Tag Archives: Lori Nichols

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 New Holiday Books for Sharing and Gifting!

top 10

With school wrapping up so early this year, it feels as if there has been hardly any time to share some of my favorite new holiday books with my students.  But books are always the best gifts to buy, so if you aren’t able to share these with your students this year, perhaps you will find a special gift for a special someone on this list!

Here are my top ten holiday books for 2016…

1.The Day Santa Stopped Believing In Harold – Maureen Fergus

Hilarious, tongue-in-cheek twist on the age-old question “Is there really a Santa Claus?” Big belly laughs with this one!  Bright, colorful illustrations, welcome inclusion of a multiracial family and a great ending.  (Caution: A child who believes in Santa likely won’t appreciate the humour, and I wouldn’t want to introduce doubt where there is none)

2. Maple & Willow’s Christmas Tree – Lori Nichols

Sister bonding, a snowy expedition and problem-solving – all wrapped up in a delightful story that captures the snowy season.  Delightful illustrations.

3. The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story – by Kallie George

I kind of adore this book – it is so sweet and bursting with personality and kindness.  Four animal friends discover one of Santa’s gifts has fallen out of Santa’s sleigh.  But what to do with it is the question.  This book is a great one for predicting and also for prompting a  “What would you do?” conversation!

4. The Christmas Fox – Anik McGrory

Oh my, but this is a charming, heart-felt and tender story. A simple, subtle rendition of the nativity story and a sweet little fox who joins the other animals in the stable. I am in love with this adorable fox who shares meaning of Christmas through his joyful spirit.

5. Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Peggy Lee

The classic holiday song is brought to life with joyful, bright illustrations  by Tim Hopgood, complete with snowmen, sleigh bells, and dreaming by the fire.   Great large sized book is perfect for sharing!

6. The Christmas Eve Tree – Delia Huddy

A deeply moving story about a homeless boy who rescues a spindly tree, sparking hope and magic.  This story is unexpected, beautiful and one that must be shared.  Have your Kleenex handy.

7. The Great Spruce – John Duvall

Intergenerational story about a boy and his grandfather who come up with a plan to save their favorite tree after some men from the city want to cut it down and use it for the town Christmas celebration.

   8. The Wish Tree – Kyo Maclear

Despite his brother and sister’s disbelief, a little boy sets off to find a “Wish Tree” with his friend “Boggan” – his little red toboggan.  This is a perfect seasonal tale that mixes adventure, magic, and friendship with dreamy illustrations.

                                                 9..  Santa’s Underwear – Marty Rhodes Figley

It’s Christmas Eve and Santa cannot find his underwear!  This is a hilarious story with hilarious illustations.  I love the “romp” Santa takes through other holidays (Vanentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.)  as he searches for his Christmas undies!  LOL!

            

       The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats                    A Poem for Peter – Andrea Davis Pinkney

The iconic book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was first released in 1962 and still remains one of “go to” books for winter reading.  This year, Andrea Davis Pinkney gives us the story behind this story in the gorgeous book A Poem for Peter.  What a great “pair” to be shared with students, children or grandchildren.

10   The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present – Harriet Muncaster

Thumbelina meets ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas!  When I was very young, I loved reading books with miniature characters and this  story would definitely have made my list of all-time favorites!  Delightful and determined Clementine is a teeny-tiny girl who lives with a regular sized family.  She is trying to let Santa know that she is very small and that the toys he leaves are always too large for her.  Sweet story, darling heroine – LOVE!

             And there are my top 10 (plus 2!) new holiday books for sharing and gifting!

                   Thanks for stopping by… which book has caught your eye?

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Filed under 2016 releases, Christmas, Holiday books, Homelessness, New Books, Picture Book, Top 10 Tuesday

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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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Summer Preview Part 1 (Or: I can’t wait to get my hands on these new books!)

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

Although most of my Monday posts feature books I have actually read, I’ve been keeping track of some new titles that I’m eagerly awaiting to be released.  So this week, I’ve decided to let you in on my some of the books I’m excited to get my hands on when they do come out.  Most books listed here will be released between June and August.   I’ve already done a few “pre-orders” of some of these and the countdown is on!

23310161The Day The Crayons Came Home – Drew Daywalt

I am beyond excited to read this companion to the block buster, best seller The Day the Crayons Quit.  Apparently, Duncan is now dealing with a whole group of crayons who have been lost in strange places like behind the couch and melted on the window sill!  Will it be as good as the first?  I can’t wait to find out!

