Monday, March 4, 2013

We're All Readers as well as Writers - 4 of 31

 It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach.Mentor.Texts  Head 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.   Don’t forget to tweet at #IMWAYR 


              And today is March 4th, slice number 4 of 31!  This is the fabulous Slice of Life Writing Challenge where we write every day and link together on the Two Writing Teachers Blog of Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz. 


                   Tweet at #slice2013


          A good reading one for those who need ideas from non-fiction picture books.  Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine: Building A Learning Community, her friends Mandy Robek at Enjoy and Embrace Learning,and Julie Balen at Write at The Edge have decided to have a non-fiction sharing day like the fabulous 10 for 10 favorite picture book day that occurred last August.  Please be sure to take a look!

               I’ve been reading some fabulous posts that connect us all these past few days, thus my reading week was exceptionally short.  I did read 4 picture books from the library that were recommended on the 10 for 10 sharing, most written by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page.  I also discovered they live in Boulder.  Perhaps I can find a way to have them present at my school?  Thanks to this incredible team, I now know so much more about animals in special circumstances. 




What Do You Do With A Tail Like This? – by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
       I had the pleasure of watching the DVD of this book, which included an interesting interview of the writer’s and illustrator’s process both together and apart.  The book is simply illustrated and there was motion added to this movie.  But it isn’t just about tails, it’s also what one can do with feet, mouths, ears, and noses.  It includes a wide variety of animals, from hippos to scorpions to blue-footed boobies (my favorite bird). 

I See A Kookaburra! Discovering Habitats Around The World- by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
          Beautifully collaged work can be seen in this book, filled with information about adaptation to habitats all over the world, and much additional information is offered at the end of the book.  The animals are a bit camouflaged and one fun thing is the fact that there are hundreds of ant species everywhere, so the authors challenge us readers to find the ant in each page spread.  Ages can range widely if students are doing beginning research in habitats.

How To Clean A Hippopotamus A Look At Unusual Animal Partnerships - by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
            I don’t remember when I first learned that certain animals who would ordinarily be enemies have evolved to help each other, perhaps when I first read an old picture book titled Bill and Pete by Tomi DePaola about an alligator and his “trusty toothbrush”, otherwise known as a plover.  This book is crammed with example after example of those unlikely pairings.  Arranged in cells, rather like a comic, using the narrative style to relay the information, and collage to show off the animals and some of their actions. 




                                                      The Beetle Book – Steve Jenkins
            Jenkins has created this book without his wife, Robin Page.  It is filled with many illustrations of beetles.  I learned that of every plant and animal were lined up, one in four would be a beetle.  The parts of beetles are explained, different behaviors are described, and those that are camouflaged, those that are shiny, and those that are big or small are described.  It’s a beautiful, beautiful book. 
          
Esperanza Rising – Pam Munoz Ryan
                  I finished this book, a re-read, but my book group has still not completed it. It's a beautiful book, one that invites much conversation and prediction because of the subtle foreshadowing. It's about a young woman in Mexico whose father is suddenly killed, throwing the family into turmoil. They must escape with false papers to work on a farm with the relatives of their former servants. I love the main character, hearing her thoughts, and imagining the fact that probably she wouldn't choose to be with any of us if she went back to her former life. She's a sweet little rich girl that is about to learn a lot abut work and about family. Change is indeed hard, and students and I have had quite a few discussions about what they might do or say.                  


Next?  More posts from those in the Slice of Life challenge, some work to read for a teacher discussion this week, and Hattie Ever After, I hope!  

30 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you mentioned reading all of the posts, Linda--they have been a HUGE part of my reading this week. Does the Hippo book maintain a How To structure? I'm on the hunt for great how-to mentors for our younger writers. I've started Hattie and I read several of your recommendations yesterday. Enjoy your writing!

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    1. No, The hippo book just tells how certain animals help each other in the relationship. There is an older book by Aliki that tells How A Book Is Made. It might be of help to you. Thanks Melanie!

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  2. I am listening to an audio version of HATTIE EVER AFTER and loving it! You should definitely see about bringing Steve & Robin to your school. And I love that plover as toothbrush. xo

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    1. That picture book, Bill and Pete, is very cute, Irene. I'll certainly try to see if these wonderful writers/artists could come. Thanks Irene. I hope I can find some reading time for Hattie!

