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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Last Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday Elizabeth Queen of the Seas Ricki and Henry Trent6-9monthsfavbooks

Tuesday: Top Ten Topics We’d Like to See More in Picture Books

Thursday: Henry and Ricki’s favorite PB 6-12 months

Friday: Trent and Kellee’s favorite PBs 6-9 months

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

Kellee & Ricki: We are currently absorbing the awesomeness of the ALAN workshop in Washington, D.C. We will update you on our reading last week and this upcoming week next Monday. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday Holocaust thanks yellowballoon

Tuesday: Top Ten Books On Our Winter TBR

 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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Trent6-9monthsfavbooks

I CANNOT believe that my baby boy is already 9 months old (as of yesterday)! He is growing so quickly and is such an awesome little kid.  We have continued reading as close to a book a day as possible and we are currently at 230 books! He’s been alive 264 days so if you count rereads we are pretty close to a book a day.

I will say that a 9 month old is much harder to get to sit down and read a book than a 3 month old!  Also, over these 3 months, we focused on doing a lot of rereads because I felt we were rushing too much through books and not finding favorites. Because of these factors, we only read 59 different books over these 3 months vs. 91 during 0-3 months and 92 during 3-6 months.

Today, I wanted to share some of our 20 favorite books that we’ve read over the last 3  months. I did not include any rereads on the list because our favorites had already been mentioned on our past lists: 0-3 months & 3-6 months.

1. Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton

personal

This is probably our favorite. It has a song of it sung by Davey Jones, and we follow along as we listen to the song. It is our go-to book right now.

2. Mini Myths by Joan Holub

pandora hercules

I love that Joan Holub is turning myths into board books! They aren’t very detailed, but they give basic information about the myth and teach a lesson.

3. Swing! and Waddle! by Rufus Butler Seder

swing waddle

Scanimation illustrations mesmerize Trent, and with the rhyming text, these books are so entertaining to read.

4. Five Black Cats by Patricia Hegarty

fiveblack

Trent really enjoyed this book. I think it is the rhythm of the rhyming prose mixed with the colorful illustrations.
(Fun side note: When we first picked this up to read, Jim said, “Let’s read Five Black Cats.” Then Trent responded with something that sounded very much like “Fie Back Cats.” Probably a coincidence, but it was awesome!)

5. Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

goodnight

I couldn’t believe I’d never read this book before! And I love that my husband pointed out the nuance that is the mouse in the book. He made me love it even more, and the simple story with strong illustrations holds Trent’s attention.

6. You Are My Work of Art by Sue DiCicco

work of art

Such a sweet, sweet, sweet message AND it is told using classic works of art. This book is right up our alley!

7. Big Bug by Henry Cole

big bug

This is a great book about perspective. This is a tough concept to teach, so Cole’s book will be great to help share it with Trent.

8. Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt

everywhere

Loved the promotion of reading a books with little ones in this book.

9. Up Close by Gay Wegerif

up close

This book teaches shapes, colors, and animals! Win!

10. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

runaway

A classic with such a sweet message about mothers’ true love.

11. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

mike mulligan

I remember reading this book as a child, but I hadn’t remembered how good it was. It is a story of true friendship and perseverance.

12. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

green eggs

I have found that sometimes when I read a Dr. Seuss book with Trent, it doesn’t live up to my memory of the book; however, this one did! The rhymes and realization at the end are just done so well.

13. Kiss, Kiss Good Night by Ken Kesbitt

kiss kiss

A sweet bedtime book with mom animals saying goodnight to their sweet babies.

14. Bob the Dog by Rodrigo Folgueira

bob

Although the lesson at the end of the book was blatant, the illustrations, humor, and crazy characters makes this a new favorite for us.

15. Antic! by Cathi Hepworth

antics

This is an ABC book like no other I’ve ever read. The inclusion of ANT in each word made it so the author had to stretch a bit, but the stretching what made it so the author had to be creative. There are some phenomenal words in this book.

16. This Moose Belongs to Me! by Oliver Jeffers

moosebelongs

My husband read this book to Trent and it made us both laugh out loud. Another brilliant book from Oliver Jeffers.

17. Oliver by Birgitta Sif

oliver

I love the lesson that is taught in this one. It is one I look forward to reading to Trent when he gets older.

18. Pardon Me! by Daniel Miyares

pardon

Um, the ending!

