Monday, March 10, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? 3-10-14

Originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers also host a kidlit version of It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Reviews from last week:

Jacob's Eye Patch by Beth Kobliner Shaw and Jacob Shaw, illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Bessie Smith and the Night Riders by Sue Stauffacher, illustrated by John Holyfield

I also posted:

Happy book birthday to Screaming at the Ump by Audrey Vernick

I finished reading:

The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreau
I'll be posting a review of this one soon.

I finished reading with my ears:

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
All teachers have to do to book talk this one is to show Malala's interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, followed by perhaps a discussion or writing reflection on how and why they should be grateful for their education. So many Americans often look to sports figures and movie stars as heroes, but people like Malala are the true heroes.  

Picture books I read and enjoyed last week: 

Django by Bonnie Christensen
Don't read this book without listening to some of Django Reinhart's music. It will get your toe-tappin' and make you feel like you're inside a romantic comedy that takes place in Europe. As I listened to his music I felt like Meg Ryan as she's traveling through Provence with Kevin Kline in French Kiss, one of my all-time favorite movies. :) 

Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour 
Julius Lester deals with the volatile topic of race in a sensitive and compassionate manner. I was worried with a title called Let's Talk About Race that it would be a bit controversial, but the only people who would find this book controversial are overt racists. This is definitely a book worth sharing in a classroom full of young children.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough, illustrated by Debby Atwell
 During Miss Moore's time, children weren't expected to read, let alone visit the library. But Miss Moore thought otherwise, and thanks to her pioneering efforts, children's rooms in libraries began thriving. A wonderful biography that pulls at the heartstrings of bibliophiles and children's lit lovers.

The Three Pigs by David Wiesener 
I don't know why I was expecting this to be a traditional take on the Three Little Pigs. I guess the cover illustration makes it seem deceptively traditional. But this book is anything but. And I should have known that coming from David Wiesner. Definitely a Caldecott-worthy effort! 

Two wordless picture books I read but had two different reactions:

The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez is a delightful wordless picture book about a fox who steals a chicken -- or least we THINK the fox has stolen the chicken. Chicken's friends who attempt to rescue her might actually be in for a surprise. The Conductor, however, by Laetitia Devernay just perplexed me. It was a little too avant-garde for my tastes. Not to mention long. Or maybe it just seemed long. The "story" really could have been told with 1/3 fewer pages. I'd have to share it with students to see if my opinion changes. It's one of those books where I feel like I "get it" but I don't get it. If that makes sense.

Currently reading:

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana
I just started this and I'm really enjoying it so far but I know it's going to get heartbreaking soon since it takes place during Hurricane Katrina. 

Currently reading with my ears:

Starters by Lissa Price
Lissa graciously offered to send me a copy of both Starters and the ARC of the sequel, Enders, and I'm glad she did because this book was never on my radar until now. I decided to listen to the audio instead of read it because Rebecca Lowman is the narrator and I loved her narration of Eleanor and Park. I just got to disc 4 and the plot has really started picking up. 


  1. I enjoyed Miss Moore Thought Otherwise. You may want to read the picture book Sky High by Germano Zullo. Its irregular size reminded me of the wordless picture books you mentioned. Have a great reading week! -Earl!

  2. Thanks for the review of Let's Talk About Race. I will look for it especially, along with The Three Pigs-enticing! And Starters looks a bit scary, have to look it up to see what that's about. Thanks for all, Beth!

  3. I LOVE the book Let's Talk about Race - so lovely to see it here. I really enjoyed The Chicken Thief as well. I read all of the books in this trilogy with my class a few years ago and we had such fun with them. The kids even made up a song to go with The Chicken Thief - full of silly: I also love Miss Moore. She is pretty darn amazing.

  4. I have Upside Down on pre-order. Can't wait to see what your thoughts are on the book!

  5. Let's Talk About Race sounds like a book that's important to have - we need to discuss this issue much more than we do in classrooms everywhere, I think.

  6. Hi there Beth. Your PBBs caught my eye, and I'm listing them down. There is also a Levi Pinfold version of the Django biography entitled just that - amazing illustrations as well. I have to find Let's Talk about Race as it seems perfect for our current bimonthly theme. The Three Pigs is a favourite along - one of the more brilliant fractured fairy tales. I will have to find The Conductor. :)

  7. Can't wait to read Let's Talk about Race and The Three Pigs. We also loved Miss Moore Thought Otherwise - Such a fabulous book about how one woman started children's sections in libraries.

  8. Wow! Such a great collection of books this week, Beth - and lots of new titles for me! Let's Talk About Race looks like a great companion to Skin Again by bel hooks. I love anything by David Weisner and Three Little Pigs is high on my list of favorites. The Conductor looks like a great title to add to my wordless collection. There is a picture book that will soon be released about Malala - looking forward to that one to share her stories with younger students. Have a great week!

  9. I've got to find Chicken Thief. It sounds great.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms