Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories
Author and Illustrator: Sergio Ruzzier
Published April 17th, 2018 by Chronicle Books
Summary: Fox and Chick don’t always agree. But Fox and Chick are always friends. With sly humor and companionable warmth, Sergio Ruzzier deftly captures the adventures of these two seemingly opposite friends. The luminous watercolor images showcased in comic-book panel form will entice emerging readers, while the spare text and airiness of the images make this early chapter book accessible to a picture book audience as well.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Activities for The Party and Other Stories include:
How to Read a Graphic Novel
Reading a graphic novel differs from reading prose text because readers must infer everything outside of the dialogue they are given and what is presented in the illustrations.
First, using Fox + Chick discuss the differences with your class between a picture book, a chapter book, and a graphic novel. Make sure to point out the parts of a graphic novel like speech bubbles show what the characters are saying, panels (each square), and the gutter (the space between panels). Then discuss how to read a graphic novel (typically read left to right, top to bottom).
Extension activity: Discuss with students why an author would choose to write their story as a graphic novel versus a chapter book or picture book.
Then, to show how inferences have to be made between panels, use pages 2/3 to page 4. As a reader you can infer that Chick continued walking to the house shown on page 2/3 even though the illustrations don’t show each little step. Also, between the first two panels on page 4, the reader can infer that Chick had to wait a bit even though the panels don’t show it.
After reading the story, have students show how they use inferring to comprehend the story by:
K-1st: Retell the story including inferences made between panels and what the illustrations show.
2nd-3rd: Rewrite the story as a narrative including inferences made between panels and what the illustrations show.
Conflict and Resolution
Conflict is the problem with a story or part of a story while the resolution is how that problem is solved. In each of the chapters in Fox + Chick, there is a conflict and a resolution. Each chapter gives an opportunity to learn these narrative elements.
For chapter 1, “The Party,” as a class, determine the conflict and the resolution.
For chapter 2, “Good Soup,” have students determine the conflict and resolution in pairs.
For chapter 3, “Sit Still,” have students determine the conflict and resolution independently.
Character traits are all the aspects of a character’s behavior from how they act to what they think.
Before reading: As a class, list the character traits the students assume a fox and a chick are going to have. How will they act? What type of personality will they have? How are they going to interact with each other?
After reading: Independently or as a class, have students complete a character trait activity on each character. Have students answer the following questions then place their answers into a graphic organizer:
How did the character act in the story?
What feelings did the character portray in the story?
What words would you use to describe the character’s personality?
See the Teaching Guide Created by me (Kellee) for even more activities and discussion questions!
You can also access the teaching guide through Chronicle’s website here.
Atlas of Imaginary Places
Author: Mia Cassany
Illustrator: Ana de Lima
Published: May 8, 2018 by Prestel Junior
Summary: This dreamy, gorgeously detailed picture book leads children on a journey to impossible but wonderfully imagined places.
Upside-down mountains, volcanoes that spew bubble gum, a gentle humpback whale keeping an entire city afloat. These and other wonderful worlds may not exist on Earth, but elsewhere–who knows? Each spread of this captivating book invites readers on a fantastic voyage. Ana de Lima’s whimsical, softly colored illustrations are filled with surprising details that reward close examination, while Mia Cassany’s soothing narrator is a nameless fellow traveler. A jungle where the animals exchange stripes, spots, and markings each time they sneeze, an archipelago made up of dessert-shaped islands, and a lighthouse so tall you can draw a new galaxy with your finger are just some of the wild places to visit. Perfect for before-bed reading, or daytime dreaming, this stunningly illustrated book will delight young readers and encourage them to conjure their own imaginary places.
