Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I have had a fantastic week of reading.  I read picture books, chapter books and managed to get in some non-fiction too.

Picture Books
I was able to read a few more Nerdy nominees.  First, I read Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Marla Frazee.  The pictures were simply beautiful and worked so well with the pictures. I wanted to go lay out under the stars after this one if it wasn't so blasted cold out.  Later in the week I was able to enjoy A Dog is a Dog by Stephen Shaskan.  This one was cute, funny, and super engaging.  I can't wait to share either of them with my students. I know they will both be crowd pleasers.  I still have 22 Nerdy Nominees to go, but I am whittling down that list a few at a time.

I also worked on my Caldecott Challenge by reading Cock a Doodle Doo by Berta Hader.  This is an old fashioned little story about a little chick.  It was okay, but not fabulous.  I did enjoy Seven Simeons: A Russian Tale by Boris Artzybasheff quite a bit more. The illustrations were delicate and quite interesting.  The story also had such a pompous king that I just had to giggle all the way through.  Laura (@liblaura5) has a fantastic video review of this book.  Animals of the Bible edited by Helen Dean Fish, was a little dry and quoted the King James English version.  Not my favorite though I did appreciate seeing the Daniel in the Lion's Den story that I haven't thought of for quite some time. I would definitely have given Seven Simeons the award over Animals of the Bible if it had been my choice.  The Ageless Story by Lauren Ford was another one that really wasn't one of my favorites.  I found it an interesting book, but only in a kind of historical way.

I also read Postcards from Buster: Buster and the Dance Contest by Marc Brown shows a group of Hmong girls getting ready to compete.  It is a very short book with not a lot of detail, but it is great because there are not many picture books that show Hmong characters in a contemporary setting.

 I read A Little Peace by Barbar Kerley.  I love the pictures of people from all around the world and the message of making the world a better place.  It went well with Me...Jane and Jane's message to young people.

America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell was emotionally charged, but I appreciated the way the story is delivered for children.  The harsh facts aren't ignored, but the book isn't sensational.  Stories are shared about actual people.  Some were survivors, but others are not.  The book is an excellent introduction to a horrifying part of our history.

Newbery Challenge
I finished The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting.  Wild animals that talk, a shipwreck, and many other adventures keep this book lively.  It reminded me in some weird way of Pippi.  Here is someone who has a little something extra and adventures at the drop of a hat and doesn't worry much about what will happen next.  I found this infinitely more enjoyable than Story of Mankind.

Young Adult
The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner was a great book for my Friday evening read.  The main characters were very engaging and believable.  It also made me want to read Of Mice and Men again.

By far the most phenomenal book of the week though was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  One of those I will need to think about for a long time.  I will likely read it multiple times too.  It brought laughter and tears and some deep thinking.

For next week:
Newberys: I will finish up The Dark Frigate and start Tales from Silver Lands
Caldecotts: Just keep reading, just keep reading
Nerdy Nominees:
Big Wig: a Little History of Hair, A Butterfly is Patient & Page by Paige
Some good non-fiction

Happy Reading!

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