It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. Come Visit! And, then check out this meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.
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Twelve Kinds of Ice – by Ellen Bryn Obed, illus. by Barbara McClintock
I imagine that Ellen Obed was thrilled when she imagined the structure her book would take when she began writing about ice. From the beginning drop in temperature, the children in the story begin to prepare for a glorious winter of skating, on twelve kinds of ice, and we get to hear about twelve kinds of experiences! It’s a beautifully written story of those who live in northern habitats and grow up knowing what “blades” and “pucks” mean when they’re very young. I had one experience seeing and skating on a backyard rink, at a cousin’s house in South Dakota. It is a wonderful childhood memory that has been awakened by this book. McClintock’s illustrations are joyful, detailed pen and ink sketches. I think one could use this book as a mentor text for students to write their own vignettes about different kinds of memories. It’s longer, but belongs together with the recent picture books, Cold Snap and A Perfect Day.
Hattie Big Sky – Kirby Larson
Oh why did I put this off? Now I’m sad that I didn’t have the new book about Hattie, Hattie Ever After, ready to start. As everyone has said many times, it’s a treasure of a story, a character one wants to meet and definitely one wants to admire for the amazing hard work done day after day of those homesteaders proving up so long ago, and for the beautiful writing by Kirby Larson. If you need to be reminded about the importance of home, friendship, and courage, please pick up this book if you haven’t already and read, read, read!
Olga’s Cup and Saucer – written and illustrated by Olga Bravo
I found this book in a “free” pile at the recent conference I attended. It’s an old book, but takes us through the seasons with whimsy, and discusses different foods with the recipes. A Little girl named Nickel Penny wants so much to help at the bakery, she finds ways to help throughout the year like bringing fresh fruits and vegetables from her farm, and doing little favors. For those who love food books, this is a book to add to your collection.
Goldilocks and Just One Bear – written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson
Finally got to this one in the pile, and what a good surprise! This cute bear ends up slipping into the city, lost and confused, and finds a place to rest, in a high-rise! Well, the author cleverly takes us through the familiar tale, but this is the city, remember? And there are city things involved too, and a sweet surprise at the end. Hodgkinson’s illustrations are full of details-setting related-and they are wonderful. It seems that they are drawings, and then parts are cut out for collage. One can look and look at each page. Also, there are three little birds that travel along with the reader. I imagine this will be a delight for all kinds of readers, or for a read aloud if the group can get close enough to really see the pages (and look again later).
Boot & Shoe – written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
Marla Frazee’s books are always favorites, and this is no exception. It’s a silly book where reading aloud with someone young would be wonderful. Boot & Shoe, dogs from the same litter, have their daily habits, until a bold squirrel changes everything, and a tough day ensues. I laughed out loud at this one!
Little Dog Lost - written and illustrated by Mônica Caranesi
This is a non-fiction story quite simply told about a dog that was lost on the ice floes in a Polish winter, but finally saved by a scientific research vessel after already drifting 15 miles from land on the Baltic Sea. It’s a good start to showing students how a beautiful picture book can come from a real story, not necessarily a ‘made-up’ one. The watercolor pages are beautifully done.
Chloe and the Lion – by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
I love when there are books that dare to be different, because that is what I want student writers to know, or unlearn—that rules they think they know as unchangeable, can be changed. The story is about a little girl named Chloe, I think. Really it’s about writers and illustrators and who gets to move the story along. There are arguments and changes, and the illustrator is fired, but really he is just eaten by the lion that he has not drawn well because he thinks a dragon would be better. There is another illustrator, and graciously, he leaves. If you think this is mixed up, it is. The book is very fun, and funny. Be sure to take a look!
Next: I have two book groups coming up in two different classes, So I’ll be re-reading Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz. I hope also to start Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, by Steve Sheinkin, and finish Book Love by Penny Kittle!