Trent’s Favorite Books as of his 6th Birthday

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My little man is quite the reader. It makes me emotional just talking about it because it is just so wonderful to see your child love the thing you love so much.

I’ve always tracked on Goodreads what Trent and I read together. This year he is at about 370 books! And this doesn’t even count what he reads with his teacher and librarian at school–I get these amazing emails from his teacher listing all of the books she reads, and she reads at least 10 a week! (I just don’t track them on Goodreads since it is my account, and I didn’t read it with him.) Because of all this reading, he received is “500 books” button at school this week!

All of this means that there were many books for him to choose as his favorite, and when I asked him to narrow down his list, he said, “But these are my favorites; how can I get rid of anything?” with a shocked look on his face, so without further adieu, I present Trent’s VERY LONG list of favorite books as of his 6th birthday (in no particular order).

Picture Books (Stand Alone)

  • Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile
  • Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner
  • Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Illustrated by Dan Santat
  • Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You! by Sonia Sotomayor, Illustrated by Rafael López
  • Truman by Jean ReidyIllustrated Lucy Ruth Cummins
  • Jasper & Ollie by Alex Willan
  • It’s NOT Hansel & Gretel by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
  • A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, Illustrated by Catia Chien

  • The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach
  • When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland
  • The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
  • Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares
  • This Book is Not about Dragons by Shelley Moore Thomas, Illustrated by Fred Koehler
  • We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

  • I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbit
  • Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers by Laura Renauld, Illustrated by Brigette Barrager
  • Rot, the Cutest in the World by Ben Clanton
  • Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich
  • What Do You Do With All That Poo? by Jane Kurtz, Illustrated by Allison Black

Picture Books (Series) 

  • Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Brendan Kearney
  • Our Universe by Stacy McAnulty
  • The Lost Books by b.b. Cronin
  • The Shapes Trilogy by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Nibbles by Emma Yarlett
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
  • Flubby by J.E. Morris
  • Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series by Various (Dan Santat, Laurie Keller, Charise Mericle Harper, Bryan Collier, LeUyen Pham, Ryan T. Higgins)

Early Chapter Books (all series)

  • Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Arthur Howard
  • Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
  • Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi, Illustrated by Hatem Aly
  • Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger, Illustrated by Cece Bell
  • Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
  • Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Emily Hughes

  • Mia Mayhem by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
  • Fergus and Zeke by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Heather Ross
  • Chick and Brain by Cece Bell
  • Dragon by Dav Pilkey
  • Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
  • Poppleton by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Mark Teague

Graphic Novels (also all series)

  • Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton
  • Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
  • Fox & Chick by Sergio Ruzzier

Mo Willems (yes, he gets his own section because Trent LOVES his books)

 

  • Elephant & Piggie series
  • Knuffle Bunny series
  • Pigeon series
  • Unlimited Squirrels series
  • Leonardo, the Terrible Monster & Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World!
  • That is NOT a Good Idea

Phew! There you have it: the books that Trent chose to share with you all as his favorites! If you are ever interested in what Trent and I read, you can check out our Goodreads shelf.

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Past “Trent’s Favorite Books” Posts

Kellee and Trent’s Favorite Picture Books: First Three Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Picture Books: Three to Six Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Picture Books: Six to Nine Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Books: Nine to Twelve Months

A First Year Full of Books: Trent’s Journey Through Books
**Check this one out if you haven’t–it is one of my favorite posts ever!**

Trent’s Favorite Books: One to Two Years Old

Ten of Trent’s Favorite Books as of His Third Birthday

Ten(ish) of Trent’s Favorite Books as of His Fourth Birthday

Trent’s Favorite Reads as of His Fifth Birthday

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

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The Forest Queen
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Published: August 7, 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Guest Review by Rachel Krieger

Summary: When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.

Review: Anyone familiar with the tale of Robin Hood likes the idea of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Betsy Cornwell’s twist on this idea changes it just enough to give the story some flavor and novelty. The characters were compelling and the relationships were truly touching, but everything felt a little too convenient to me. There were several times when characters all but died and ended up making it out without a scrape. In a world where all of the favorable characters are on the lamb, there was a fair amount of luck and inaction that saved nearly every one of them. As a gender bent twist on a fairytale and a lively retelling of an old story, this novel had merit, but there wasn’t quite enough to it to call it a masterpiece.

However, as far as representation goes, Betsy Cornwell hit it on the head. The Forest Queen, as the title lets on, has a female leading things. The role of Robin Hood was usurped by a woman and amplified by the fact that the woman is stealing from her own family to give to the poor. The other females in the novel show strength in the face of things like rape and a shocking lack of agency. There are even LGBTQ characters that add to the sense that women in this world are the epitome of overcoming their circumstances.

