Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Reading Recap

Welcome new followers! At the end of every month, I like to recap what I've read, update my challenge progress, choose a favorite, and look to what my reading plans are for the next month.

  1. Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - read 03/05/10
  2. Aurelia by Anne Osterlund - review - read 03/09/10
  3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - review - read 03/14/10
  4. Chibi Vampire (Volume 1) by Yuna Kagesaki - read 03/14/10
  5. Chibi Vampire (Volume 2) by Yuna Kagesaki - read 03/14/10 
  6. Gone by Lisa McMann - review - read 03/16/10
  7. Soulless by Gail Carriger - review - read 03/18/10
  8. Heist Society by Ally Carter - review - read 03/24/10 
  9. Hot Six by Janet Evanovich - read 03/26/10
  10. The Rain Came Down by David Shannon - read 03/27/10
  11. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes - read 03/27/10
  12. My Garden by Kevin Henkes - read 03/27/10
  13. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - read 03/28/10
  14. Too Many Toys by David Shannon - read 03/30/10
March Favorite: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

March Challenge Progress:
14 Library books (38 total)
2 Graphic novels (8 total)
0 Middle grade novels (2 total)

March # of Pages: 3,086 (9,337 total)

April Aspirations:
I really slacked off in the graphic novel/middle grade areas this month, so I hope that I can catch up in April. I know that I will have many picture books in my future, as I just started my full-time gig as a K-5 school librarian - yay! But this may also mean that I'll be updating the blog less frequently until I can establish a new routine that doesn't leave me sleep-deprived. I'm also hoping to continue reading fantasy, not only because it's my love but also for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. But does that mean I'll have less time for YA and adult novels? Yikes, I hope not! I do love April - I hope for many sunny afternoons reading on my porch and rainy ones curled up with a book in bed. :)


Friday, March 26, 2010

Of dreamcatchers, preternaturals and thieves

I haven't been in the mood to write about my reading lately. The weather puts me in a funk - I'm one of those happy when it's sunny kind of people, so all this rain (and even a little snow) has left me less than enthused about anything. So, I've been working at about half-energy, and I feel like I've just been playing catch-up with my reading, reading books that you all have most likely read already - probably because I get so many of my book recs from the blogosphere. Ah, oh well. Here's what I've read most recently.

Gone by Lisa McMann
published February 2010 by Simon & Schuster
214 pages (hardcover), YA

I admit that I read this one on a wonderfully sunny, almost warm day sitting next to a lake. What a fine way to experience a book! Unfortunately, like so many have already noted, this finale in the Wake trilogy did not impress. What I enjoyed most about the first book in the series was the exploration of what it meant to be a dreamcatcher, which was nearly absent in this book. This book was about family, which is fine but unexpected, I suppose. Janie is on summer vacation with Cabe when she's summoned back home to deal with her drunken mother and a comatose father she's never met. Obviously, she's curious about her father, so she does a little research and finds that they have quite a bit in common. You can guess where that's going. I don't have much else to say really except that for fans of the series, this book will read quickly enough - but if you didn't like the first two books, I don't think there's reason to keep going. Too bad, I think, because I do enjoy McMann's unusual writing style.

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger
published October 2009 by Orbit/Yen
384 pages (mass market paperback), adult (YA appeal)

