It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. For more information check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.
What I Read This Week…
Goodnight Already! By Jory John
A very tired bear is visited by his wide-awake neighbor, Duck, in this humorous picture book. Bear is adamant that he needs to sleep, but Duck is bored and repeatedly keeps him from falling asleep. The ending, in which Duck falls asleep and Bear is now wide awake, is somewhat predictable, but young readers will be amused. There is humor in the illustrations as well. Readers will be amused with Bear’s expressions, which exactly capture his feelings, and the details in the illustrations, such as Bear’s purple and pink star robe and his stuffie that makes an appearance throughout the book.
Sick Simon by Dan Krall
Although Simon is sick, he goes to school. He is pictured in the story as sneezing on his classmates and having a runny nose and by the end of the week it is apparent he has gotten his classmates sick. The germs turn up while Simon is riding the bus home from school and they teach him a lesson about proper hygiene for when one is sick. This book teaches the behaviors that are necessary when one is sick in an interesting and humorous way. Many of the illustrations, such as Simon’s dripping nose, are gross, but will entertain young readers.
Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster by Matthew McElligott
This is a picture book written in comic book style, reminiscent of the Magic School Bus. Like Ms. Frizzle, Dr. Cosmic has an unusual teaching style in which his students experience and learn about a science-related topic. As a group of students visit the dinosaur exhibit at their new school they not only learn information about dinosaurs, bu find themselves involved in a mishap in which the dinosaurs come alive. The story is interesting and informative. I think the illustrations, which include lots of detail and are action-packed, will be attractive to readers and make them want to return to this story again and again.
I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
This picture book is fun and informative. Readers will learn a lot of information about spiders and may even be persuaded to like spiders a little bit when they realize, like the narrator does, that spiders are helpful when they eat bugs. The text is written in a conversational tone, drawing the reader into the narrator’s efforts not to squish the spider. The narrator even suggests trying to pet the spider. Throughout the book, the narrator tells interesting information about spiders to help readers see them in a new light. Young readers will laugh, as well as learn.
Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-loving Rubber Ball by Emily Jenkins
This picture book is based on the toy characters from the chapter books in the Toys trilogy. The three toys are adventuring outside to see snow for the first time. The simple story tells of their wonder and amazement as they play in the snow. Lumphy, the Buffalo, has questions about the snow and while Plastic answers factually, StingRay offers his own poetic version. They return to the house and appreciate the peacefulness of the snow and the warmth. The book tells a sweet, whimsical tale that will get readers excited about the first snow fall.
Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-sitters Club Graphix #1) by Ann Martin and Raina Telgemeier
I have never read any Ann Martin’s original Babysitter Club books so I don’t know how this new version of the series compares to the original, but the graphic style is sure to interest many readers. The graphic novel centers on four girls who have formed a baby-sitting club and in addition to running their club are dealing with family issues and learning how to handle conflict between friends. I think many readers will be able to relate to the characters and connect to the problems that the characters are facing. I anticipate that this series will become very popular with my students.
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
This is a chapter book for middle grade readers that tells a heartwarming tale of friendship. Lily, who has lived with her grandparents since her mother died when she was two, feels left behind now that her best friend has become interested in boys. She begins an unlikely friendship with Salma, whose family members are migrant workers in the blueberry fields. The story touches upon issues related to differences, growing up, and friendship. It also shows the power of friends and family and the ways in which they can support one another.