Reading, Teaching, Learning

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week.  I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.
 
 
PICTURE BOOKS
 
Blizzard
 
 

 
Based on Rocco's real experiences in the New England blizzard of 1978, the boy in this story braves the cold and incredibly deep snow to trek to town in his snowshoes made of tennis rackets to get food for his family and neighbors. I LOVE the illustrations (the dog is priceless), the magic of snow, and the winter adventure in this story.
 
Snowman's Story
 
 
 
 
I think Will Hillenbrand's illustrations are so sweet. I love the snow, the snowman's rosy cheeks, and the animals' expressions. When a bunny's curiosity tempts him to crawl into a top hat in the snow, the wind sweeps him away in it and lands atop a snowman's head, bringing him to life. A penguin brings him a book to read to the group of forest animals, captivating them. However, when Snowman falls asleep, the bunny whisks away the book, awakening the snowman and starting a chase. Cute ending. Everyone loves a good book! 
 
  Little Elliot, Big City
 
 
 
 
Little Elliot feels alone and different sometimes in the big city, even though he likes living there. It's also challenging because he's so small. A little friend, however, makes a big difference! Elliot and Mouse are so cute!
 
Gaston
 
 
 
Gaston and Antoinette seemed to have gotten mixed up and put with the wrong dog families. However, when they traded places, they were sad without the families they had learned to love. This book was about more than individuality and differences. It also made me think of adoption. Family is about love and acceptance, not just bloodlines.
 
Naked!
 
 
                                    
 
 
 
 
This book is so funny and captures the antics of a little kid who loves to run around naked...or wear a cape. The mother is especially funny - the adults who read this to children will appreciate her exhaustion and affection. Great illustrations!
 
 
Stop, Thief!
 
 
Max is directed by the farmer to catch the thief that is eating all the carrots, berries, beans and cherries. He sets off with determination. Kids will love it when they figure out who the thieves really are in this book. Max is so earnest in his attempts to catch who he thinks the thief is. Cute!
 
Here Comes the Easter Cat
 
 

When Cat gets grumpy that there is an Easter Bunny instead of an Easter Cat, he attempts to take over the job. Cat communicates through his humorous expressions and holding up signs. The narrator talks to him and asks him questions. At the end, he decides that Bunny is not so bad after all and helps him out. Looking forward to reading about Santa Cat!
 
Julia's House for Lost Creatures
 
 

 
Amusing, whimsical illustrations accompany a fun story about friendship and acceptance. I'd love to hang out (for just a little while) at Julia's house!
 
The River
 
 
 
MIDDLE GRADE
 
Freak the Mighty
 
 
 
This is one of those books I had never gotten around to reading even though I'd heard so much about it. I'm so glad I finally did. This is a special story about two misfits that become fast and loyal friends. Heartbreaking and memorable.
 
The Witch's Boy
 
 
 
This reminded me of The Real Boy. I keep reading books about twins for some reason!   It has a beautiful cover, illustrated by Jon Klassen, good vs. evil, a wolf, magic trying to be contained, lost souls, a complicated forest, and kings and queens - all elements of great fantasy. I think many kids will like it, and it is definitely a Newbery contender, but for some reason, it didn't grab me, and I felt like it dragged on a bit.
 
Half a World Away
 
 
 
I listened to the audio of this book, narrated by Kirby Heybourne, and while I think he's an incredibly talented narrator, the last book I listened to that was read by him was Scowler. I think that may have colored my opinion of this book a bit. I had a very difficult time liking the main character, Jaden, and was a bit disturbed by his inner feelings toward his adoptive parents. When the family goes to Kazakhstan to adopt another child, he has difficulties reconciling his emotions toward his family and potential sibling. Dimash, a toddler Jaden meets in the "Baby House," captures his heart, however. I did enjoy the philosophies of the driver, Sam, and I'm glad the book ended as it did.
 
CURRENTLY READING
 
The Way to Stay in Destiny
 
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO
 
Tell Me
 
My family loves to read, too!
 
Libby (21) is reading:
 
Prodigal Summer
 
Katie (18) is reading:
 
The Invention of Wings
 
Mom:
 
Leaving Time
 
Dad:
 
Arizona Ames
 
It's the countdown to the end of the year!  I have 19 more books to read to meet my 2014 Goodreads goal.  I need to get off the blog, and go read!!
 
 

 
 



 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

6 comments:

  1. Such great books! My kids and I loved Gaston!

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  2. Freak is one of my all time favorite YA books - powerful story. I loved The Invention of Wings, too - one of the few adult fiction books I've had the pleasure of reading this year.

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  3. Wow, what a collection of books here! I had Blizzard on my list as well this week. Agree - that dog is pretty funny :-) Julia's House was another favourite of mine this year. Can't wait to read this new book by Augusta Scattergood. Look forward to reading your thoughts next week.

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  4. Naked! looks so funny. David and I used to read one called You Can't Go To School Naked. It detailed all of the gross and uncomfortable things that might happen to you.

    Have a wonderful week!

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  5. Lots of good books, Holly. I loved Blizzard, & also Julia's House of Lost Creatures-so creative. Thanks for sharing about so many, & some went on my list!

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  6. Really looking forward to reading The Way to Stay in Destiny for obvious reasons we've already discussed on Twitter. :)

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