In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! This week was one of those quiet reading week. Listing a few, reading others, and just enjoying completion of tasks. Great picture books I randomly discovered this week in the library… I’ve found that listening to audiobooks energy fluctuates every day. Whether I’m able to concentrate on a book or not. I’ve found that I just cannot read my iPad during a commute. This has been a disappointing discovery… but audiobooks are the way I’m keeping up on newer titles.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – HS and up. – I completed (finally) listening to Beautiful Creatures and enjoyed it overall. I felt like I got lost in the setting within the book, different than any other location I’ve lived before. Really enjoyed traveling through time and the development of characters but I just didn’t enjoy how the book was completed overall. I decided that I didn’t want to read further books in the series. I went and read the summaries on Wikipedia and feel like I’ve completed the series now. (Not something I usually do… Maybe my huge pileup of books I’m excited about influenced me.) I don’t plan to see the movie adaptation. Goodreads Summary: “Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.”
I enjoyed reading Platypus Police Squad – The Frog Who Croaked, book 1 by Jarrett Krosoczka – Shall be posting my review and opinion on May 1st, can’t wait! (Includes a pretty special giveaway!) Goodreads Summary: “From the Files of the Platypus Police Squad
Case #1138 Detectives of record: Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley
Case brief: A local schoolteacher is missing, and the only thing fishier than the circumstances surrounding his disappearance is the smell coming from the bag he left behind. All clues point to billionaire businessman Frank Pandini Jr.–but why would Pandini get his paws into the illegal fish trade?”
The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan – Oh my goodness, when we have a picture book in the fiction section, there is a very good reason for it to be there! This is one powerful allegory. One upsetting book. The positioning of words smacked me on some pages with the overall point of the book. On other pages the illustrations opened my eyes wider to a culture struggling for existence within an invasion of another species… This is an amazing book that can introduce the reasons we have PYP profile and attitudes embedded in the core of our instruction through our school. If we can share the importance of being open-minded by sharing this book which is a direct example of the opposite, I think it would be quite valuable. Goodreads Summary: “The Rabbits is an allegory about colonization, told from the perspective of animals.” Shaun Tan has some excellent illustrations posted here: http://www.shauntan.net/books/the-rabbits.html The whole book is in video form in these two parts below, wow to the music addition…
Early Chapter Books: I decided I needed to enjoy a few early chapter books sitting on my shelf, I was in the mood to read some diaries: Both of these books would be EXCELLENT examples for perspective, voice, and point-of-view lessons!
David’s Diary by Margaret Ryan – “Pocket Tales” – Honestly? I didn’t expect this book to feel so mature… It reads like a 4/5th grade short story vs. an early chapter book. I think it is perfect for those older readers who are a little behind but need a high interest, low level book. Great diary story with a boy who keeps a personal diary at home but hates being required to write one at school for a contest… really interesting perspective. He also just moved to a new home and observes how his family adapts to the new home and community. Enjoyed the book quite a bit!
The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine – This book reminds me of the picture book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka! Voice is similar although Anne Fine writes this chapter book from a cat’s perspective… quite the enjoyable story! Goodreads Summary: “Poor Ellie is horrified when her cat, Tuffy, drags a dead bird into the house. Then a mouse. Before long, another apparent victim arrives though the cat-door. Can softhearted Ellie get her beloved pet to change his wild, wild ways before he ends up in even deeper trouble? Especially when Tuffy can’t understand what all the fuss is about?”
The Flower by John Light, illustrated by Lisa Evans – Wow. Have you ever walked by a book and have it catch your eye, again and again until finally when you have a moment you walk over and grab it? I encountered The Flower today and was drawn to it over and over. it has such power: hope, inspiration, libraries, book power, and more… just loved how this story was presented- text and illustration were combined in a perfect balance. – Australian title, sorry to those who cannot get their hands on it! Goodreads Summary: “The discovery of a forbidden book about flowers brings a glimmer of hope. This illustrated story is set in a bleak future metropolis.”
