In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I had a new book delivery!! That always distracts me. What fun. Plus I enjoyed hosting a book breakfast for staff and a fantastic author visit on Friday- which I’ll blog about later.
For now, here’s a quick repeat of a video about the new books that just arrived. I’ve read many already!
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale – 5th grade and up, fantasy: I’m so happy to be back in the world that I loved in the first book Princess Academy. I’m find it quite political (which is reasonable) and humorous at times. I had so many quotes highlighted in this book, over 20 favorite lines but my overall favorite one was “She felt better making plans like ropes securing her to her mountain.” This referred to Miri moving to the city and making promises and plans that would bring her back home. I personally connected with that since I reflected on all the promises I made and commitments I’m making when I visit Oregon in a few weeks. I certainly have many ropes that are pulling me back to my mountain… Goodreads Summary: “Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen’s Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Picking up where “Princess Academy” left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.”
I read Hide and Seek by Kate Messner. I’ll hold off to review this next week. I want to reflect longer.
(LOVED IT though…)
Nothing by Jon Agee -all ages- I mentioned this book on Thirsty Thursday blog post last week…How much I appreciate Jon Agee, his books always amuse, enlighten, and entertain. I particularly am fond of his word play books such as Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp? and Elvis Lives and other Anagrams. This book, Nothing, did not disappoint! Interesting stores with a lady so loaded with money and pretentious that she hears a shopkeeper say he has nothing and she agrees to buy “nothing” on the spot! Then there is a rush on buying nothing. Interesting book, threw me into thoughts on nothingness/living a simple life/reducing material objects- which you could lead a discussion on if you were in the mood BUT you could also just enjoy a hilarious book and talk about following the crowd and letting others influence what you’re interested in. Think I will share this with my Year 3 team next year when they’re talking about advertising/media awareness/marketing, what a perfect book for this! Goodreads Summary: “Otis has an antique shop crammed to the gills with stuff. So he’s delighted when someone comes in and buys it all. Next day, Suzie Gump arrives, the shop is empty, full of nothing, and Suzy loves it–and takes it all. Suzie has set a trend, and soon everybody is craving nothing–the stores are full of it. It’s only when there’s not even a towel for drying off after a bath that Suzie realizes she may have gone a bit too far. Funny and silly, this is another solid entry by Agee.”
Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel 2nd grade and up- brilliant!!! So happy to enjoy another fantastic book by Nick Bruel. I loved the process that the teacher went through to get to Bad Kitty’s main problem (cute) but honestly, since I read it aloud this time, I noticed that there was a load of adult teacher voice going on and less cat/dog perspective… I did love the development of the characters and the friendship that blossomed between Bad Kitty and Petunia and I found the rabbit addition to be a riot. Uncle Murray chimed in just enough times and really helped the process of explaining the difference between cats and dogs with their communication differences. Overall I loved this book as much as I did the others and I especially loved how puppy’s intelligence was displayed. What a hoot. Can’t wait to chat with students about this book! Goodreads Summary: “Kitty and Puppy are out of control! They’re screaming, fighting, hissing, and drooling all over the house, and all of the commotion is upsetting Baby. Time for school—obedience school, that is. Can Kitty learn to follow the rules and make friends with the other students or will she bring chaos to the classroom? Find out in Bad Kitty’s hilarious, new (mis)adventure!”
Cow Boy A Boy and His Horse A Western Graphic Novel by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos – tonight I eagerly sat down with my son to read this book. We had previously enjoyed a few other cowboy books and I personally was excited to have something to link with Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack (even though it was written for a different age range.) So we read our way through the book. We loved the man missing his underwear and the twists with the little 10 year old bounty hunter. Pretty fun read aloud for us… overall. My main problem as a reader is that it was slightly disjointed. And I sat and compared it with Bad Kitty because in that one there are different voices/transitions as well but I think what I missed was the clear deliniation between the portions/stories in the book with Cow Boy. When I finished the book my son said, huh, that was a weird ending, it wasn’t really done was it mom? Yet it was, if you had watched Westerns in the past and know how those leave you hanging a little… I think mostly my son didn’t identify with the character having such a strong sense of right and wrong that he brought one particular character in for a bounty. Cow Boy certainly did stay true to the form of a Western but I now am concerned with how it will be received by my graphic novel readers. I enjoyed it, especially with my past experience but I feel like there would be some pre-teaching to appreciate the book vs. interpreting the book on its own. Funny to read other reviews from reader friends I admire on Goodreads, feel like I’m alone in this experience! Goodreads Summary: “Nate Cosby (Pigs, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller) and Chris Eliopoulos (Franklin Richards, Misery Loves Sherman) present Cow Boy, the story of a young bounty hunter determined to send his entire outlaw family to jail. He travels the Old West on a horse that ain’t his and won’t stop ’til everyone’a his kin’s in the clink.”
The Hueys in The New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers -all ages- What a chuckle/laugh/guffaw through this fantastic book on individuality! Can’t wait to share it alongside Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems AND Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker. Love how Rupert knitted himself a new sweater! Probably will also connect it with Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. My son and I loved reading this one. Goodreads Summary: “The Hueys are small and mischievous, unique compared to the world’s other creatures–but hardly unique to one another. You see, each Huey looks the same, thinks the same, and does the same exact things. So you can imagine the chaos when one of them has the idea of knitting a sweater! It seems like a good idea at the time–he is quite proud of it, in fact–but it does make him different from the others. So the rest of the Hueys, in turn, decide that they want to be different too! How? By knitting the exact same sweater, of course!”
The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart, pictures by David Small – all ages- It has been a long while since my son gave a round of applause for a book. This one did it for him. He was silent, inspired, and I bet soon he’s going to ask me to watch for cardboard so he can make his own quiet place. I really think he identified with the book because it had to deal with a family immigrating from Mexico to America and addressed some of the difficulties with moving to a new place. Powerful book. Beautiful book Fantastic, can’t wait to share, wonderful book. Highly recommend. Goodreads Summary: “When Isabel and her family move to the United States, Isabel misses all the things she left behind in Mexico, especially her aunt Lupita and hearing people speak Spanish. But she also experiences some wonderful new things–her first snow storm and a teacher who does not speak Spanish but has a big smile. Even better, Papa and her brother Chavo help her turn a big box into her own quiet place, where she keeps her books and toys and writes letters to Aunt Lupita. As she decorates and adds more and more on to her quiet place, it is here that Isabel feels the most at home in her new country while she learns to adjust to the changes in her life.”
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis – All Ages- Wow. It has been quite some time since a book made me tear up within a few moments. So touching, poignant, beautiful. Every page was another heart wrenching glimpse at a lack of kindness and the cruelty that some children can have for someone who is different and new. As I finished the book my son looked directly in my eyes and said: “Mommy, this book really teaches a lesson. I think there is another story going on too…” and he proceeded to tell me about the Maya’s perspective and family life. I look forward to having a bowl of water and stones to put in. Wow. I understand. I understand why so many have spoken up about their appreciation for this treasure of a book. Goodreads Summary: “Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different–she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.”
The Round House by Louise Erdrich, narrated by Gary Farmer -adult – powerful book. Difficult, really difficult to listen to…. quite honestly as much as I enjoyed this rich language, gorgeous, thoroughly absorbing book, I am quite relieved to be done with it. Wow is this a high school/adult book! NOT not not for elementary or middle school or immature high schoolers. There. I’ve warned you now. I’ve sat in rapt attention listening to this book. The reader has one of those amazing voices that I can’t stop listening to. Really upsetting story, got in my head emotionally with quite the powerful mystery twist. Goodreads Summary: “One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.” National Book Award Winner.
Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers – The Tenth Epic Novel by Dav Pilkey -2nd grade and up- loved laughing through this book. Can’t wait to get it on the shelf, needs no promotion! Goodreads Summary: “A world without UNDERPANTS?!!!
When we last saw our heroes, George and Harold, they had been turned into evil zombie nerds doomed to roam a devastated, postapocalyptic planet for all eternity. But why, you might ask, didn’t the amazing Captain Underpants save the boys from this frightening fate? Because Tippy Tinkletrousers and his time-traveling hijinks prevented George and Harold from creating Captain Underpants in the first place! Now, having changed the course of human history forever, they’ll have to figure out a way to CHANGE IT BACK.
