Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lots of Catch Up Reading-Delicious!



It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  And shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.  These sites host a meme where many link up to share the book's reading the week previous.  It's always fun to visit other's sites to hear what they're reading!  And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children. 
           Don't forget to tweet!  #IMWAYR

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Jen, at TeachMentorTexts is participating in a big giveaway for a Kindle Fire HD.  Check there for more information!        
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  “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” — Sherman Alexie


The Breadwinner Trilogy – written by Deborah Ellis
        Reviewed here

                                                       Picture Books
Can I Play Too? – written and illustrated by Mo Willems
What can I say, another wonderful Elephant & Piggie book that I hadn't read! And it's full of laughs, and like all of them, it shares some lessons for living. How does one adapt play when one of the friends isn't able to do everything? It celebrates differences in a wonderfully lighthearted way.

The Purple Balloon - written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
             There is a preface to this story that says, regardless of religion or cultural background, children who are ill and dying often draw some kind of balloon, thought to mean that a part of them will stay forever in our world.  Chris Raschka has used potato prints and colorful balloons to tell a story of feelings when death is in our world.  They represent all the different people involved who help, the young child who is ill, and the various feelings swirling around. If one has a child in one’s life, friend or student, this is a wonderful book to support you, and to use with young children who need help understanding what’s happening to a friend or a relative. 


Red Hat - written and illustrated by Lita Judge
        Author of the Red Sled tells a second “red” story about a young boy who leaves his red stocking hat on a line to dry outside.  This ‘almost’ wordless picture book tells what happens after that as various animals play with it.  Unfortunately, it begins to unravel and at the end, all that is left is a pile of tangled yarn.  I love the beautiful full-page pictures of the outdoors, and the bear, raccoon and rabbits. The sole text are words spoken byt the animals as they play with the hat, like “roweeeee” by the bear and “eeeeee-eep” by the rabbit.  When the hat is totally unraveled, the animals leave it back on the line, tip-toeing away saying “Doot-do-doo”.  There is more, and kids will love the ending. 



The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas – written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Sue deGennaro
This is a delightful book about being clear about what is important to you in friends, or in this case, about a prince’s future wife!  Tony Wilson includes a bit about the test for princesses with the pea, but adds in more flavor as this particular prince decides to test with a package of frozen peas. And after looking at a variety of princesses, he looks again at his best friend, Pippa.  It’s a cute book for older primary students and would be fun to pair with the original princess and the pea story and have good conversations about the similarities and differences.

Mr. Reaper - written and illustrated by Tatsuya Miyanishi
This is Mr. Miyanishi’s first book to be translated into English.  He is a popular children’s book author in Japan.  The story is told by a reaper who isn’t seen, but tells of a hungry wolf who finds a small pig when he is out hunting.  The wolf is very excited until realizing the pig is ill and he can’t eat sick pigs.  So he brings the piglet back and does everything he can to nurse it back to health.  The book introduces several questions about actions, what is right and what is not. It’s definitely for older students if one needs to discuss death.  The illustrations are cartoon-like, yet also rather close to folk art.  They take the time to help tell the story well. It’s such an interesting book about dying and I hope many will become aware of it.

Ladder to the Moon – written by Maya Soetoro-Ng and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
This book is absolutely gorgeous.  Maya Soetoro-Ng says she wanted to write a story based on her own grandmother, wishing she was still living so she could pass down learning and stories to Soetoro-Ng’s own daughter.  It is a story of the little girl Suhaila’s dream that her grandmother, Annie, comes to her in the night to take her to the moon, climbing up a golden ladder.  The moon represents a kind of heaven and the two talk, but also look down to see others who are gathering (dying) to travel up to the moon. One time they come from a giant wave, and in this dream-like story, Grandmother Annie and granddaughter Suhaila gather some up into their arms, “drape scarves around their shoulders. They swung the children round and round until they could all laugh again, loud and long.”  It’s a dream-like story, and will take a special reading and conversation with children to see what they think, too. 
The illustrations are magical, illuminating the path to the moon, and from the endleaf “reminding us that loved ones lost are always with us and that sometimes we need only look at the moon and remember.”  There is one page showing various people with words from different languages surrounding their heads, something like haloes.  The illustrator shares that these are parts of stories from different cultures about parting with loved ones.  I definitely believe this is one to read and cherish.

