It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. For more information and to find out what other bloggers are reading check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.
Books I've Been Reading...
I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein
Simon pronounces that he is a cat, but the much bigger cats, like Lion, Cheetah, and Panther, tell him he is not one because he does not have the characteristics that they each have. Simon may be small, but he is wise, and he helps the big cats realize that he is not so different from them. Although a narrative, young readers will glean some facts about cats. The personalities of the cats is conveyed perfectly in the illustrations which are interesting and fun.
City Mouse, Country Mouse by Maggie Rudy
This is the sweetest version of Aesop's "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse" that I've ever read. The friendship between Tansy, the country mouse, and Will, the city mouse, and the compromise they make for each other give this retelling a unique twist, but will also make readers smile. The artwork, which the author created by photographing sets she made with found materials, is gorgeous. The effect is both realistic and whimsical. I hope the author has more retellings of other classic tales in the works.
Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison
This book alternates between the perspectives of Lauren, the girl who seems to have it all, but is missing her brother who is away at a school for children with autism and Sierra, a girl in the foster care system because her mother is in a jail. Lauren's chapters are told through prose and Sierra's through verse. Lauren and Sierra are relatable and realistic characters. Like many young readers, their lives are complex as they struggle with challenges in their family relationships and friendships. Neither Lauren or Sierra are perfect, but they learn from their mistakes and successfully work through bumps in their friendships. The main story line, in which Lauren does the wrong thing for the right reasons, will give readers much to think about and spark discussion. This book is beautifully written and one that can help young readers build empathy toward others and also show them something about navigating the path of growing up. I read an electronic advanced reader's copy of this book through NetGalley.
The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads by Daniel T. Willingham
In this book, Willingham explores reading from a cognitive perspective, providing insight into how the mind is able to engage in the complex process of reading. He explains how readers learn and employ the code of written language and also how the mind extracts meaning from text. The information in the book is research-based and insightful. There are also chapters in the book on reading motivation and the impact of digital technologies on reading that contain interesting research and made me think about these aspects of reading in new ways. In each chapter, Willingham also provides implications for educators. Even though I am a literacy specialist and my job is teaching students to read, I am amazed at the human capacity to learn such a complex task. This is a book I enjoyed because it further increased my knowledge of the cognitive process of reading.