Could this be the end for Captain Underpants?!!”
The One and Only Sam- A Story Explaining Idioms for Children with Asperger Syndrome and Other Communication Difficulties by Aileen Stalker, illustrations by Bob Spencer -3rd/4th grade-6th grade- I love idiom books… This one was no exception. A little long at times but overall thorough as needed for children to conceptually “get” what an idiom is, I think this book would help begin many discussions with children who need thorough explanations on why people say certain things, etc.
Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Scott Magoon Kindergarten-2nd grade- Great book, there is often a softie even in the toughest character… Why do the bunnies multiply? Why his car? Those were the random questions I encountered when reading but I loved it… Goodreads Summary: “Big Mean Mike is the biggest, toughest dog in the whole neighborhood. He has a big, mean car that he likes to drive around the big, mean streets. Everyone knows that Mike is big and mean, and that’s just the way he likes it. But one day a tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up in his car. Mike can’t believe it! Before anyone can see, he puts the bunny down on the sidewalk and drives away. When the tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up again — and this time brings a friend — Mike tells them both to get lost. Big mean dogs do not hang out with tiny, fuzzy bunnies! But gosh, those bunnies sure are cute. . . . From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen and illustrator Scott Magoon comes a comical lesson about how keeping up your image is not nearly as fun as being your own quirky self.”
The Sunflower Sword by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Miriam Latimer -Kindergarten-4th grade- hah, my son agreed with me that I’m a pacifist like this mom but he agreed that the outcome of the story made it work perfectly… Goodreads Summary: “A charming story in which making friends turns out to be more fun than fighting.
In a land filled with fire and smoke and endless fighting, where knights fight dragons, there lives a little knight who wants to be big like the others, and fight like the others, and have a sword like the others. But his mother won’t let him. Instead of a sword, she gets him a sunflower, which, as it turns out, is powerful enough to stop a war.”
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko -Kindergarten-2nd grade- special holiday book showing how a family can have respectful integrated religious family… My son enjoyed this one. Goodreads Summary: “I am a mix of two traditions.
From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama.
How lucky am I?
Holiday time at Sadie’s house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa’s arrival.
Selina Alko’s joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.
This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers – ALL AGES – When you pick a pet, what background does it have? Is this the reason some purchase their pet from a pet store vs. adopting a pet. Really enjoyed reading this gorgeous, special book. I have a staff member that has asked me DAILY when this BOOK would ARRIVE from the ORDER and after the ORDER was LOST in the MAIL for a MONTH, we were THRILLED when the second ORDER delivered this FANTASTIC book to the library today so that the STAFF member does not ASK us AGAIN we will just HAND the book to that WONDERFUL ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORTIVE READER. Really loved the book with my son. I really want to buy it for my family as well since we lived with moose for a long, long time in Alaska… Goodreads Summary: “Wilfred is a boy with rules. He lives a very orderly life. It’s fortunate, then, that he has a pet who abides by rules, such as not making noise while Wilfred educates him on his record collection. There is, however, one rule that Wilfred’s pet has difficulty following: Going whichever way Wilfred wants to go. Perhaps this is because Wilfred’s pet doesn’t quite realize that he belongs to anyone. A moose can be obstinate in such ways.
Fortunately, the two manage to work out a compromise. Let’s just say it involves apples.”
Cal and the Amazing Anti-Gravity Machine by Richard Hamilton, illustrated by Sam Hearn – 2nd-4th grade, special fiction book with a humorous take on a person with a nutty professor neighbor who invents an anti-gravity machine. Quite amusing and quick read. Fun with a talking dog as well! Goodreads Summary: “In this wacky, adventurous chapter book, Cal and his grouchy talking dog, Frankie, discover the joys (and pitfalls) of anti-gravity when they join forces with Cal’s inventive neighbor, Mr. Frout. This hair-raising adventure is a laugh-out-loud romp that lifts one boy’s curiosity about science to a new level!”