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Billy’s Booger – William Joyce

The “fictionalized picture book memoir”, loosely based on an incident in William Joyce’s life when a young “Bill”, who is constantly distracted in class and spends his class time drawing,  is encouraged by his teacher librarian to enter a book writing contest.  He writes about the worlds’ biggest and best booger!  Another anticipated brilliant book by William Joyce!

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The Specific Ocean – Kyo MacLear

I was captivated by the title of this book – and have enjoyed this author’s previous books (Spork, Julia, Child).  It is about a girl who would rather stay in the city with her friends in the summer, but ends up making a deep connection to the ocean.   Such a great title!

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Book – David Miles

Was drawn in by the title, of course – but on a closer look have made this a “must have” book that celebrates literature in a world of gadgets, passwords and Youtube videos.  “With soft, warm storytelling and stunning, whimsical illustrations, Book embarks the reader on an imaginative journey through the literary lands of fact and fiction.” 

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Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada – Jimmy Fallon

Ok – so I will admit that I have a bit of a crush on Jimmy Fallon.  He is so darn funny and makes me laugh every time I watch his show.  So I’m looking forward to reading his new book about how father’s wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada”.

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Float – Daniel Mryares

I love wordless picture books and this one looks like it will be delightful.  A boy, his newspaper boat, and a rainy day adventure.  Apparently a “how to” at the back for making your own boat is included!

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The Blue Whale – Jenni Desmond

There is already quite a buzz about this engaging nonfiction book that is filled with relatable facts about the largest living creature on our planet.  The illustrations depict not only the facts, but also the story of the narrator, a young boy who is reading about the whales.  This makes me think of the layered illustrations in The Bear in the Book.  This book comes out tomorrow!  Can’t wait!

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Buddy and Earl – Maureen Fergus

There was something about this cover that caught my eye.  This is the first in an apparent series about a dog and his hedgehog friend.  “Their friendship is tender and loyal, and their adventures are funny and imaginative.”  I’m keeping my eye out for Buddy and Earl!  Cuteness!

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The Little Gardener – Emily Hughes

A sweet looking story about a determined little gardener.  The illustrations look amazing!

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Bike, On, Bear! – Cynthia Liu

An over-thinking and over-achieving bear learns to ride a bike.   The illustrations look adorable.

Thanks for stopping by!  Which soon-to-be-released book has caught your eye?

Look for more previews next week!

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

It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? New Books for Spring!

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.

After an extremely busy and eventful week (some amazing events and a few not!)  I am grateful I had the chance to take some time out to read some fantastic new picture books that I will be sharing with my students and staff in the coming weeks as we prepare for spring break and the last term of school.

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons – Jon Muth

What is not to love about this book?   Jon Muth is one of my favorite writer/illustrators.  I adore his soft watercolor pallet of colors and his gentle words.  This latest book is a charming collection of haiku poems to celebrate the seasons.  From careful observations of nature to insightful moments to nudge our thinking , I love every corner of this book.  Delightful.

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Maple – Lori Nichols

In another charming book about seasons, we meet Maple – a sweet girl who is has a special bond with her namesake tree that her parents planted when she was born.  As Maple grows, the tree becomes an important part of her life and as she grows and changes through the seasons, so does her tree.  And when a baby sister arrives and won’t stop crying, Maple takes her outside and introduces her to her tree.  This is a wonderful book to celebrate a new baby.  An impressive debut picture book!

A Book of Babies – Il Sung Na

I loved Il Sung Na’s book Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit so was excited to see this new picture book about baby animals.  I am so drawn into his soft, charming illustrations  and simple, poetic text.  A baby duck takes the reader on a tour of different baby animals.  I like how each animal is distinguished by one unique feature:  father seahorse carry babies in their pouch, a baby zebra walks right away, baby fish are born with lots of brothers and sisters.  This would be a wonderful share for kindergarten and grade one students.

Spring is Here!

Spring is Here – Heidi Pross Gray

While there are numerous books about spring, I love the way this one weaves together both nature and family time.  The watercolor illustrations (have you inferred I am drawn to watercolor?) and rhythmic text creates a book that feels wholesome and excited about the coming of spring.