My Review: Ever since I finished reading this book (the first time), I have been really looking forward to reviewing it. I cannot get over how wonderfully imaginative it is. It’s absolutely breath-taking. I’ve read it about fifteen times now, and every time, I notice something different. When my son pulls it off of the bookshelf for our nightly reading routine, I silently cheer. I love reading it and pouring through the pages with him. I include a spread below to give you a sense of the gorgeous pages within the book. In the spread featured below, a humpback whale rests just below the surface of the ocean. An entire city is afloat, and the page tells readers that when the city goes to sleep, the whale will wake. But because the city never sleeps, the whale will never wake. I sat with this page for quite some time. I love the magical notion that beneath the surface of the island rests a beautiful, unseen whale. I’ve read thousands of picture books, and this one ranks as one of my favorites. It’s remarkable.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: This book belongs in every creative writing class (at all age levels). Teachers might ask students to imagine their own imaginary place. They could write and illustrate a spread, and the spreads could be combined to form a class book. Older writers might examine the prose and the imagination that brings this book alive.
For my Teaching Writing college course, I intend to ask students to select a spread and begin to draft a story. The pages of this book make great story starters. It would also be a great book to talk about setting.
- Which page is your favorite? Why?
- Compare and contrast the pages. What is similar? What is different?
- How do the author and illustrator seem to work to together to make this book come alive?
- What is an imaginary place that you might add to this collection? What would it look like?
Read This If You Loved: What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada; What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada; The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires; The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, Journey by Aaron Becker
*Thank you to Casey from Media Masters Publicity for providing this book for an honest review!*
Blog Tour with Review, Teaching Guide, and Giveaway!: Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries
Authors: Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Published June 26th, 2018
Summary: Unbelievable TRUTHS about outrageous people, places and events—with a few outright LIES hiding among them. Can you tell the fakes from the facts?
Did you know that a young girl once saved an entire beach community from a devastating tsunami thanks to something she learned in her fourth-grade geography lesson? Or that there is a person alive today who generates her own magnetic field? Or how about the fact that Benjamin Franklin once challenged the Royal Academy of Brussels to devise a way to make farts smell good?
Welcome to Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries! You know the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie.
Can you guess which stories are the facts and which are the fakes? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to root out the alternative facts.
From a train that transported dead people to antique photos of real fairies to a dog who was elected mayor, the stories in this book will amaze you! Just don’t believe everything you read. . . .
About the Authors:
Ammi-Joan Paquette loves caves, hates mushy bananas, and is ambivalent about capybaras. She is the author of the novels The Train of Lost Things, Paradox, and Nowhere Girl as well as the Princess Juniper series and many more. She is also the recipient of a PEN/New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award honor. Joan lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she balances her own writing with her day job as a literary agent. You can visit her online at www.ajpaquette.com.
Laurie Ann Thompson loves capybaras, hates caves, and is ambivalent about mushy bananas. She is the author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which was the recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Book and a CCBC Choice, among other accolades. She lives outside Seattle with her family, and you can visit her online at www.lauriethompson.com
Unleashing Readers review of Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=13591
Review: I just love this series for so many reasons! First, it is just so interesting! Even the “lies” include true stories with information switched out to make it not true. There are quizzes and tidbits of information. There is so much to read about and just take in. I am so in awe with the authors who truly find unknown information that is fascinating and will keep kids (and adults!) reading. Also, I think it is so important to teach students/kids (and adults!) how to determine if information being given to us is valid and reliable. Third, I think the authors do a fantastic job including a wide variety of topics to give students who may have different interests interested. And with two books in the series now focusing on two different focuses, it makes it so even more readers will find something they want to learn about. And lastly, I am so glad that the authors are making nonfiction fun! Too many of my students don’t like nonfiction because they find it “boring.” This book is anything but boring.
“Part 1: Hazy Histories
History. Some people think of it as nothing more than a whole bunch of names and events and dates to be memorized. But history is so much more than that. History is people, history is stories, history is fascinating!
In this section, we’ll spin some amazing tales from ancient history right up to the present day. All of them are remarkable, but remember–one of the stories in each chapter is fake.
Prepare yourself to experience history in a way that you never have before.
Let’s get started!
