In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! A new book delivery led to a huge reading spree, what fun it was! I already blogged about some of these books on my technology post about the Vine app. Here’s the link in case you want to see how I created a connected book line between many of the titles I mention below!
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake – Historical Fiction, 4th-5th grade and up!:
Wow, what a fascinating book. First off, I appreciate how Amy Timberlake uses proper words for the time period. I know that sounds a little light, but I’ve found that often the word choice that some writers use isn’t quite in context to the time period. Secondly, what a mystery! Really enjoyed reading about the determination of a little sister who is certain that her older sister is not dead and goes on a mission to uncover various clues to find out what happened to her sister. I also really enjoyed how this book connected me back to a book I read years ago called Dovey Coe by Frances O’Rourk Dowell… Interesting ending that didn’t feel rushed and really clarified in a respectful manner all the things you were wondering about. The author’s note was quite an important portion of the book with information on passenger pigeons (fascinating) and how Amy Timberlake made the choice to center on them as the living setting. What an incredible book. Really enjoyed it! Goodreads Summary: “In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly.
But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn’t, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of “pigeoners” trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body—wearing Agatha’s blue-green ball gown—everyone assumes the worst. Except Georgie. Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down (and coffined) before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.”
Alvin Ho Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham – 1st grade and up! How fantastic was this Alvin Ho? I really do believe Lenore Look outdoes herself with every new Alvin Ho book she writes! I’ve been obsessed with Rube Goldberg for quite a while… what do you know? Lenore incorporated his creations into her story, in the most fitting way! Sympathetic pregnancy? Why yes, Alvin suddenly thinks he’s pregnant as well as his mom… Accidentally losing your entire savings and being simultaneously thought of as a hero? Yes, thank you. Getting into the head of a child who gets mixed up, misunderstands, is sometimes oblivious, and often quite nervous would be quite the feat for another author, but not Lenore Look. That’s the thing about enjoying a great book by an author, at the end, you’re throwing the book up in the air and crying, “Where’s the next one?” and “But what happened with this… that…. and the other part…” Cannot wait to find out what happens next to Alvin. Also… I love how you can completely enjoy these books out of order! Goodreads Summary: “Readers will herald the return of their favorite phobic boy in this, the fifth book in the beloved Alvin Ho series. Alvin’s mother has been getting bigger . . . and bigger. Alvin’s sure it’s all the mochi cakes she’s been eating, but it turns out she’s pregnant! There are lots of scary things about babies, as everybody knows—there’s learning CPR for the newborn and changing diapers (no way)—but the scariest thing of all is the fact that the baby could be a GIRL. As a result of the stress, Alvin develops a sympathetic pregnancy and hilarity definitely ensues. Once again, Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham deliver a story that’s funny and touching in equal measures.”
Rube Goldberg Machine from OK Go- This Too Shall Pass:
The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer, illustrated by Chris Sheban – Gorgeous words, amazing loving illustrations, favorite read aloud in a long time. This read aloud led to the perfect snuggle with my kiddo and applause at the end. Fantastic book I highly recommend! Goodreads Summary: “When a wonderful new book arrives at the library, at first it is loved by all, checked out constantly, and rarely spends a night on the library shelf. But over time it grows old and worn, and the children lose interest in its story. The book is sent to the library’s basement where the other faded books live. How it eventually finds an honored place on a little girl’s bookshelf—and in her heart—makes for an unforgettable story sure to enchant anyone who has ever cherished a book. Kate Bernheimer and Chris Sheban have teamed up to create a picture book that promises to be loved every bit as much as the lonely book itself.”
Mimi’s Village and How Basic Health Care Transformed It by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes – Inspiring and hopeful new story from Citizen Kid. Set in Western Kenya- fictional story but so realistic at the same time. Recommend for those who want to develop world awareness and action. *Not the strongest writing in the book, but worth it for the story and information. Goodreads Summary: “In this newest addition to the CitizenKid collection of inspiring stories from around the globe, Mimi Malaho and her family help bring basic health care to their community. By making small changes like sleeping under mosquito nets and big ones like building a clinic with outside help, the Malahos and their neighbors transform their Kenyan village from one afraid of illness to a thriving community. “A great resource for introducing children to the issues surrounding global health and empowering them to get involved.” — Ophelia Dahl, Executive Director, Partners In Health”
That Is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems – What a hilarious, unpredictable book- at least for my son. He found it to be quite the fantastic new release. He told me “Mom, Mo Willems is one of my favorite authors of all time…” and so far, the kiddo has met a LOAD of authors… Goodreads Summary: “That Is Not a Good Idea! is a hilarious, interactive picture book from bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems, the creator of books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the Knuffle Bunny series, the Elephant and Piggie series, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, and many other new classics. Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. As with the beloved Pigeon books, kids will be calling out the signature refrain and begging for repeated readings. The funny details in the full-color illustrations by three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems will bring nonstop laughter to story time.”
