Monday, April 28, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Previous Week: 

Geisel Award Books

I have been continuing the Geisel Challenge with Mr. Schu and Colby Sharp. Little Mouse is my favorite. I love his expression and one very special moment in the story when he has a sudden hilarious realization. Of course any book featuring underwear is popular in my library. The others are also fun. 

How did this even happen you wonder? Well, I went to Barnes & Noble to buy some books and had to read a few while I was there. Some were library books too, but I also went to the CCBC Choices presentation at our local CESA. It was fun to connect with Megan Schliesman and Merri Lindgren that day. They are amazingly knowledgable about children's and YA lit. You can see some of their presentation in the following videos:

2014: Great New Books for Younger Children (Birth - Grade 5) from South Central Libary System on Vimeo.

2014 Great New Books for Older Children & Teens (Grades 6 - Grade 12) from South Central Libary System on Vimeo.

It was also fabulous to get to spend time cruising the books and reading some of them. I adored Beekle, Puddle Pug, The Raven and the Loon, Mooncakes, Wild Berries, Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas and one that isn't pictured called Trouper. Many of the others were also excellent. It was a great week for picture books.


Forest Has a Song was a quiet and sweet book. Tap Dancing on the Roof was humorous and quirky. I loved this Korean form of poetry that was new to me. Now Sheba Sings the Song by Maya Angelou was beautiful. I picked it up because I recognized the title from an excerpt in Ashley Bryan's ABCs of African American Poetry that I read earlier in the month. The portraits that the poem responds to are amazing and the words are powerful. It is written for older readers in mind not your pre-school set.


While at CCBC Choices I went to a session about the Common Core and the we learned about using literary non-fiction to teach about the author's craft of lyrical writing. The instructor, Billie Finco, used the book Have You Heard the Nesting Bird in the lesson. It is a beautiful book and could also be used to teach about onomatopoeia or any number of things. I would love to see it paired with Mama Built a Little Nest or Look Up! 

Scraps is another fabulous book by Lois Ehlert. Her illustrations are always so engaging. I highlighted Grandfather Gandhi on Non-fiction Picture Book Wednesday. Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom would be a nice companion with Brick by Brick to highlight the contributions of African Americans in the history of the White House. Diversity in Youth Literature was a nice intro level professional book about the need for diversity in children's lit and ways to find and evaluate what is out there already. As I suspected, This Star Won't Go Out required tissues, but I was glad to learn more about the beautiful and inspirational Esther Earl.

One other book that I read was Three Years and Eight Months by Icy Smith. I had never heard about the Japanese occupation in Hong Kong so this was quite educational. The book is based on events experienced by her relatives during the occupation. You can learn more about it in the video below. Icy also shares her desire for more diverse literature to be available for children.

Speaking of diversity in children's literature, if you are interested in promoting diverse lit, please visit the We Need Diverse Books Campaign page to find out how you can help.

Middle Grade

I Wanna Be Your Shoebox is a fun middle-grade coming of age book with a girl who is facing many changes including the terminal illness of her grandfather, a dating mother and a possible move. 

The Coming Week:
I am still listening to A Lion Among Men on a Playaway when walking the dog or doing other tasks. The Fire Chronicle is the CD in my car. I didn't get to Caminar this week like I thought I would, but it is next. I wish you wonderful week of reading.


  1. I Wanna Be Your Shoebox sounds like a fun addition to my classroom library - and hanks for sharing the clip about the need for diversity in YA lit. So true!

  2. Wow, Crystal, I don't know where to start! So many, many good looking books. I'm going to print your post so I can remember all of them. I've read only a few! Thank you, and for that title, Tap Dancing On The Roof, looks terrific.

  3. Such an awesome post!!!
    I just got a Fly Guy book today for Trent, and I cannot wait to read it to him.
    Forest is one of my favorite poetry books. It is beautiful.
    The rest are all new to me--going to look into them more :)

    Happy reading this week!

    1. Thanks Kellee. I'm sure Trent will be a Fly Guy fan now or some time in the future. So much to laugh at.

  4. I laughed out loud at your underwear comment. This is very true. Thanks for sharing ALL of these books. Your post is so colorful!
    Happy reading!

    1. I should have a post simply devoted to underwear or the ever popular lack of underwear like No David and The Night Kitchen types. Students just belly laugh when they see such things.

  5. A huge list of so many great titles! This is our House and The Raven and the Loon are both books I've read and really enjoyed recently. I bought The Raven for my classroom collection.

    1. I am ordering Raven and Loon too. The art is wonderful and the story is funny too.

  6. Crystal, I just discovered this blog through your wonderful comments on Poem In Your Pocket Day over at the CCBC digest. Bookmarking you this minute! Thanks for all you do for young readers.

  7. Hi there Crystal, I am excited to find Grandfather Gandhi here yet again, I just borrowed it this weekend from our library, and looking forward to digging into this. So many wonderful picture books here, Crystal. I am always amazed by the titles you share from the Geisel reading challenge, as most of them are unfamiiar to me - sounds like a great way to be led to wonderful new titles!

    1. Enjoy Grandfather Gandhi! The Geisel is really fun.