Chapter 2: Over 1,00 Years Ago
Read This If You Love: Unsolved Mysteries from History series by Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple: The Mary Celeste, Roanoke, The Wolf Girls, and The Salem Witch Trials; History’s Mysteries from National Geographic; History; Nonfiction mysteries
Blog Tour Stops:
|6/19||Library Lions Roar|
|6/21||A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust|
|6/21||Roadmap to Reality: Helping Kids Find Their Way in a World of Fake News|
|6/26||The Official Tumblr of Walden Media|
|6/27||Nerdy Book Club|
|6/28||The Book Monsters|
Samia R.’s Fifteen Word Book Reviews (6th grade)
House Arrest by K.A. Holt
This book is really easy to read and has a strong message about sibling devotion.
Breakout by Kate Messner
This book is written in multiple formats which was different and also fun to read.
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
This book has the perfect mix of action, mystery, and action, and it’s really good.
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
It’s emotionally attaching and makes you want to finish it the day you started it.
Booked by Kwame Alexander
This is a novel in verse and also deals with real important real life issues.
Posted by John David Anderson
This book is about five friends struggling to fit in at school and finding themselves.
Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent
This book is about a boy who feels he’s between two cultures because he’s adopted.
Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiassen
This fun book mixes action and mystery perfectly and will definitely keep the reader hooked.
The Summer of May by Cecilia Galante
This book is touching and funny and also so emotionally, so it is really good.
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
This book is about two friends who find a mystery and try to solve it.
Vasudev M.’s Fifteen Word Book Reviews (6th grade)
Legend by Marie Lu
This is a dystopic, suspenseful book that has a mix of action, romance, and mystery.
Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
A book with twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Has a mix of romance, action, and science fiction. This book is centered around loyalty.
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
A book that shows that a group together during the most desperate times can prevail.
Warcross by Marie Lu
A book with a mix of action and romance that demonstrates loyalty, friendship, and determination.
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
A mix of action, romance, and humor, and has many twists that keep you interested.
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
A fast-paced action-packed book with a pinch of humor and romance. It is well composed.
Rescued by Eliot Schrefer
An adventurous book that shows friendship and determination teaches you to do the right thing.
Champion by Marie Lu
An action-packed book that has suspense and romance. This book has many unsuspected twists.
Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
A clever book based off of Greek Mythology that has action, suspense, and humor.
Ariana M.’s and Mariana S.’s Fifteen Word Book Reviews (7th grade)
Rescued by Eliot Schrefer
We love this book for a myriad of reasons. First, it opens your eyes to a lot of things that kids are in the dark about like palm oil and how to treat orangutans. When you read Rescued, you fall in love with it because you feel like you’re in the story, too, and fall in love with the characters.
(Kellee’s note: This book review was written before they decided to do fifteen word book reviews, so this is just a regular review.)
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
This book teaches you about the struggles of family and how sometimes sisterhood can be tough.
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
Teaches you that you aren’t alone even when life gets hard, you’ll have a friend.
Real Friends by Shannon Hale
This book shows the importance of having true friends and to have confidence in yourself.
Explorer: The Lost Islands edited by Kazu Kibuishi
This collection of stories show you that not everything is as it seems and that teamwork is very important.
Emily P.’s Not-Fifteen Word Reviews of her favorite SSYRA books 2015-2018 (8th grade)
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
This book is amazing! It is so action-packed and so interesting. I must admit, it was a slow start, but it took off. Piper and Gee make my heart melt and the sisterly love is so sweet!
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
This dystopian novel had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Cia is so clever and sweet, and Tomas and her are such a power couple. The whole series is absolutely amazing.
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
This sad, sad book is so heart-wrenching and so good. Mark’s story may be sad, but I wanted to keep on reading to make sure he and Beau were okay.
Frenzy by Robert Lettrick
This book is definitely my type of book: thrilling, funny, and fast-paced. I couldn’t stop reading, and the twists and turns throughout the book were really confusing to my emotions.
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Ada’s story gives me hope, but reminds me of the terrible people in this world. So many turning points will make you never want to stop reading. You’ll fall in love with so many characters, especially Ms. Susan.
Thank you to my wonderful students, Samia, Vasudev, Ariana, Mariana, and Emily, for your reviews!
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!
It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 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!
Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, 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
Friday: Review and Giveaway!: Goodbye Brings Hello by Dianne White
Giveaway open until Friday!
