Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.



If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted. 

The Past Week: I only finished one book this week and that was an audio book I have been listening to for several weeks called China Dolls by Lisa See. My teen daughter informed me that some of it was sappy. That would be the romance part and I have to agree a bit. The conversations were sometimes a little over the top. It was entertaining though and the plot went ways I didn't always expect. 

Other than that, I didn't really read anything except I started (25 pages only) reading The Boys of Blur. I am loving it and will likely rip through it now that I am back home from the craziness of RAGNAR. That was a 36 hour relay running race that I just did this past weekend. It mostly sucked up my whole week as I prepared for it and participated. It was also pretty awesome.



This Week: I will be finishing The Boys of Blur for sure, but then I have a whole box of middle grade books to choose from that I brought home for school so I'm not sure what will come next. I will be sure to read though as summer is winding down and work starts up again for real next week. Happy reading!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted. 

I was on vacation for a while so my reading was a little different for the past week and a half. Here are the books that I have been reading during my trip to Montana and Wyoming.




It was fun to venture into a few books that I wouldn't normally read. It was a lot of fun to read books that were locally centered around Yellowstone and Montana like Imagination Vacation Yellowstone, The Whistling Season and Who Pooped in the Park? I brought a few from home that I had been looking forward to: The Shadow Throne, Mambo in Chinatown and West of the Moon and they were all perfect for a relaxing trip. 

I am a bit scattered doing laundry, catching up on mail and other business, so am not sure what I will  be reading in the coming week. I am sure to find something fun though. What are you reading?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vacation Reading



I am enjoying my vacation in Montana. From the porch I can stare at Mt. Republic when I pause in my reading. We've stayed here with family before so I knew there would be many shelves of books to read and looked forward to dipping into those. Last time I found Kahlil Gibran and A River Runs Through It along with Death in Yellowstone and many children's books related to Montana, Wyoming and Yellowstone. 

I brought several books, but have already exhausted my small supply (West of the Moon, Shadow Throne, and Mambo in Chinatown) so now I am digging into books that I typically wouldn't choose. I didn't do my normal It's Monday post, but you can stop by my Goodreads shelf to see what I have found so far on our trip. I am reading Crossing Open Ground by Barry Lopez and have The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig waiting in the wings. I look at it as a way of expanding my horizons when I read from someone else's bookshelf. 

If I don't find anything that works, there is a trading post one mile away that has two shelves of books that are $2 each or free if you trade. There is no library or bookstore, but there is one more location for free books. The town dump is rather fun. You take your trash there, but they also have a recycling bin for aluminum, another bin for old clothes and a series of shelves for books. People are encouraged to leave them there for others and choose some for themselves. 

I could purchase some electronic books, but I think I am going to go ahead and stretch my reading muscles with new authors and genres. Wish me luck. ;)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: The Poet Upstairs

Title: The Poet Upstairs (There is also a Spanish edition La Poeta del piso de arriba)
Author: Judith Ortiz Cofer
Illustrator: Oscar Ortiz
Publisher: Piñata Books from Arte Publico Press
Pages: 32
Review Copy: Final copy from publisher
Availability: On shelves now

Summary: A young girl learns about the power of poetry in this heart-warming tribute to an unnamed poet. -- Cover image and summary via Goodreads

Review: Juliana is a young girl who loves books. Her mother reads to her in both Spanish and English. One day a poet moves into her apartment building. Together, Juliana and the poet create a beautiful poem. Juliana learns about the power of words to transport the reader and the writer to another place. The illustrations are bright and vivid sweeping readers off to the tropical islands that Juliana dreams and writes about.

Once Juliana has experienced the joy of poetry with the poet upstairs, she continues to write with her mother and on her own. The book is inspirational and includes the beautiful poem that the Juliana and her poet worked on together. It would be a nice mentor text for writing poetry that gives a sense of place.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge



Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction.

This week I'm featuring my favorite nonfiction picture books that I've read so far this year.



Monday, July 28, 2014


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs   comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

The Past Week:


The Coming Week:

I will be finishing China Dolls and maybe I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla. We are headed to Yellowstone so I will likely read some regional books while there. Have a great week of reading!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review: Dale, Dale, Dale/Hit It, Hit It, Hit It

Title: Dale, Dale, Dale: Una fiesta de numeros/Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers
Author: René Saldaña, Jr.
Illustrator: Carolyn Dee Flores
Publisher: Piñata Books
Pages: 32
Availability: On shelves now
Review Copy: A final copy was provided by the publisher

Summary: “Today is my birthday, and I am so excited. / One piñata filled with candy. / Two hours until the party. / Three tables set for all of the guests.” Mateo counts to twelve as he anticipates the fun he’ll have at his party! There will be family, friends and lots of goodies for the children: tops, marbles and even toy cars! But before the children can hit the piñata, they will sing the birthday boy a song and enjoy eating a delicious cake. And then Mateo will be “the happiest boy in the whole wide world,” because he gets to swing at the piñata first with everyone cheering him on: ¡Dale! ¡Dale! ¡Dale! -- Cover image and summary via publisher

Review: Dale, Dale, Dale is a counting book with a birthday setting. My favorite illustration is when Mateo counts five lucha libre masks. I think that will be a selling point with my students since they loved reading Niño Wrestles the World. Like many counting books, there isn't a whole lot of storyline happening, but it is still fun. Most children can relate to being excited about a birthday celebration. I think it would be great to read this along with Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales since that is also a birthday counting book.

The illustrations are bright and engaging. They totally make me smile. Of course, it would be difficult to read this without feeling the urge to hit a piñata so that would be the perfect extension activity - especially if readers count the swings.

Another plus is that the book is completely bilingual. The piñata song does lose a little in the translation to English though. It definitely sounds best in Spanish. I would have liked the music to go along with the book since I didn't know how the song goes, but there are many videos on YouTube that helped me that could also be used with students.

I will be happy to share this with my primary grade students. It's sure to bring smiles.