Tag Archives: Nick Bland

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 French Picture Books to use with Reading Power

While all of my Reading and Writing Power books are translated and published in French, I, myself, am not French speaking.  This makes it rather challenging for me to create book lists for French Immersion teachers.  After numerous requests, however, I decided to rise to the challenge! I was surprised to see many of the English books I have recommended for Reading Power are translated into French so the challenge wasn’t as difficult as first thought!  Thanks to Vanessa Zentner, a grade 4 French Immersion teacher in Calgary, for the gentle nudge – here are my top 10 French picture books to use with Reading Power.

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1. Ma branche préférée – Mireille Messier

When an ice storm breaks a branch off a little girl’s favorite tree, she is devastated.  Fortunately, her kind neighbour, Mr. Frank, helps her turn her branch into something wonderful (not telling!)  I love this book for making predictions – students predict what Mr. Frank will make.  I also like the reference to an ice storm to introduce students to this weather phenomenon that many have never experienced.  A great CONNECT book – connecting to something special that was damaged or lost.

                     2. Grand-mère, elle et moi – Yves Nadon

There is something special about memories with your grandmother.  Special feelings, memories and moments to connect to.  A perfect CONNECT book.

3. Tourbillon d’émotions – Janan Cain

I use the English version of this book with many classes when we are practicing making Connections.  It is filled with many different examples of everyday situations and the feelings connected to them.  A great book to introduce “feeling” vocabulary.

Quel génie!- Ashley Spires

This past fall, I used this book to launch our school wide Critical Thinking project called the “Most Magnificent Thing”.  (You can read all about the project here.)  It is the story of a little girl who sets out to build “The Most Magnificent Thing”, but becomes increasingly frustrated when things don’t turn out exactly as planned.   It is one of my favorite books because it is filled with so many themes for discussion – determination, managing frustration, and, in the case of our MMT projects – the importance of using critical thinking to solve problems.

4. Plus noir que la nuit – Chris Hadfield

One of my favorite biography picture books of 2016, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield shares his childhood experiences of being afraid of the dark.  A perfect book for CONNECTING to childhood fears but also an inspiring young readers to overcome those fears and dream big.  Gorgeous illustrations by brothers Terry and Eric Fan.

5. Le jardinier de la nuit – The Fan Brothers

A mysterious gardener begins to sculpt trees into animals during the night and young William wonders who and why.  Breathtaking illustrations (again by the talented Fan Brothers) and spare, sweet text, this is a perfect QUESTION book.  (Before starting the story, show the class the cover – and ask the “Qu’est-ce que vous vous demandez?” (Not sure if that’s how you say “What are you wondering?” but I tried!)  They will fill a chart paper, white board or smart board screen with questions!

6. Le lion et l’oiseau Marianne Dubuc

Another favorite from last year, this  is a tender tale of friendship between a lion and the wounded bird he finds and cares for.  When bird flies off with his flock the following fall, Lion is left alone.  A great book for QUESTIONING.  (I’m wondering what the bird is whispering to the lion on the front cover!)

7. Le bateau de fortune – Olivier de Solmicnhac

This gorgeous book is a perfect one to practice VISUALIZING!  Two friends arrive at the beach but have forgotten their swimsuits, buckets and spades.  What to do?  Instead, they make a makeshift boat and sail off to imagine the sound of the sea, the taste of the sea spray, seeing the sparkling light of the sun on the water,  and the feeling of a day at the beach.  Full of sensory descriptions, this book will make a wonderful one to practice VISUALIZING.   

                   8.  Mon papa, il est grand, il et fort, mais Coralie Saudo

A humourous role reversal plays out in this gentle book about a boy who is trying to get his dad to go to bed.  Children will make many connections to being coaxed into their own bedtime routines.  Perfect for Father’s Day!

9. Et si jamais…? Anthony Browne

I was very pleased to see that this book about childhood anxiety by Anthony Browne has been translated into French.  On his way to to a birthday party, his first “drop off” party, a little boy becomes more and more anxious about the many things that could go wrong.  As he and his mum get closer to the house he becomes filled with worry:  “What if nobody talks to me?”  “What if I don’t like the food?” “What if you forget to pick me up?”  It is a book I have shared many times and it always invites many “worry” connections from children.

10. Le Canada, c’est moi!  – Heather Patterson

I was SO excited about this gorgeous book when I saw it in English (I am Canada) and now soon to be released in French!   A perfect book to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, written in simple text and illustrated by 13 amazing Canadian children’s illustrators including Barbara Reid, Jon Klassen, Marie-Louise Gay and Ashley Spires. It is a celebration of all things Canada – from First Nations festivals, to playing hockey on an frozen pond, to lying in a pile of leaves – depicting the cultural and geographical diversity of our home and native land.