Poppleton In Spring

Poppleton in Spring – Cynthia Rylant

 I have so many wonderful memories of dear Poppleton and his friends Cherry Sue, Filmore and the wonderful characters in these beginning chapter book series by the profound Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Marc Teague.  Each book has three chapters – 3 short stories written featuring Poppleton the pig and his neighbours.   Some are funny, others tender and thoughtful.  In this book Poppleton does some spring cleaning, buys a new bike and stays up all night in a tent “noticing”.  I have many fond memories of reading Poppleton stories to my boys when they were younger and continue to spread Poppleton joy to the children at my school.  If you have never read a Poppleton story – I highly recommend it.

The Highest Number in the World

 The Highest Number in the World – Ray MacGregor

I live in a household where hockey takes precedent over pretty much anything else!  We were all up at four am to watch Canada play for gold at the Sochi games.  The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier is one of my all time favorite picture books.  There have been many hockey stories since but I have yet to find one that compares to it – until now.  This book is a gem.   It tells the story of a little girl who obsesses over the number 22 for her hockey jersey because it’s the number of her hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser.  Unfortunately, her new hockey team gives her the number 9 instead. She hates the jersey and wants to quit.  Enter her grandmother, who explains the important history of the number nine in hockey.   This is so much more than a hockey story – and the relationship between the granddaughter and grandmother brought tears to my eyes.  The illustrations are wonderful and full of detail – down to the NHL quilt set on her bed!  Whether you love hockey or not, this is a wonderful story.

Going Places

Going Place – Peter and Paul Reynolds

Peter H. Reynolds pairs up with his brother for a their first book together, filled with the same creative free-spirit theme of Reynolds’s other books.  It’s time for the annual “Going Places”  go-cart contest.  Time to grab a kit, put together your go-cart and race to the finish line.  Each child grabs a “go-cart kit” and puts together identical carts.  Maya, however, decides to be creative and think outside the box, creating her own version and crossing the finish line in her own way.  A perfect book for encouraging children to march to their own drum on their way to the finish line!

Say Hello Like This

Say Hello Like This! – Mary Murphy

The Kindergarten teachers at my school do a farm unit in the spring so I was excited to find this new book by Mary Murphy for them to use!  It is a wonderful, interactive book that will make a perfect read-aloud to introduce the different sounds that animals make.  I love the funny adjectives Murphy uses in this book which is a follow up to her book  A Kiss Like This!  A wonderful book for younger students – prepare yourself for a noisy read-aloud!Orangutangled

Orangutangled – Sudipta Bordham-Quallen

This book is simply a fun, frolicky, read-aloud!  Two hungry orangutans climb a tree for some mangoes and end up falling together in a sticky, goey mess.  Other animals try to help but end up getting tangled up as well.  The rhyming text works perfectly and I love the word play and the bright illustrations.  Another great read-aloud choice for the younger folk!

Hokey Pokey

Hokey Pokey – Jerry Spinelli

I am a big fan of Jerry Spinelli – Maniac Magee one of my favorite books to read to my class.  This one took me a while to get into – I was very confused at first and had to go back and reread several sections. I was once again amazed at his ability to weave characters we can identify with so well into a completely imaginative setting.  Hokey Pokey is an adult-less world of childhood and play – where kids play games, ride bikes, have adventures and follow the simple laws of the land.  Jack, the main character, experiences his world turn upside down when his beloved bike is stolen by a girl.  Without his bike, Jack feels lost and things start to go very wrong for him.  This book is reminiscent of Peter Pan – a boy who is struggling in the place between childhood and adolescence.   This story is unusual, it’s confusing in parts, and I’m still a little on the fence about it.  But it is certainly a book that is lingering in my thinking – a place where many great books have taken up residence.  I’d love to know what you think about it!

The Bear: A Novel

Bear – A Novel – Claire Cameron

This book is quite extraordinary.  It is written in first person, present tense in the voice of a 5 year old girl.  She and her brother are left alone to survive the elements after their parents are killed by a bear while out camping.  I was riveted by this story – many reminders of the child’s voice in ROOM.  I was also caught up by the emotional roller coaster of the story.  The description of the bear attack in the first 40 pages was completely terrifying – I had to stop reading it a few times.  While this book is considered an adult novel – I could really see it being read to a middle school class.  It is a story of survival and courage and I loved every moment of it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  What have you been reading lately?

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Filed under It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Poetry, Read-Aloud, Seasons