Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's Monday-Reading - New Ones & Old

 It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         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!

professional book:

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.


picture books:
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!

13 comments:

  1. Hi Linda I haven't read Far, Far Away either. Navigating Early was a very rich read for me - just beautiful writing. But text I certainly wanted to take my time with. Mr. Lemoncello's Library is fast paced and fun. I suppose it depends on the time you have and the mood you are in! Love the look of Everybody bakes Bread. My husband often bakes bread in our house and there is nothing like the process, the waiting, the smell . . . Happy Reading this week!

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    1. Thanks for the input-I'll check around to read some of the mock Newbery groups. Have a great week, Carrie!

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  2. I really enjoyed far,far away and Mr. Lemoncello's Library! Rump was fun too! I don't read too many MG books, but those were a few of my favorites from last year, along with Doll Bones and the new Hero's Guide book. Have a great week! ~Megan
    http://wp.me/pzUn5-1NY

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    1. Megan, thanks for the ideas. I am leaning toward far, far away, but will see. Hope your week is good, too!

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  3. I read Peter Johnson's Choice Words last summer and have already reread it once since then--so incredibly rich! I plan to read Opening Minds as one of my PD books sometime this year. I found so much in Choice Words to apply to parenting as well as teaching! Definitely a book I think every classroom teacher should learn by heart! It's amazing how the smallest changes in the way we phrase things can build a child's self-concept and sense of mastery. I am reading Doll Bones out loud to my older son right now, and I think we might do Rump next. I have done a great job keeping up with new PBs this year, but I am really behind on my Newbery hopefuls reading. Enjoy your week!

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    1. There are quite a few 'hopefuls', so that's why I feel behind too. The awards are in just few weeks! I agree with you about Opening Minds-It, & Choice Words, is so rich in what works! Hope you enjoy Rump!

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  4. Linda,
    Thank you for the recommendation of OPENING MINDS. I hadn't heard of it, and it seems like a great text. I am always looking for good PD texts, and the fact that you have read it twice makes me know that it is a good one!
    Happy reading this week! :) Ricki

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    1. Thanks Ricki, I imagine you will love it. It's been very good to read with a group, too. I saw Peter Johnston last year in a workshop, terrific day!

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  5. Hi there Linda, I am gradually collecting titles of picture book biographies that I hope to use for a conference presentation this year. Will definitely add this one about Thomas Jefferson. The book cover looks great. We are also gradually collecting rice-themed titles for another AFCC-publication (last year it was a collection of water-themed stories). Will look into Everybody Cooks Rice. Thanks for sharing that!

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    1. Dear Myra, I'm so glad that a few of the books added to some of your searches. I haven't read the rice book yet, but am sure it's good, just similar to the one about bread. The Jefferson book is just filled with information! Thank you!

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  6. When It Snows was beautiful! Ours had a different cover. I wish more people would read it since it's such a great title for bookish people!

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    1. Thanks Earl, interesting about the different cover! It is really a beautiful book!

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  7. I've read the Jefferson book (any book about books or libraries is a delight for me), and enjoyed it a lot.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!