 Poetry
            Any Me I Want To Be – Poems by Karla Kuskin
I love the poetry of Karla Kuskin.  If I can ever write one poem even close to what she does with words, I would feel fortunate.  At a recent library sale I found this anthology by her, published in 1972.  Every poem is written from that ‘something’s’ point of view.  There are poems about things in nature, like trees and leaves, and things manmade, like bicycles and mittens.  It is a treasure, will be wonderful to use in a poetry lesson where students can imagine their own personas.  Karla’s introduction talks about this idea of trying on different lives.  One favorite is speaks in the voice of a kite, where the rhyming is wonderful, which ends “Where I float:/Birds sing./One thin thing there is/That holds us close together:/Kite string.
 Early Readers
My Happy Life – written by Rose Lagercrantz and illustrated by Eva Eriksson
This book for younger readers was first published in Sweden.  In the flyleaf, Rose says she writes stories for her friend Eva to illustrate.  Eva doesn’t know the story until Rose is finished, and Eva doesn’t know what the illustrations will be like until they are completed.  It sounds as if they are quite popular in Sweden.  It was a sweet book about Ella, a girl just starting school, whose mother has died, which is treated rather practically, and who doesn’t know anyone at this school.  Finally, Ella makes a wonderful friend, Dani, and they do many fun things together, in and out of school.  Sadly, Ella and her father must move away and both girls are sad.  The book takes us into simple statements of happy and sad feelings and what a young girl must think about the things that happen to her, mostly happy. There are several stereotypes in the book that I didn’t care for, but I can see it might be a fun story for young readers to enjoy. 

What's Next?  
 Oh, so many to choose from.  I think I'm going to read Beholding Bee, by Kimberly Newton Fusco next, then The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Both keep coming up in the next, great book to read!

18 comments:

  1. I have Beholding Bee and The 5th Wave on my TBR list, too! The probably is, I have lots more, too. So many books....

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    1. Exactly, Holly! And school is fast approaching! I've started Bee-very lovely so far!

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  2. The 5th Wave is fantastic! You will enjoy it.
    I love the recs for all the picture books! I need to stock up for home again.
    Happy reading this week!

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    1. All the picture books were available at my library-happy hunting!

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  3. I am so glad that people have been sharing about The Breadwinner trilogy. I have had that book in my class library forever. It sounds like I need to dig it out and read it. Have a great reading week!

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    1. I enjoyed the book very much, Andrea. I think it gave me an even greater perspective for those who still are living in such terrible conditions in our world.

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  4. Oh, I vote for THE FIFTH WAVE next! It is so very good. You will be hooked right away, if you are anything like me!

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    1. I'm sure I will be hooked Ricki-love the dystopian stories! Thanks!

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  5. So pleased you are reading Beholding Bee! I discovered it via the IMWAYR community and was so pleasantly surprised. Had a soft spot for the title as well as my daughter's name is Beatrice :-) I just saw The Ladder to the Moon on Myra's post. Looks exquisite!

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    1. I thought The Ladder To The Moon was wonderful, too. I'm glad Myra shared even more of it! And love Beholding Bee so far-about 40 pages in! Thanks Carrie!

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  6. Your books are just beautiful. The Purple Balloon looks sweet ans sad. Don't you just LOVE Elephant and Piggie! I enjoyed The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas also. Great titles.

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    1. Thanks Gigi. I found The Purple Balloon at someone's site here at IMWAYR-such a great community that helps discover great books I would rarely discover without them.

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  7. I keep hearing about Beholding Bee and 5th Wave.. I look forward to hearing what you think!

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    1. I'll try to read in the next 2 weeks-on vacation next week, should have some fine time to read! Bee has started beautifully! Thanks Maria!

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  8. Oh my dear Linda, we are such kindreds! So happy to see Ladder to the Moon here as well! We are truly in sync. I know about Mr. Reaper, I borrowed the book from the library and had hoped to feature it as well for our current bimonthly theme but may not have enough time to do that. We also have Raschka's The Purple Balloon in our radar for our theme - I think Fats would do a review of that one. :) I haven't had the privilege of enjoying as much Karla Kuskin poetry as I know I should - will look for her books. :)

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    1. Thank you Myra. I was so happy to see your review of Ladder To The Moon-just so lovely! And The Purple Balloon is wonderful in a very different way. I know I will enjoy your new theme!

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  9. I had to finally read The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas after so many customers gushed about it. Such a unique book. I love it when I get to hear other people's reactions to a book while they shop at our store!

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    1. You are so lucky to have that experience, Earl. In my second life, I want to do what you do-work at a bookstore! Interesting ideas in that book, aren't there? Thanks!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!