On the blog:
- A curation of my favorite online reading from last week
- A celebration of independent bookstores and shopping serendipity
- The final installment of #cyberPD’s reading response
- A list of 10 nonfiction books I want to add to my classroom library
- A list of my top 10 favorite picture books featuring diverse characters
I fell so immediately headlong in love with Kate Beaton’s new picture book that I could not leave it in the store, even though I have serious qualms about paying full price for picture books. A princess, a pony, an awesome fight scene, AND farting? This book has EVERYTHING. It’s one of those books I want to read to EVERYONE—only I can’t stop cackling hysterically long enough to get through the read aloud. Kate Beaton, you’re a genius.
I can’t wait to get a copy of this and read it aloud to, well, everyone who will listen. Hilarious story of a cave boy who adores his woolly mammoth pet and wants to spend every second of the day with him—only his mama will not allow his pet into the cave. In the end, she does change her mind and comes to appreciate the mammoth. I laughed out loud four or five times reading this one.
Gorgeous wordless picture book telling the story of what happens to one family and their farm before, during, and after a flood. Very compelling art.
A rude cake learns how to be polite. Quirky, clever way to deliver some moral training to small readers.
Another stellar title from Mordecai Gerstein—and quite different from his other books that I’ve loved. A boy and his cat go out exploring in the dark only to encounter a wonderful surprise in the morning: a color explosion of a sunrise. Very simple text and childlike drawings combine to powerful effect.
I really wanted to love this book, but it didn’t work for me. I can see this becoming a popular gift book, and it does look gorgeous, thanks to Eliza Wheeler’s warm illustrations, which give the book a timeless, classic feel. But the sentiments are such a cliché. If Miller had found fresh language or metaphors for expressing those sentiments, great. I’m thinking of Melissa Marr’s I Love You Bunny Roo: nothing that hasn’t been said before and super sentimental but never treacly because Marr uses language and metaphor in fresh ways. That just doesn’t happen here. But even cranky readers like me should take a look at Wheeler’s beautiful art.
Holy smokes, is this a Technicolor dream come true! The plain white background on the cover does not do justice to the crazy saturated colors on the inside.
Harrison is remarkably talented at giving animals expressive faces. Bernice’s cranky face is absolute perfection. The art is glorious with an old-fashioned feel, and the writing is also strong. A sweet story about how a grumpy cat turns that frown upside down.
Loved the art, felt a bit meh about the storyline, though it has some good moments. Could generate some thoughtful discussion about the difference between expectations and reality, letting people be themselves, accepting others.
Wow! Deceptively quiet wordless picture book about imagination, friendship, adventure, creativity. This is one I’m going to have to buy.
Terrific nonfiction title about spiders. There’s an entertaining and humorous story here—the narrator is trying to get over her fear and loathing of spiders—as well as tons of interesting information. Incredibly strong, conversational voice. Could be a fine nonfiction mentor text to show voice and humor. One of my favorite recent nonfiction reads.
Loved everything about this book. It was the other picture book that insisted on going home with me from the bookstore last week. A story about passion and commitment, drive and creativity.
Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long have outdone themselves in this gorgeous, beautifully written nonfiction study of nests. There were so many fascinating facts about nests—nests made out of saliva, nests made out of bubbles, nests that are thirty-five feet in diameter.
Another new favorite nonfiction picture book. Though it’s a story about earmuffs and specifically about how Chester Greenwood became associated with the invention of the earmuff, it’s really about how invention and innovation work. Entertainingly digressive with a fascinating account of how the story came to be written in an Author’s Note at the back.
Another title about invention and innovation. Rosenstock shows Franklin observing his environment and creating an object to fill a need (in this case, swimming fins.) The invention doesn’t really work, but Franklin doesn’t consider it a failure. There are some very smart words about failure and having a growth mindset. This is a must-have title for most classrooms. There is also lots of fun word play and good writing—a good mentor text for nonfiction and creative nonfiction as well.
Excellent nonfiction picture book biography of Sojourner Truth. I appreciated the relatively short text and the lyrical writing. Yet another book I need to purchase for my classroom library.
Another great title about creativity, art, imagination, and following the beat of your own drum.