Teacher’s Tool For Navigation:This novel is a great outlet in which to discuss rape culture. Although it is not the most prominent part of the story, it plays a part and is represented in an ideal way in relation to discussion. Because this subject is extremely difficult to discuss in general, let alone in a classroom, talking about it within the realm of this fantastical society may make it a bit easier. It would be interesting to reflect upon the similarities between the culture in the novel and our own culture in this society. It is so incredibly important to discuss difficult subjects in the classroom, but when it is in reference to a novel like The Forest Queen, it can be looked at in a more academic way.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Did Sylvie have a right to encourage the village people to rebel against her brother?
  • What do the ties to the story of Robin Hood do for this novel?
  • How do women take power in this story and how does that differ from classic fantasy?

Read This If You Loved: Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Recommended For: 

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Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

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Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Published: April 10, 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Guest Review by Rachel Krieger

Summary: Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

Review: I absolutely adore this book. Makiia Lucier did an excellent job of incorporating strong characters, resistance to discrimination, mystery, romance, and interesting elements of the fantastic all in one novel. The plot had me completely riveted and I spent a lot of time while not reading thinking about the big reveal I knew was coming. Lucier had strong female characters who consistently proved to be as independent and capable as their male counterparts. The quest narrative was something new and fascinating that will certainly have all readers sticking around until the end. And best yet, this was the first book I have ever read about map-making. The incredible world building required no info dump, nor unrealistic exposition, because Lucier’s characters are often seen either drawing or studying maps. The issues discussed, the characters created, and the world formed came together to make a wonderfully mysterious and incredibly fun novel to read.

Teacher’s Tool For Navigation: This book is a great way for students to look at discrimination. Although the races represented in this novel are of a fantastical nature, they are still ripe for discussion. You can ask your students to think about the real-life connections to the way that Mercedes is treated, being of mixed race. There are many books that address this type of racism directly, making it one of the main aspects of the story. Lucier addresses the issue a few times but does not make it a major plot point. It would be really interesting to discuss this as a plot element but not a form of social commentary.

It could also be interesting to look at and start a discussion on the treatment of illness in our society. There is an island in this novel where lepers are quarantined, often against their will. Although we have nothing exactly like this in society, there are certainly loose parallels in the ways that we treat people with diseases and disorders. It would be really beneficial to start a conversation with students about this form of social imprisonment that is rarely discussed.

Discussion Questions: 

  • What parts of this novel reaffirm gender stereotypes, and which break away?
  • Can you think of any ways that Mercedes’s treatment in the novel is reflected in the real world?
  • What does this novel say about the way that illness is treated in society?

We Flagged: “It was not the first time someone had spat at Mercedes, or even the fifth, but it had been some years since Elias had witnessed the insult.”

Read This If You Loved: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Scythe Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall 

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Trent’s Favorite Reads as of his Fifth Birthday

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HAPPY FIFTH BIRTHDAY, TRENT!

I cannot believe my boy is five and will be entering elementary school next year. He is everything anyone would want in a kid including kind, respectful, empathetic, and smart. And not to mention, a kid who loves books!

According to Goodreads, where I try to keep as accurate as possible statistics on what Trent reads with us, he read 146 books in this year taking his total to 577 books in his life time!

Today, I am going to share with you his current favorite reads and his reasons why he loves them. He chose these books for me to include and the reasons why are in his own words:

  
Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey

“They have fliporamas! They show us cool stuff. Petey lets everyone go in their underpants. Dog Man is funny!”


Nibbles books by Emma Yarlett

“I like how Nibbles chomps stuff. I like that he gets away.”


Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

“I like how Pooh talks, and he finds a balloon. Eeyore is my favorite. I like how Eeyore talks and sits. Bei Bei (Trent’s stuffed Panda) sits like him, too.”


Beep and Bob by Jonathan Roth

“It is funny. Bob’s tongue gets stuck on Pluto. Pluto is cold and has a lot of ice. It’s the smallest planet and is in our solar system, but his new name is dwarf planet. Beep is an alien.”

 
Pete the Cat books by James Dean

“Pete makes a robot who is his friend robot Pete. Robot Pete does whatever Pete says to do. And Pete loves bananas though he ate a rotten one, so his mom tries to give him every food that there is.”


Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

“I like about Dragons Love Tacos that they eat so much tacos. If there is salsa in the tacos, they will spit fire all over the place. It makes me scared, but I like it because it is cool.”


Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

“The kitten thinks the moon is a bowl of milk. The kitten is sad because he can’t find milk. But the book ends okay when he goes to his house. The kitten is cute.”

