.  Gorgeous and unique!

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Mama Build a Little Nest – Jennifer Ward and Steve Jenkins

Who knew there was such diversity when it came to nest building?  Fascinating to read and look at!

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The Slug (from the Disgusting Critter Series) – Elise Gravel

What can I say except that kids LOVE this series!  Interesting facts told with humorous illustrations and slap-stick comments.  A MUST for your classroom library!

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Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands  – Katherine Roy

Up-close and personal with the world’s most deadliest shark!  Captivating and surprising!

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A Baby Elephant in the Wild – Caitlin O’Connell

Excellent photographs and informative and interesting text.  Perfect for questioning and a great introduction to narrative nonfiction for younger students.

FAVORITE BIOGRAPHIES

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Nelson Mandela – Kadir Nelson

Every child should know the story of this most important, courageous, inspiring man and what he did to end apartheid.  Amazing story, amazing illustrations, amazing man.

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Shakleton’s Journey – William Grill

Sir Ernest Shacklton’s amazing scientific expedition across the Antarctic.  Stunning pencil crayon illustrations.  A fascinating account of a great adventure.

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Mr. Ferris and His Wheel – Kathryn Gibb Davis

Amazing facts and stunning illustrations describing George Ferris’s remarkable creation.

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The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus – Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

Stunning illustrations and a fascinating story of Peter Mark Roget – the man who created the thesaurus.  Inspires list making!

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Families Around The World – Margriet Ruurs

Wonderful look at different families: cultures, food, homes, clothing and customs.  Simple and interesting text – perfect for grade 2-3!

FAVORITE CONCEPT BOOKS:

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 IF:  A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers – David J. Smith

Author of If the World Were A Village, David J. Smith, creates a unique book that shrinks down concepts that are hard to wrap your brain around into a familiar and smaller scale.  Perfect book for linking with Math.

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 Tiny Creatures:  The World of Microbes – Nicola Davies

 An accessible introduction to microbes for primary students.  A great NF read aloud that will invite lots of  “oooos” and “aaahs.” LOVE this book!

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Gravity – Jason Chin

Through simple text and stunning illustrations,  Jason Chin explains what gravity does and why it is so important. A complex concept made simple. 

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As an Oak Tree Grows – G. Brian Karas

SOOOO many different teachable layers to this book including history, timelines, and life cycle of trees.  This unique book depicts the life of an oak tree spanning 200 plus years and how the world changes around it as it grows.  A perfect book to teach TRANSFORM. 

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Clever Concept Books – Jane Brocket

Apparently, there are other books in this wonderful series, but these two titles were released this year.  LOVE them for early primary classrooms – perfect link to teaching science concepts.  Simple text and bright, colorful photographs.

FAVORITE POETRY BOOKS:

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Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems – Paul B. Janeczko (editor)

Creating images using only a few words can be challenging but every poem in this collection succeeds in doing so. An lovely collection of short poems – and a perfect illustration to children that sometimes, less is more.

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Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons – Jon J. Muth

Soft watercolor illustrations and a charming panda bear, along with 26 haiku poems to celebrate seasons.  A treasure of a book.

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Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold – Joyce Sidman

I adore Joyce Sidman’s poetry and love how she weaves learning into her poems.  This is a beautiful collection of fascinating poems about how animals stay alive during winter.  LOVE.

And there you have it – my list of favorite Nonfiction Books of the past year.   Thanks for stopping by!  What were some of your favorites?

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