I had a slow blogging week:
- A collection of my favorite online reading
- The weekly celebration (including a very fine photo of Frances in a bag)
- A review of Deborah Hopkinson’s baseball picture book, Girl Wonder
And a satisfying reading week:
I really liked Sheila Turnage’s Newbery Honor book, Three Times Lucky, and I might like the sequel, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, even more. The characters and setting are so richly developed, and Turnage just nails Mo LoBeau’s voice. I didn’t take any notes as I read, but I stopped again and again to marvel at her sentences. I hope for many more stories about Mo.
Carrie’s reminder about the upcoming #MustReadin2014 check-in made me realize I hadn’t actually finished any titles from my list since the last check-in. So I remedied that by reading two books from my list–both very good. I’ll write more about them in my check-in post tomorrow.
For the first time ever, I have been struggling to find picture books to read to my older son. He is wanting longer, more in-depth stories and seeming not to enjoy lighter fare. I thought we might just try reading our chapter book at night (we read the chapter book at breakfast and PBs at night), but he seems to strongly prefer reading picture books at bedtime. I think the extra support of more visuals helps him focus and comprehend at a time when his mind is also occupied with processing everything that happened during the day (and sometimes that is a lot to process for him). I took two large bags of books back to the library unread because not one of them seemed quite right for where he is right now. I am hoping some of the Monday posts will inspire me with new ideas for books or authors to look for.
In picture books, we read:
Beatrice’s Goat, written by Page McBrier and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter, is based on the true story of a Ugandan family whose lives are changed when they receive a goat from Heifer Project International. Beatrice longs to go to school but her family can’t afford to send her (a problem very familiar to my son from his years growing up in Ethiopia). When her family receives the goat, it is Beatrice’s job to take care of it and sell the milk. She believes her family is saving the money to buy other much needed items, including clothing. But instead, her mother uses the money to send Beatrice to school. This is a well-written and lushly-illustrated story that could lead to good discussion in the classroom and perhaps even a social justice project.
Sometimes you need comfort reads too, and the Mr Putter & Tabby stories are currently our favorites. I love that my son is so excited when I bring one of these books home from the library. He doesn’t generally like reading the same story more than once, but he makes an exception for Mr Putter and Tabby. I could so relate to the exhausting list of chores Mr Putter needed to complete before he could sit down to write–and to his need for a nap after writing just one sentence.
One type of story that is consistently engaging to my son right now is folktales. I think Mary Casanova’s The Hunter is a good story anyway, but it’s made ever so much better by Ed Young’s incredible illustrations. Young’s work is so diverse yet always so on point for the story he’s illustrating.
Tony Johnston’s tall tale, Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea, is kind of silly (though I did enjoy saying “Dang!” very loudly every few pages), but I had to include it in my post this week because I was crazy about Stacy Innerst’s illustrations. He used old blue jeans for his canvas! Brilliant!! I loved seeing how he used the seams and other features of jeans as parts of the paintings.
Finally, we read Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, written by Christine Baldacchino and vibrantly illustrated by Isabell Malenfant, another excellent picture book about boys who like to dress up in girls’ clothing. Thanks to the three picture books we’ve read about this topic over the past month, my son’s perceptions and perspective have really changed. Yay picture books!
Reading Goals Update:
Nerdbery Challenge: 0/12 books
#MustReadin2014: 8/15 books
YA Shelf of Shame Challenge: 5/12 books
Professional Development Reading Goal: 3/12 books
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 55/100 books
Picture Book Reading Goal: 343/350 books
Chapter Book & Middle-Grade Reading Goal: 41/100 books
YA Lit Reading Goal: 27/60 books
Latin@s in Kidlit Challenge: 20/12 books
Number of Books Total (not counting picture books): 97/200