Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? 4-21-14

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?

Last week was yet another great week of reading.

I reviewed:

The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth

On my teaching blog I reviewed:
Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching by Meenoo Rami
I also interviewed Meenoo as well.

Current giveaway:

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Last week I finished reading with my ears:

Enders by Lissa Price 
This felt like a perfect continuation of the first book. Really enjoyed it. I hope there will be more than just two books!

Some picture books I read that are worth talking about:

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
For kids who love bathroom humor, this will certainly be entertaining. I guess I'm too much of a grown up to find it funny. I like the mythology behind this book (did he or didn't he ever get stuck in the bath?) but it just wasn't my brand of humor. Normally I love Mac Barnett, but this one just didn't do it for me.

John Coltrane's Giant Steps by Chris Raschka 
This book is just weird. But it would be weird in a good way if it could be read to students by an enthusiastic music teacher who loves jazz and could convey the message of the book. While I consider myself rather musically adept, I'm not very knowledgeable about jazz and so the abstractness of this book left me scratching my head a bit. I think it has a cool concept, my brain just hasn't figured out what it all means yet.

Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu
A perfect example of engaging nonfiction for young people.

The Short Giraffe by Neil Flory, illustrated by Mark Cleary
 Love the fun, bright artwork and I especially love that this story began as a request from Neil's son to tell him a bedtime story. And thus The Short Giraffe was born. 

Wolves by Emily Gravett 
A rabbit goes to the library and checks out a picture book about wolves only to discover something very unpleasant at the end. A good book to pair with Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis 
A wonderful celebration of imagination 

Currently Reading:

The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Currently reading with my ears:

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt 


  1. I just bought the Darcy Lane book. It seems rather relevant at this day and age - seems like there is more and more girl drama :( I think my daughter will like this one! I too had some issues with the President Taft book. I felt like I wanted to laugh at it, but at the same time it was kind of mean. Thanks for sharing all the titles, I added a few to my pile :)

  2. Beth, I was so lucky to attend an author/illustrator panel at TLA where Mac Barnett and Chris Van Dusen talked about President Taft is stuck in the Bath. I really liked the book and Mac was a hoot to listen to and Chris was very informative. Great dynamic duo.

    It always amazing me to see the depth of the creative process in bringing a picture book to life.

  3. Barbed Wire Baseball looks like a must-read for me. Maybe a must-own for my ever-growing collection of excellent PB nonfiction.

  4. Cosmic was an interesting book - I enjoyed it, but very few students seem interested.

  5. The Battle of Darcy Lane and Zen Ties are already on my list, Beth. I love the other Zen books so know this will be good. Darcy Lane does sound like something that is needed to be added in our library. You've shared so many other good picture books, too. Thanks for all!

  6. I love Emily Gravett's books - and Wolves is one personal favourite which I always include to discuss postmodern picture books - great to pair as well with The Three Pigs by David Wiesner. Barbed Wire Baseball looks great too - quite a number of baseball-themed picturebooks quite recently. I think I have practically all of Frank Cottrell Boyce's books - this is the first time I'm hearing about this new one though - looks great. :)

  7. I am definitely going to have to get a copy of Thrive. I see it mentioned all over the place. Have a great week.