Preternatural is a word I despise - I cringe every time I read it. Well, I had to get over that pretty quickly in order to enjoy this book, where our main character Miss Alexia Tarabotti is just that, a preternatural. A what? She has no soul. She neutralizes supernatural powers. Vamps lose the fangs at the touch of her, werewolves turn back to humans. That's just a little glimpse into her world - this is also Victorian England but not like you've learned about it, let's say instead with a steampunk twist. If you can imagine all of this in one book, where our main character, a self-proclaimed spinster (at no more than 25), must live with a stepmother who loathes her and two stepsisters who are only interested in advantageous marriages, gossip, and pretty things, then you will be in for a treat. Alexia is witty, okay hilarious, and I could not stop the little girl giggles from escaping me at her cheekiness. This book is fun but not necessarily light - it's ridiculous but also thoughtful. I was expecting something a lot less substantial from a book originally published as a mass market paperback (oh, how judgmental I am), but I was pleasantly surprised to find the story was more than just a paranormal romance (but those parts were great too, I must say), where the focus is on the budding relationship. So many twists and turns in this one - I shouldn't write any more. If you can stand to read anything more of vamps and weres and wouldn't mind a little romance and are in serious need of a laugh, pick this one up. I'm excited for the next installment, Changeless, due out in April.
Heist Society
Heist Society by Ally Carter
published February 2010 by Disney Hyperion
304 pages (hardcover), YA

What to say about this one? I'd consider it another breed of fantasy - sure, it's contemporary, with human characters who don't have any special powers, but is it realistic? Not in my world. Kat has just left the family business - high profile thieving - and is trying to live a normal teenage life at a boarding school. But she's whisked back into that underground world by Hale, a good friend (who happens to be gorgeous), who needs her help to clear her father's name of a crime he most likely didn't commit. The heist? Re-steal five priceless paintings for a big, bad guy and hopefully save her dad. From a back of the book blurb, E. Lockhart says, "Heist Society is an edge-of-your-seat caper with more twists than Ocean's Eleven and cooler gadgets than Casino Royale." I agree. It's fun, action-packed, with a little bit of romance. A beach read for those of you still spring breaking. :)

What's next? Be sure to check out my Unsung YA Giveaway (as well as the many others linked from YAnnabe), which will end April 12. I'm currently reading a few different books because of attention span issues. Most of the weekend will be spent lesson planning, which I'm almost excited about. I may disappear for awhile depending on how busy I let myself get. I'm ready for March (my least favorite month, in case you hadn't noticed) to be over!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Once Upon a Time Challenge

This new (to me) challenge makes me giddy! The Once Upon a Time challenge is
an opportunity to band together as a community to celebrate story, in this case the kind that fits roughly under one’s own personal definition of four categories: fantasy, folklore, fairy tale and mythology.
I'm ecstatic that I have stumbled upon the Once Upon a Time challenge so early in the game, as it runs from March 21 to June 20. There are various levels of participation, which are explained on the Stainless Steel Droppings blog and which I couldn't begin to describe. I haven't decided what type of "quest" I'll be having, but I am excited about Quest the Third as it involves a June reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a book that's been sitting on my to-read pile for far too long. How can I profess my love for all things faerie without having read this book? I know, I'm a fraud.

Here are some books that I may be reading. I'll update this post with my progress.

To read:
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs
The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Currently reading:
Grimm's Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm 


Picture Books
Princess Hyacinth by Florence Parry Heide - read 05/28/10 
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems - read 05/28/10 
Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems - read 05/28/10

The Iron King  by Julie Kagawa - read 03/28/10
Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell - read 04/25/10
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder - review - read 05/12/10  
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon - read 05/15/10 
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund - read 05/22/10 
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead - read 05/26/10  
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins - read 05/29/10  
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr - read 06/01/10
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder - review - read 06/05/10
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan - review - read 06/05/10

Picture books 
Hansel and Gretel retold by Rachel Isadora - review - read 04/07/10
The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald - review - read 04/15/10  
Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia by Verna Aardema - read 04/18/10 
Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile by Won-Ldy Paye - read 04/18/10 
Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa by Niki Daly - read 04/18/10 
Luba and the Wren by Patricia Polacco - read 04/18/10 
Jack and the Beanstalk retold by E. Nesbit - read 04/19/10 
Jack and the Beanstalk retold by Richard Walker - read 04/19/10 
Jack and the Beanstalk retold by John Cech - read 04/19/10
Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale by Helen Ketteman - read 04/27/10
The Princess and the Beggar: A Korean Folktale by Anne Sibley O'Brien - read 04/27/10 
Tony's Bread: An Italian Folktale by Tomie DePaola - read 04/29/10 
Little Grunt and the Big Egg: A Prehistoric Fairy Tale by Tomie DePaola - read 04/29/10 
Papa Gatto by Ruth Sanderson - read 04/29/10 
Count Silvernose: An Story from Italy by Eric A. Kimmel - read 05/02/10

