Sunday, March 10, 2013

Reading and Slicing 11/31


Reading and Slicing 11 of 31


The March Slice of Life Challenge-hosted by Ruth and Stacey, at Two Writing Teachers     - #11 of 31  tweet #slice2013



It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSHead over to find plenty to choose from!  Plus, there is a terrific meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  Bookstores must be thrilled to see so many readers!

Don’t forget to tweet at #IMWAYR

Living Color – text and illustrations by Steve Jenkins
        I found one other book I wanted to share by Steve Jenkins that is amazing.  This takes colors, two page spreads each, and highlights mostly unusual animals of that color, and tells why the animal is that color, and how the color is helpful in the animal’s life.  There are beautiful illustrations of animals like the stonefish (red) that is the most poisonous fish in the world.  Look for the red that looks like a lumpy rock or pieces of coral if you are walking in a shallow tropical sea, and don’t step on it!  There is the yellow land-dwelling crab that blends in and those most interesting and a beautiful green leafy sea dragon, which I’ve seen!  It looks most like a piece of drifting seaweed.  I was fascinated on every page in this book, discovering both familiar and unfamiliar animals.


From Pictures to Words - text and illustrations by Janet Stevens
         This is a book I was unfamiliar with and Janet Stevens is a former parent whose child I taught.  A colleague loaned it to me.  It is an old book (published in 1995), but could be most useful in talking about writing stories, how to choose characters, work with a story board, find a plot, and more.  The illustrations show the animals that are in the developing story, but with Janet, the author, sketched on each page “talking” about the creation and to the animals.  It’s a whimsical look at how a picture book moves from the “seed” to the published book.  You may know the illustrations by Stevens from other books like The Weighty Word Book.  If you don’t know that book, look for it, too!

More – text by I.C. Springman, illustrations by Brian Lies
           Magpies gather things in nature to take to their nest, but in this book, mice help one magpie, and the gathering starts and the magpie and mouse cannot quit.  The nest soon fills up to overflowing, and calls for drastic action.  The book can be looked at as a funny story about greed, a book where beginning, simple vocabulary enhances the illustrations as the arc of the story moves from collecting (MORE) to “much more” and then “a bit much”, “much too much” and “enough”.  Crisis is imminent, so the words show change, from “less” to “not so much” to a question, “Enough?”   The book certainly can also speak to adults who are trying hard to lessen their own accumulation of “things”.  It’s a great show of “less is more”.    

Knit your Bit – text by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrations by Steven Guarnaccia
               Based on real events during World War I, this story tells about the need for warm hats, mufflers and socks to be knitted and sent to soldiers for winter wear in the European conflict.  The author imagines a group of school children learning how to knit, although the boys resist, saying it is a girls’ activity.  It tells of a coming knitting contest when the boys finally see that it’s important for everyone to contribute, whether they’re experts or not.  One young boy has an interaction with a soldier that becomes a life lesson for the boy, who is missing his father (a soldier fighting ‘over there’) very much.  The illustrations fit the time period exactly with scenes of constant action on every page.  The inside covers show early photos of people, including school children, knitting, and the backmatter information gives several examples of organizations all over that were “knitting clubs”, including the Rocky Mountain Knitter Boys of Colorado! 

The Art Box - text and illustrations by Gail Gibbons
           For the younger students, this book shows what is in an art box, all the way from the basic drawing tools like colored pencils, to rulers and protractors, then paints and canvases on easels.  It ends with a look at how colors work.  I can see how teachers of young students could use parts of this often as a mentor text in art projects, perhaps creating their own “art box”.  Illustrations are simple and large, with word labels on each tool.  


What's Next:
     Still reading Hattie Ever After, and lots of slice posts for the Two Writing Teachers March Writing Challenge.  I finally have a copy of Bomb, so hope to get to that soon!

32 comments:

  1. I loved janet Stevens book - I use it for developing ideas. The other books are new to me - will add to my list for sure

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    1. So glad you like the Stevens' books. They are wonderful, arent' they? Thanks, Beverley!

