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 ElliotOn 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.