Beastly by Alex Flinn - review - read 04/29/10
The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler - review - read 06/06/10

Graphic Novels
Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale, Nathan Hale - read 05/05/10 

Zeus: King of Gods by George O'Connor - read 04/20/10

*I chose not to include Fairy tale as a category because I believe it's a subcategory of Folklore.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Unsung YA Giveaway!

Remember back in January when Kelly of YAnnabe asked us to list some of the best YA books that may have been overlooked in the blog world, aka the Unsung YA list or The Best YA Books You Haven't Read? The response was fantastic, with over 70 bloggers contributing their own lists and with a promise of another Unsung week next year, focusing on different genres. Well, if you hadn't noticed, Kelly is full of great ideas, and here comes another one - her Great Unsung YA Giveaway! She's giving away 10 of the 12 most obscure books from this year's lists at her blog.

So, why do I share? Because Kelly's not the only one giving stuff away! She's invited other bloggers to host their own Unsung YA Giveaways, and I just so happened to think that was a wonderful idea. I've never had a giveaway myself, but I thought I'd try it out!

I'm giving away two books from my original list and one book that I should have chosen but made it to several others' lists. And they are...

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable

To enter, just fill in the form below. Three winners will be chosen randomly. Open to anyone and everyone. And the contest will end the same time as Kelly's - Monday, April 12, at midnight CST.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Library Loot: March 17-23, 2010

Library Loot is a weekly meme hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at ReadingAdvenures. It encourages bloggers to share what they've scored at the library that week.

This week's loot is collected at Eva's blog.

Middle grade, YA & Adult
Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carringer (currently reading)
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Kitchen Princess (Vol. 1-10) by Natsumi Ando
Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma

After next week's spring break, I'll be back in the school librarian's chair, teaching K-5 students, so I thought to do some author studies with the little ones, to ease myself back in the role and just because they're always fun for everyone. I haven't decided on all the books or even the authors yet, but this is what I'll be perusing during my break.

Kindergarten - Kevin Henkes

First Grade - David Shannon

Second Grade - Tomie dePaola

The only one that I'm absolutely sold on is Strega Nona (because it's one of my favorites) and maybe some more of her stories if the kiddies enjoy it. Personally, I'm not a fan of David Shannon, but I think the little ones do like him quite a bit.

Any personal favorite read-alouds from these authors?


Monday, March 15, 2010

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Keith Thompson
published October 2009 by Simon & Schuster
440 pages (hardcover), MG/YA

This will not even vaguely resemble a review. For those of you (like me) who have never read or maybe even heard of steampunk, no explanation or summary I could give you would prepare you for the wonders in this book. My head is still spinning. There are links to proper reviews at the end of this post if you'd like such a summary, but please do come back to review my reflections and reading experiences.

I suppose I should start by saying that I'm not really a fan of science, science fiction, history, or historical fiction. These things make my brain hurt. I blame it on my public education, what with its reading and math rules the world philosophy. But even though I do not enjoy such subjects, which this book could not exist without, I loved Leviathan. Because Scott Westerfeld is more talented than I can comprehend. I can imagine that it may be very easy for a science/history buff with an imagination to write a steampunk novel, but what's not so simple is to write a steampunk novel that is accessible (and enjoyable!) to the least technologically, scientifically, historically inclined (raises hand) of us. This is the reason that Leviathan was so amazing to me - and probably why some steampunk fans were disappointed. Apparently, the audience for this book is the middle grade and younger YA set, but if you've never read in this genre before, age limits aside, this may be your gateway book.

I won't lie, Leviathan is filled with technical and scientific jargon - and even some great, made-up slang. (Because Westerfeld loves to play with words, and we love him for it.) Although most of the descriptions of war vehicles and living aircrafts were completely lost to me, I enjoyed getting to know the characters - which has actually been a criticism of the book by some, that the characters were not developed enough. I assure you that the only reason I continued reading this book was because of the characters - I felt sorry for Alek having just lost both of his parents and needing to flee for his life to Switzerland, and I fell in love with Deryn who had to learn to talk and act like an insufferable boy (and she was darn good at it) in order to pursue her dreams of flying. When the two meet, there must have been stars in my eyes. Not because of the romance which would inevitably brew, but because they have such different personalities and worldviews, which make their interactions hilarious and heart-warming. I sped through the last 150 pages of this book, wanting more of those interactions, more of the clashing of worlds, more of the misunderstandings and secrets and delicate friendships. And at the end, after 440 pages, I wanted more.

Again, I failed to do my research. Leviathan is the first book in a trilogy. Behemoth, the second book, is due out in October 2010. You can bet that I'll be re-reading Leviathan before I get my hands on Behemoth for a number of reasons. 1. I'll understand it better the second time around. 2. The writing is wonderful, and I'd like to star some passages. 3. I'll need to be reminded of what happened in the first book.

By the way, I finally decided to read Leviathan because it's featured on readergirlz this month. Lots of great discussion questions and extra content on the blog + a live chat with Scott Westerfeld this Wednesday, March 17 at 9pm EST. Check it out!

Others said it better:
Book Gazing; Guys Lit Wire; One Librarian's Book Reviews; Fyrefly's Book Blog; Book Nut; Laura's Review Bookshelf; A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge - Activity #3

Not on Spring Break just yet? That's okay, neither am I. Join the Spring Break Reading Challenge anyhow, which runs from Friday, March 12 - Sunday, March 21.

Activity #3 - What are you reading?
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.
Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.
It took me 242 pages to really get into this book. The technology is so beyond my realm of understanding and imagination that I found some passages quite difficult to visualize. But! Once it all clicked for me (and it did, more than halfway through), I started zooming through it. I appreciated getting to know Alek and Deryn separately, but the story really comes together once they meet. I love it! I want to go finish it now!

If you've never read anything by Scott Westerfeld, consider yourself truly deprived. Check out his website, designed in the Leviathan style at the moment, and follow him on Twitter @ScottWesterfeld.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge - Activity #2

So, I'm signing up a day late to the Spring Break Reading Challenge, but that's okay because it runs from Friday, March 12 to Sunday, March 21. Karin from The Book Jacket is the lovely gal hosting this challenge. My break is actually the week after, but I thought I'd join in on the fun anyhow. :)

Each day boasts an Activity and a chance to win a Prize! Today's Activity is a Scavenger Hunt - woo! Here are the three things I need to find:

1 - Using keywords related to your interests, find a blog that is new to you.  Be sure to give us the Blog Title, Link, and Short Description of the Blog.
I took the lazy way out on this one and went to Kidlitosphere Central's Member List to find a new kidlit blog to add to my ever-growing feed reader. I chose:

"picture books from a (somewhat) grown-up perspective"
2 - A blog belonging to an author from a book in your To Be Read pile (just a random one if you don't have a To-Be-Read pile).
Gone is next on my to-read list. :)

3 - A book releasing THIS MONTH you want to read.

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Waiting for my library to buy this one!

Hope you'll join the Spring Break Reading Challenge too!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Shelfreading - 3

Shelfreading is a weekly personal meme that I created in order to showcase, remember, and reflect on the books on my shelves.

See, I don't buy books. Hardly ever. I'm very particular about what books I keep. The books on my shelves all have some meaning, some memories attached to them. Here I'll share them, a few books at a time.