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  2. These look like beautiful books, Linda - More, in particular, looks as though it would make for an interesting writing prompt.

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    1. Yes, it would be a great book for your students, Tara. It was really fun. Thanks!

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  3. The Art Box could double as a mentor text for informational writing--I haven't seen this one. The slicing has taken a toll on my reading so I'll add these to my pile. Might not get to them until April, though!!!

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    1. Yes, I'm struggling with the reading, too Melanie. Things change our routine, & now DST is going to take its toll this week! Thanks!

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  4. These all sound like great books! More sounds like it could be a great book to read with students to think about theme. I will definitely need to go check it out.

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    1. You are right about More's strong theme. Great idea, Andrea. Thanks!

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  5. More was just beautiful! Happy reading and slicing!

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    1. Thanks Katherine, lots of things to do this week, reading and slicing and "work"!

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  6. What great books you feature! Do we have "From Pictures to Words" at school. I think we could use that with a couple of students!

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    1. Lisa D. has the book, Katie. I'm not sure about the library. Thanks, & have a great day!

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  7. Great books Linda! I love the Jenkins book. I will need to find More, that one intrigues me. How can you go wrong with Gail Gibbons. Really, all are winners.

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    1. Thanks, Elsie. I bet you will like the More book-so clever!

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  8. How do you have time for all these books, and so many blogs (with such thoughtful comments), and so many posts of your own, Linda? You are amazing! What I love the most is that you do all of that with such joy! Thanks for another look into your reading life!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I am so pressed for time lately, so maybe things will slow down soon. I appreciate your response. I find time where I can, & sometimes I don't! Just like all of us, I suppose.

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  9. I love all the books you mentioned. I find that wil reading some of the Slice posts, reading book time is lost.

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    1. Yes, I have less time too. Maybe soon! Thanks Jone.

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  10. I think Bomb really earned those awards it received! Hope you think so too!

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    1. Thank you, I keep hearing much that is terrific about it.

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  11. LIVING COLOR is one of my son's favorites! I love it too. I remember finding MORE a while back and really liking it.

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    1. Thanks Betsy. Fun to hear that your son likes that book. I think it's beautiful!

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  12. Oh, I think I must get Knit that Bit for a friend. These are great! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It was very cute, & a fun story for knitters! Thanks Maureen!

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  13. I adore the book More! I bought it as soon as I saw it at the bookstore last spring. It is such a small treasure of a book. I can't wait to dive into Hattie Ever After! I just picked it up at the library this weekend! I might save it until this weekend when my Spring Break officially starts!

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    1. My break isn't for a few more weeks. What fun for you Carrie. The book More is certainly a winner, isn't it?

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  14. Hi Linda, lots of great books here as per usual. I was particularly struck by "From Pictures to Words: A Book about Making a Book" - as you know I have a deep affinity with books about books, and it looks like a fascinating read. The book cover also looks amazing. I've also read (and reviewed) More during our Cybils theme - it IS great, isn't it? I enjoyed the qualitative nature of more and less and enough. The Art Box also looks great, will definitely check that out. :)

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    1. Thanks Myra. I hope you can find a copy of Janet Stevens' book. As I said, I am embarrassed not to know about it; I loved it! More is terrific!

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  15. Knit Your Bit looks like fun! It makes me think of Extra Yarn. I love books that make me think of an activity to do with them. I'll definitely be looking for it. I also am a fan of Steve Jenkins! I need to do an author story with my kiddos. The Tail book is my favorite.

    I'm always impressed by your blogging, Linda! You are keeping up with the Slice challenge and IMWAYR. Pretty awesome. :)

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    1. Thanks Jen, I so appreciate the compliments. I have company this week so am challenged to read & comment much, will perhaps start tomorrow doing more. When I read Knit Your Bit, I thought of Extra Yarn too. It would be fun to collect 'craft' mentor books!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!