Scaredy Squirrel goes Camping by Melanie Watt – I am never disappointed reading a Scaredy Squirrel book. Neither are any of my students! Cannot wait to get this on the shelf. I know I won’t see it for the rest of the school year once it is released to the students! *Warning, if you decided to read it aloud, pace yourself. I shared with my Year 1 students who simply love Scaredy Squirrel and my Year 2 students who are learning about use of public spaces and reading maps… I’m a tiny bit Scaredy Squirreled out now. Goodreads Summary: “Scaredy Squirrel is not too comfortable with the idea of camping ? unless it’s on his couch! There will be no mosquitoes, skunks or zippers to worry about when he watches a show about the joys of camping on his brand-new TV. But first Scaredy must find an electrical outlet, and that means going into the woods! Will the nutty worrywart’s plans prepare him for the great outdoors, or will his adventure end up as a scary story told around the campfire?”
Penguin on Vacation by Salina Yoon – This character is fast becoming a favorite character for me. Brilliant new story with Penguin making a new friend and learning how to enjoy a vacation! Goodreads Summary: “Penguin’s tired of the snow and cold–so he decides to go on vacation! But where should he go? And what new friends will he meet along the way?
Seasoned illustrator Salina Yoon’s spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring this favorite character to life, ensuring that readers will be clamoring for more Penguin stories–whether they find their home in the cold or the warm.”
Early Chapter Books:
Mary’s Hair by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Richard Watson – this is part of the Little Gems book series from Barrington Stoke. I really loved it. I’ve read loads of books by Eoin Colfer before that appeal to so many readers and now to read this easily approachable early chapter book… couldn’t be happier. So Mary has that type of curly hair that is curly in some places and straight in others. Don’t most people tire of fights with their hair. Mary decides she’ll solve her hair problems by cutting it herself. I was amused by this since I remember the time when I hated my curly hair- never cut it myself but somehow when I was sick at home with a fever I had the idea it would be interesting to cut my eyebrows… right before a school picture day… Eoin Colfer integrates friendship issues and creativity easily into this book and I know kids will simply love reading it… *Pictures also are fantastic!
Hanging Out by Catherine Bateson, illustrated by Adam Carruthers – from the Mates – Great Australian Yarns early chapter book series. – First off, I am learning quite a bit about Australia recently. Appreciate seeing how there can be arguments about different areas of one beautiful place… Enjoyed reading this book about how one cousin exaggerated (lied) about where he lived and then realized there would be consequences once his cousin came to visit. The only thing I regret about the book is that he never really got caught on the lies, but still, really enjoyed how trouble was turned around to be appreciated/entertaining.
Forest Has a Song- Poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Robbin Gourley – Beautiful poetry book with a variety of styles, voices, and gorgeous poems that beg to be read aloud! Just love the amazing illustrations as well! Goodreads Summary: “A spider is a “never-tangling dangling spinner / knitting angles, trapping dinner.” A tree frog proposes, “Marry me. Please marry me… / Pick me now. / Make me your choice. / I’m one great frog / with one strong voice.” VanDerwater lets the denizens of the forest speak for themselves in twenty-six lighthearted, easy-to-read poems. As she observes, “Silence in Forest / never lasts long. / Melody / is everywhere / mixing in / with piney air. / Forest has a song.” The graceful, appealing watercolor illustrations perfectly suit these charming poems that invite young readers into the woodland world at every season.”
I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder – Thoughtful poetry book full of lovely haiku poems. Simple but special. Loved showing the book trailer to my students and can’t wait to finally share the actual book with them! Goodreads Summary: “This giftable little picture book of haiku by award winner Betsy Snyder is something adults will love to give one another as much as they’ll enjoy sharing it with the youngest listeners. Perfect for Valentine’s Day and any day of the year, this book will inspire people to tell one another, “I haiku you!””
Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse – Beautiful companion book to Mirror Mirror. Always love reading Marilyn Singer’s poems! Gorgeous new illustrations and poetry connections. Goodreads Summary: “Once upon a time, Mirror Mirror, a brilliant book of fairy tale themed reversos – a poetic form in which the poem is presented forward and then backward – became a smashing success. Now a second book is here with more witty double takes on well-loved fairy tales such as Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid.
Read these clever poems from top to bottom and they mean one thing. Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and they mean something else – it is almost like magic!
A celebration of sight, sound, and story, this book is a marvel to read again and again.”
Leave Your Sleep – A collection of classic children’s poetry by Natalie Merchant & Barbara McClintock – How beautiful can a collection of poetry be? Way too beautiful for words. Especially if you’ve played Natalie Merchant’s poem interpretation as you enjoy the book. I must say, the collection of poems is quite special, different, and intriguing. My son and I loved reading the poem/song – Adventures of Isabel by Ogden Nash. Ok, I lied, I loved reading it, my son freaked out and said “Ok Mom, that’s enough of those poems for the night. That one was too much.” — glad he didn’t have nightmares from it. I still love reading it. Especially when I can hear Natalie Merchant singing it! Highly recommended.
Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain by Jarrett J. Krosoczka – Loved reading this new Lunch Lady. Warning: there is a cliffhanger that will leave you hanging for the next book release and quite possibly yelling at Jarrett for leaving you hanging… Goodreads Summary: “The race is on for a new student council president, and the Breakfast Bunch is rallying for Hector! The competition is already heavy, but the race heats up when school security is at stake: student and staff high-tech gadgets are disappearing left and right. Whoever the culprit is, this is one stealthy thief—and the school is so busy with the election that he gets away with it every time. Luckily some of Lunch Lady’s own culinary gadgets have eluded the crook, but will they be enough to catch this sticky-fingered bandit? And will Hector be able to pull off a victory?”
The World is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley – Barbara has done it again, original incorporation of inspiration for children’s future! Special information at the end of the book introducing different explorers in our world today. Goodreads Summary: “”What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question kids get asked over and over. But very few connections are made for kids between the present and the future. This book shows kids a pathway from their current interests and talents to a future career or interest. And in so doing, it also encourages adventure, exploration, and discovery, three core principles of National Geographic’s mission. It’s a celebration of possibility–so simple and so profound.
Jumping in puddles can inspire scuba diving. Dirty hands can lead to dinosaur bones! Backyard star-gazing inspires future astronauts. Perfectly selected photos make the connections compelling and the future real for kids, then rich back matter brings the message home with inspirational quotes from the real-life adventurers pictured in the images. Grown-ups won’t be able to resist sharing this inspirational message with kids, and kids won’t be able to resist the invitation to let their imaginations run wild.”
Gramics – The Comics of Anagrams by James Hipsher – Took a while for my son and I to work our way through the gramic comics that my father created in this book. I think it is actually perfect for students in 5th grade who are learning about anagrams, would inspire them to create their own. Goodreads Summary: “”Gramics” is a word that I made up for my own use to capture the essence of the meaning and use of anagrams in a cartoon or comic form. An anagram is a word or phrase that uses the same letters as another word or phrase but is spelled differently-for example, “oh” and “ho” or “one’s own” and “nose won.” Sometimes an anagram can also be a palindrome, which is a word or phrase that reads the same forward or backward, as used in “Oh ho,” but these are unusual. This comic book uses only two words in each anagram illustration; however, other anagrams may be found in the represented expressions. It is hoped that the reader enjoys the comics (Gramics) as much as I did in their making. James Hipsher.”
I am currently reading:
The Maze Runner by James Dashner – still reading this. Quite engrossed but upset about the fact that my husband already read the series and warned me that things aren’t even revealed the way I’m expecting until the 2nd/3rd books. Sigh to beginning a new series. Goodreads Summary: “When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.”
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff – quite eager about this one. Goodreads Summary: “Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan. If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.
Lisa Graff adds a pinch of magic to a sharply crafted plot to create a novel that will have readers wondering about fate and the way we’re all connected.”
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.