Sunday, August 7, 2016

Monday Reading - Picture Books!


           Every Monday, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want to share with others. Come discover new books!
          Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.   
Tweet #IMWAYR

The Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award goes this year to All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. I posted the announcement of the finalists last week here.
          I'm taking a week off to visit my brother, so am trying to catch up a bit because when I return, I'll be behind again. I know many of you are starting back to school and will have less time to read, too. I hope you have a wonderful beginning to your school year!

          Don't forget the PB10by10 sharing is this Wednesday, August 10th - hosted by Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek. You can find all about it here

Adult Book
         The vulnerability of Lucy touches my heart. Her thoughts and her hesitant memory is poignant, and her movement away from her childhood, making a life despite what’s she’s experienced is admirable. This story made me wish to sit by Lucy as she spoke, and touch her, even hug her, as she spoke.  And it also made me wonder about the stories of those I see on the street, at the store, in the doctor’s office.  It is said that everyone has a story, and I’m glad that Elizabeth Strout told Lucy’s.

Picture Books - If you want to see more, check on my Goodreads recent posts. I'm sharing only a few favorites. 

          It’s a simple story, two places for a young girl: her own home in the city, and Line 135 that takes her to visit her grandmother. The “line” story shows the scenes along the way in beautifully-detailed pen and ink, and offers a few comments about life as the young girl hears it from her parents and grandmother, and the different look at it from her point of view.  It was very fun to look and consider those POVs.

         This book is one week old today! How the story goes, and repeats, until it doesn’t, is a delightful story in four acts. It stars a little stray dog named Lucy, a young girl named Eleanor who sneaks a treat tied to a string to that little dog each day, and her father, a worker who stocks shelves, but is also a juggler with stagefright. Putting this puzzle of a story together in beautiful pointillist black and white sketches is Randy Cecil. While tension is high in the action, it all comes out just right. You’ll need to read slowly, watching the action unfold bit by bit. It’s magical how each part makes the connection to another part, until it’s finally all a very good story! Thanks to Chronicle Books for the ARC.



          The details in the illustrations of the story of Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds, where he goes and what he delivers, are wonderful. My granddaughter Imi and I read it twice, finding more to smile about each time. There is a large parcel for the rabbit family, suspiciously shaped like a large carrot. Then, “Phew, he thinks. “Nothing for Mr. Snake today.” Mr. Snake shows up at the bottom of several pages. He’s a long, long snake. And Mr. Squirrel has nuts delivered, by a pulley! There are numerous surprises in this book, including the final one going to Mr. Postmouse’s own home.

         A new school has been constructed, it’s Frederick Douglas Elementary School, who isn’t sure just what a school is, or does. It talks a bit with the janitor, experiences a very interesting first day, and finally, finally, thinks it’s a pretty great thing to be a school. It’s fun to hear from a different POV as educators everywhere are beginning to prep for the new school year. The illustrations show many kinds of kids and people. The endpapers show the playground, and part of the story show a little girl with freckles, who finally decides she likes the school, and it likes her!
        This feels like it should be non-fiction, and it is based on the true story of Reverend John Berry Meachum who lived from 1789 to 1854. He purchased his own freedom, began more than once from being penniless, and bought his wife’s freedom, too. There is an author’s note and an additional sources page. Reverend Meachum conducted a ‘secret school” in his church in St. Louis, Missouri until Missouri passed a law that it was unlawful to educate blacks. He worked around it by refurbishing an old steamboat. The middle of the river was considered federal property. The story is told by a boy named James who attends the Reverend’s school, first in the basement, then on the boat. I’d love everyone to consider the persistence to be educated shown by this story when first they had to sneak down to the basement of the church, candles being their only light, his “tallow candle school”. Then there was such disappointment when the school had to close, but soon Reverend Meachum made a miracle happen, the school begins again, on the river! The children had to sneak to the wharf at dawn, eluding police and others who would stop them. And they did, day after day, to learn! Ron Hubbard’s pen and ink sketches, sometimes colored, fill the story with stealth, action, sorrow, and love as the story unfolds.  

         Nineteen different children are, yes, different. This story shows them getting ready for their first day in varied ways. Their dress, breakfast, feelings and the ways to get to school all are shown by the individual or the small group, but delightfully celebrating that each differs, and the wonder of it, too. It’s a terrific first day of school book.

         Filled to the brim with sayings that just might go right over young children’s heads, this is an adventure in the rules of table setting, and oh so much more. It’s gets quite boring doing the place setting the very same way every night. So the plates and cutlery, the cup and napkin take off with the little girl Izzy and do things in creative ways. Recipes for disaster happen in the ideas, like putting the knife, fork and spoon in the cup of milk, and that knife says, when crowded, “cut it out”. Izzy sitting “under” the table doesn’t work either, and bumping the table spills the milk while the fork shouts: “No use crying over spilt milk”.  Later in the story, the dish really does run away with the spoon! Funny and cartoonish, a silly look at an everyday chore.

Still Reading, almost done, A MustReadIn2016, and a recommendation from Joanne Toft at WordsFromSLJ: Navigating Early by Claire Vanderpool, realistic, magical, and just fun to read!

Next: Starting a few Arcs thanks to Chronicle Books.

39 comments:

  1. I was just reading about Lucy on Amazon yesterday. It sounds quite unique. I'm going to see if I can get it from my library. School's First Day of School is so creative - it will make for an interesting back to school read. Just three weeks for me and my reading is going to slow down for sure! Hope you have a good visit with your brother! Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Enjoy Lucy and the others, too. And, enjoy your final three weeks of vacation!