19. The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

bicycle

The illustrations are perfection and mixed with the sweet story of a kind girl make me read this to Trent multiple times (and since it didn’t have any words, I was able to change up the story each time!).

20. Thomas the Tank Engine: Shapes and Sizes by Wilbert Awdry

thomas

This is one of Trent’s favorite books. It is the one he pulls off the shelf (and usually puts straight in his mouth).

 Almost. Baby Beluga by Raffi

Baby beluga

I LOVED this song when I was a kid! When I read this to Trent, I pull up a You Tube video of Raffi singing, and we follow along. The book would have made the list, not been honorary, because we like the song and book; however, the ecology just isn’t correct…

What books should Trent read in the next 3 months? 

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Ricki and Henry

Every six months, I make an attempt to pick out the top ten picture books that Henry and I read together. This is incredibly difficult because we read so many fantastic books. But I understand, as a mom with a limited budget, that other parents may appreciate a list. We usually plow through library books and buy our favorites. Each of the books listed below is worthy of purchasing! With the holidays near, I recommend each of these. I am excluding my favorite books from our first top ten list (birth to six months). As I described in the first post, Henry, his dad, and I read books together every night, and we are excited to share these great books with all of you! They are in no particular order.

1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon

If you follow this blog, you know it is a tradition in our house to read this book every night. Henry is in love with it. His dad and I have the book memorized, and it has become our favorite. The way he reacts to each page and touches the red balloon and stars makes our hearts swell.

2. Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

freedom summer

This lyrical book moved me. It is worthy of the praise it has received and may be one of the best picture books I have ever read. I was inspired to read it after A.S. King discussed it in her article of The ALAN Review. This is a wonderful text is for people of all ages. I put it on Henry’s birthday wish list.

3. Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers

Once Upon an Alphabet

Oliver Jeffers is, in my humble opinion, one of the best picture book authors writing today. He breaks the rules and displays his quirky, clever humor in each of his books. This is a great book to teach the alphabet to kids. Each letter has a silly short story, and several of the short stories are connected. This book made me laugh a lot, and Henry seemed to enjoy it, too!

4. Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins (Linked to a Review by Kellee)

Tree Lady

This nonfiction picture book tells the beautiful story of a remarkable woman, Kate Sessions, who brought trees to San Diego. The book is inspirational, and the illustrations are absolutely stunning. I intend to read many books about powerful women to Henry. :)

5. The Noisy Paint Box by Robert Munsch (Linked to a Review by Kellee)

noisy

This is a magical picture book that is well worth the hype it is receiving. It teaches about synesthesia and Kandinsky’s childhood. It made me want to get out my paint box to listen to the sounds of the paint. After learning about his life, I will be buying a Kandinsky print!

6. The Magic of Maxwell and His Tail by Maureen Stolar Kanefield

Maxwell Magic Tail

This is precisely the kind of book that I want to read to my son. It teaches him that it is only okay to be different, but that he can use his differences in ways that make him special. I adored this book and will certainly read it to him again and again.

7. Buddy and the Bunnies: Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea 

Don't Play with Your Food

I absolutely adored this silly, fun story of a group of bunnies who fool a monster to prevent him from eating them. Bob Shea is an incredible storyteller, and this book reminded me of the trickster stories my grandfather used to tell me as a child.

8. The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty

snatchabook

I wish I had thought of the idea behind this book! It is a great story for bedtime, and Henry was drawn into the magical illustrations and rhyming language.

9. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

tango

As one of the most censored books, you would expect this to be very controversial (rather than a true story about two penguins). I have always longed to read this book, and after reading it with Henry, I was surprised by how innocent and very well-written it is. I guess people like to challenge…the truth? Either way, censorship aside, this book is an excellent work of nonfiction that I highly recommend. I would use it to teach the value of family, but I guess I am a risk-taker. ::wink:

10. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

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Months after reading this book, I can still hear the “Whoo-whoo-whoo” of the owl and still feel the brisk, winter air. This text whisked us away into the setting, and it would be a great mentor text for teachers.

What are your favorite children’s books? Henry and I would love to reserve them from the library! Please share!

RickiSig

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NF PB 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

Elizabeth Queen of the Seas

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas
Author: Lynne Cox
Illustrator: Brian Floca
Published May 13, 2014 by Schwartz & Wade

GoodReads Summary: World-renowned swimmer and bestselling author Lynne Cox and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Brian Floca team up to bring us this inspiring story of an elephant seal who knew exactly where she belonged.

