It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/24/17


I almost didn’t post this week because I’m nearly-but-not-quite finished with several novels and memoirs. There isn’t much to share. But blogging routine is important, and I did read a handful of picture books.

lukes way of looking

Luke’s Way of Looking is a smart and superbly illustrated story about an artistic boy who simply doesn’t see the world like everyone else sees it. He is constantly in trouble with his cruel art teacher for not drawing realistically. Unable to take the constant criticism anymore, he skips school one day and heads to the art museum, where he falls in love with abstract modern art and discovers that other artists see the world the same way he does. Armed with newfound confidence, he returns to art class, determined to paint the world as he sees it.

david goes to school

I just can’t do the David books anymore. When I first read them many years ago–long before I became a parent–I thought they were funny and clever, innocent good fun. But now, while my students laugh at David’s naughty antics, I cringe at the adult response to him. Kids aren’t “naughty” for no reason: misbehavior always expresses some kind of anxiety, fear, or need. My heart breaks for David every time he gets yelled at and punished rather than brought in close and questioned about what he’s feeling and experiencing. Literally every time he receives unconditional love, empathy, and acceptance, literally every time the adult seeks connection rather than correction, David is able to regulate himself and make better choices. And yet the adults never, ever learn.


I had the treat of listening to students read aloud picture books to the class this week. I’ve read Waiting several times, but is not one that I had tried yet as a read-aloud. I think I appreciated it even more as a read-aloud. I couldn’t see the pictures very well from where I was standing in the classroom, so I really concentrated on the pacing, simplicity, and elegance of the language. Just a beautiful book.

pigeon needs a bath

The student who read The Pigeon Needs a Bath! did a marvelous job channeling his inner toddler as well as his inner actor and really brought Pigeon to life for us. This happens to be my favorite Pigeon story anyway, and I loved hearing it read aloud by an enthusiastic reader.

dodsworth in london

Dodsworth in London takes a few pages to really get going, but once it does, this comical case of mistaken identity and getting lost in London had me amused to the end. This is the first Dodsworth book I’ve read, and I’m looking to reading the others.

quick little monkey

Little Monkey gets separated from her father and must save herself from a host of predators who’d like to eat her for lunch, including an ocelot and a tree boa. Luckily, she remembers Papa Monkey’s lessons and is able to use them to fend for herself. Thomson’s text is fast-paced and engaging, and Lita Judge’s illustrations are gorgeous. There is a rescue and a happy ending, and an interesting author’s note at the end about pygmy marmoset monkeys. I’m guessing this is a book that will send many readers straight to the Internet for more information.





10 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/24/17”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    This is also my favourite Pigeon story! Lots and lots of fun.

  2. Stacy Mozer Avatar

    Luke’s Way of Looking sounds like a wonderful book. Can’t wait to find it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jane the Raincity Librarian Avatar

    Oh, the expression on that little monkey’s face is just tugging at my heart strings!!

  4. Michele Avatar

    That would be interesting to listen to college students read aloud some of these books! There is a definite art to the reading of books out loud.

  5. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    What I like about Waiting as a read aloud is how quiet it makes the audience (although my third graders thought the elephant falling and “going on a trip” was hilarious).

  6. cweichel Avatar

    I appreciate your comments on David. Parenting is such hard work and unfortunately kids don’t come with instructional manuals. I think we are bound to make all kinds of mistakes. The best thing is that unless we are absolute disasters, I think most kids take away that they are loved more than they take away our screwups.
    I love to listen to any book read to me, but there is a special joy in a picture book done well. If I am at the library when the librarian is reading, I am always seduced into joing them.

  7. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum) Avatar

    Yes, WAITING as a read aloud is magical. I read it to my 8th graders and then had them write about what they were waiting for. It was a lovely experience.

    I appreciate your thoughts on the David books. My students absolutely love them but I think I will now look at them more critically after you shared your feelings about them.

  8. lindabaie Avatar

    I’m looking forward to Luke’s Way of Looking and loved Waiting. Thanks for sharing the others, too.

  9. Myra GB Avatar

    I am so glad you found Luke’s Way of Looking and enjoyed it – I think I read a journal article about No, David being compared with Where the Wild Things Are with the former found to be lacking in depth, etc.
    Waiting is lovely, isn’t it? 🙂

  10. aaroncleaveley Avatar

    Many great books this week. I also really loved how quiet we would be thinking about Waiting, and I really liked that you got to hear young people reading these books. That is something that I do not get to do often enough. I am going to check out Luke’s Way of Looking. Thanks for the post!

Leave a Reply to Stacy Mozer Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: