Monday, June 13, 2011


I've been working on an all-consuming curriculum project, and by the time I have written 8 or 10 hours a day for that, I just don't have a lot of words left to write. I have, however, been doing Donalyn Miller's Book A Day Challenge, so here's a quick list of the books I have read in the last few days:

1) MARTY MCGUIRE by Kate Messner- everyone has been talking about this terrific new chapter book and I can definitely see why. Marty is a spunky third grader, full of good ideas, not quite as naughty as Junie B., kind of more like Clementine. Her teacher assigns her the lead in the class play, THE FROG PRINCE. Marty is not thrilled about playing a princess…

2) MILO: STICKY NOTES AND BRAIN FREEZE by Alan Silberberg- I grabbed this when I was at the library getting MARTY MCGUIRE. Thumbing through the inside, I expected it to be a DIARY OF A WIMPY KID book. It is about a kind of geeky middle school boy, and parts of it are pretty funny, but the resemblance ends there. Milo's mother has died, and he, his father, and his older sister are all trying to dig their way out of a canyon of grief… beautiful story, have tissues ready!

3) And a bunch of picture books:
FORTUNE COOKIES by Albert Bitterman, illustrated by Chris Raschka- a little girl gets a box of seven fortune cookies from her uncle. Every day, she opens a new cookie, and reads the fortune (done on pullout tabs that seem just like real fortunes). Each day, the fortune has something to do with what goes on that day, e.g. the first day, "Lose something you don't need." and the little girl loses her tooth; the second day is "money is like the wind" and she buys a kite. Kind of a "fortunately, unfortunately" book- I think kids would love it.

THE SECRET BOX- Wordless picture book- a child hides a box of treasures in the attic of a boarding school or orphanage. Years later, some children find the box and follow some clues from the contents of the box.

FOREVER FRIENDS by Carin Berger- gentle book about a friendship between a bunny and a bird, who find all kinds of things to do together. When winter comes, the bird migrates, and the bunny waits for spring and the return of her friend. Interesting patterns, e.g. notebook paper, in the collage illustrationsThis would be a good book to compare to CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG.

ALFRED ZECTOR, BOOK COLLECTOR by Kelli Dipucchio. Hector is a little boy who loves books and wants to own more and more. Soon, he owns all of the books in his town. Hector reads and reads and reads, until one day, after many years, he realizes that he is the only person who owns any books, and he gives most of his collection away. Rhyming.

BOOM BOOM GO AWAY by Laura Geiringer A little boy is playing in his room when his mother tells him to go to bed. He and his toy friends aren't quite ready, however, and tell the mom to go away. Each two page spread features a different toy playing a musical instrument, complete with its own sound effects. Little kids are going to love the rhym-y sing song feel and all of the noises. I can imagine myself giving this as a gift to my toddler friends.

LOUISE THE BIG CHEESE AND THE LA-DI-DA SHOES by Elise Primavera, Louise wants new shoes. She is dreaming of black patent leather shoes, but her mother buys brown lace shoes with soles that squeak when she walks. A few days later, Louise's friend Fern shows up at school with la-di-da black patent leather shoes, and an attitude to match. Louise is kind of a cross between Fancy Nancy and Lily of purple plastic purse fame. I didn't know this series, but I'm definitely going to look for some of the other ones.

HOGWASH- Karma Wilson. It's spring and a determined farmer heads to the barn to wash his animals. The pigs refuse to be washed and a hilarious sequence of events ensues, complete with a note exchange, pigs in umbrellas and slickers, and a dive bombing plane. A funny book that kind of reminded me of the CLICK, CLACK MOO series.

LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING- Tomie de Paola- I loved this book, just like I loved Ashley Bryant's, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, earlier this year. I think I would be more inclined to give it to friends as gifts, however, than to put it in my classroom library.

COOKIEBOT: A HARRY AND HORSIE ADVENTURE- Katie Van Camp. Harry and his friend Horsie want cookies, but mom has put them on a high shelf. The two friends build a Cookiebot that is able to grab the cookie jar, but then goes berserk, tracking all over the city in search of more cookies…Scientific looking drawings that I know kids are going to love.

So there you have it. And now I have to go to bed, because I have another long day of writing in front of me tomorrow…


Nanc said...

Thanks for all your awesome book reviews...they have come in so handy this summer...teaching a class at a local college. I can always depend on you for a review of what kids are going to love !

Ms. Yingling said...

Curriculum anything is never fun. It looks like you have some welcome distraction with the Book A Day challenge. I am behind, but plan to catch up soon.