Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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…



It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This is a simple and short picture book with a message about looking at life’s obstacles in a positive way.  Children will be able to relate to many of the obstacles presented in the book – breaking a toy, getting a scrape, dropping a sandwich.  This is definitely a book for very young readers.  It would be useful to begin a discussion about resilience.


The Guild of Geniuses by Dan Santat

The story and illustrations in this picture book are unique.  Fred, a famous actor, and Mr. Pip, a monkey, are best friends.  Fred does not pay much attention to Mr. Pip at the beginning of the story, but he does notice that Mr. Pip is beginning to seem a little glum.  He decides to send Mr. Pip to a group of scientists who can figure out what is wrong with Mr. Pip.  Fred solves the problem himself when he pays some attention to Pip, giving readers a message about friendship.  The detailed illustrations in this book make it seem as if the reader has entered into a different world, one of fantasy and magic.



Henry’s Stars by David Elliot

On a beautiful night, Henry looks up at the stars and sees a “great big starry pig running across the sky.”  He shows his farm animal friends, but they soon argue about what exactly they see up in the sky.  One after the other, the animals look at the stars and rather than see a pig they see their own image: a Great Star Cow, the Great Sheep of the Stars, Heavenly Hens. The story will spark the imaginations of readers who look up into the night sky to see shapes among the stars.  It also shows how perspective influences what we see.  The author has written a previous story with the same main character, Henry's Map.


The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler

Readers who like books about trucks and machines will enjoy this picture book.  The little snowplow wants to help with the clearing the snow when the storm comes, but the other trucks don’t think he is big enough.  The little plow trains and practices and when a blizzard arrives he not only helps with the snow, but rescues one of the big trucks.  The illustrations are wonderful, showing the trucks with human personalities.  There is a great message about determination and effort.


Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds

Nerdy Birdy has too-big glasses, too-small wings, and he’s allergic to birdseed.  He doesn’t fit in with the cool birdies, like eagle, cardinal, and robin.  When he is feeling completely alone he finds a flock of birds, nerdy birdies just like him, and they welcome him as part of their group.  When Vulture moves into the neighborhood, even the nerdy birdies reject him, but Nerdy Birdy realizes how lonely it is not to fit in and befriends him.  This book addresses issues related to belonging and friendship and shows the importance of empathy and accepting others for who they are.  There’s a great message presented in an entertaining way. 


Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Spencer discovers that his books have gone missing.  He creatively figures out a plan to track down who has been taking his books and get them back.  To his surprise a group of squirrels have been reading his books.  The illustrations are adorable.  The text has lots of voice that brings Spencer’s frustration with his missing books to life.  The book also shows the importance of taking care of books and celebrates the joy of reading.


Einstein the Class Hamster Saves the Library by Janet Tashjian

This chapter book is part of the Einstein the Class Hamster series.  The library is closing at Boerring Elementary and Einstein wants to figure out a way to keep it open.  Einstein is a fan of the library and also loves to do research.  In addition to the narrative, there are pages throughout the book titled “Einstein’s Tasty Tidbits” providing informative facts about various topics.  The story line is a little silly, but it will entertain children.  The book has large text and illustrations, making it a quick read.  At the end of the book there are questions about the facts included in the book so readers can test their new knowledge.




The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey

This is the first book in The Dragonsitter series.  It is a short read, but filled with lots of humor.  The entire text is told through emails between Eddie and Uncle Morton.  Eddie is petsitting, or rather dragonsitting, for his uncle.  Through the emails Eddie explains the disasters that occur because of the dragon.  There is lots of voice in Eddie's emails as he expresses his concern and frustration with the dragon's behavior and also tries to reassure his uncle that all will be fine.  There is lots that readers will find funny in this book - the antics of the dragon, a mix-up concerning the instructions for the dragon, and the mom who has had enough of the dragon.  This is a quick, fun read.

17 comments:

  1. I really liked Nerdy Birdy, love Aaron Reynolds' books, and will look for Henry's Stars & the Henry's Maps, too. They look cute for the young ones, and David Elliot makes beautiful illustrations. Thanks, Lisa.

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    1. I have to read more of Aaron Reynold's books...I don't think I am familiar with his others.

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  2. The Little Snow Plow looks cute and is on my to read list. I really enjoyed and was pleasantly surprised about It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon.

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    1. It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon has a great message. It reminds me a little of Beautiful Oops which also gives a message about looking at things in a positive way.

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  3. I was disappointed in Einstein saves the library. Library funding is a real issue, and it can't be solved by having a garage sale!

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    1. Yes, that is true. The closing of a library would be a very sad, disappointing event. I did appreciate that it showed characters realizing the importance of a library putting in an effort to save one, but the plot was silly.

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  4. I really need to get my hands on Nerdy Birdy and It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon. I'm not familiar with the Dragonsitter series, but it looks like one that I need to be able to booktalk in my Children's Lit class. Definitely adding it to my list. Thanks!

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    1. The Dragonsitter will be a good book for my reluctant readers. It is short, has lots of pictures, and is funny. My readers who don't have the stamina for longer books will appreciate it. The book actually looks longer than it is - the last 15 pages or so are actually a preview of the next book in the series.

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  5. I didn't love Nerdy Birdy as much as I wanted to, but I think that has a lot to do with my too high expectations! It's certainly a fun book with an important message.

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    1. I really loved the message of the book. I think those students who have a hard time fitting in and finding their place could relate.

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  6. I like the sound of The Dragonsitter, but unfortunately it isn't available at our local library! Thankfully Where Are My Books? is there. I plan to read it and see if it will work for library orientation in September. (and to be honest, I can empathize with this problem)

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    1. Too bad Dragonsitter isn't available, it is a good one. It's very short...I almost wish it were longer because I thought it was so humorous. I think Where Are My Books would be most appealing to the lower elementary grades.

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  7. The Little Snowplow sounds like it would be fun for our truck-loving kids. Minnesota makes them very familiar with snowplows - but not yet this year, thank goodness. Check out my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. My first and second graders often ask for books about trucks. We don't need any snowplows in Massachusetts right now either!

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  8. Hi Lisa - you have a whole LOT of books here, thanks so much for sharing such thoughtful reviews. I've seen a copy of Henry's map somewhere in our library but haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, Henry's Stars also looks really interesting - I will have to find that one soonest. :)

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    1. I have to check out Henry's Stars as well! Glad you saw something that interested you.

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    2. I have to check out Henry's Stars as well! Glad you saw something that interested you.

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