Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Monday - Reading Reviews

Sheila at Book Journeys started It's Monday! What are you Reading?, a meme where bloggers share recent books read.
             Then, Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers started one with a children's focus.  It's great discovering what everyone has been reading!  Thanks Sheila, Jen, Ricki and Kellee!   Have a terrific week reading everyone!



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Chapter Book

The Misadventures of The Family Fletcher – by Dana Alison Levy
            I read this so quickly, wanted to get back to it again and again. It’s just a terrific family story, filled with the ups and downs that a family with four sons might have, ins and outs of friends, living with one’s choices, taking the risk of something new, taking care of each other. Each chapter begins with a note, a bit of foreshadowing of the “misadventures” to come, and to look forward to. It will make a terrific read aloud, for discussing all the growing-up challenges that happen. They aren’t always bad, but life’s challenges that just happen. One learns and grows, and in the meantime, it’s time to just “be” a family.

Picture Books
Silence – by Leminscates, an illustration studio in Barcelona
             I’d never heard of Leminscates until I read this book. At the end of the book, it’s shared that a goal is to “encourage children to develop their unique talents and skills for a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.”  The story is told by a little girl who shares what she notices when she is silent, ‘waves crashing’ or ‘snow twinkling’ and on. The collages that make up the illustrations are gorgeous. Since we do so much nature journaling at my school, it will be a beautiful book to encourage silence, to see what children notice.


How BIG Could Your Pumpkin Grow? - written and illustrated by Wendell Minor
      If you want to have good vocabulary lessons, use this book. If you want to inspire HUGE imaginations, read the book to your young students, and start creating new ideas. Wendell Minor takes his painting to a different level in this pumpkin-loving book, taking us through imagining just how big a pumpkin “might” be “if”. For example, could it be STUPENDOUS enough to make a ‘super splash atop a towering waterfall? Or, “Would it rise as HIGH as hot-air balloons at the fall fiesta fair?”  I know this will be appealing to young children!

My Name Is Bob – James Bowen & Garry Jenkins, illustrated by Gerald Kelley
               There is a street cat named Bob who now has a home with James, a street musician, both homeless for a while, now just making a small living in London, James playing his guitar, & Bob just being friendly & sticking to his new friend. This book tells an imagined tale of Bob’s life “before” making his way into James’ life. It’s been pulished in numberous countries, & now makes its debut in the US. It’s a sweet introduction for young children to conversation about what it means to be homeless, & it’s a heart-warming story about two friends who are sticking together. The illustrations are beautiful full-page spreads that show the plight of a kitty who grew up in a home, but now has to survive on the streets.

Fletcher and The Falling Leaves – written by Julia Rawlinson & illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
            There really is another book about autumn and falling leaves that I love, and this is it. A young fox who loves this tree near his den is concerned, tells his momma that the tree must be sick because the leaves are changing color. She explains about fall, but Fletcher is still unwilling to give up, and works hard to keep the leaves on the tree. Can you imagine what's going to happen? It's a sweet story about what does happen in fall, and about acceptance upon understanding. The illustrations are gorgeous, adding much to the enjoyment of the story. And, there's a lovely surprise at the end.


Poetry
The following book meets the challenge made by 2014Latin@s in Kid Lit (See the button on the right to explore this terrific blog resource.)

Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!: America's Sproutings  – Haiku by Pat Mora, & pictures by Rafael
López

       Along with Pat Mora’s “delicious” haiku, each double page share a paragraph about the fruit or vegetable highlighted, and a gorgeous illustration filled with López’s unique paintings in the style of Latin American murals. The book is filled with the history of food you may not know was in South America or the southern parts of North America long before Columbus arrived. In addition to excellent information, some words are also shared in Spanish, and sometimes other native languages. There are pages about corn, chilis, cranberries (also known as craneberries, bounceberries and bearberries!), pumpkins, potatoes, and more. I learned quite a bit, and am sure you, and children, will, too. After cooking, cranberries pop open. Did you know? And Pat Mora, in her haiku, names them “scarlet fireworks”.  

       Still Reading: I think I'll be reading The Boys in the Boat, Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown for a while, but I am enjoying it thoroughly. I have quite a few picture books from the library and my own to read and share, too. Since I'm doing PiBoIdMo, it'll be a pleasure to read and examine the books a little more carefully.

36 comments:

  1. What a marvelous collection, Linda! The cover of Silence really appeals to me. Something both dramatic and delicate about it.

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    1. Silence is a lovely book, Tabatha. I purchased it because I know I'll use it more than once with all ages. Glad you now know about it, too!

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  2. Love so much of this post Linda. I want to read the Family Fletcher - have heard that it might be an ideal read aloud a few times! So pleased you enjoyed Silence. Gorgeous isn't it?