Here is the incredible story of Elizabeth, a real-life elephant seal who made her home in the Avon River in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. When Elizabeth decides to stretch out across a two-lane road, the citizens worry she might get hurt or cause traffic accidents, so a group of volunteers tows her out to sea. But Elizabeth swims all the way back to Christchurch. The volunteers catch her again and again—each time towing her farther, even hundreds of miles away—but, still, Elizabeth finds her way back home.

Includes back matter with information about elephant seals.

My Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I had never heard of this delightful elephant seal, and I was fascinated by this charming story. Lynne Cox excellently depicts this real-life seal who traveled hundreds of miles to return home. Floca’s illustrations are equally engaging, and children will be drawn to the beautiful details in this book. Readers will learn lessons of dogged determination and friendship. They will be spellbound by Elizabeth’s story and will long to learn more about elephant seals and New Zealand after reading this book. It would make a great pairing with a marine unit because of its connections to wildlife. Elizabeth is excellently personified, and children will feel connected to her.

Discussion Questions: How does Elizabeth show determination? How might you show determination in your own lives?; How does the author personify Elizabeth? Did you feel connected to her? How would the story be different if the author allowed Elizabeth to talk? Would you like the story more or less?

We Flagged: “Moving up the shore like a giant inchworm, she’d stretch herself out on the long, cool grass and take a nap in the bright sunshine.”

Read This If You Loved: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Ivan: The Remarkable Ture Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate

Recommended For: 

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top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Top Ten Topics We’d Like to See More in Picture Books

Sorry—we went rogue on today’s top ten topic. We would love to read more about these topics, particularly as moms.

Ricki

1. Race/Ethnicity

I believe children should learn to appreciate different races and ethnicities at an early age. #weneeddiversebooks

2. Bullying

I don’t think we can have enough books about bullying. I would particularly like to read more books that discuss the bystanders of bullying.

3. Grief

There are some phenomenal books about grief, but I know parents and teachers would appreciate more books to guide children through difficult times.

4. Varied Types of Families

Too many picture books portray traditional families. I am always excited to read books like And Tango Makes Three that show the various, loving families that exist.

5. Books that Promote Reading

I tend to fall in love with any book that shows how cool and fun reading can be.

Kellee

Ah! Ricki stole all mine! That’s what I get for writing the post after her…

1. Penguins living in the South Pole not with polar bears or Santa AND apes being called apes, not monkeys

These are two pet peeves, and I would love if they would stop happening.

2. A variety of animals, not just the same ones over and over

Some of my favorite animal picture books I’ve read are favorites because they discuss a variety of animals, not just the same ones as Old McDonald has on his farm over and over.

3. School and learning

I would love to see school be portrayed as a positive place and learning as a the amazing thing it is.

4. Imagination

I love books like The Most Magnificent Thing and The Dot because of how much they promote imagination. Too often kids are losing that imagination time because of technology, so I would love to see more books talk about the importance of imagination.

5. Empathy

I know that this is very similar to Ricki’s bullying, but it is wider and deeper than just bullying. I want to discuss with kids how to be empathetic, how to not judge, how to want to help, how to be a good person, etc.

Which topics would you like to read more about in picture books?

RickiSig and Signature

 
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IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Last Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday From My (Huge) Library Pile writing great books for young adults snowman

Tuesday: Top Ten Characters We Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

Friday: Snowman’s Story Blog Tour & Giveaway!
Giveaway open until Friday!!!!

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

 Last Week’s Journeys

Kellee: I was able to finish 2 of the 4 books that I was reading last week: Ares by George O’Connor and Amulet: Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi. They were both SO GOOD! If anyone ever questioned the brilliance of graphic novels, they just need to pick up these series. I also was able to read Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu, an adult graphic novel from France, and it has a twist I DID NOT see coming. Overall, a wonderful graphic novel reading week!

With Trent we read three new books this week. They all were from my mom and quite good. First, Watch Me Hop! had animated illustrations and a nice rhyme scheme, I Love You When… was another sweet “I Love You” book, but the best was Bob the Dog by Rodrigo Folgueira which was quite funny and had great illustrations.

Ricki: I am thrilled to say that I finished my last professional development text for the semester! Yahoo! I read Lynn Atkinson Smolen and Ruth A. Oswald’s Multicultural Literature and Response: Affirming Diverse Voices. I particularly appreciated the chapters devoted to different races and ethnicities. For instance, I learned a lot about Appalachian literature. There is a lot of practical advice for teachers in this text. The last chapter provided a great overview of different multicultural awards, a conference, and outreach programs devoted to multicultural literature.