 

Well, French Immersion Teachers, there you have my first official blog of French titles!  I hope that you have found a few new books to add to your Reading Power collections.  I would love to hear back with any of your favorites so that I can perhaps do another Top 10 List soon.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

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Filed under French Books, New Books

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 New Spring Picture Books Worth Reading and Sharing!

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It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for another  Top 10 Tuesday post!  This week, I’m featuring some of the amazing new picture books I have discovered this Spring.  Enjoy!

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1. The Treasure Box – Margaret Wild

“When the enemy burned the library, everything burned.”   This extraordinary book tells the story of a young boy and his father who save a book after their library is destroyed by war.  Powerful and heart-breaking story of resilience in the face of the atrocities of war.  Haunting.

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2. That Neighbor Kid – Daniel Miyares

A gentle, nearly wordless picture book of a new friendship that forms when a young girl moves into a new neighbourhood just as the boy next door is planning to build a tree house.  Friendship develops as the tree house is constructed.  Charming!  I love how the soft black and white illustrations are gradually include color as the story develops.

3. The Book No One Ever Read – Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke, acclaimed author of the InkWorld series and The Thief Lord, shares what it is like to be a book- told through the minds of the books themselves.  Imaginative, enchanting,  and a great message!

4. Twinkle – Nick Bland

A charming,  tender and beautifully illustrated story about a shooting star that falls down from the night sky into Penny Pasketti’s back yard.  When it’s time for Star to “fall up” into the night sky, Penny finds a way to send her new friend home.

5. Places to Be – Mac Barnett

Two fuzzy friends explore a wide range of experiences and emotions in this adorable book, reminiscent of The Quiet Book and the Loud Book.  I love the whimsical illustrations and the introduction of new emotion vocabulary – jubilant, awestruck, or sullen.  Great Connect book!

6. Town is By the Sea – Joanne Schwartz

A simple, poetic story set in the early 1900’s in Cape Bretton, Nova Scotia tells of the challenging life of a mining family.  A young boy goes about his daily activities in the sunshine by the sea while, in contrast, his father works underground in the mines.  The writing is so beautifully descriptive and would be a great anchor book for descriptive, sensory writing or Visualizing, but also Inferring.  The words are lulling and almost haunting and the illustrations are gorgeous. 

The Last Tree

7. The Last Tree – Ingrid Chabbert

“When I got home, I lost myself in my books. To see some green, some leaves… some happiness.”   Simple, thought-provoking story about environmental awareness, reminiscent of The Lorax.    A father tells his son about the days when he used to run amongst the grass and trees, instead of living in the concrete world they both live in.  This is a must add to your “Earth Day” collection!

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8. Little Fox in the Forest – Stephanie Graegin

So much book love for this one!  Adorable wordless picture book in large graphic novel panels tells the story of a young girl who brings her favorite Fox stuffy for show-and-tell.  At recess, a sneaky fox snitches the fox from the bench.  Lots of details to pour over again and again.  Heart-warming!  Delightful!

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do

9. The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do – Ashley Spires

Lou is fearless, full of adventure and up for anything… except climbing trees.  Encouragement and perseverance are the themes of this latest delightful book by Ashley Spires (author of The Most Magnificent Thing).  Love the nameless sidekick cat!

10.  The Book of Mistakes – Corinna Luyken

Here’s the perfect book for the Creative Thinking competency!  Gorgeous illustrations and poetic language in a large format make this a great book for sharing. Corrina Luyken explores the creative process, perseverance, accepting mistakes, making the best of a situation… so much packed between the covers of this beautiful book!  Lots to think about, to infer, and to transform our thinking!  So inspiring!  A great “gifting” book for anyone who loves to draw, create or design.  LOVE!

10.  Green Green – A Community Gardening Story – Marie Lamba

This story by Marie Lamba is a wonderful and inspiring book about children who join forces together to build a community garden.  Gorgeous illustrations and lovely rhyming text.  Wonderful details on each page to inspire discussion with primary students about the environment, community, and taking care of our Earth.  Two page information spread at the back gives information about how to make more “green” in your world and the importance of gardens to bees and butterflies.  Great!

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10. The Good for Nothing Button – Charise Mericle Harper

Yellow Bird has a button that does… nothing!  If you need a good giggle – you will get it with this third Elephant and Piggie Like early reader series!  What a hoot!  The Imaginative, playful and a perfect read-aloud for an early primary class.