The Stupids Die by Harry Allard, pictures by James Marshall – I always enjoyed reading The Stupids series by Harry Allard. I especially read them since they are banned books. Was happy to find at a used bookstore and purchase for my library! My son thought the book was quite the riot! Goodreads Summary: “The Stupid family thinks they are dead when the lights go out.”
We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog by Lauren Child – This is a cute picture book with friends who would like to have their own dog and help take care of their friend’s dog… with a few consequences! Goodreads Summary: “Lola and her best friend, Lotta, just love dogs, and when they get the chance to watch an adorable sausage pup named Sizzles, they are thrilled! Everything goes well until they lose hold of the leash . . . and Sizzles runs off. Will they find him before his owner returns, or be banned from dog-sitting forever?”
The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds – So, this is a partner book for the wonderful We’re Going on a Bear Hunt… and what a fantastic one it is… I appreciate how I could connect this book to Ashley Spires’ book Larf with a creature going into the city to investigate… but this title had such fun repetition and entertaining qualities! Goodreads Summary: “A very happy bear hears the sounds of the city from his quiet home by the sea and decides to find out what city life is like. Buying the ticket and travelling on the train is all very exciting. And so is the city! But after a while the bear finds the city a little too noisy and a little too busy – and people are beginning to laugh at him. He feels very sad and alone – until four children find him and show him the way home, with much fun along the way. This is a perfect book for reading aloud, with just the right amount of excitement before a wonderfully calming ending – just right for reading before bedtime!” I thought I’d share two links this time. One is Michael Rosen’s website packed with videos and information celebrating his books: http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/books.html
And the other is a signed video for The Bear in the Cave. I love finding treasures like this!
Little Beauty by Anthony Browne – Anthony Browne amazes me more with each book I read by him… this one was about a special gorilla that asked for a friend and received a cute little kitten. The power of the illustrations with changes from colored illustrations with words to wordless touching pages black and white to color drew me through the pages. The precious little kitten who quietly grew as a character through the book really had a special ending as well. Quite enjoyed this read! Goodreads Summary: “Once there was a very special gorilla who had almost everything he needed. There was only one thing he didn’t have: a friend. With no other gorillas at the zoo, the keepers try something new. Will the gigantic ape strike a bond with another sort of creature, one as tiny and innocent as a kitten? Sparked by the story of a real gorilla who learned to sign, “Little Beauty” is a celebration of a most surprising friendship.”
Little Bo Peep’s Library Book by Cressinda Cowell – Such a cute little book! Unfortunately, I don’t think it is a good idea to have a book that has three other small books that are removable in the library. I’ve enjoyed having other books in the library that had removable components that unfortunately disappeared quickly. I’m a huge fan of the How to Train Your Dragon series… Goodreads Summary: “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them. She finds the answer at the library with help from Mother Goose the librarian, the Big Bad Wolf, and other familiar nursery rhyme characters. The real little pullet books will enchant children and adults alike as they get to read along with Little Bo Peep.”
I’m now enjoying:
Hold Fast by Blue Balliett – So happy that I decided to listen to this novel next. Unfortunately, this book is GORGEOUS and I am regretting that I can’t quickly take notes on all the literary celebrations so far. Probably will pick up a hard copy quite soon. I just love all of Blue Balliett’s books and am so happy to have an opportunity to enjoy another one! Goodreads Summary: “From NYT bestselling author Blue Balliett, the story of a girl who falls into Chicago’s shelter system, and from there must solve the mystery of her father’s strange disappearance.
Where is Early’s father? He’s not the kind of father who would disappear. But he’s gone . . . and he’s left a whole lot of trouble behind.
As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. Because her father hasn’t disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what’s happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place.
With her signature, singular love of language and sense of mystery, Blue Balliett weaves a story that takes readers from the cold, snowy Chicago streets to the darkest corner of the public library, on an unforgettable hunt for deep truths and a reunited family.”
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.