Sunday, July 5, 2015

Monday Reading

           On Mondays, we are lucky to link up to share books we've read that are for children and teens with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. Others link to share adult books with Sheila at Book Journeys who started the meme a long time ago. You'll discover so many great books.  Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!

         I had a wonder of a week reading picture books, and won't share all that I read. I had the granddaughters from Monday to Thursday, from lunchtime on. Every lunch time I read to them, and they loved it. We also went to the library and just as so many of us say, the books they chose became ones they wanted to read again, and then again. Here are a few of their and my favorites. 

Stuck - written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
           Like all of Jeffers books, one must suspend belief when reading, because really, not all the things pictured at the end of the book could possibly get "stuck" in a tree. The illustrations seem like quick sketches, almost happening as the story is read. It's a great book for anticipation as a young boy first gets his kite stuck, then tries to unstick it with a shoe, then with the other shoe, then, and then. After this book, the search was on for more funny books!

There Was A Treewritten and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
           This is a story and a song, and I found quickly learned and enjoyed by young granddaughters. Adapted in the illustrations to an African setting, the song's lines move along illustrated by gorgeous collages. "There was a HOLE in the middle of the ground/And in this hole, there grew a TREE/The prettiest tree that you ever did see . . . " to the end of the verse: "And the green grass grew all around, all around,/the green grass grew all around."  Do you know it? If not, be sure to find this adaptation because you will love the illustrations, too.

Who Took The Farmer's Hat? - story by Joan L. Nodset and pictures by Fritz Siebel
          My almost four year old granddaughter chose this one at the library. The copyright is 1963, and the story fit her well. It's another book that repeats, and the anticipation/prediction aspect is the highlight of the book. The illustrations are simple drawings, look as if they've been done with colored pencils. The farmer had a favorite old brown hat, but one day the wind took it, and he went looking. Who he asks and what he discovers is the delight of the book, and the ending shows a kindness everyone will appreciate. 

Marilyn's Monster - written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Matt Phelan
         I ordered this because of many recommendations, so thank you all for sharing such a good book! I just found a new favorite picture book! It was so loved this week that after reading others, this was asked for every day! The story that includes lots of dialogue shows young Marilyn  waiting for her monster. Evidently everyone in her life has one, and hers hasn't shown up yet. Her parents give support, telling that it will show up soon. The rule is to wait, and Marilyn does show patience, but it just becomes too hard, so she goes looking, in spite of rude remarks from her older brother. What happens I'll let you discover, but it is a sweet and satisfying ending. Phelan's pictures are delightful soft watercolors. His monster creations might inspire other monster art and stories! In the back flap he states: "Drawing monsters is probably one of the main reasons I became an illustrator in the first place." If you are interested in a well-crafted story for young children, pick this one!

Still reading, but will finish soonBlue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater 
Next: #CyberPd starts this week, so one book I will begin is Digital Literacy by Franki Sibberson and William Bass. I'm not sure what else!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Fireworks of A Celebration

              Celebrating Each Saturday with Ruth Ayres at Discover Play Build.  What a great day to share. Happy Independence Day everyone.                     Tweet at #CelebrateLu

               I posted my first post on March 1st, 2011. Ruth Ayres, Mary Helen Gensch, Tara Smith, Tam and Elizabeth E. (anyone remember?) all commented. In the next days, Elsie and two of my colleagues who did the first SOLC challenge with me commented. One of those colleagues is now close to publishing a novel! It started with a blog and our writing group! Very soon, Ruth Chandler Ferris commented (Storykeeper). We are still in touch. Often, there were bloggers named Bree and Diana(LitCoach). They were around for a few years, but finally stopped. I wonder where they are now? By the middle of March, Deb Day, Christy Rush and Carol Wilcox had commented. Isn't it wonder-filled that so many of us are still writing, that many of us have met and plan to meet again? I celebrate those with whom I connect through blogging, and other media, those I'm come to admire for their grit and craft, to know because they share their lives, and listen when I share mine. Many of your names are not listed above because I hadn't met you yet, but through the different groups, there are others of you I've come to know and love hearing what you have to write. I've met some of you, too, and am hopeful others of us will meet in person someday.

              Why am I writing those words above? Because today I celebrate my one thousandth post! Last year Christy Rush Levine made laminated quotes from some of Ruth's wise words. I hung it up in my house last summer, took it to my office in the autumn, and moved it to my classroom in November. Now it's back home, on the wall by my computer where I do much of my writing.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Poetry Friday - Celebrating People

         Donna Smith, at Mainely Write, is hosting this first Poetry Friday of July. Let the fireworks begin!

           Because of the exciting news from the Supreme Court just two weeks ago, I looked for something to share that would celebrate all people, would toast our diversity. Lee Bennett Hopkins' anthology Amazing Faces fits beautifully. I was also delighted to discover that the illustrations were done by Chris Soentpiet, whose presentation I was thrilled to see in February at my state reading conference.  His process for the beautiful realistic acrylic paintings is amazing. He has models audition for He actually has models audition for what he believes are the needs of the work, takes many photos, stages the scenes, then does the layout, drawings, and then paintings. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, and of course they should be because they are "amazing faces".  I hope that you can find the book if you don't already own it, to read and see how beautifully it celebrates our country.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Non-Fiction PBs Plus #MustReadIn2015

I'm glad to be back to share this Wednesday  to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy Because of this meme, I discover many great titles to find and read. I can't buy them all, and am lucky to have a good library that nearly always has the books I request. Here are a few books with stories and illustrations that just might become favorites of yours. 
        Thanks Alyson!

         Some of us check in periodically with Carrie Gelson of There's A Book for That to share what we've read from our "must read" lists. We started these lists because in the excitement of newly published books, other books get left behind and don't get read. These books are worth a read, but keep being pushed aside. Sorry to say that in this past period I've only managed to read one of the books on my list, but it was a terrific one:  (click for my review) by Deborah Hopkinson.  And, I'm reading another, Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I hope to do a lot of catching up this summer!

          Here are the non-fiction picture books I'd like to share this week:

Monday, June 29, 2015

I've Been Here Before

          Slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community is a pleasure every week.  Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Beth and Anna! I've had a wonderful couple of weeks traveling to the All-Write Conference and then to Missouri with family to visit more family. Now I'm back, and ready for, well, here's what I guess I'm ready for!
the hall to the room