Rabbit & Robot The Sleepover by Cece Bell – Early Chapter Book- preschool – 3rd grade – Just loved this story. Unflappable versus overreacting friends partnered together by a sleep-over. What could happen? Just read to find out. I chuckled through this read. Goodreads Summary: “Rabbit is excited: his friend Robot is coming to spend the night! Rabbit has left nothing to chance and has drawn up a list of all the things they will do. First off is making pizza, but Robot only likes nuts and bolts and screws on top (good thing he has magnetic hands). Next on the list is watching TV, but the remote is missing, and Rabbit is panicking! Will Robot find a logical (and rather obvious) solution to the problem? Number three is . . . uh-oh! Why is Robot lying down instead of playing Go Fish? And what is that message reading “BAT” printing out from a slot on his front? An adventure about a rabbit who likes to be in control and an obliging robot who calmly keeps their friendship humming.”
Norris The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner – All Ages- Special, cute book. Gorgeous illustrations. Must find more picture books illustrated by Catherine Rayner! Goodreads Summary: “Norris the bear has been waiting patiently for the last ripe fruit to fall from the tree. But Tulip the raccoon and Violet the mouse have too . . . although maybe not so patiently. In fact, Tulip and Violet sniff, listen to, and even hug the fruit. Norris catches the fruit when it finally falls, and because he is a wise bear, he shares it and makes two new friends.”
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales One Dead Spy – Nathan Hale – 4/5th grade- What a rich informative book. Nice to see Nathan Hale’s illustrations after loving the Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack books. Not so sure if it is a good fit in my international school but honestly, I don’t have any books about the American Revolution in the library, so here’s a great addition – plus a graphic novel! Goodreads Summary: “Nathan Hale, the author’s historical namesake, was America’s first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before being hanged by the British. In the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.
One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.”
The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra – A Toon Graphic Novel – preschool-2nd grade- This book connected me to so many other fantasty books. I know my students will really enjoy this book. What I’ll be curious about is which year level will be the most interested! Goodreads Summary: “When Leah and Alan awaken in an enchanted forest, they have only each other and their wits to guide them. In a world of pet bees and giant rabbits, they befriend foppish lions and stone frogs, learning to confront danger as they find both their own independence and the way home. Newcomer David Nytra’s breathtaking pictures break the boundaries of imagination, sending the reader on a wild flight of fantasy while experiencing the most universal of stories: growing up.”
I always try to keep up with Reading the World Challenge–
Pinky the Dolphin and The Power that May Be by Gavin Coates – Special little book about a little girl who lives in Hong Kong and sees a pink dolphin swimming in the water. She has a lovely dream which brings her to the world of dolphins and presents some of the problems the dolphins deal with. I personally apreciated the perspective and also how this book would be good to share with my Y2 students when they are studying animal habitats and how humans can impact them… *This book is hard to locate, just logging that I’ve read it vs. recommending purchasing.
Professional: — still working my way through some books, will share when done…
Continuing my #readinggapchallenge – sports books
– I thought I’d read one, nope. Next week! — getting there though, I moved the next book up in the reading pile… just doesn’t help that I have a fantastic new shipment of books I desperately want to read!
Thought I’d also mention my Non-Fiction Reading Goal Progress:
Cassio’s Day From Dawn to Dusk in a Brazilian Village by Maria de Fatima Campos -Kindergarten-3rd grade- perfect world awareness book approaching a life from traditional, everyday life, and religious perspectives with an approachable style. (Fits with reading the world challenge as well!) Goodreads Summary: “Cássio spends much of his school day outside, and he especially likes learning to grow vegetables in the school garden. He and his friend push each other home from school in Cássio’s carrinho (“barrow”), stopping to buy their favorite sweets (doce-de-leite) on the way. When it comes to the evening meal, his mother always cooks extra so that there will be enough if friends or family want to come. Cássio’s Day is the latest in the acclaimed series A Child’s Day, a collection of photographic information books concentrating on the daily lives and experiences of children in countries around the world, published in association with Oxfam.”
I’ll now begin:
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.