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    1. Yes, loved Silence, and will look for others from that group! I hope you enjoy The Family Fletcher, Carrie. I really loved it!

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  3. These look like some great choices. I loved The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, and hope you do as well. I enjoyed the Pumpkin book, and will be looking for Fletcher and the Falling Leaves next library trip. Thanks for sharing these.

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    1. Yes, I did love The Family Fletcher, & hope many find it to read soon. Glad you enjoyed The Pumpkin Book, what a treat! And the "other" Fletcher is beautiful also. Thanks, Alex!

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  4. So many lovely titles this time, thank you! I'm especially curious to read Silence... Hope you have a wonderful reading week!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie, still "piles" to go (te he) and enjoy. I hope you find and love Silence!

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  5. I definitely want to read the first two books you mentioned. I have one on hold ready to pick up. Silence- and its message- sounds great!

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    1. Both so good, Earl. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

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  6. I love the idea of Silence - this is really a skill we need to cultivate in our kids. I fear, sometimes, that it is a lost one for our media-soaked kiddos.

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    1. I hope I can use this book with students, for observation, listening, just seeing what thoughts appear when we are absolutely silent. Enjoy, Tara!

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  7. Great roundup, Linda! Will see if my library has these.

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    1. I did find most there, and purchased Fletcher and The Falling Leaves, and Silence. Hope you'll find them!

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  8. All of the books on your list look great, Linda, but Listen is going into my Amazon box. Thank you so much! I can't wait to read that one.

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    1. I'm happy that I can find almost all at the library, then sometimes have the librarians purchase, too. I do love Silence, however, will be purchasing this one!

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  9. Oh how I loved the Fletchers too! Enjoy hearing everyone else's thoughts. I am really intrigued by your poetry book - definitely put in a request. Yay!

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    1. Happy to hear from you about the Fletchers, too, Katie. Hope you like the poetry. Pat Mora is a wonderful poet, and this time it's her first haiku.

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  10. I love fall, so your post made me remember just how I love the season. Pumpkins and falling leaves. Linda, I hope you had a simply marvelous week, and I look forward to reading your adventures next week. :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki, & I believe I've read more fall books this year than ever. And they're all wonderful. Now for snowy, wintery books! Hope you have a good week, too.

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  11. You always find such beautiful picture books, Linda! I'd love to get my kids outside and do some nature journaling, but I only get them for little bursts at a time.

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    1. I know what you mean. The best I can do is go with the class & help with a lesson for the teacher. I'll share Silence for sure. Thanks, Maria.

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  12. I so loved the Pumpkins books - the illustrations were amazing. Of course, knowing Wendall Minor, what else would you expect?? Have a great week!

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    1. I agree, whatever Wendell Minor does is just great.

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  13. Interesting that you read 2 books with Fletcher in the title :)
    I think the Family Fletcher book sounds very good--I am going to see if my library has it.
    Also, loved your idea of nature journaling! What a great experience for kids.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. I thought it was odd, too. And I think there's a moose book with a Fletcher name too. Both are good, in different ways of course. Thanks Kellee.

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  14. I loved the Family Fletcher. I think it is bound to become a new classic. Such great characters, such a fabulous family.

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    1. As you can read, me, too! It's a new gem!

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  15. Family Fletcher is a new title to me but looks like a great read-aloud! Family stories are always great for practicing making connections! I have Silence in a box but haven't opened it yet - but you have inspired me! How Big Could your Pumpkin is such a great concept book - unfortunately, lots of references to places in the US so my "Canadian" class might not be able to connect! Love his books though! Thank you for these!

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    1. I understand about the pumpkin book-not as funny, but it could act as a mentor text & you all could create your own pages? The Family Fletcher story is fun, sad & happy, kids with some challenges, etc. Great for bringing up important topics to discuss. Thanks, Adrienne.

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  16. I also love Fletcher and the Falling Leaves. It's such a wonderful book. I will be watching for Silence. I really enjoy collage and I need to practice some silence & observation myself. It sounds like something that could even lead to sharing poems by Mary Oliver.

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    1. It's nice to hear that you might enjoy the books just for yourself, Crystal. All of these things are certainly connected. Thanks for the thought!

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  17. I'm trying to finish One Came Home so that I can start Family Fletcher as my next read. So many good books I want to get to! I think work should be called off for a day or two and we should all just read!

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    1. Terrific idea, Elisabeth. Let's! Hope you liked One Came Home-interesting adventure!

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  18. I remember Carrie featuring Silence awhile back - and I am definitely intrigued. Will most likely ask our library to purchase a copy. Sounds like a book to cuddle up to in the wee hours of the morning. :) Family Fletcher looks like a great book too! :)

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    1. Both are so good, Myra. Hope you'll find them soon!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!