Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading May 20, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? A weekly themed meme connecting many bloggers around the world and originally conceived by Sheila at Book Journeys. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts hosted by Jen and Kellee. I was messing around with a button Scholastic had given me and stuck it in a calendar and snapped a photo. Cool right? Now I flash this pic to kids and ask them, "What are you reading?"

This week I polished off the very sweet tale of A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff. 

My favorite character in the story was Cady, a little girl with an uncanny talent for understanding and baking the perfect cake for a person. Cady is the five time winner of a famous baking contest always beating out professional bakers and famous chefs. A Tangle of Knots includes a lovable ensemble of characters, some of them are not very nice but most of them are gifted with a special unique talent such as spitting, knitting, or matching orphans to their perfect families. If you are looking for a light hearted read filled with tasty sounding recipes, then this is your book. I am anxious to try out some of Caddy's cake recipes. Reading this book was even more fun because I read it with two other Twitter buddies @strohreads and @readerroberts, the latter, who by the way, made the Miss Mallory's Peach Cake for her family last night. Here is the recipe in the Youtube video courtesy of author Lisa Graff.

I also really enjoyed one of Graff's previous books, Umbrella Summer and how she captured the healing of two souls throughout the story. Click here to see my Kids Book Club wiki for Umbrella Summer. This was my first online kids book club which we now call our Bluebonnet Book Club. Each year I update the website with a new list of twenty books nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. I update the wiki each time I present a library lesson on one of the nominees.

IDuring library lessons, I finished up our Favorite Storybook Characters unit with Mo Willems books with a focus on Pigeon. We read Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late and The Duckling Has a Cookie!?

Download the The Duckling Gets a Cookie Event Kit

We made the TP roll Pigeon and they turned out great. Students have been practicing oral story retelling so they can go home and share with their families.

Our bedtime storybooks:

Barrys Best Buddy by Renee French
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara De Costa
Tea with Rex by Molly Idle

Plaidypus Lost by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

I read any and all books by this sister team. You know the book will be wonderful.

Plaidypus lost.
Plaidypus found
This story goes around and around.

A young girl's grandmother stitches her a stuffed toy out of her grandpa's old plaid shirt-hence the name Plaidypus. The girls is so pleased with her new special toy that she promises Grandma that she will never lose him, but then she does exactly that. Not only does she lose him, she loses him repeatedly throughout the story. She forgets him at the park, she forgets him at the store, she forgets him at the lake, and then the poor creature blows out of her family's car window and ending up in tattered pieces. Plus he's kinda creepy looking to begin with. I can see this as a successful library read aloud because of the girl's carelessness with her precious toy. The kids will be horrified. I can hear them now saying "Oh no! not again!"Of course the natural question to end the story with will be "Do you think the girl will lose her Plaidypus again or try harder to keep up with him?" My money is on it getting lost again.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Listen to Clare Vanderpool explain why she wrote Moon Over Manifest and hear her read a portion of the story at Teaching While this is a wonderful story, I just haven't warmed up to the voice actor's style of delivering the story through an audio presentation. I thought it was just me, but during a recent Twitter chat #MissRead on the comparison of print versus audio books, I discovered that other listeners had experienced the same resistance to the audiobook version of Moon Over Manifest. In fact, we agreed that in regards to audiobooks, the voice artist can make or break the story. I also love the works of Christopher Paul Curtis, especially some of his audiobooks, but I could not get into Mr. Chickee's Funny Money because of the voice actor.

Current Read

Penny Dreadful by Laurel Synder

On Saturday, I dashed to the MacDonald public library for a librarian hang out and to pick up my hold for Penny Dreadful. I am reading this as part of @MissionRead's #PageChallenge and already loving it even though I am just a few pages in. I can't wait to book talk with fellow readers.

When I arrived at the library, I noticed fellow librarian Lauren was holding a copy of Giants Beware and asked her if she was  planning to join in on this coming #SharpSchu book club on Twitter this Tuesday, May 21st.  I sent out a district wide email to all librarians encouraging them to join in. Lauren told me that she was not a fan of graphic novels but the red headed character on the cover of Giant's Beware had caught her eye and if she liked it, it would be her next Halloween costume. Cool, Claudette for Halloween. I like it! I, of course, launched into my praise of the book because it is one of my favorites and my students are ape over it. I haven't seen a copy in weeks except for the one that I begged the return of so I could brush up for the Twitter chat. 
GIANTS Beware!
Author: Jorge Aguirre
Illustrated by Rafael Rosado
First Second Books

Click here to see pages from the book.
I love this digital inking process and the cool accompanying music for Giants Beware.

