Don't miss out on Heidi's Nerdy Book Club post about her inspiration.
Funny yet important! The theme in this one is quite evThis book is so much fun!
Don't miss out on Heidi's Nerdy Book Club post about her inspiration.
Funny yet important! The theme in this one is quite evident, but don't forget to continue the conversation with the elephant also to talk about how everyone makes mistakes and that's no reason to not like someone!...more
It all revolves around a cow. An ornery, wonderful cow that helps a girl find home, a woman find closure, a boy share a passion, and a family settle dIt all revolves around a cow. An ornery, wonderful cow that helps a girl find home, a woman find closure, a boy share a passion, and a family settle down. Fans of any Creech work, though especially Love that Dog, will love her word play and imagery in this novel in verse/vignettes....more
This text deals with such a true issue that is not often touched in picture books: bullying and lack of friends because of being overweight. But anyone who is in schools knows that this type of behavior is happening younger and younger which leaves a large portion of young students feeling excluded from their peers. Maggie’s story gives teachers and parents an opportunity to discuss this issue without it seeming “real” because it is with animals. But this story is more than a bullying story, it is a story about true friends and how they aren’t always who you are looking for. ...more
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton was perfection! This is the graphic novel equivalent of Elephant and Piggie and is a ladder to Phoebe and hNarwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton was perfection! This is the graphic novel equivalent of Elephant and Piggie and is a ladder to Phoebe and her Unicorn. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments as well as thoughtful moments covered in friendship and cuteness, Narwhal equals such a charming graphic novel for all ages....more
Bartholomew Quill’s journey is a bit different than other books because the reader already knows the answer to the question the protagonist seeks. I can see reading this with students and students shouting answers and information to Bartholomew as he goes about his journey. What I think is quite wonderful about this book is that although the book is anthropomorphic, the animal information is still factual since it was written by a biologist. Arnim did a beautiful job with the illustrations as well, bringing the animals to life. ...more
This book is one I’ll be talking about for a while. I will say it is probably the saddest book that I’ve ever read; however, it is beautiful. It is very hard to explain unless you’ve experienced because it gives hope while also being so terribly sad. The characters, animal and humans, are so thought out and detailed that as you read you feel with them and for them. I was also in awe of the way Kathi and Alison were able to tell such a unique story without the reader ever feeling like it was an odd scenario. Whenever I try to describe this book to someone, they give me quite a weird look, so I just stop trying and tell them they should read it because it is a heart print book. There is no other way to describe it. Like Ricki said, every reader will feel for someone in the book. And every reader won’t be able to deny how beautifully written the prose is. ...more
I love Lita Judge! She finds a way to focus on the unique and fun parts of a character’s personality and highlight the way that being different makes us all better. This one also specifically looks at sibling rivalry because Hoot is perfect and Peep wants to be just like him, and Hoot wants Peep to be just like him, but she just isn’t. It is important for both of them to realize that it is these differences that make each of them who they are. In addition, the book takes the reader on a journey through Paris which makes the adventure even more fun....more
I love everything that this book stands for. It shows that normal is whatever you make it, that everyone should be accepted for what they are, and normal isn’t always what it seems. Norman helps mold the young scientist’s mind which will hopefully lead readers to also rethink what they think normal is. I am definitely going to use this book as one of our “precepts” in the future because I really think it’ll make students think. ...more
I think out of the three Ape Quartet books published so far, this is the one that is going to hit closest to home for many. It will make many readers uncomfortable and want to make a change. First, it takes place in the United States unlike Africa like the first two. Second, it really digs into an issue that is still very much prominent here–animal injustice.
I find Schrefer’s writing to be so beautiful yet so easy to read. He can pull you into his stories and makes you feel for not only his human characters but also his animal characters. He does such a tremendous amount of research for all of his books and with this one it brings the injustice of Raja alive.
I am a sucker for ape books. I find apes to be the most fascinating animals, and orangutans may be my favorite because they have these amazing eyes that just show me that they are so intelligent and deep thinkers. They are also introverts; I think I just relate to them in that way. This book brings orangutans to life through Raja....more
Dewey is a little different than the other raccoons, so he finds himself in a beautiful home with a lot of things but no friends or family. Although Dewey is a bit untraditional, he finds himself a friend who will warm your heart!
Judy Schachner has a way with story telling. She brings her character’s voice to life, this time with a little bit of twang and rhyming. By being able to hear the character’s voice, the book is more engaging because you connect with the character more. Additionally, her illustrations in Dewey Bob are brilliant. They are a mixture of her what I believe is pencil and watercolor illustrations with found object collage. It is perfect for Dewey’s story....more
This book cracked me up! I don’t want to give away too much about the end of this book, but this is definitely a case for an unreliable narrator. I loved the story and the colorful acrylic artwork! I think this book would be hilariously paired with Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki because in both books bears go on quite a fantastical adventure....more
Trent really loves animals, but he especially loves kitties since we have two of them, so when I heard about this book, I knew it would be one that Trent would really enjoy. And I was right!
