Tag Archives: Matt de la Pena

10 For 10 – 2015 Favorite New Picture Books for Reading Power

I am excited to be participating in my 3rd  Picture Book 10 for 10 event!  This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning

Choosing only 10 picture books is a huge challenge for me as there are SO many amazing new ones to chose from.  Keeping with my tradition,  I will focus on new picture books that can be used for Reading Power 2 books for each of the 5 Reading Power strategies:  Connect, Question, Visualize, Infer and Transform.  (You can check out my 10 for 10 2013 post here and my 2014 post here.)

Below are my favorite 10 picture books from 2015 that could be added to your reading power collections.



  My Family Tree and Me -Dusan Petricic

A celebration of both sides of a family through 4 generations, this book is a beautiful and simple introduction to the concept of ancestry and family trees.  A boy tells the family story of his father’s side starting from the front of the book, and his mother’s side starting from the back of the book. The illustrations are wonderful and I love the diversity shown in this inter-racial family (European father and Asian mother).  This would be an excellent book for children to make connections to their own family history.


See You Next Year – Andrew Larsen

This beautifully written book is an invites readers to connect to the comfort and familiarity of summer holidays and traditions.  I felt very nostalgic reading this and thinking of returning to familiar places each summer.  Timeless, dreamy, lovely.  Gorgeous illustrations.                                      



Sonia’s Chickens by Pheoebe Wahl

Sonya takes her job looking after 3 baby chicks on a farm very seriously.  But when a fox kills one of them to feed her own babies, Sonya is devastated.  This book invites many questions – from life on a farm and raising chickens to interconnectedness of nature, the food chain and the circle of life. Gorgeous, rich Van-Gogh like illustrations add to this beautiful story.


In a Village By the Sea  by Muon Van

This engaging circular story is set in a small Vietnamese fishing village includes themes of family, community, diversity, rural life and nature.   The illustrations are spectacular and I love the way the story is full of surprises, leaving the reader wondering and guessing what is happening.



Beach House – Deanna Caswell

Visualize the joys of the beach and the essence of summer: building sand castles, jumping the waves, and watching the stars come out. Gorgeous illustrations – but don’t show them until AFTER your students listen to the words and visualize!


The Moon is Going to Addy’s House – Ida Pearle

What a beautiful book! Incredible imagery, with so much attention to detail. Magical story of a young girl driving home as the moon appears to follow her home.  The collage illustrations are exquisite and the words dance across the page.  LOVE this book!



Look! – Jeff Mack

I love using books with very little text to help younger students learn to infer.  It was a toss up this year between this book and Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum but the adorable gorilla in this book won me over!  This is the story of a  little boy glued to the TV and a determined gorilla who is trying to get his attention.  Using only two words, (Look! and Out!) Jeff Mack tells an adorable tale of friendship.  Perfect for inferring with younger students.


The Queen’s Shadow – A Story About How Animals See – Cybele Young

This book weaves a crime story with information in a unique, clever way.  The Queen invites her animal friends for a banquet.  During dinner, a crime occurs – the queen’s shadow is stolen.  The royal detective interviews each character and then a small insert explains the real, scientific fact about the animal’s eyesight that inspired its character’s role in the story.  Readers need to use the clues to infer who may have committed the crime.  Brilliant!


Some Things I’ve Lost – Cybele Young

The brilliant Cybele Young has managed to make my list twice this year.  In this amazing book, she literally transforms everyday household objects that have been misplaced into magical, mysterious underwater creatures.  Clever, imaginative and slightly haunting.  And the next time you lose your reading glasses or your keys….


Last Stop on Market Street –  Matt De La Pena

This book will transform your thinking about compassion, diversity, poverty, gratitude, small moments, paying attention, gratitude, inter-generational relationships, family…. it is a true treasure of a book that will uplift your spirits and warm your heart.



Yard Sale – Eve Bunting

This beautiful, tender story about a family downsizing and having a yard sale before they move is one of my favorites of the year.  Many will make connections to having or attending a yard sale, but the heart of this story will transform your thinking about “home”:  it’s not the stuff you have inside but the people you love there that make a home.


Pool – JiHyeon Lee

This beautiful wordless picture book perfect for inferring,  takes us on an imaginative journey of two shy children meeting for the first time under the water of an over-crowded swimming pool.  Imaginative, surprising, delightful.

Well there you have it – my top 10 picture books for Reading Power (plus 2!) for 2015.  I hope you found some new titles that you can use in your classroom!  What are your top picks of the year so far?