 
Earth! and Sun! by Stacy McAnulty

“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up and study space, so I like these two books because they help me learn about space.”


Tinyville Town books by Brian Biggs

“I like how they build a new bridge and everyone helps. Everyone has a job in Tinyville Town.”


The Lost House by B.B. Cronin

“Grandpa promised to take the grandchildren to the park, but he lost some things, and I like finding things for him.”


Life on Mars by Jon Agee

“He tries to find life on planet Mars. He found a flower, but he didn’t see the big cat person. I want to go to Mars.”


Ella and Owen series by Jaden Kent

“I like how they go in a cave. They are dragons. I want to get the third book to see what it’s about. I think they’re going to find their mom and dad.”


Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

“I like how they honk. I like how they count.”


Penguinaut! by Marcie Colleen

“I like how he misses friends when he is on the moon, and I like how he puts his flag on the moon. And I like how he runs on the moon. I like penguins. And I like astronauts.”


Off & Away by Cale Atkinson

“I like how Jo sees that her dad is sick, so she tries to help him. She thinks the ocean has monsters, but it doesn’t. It has beautiful things and some islands.”

 
Ryan T. Higgins’s Books

“I like how Bruce goes BRUGH, and Bruce always says bad things to the other animals, but Bruce isn’t bad. I like Be Quiet because I think is funny and I think the other one is funny too because the dinosaur eats her classmates.”


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr.

“I like how we slide the things over to see the animals. I like that I can read it by myself.”


Duck, Duck, Porcupine Books by Salina Yoon

“I like how they do different things like how they have a lemonade stand and how they get their things stuck in the tree and use a ladder to get their stuff. Everyone tries to get Little Duck’s kite. But all of their things get stuck in the tree. Even the ladder got stuck in the tree, too. I think they are good stories.”


Pigeon books by Mo Willems

“I like how the Pigeon doesn’t do what he’s supposed to like take a bath. The Pigeon is grumpy which is funny.”


Bob Books!

“I like how I know how to read them!”

Happy birthday and happy reading, Trent!

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Past “Trent’s Favorite Books” Posts

Kellee and Trent’s Favorite Picture Books: First Three Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Picture Books: Three to Six Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Picture Books: Six to Nine Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Books: Nine to Twelve Months

A First Year Full of Books: Trent’s Journey Through Books
**Check this one out if you haven’t–it is one of my favorite posts ever!**

Trent’s Favorite Books: One to Two Years Old

Ten of Trent’s Favorite Books as of His Third Birthday

Ten(ish) of Trent’s Favorite Books as of His Fourth Birthday

Countdown to NCTE/ALAN: Eight Books that Have Made Our Sons Want to Learn to Read

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In honor of our favorite conferences—the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Convention followed by the ALAN (Assembly on Literature of Adolescents of NCTE) Workshop, we are doing a countdown over the next two weeks. Each day, we will feature a list that reflects the number of days left until the conference! We can’t wait to see many of you there! If you can’t be there, make sure to follow #ncte18 and #alan18 on Twitter and other social media to participate in this amazing PD from your home.

1.  Bob Books: Beginning Readers

Our boys LOVE these books. They feature stories that include predominantly three-letter (and some four-letter) words.

2. Bob Books: First Stories

These books are also a great help for our boys. They also feature short words, but each mini-book is a story.

3. Summer Brain Quest Workbooks

Ricki: I’ll admit I never anticipated using workbooks with my kids. They don’t really align with my philosophy. But my son absolutely loves the map in this book and has so much fun doing it, and that makes me love it.

4. Flip-a-Word Book Series

Ricki: I am, admittedly, highly entertained by this series. They are fun for learning. My son used these when he was first learning to read.

5. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
7. One Lonely Fish: A Counting Book with Bite! by Andy Mansfield

 

Kellee: Trent has all three of these books memorized, but now that he is learning to read, he is making connections between the words he has memorized and the words on the pages.

8. Magazines

 

Trent loves his magazines. He reads them in the car constantly and yells out the words he recognizes and sounds out other words.

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Teaching Guide and Review!: Water in May by Ismée Amiel Williams

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Water in May
Author: Ismée Amiel Williams
Published September 12th, 2017 by Abrams Books

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally mean she’ll have a family member who will love her deeply and won’t ever leave her—not like her mama, who took off when she was eight; or her papi, who’s in jail; or her abuela, who wants as little to do with her as possible. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the fetus, Mari faces choices she never could have imagined.

Surrounded by her loyal girl crew, her off-and-on boyfriend, and a dedicated doctor, Mari navigates a decision that could emotionally cripple the bravest of women. But both Mari and the broken-hearted baby inside her are fighters; and it doesn’t take long to discover that this sick baby has the strength to heal an entire family.