**Click on any picture/link to view the post**
Congratulations to our fellow blogger, Shaye, for winning What Do They Do with All That Poo?!
Last Week’s Journeys
I am at ALA Annual in NOLA this weekend; I will catch up with you all next Monday 🙂
I am very jealous of Kellee.
I read Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. This quirky little book engaged me from the very first page. It’s marketed to ages 8-12, but it’s one of those books that will appeal to readers of all ages. The story is quite charming, and it feels very magical.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson is absolutely stunning. I’ll be reading this book on the first day of my classes. This book is going to make my favorite list for the year.
Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. This book is getting a lot of press, and it’s beautifully conceptualized. I happened to have this book in my backpack when I was on campus, and I pulled it out to share with several colleagues. We need more picture books that push gender identity. It’s time.
I read several other picture books, but I want to stop here. These three books are simply wonderful, and posting about others feels like it takes away from their impact.
Request: Does anyone have any recommendations for YA texts that have strong themes of rural, white poverty? I’ve got The Smell of Other People’s Houses, The Serpent King, Ramona Blue, and Me and Marvin Gardens.
This Week’s Expeditions
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro is my upstairs, bedtime book.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani is my downstairs, kids-are-napping book.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is my audio book for cleaning, cooking, and driving. It’s 16+ hours long, and I’m a third of the way through. I need a longer commute!
Upcoming Week’s Posts
Tuesday: Student Voices: (Mostly) Fifteen Word Book Reviews by Five of Kellee’s 2017-18 Middle School Students
Wednesday: Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Thursday: Atlas of Imaginary Places by Mia Cassany
Friday: Teaching Guide with Activities and Discussion Questions for Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier
Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “The Uh…. Game” by Mark Morrison, Author of TwoSpells
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!
Author: Elizabeth Foster
Published October 30th, 2017 by Odyssey Books
About the Book: When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.
“I loved Esme’s determination and I loved the unbreakable bond between mother and child. Esme’s Wish overflows with creativity, imagination and originality.” – Kait’s Bookshelf.
“A fresh new fantasy, of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song
About the Author: Elizabeth Foster read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago when reading to her own children reminded her how much she missed getting lost in other worlds. Once she started writing, she never looked back. She’s at her happiest when immersed in stories, plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters. Elizabeth lives in Sydney, Australia, where she can often be found scribbling in cafés, indulging her love of both words and coffee. Find her on facebook @elizabethfosterauthor or on Instagram @elizabethfoster_ Find out more about Esme’s Wish, including teachers’ notes, on her website www.elizabethfoster.com.au.
Author Guest Post:
“Tweens to teens – the case of the missing category”
There has never been a better time to be a bookworm. Reading is in, geek is chic, and publishers are pumping out YA blockbuster after YA blockbuster. However, some eager young readers have been left in the dust.
Over the past few months, librarians and teachers have lamented to me a lack of titles appropriate for 10 to 14-year-olds. YA is skewing older and older – over half of YA readers are adults, according to several polls – and middle grade (MG) novels are strictly aimed at readers 8-12. So what about those readers who slip between the cracks? A recent Publishing & Weekly article pointed out that the 10-14 category used to exist, but does no longer. I believe this is a huge disservice to the ‘tween’ set: those who want something meatier than a chapter book, but aren’t ready for the violence, sex, and edgy themes of older YA.
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for authors to find a publisher for titles aimed at this age group, because such novels don’t fit so neatly on the ‘YA’ and ‘MG’ shelves in a bookstore. I recently went through this struggle myself when seeking publication for my debut novel, Esme’s Wish.
Esme’s Wish, a fantasy/mystery for 10 to 14-year-olds, is the first in a trilogy, and edges into darker material as the protagonist ages – so it didn’t feel right to market the series as MG. But it is quite different from the older YA fare. There is no romance, at least in the first book, and minimal violence.