Filed under 2015 releases, New Books, Picture Book, Picture Book 10 for 10, Reading Power

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? New Books for the New Year


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

It’s been a busy week and I hit the ground running after two weeks off!  But there is always time to read (and sniff!) some brand new books!  I am happy to be able to share some new releases with you this week…


First Snow – Peter McCarty

This book is adorable- filled with the joys and magic of a first snowfall woven together with a gentle story of trying new things for the first time.  The illustrations are breathtaking.


A Library Book for Bear – Bonny Becker

Hilarious tale of a picky Bear, who does not want to go to the library and does not think he needs to read any book.  Despite his friend Mouse’s effort to help him find the perfect book, Bear manages to make up every excuse why each book is not right.  Will Mouse ever find the perfect book for bear?  Delightful giggles will emerge when you read this book to your class!


Please, Mr. Panda – Steve Antony

Can you stand how cute this cover is? An adorable panda holding a box of donuts? Not only is it cute – but it teaches an important lesson about manners. Panda (who reminded me a bit of “grumpy cat”!) is offering donuts to his hungry animal friends – all of whom seem to have forgotten their manners! Adorable! This book was released on Jan. 1st – a MUST for the New Year!

Watch the book trailer here: http://www.metatube.com/en/videos/259754/Please-Mr-Panda-Trailer/

Photo: Featured Book of the Day #bookaday<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Why We Live Where We Live - Kira Vermond<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Suggested audience - Intermediate/Middle grades<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Suggested anchor - Transform, Social Studies, Environment, Geography, Politics, economics... the list is endless!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
You will be amazed at how many cross curricular subjects are jam packed into 42 pages!    A fascinating look at human habitation, this book takes readers on a tour of how humans choose places to live, how we adapt to our environments or change them to suit our needs.  An historical look back at the history of "home" - from nomadic hunting to the rise of cities to the future of living in space.  This book will transform the way you think about where you live.  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1771470119?adid=0X8DDFFD80MKJ8YVVY6D&camp=8641&creative=330649&creativeASIN=1771470119&linkCode=as1&tag=readingpowerg-20

Why We Live Where We Live – Kim Vermond

You will be amazed at how many cross curricular subjects are jam packed into 42 pages! A fascinating look at human habitation, this book takes readers on a tour of how humans choose places to live, how we adapt to our environments or change them to suit our needs. An historical look back at the history of “home” – from nomadic hunting to the rise of cities to the future of living in space. This book will transform the way you think about where you live.


Oliver and Patch – Claire Freedman

Oliver finds a lost dog and longs to keep it for his own.  But his conscience tells him that someone out there is missing their dog and he begins to help the dog find its owner  Touching story about doing the right thing, even when your heart is tugging in the opposite direction.  This is a very dear story and I’m a bit of a sucker for books with characters named Oliver!

Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street – Matt de la Pena

Celebrating kindness and beauty in small things. Beautiful, tender story of an afternoon bus ride with a young boy, CJ,  and his wise grandmother who helps CJ celebrate beauty and kindness in small things.  Powerful story of looking and finding silver linings.


The Dinner that Cooked Itself  – Jennifer Hsyu

An enchanting and imaginative fairytale set in Ancient China about a lonely man, a magical snail and a lot of wonderful magical meals!   Beautiful illustrations and a truly magical story.   


Silence – Lemniscates

Stop. Listen.  What can you hear in the silence?  This book encourages children to pause, listen and reflect on the sounds of the world around them.  Simple, beautiful, gentle.  Love the collage illustrations.  This is a wonderful book for visualizing and for using the senses in writing.


Architecture According to Pigeons – Speck Lee Tailfeather

I discovered this book on display in the public library and it caught my eye.  While not a new release, it was new to me and one I’d definitely recommend!  Speck, the pigeon, takes us on a world tour of famous buildings including the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Taj Mahal.  Literally a “bird’s eye view” of these structures with Spek’s information about the different types of architecture.  A perfect book to start a unit on structures!


Rain Reign  – Ann Martin

This book has been getting a lot of buzz and now I know why. Brilliantly written book by the author of the “Babysitter’s Club” series, this book  is powerful, emotional and beautiful. Rose Howard has Asperger’s, OCD and an obsession with homonyms. She lives with her often impatient father and her beloved dog whom she names Rain Reign. Rose is an amazingly complex character and tells the story from her own strong, unique voice. Heart-breaking, tear-jerking and spirit lifting – this is a book that gives insight and understanding into those who experience emotional/mental challenges. Grab your Kleenex and read this book!

Thanks for stopping by!  Which book or books have caught your eye?  What new books have you been reading recently?


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