Last but not least

Here is what Jennifer Green sent to me for Teach Mentor Text's Spring Book and Bookmark Swap. This was so much fun. My #Bookswap buddy was Maria Selke and I sent her The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and I created three bookmarks for her to use because sometimes you just have to mark those very special passages you want to read again and again.

I have a big week ahead of me with library inventory beginning but since I always look on the sunny side of life that means more time to "read, before I weed" out a book. For those of you who do not approve of weeding libraries, don't worry-I make sure to get these books into the hands of children who usually do not have any books in their homes. I am also sadly out of book shelf space and already using every possible object that can hold books.

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading May 13, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013
A great day to celebrate books and reading!

It's Monday! What are you reading? A weekly themed meme connecting many bloggers around the world and originally conceived by Sheila at Book Journeys. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts hosted by Jen and Kellee. I was messing around with a button Scholastic had given me and stuck it in a calendar and snapped a photo. Cool right? Now I flash this pic to kids and ask them, "What are you reading?"

Happy Children's Book Week! It's finally here and I watched the final seconds counting down on the 
Children's Book Week website. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Happy Children's Book Week! On May 14 the winners of the Children's Choice Book Awards will be announced. 

This week, I am finishing up Son by Lois Lowry. It's very good and I like how my unanswered questions are becoming resolved. I have just a few pages left but it is typical of me to drag a book out if I don't want a series to end. I will go finished it after writing this post.

In the library I continued with my unabashed enthusiasm for the genius of Mo Willems. His books are so perfect for the emerging reader and I have been bringing in as many copies of his books as I can find to read until I am hoarse and then I go home and read to the kiddos at home too.

I love these type of interactive books that brings the reader into the action and feeling that they are a part of the story. J found this book on YouTube. He is a true book lover at the age of 2-almost-3 years old. I had forgotten about this book but I used to have it in my home library.

The Monster at the End of This Book

Our favorite Read Alouds this week are:

In the Library this week: 

Jangles: a big fish story
by David Shannon
Blue Sky Press

With a dirty green tackle box at his side, a father shares with his son a story of his encounter with the legendary giant fish Jangles. As it was nearing dark, he does not realize his anchor has come lose and he was drifting out into the middle of Big Lake. Soon he feels a tug on his line and pulls in an old rod and reel. As he cranks in the line, he sees a giant shadow swim up and swallow his lure and then is dragged over the side of his boat into the deepest part of the lake where he discovers that not only can he breathe under water but the fish can speak to him. 

Three year olds to sixth graders were mesmerized this week by the folk-tale Jangles. We created fishing lures that we thought would be just right for catching Jangles. Next week, students will be justifying their choice of materials for attracting Jangles. I am working on a fishing game to finish off our lesson. This is one of the books we are reading for our 2013 Bluebonnet Book Club 

My Re-Read:

The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

I walked into Kohls to do some merchandising work and actually squealed with joy when I spotted my old frowny friend The Pout Pout Fish. It was so hard to complete my tasks because I was so anxious to purchase the book and fishy friends to take home to the kiddos. I have a library copy but this book needs to be in every home of little ones. The rhyming structure flows so easy and the story is such fun to read. This has been a favorite of mine for library lessons for the past few years. The Pout Pout Fish is a current special $5 offer from Kohls Cares. By the way, the folks in my local Kohls are some amazing folks and they are the epitome of Kohls Cares. You might have seen them helping out at events around town wearing their Kohls Cares shirts. Thanks Mike, Jose, Lisa, Trish and the rest of the Kohls folks in Corpus Christi, Texas. I respect and admire how hard you work for your community.