Esme Silver, the novel’s protagonist, still has some catching-up to do developmentally, due to the loss of her mother at the age of eight. After years of being vilified by her community, she’s still learning about friendship, loyalty, and trust. She still loves and longs for her missing mother. YA protagonists have typically already navigated the pains of separating from their parents, but how does one accomplish such a monumental developmental task when that figure is missing from one’s life?
Ultimately, I am glad I stayed true to my intentions. Teen girls up to the age of 14 or 15 have read the novel and loved it, particularly enjoying the focus on friendship and family, as well as the world-building and mystery aspects. The story has had a positive response from preteens, too. In fact, I just received an email from a primary school librarian telling me that one of her book club readers included it in her top ten (just below Wonder!) To help things along, I have decided to market the Esme series as ‘MG-to-YA’, after seeing books similar to mine tagged this way on Goodreads. Hopefully this will catch on, and help better delineate this category for publishers, authors and readers.
I remember my own kids at the cusp of adolescence – excited about the challenges of adulthood but stepping ahead with trepidation, one step forward, one step back. At the grand age of eleven or twelve, they were already reminiscing about their ‘childhood’ with fondness and nostalgia. More fiction for this rather forgotten age group can help ease the passage we, as adults, have already been through ourselves – and survived!
Esme’s Wish was published by Odyssey Books in late 2017. Its sequel, Esme’s Gift, is due out in early 2019.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for your post and sharing Esme with us!
Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts
Author: Dianne White
Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
Published June 26th, 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Summary: There are many ways of letting go.
With each goodbye, a new hello.
From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next.
Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life’s milestones, both large and small.
About the Author and Illustrator:
When she was five, Dianne White said goodbye to her house and her teacher, Mrs. Dunlap, and hello to a new school, and her newest favorite teacher, Mr. Loop. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the award-winning author of Blue on Blue. She lives in Arizona, where she writes full-time. Her next book, Who Eats Orange?, is due out August 2018. For more information, and to download a free activity kit, visit diannewrites.com. Twitter: @diannewrites
Daniel Wiseman remembers saying goodbye to the training wheels on his bike, and saying a great big hello to skinned knees and elbows. But the freedom of rolling on two wheels was well worth the bumps and bruises. He still rides his (slightly larger) bike almost every day. Daniel loves to draw, and has illustrated several books for children. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Visit him at danieldraws.com. Instagram: @d_wiseman
“White and Wiseman have created an engaging set of vignettes that will appeal to young listeners in the process of learning new skills.”—Booklist
“This book will give courage to any child feeling a little nervous or scared to try something new.”—Kirkus
“The brightly colored, naive-style illustrations add a cheerful positivity to the book.”—School Library Journal
Review: Wow! What a great lesson within the pages of this book! As kids grow up, one of the hardest things is the saying goodbye to things as they outgrow or as the world changes. For example, Trent just finished preschool and is now in a jump start to pre-K program, so he is switching teachers. What a hard transition! We’ve also had a lot of change at my school that I teach at, and I have had to talk to my middle schoolers about change. It is hard for them, too! And the book doesn’t only deal with big changes, it also shows that seasons change, clothes change, haircuts change… Life is about changes, and we have to learn how to work through them to live our happiest life. Because of the way the book is written, a lot of discussion can happen inferring from the writing and the illustrations to help determine what change is happening to the kid in the illustration.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Activity kit including discussion questions, poetry, graphing, mazes, looking at seasons, and other fun activities here: https://bit.ly/2s3WA40
Discussion Questions: Here are some some of the discussion questions from the activity kit:
- What are some things you’ve had to say goodbye to? Were you sad to leave them behind? Or did you feel happy that you were moving on to something new?
- On the back cover of the book it says, “Trying new things takes courage.” What do you think this means?
- Can you think ahead to what things you’ll do in the future? What will you be saying goodbye to soon? What hellos are you looking forward to?
- Do you think saying goodbye and hello to things only happens when you’re a kid? Do grown ups say goodbye and hello to things?
Read This If You Love: School People by Lee Bennett Hopkins; Time for School by Brian Biggs; Monster Needs to Go to School by Paul Czajak; On My Way to School by Sarah Maizes; One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me by John Micklos; When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano
**Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review and giveaway!**
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