Inspired by true events, this gorgeous debut has been called “heartfelt, heartbreaking and—yes!—even a little heart-healing, too” by bestselling YA novelist Carolyn Mackler.

About the Author: Ismée Williams is a pediatric cardiologist who practiced at the Columbia University Medical Center in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City for fifteen years. She currently sees patients at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. As the daughter of a Cuban immigrant, partially raised by her abuelos, her background helped her understand the many Maris she met along the way. Water in May is her first novel.

Praise: 

“Full of spot-on cultural texture and packing an emotional punch, this is an unusual take on the teen-pregnancy problem novel… Williams presents her experience in a way that demands not pity but respect while also reminding readers of Mari’s heartbreaking youth and innocence at unexpected times…Fierce and tender—and absolutely worth reading.” — Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

“Mari is a deeply credible character, a girl who’s always spoiling for a fight, usually a physical one, but who’s turning that impulse into fighting for her baby. Williams, formerly a pediatric cardiologist at Columbia, brings vivid authenticity to the medical side of things, including the details of life with a baby in the NICU and the varying personalities of health care personnel.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This novel is realistic and compelling, heartfelt and heartbreaking all at the same time. The author’s experience as a pediatric cardiologist brings authenticity to her writing as much as does her experience of navigating cultural barriers. Young adult readers will connect with Mari’s feisty personality, strength, and vulnerability.” — VOYA Magazine

Review: Mari’s story is one that isn’t often told. Mari is someone most people would see on the streets and would try to ignore because getting to know her would be getting to know how hard life in America can be. But Mari is also someone who is stronger than many of us will ever be. Her story is one that will make readers think about assumptions OR will help readers see a mirror into struggles they may be having in life. Although I hope teens don’t see Mari’s story as an invitation for a teenage pregnancy, I believe the truth of her hardships show the tremendous change a baby brings to life and will show that Mari’s decisions are made out of desperation when there are other paths she could have taken. Some who read the book have said they don’t like Mari as a character, but I found that when Mari was frustrating, it was because she was acting like what she is: a fifteen-year-old girl trying to find her place in this crazy world.

Teachers Guide with Activities and Discussion Questions written by me: 

Guide can also be accessed through Abrams Books’s Resource Page.

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Ismée Williams for finding me and allowing me to complete this guide!**

Picture Book 10 for 10: Our 4-Year-Olds Share Their Current Ten Favorite Books #PB10for10

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On August 10th each year, the 10 for 10 community celebrates picture books! Check out #pb10for10 on Twitter to see other posts.

Our 4-Year-Olds Share Their Current Ten Favorite Books

These are the five books each that our sons chose when we asked them for their favorite books. We also asked them to say why they love the book.

Trent

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable

Peter didn’t want to go because he was scared. He was scared because he would have to go to the ocean to get Ernesto. Peter wanted to go on an adventure and see the whole sky, but that would take a long time.

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

Baby Monkey saves the day and finds stuff for everyone. And he eats snacks, and I like snacks, too, like Baby Monkey Private Eye. He tries to put his pants on but he does it upside down on his head and that is funny!

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana by James Dean

Pete the Cat is so silly, and he wins the race. The banana race. There are bad, bad, bad, yucky, mushy, black bananas, but not all bananas are bad. All bananas are not bad, but some are. He ate a bad banana, so he tried other food. Like hot dogs that he had for dinner. For breakfast he couldn’t have a hot dog since he just had one, so he wanted a banana.

Kellee’s note: Trent actually wanted to put multiple Pete the Cat books on the list, and I had him pick his favorite. He loves Pete!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I love that he turns into a cool butterfly. I like rainbow butterflies. And I like caterpillars, and very hungry caterpillar is a caterpillar.

Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

We count race cars. I like to count just like race car count does. It also says GO and STOP. I like how the cars look. I like the green one because green means GO!

Henry

The Super Life of Ben Braver by Marcus Emerson

I love it so, so much because he has the powers! He is super with his powers. I like it also because Ben Braver has the same name as my brother.

The 78-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

I love the tree. I really like how there is a cow on every page. The book is so funny.

You Choose by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart

I like to choose all the things that I like. I really like to choose really good things. I like reading it with my mom and dad and Benny because I like choosing with them.

New Shoes by Sara Varon

All of the books by Sara Varon are really cool. The characters are so, so fun.

Harbor Freight Catalogs

I really like them because I like doing some picking. A lot of good things in these. And how did you get that picture? Can I read that one, too?

What books did (do) your 4-year-olds love?

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