Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good Discoveries This Week!


This post connects to a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  Come link to their blog to check out all the terrific reviews by others.  
          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS where many others share Kidlit and adult books read.
           If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag#IMWAYR when sharing your link!


     I didn't find time to finish a long book this week because of time and because I received The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and stopped reading my other books to start it.  So far, good beginning!  I did manage one audio book and some picture books, new and old, some fun and some maybe's.  


True (…Sort Of by Katherine Hannigan 
          All right then… Those words are used so sweetly in this book that I needed to begin with them.  They wrap the story around us, the readers, like a hug.  And then there is a whole new vocabulary, like Deli-icious and Chisel (an un-cuss word), or SurPresent, a gift one is surprised by.  I listened to this book during the past two weeks. The main character, Delly Pattison is a pre-teen with a temper who is constantly getting in trouble, and it seemed to be a long while before things started to move.  The Boyd family comes to town, and that is when different things happen, most often good.  Perhaps if I had read the print book, I would have hurried through those early pages in order to find the real story, which involved another girl who didn’t speak, a boy with a stutter, Deli’s sweet little brother CB, and a bully.  One crisis happened and then a final one, but this young woman, Deli, who was so mischievous, turned out to be a lovely and thoughtful person whose words brought tears.  It is a book that could be a good read aloud, so that the early mischief could be discussed and then those subtle turnings--that the author wrote beautifully--could be a good experience for the class.  Much to discuss in all the book! 


Rosa’s Bus – Jo S. Kittinger, illustrated by Steven Walker
        For younger children, this picture book is a good introduction to the story of Rosa Parks through focus on the history of the Bus, Number 2857, now part of a historical display in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  It shows what happened on buses because of the Jim Crow laws, how finally Rosa Parks chooses not to obey, and then the resulting boycott.  Illustrations fill the pages with emotion and action, demonstrate the somberness of the times.  It’s inspiring and a great true story to share with students.

Dogs – written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
        A sweet book with lots of dogs and an introduction to them in brief text.  The narrator says dogs loved are ones that play and ones that won’t, stripy dogs and spotty dogs, slow dogs and fast dogs, and so on.  The pages show dogs leaping, jumping, playing.  And there is a surprise at the end.  It’s a delightful book for young children to start a good conversation, about dogs!

Little Bird – Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine
         There are a few books that inspire thought, and this is one that would be terrific to read and share with a writing group.  It’s about those little moments that one must appreciate and notice.  It’s nearly a wordless picture book and a few, important words appear about halfway through.  The illustrations are simple and whimsical, make you take time to savor the details that are shown. 

Yucky Worms – Vivian French, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg
        If someone want to become a wormologist, this is the book to read, for both young children and adults.  The author uses a fictional story with a grandson visiting his grandmother and working in the garden.  The grandmother shows and tells all about worms, and there are a number of pages with extra information, including more at the back of the book.  Entertaining illustrations show off the worm info too.  It’s a cute, informative book that explores underground worm life simply and well. 

Library Mouse – written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
        While I was looking for other books for a project, I discovered this book in our library, about a wee mouse who lives behind the children’s reference section in the library, and after some consideration, writes his first book, and then sneaks it onto a shelf.  It is discovered and read. The mystery begins.  After a few books written by shy Sam, the library mouse, and the librarian writes a lovely letter asking him to come meet his fans.  What happens next is a surprise, and something fun to share in writing workshops everywhere, at least through third grade. 

No Dogs Allowed – Linda Ashman, illustrated by Kristen Sorra
        This is nearly a wordless picture book, and what I call a ‘building’ story, where it adds to the same thing, page after page, getting more outrageous as it goes along.  It begins at a small sidewalk cafĂ© with a rather snooty waiter/owner? who first chalks on his menu board “No Dogs allowed!” which is the title.  Next added to the list of those not welcome are cats, then bunnies, and on, until finally someone shows up with an elephant.  The restaurant is clearly losing business and a local lemonade-ice cream cart is thrilled to have the business, but that happiness doesn’t last long either.  The book offers an opportune beginning in helping children “read” facial expressions and background information in order to predict what’s next in a story.  And it’s also a good lesson in inclusion and kindness in a variety of ways.  This is a book out last year that’s too good too ignore.