Thanks for stopping by!  What book has caught your eye?

( And yes,  I lost track of my book count!  Turns out it is Top 12 Tuesday today!)

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Filed under 2017 releases, Connect, Earth Day, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Picture Book, Visualize, Writing Anchors

It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? Bears, Birds and a Hammock!

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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: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

This week, I discovered some wonderful new picture books about bears, along with a few other delights!  Here they are!

The Hiccup – Ingrid Sissung

Ever have the hiccups you could not get rid of?  Poor Elliot!  He eats his picnic food too quickly and ends up with a very bad case of the hiccups!  While he tries to get advice from various forest friends for a cure, his cousin Lutz finds the whole situation terribly funny.  Eventually, Lutz stumbles across a cure and helps Elliot out.  There are SO many things to love about this book – first –  the illustrations are adorable.  Kids will make connections to the hiccup theme but I also love the message of the importance of showing sympathy to others when they are in tough situations instead of laughing at them.  Wonderful book and I can’t wait to share it with my students!

I Am Not Little Red Riding Hood – Alessandro Lecis

Hmmm…. I felt a bit tricked by the title of this book because it has NOTHING to do with Little Red Riding Hood!  It’s unfortunate that the title throws you off so much because the story is very sweet.  A little girl (who has a red scarf not a red hood!) is collecting snowflakes in her basket and meets a polar bear who brings her to the place with the very best snow is, under the moon.  After a snow dance (LOVED this part!) she fills her basket with snow.  The bear explains that the snow will soon melt.  The snow does disappear, as does the bear.  There is something quite magical about this book – I just wish it was called “Snow Dance”! 

Cub’s Big World – Sarah L. Thomson

This is a beautiful and tender story about a baby cub experiencing the big world for the first time.  The words and pictures are very lyrical and lovely. I felt inspired to use this book for a winter world art lesson!  Great mother-cub relationship in a wintery world.  Loved it!

Baby Bear – Kadir Nelson

“When I am lost, I sit very still and try to listen to my heart. It speaks as softly and as sweetly as a gentle breeze. And it is never wrong. It will lead you home”  Can you stand it?  This book is simple, beautiful, extraordinary.  The voice of this little bear is so sweet and his words are so tender.  The illustrations are so beautiful and I felt so emotionally tied to this little bear as he tries to find his way home with the help of his forest friends.  Huge bear love.

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The Very Brave Bear – Nick Bland

Cranky Bear is back and this time he and Boris Buffalo are trying to one-up each other to determine who the bravest!  This book is fun, has rhyming texts and would make a great read-aloud for younger children.

The Bear’s Song – Benjamin Chaud

Papa Bear is searching for Baby Bear after Baby gets lost chasing a bee.  This is a simple story but it is the illustrations that really made it stand out for me.  The details are FANTASTIC – so much to look at – they almost tell their own story!  You could spend many hours searching for all the hidden treasures!

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Ten Birds Meet a Monster – Cybele Young

Canadian author/illustrator Cybele Young has given us another delightful book featuring the same Ten Birds she introduced us to in 2011.  I was thrilled to see this second book in what I hope is a series!  In her first book, 10 birds are trying to problem solve their way from one side of river to another.  In this book, the same clever birds are trying to come up with creative and increasingly elaborate ways to scare off a monster.  The black and white pen-ink illustrations are remarkable.  This book is clever, funny, and a GREAT companion to Ten Birds.

The True Story of Stellina – Matteo Pericoli

I found this book sitting on a table in my local library and was immediately attracted to the cover:  An adorable little bird sitting on the end of a pen – what could this story be about?  Turns out is a true story of a baby finch who falls out of her nest in the busy streets of New York City and is rescued by a woman named Holly (the author’s wife).  Holly looks to find somewhere to take the bird but ends up taking it home to her New York apartment and there, teaches it to eat, sing and fly.  This book is charming and the light airy illustrations are a delight.

                                                                                            

 The Rice Bag Hammock – Shaeeza Haniff

Wow!  This book has SO much to celebrate!  It’s about family, community, play, diversity, sustainability, recycling – and I am still thinking of more!  It tells the journey of a simple burlap rice bag that is turned into a hammock and given as a gift.  Each page shows how the hammock is used in simple, repeating text. The story is set in scenic Guyana countryside and the illustrations are vibrant and colorful.   I loved the uplifting message that a simple handmade gift leads to many uses and much joy to so many.  A MUST HAVE book!

And those are my books this week!  Thanks for stopping by!

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