We had a great time looking at all the different types of cats, learning their names, and discussing the traits of each type of cat. Trent was also very enthusiastic about the balloons in the carnival. The book also rhymes, so there is a great rhythm while reading which adds to the musicality of being at a carnival of cats....more
I really love books that combine fiction and nonfiction because it truly makes reading fun and interesting. This book does a great job of throwing in the factual information within a humorous story. I think it would be so much fun to read this book with students/kids because it would be so easy to make it interactive. I also really loved the illustrations. They are so full of clues and facial expressions and humor and colors. Really made the book even better.
I will say that I do I feel really bad for the sloth though! (You’ll have to read to see why!)...more
Kate DiCamillo has a special way of writing stories. Her characterization is amazing which leads to truly full characters. Her vocabulary always pushes the reader yet never leaves the reader out of the story either. Her voice rings throughout the pages to where you can hear the narrator in your head. In this book, Francine Poulet is a character that all readers will love. She is determined, good at her job, and loves what she is doing. But then she faces her adversary. What happens after is what truly shows what type of person Francine Poulet can be....more
Sparky wants to be a hero, and he becomes one--just not the way he expected. Sparky and Tidbit is the sweet story of a young pup who is struggling with reading and an older pup who helps him. I love the message that this book sends, and I think that kids just learning to read are going to really enjoy watching Tidbit excel. The tribute to Sparky at the end is "Awww!" worthy as well. ...more
I really enjoy Duffy's anthologies. What a fun and accessible way to share fables (and fairy tales in the first anthology). I love seeing the differenI really enjoy Duffy's anthologies. What a fun and accessible way to share fables (and fairy tales in the first anthology). I love seeing the different artists' work and seeing a new version of old stories. P.S. My favorite were O'Connor's! ...more
This book is right up my alley! As you all know, I love apes and orangutans might just be my favorite; however, they very rarely show up in text, so I was so happy to learn about this one. (Whoever told me to read this text, you definitely know me!) Additionally, I just love Engle’s work. I haven’t read anything by her that I haven’t enjoyed, and Orangutanka is definitely no exception. This text tells us a story of an orangutan family in tankas, a style of modern Japanese poetry. Tankas are more fun than haikus and allow for more freedom which makes for a playful book about our orangutan family. The colorful and page-encompassing illustrations add to the overall fun feel of the book. I also really like that at the end of the book, Engle included information about orangutans, their endangered habitat, and the dangers of palm oil and didn’t ignore the seriousness of the orangutan’s situation....more
I love books that promote girls being smart and doing well in school. This book goes even further and promotes girls finding a love in science and, specifically, insects. Nora is a girl that I hope that lots of readers find a connection with and strive to be like. She is a role model for all kids. She is smart, doesn’t mind being a bit different, and has great friends and family. I also love that she is at the heart of it a normal girl who just happens to be smart and like science. The story is more than just her science and ants. It is about growing up. There is so much you will love in this book: Nora, her parents, her teacher, her friends, and, of course, Precious Cupcake....more
It is not fair to compare this book to The One and Only Ivan. The only similarity is that they are both beautifully written and put a very special issue in the spotlight. Like Ivan made you think about animal’s imprisonment, Crenshaw makes you think about homelessness; however, it is more than that. This book made me think about so many things. First, this book shows the speed and brutality of homelessness. It can affect anyone and can come from no where. There is an extended scene from Jackson’s past that made me want to jump into the book to give him a hug and help his family in anyway I could. Second, this book looks at how much children sometimes have to deal with because of their home situation. Jackson had such anxiety and pressure on him because he felt like he had to be a grown up (specifically for his sister). Finally, the book looks at friendship–both of the imaginary and real kind–and how important they are. And specifically how the magic of both kinds are something you need to hold onto....more
Cody is one of those spunky, smart, caring, sweet young ladies who anyone would want as a friend. I loved being part of Cody’s summer which was full of a quirky set of characters and an unexpected misadventure. I have been talking to Carrie Gelson about my book gap when it comes to early chapter books, so I am so glad that I found Cody because I think she is going to be loved as much as Marty McGuire, Lulu, Ivy & Bean, and many other loved early chapter book characters....more
The characters in this story are so endearing. Even Eugenia! The antics of Mercy within these pages mixed with DiCamillo’s way of writing really push the Mercy Watson books past all the other early chapter books into its own league. No wonder Mercy is considered a porcine wonder!...more
*Salma and Lily quickly become star friends (friends who may not always be together, but will look at stars to think of each other). Salma is different than anyone that Lily knows. Not only because she is a Hispanic migrant worker, but because she is carefree. Lily, on the other hand, is a rule follower, and Salma may be just what she needs and vice versa.
Every Cynthia Lord book I read, I am reminded of why I enjoy her writing so much. Her stories are always touching and find sweetness and love in situations that are not always examined. She also paints her stories with such beautiful imagery. "Our feet crunched the reindeer moss under our feet, as loud as if we were walking through autumn leaves. The only other sounds were the mind blowing the little American flags on the soldiers' graves, the buzz of insects, the chirp of birds, and the occasional rumble of a car driving down the gravel road past the cemetery" (p. 109) Beautiful. She always transports me.
As an art museum director's daughter, I always appreciate some art love also, and Salma really shares the importance and immense greatness of art. Great quotes about art: p. 151-153, 156
Other favorite pages: p. 60, 74, 94-96
A couple other things I loved: Another wonderful grandfather in a book, the reference to Blueberries for Sal (p. 112), and the look at adolescences and how hard it is the grow up....more