Boy + Bot – Amy Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

   A simple story of new friendship, but different expectations for each other, or one could say misunderstandings.  A robot’s switch is accidentally flipped, thus losing power.  A boy goes to sleep, and the robot believes he needs a new battery.  It’s a perfect book for young children and predictions, and conversations about friendship and kindness.  Sweet story!

Sarah’s Little Ghosts – Thierry Robberecht, illustrated by Philippe Goossens
        I thought this was a story about Halloween, but found it really is about telling the truth and dealing with one’s conscience.  The ‘ghosts’ which appear are nudges to the little girl Sarah to tell the truth.  She has some trouble telling about an accident breaking something, so little ghosts appear urging her to tell the real story.  It would make an interesting conversation, yet I wonder about the concreteness of students and seeing ghosts as some kind of strange punishment.   I’m not sure I like the idea.  The illustrations are not scary, which helps.  

Beneath The Ghost Moon – Jane Yolen, illustrated by Laurel Molk
         I thought I would begin to read some of the Halloween books in our school library, and found this one by Jane Yolen.  It is an imaginative story of adventure of a group of 'crawlies' (lizards) who do some damage to the delightful costumes and masks that belong to some gleeful mice who live in the same house.  The mice almost run away, but decide to fight back and win the day.  This is all in rhyme and a bit silly, but the illustrations by Laurel Mok are delightfully Halloween-ish even to the weather vane which is a witch on her broomstick.  Whimsical touches like this plus Yolen's rhymes make a fun read.

UnBEElievables – Douglas Florian
         From the bee-ginning to the Bee-bliography, this poetry book is delightfully ‘buzzy’ with all sorts of bee information.  Each page illustrates particular concepts with charming bees who have children’s faces, a poem and accompanying explanation.  For instance, the poem titled Drone begins BROTHER!/Yo BROTHER! /Bee-have in your hive!/Hey, DRONE!/Don’t MOAN!/Don’t GROAN!/And don’t JIVE!  It continues to talk about their main work with the queen-very important!  There are poems about the stages until the bees become adults, about honey itself, about bee anatomy and more.  If you want to know more about bees or just love the importance of bees, this is a great book that will teach you more—poetically.

Next:  Stiefvater's The Raven Boys and I hope to be able to see her too because she'll be in Denver Saturday!  And will try to finish at least one of the other books I've started.  Happy reading week everyone!  

27 comments:

  1. Raven Boys! I hope you enjoy meeting her - she sounds like an amazing person even beyond her writing skills.

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    1. Unless the crowds are too much, I can't imagine why I won't make it-so exciting! Thanks, Maria.

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  2. I loved Unbelivables, as I do all things Florian. True DID feel like a hug - it's been making the rounds in my classroom ever since I purchased a copy!

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    1. Florian's books are delightful, I agree, & I'm glad to hear your students like "True". Thanks, Tara.

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  3. It will be so exciting to go to the signing having finished the book! I'm so glad you are going to get to go.

    My Poetry Friday post last week got auto-published but I quickly pulled it because I hadn't finished writing it and I was too sick on Friday to finish writing it so I guess you got the notification but then there was no post... I have to figure out how to fix that!

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    1. Sorry about you being sick & thanks for telling me-just wanted to let you know! Yes, I'm looking forward to meeting Stiefvater.

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  4. Oh you have some of my very, very favourite titles here! Little Bird is . . . . it just gets better every time I read it. I was in a bookstore in Seattle this summer and it was on the staff pick shelf for children and adults! I had the pleasure of sharing it with 50 primary kids in a big read aloud and the room was silent at times. They adored it. And I love Yucky Worms. Such a fun book to share with kids. Boy + Bot - I have bought this book three times and keep giving it away. Makes a great gift! I need my own copy! I look forward to hearing what you say about The Raven Boys. Cannot wait to read this title.

