Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen & Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts host a meme every Monday that invites people to share the children's and young adult books they have been reading over the past week and what they plan on reading the following week.

Past Week:
Picture Books

If I had to pick a favorite of the above books, it would have to be Black Dog. This is a story about a black dog startling a family. The scary thing is that the dog is getting larger and larger as the story progresses. I enjoyed it, but what really got me was the intricacy of the illustrations. There were so many things to catch my eye. I usually read so quickly that I miss a lot in the pictures, but these were just grabbing my attention. How to Catch a Star was very sweet as the young boy creatively tries many times to catch the star. The Three Ninja Pigs of course is a winner just by virtue of having ninja in the title. I know many youngsters at my school that want anything I can come up with that has even a remote connection to ninjas. Aside from that, I really liked the spunky sister that just keeps at her training and knows her stuff. I am not sure how I have missed Giraffes Can't Dance. It was another feel good book. The joy in that dance really made me smile and hope that readers will feel that they can be themselves. For Just One Day another sweet one. I love the creativity of it. It is just so fun to be something or someone else for awhile. All in all, I had a fun time with picture books this week.

Newbery Challenge

I had some problems with the depiction of the "happy slave." I was glad to see that balanced a bit later with another perspective, but it was still troubling. At least the story did not shy away from discussing some of the injustice inherent in slavery, but it somehow seemed a bit too little. The passages about art were interesting, but I feel that this book was really too slow. I can imagine that many students would label it as completely boring.

Cat Girl's Day Off kept me entertained throughout. Boredom never reared its ugly head. The main character, Natalie Ng, is funny and very quirky. Some of her phrases were just fabulous, like "poodle farts" (as a mild form of cursing) or even better "poodle farts on a stick." This was a light mystery with action and slightly bizarre things happening all over the place. 

Read for the Record

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad was the Read for the Record book this year. It is not really one of my favorites. I like that the Bug Squad plays outdoors and uses their imagination, but there isn't much of a plot. So, we paired it with a non-fiction and had a wonderful time learning about ladybugs. I thought The Life Cycle of a Ladybug had marvelous large pictures that made it perfect for reading to a whole group. The facts were interesting and the kids got to be a little grossed out sometimes. They loved making the face that a bird might make after chomping on a nasty tasting ladybug. 

For the Coming Week:
I will be starting Up a Road Slowly as part of the Newbery Challenge. I will try to finish several professional books that I have started recently: Courageous Conversations About Race, Other People's Children and Lies My Teacher Told Me. I am also mid way through Three Times Lucky. I may get to some others, but hopefully, I will at least finish up the ones I have started. Happy Reading!


  1. I'll have to take a look at Cat Girl's Day Off... I tend to have limited realistic fiction in my weekly reading pile. Thanks!

    1. Warning - it does have a fantasy component as there are "talents" that people have in this story. Nat's happens to be that she can talk to cats. So, it has a realistic setting and problem, but the main character has a talent a bit beyond reality. :)

  2. Some good book choices - I like the looks of Black Dog

  3. I read Three Ninja Pigs, too. I really enjoyed the limericks! Plus, the sister pig really did kick some butt. I can see this being very very popular with students. Even older students might enjoy this modern fairy tale!

  4. Lovely titles! I love Giraffes Can't Dance. It sits in my Rhyme and Repetition bin at school and is often pulled out when our little K buddies come in for buddy reading. I am intrigued by For Just One Day. I haven't seen that. Sounds like a great writing prompt book! Yes?

    1. For Just One Day could be used that way. It has poems on one page like this, "For just one day I'd like to be a busy buzzing... (and then on the next page) bumblebee." So it could be a prompt for students to think of creative things they could be for just one day - animal or otherwise. It is a youngish book though.

  5. You had some great books that you read! I love Giraffes Can't Dance, it is one of my favorites! I need to get Three Ninja Pigs. I've got a few kids who would love it!