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…
The Bear Report by Thyra Heder
Sophie is not too excited about writing about polar bears for homework. Her three facts are: they are big, they eat things, and they are mean. Suddenly, a polar bear named Olafur appears in her house and whisks her away to the Arctic. Although Sophie is reluctant to go she has a wonderful adventure and learns that there is a lot more to tell about the polar bear. The illustrations show the beauty of the artic, as well as adorable moments between Sophie and Olafur as they form a bond with one another. Information about polar bears is interwoven into an imaginative narrative tale.
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler
When Ernest D. discovers he has a bottomless pond he dives in with his dog and explores what is underneath the waters. The land beyond is a fantasy world that Ernest D. finds truly exceptional. He returns home, but is changed by the journey as he learns that there are places to explore all around him. There are lots of details in the illustrations to capture readers’ attention and imaginations. This is a lovely book.
Book by David Miles
This is a book that book lovers will appreciate. The author shows with poetic text and beautiful illustrations that a book is extraordinary in its ability to enchant and open our imaginations to possibilities. This book also gives a reminder of the importance of books in a world of electronics and gadgets. Being a book lover myself, I found the message of this book important and enjoyed the magical quality of the text and illustrations.
Butterfly Park by Elly MacKay
A girl moves to a new town and is disappointed to discover that the park next door, Butterfly Park, has no butterflies. The girl and her neighbors try to bring butterflies to the park without success until they realize they need flowers. By the end of the story the community has worked together to bring flowers, butterflies, and beauty to the park. The illustrations in this book are intriguing and very unique. The author’s website describes her process creating the illustrations by cutting drawings from paper and putting them in a stage set which she then photographs. This is a sweet story of the power of community, but the illustrations really add to the charm.
The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Piña
C.J. asks his nana a series of questions as they travel across town. Nana’s answers are meant to teach him to appreciate what he has and to see the beauty in the world around them. This is not only a sweet story about a boy and his nana, but also a heartwarming and important story about selflessness and giving. There is a lot of depth to this beautiful book.
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann
This picture book is a spin on the classic story about the old lady who swallowed a fly. It’s a fun, rhyming text about a not-very-polite dragon who swallowed a knight, then some others in the kingdom, and finally the castle and the moat. The end which shows a burping dragon as he realizes he is full is amusing. There is lots of great vocabulary in the book, as well.
A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups by Anna Wright
Each page of this nonfiction picture book tells about a group of animals and the term that is used to refer to the group. There is an ostentation of peacocks, a scurry of squirrels, a gaggle of geese, and other animal groups. Some terms are familiar, but readers will also learn others they are not familiar with. There are only a few lines of text on each page, but readers can also learn something about the behavior of the animal group. This is a great text to introduce readers to the topic of animal groups and to new vocabulary and to develop their interest in learning more about animal behavior.
The Turnip by Jan Brett
Jan Brett has added her own twist to her version of a classic folktale. The Badger Girl is trying to pull out a turnip and others join in to help. When the cocky little rooster gives it a try the turnip comes free from the ground, but it is a family of bears who really deserve the credit. Jan Brett’s style is easily recognized in the detailed illustrations and the illustrated borders of the text that give clues as to what will happen next. This would be a useful book to compare to other versions of the folktale.