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  3. Reading the posts on the SOL has taken up time - but it's time well spent! I loved the beetle book, so visually appealing. And, Esperanza Rising is a wonderful choice for a book club selection, much to discuss and share there. I thought the sequel was less inspiring - which is often the case with sequels, right?! Enjoy your Monday, Linda!

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    1. Thanks Tara. Yes, The Beetle Book would be a marvelous addition to a classroom studying insects. Steve Jenkins tells us a lot through his pictures, and adds with the words. Esperanza Rising is a lovely first person story.

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  4. Some fabulous non-fiction books there, Linda! And Esperanza ... a beautiful story.

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    1. I'm so glad to have found Jenkins/Page-what a wonderful set of books. Thanks!

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  5. Those Jenins and Page books look fabulous! I'm going to look for them next trip to the library. And how wonderful that they live in boulder. We should definitely see if our school can make a connection.

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    1. I hope we can, Katie. I'll talk to Katie H. about it, to see what books we already have, etc. Have a great day!

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  6. Now I am so jealous! A possible interaction with Jenkins and Page would put me over the moon. Can I visit that day (if it happens?) I am on the hunt for the Hippo and Beetle book but have not found them locally. Guess I will have to break down and order on line. I loved Bill and Pete, so glad you mentioned it because that is what I thought of when I first heard about the Hippo book.

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    1. I don't know if they do school visits, but I should try! Bill and Pete is a favorite!

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  7. I've adored every Jenkins book I've picked up and will be keeping an eye out for these titles that I haven't yet seen. Looking forward to more of your SLICE posts as the month rolls on!

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    1. Thanks, these books are terrific, & so wonderfully filled with interesting info!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your reads this week. My reading has taken a set back since I've been reading so many slices, but they are all so good. Happy reading & writing.

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    1. I know what you mean, Judy. I've having quite a challenge doing the two book groups too, although I know the books, I still need to re-read before each meeting! Thanks!

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  9. When I find some interesting titles and recommendations from your Monday posts I forward the ones we don't have at school yet to our librarian. Last Monday when you wrote about The Muses Among Us, I couldn't wait until the library orders in the fall, but bought it for my I-Pad.

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    1. My writing group is loving that book Terje. I hope you like it too! Terrific to hear that you got it!

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  10. This one really intrigued me: "I See A Kookaburra!" I am thinking that it would be a great resource for my ELL students who study habitats. I might also have to check "The Muses Among Us." Thank you for all your recommendations!

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    1. Jaana, the habitat book is wonderful. See if you can view a few pages on Amazon. It is laid out well, & interesting to read & see. The Muses Among Us is just inspirational, easy voice, stories told well. Thanks!

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  11. What a great list of books. I love how you always have new things to share.

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  12. Love all the Steve Jenkins books. I have thought about doing and author study of his work. These all look great!

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    1. Everyone makes me feel like I've really missed out. I didn't know his books at all until a couple of weeks ago! I'm excited you & others like him. Thanks, Betsy!

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  13. I almost wrote about my reading today but I just didn't feel like it. Thanks for sharing yours though! :-)

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    1. This is what some of us do on Monday, Jennifer, hooking up with Teach.Mentor.Texts. I really learn a lot by reading other's posts. Thank you!

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  14. i always find so many interesting books you've read - the last one "Esperanza looks so appealing. Will have to get that one for sure.
    I know what you mean about all the slices - not getting much reading done ptherwise. But most are so inspiring and help spark ideas for my own slices!
    Take care.

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    1. Yes, you are right! My reading life is mostly posts lately. Esperanza is a very sweet book & will help students understand that other's lives are quite challenging. It includes quite a bit of background historical references too. Hope you do find it, Beverley.

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  15. I am glad you are sticking to your usual posting rhythm here. Even as a middle school teacher, Steve Jenkins is definitely a nonfiction writer who is on my radar. Thanks for sharing these. I am a fan of Esperanza, too. It just occurred to me that there are some similarities between that book and Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (the fact that both protagonists are young girls who encounter hardship upon hardship, perhaps).

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    1. Glad to know you know of Steve Jenkins-great books! And Out of The Dust is a good pairing, Christy. Esperanza Rising is good. Is it too young for your students? Thanks for your thoughts!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!