Monday, May 28, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5-28-18

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

Happy Memorial Day! It's so hard to believe it's almost June! We only have seven days of school left before summer break and I am so excited to have a break but I'm also going to miss going into school every day. Luckily I'm keeping the library open one day a week so hopefully students will come in and utilize the library. 

Last week I posted:

This Moment is Your Life (And So Is This One) blog tour

Picture books that stood out in the pile last week:

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Words are powerful and the more words you know, the more you can take ownership of your own thoughts and feelings. I am so delighted that Peter Reynolds created a book that communicated this powerful concept.

Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Scott Magoon
"The ocean gets its saltiness from the tears of misunderstood sharks." This book is too funny.

Currently reading:

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

This Moment is Your Life (And So Is This One) blog tour


    Don't just do something, be here.

The key to happiness is being able to find comfort in this moment, here and now. When you are completely present and not distracted by regrets, worries, and plans, even for a little while, you begin to feel more confident and can deal more easily with everything you experience. This is mindfulness: paying attention to this very moment, on purpose and without judgment--simply being present with curiosity.

This engaging guide, packed with simple exercises and endearing full-color artwork, provides a handy starting point for bringing mindfulness into your daily life. Chapters on meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing explain the benefits of these practices, and you are free to pick and choose what to try. There are quick exercises throughout, and a more extensive tool kit at the end of each chapter. The final chapter offers satisfying five-day challenges that map out ways to pull all of the book's mindfulness techniques together in your day-to-day life.

With the appeal of a workbook or guided journal, and full of examples relevant to tweens and teens today, this book will be your trusted companion as you begin the valuable, stress-relieving work of being still with skill.


Mariam Gates has a master's degree in education from Harvard University and has been teaching children for more than twenty years. The founder of Kid Power Yoga, she now devotes herself to training children and adults in yoga and mindfulness. She is the author of the picture books Meditate with MeGood Night Yoga, and Good Morning Yoga. She lives with her husband, Rolf Gates, and their two children in Santa Cruz, California.


Libby VanderPloeg is an illustrator and designer living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She grew up in Grand Haven, Michigan, on the edge of the Great Lakes, and since then, she has lived in Grand Rapids, Chicago, New York, and Stockholm. She's created book covers and editorial illustrations for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Design*Sponge, among others, and as well as a line of cards and prints that she sells via her Etsy shop and in stores.

I absolutely loved Mariam Gates's picture books Good Morning, Yoga and Good Night, Yoga, so I jumped at the chance to read her newest book for middle grade and young adult readers. I have been searching for a book on mindfulness to share with my students and this book definitely filled that need. I will definitely be sharing some of the mindfulness exercises with my students.

This Moment is Your Life (And So Is This One) by Mariam Gates, illustrated by Libby VanderPleog
Published: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 248
Genre: Nonfiction
Audience: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

Monday, May 14, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5-14-18

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

Last week I posted: 

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy blog tour + giveaway

Picture books that stood out in the pile last week:

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina
Beautiful and profound

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude by Josh Funk, illustrated by Steve Lewis
Readers who loved the after-hours view of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find their heart in Josh Funk's latest picture book as Patience and Fortitude, the lions who keep watch over the New York Public Library, go on an after-hours adventure of the building they protect.

Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome
Beautiful, simple text and soul-stirring illustrations

Help Find Frank by Anne Bollman
Frank the French Bulldog has run away and we must help find him! A fun interactive picture book for any dog lover, but particularly those who love dogs of the smooshy face variety. (I just so happen to have a smooshy face dog named Frank, too). Here's a picture of my Frank with Help Find Frank:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy blog tour

Welcome to Day #4 of the How to Trick the Tooth Fairy Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell and illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli on May 1st, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Erin, as well as 5 chances to win a copy of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy!

My Top 5 Favorite Picture Books
by Erin Danielle Russell

1.  Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. This book really spoke to me as a kid who loved drawing on the walls with crayons! …And, my mom’s lipstick too.

2.  Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.  This book was really exciting to me, and even a little scary, because the pictures looked so real!  I felt like I was playing the game, Jumanji, every time I read the book.

3.  The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.  Who wouldn’t want to ride on a magic train to meet Santa Claus?  Van Allsburg’s artwork is always amazing!

4.  The Berenstain Bears series by Jan and Stan Berenstain.  I used to ask my dad to read me a Berenstain Bears book almost every night because they were funny and really cute.

5.  The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith.  I’d never heard of a fractured fairy tale until I read this hilarious book.  Now I prefer them to the originals!


Blog Tour Schedule:

May 7th — Mrs. Mommy BookNerd
May 8th — Books My Kids Read
May 9th — Chat with Vera
May 10th — A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
May 11th — Word Spelunking

BuyAmazon | Indiebound
Follow ErinWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
From the coauthor of Dork Diaries comes a witty and engaging picture book about a prankster who wants to pull off the best prank of all—pranking the Tooth Fairy!

Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!

But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!

About the Author: Erin Danielle Russell has been writing stories since she learned how to spell. When she grew up, she became coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series with her mom, Rachel Renee Russell. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, Jacob, and her spunky teddy bear, Stanley. When Erin’s not writing or daydreaming, she likes to cook, travel, play video games, and watch cartoons.