What I am listening to: 

My students love the James Paterson books and have been anxiously awaiting the newest book which is now in my library collection. I am trying to listen to Middle School Get Me Out Of Here! but I suppose I am too old to appreciate the hijinks that seem to be an important part of the theme of this story-line. Well, maybe not. I still remember one prank I pulled in high school. I was an office worker and had access to the PA system. One day I slipped a fake announcement into the pile and the principal announced it. The best part of the prank was that I was smart enough to keep my trap shut and not brag about it. Oops, I just remembered another one. The senior class was always winning the weekly spirit award contest so some fellow sophomores and I made several hundreds signs saying "Sophomores Spirit!" and we snuck in and pinned them all over the heavy velvet curtain on the stage where spirit contests were held. The curtains were only closed before the drill team would perform. When the curtain closed, the cheers went up from everyone but the senior class and sophomores DID win the spirit award that day. Now that I am reminiscing, maybe I get the attraction.

Spectacular Summer Reading Lists
I am pulling together my summer reading list for students and here is a couple of resources.

 Peguin Books for Young Readers:
2013 Guide for Parents, Caregivers, Teachers, Librarians, and Booksellers

This resource was sent to me by comrade, Denise Hyde. Funny story-In 2010, I came in and sat down amid a mass of librarians waiting to hear Jamie Lee Curtis at TLA. I introduced myself to the lady next to me and it turned out to be Denise. We discovered that we worked at the same university, same city,  just in different libraries. I am the elementary school children's librarian and she is a university reference librarian. Small world.

This week, I begin A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

In a magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that Fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a peanut butter factory, a family of children searching for their ownTalents, and a Talent thief who could alter her life forever.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading May 6, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? A weekly themed meme connecting many bloggers around the world and originally conceived by Sheila at Book Journeys. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts hosted by Jen and Kellee. I was messing around with a button Scholastic had given me and stuck it in a calendar and snapped a photo. Cool right? Now I flash this pic to kids and ask them, "What are you reading?"

There has been a heck of a lot of reading going on in my home lately. We have had a marathon of Elephant and Piggie books and a few other Mo Willem titles too. I had determined that L does not get read to enough and J, although still two-almost three years old is ready to learn to read. We read several books every night and have been practicing our alphabet letters phonetically. I have to give snaps to YouTube videos and Ipad apps that help make this journey so easy. There are some terrific sounding our sounds videos online.

These books have all been read five times each this week

The Murphys LOVE Mo Willems books

 As far as the big people books go, I quickly read the sequel that I had been waiting for: The Elite by Kera Cass. These folks really know how to design a book cover. Both books are enjoyable and fun to read but not as intense as Veronica Roth's fabulous Divergent, Insurgent, and now the third book Allegiant.

Visit author Kiera Cass's web site to learn more about The Selection and The Elite.
I am sure you have all heard the news about Veronica Roth's Allegiant 
which will be released on 10-22-2013
I can't wait!

I also finished up Ghetto Cowboy, a 2013-2014 Texas Bluebonnet nominee. This is how I am sharing this unique book with my students. 2013 Bluebonnet Book Club.

It is kinda cool that I finished it up this week because my mom and I went to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses that were in town for our annual Buccaneer Days. That's right, my city celebrates the invasion of pirates on our coastlines and the sad thing is not much has changed since as the violence and crime increases every year. My mom told me  that her dad took her to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses when she was a little girl. She is now 75 years old. Those fellas have been around for a long time. They are massively HUGE!

 This one is named Bud. Not very original.
This is my favorite shot of the day. I have plans to use this next time my kids get sassy.

Current Reads: 

This week, I have picked up a copy of Son by Lois Lowry. I have really enjoyed this amazing journey through The Giver quartet.  She is such a gifted writer. I am looking forward to learning how Lowry will brings all the threads of the quartet together to weave connections between the characters in all four books. I have heard it is beautifully mastered.

I also reading Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferraiolo because there has been some "whispers" about page 6-10 on the school bus about certain topics in this MG book. Thank goodness I have a good repertoire with my students so one of them came to me to share what was being talked about. He described the passage as "tension starting up in the character's pants". Oh great-just what I need someone thinking I keep dirty books in the library. I reminded everyone that if they are ever uncomfortable with any book they are reading, they should turn it in and find one to suit them. For now, I am tucking this one in my Middle School library section. Our middle schoolers understand that they are mature enough to handle realistic fiction about the things kids their age experience and if I started censoring these types of books, then I would be doing them a disservice.



Audio Books this week: