Sunday, January 15, 2017

Monday Reading

         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.  
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      I read numerous picture books this week, and finished two longer books, all enjoyable, some I know others have liked too. 










For adults: A remix of fairy tales and myths for adults adds to the many re-tellings for children I've read. This is harsh in some cases, but a strong voice makes it easy and delightful reading. What's really happening to Jack, or that princess doesn't always turn out the usual happily ever after, but those who know life isn't always that either may like Cunningham's new stories. Yuko Shimizu's illustrations add to the grim flavor, and the final story is a pleasant ending to lives well-lived, perhaps another lesson?  I am reminded of the verse poetry book by Ron Koertge, Lies, Knives and Girls In Red Dresses.
               This is a good book that meets one of the challenges of how to portray the Nazi era for those just beginning to learn about it. It highlights one boy's struggle in a small French town after German occupation. After delivering several loaves of bread for his mother who runs the town's bakery, he figures out that secret notes are being baked into the bread, and realizes his parents are part of the resistance. He keeps the secret even from them, but with the entrance of a new girl in his class at school, the events become more complicated. He is a regular kid that loves bicycle racing, especially imagining that he may race in the wonderful Tour de France. He's seen one of the races, but they're now canceled because of the war. Bicycling plays a big part in this tale, and in one harrowing challenge, Marcel's inspiration from what he knows of the racers helps to keep him going. There is an escape too, and a sad goodbye, but during all the scary moments, Marcel learns courage helps in every part of his life. Yona Zeldis McDonough adds a brief intro to World War II, a timeline and information about the Tour de France. 



          When I went to school, long ago, EVERYONE had two parents and siblings. I did too, but my father had died in WWII so my two parents were my stepfather and my mother, with a different last name. I felt left out, I was embarrassed to always be introducing and explaining to people. I had a wonderful childhood, but still, it would have been terrific to find others like me. This book touches that so beautifully. There ARE all kinds of families that children have and to see one's family in this book must feel wonderful. Delightful and happy families with parents who are a man and a woman, two parents who are the same sex, one dad parent or one mom parent, a grandmother parent, mixed up siblings, and on. What makes a family is love, and the story shows that with happy style!  
      Want to start a conversation with young children about people having different points of view? This is the book. Fun and funny, and a fabulous ending.


         It's my first book published in 2017! Think spring, and every warm day isn't that what many of us are thinking? Kevin Henkes takes four pastel eggs, shakes them up a little with a few words, like "peck" and "crack", and then there are three delightful little chicks, but that fourth one, "oh-oh"! Young and old will want to turn the pages quickly to discover just what will happen next!
        If you're doing a city unit in your class, or just enjoy rading about different things with your kids, this will be a wonderful start or addition to a discussion. Starting with the moon that "still glimmers in the sky", the story takes us through the early dawn until breakfast in one family's home. There are those early workers like the bakers and the newspaper carriers. There are the dog walkers and joggers, up as the sun rises before they return home for their work day. Delivery workers, traffic police and diner breakfast clients-all are here. All kinds of people, getting ready for the day. Lots of detail and lots of diversity makes every page one to savor and examine closely. 
          In poetry and beautiful illustrations, it's a bedtime book that inspires hugs and smiles. You'll want to listen to the words and pore over the pictures with a beloved child or children of all who belong and where, but always, always the "you" belongs "here". With just a hint of color on brown tones, showing the coming night, the words are soothing, just right for bedtime.
In the midst of Kelly Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank The Moon and loving it!  

Next: One of the Must Read titles! And I just purchased Nikki Grimes' One Came Home!

24 comments:

  1. I liked the Bicycle Spy because it gives a glimpse into that time period without being too long or overwhelming. I don't see my students choosing to read a lot of historical fiction, but I recommended this to a student who had read Number the Stars with his class and he really liked it.

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    1. I agree about The Bicycle Spy. It fits those readers who aren't ready for more detail. Glad to know about a student who liked it! Thanks, Lisa.

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  2. You've got a great list of books to read this week! Glad you're enjoying The Girl Who Drank the Moon! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks, Jana. Yes, it's been a fascinating story so far, and now getting more complicated!

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  3. What a great roundup, Linda! Thanks for reminding me of Duck! Rabbit!, too. It's always good to revisit an old friend.

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    1. Thanks, Jane. I've known about Duck! Rabbit!, but finally got to read it!

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  4. I enjoyed Bicycle Spy too and agree with your assessment. As I read your comments on A Family, a book I also loved, I thought about myself growing up a long time ago with a father in a wheelchair who stayed at home and a mother who worked. thankfully we are open and accepting of all families now.

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    1. I know, am very appreciative of more and more books showing all different kinds of families, great for everyone to read! Thanks, Cheriee!

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  5. I have the Girl who drank the Moon read to read as well. The Bicycle Spy sounds good as well. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I've had it a while, just finally started reading! Don't miss it, Joanne. I enjoyed The Bicycle Spy a lot. It's one of those small stories that we don't see very often.

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  6. I want to re-read The Girl Who Drank the Moon. It was lovely. I'm on the lookout for the family book. It sounds perfect.

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    1. This Family Is A Family. . . is just right, Crystal. enjoy!

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  7. The Bicycle Spy is one I want to read at some point!
    Loved A Family Is.... book too. I loved how matter of fact everyone is - just this is my family!

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    1. Enjoy A Bicycle Spy when you can! Yes, A Family Is. . . is wonderful, one I guess I need to purchase, too. I found it at the library, but took it back quickly so others could see it! Thanks, Michele.

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  8. All these books are new to me, Linda - but I have to say Duck, Rabbit is the one that stands out as one to bring into my classroom, for laughs and also to continue our discussions about point of view.

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    1. Of all, it might work the best for you. I found it fun, but direct in its look at point of view, quite clear! If you have someone who needs a bit easier hist. fiction, The Bicycle Spy would work. It's a nice story that shows how families, including children, helped in spite of the dangers in Nazi Germany. Thanks, Tara!

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  9. We really want to read The Bicycle Spy. Sounds like a good book to pair with Hidden or Rose Blanche.

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    1. Yes, you're right. Those two would also be in the right area for students just beginning a study of this historical era. Thanks for the ideas!

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  10. I feel like I'm in a picture book slump which is odd considering I keep telling people we're in another Golden Age for them. Good Morning City and the Family book look interesting.

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    1. And (I suppose) you have great access to them, Earl. Enjoy these when you have time!

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  11. I'm also in the middle of Girl Who Drank the Moon and loving it! Gorgeous writing. I will have to look for The Bicycle Spy. My son is very interested in the Holocaust and Nazi era but many of the books I have considered reading to him are too complex or too intense for him given where he is right now with his language development and emotional development. This sounds like it might suit very well. Duck? Rabbit! is always a favorite in my Children's Lit classes (I sometimes share it in Creative Mind too--a good one, as you say, for thinking about perspective.)

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    1. Just about to finish The Girl Who Drank The Moon, and I'll be sad, I think. Yes, I bet your son will like The Bicycle Spy. It is not intense and detailed as some, but does have a few scary moments. I'm sorry I've missed Duck! Rabbit! so long. It's great.

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  12. Hi there Linda, you have wonderful books here as per usual - I am keen on finding Duck Rabbit and Henkes' Egg! So many lovely titles to read.

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  13. I am so glad you enjoyed You Belong Here - I thought the art was really gorgeous. :) - Myra from GatheringBooks

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Having a conversation is a good thing!