This week's theme: books about books. I should have more of these in my collection because sometimes it feels like I talk and read more about books (and when I say books, I'm general talking about books read for pleasure, which for me is fiction) than I actually read books. Books books books books.

Sometimes, I can be an impulse buyer. I don't always have the self control necessary to stave off unnecessary purchases. And I also have a problem with Amazon, in that I am compelled to buy something anytime I visit (which is why I've switched to - they don't compel me). So, I have on my shelves a copy of Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason AND More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason both by Nancy Pearl. Oh, Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire - I also own your action figure.

Although these are not books to read cover to cover, I am comforted by their presence on my shelves because they assure me that I will NEVER run out of books to read. And that whatever my mood or current interest, I can find a book to satisfy my needs. Thank you, Nancy Pearl, for creating such varied, eclectic, and interesting booklists AND publishing them all in one two books. I will not read all of your suggestions, but I do appreciate them.

Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide by Betsy Hearne with Deborah Stevenson was required reading for a children's literature course but one I would have purchased anyway. If you haven't heard of these two women, have you been living under a rock? Perhaps it's my connection with the Center for Children's Books that leaves me a little biased, but I am definitely inspired by the extensive work in children's literature that these ladies have done. Take a look at this introduction:
The child is the beginning of life. The story is the beginning of literature. In the beginning, children and stories are deeply connected. The three decades I have spent evaluating children's books as a parent, teacher, librarian, reviewer, and writer have taught me one sure thing: storytelling, reading, and caring for children flow together in a natural way. Children's books can offer any family a humane counterbalance to time-clock living, a chance to pause and take a fresh look at each other.
The book is what it says it is - a commonsense guide to choosing children's books. Each chapter describes a certain kind of children's book - from picture books to different genres - and includes booklists at the end for easy acquisition of titles. Although this edition is already over ten years old, it may be even more useful because it includes classics that are tried and true with children. I'd definitely give this book to a parent who wants to be more involved in his/her child's reading.

My personal library is definitely lacking in books about books. Any favorites you'd like to share?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
published April 2008 by Penguin
246 pages (paperback), YA

Aurelia is a princess (please suppress your groans, I happen to like princesses), a crown princess for that matter, with the hope of becoming queen of Tyralt, a land that she loves. She is the people's princess, sneaking off in disguises to browse the market or walk the neighborhoods. She is also in mortal danger. She has unknowingly dodged murder attempts twice already, but that is twice too many. Enter Robert, Aurelia's childhood classmate and friend who has been living the frontier life for the past four years. He has come back to Tyralt to act as a spy and a protector - to figure out who is behind this assassination plot and to keep Aurelia safe. But matters of the heart distract him and Aurelia both.

In the first 20 pages of this book, I knew Aurelia, and I knew that I wanted Robert and Aurelia to be together. How is it possible to develop a depth of character in 20 pages?! I don't know, but Ms. Osterlund certainly did. Through conversations at a ball, we learn about Aurelia's character, her stubborness, her defiance and spirit. She is passionate and forthright - she will speak her mind even if it is not befitting for a princess. She is the dark one, perceiving herself as unattractive compared to her stepsister's blonde-haired, fair-skinned beauty. She's adventurous and curious, empathetic and humble. And this book is only 246 pages.

Although I didn't love love love the story, I certainly enjoyed it and finished it rather quickly. I would have liked Aurelia and Robert's relationship to be developed more, but I can imagine the constraints of living in a palace and fearing your life make this a bit difficult to accomplish. I was also surprised that this is a mystery - I suppose I expected fantasy just because it had to do with princesses, but a murder mystery was a nice twist. Part of the reason I read this one so quickly is because I needed to know who wanted Aurelia dead and if she would be killed. I'll say nothing more about that. :)

So, I'm a fan of Anne Osterlund, and I can't wait to read more from her!

Other reviews:
Books At Midnight, Book Nut, Abby (the) Librarian, Becky's Book Reviews


Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Monday, what are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a world of Books.

