And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. Thanks to all these blogs we are able to discover many, many new books! Thanks Ricki, Kellee, Jen and Sheila!
Tweet! at #IMWAYR
New challenges! See the sidebar for all three. Week by week this year, I hope I can find time to read all that are on my list found here in this post. If you're interested in having a group help you keep track of your reading, go to Carrie Gelson's post here to discover what it's all about and who's participating (tweet at #MustReadin2014), or go to Gathering Books with Myra, Fats & Iphigene to see their challenge!
The Latinos in Kidlit Challenge is here!
The Cybil's finalists--especially the wonderful poetry books can be found HERE!
It's been a fun week of reading, although I only finished one long book. I'm starting another book group, reading and making notes for the Cybil's Poetry finalists, reading for our school Newbery Club, and still going with a couple of professional books. I have a lot of reading to do!
Opening Minds – by Peter Johnston
Finished reading this for the second time, but this reading was with a group, a satisfying series of conversations. What a marvelous book to enhance learning about being a better teacher, and even learning about working with anyone. There is research that backs so many concepts that aren't exactly supported in some classrooms today, like choice for and empowerment of students. One of many favorite lines: "Our main advantage as human beings lies in our ability to think together." Much of value here in this second book of Johnston's.
Everybody Bakes Bread – by Norah Dooley and illustrated by Peter J. Thornton
There are an number of ways one can share about cultures and one of those is through cooking, in this case 'baking bread.' This time it's a rainy Saturday and a young girl is sent on a fool's errand to borrow a three-handled rolling pin. Along the way, rainy puddles are jumped into, kids are asked to play a kickball game after lunch, and the important visits to neighbors show loving people who are baking their own kinds of bread, cornbread, chapatis, flatbread, etc. It's a nice book, and will be a wonderful support to a baking unit! (My ‘book’ buddy gave me the other two books in this series, which I didn’t know about—Everybody Cooks Rice and Everybody Serves Soup). Will review next week.
When It Snows – written and illustrated by Richard Collingridge
This is Richard Collingridge's first picture book, a story of a little boy who travels to a magical world when it snows. There is the land where the snowmen live, among other interesting things, and finally a secret place, a twist in the story that you will love. The illustrations are softly rendered, but multi-colored and beautiful.
The Stars Will Still Shine – written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
I did have this book recommended to me, and of course I knew I would love it because it’s by Cynthia Rylant. It’s a marvelous book for reassuring young children that in the new year, familiar things will still appear--that have promised, having peaches and pie, curling up together when it’s raining outside, and the stars will still shine. Lovely book, made moreso by the illustrations, each one taking up the page as a beautiful pleasing page enhancing the words.
Thomas Jefferson Builds A Library – written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by John O’Brien
I love all library-themed books and this is additionally interesting because it’s about Thomas Jefferson’s extraordinary life with books, collecting, reading and finally donating them to help our own Library of Congress. Among more serious stories, one that is fun is that actually had a table that turned with at least five books open at once so it was easier to read without actually pulling out another book! Don’t we all need that? The book holds specific facts but with sometimes tongue-in-cheek language and whimsical illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist John O’Brien. Each page tells the story and keeps it going, from Jefferson’s youth to after he died, but each page also shows small open books that add to the information. It is quite an entertaining read, which one can look at and re-look at for information given in words as well as illustrations. There is additional back matter given also.
Truck Stop – written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Melissa Iwai
This book is written for a special group, those who feed the thousands of truckers across the land who haul and repair and pull things that help our lives. A young boy tells the tale of this family who opens up their truck stop very early to get ready for those who stop in for their own breakfast, same thing every day. Soon, Uncle Marty arrives to open the service garage. The boy introduces the different truckers as they arrive, and their breakfast choices too. There’s Milk Tank and Maisie who love coffee and doughnuts, and then Diligent Dan with his Moving Van. He orders sausage and pancakes with plenty of syrup. The book will delight any young child who loves trucks and other vehicles. Even the inside covers are filled with drawings of trucks. There is a problem, but it turns out fine, just enough of a plot turn to discuss with young readers. It’s a happy book, made even happier by the colorful drawings of the trucks and the scenes inside the diner.
Still reading: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson, and nearly finished with Rump by Liesl Shurtliff. Next: I'm not sure, but probably one from the list of Newbery hopefuls! If you have a big favorite, let me know! Still haven't read far, far away or Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library or Navigating Early-oops!