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  2. I have BIG love for School's First Day! I am putting Lucy on my tbr list for sure. The Class looks very interesting also. Thanks for sharing these Linda.

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    1. I seemed to have found new ones for those first days, and they're lots of fun, Gigi. You're welcome.

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  3. A few new PBs are on your list for me. I'll get those on hold soon. Really loved Lucy! I think it's a great mentor text for showing teachers how multiple story strands can come together.

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    1. You're right, Lucy will be perfect for that, Michele. It's a book for multiple ages. Thanks, and enjoy the new picture books too.

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  4. Looks like you had a great reading week! Congratulations!

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  5. I'm always looking for picture books for middle school students, but they tend to be nonfiction. I don't think sixth graders want a book about setting the table. Fun for elementary, though!

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    1. There are some good ones available, I know, Karen. Line 135 can be used for a writing/memory exercise, or talk about trips to relatives. And certainly as Michele above says, the text of Lucy will make an interesting book for coordinating different plot lines. The table setting one is silly, but actually is great also for using a theme and incorporating other text. Hope your search yields good ones!

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  6. I loved Lucy Barton - what a fabulous story, and a main character to really dig into and sympathize with. Steamboat School looks like just the kind of picture book that will fit into my social studies curriculum to inspire thoughtful links, Linda. Thanks for sharing today!

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    1. Steamboat School is a lovely, and brave, story Tara, and as you see, I did love Lucy Barton. Thanks!

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  7. The desire to go to school shown in and the lengths that kids took to get there is quite a story, and an adventure worth sharing. Something our students need to be aware of. Thank you!

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    1. I do love that authors are telling these stories about school and the desire to have one, go to one. I just shared Running The Road to ABC a few weeks ago, about children in Haiti & the long run to their school. Thanks, Julieanne.

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  8. Pointilist is a term I've run across quite a lot recently. I just read Lucy last now. It reminded me of a mashup between Di Camillo and Selznick.

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    1. You're right, Earl, it could be thought of that way. I enjoyed it a lot!

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  9. So many fun choices! I loved School's First Day of School - some laugh out loud moments. Intrigued by the idea of "The Class" too. Sounds like a great addition to our #diversekidlit linkup about diverse books for back to school!

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    1. I wish I had time for the #diversekidlit Katie, just too many things going on. The Class is perfect for it!

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  10. Hard to believe we're getting ready for back to school already! School's First Day of School looks wonderful, I've been seeing it on blogs everywhere recently, can't wait to have a look at it!

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    1. It's very cute. And yes, summer flies!

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  11. I've added My Name is Lucy Barton to my list. Now that I am retired, I hope to have one adult book on the go all the time. I am looking forward to some day having grandchildren so I can read all these glorious picture books to someone! Isn't Navigating Early wonderful?

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    1. I'm glad to return to some adult books, too, Cheriee. And hoping for grandchildren for you, too!

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  12. I absolutely love Line 135. It's one of my all-time favorite picture books.

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    1. It is terrific, I agree, Beth. The illustrations are to be examined again and again.

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  13. Line 135 is really intriguing to me, particularly after I read Beth's comment above, too! I will nab it from my library. Thank you for sharing it, Linda!

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    1. I think Myra first shared it, must have missed Beth's review, but it is unusual, and will bring so much to talk about when reading aloud. Thanks, Ricki!

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  14. School's First Day of School and Steamboat School are awesome! I think I want to share them with my students during the first few days of school. I just ordered The Class and Lucy from my library, so I'm looking forward to reading those, too! Have a wonderful visit with your brother. Safe travels and hope you have some good books to read for the trip!

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    1. Thanks, Jana, enjoy those new ones, too. And no picture books for the trip, but I gave Lucy to the girls so they'll bring it, & a few other favorites, I'm sure. I'm bringing some of those new arcs!

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  15. I wanted to get First Day of School before the first day of school, but I am not sure that is going to happen. However, I still look forward to reading it :)
    I love Ben Clanton's work; I'm glad you liked it too!

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. First Day of School can happen later, Kellee. Students can look back to see if they "agree" with the building's feeling, and those other students who share, too. Yes, I thought "The Table Sets Itself" was great, & so clever. Thanks!

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  16. Such great titles here this week Linda! Happy to see Line 135 here. Just pulled it off my shelf yesterday and was paging through it. So interesting.

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    1. I was glad to find Line 135, Carrie, think it's for older readers, and would make a great mentor text for students writing about traveling, using sketches with their text. Thanks, Carrie.

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  17. Line 135 is one I heard about just last week I think. Lucy looks fabulous. I'll have to watch for it. :)

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    1. Hope you enjoy both, Crystal. Thank you!

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  18. Hi there Linda! I am soo soo glad that you found Line 135 and enjoyed it too. I am looking forward to finding Steamboat School - looks like my kind of book! Enjoy your trip! Safe travels.

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    1. I loved it, Myra, so thanks for sharing it. My library is awesome, so often has the books I want. I hope you enjoy Steamboat School too.

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  19. I am excited to check out both Lucy books and Steamboat School sounds great as well. I have not spent much time with picture books these days but may need to take some time at our local children's book store and read for an afternoon. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Many picture books are worth the time, Joanne. It sounds like a lovely afternoon! Thanks!

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  20. I love that cover for Lucy! Something so appealing and elegant about it. I haven't seen any of these PBs yet, so I anticipate a trip to the bookstore in the hopes that a few are on the shelves.

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