It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/30/13


Visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to participate in the weekly kidlit meme and see what others are reading.

This week on my blog, I posted my usual Sunday feature, links to what I’ve been reading online. I shared some very lovely photos of Frances, who is possibly the world’s most adorable kitten (as well as one of the world’s more spoiled kittens. Her nickname is Precious Tiny Perfect–only nobody but me calls her that–and it’s very clear that she does, in fact, find herself to be entirely perfect. And she is correct in her self-assessment.) I posted about Late Work and reflected on the Un-reading Summer Reading Program. I also shared 12 Steps to Debunking the Myth of the Unreachable Student.

As for reading, once again it was a struggle to finish anything, though I did do quite a bit of reading this week.

There were a few strong picture books (and several unmemorable ones, which I won’t bother blogging about) and I did manage to finish two books myself.

blue chameleon

Emily Gravett is my new favorite picture book author and illustrator, and Blue Chameleon is just as wonderful as her other books.

rotten island

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was one of my favorite books when I was a little girl, but I have not been able to appreciate any of William Steig’s other books. I feel like he’s an author I should really love, but every time I finish one of his books, I’m left thinking, huh. And that’s about the extent of my response. Huh. Rotten Island left me with exactly the same feeling–huh–but I did enjoy the art quite a bit.

king hugos

We love the art in Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series, and so I was pleased to discover that Chris Van Dusen has other books. King Hugo’s Huge Ego is very funny and has wonderful pictures.

and tango makes three

To celebrate Banned Books Week, I read And Tango Makes Three aloud to my sons as well as to the students in my Methods course. I just love this very sweet story of two boy penguins who hatch an egg and raise a baby penguin. And I hope that someday, the controversy over this book seems as wrongheaded and absurd as the controversy over today’s Children’s Almanac book, The Rabbits’ Wedding, now seems.

king of attolia

I am continuing my reread of Megan Whalen Turner’s books, and I finished my very favorite of them, The King of Attolia, which definitely makes my list of all-time favorite Top 5 books. Jeff Woodman’s narration for the audio is brilliant. I highly recommend listening to the whole series. Although I’ve read plenty of reviews that disagree, I don’t consider these books stand-alones. I think you’re really missing out if you don’t start with The Thief. But if you haven’t read The Thief, buy it right now! Call in sick at work and stay home to read!

annie sullivan

I’ve been wanting to read Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller for ages, and it did not disappoint. Joseph Lambert’s art is really brilliant: I love how he chooses to convey visually what it was like to be Helen Keller. He includes many excerpts from Sullivan’s own letters, so her voice and character come through strongly. She has so many important things to say about teaching and learning, so I think this book is especially great for teachers to read. Even though most of it was already familiar to me, I still found this biography absolutely absorbing and engaging. I’m going to be adding this one to the syllabus for Children’s Lit next semester. (My only complaint was that the print in this one was soveryverytiny and my eyes are aging! I kept taking my glasses off and putting them back on, trying to figure out how best to read. Would reading glasses help me??)

Hopefully this week I’ll start my Caldecott Challenge for real (I have a big stack of old Caldecott winners just waiting to be read aloud to my kids), get back to the Newbery Challenge (I’m a couple of chapters into Miss Hickory), finish The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, and start Teacherpreneurs, which is the focus of an online Book Club I’ve joined for Connected Educators Month.

What’s everyone else reading this week?

3 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/30/13”

  1. Isn’t Blue Chameleon, great? I totally want a print, tote bag, t-shirt, or something of the multicolored chameleon at the end! I agree the Annie Sullivan book is great and executed in a really effective way. I too adore Chris Van Dusen books, but haven’t read the one you have here. I’ll be curious to hear what your kids think of some of those early Caldecotts. It often surprised me how differently my youngest daughter and I reacted to them.

    • I agree! I feel this way about the art in every Gravett book I’ve looked at–I want objects with the art printed on it. The multicolored chameleon at the end is just beautiful–and so happy looking! My kids, so far, are REALLY into the 1960s Caldecotts, which I’m finding super bizarre. It’s interesting to have these different perspectives.

  2. We are Gravett fans in my classroom! I included this title – Blue Chameleon as a board book in my buddy reading basket. Have you seen the latest Gravett title – a Chester style where Little Mouse hijacks a Book of Beasts. Read it aloud today to much joy! Tango makes Three is such a great title!

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