Monday, April 18, 2016

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…



Little Cat's Luck by Marion Dane Bauer

This novel in verse is about Patches, a house cat who roams away from home.  Although Patches enjoys the adventure and discoveries she makes in the outside world, she finds herself missing her owner and the safety of her home.  The story starts off slow, but picked up halfway through the book. The story turned out to be a sweet tale about home, love, and unlikely friendship. This is a companion to Bauer's Little Dog, Lost.  Both are heartwarming stories and will appeal to pet lovers.


Summerlost by Ally Condie

Cedar is spending the summer in Iron Creek with her mother and younger brother, Miles, a year after her father and brother, Ben, were killed in an accident.  Cedar is still dealing with her grief and the memories she has reveal the emotions she feels about the sudden loss she has experienced.  A new friendship and the series of events that take place over the summer help Cedar work through her sadness and confusion.  Condie has a style of writing that captures so much emotion; it's an engaging and meaningful story. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

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.

There is no doubt that humor can hook readers.  Many of my elementary readers are attracted to books with characters who say funny things or that have plot lines that are ridiculous. Sometimes I don't quite get the humor in the books my students enjoy.  But if they like them and it gets them reading then I'm all for it!  When looking for something new to read, sometimes I just want a book that I can read without thinking too much.  My shelves have several humorous memoirs that fit this bill.  Similarly, sometimes students just need a book that gives them a good laugh.  The two books I read this week definitely will be good additions to my student library because they will make kids chuckle.

What I Read This Week…




Night of the Living Worms: A Speed Bump and Slingshot Misadventure by Dave Coverly

A title with the word "misadventure" in it is a hint that a book will be a humorous one.  The characters in this book do have an adventure that will make readers laugh, but the word play also contributes to the humor within this story.  Speed Bump is a bird with very tiny wings who can't fly very fast and feels inferior to his brother Early Bird.  Early Bird always gets the worm and is admired by all the other birds.  Speed Bump would love to be the one to get that delicious (or so he imagines) worm. There are black and white illustrations on every page of this text and dialogue bubbles throughout that tell part of the story.  This book is funny, but it also contains important lessons about friendship, loyalty, and bravery.  This is the first in a series that I think will be engaging for elementary readers.


Timmy Failure: Sanitized For Your Protection by Stephan Pastis

This is the fourth book in the Timmy Failure series, but the first that I have ever read.  I can't say how this one compares to the earlier books in the series, but there is lots of humor and absurdity that will engage readers.  In this book, Timmy Failure is on spring break and traveling to Chicago while he uses his detective skills to solve a case of stolen money.  The adventurous antics of Timmy, his schoolmate, Molly, and his polar bear, Total, will amuse readers.  The twist at the end also brings some humor to the story.  While much of the plot is ridiculous, Timmy is facing challenges of childhood to which students may relate.  Timmy's parents are divorced and his apprehension about his mother's relationship with her boyfriend becomes apparent.  The ending of the book is just sweet, too.  I want to read some of the other Timmy Failure books after reading this one and I'm sure some of my students will want to as well.   


Monday, April 4, 2016

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…


I love picture books for many reasons.  The fact that the picture book is a work of art is just one of those reasons.  This week I was especially charmed and captivated by the art in the picture books I read.  


The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

A bear finds a piano in the forest and learns to play.  When he is invited to the city to play he is hesitant, but goes along for the journey.  Although bear becomes famous he misses his friends.  The messages within this book are related to friendship, following one's dreams, and an appreciation for music.  The detailed illustrations within this book, in which the forest and the city are equally beautiful, make this book worthy of many rereads.  


Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith

Hector and Hummingbird are best friends living in the mountains of Peru.  When Hector decides he wants some peace and quiet, he tells Hummingbird to leave him alone and goes off into the jungle.  Hector soon realizes he doesn't feel quite right all by himself.  This is a sweet book about friendship and learning to appreciate and get along with others.  The illustrations in this book are amazing because of the detail and color.   Shades of green and bright splashes of pink and blue make each page pop with color bringing the jungle to life.    


What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen 

This is a picture book to spark creativity and imagination.  Throughout the book, a boy and girl show the possibilities for using a cardboard box.  The box is transformed as they go on imaginary adventures.  There is not a lot of text on each page, but it is poetic and captures the beauty of a child's ability to imagine.  This is another book with beautiful illustrations.  The authentic looking cardboard box adds to the charm.