|Thanks to Lee Ann Spillane at Portable Teacher for this nifty Monday Reading badge!|
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. And shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS. Come visit everyone to see what they're reading!
And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.
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Announcement! It's time to think about the Cybils, the blogger's children's and young adult literary awards. Information and applications for being a round one or round two judge can be found here on the Cybils blog. I was a judge for the first time last year and loved the experience. I know many of you are so knowledgeable about these categories, so check out the explanation and give it a try!
This Place I Know, Poems of Comfort – Reviewed Friday-the link is here!
Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe – written by Benjamin Alire Saenz
It takes a long time for children to grow into adults. We who are adults think it goes very fast, but for teenagers, it seems like an eternity. For Dante and Aristotle, the two protagonists in this story, it is not only a long, long time, but also a painful journey sometimes. Ari (Aristotle) says in one part of the book: “I wanted to feel those words in my mouth as I spoke them aloud. Words could be like food—they felt like something in your mouth. They tasted like something. ‘My brother is in prison.’ Those words tasted bitter.” Without any giveaways, the book is not only about boys growing up, but about families respecting that those boys are growing up and need more than love, they need “words”. I realize that’s mysterious, but I don’t want to tell anything about the book, I want you to read it! It’s a celebration of all the wonderful shades of life’s events, a book filled with special characters as well as very special moments. I won this book a few weeks ago and I'm so happy I did!
The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck – written by Laura Murray, illustrated byMike Lowery
These Gingerbread Man stories are cute, they rhyme, and take the “cookie” on adventures. This one concerns a school trip to the fire department where the Gingerbread Man ends going to a fire, almost falling into the jaws of the firemen’s Dalmatian, but escaping just in time to help put out a fire. It’s a time to suspend belief that anything is close to true, but just time to enjoy the silliness of the adventure, the rhymes, and the survival of this sweet cookie!
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School –
Special Deliveries - written and illustrated by Alexandra Day
This is a story about a remote area where this one familyreceives notice that their post office is closing. It is a family that includes a mom, two daughters, and quite a menagerie of animals. It opens with them all sitting at a large table in the house, yes, horses, goats, donkeys and cats included! The illustrations are realistic looking and beautiful drawings. The story opens with this “family” taking over the mail delivery, then noticing that some of those on the route don’t ever receive mail. So, they begin to create and deliver “letters” to those left out. It’s full of whimsy, perhaps a book to share both about kindness and about letter writing.
Harry & Hopper – written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Freya Blackwood
This is a sumptuous picture book about the death of a dear pet, about joy in having a pet and figuring out when to finish saying goodbye. I read the review a few weeks ago and wanted to find a copy-lucky that I did at my library, yet I might want a copy of this. Harry’s dog dies in an accident so there is no chance to say goodbye at the end. In the morning Hopper was there and when Harry came home from school, he was not. Through showing the slow stages of grief in dreams that Harry has, and in the illustrations, the book offers hope that someday the feelings will be better. The illustrations are pen and ink sketches with what seems to be colored pencil added. Freya Blackwood shows Hopper fading as the story moves along. It’s a poignant and sensitively told story. Please look online to see examples of the book's illustrations.
What’s Next: I found the 4th and final book in the Breadwinner series by Deborah Ellis, My Name Is Parvana, and then A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean. Still re-reading Opening Minds by Peter Johnston, really want to begin How To Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess. And I have a waiting pile of more picture books. Scrambling!