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    1. Great to hear your response about those picture books, too. Maybe Little Bird would be a good read aloud for a primary class I'm heading for? I thought, as you see, Yucky Worms was terrific! Thanks, Carrie.

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    2. Yes! A beautiful read with primaries!

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  5. Library Mouse sounds like something I'll like. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Oh my gosh, so many great books! I absolutely adored Little Bird. I want to frame it and put it on my wall, haha! True...Sort of is another one I absolutely adore. Was suprised by how sweet that one was. As you say, not a lot of action, but I did really enjoy being in that world. I got to meet Maggie S. at an event last weekend. She is sooo cool! Have fun!

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    1. The Little Bird book is wonderful, I agree. I guess you could buy a 2nd copy & frame some of the pages. What fun to put in your library or ? Glad to hear you enjoyed True. Thank you!

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  7. I must check out the Raven Boys to see what it is about. I hope you enjoy meeting the author, it is always exciting to make contact in whatever form, but meeting them the ultimate!

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    1. I think I'll love going to meet her too, Kathryn. It's always so great to hear authors speak. So far, Raven Boys is intriguing-wish I didn't have anything else to do but read!

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  8. We were at a children's museum in CT last week and they were reading Dogs, but we didn't make it to that read aloud. (When I heard it was by Gravett my ears perked up since I loved Wolves!) Glad to learn more about it from you. I'm sure Isabelle will love it. She's going through a phase where she's obsessed with dogs. (Of course, we can't get one b/c of my horrendous allergies, but that's another story.)

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    1. I'm sure Isabelle will love it-big, happy pictures of all kinds of dogs. Very fun. Thanks, Stacey.

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  9. Linda, I love reading your reviews! I'm ordering the worm book for my mother and my nephew to share as he LOVES to torment the worms in my mother's gardens! Boy and Bot has been on my list for a while and you've put it at the top. I'm ordering that too. Little Bird intrigues me as well. What a great collection. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thank you Melanie! What a fun idea about your mother & nephew enjoying Yucky Worms together. It is really a delight. Boy & Bot was rather bittersweet to me, but I don't think children will think that, just enjoy the funniness of it.

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  10. I would love an afternoon of reading your list from this week. Looks like you've found some simply amazing books. I am adding Little Bird to my To-Be-Read pile immediately plus I will look for Dogs, No Dogs, Bees, and Worms too! :)

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    1. It's so interesting that I seem to read in themes. Perhaps I'll find one book, then that will push me toward animals, or something like that. This is a list of lots of animals, isn't it? Always fun for children! Thank you for stopping by.

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  11. I really liked UnBeelievables and Little Bird. Little Bird is definitely one I can see sharing with older students and having them really digest the story. Great message!

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    1. I agree; it's one of those sweet as well as thoughtful books one uses again & again. Thanks!

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  12. I want to find LITTLE BIRD, sounds great. I love the library mouse books and BOY + BOT is a favorite. I love the idea of wormology, kinda sounds like a cool job. Great list here, now I just need to make some time to get to the library and find some of them!

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    1. When will we ever find enough time? Hope you make it to the library, Betsy. Thanks!

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  13. Hi Linda dearest, I see a lot of familiar titles here - I am glad to see Emily Gravett among them as my daughter and I simply lovelove her picture books. I've been seeing Boy + Bot around but haven't seen it yet in our public libraries. Rosa's Bus kind of reminded me of Nikki Giovanni's ROSA as illustrated by Bryan Collier (which I also featured for Nonfiction Monday previously). Would you categorize True... sort of as a middle grade novel? I haven't seen that one around as well, and I shall look it up. I'm a little excited about Stiefvater's Raven Boys as well since I'd be receiving it soon from Pansing Books for review. :) It's going to be my first Stiefvater if ever. :)

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dearest Linda. :)

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    1. Thanks Myra. I imagine your daughter might like True...Sort of. It's quite an introspective book for younger kids, but is very positive about children getting help when needed, and yet also being more thoughtful than adults give them credit for. I loved the Scorpio Races and have read only two of her trilogy-just haven't gotten to the 3rd one yet. And-I'll look up the Giovanni book. This particular book focuses on the bus-interesting.

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