I also finished listening to Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out many, many years ago. On a whim, I reserved the audiobook at the library. It was an excellent book to listen to, and I loved getting lost in the Dutch, 17th-century setting.

This Week’s Expeditions

Kellee: I had planned on reading The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney, but so many students wanted to read it, I couldn’t keep it any longer. Dylan F. is now reading it, and I have a 5+ name waiting list. One day I’ll get to read it :) I am still reading Mira’s Diary: Bombs Over London and am about half way through. It is as good as the first two, but I just haven’t found as much time to read as I liked since I am working on getting ready for NCTE (I’m presenting with Cece Bell, Nathan Hale, Frank Cammuso, and Trevor Pryce!) and ALAN (I’m moderating the Walden Award panel!). I also have The Silver Six by AJ Lieberman, a new-to-me graphic novel, to read. I love being introduced to new GNs! I am not sure how much reading I’ll get done over the next two weeks because of the conference, so we’ll see!

Ricki: I am free! Free to be! I am excited to get back into my groove of reading young adult literature. I feel like the world is my oyster, and I am pumped to get started on a few YA ARCs that I’ve received this month. One I am particularly excited to read is Audacity by Melanie Crowder.

Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday Elizabeth Queen of the Seas Ricki and Henry Trent6-9monthsfavbooks

Tuesday: Top Ten Topics We’d Like to See More in Picture Books

Thursday: Henry and Ricki’s favorite PBs, 6-12 months

Friday: Trent and Kellee’s favorite PBs, 6-9 months

 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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snowman

Snowman’s Story
Author: Will Hillenbrand
Published November 18th, 2014 by Two Lions

Goodreads Summary: One wintry day, a hat lands on the head of a newly made snowman and brings him to life. Hiding inside the hat is a rabbit, who listens to the snowman read a story to some animal friends. When the snowman falls asleep, the rabbit hops away with the book. But the snowman isn’t about to let his story. or the mischievous rabbit, get away. The chase is on! Filled with charm and fun, this wordless picture book from a beloved illustrator lets kids tell their own version of the story, even as they delight in the action-filled pages.

About the Author: Will Hillenbrand has illustrated many beloved picture books, including Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root; and Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!, and Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze! by Maureen Wright. He has also written and illustrated a number of picture books, including Down by the Barn, the Bear and Mole series, and Mother Goose Picture Puzzles. Will enjoys visiting schools to talk about the creative process involved in making a picture book. He lives with his wife, Jane, and their son, Ian, in Terrace Park, Ohio. For more information, visit his website: http://www.willhillenbrand.com

WillHillenbrand2012 (2) (1)

Our Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This beautifully illustrated, wordless picture book whisks readers into the brisk, wintery setting that fill the pages. As a rabbit jumps into a snowman’s hat, he comes alive with all of the forest animals. Rabbit steals the a book from the animals which sets them all on the move—they must get that book back! Children will be able to create their own stories as they read this magical tale, and the great element of wordless books is that readers can change the story each time they read along. These picture books are great to inspire creativity—they honor the child’s voice and imagination. Teachers might consider using them as starting points for creative writing opportunities in the classroom.

Discussion Questions: Why do you think the author chose the animals he did?; In what ways does the author tell the story without using words?; Do you like wordless picture books? Why or why not?; Write your own narrative following Snowman’s Story‘s illustrations. In what ways could you change your story while still staying true to the illustrations?

Fun Stuff! 

Coloring Sheet!

Snowman's Story_coloring page (2)

Help Snowman Find his Story (free downloadable game!)

Book Trailer: 

You Can Win Your Own Copy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow all the stops on the SNOWMAN’S STORY blog tour!
Mon, Nov 3
As They Grow Up
Tues, Nov 4
Cracking the Cover
Wed, Nov 5
Geo Librarian
Thurs, Nov 6
5 Minutes for Books
Fri, Nov 7
Momma Drama
Sat, Nov 8
Booking Mama
Mon, Nov 10
Just a Little Creativity
Tues, Nov 11
Kid Lit Frenzy
Wed, Nov 12
Children’s Book Review
Thurs, Nov 13
Displaced Yinzer
Fri, Nov 14
Once Upon a Story
Unleashing Readers

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classroomlibrarybuttonsmall

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**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing copies for review!**

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