It's a way to highlight books read in the past week and books waiting to be read this week.

Read last week:
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Yep, that's it.

I didn't review this book because I read it so quickly, and I didn't have much to say about it. I liked it, and it was exactly what I needed at the moment. The main character comes from a family of witches, whose Talents surface at age 8, but she never discovered her Talent. Not until it was absolutely necessary - like life and death necessary. Honestly, I could have done with a little more character development, but the action was enough to keep me going in this one. I recommend it for witch fans (obviously) but also if you're looking for something quick and engrossing.

Currently Reading:
 The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
(taking a break, but on page 243)

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
(on page 131)

So, I did it. I finally started Going Bovine. And I have to be honest, I'm not in love with it. I wish I read it long ago when it didn't have that imposing Printz sticker on its cover. I have a slight issue with Printz winners, but I'll save that for another post. I like it, but there's only so much sarcastic, angsty, swearing teen boy I can handle in one sitting. It takes a hundred pages for us to find out that Cameron has the human version of mad cow disease (which you'd already know if you read the one-sentence CIP summary), and at this point, I really don't feel sorry for him. Is that awful? I can understand the teen appeal, I guess, but so far, it's eh for me. 

Later this week:
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

By popular demand, I may start reading Leviathan, but only if I get through Going Bovine. If not, I'll have to take a break and read something I can zoom through. Perhaps:

Gone by Lisa McMann or Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Not to mention the manga awaiting my attention... Here's hoping for a better reading week!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shelfreading - 2

Shelfreading is a weekly personal meme that I created in order to showcase, remember, and reflect on the books on my shelves.

See, I don't buy books. Hardly ever. I'm very particular about what books I keep. The books on my shelves all have some meaning, some memories attached to them. Here I'll share them, a few books at a time.

This week's theme is Dr. Seuss since we celebrated his 106th birthday this past Tuesday, which is also the day of the annual Read Across America.

Honestly, I've never been much of a Dr. Seuss fan. I don't have fond memories of his books from my childhood. I'm sure I had some exposure to them in school, but they were not favorites. It wasn't until I became interested in elementary teaching that I inevitably encountered Dr. Seuss. The picture below was taken at a local bookstore, six or seven years ago in my college days, of me reading Fox in Socks, with a stack of Dr. Seuss on me.

Sue sews rose 
on Slow Joe Crow's clothes.
Fox sews hose
on Slow Joe Crow's nose.

Hose goes.
Rose grows.
Nose hose goes some.
Crow's rose grows some.
Even still today, I don't understand the fascination with his books. They're nonsensical tongue-twisters that would drive a child learning to read insane. But I know that it's not about making sense of the text but instead about learning to make the sounds. In fact, on my edition of Fox in Socks, I have this note on the front cover:
This is a book you READ ALOUD to find out just how smart your tongue is. The first time you read it, don't go fast! This Fox is a tricky fox. He'll try to get your tongue in trouble.
So, back to the shelfreading aspect of this post - I do have Fox in Socks and The Foot Book on my shelf. They were probably both purchased at a library book sale because I felt that every aspiring elementary teacher should have some Dr. Seuss books. I think I had an obsession with socks at the time, so my selections seem appropriate.

However, I do wish that I owned another Dr. Seuss book - Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! One summer, I tutored a first grade girl - she was having trouble reading, so her mother said to me. The real trouble, I thought, was that she was a bundle of energy and had no attention span whatsoever. Sitting down and reading a book was not an option. I tried various approaches with her and found the one that worked best was a reader's theatre of sorts of this particular Seuss book. We first read the book together - I read one page, she read the next - with the enticement that once we finished reading together, I would read it to her, and she would act it out. Oh, how much fun we had! And I learned a valuable lesson - children will learn to read at their own pace, but they must first have the motivation to do so.

So, those are my Dr. Seuss memories. What Seuss memories do you have?

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