About the Illustrator: Jennifer Hansen Rolli grew up with lots of siblings who were waiting around corners with a trick or two up their sleeves. Today she lives with her own pranking family in Newtown, Pennsylvania (which is really a very old town). She is the author/illustrator of the picture books Just One More and Claudia and Moth. You can find more of her work at


  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy
  • US/Canada only
  • Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter

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Monday, May 7, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5-7-18

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

Last week I posted:

On Gull Beach blog Tour + giveaway

Last week I read:

Mr. Wolf's Class by Aron Nels Steinke
I could definitely tell that Steinke is a teacher by his characterization. He treats all of the students in Mr. Wolf's class with great fondness and care, almost as a reminder to adults that we all carry around baggage from home that carries over into our school lives. And yet, at the same time, those "issues" are not the focus of this book. The focus is what happens when a caring teacher creates a kid-centered classroom community. My only criticism is that the characters in the story act younger to me than 4th graders based on the students that I see in my school. I'm looking forward to the next graphic novel in the series.

Picture books that stood out in the pile last week:

Now That I'm Here by Aaron Meschon
A sweet picture book about a young child who points out that their parents life was much less exciting before they came. Could be a cute gift for new parents.

Wallpaper by Thao Lam
A book that immediately put me in mind of Aaron Becker’s Journey. A young girl moves to a new house and unleashes some magic by peeling back the wallpaper in her room by going on a journey and getting chased by a monster. I adored the cut-paper illustrations.

One House by Sarah MacNeill
Fun rhyming text paired with numbers, animals, and home construction-related vocabulary

Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare, edited by Marguertie Tassi, illustrated by Mere Lopez
A great introduction to Shakespeare’s works and important contributions to the English language in short, poetic bursts.

The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw
A fox goes in search of the holy grail of mountain flowers: the golden glow

What If... by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Mike Curato

A book that shows, even when everything is taken away from you, with determination, creativity knows no bounds.

The Highest Mountain of Books in the World by Rocio Bonilla
This book reminds me of the saying, “To reach the top, we stand on the books we read.”

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller
Everyone should be able to see themselves as a princess. This is a book that will help some young girls who haven’t seen themselves in that role with crowns and ball gowns.

Currently reading:

Posted by John David Anderson

Thursday, May 3, 2018

On Gull Beach Blog Tour

Welcome to Day #4 of the On Gull Beach Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall on March 27th, blogs across the web are featuring a scavenger hunt interview with Jane, plus 10 chances to win a set of On Bird Hill, On Duck Pond, and On Gull Beach! Follow along each day to see a new answer or poem from Jane!

This happened to me in Scotland where I spend my summers. Really.

Goodbye to the Gulls

For two weeks, down the flue,
from their nest on the chimney pots,
the black-backed gulls cackled and called,
spitting out bird words—food, flight, danger.
When the baby slipped down the slant
of the canted roof and landed in the patio,
All fluff and legs, screaming for food,
his beak wide open for hours at a time,
I thought I’d go mad with the noise.
Yet for three long weeks I fed him,
named him George or possibly Georgette,
with baby gulls it’s hard to tell.
I ducked when Mama Gull dived down at me,
crying out danger, food, flight, all of the above.
For three long weeks I watched over George
feeding him crackers., cooked chicken, bread.
He always demanded more, in that insistent
creak of a voice., and well-trained, I supplied it.
Four days ago, fully fledged, he flew
over the garden hedge, into the town
where gulls scream all day and all night long,
and the residents complain, their voices
louder, trilling their Scottish r’s
like kettles on the boil.
As for me, strangely, I miss the gulls
who all flew off after George,
carrying their cacophony with them.
The silence is worse than the cries.

©2018 Jane Yolen


Blog Tour Schedule:

April 30th - The Eco Lifestyle
May 2nd - The OWL
May 7thWord Spelunking
May 8th - GeoLibrarian
May 9thChat with Vera
May 10thBooks My Kids Read
May 11thMundie Kids

Together again! On Gull Beach reunites bestselling children’s author Jane Yolen and award-winning illustrator Bob Marstall for the third installment of the acclaimed On Bird Hill and Beyond series of children’s books written for the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

In On Bird Hill, Yolen and Marstall took readers on a surreal journey with a boy and his dog as they see the natural world, ultimately witnessing the miracle of a chick emerging from an egg.

On Duck Pond continued their journey, this time at a serene pond filled with birds, frogs, and turtles who are suddenly disrupted by their intrusion, but soon settle back into a quiet equilibrium. On Gull Beach brings us to an idyllic shoreline in Cape Cod, where gulls hover, dive, and chase with pitched acrobatics in pursuit of a seastar. This enchanting sequel in a brand new habitat will delight readers young and old.

About the Author: Jane Yolen has authored more than 370 books, including the Caldecott-winning Owl Moon, which every budding young ornithologist owns, You Nest Here With Me, which is a popular new favorite, and the New York Times bestselling series How Do Dinosaurs. Jane Yolen’s books have been translated into over 20 languages and are popular around the world. Jane's husband, David Stemple, was both a well known bird recordist and a professor of computer science and he taught the entire family how to identify birds. Many of Jane’s books are about wildlife subjects, especially the winged kind. Jane lives in Easthampton, MA. Visit her online at

About the Illustrator: Bob Marstall is the illustrator of nine nonfiction children’s books, including the The Lady and the Spider, which sold over a quarter-of-a-million copies and was a Reading Rainbow selection. Bob has also been honored with an ALA Notable; an IRA Teachers’ Choice; a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children; and three John Burroughs selections.

In addition, two of Bob’s books are included in the New York Times Parent’s Guide’s “1001 Best Books of the Twentieth Century.” Bob Lives in Easthamton, MA. Visit him online at

About the Cornell Lab: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Our hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.


  • One (1) winner will receive a set of On Bird Hill, On Duck Pond, and On Gull Beach -- great summer reads!
  • US only
  • Use the Rafflecopter Widget to Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway