It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 10/2/17



It took me awhile to get to Georgia Heard’s Heart Maps, because I just wasn’t convinced a whole book about creating heart maps was necessary. I use them frequently in my writing courses, and I thought I knew all there was to know about them. But I should have trusted that Georgia Heard wouldn’t let me down.  There is plenty new about Heart Maps–so many colorful examples to enjoy and share; so many different types of heart maps to create; so many ideas for mentor texts to support writing from heart maps; and so many ideas for writing. For me, the test of a good writing professional development book is simple: does it make me want to write? And yes, Heart Maps made me want to open my notebook and start creating heart maps and writing from them.

heart seed snow circuit

This slender little graphic novel is an early work from Lucy Knisley. It didn’t entirely work for me, but it’s interesting. Lucy has conversations with an Apple, a Snowman, and her Refrigerator about the meaning of life and creativity. Worth a look for hardcore Knisley fans.

town is by the sea

Wow. That’s really all I’ve got for Joanne Schwartz’s Town Is by the Sea. Wow. Beautifully written with a powerful use of language and repetition and beautifully illustrated by Sydney Smith. I read it aloud to my Methods class and had my students write from it, and I was stunned by the variety, depth, and quality of the writing they produced in a five-minute quickwrite.

this is not my hat

One of my Methods students wanted to share This Is Not My Hat with the class and showed us a terrific video read-aloud that’s going to become my go-to for sharing this story with a group. Again, so nice to have a group of students laughing at all the right moments. I could barely watch the video because I wanted to watch the looks of surprise, disbelief, and delight on my students’ faces!

i want my hat back

Of course you can’t read This Is Not My Hat without sharing I Want My Hat Back, so we found a video read-aloud of that one too. It’s not often that you get to read a picture aloud to choruses of “Wait a second! What just happened?” and “That is SO TWISTED!” Thank you, Jon Klassen.


Bethan Woollvin’s adaptation of Rapunzel is stylish, cool, and funny, and puts the responsibility of rescue squarely on Rapunzel’s own more-than-capable shoulders. And what a cover!

the knowing book

The Knowing Book is about nothing less than how to live and offers readers some powerful lessons about staying in the present moment, finding joy, and, especially, seeking wonder. This is one I’m going to have to own.







9 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 10/2/17”

  1. tothenextchapterblog Avatar

    I am not familiar with heart maps. How and why do you use them? After I read your descriptions of the picture books I immediately added them to my ‘to read’ list on goodreads. You do a fantastic job at describing and making me want to get the book and read it for myself.

  2. lindabaie Avatar

    I got a peek at the Heart Maps book last year with Georgia at Highlights. I’m not sure I need it anymore, but if I was teaching, yes, it was wonderful. Among a few others, Town Is By The Sea is a big favorite from this year. It is a beautiful story that shows so beautifully how it must have felt when one’s parent goes into danger every day. Thanks for all, Elisabeth!

  3. Elizabeth Avatar

    That’s a great video of This Is Not My Hat! I love that book. I always feel like the “I will tell you where I’m going” page is like a poem in the middle of the book. It’s impassioned!

    We lucked onto a pile of good books at the library the other day. Two from Gemma Merino which were hilarious, then also Ned The Knitting Pirate, and The Blobfish, oh and then The Fun Book of Scary Stuff by Emily Jenkins. It has a pug!

  4. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum) Avatar

    I was equally wowed and stunned by Town is by the Sea.

  5. Tammy and Clare Avatar

    We loved reading how you were watching your students’ reaction to This is Not My Hat. What an amazing text! Can’t wait to read The Knowing Book.

  6. Michele Avatar

    Ahhhh, thank you for the video! We’re reading I Want My Hat Back this week and I’m definitely going to show the video for This Is Not My Hat after! The music 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. Kellee from Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    I love that you are using Klassen’s books in your class! I love them (and the video you shared!)–I was so lucky to write a teaching guide for them; I love them so much!
    And thank you for reintroducing me to Heart Maps. I learned about them in college, but needed a reminder to revisit.

    Happy reading this week 🙂

  8. carriegelson Avatar

    I want to own The Knowing Book too! My kind of book. Town is by the Sea is an absolute wow. The illustrations left me speechless. Such a book. Loved the video!

  9. cweichel Avatar

    I have never heard of Heart Maps. Isn’t Town is by the Sea just absolutely stunning!
    Thanks so much for posting this video of This Is Not My Hat. I have been meaning to read these first two ever since reading We Found a Hat.

Leave a Reply to lindabaie 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: