Sunday, May 1, 2011

April Reading Recap

Books Read in April
 Chapter Books, mostly
Oggie Cooder by Sarah Weeks
Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson
The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman
Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise

 Picture Books from my library
Raindrop, Plop! by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Christian Stead
Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor
The Three Little Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel
There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards
The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth

Picture Books from the public library
 Vampire Boy's Good Night by Lisa Brown
Floop Does the Laundry by Carole Tremblay
Bedtime for Bear by Brett Helquist
Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
The Three Bully Goats by Leslie Kimmelman
Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme Raji Codell

 Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Yes, Eric E. Stead won the Caldecott this year for his heartwarming illustrations, so hello, why did it take me so long to read this book?!

You know how you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover? I confess - I do it (c'mon, so do you), and I didn't particularly fancy this one. It looked old-fashioned and not kid-friendly at all. But the story! The sweetest thing you will ever read. And with Eric's beautifully nostalgic illustrations, it has that much more impact. 

This is a five purple crayon book for sure - I want my own copy!

Some other honorable mentions... The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth is a Ukrainian folktale about a boy who loses his mitten while playing out in the snow - he returns home and Grandma notices that it's missing, so they go out looking for it. I cannot wait to share this with students next year, since it's a Monarch Award nominee. My students just love folktales, and I know they'll enjoy this one too. 

Do I have to say anything about Fancy Nancy? Kids love her, teachers love her, and I'm happy to say that I love her too! 

Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme Raji Codell has lots of teacher potential. If you're studying classic fairy tales, use this at the end of the unit to inspire students to come up with their own original fairy tale creations. You'll have to check it out to see what I mean. :) 

I'm reading Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up to first grade students, and they absolutely love it! It's our only chapter book readaloud for the year, so they realize it's something special. But they can totally relate to Keena too, which is what holds their attention. Keena makes some bad choices at the beginning of the book and has to figure out how to set them right - a universal theme, especially for this age group. Plus, it starts out just as Keena is beginning second grade, so it gives students a glimpse into their futures for next year. 

I read The Dunderheads to third grade students, and it's probably the most engaged I've seen them all year long! The book is about a group of students, affectionately (not) nicknamed The Dunderheads by their mean teacher Mrs. Breakbone (who reminded students of Mrs. Trumbull from Matilda - yay for literary connections!). Breakbone confiscates Junkyard's birthday gift for his mom, so the gang plans a way to sneak into Breakbone's house to get it back, along with all the other goodies that she's taken from the kids. They're a motley crew of characters, each with special talents that help them to break into her house. Love it! 

What happened?
Oh, so you noticed the lack of YA this month? Yeah. Just yeah. I've been in a reading slump. Nothing seems to hold my attention. I get 50 pages in, and then I'm done. Bored. Frustrated. Uninspired. It's not that I'm picking up bad books! But I'm in a hard-to-please place. I'm looking for something to wow me, to captivate me, and I just haven't found anything like that lately. I enjoyed Delirium quite a bit, but I need a break from YA dystopia. And I feel like that's all there is lately! I want to get swept away like I did with Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy or Anna Godbersen's Luxe series. I hope I can find that right book at the right time to dig me out of this slump. 



Peaceful Reader said...

I liked Keena Ford and Dying to Meet You! I have Lauren Oliver's Before I fall on my list to read this summer. BTW: You won!! Arthur Turns Green is yours. Stop over and see the announcement.

Jan von Harz said...

I have been in a slump lately too, but managed four books this weekend and am hoping that perhaps the slump is over. Hope you find some inspiring books to help you over the hump.

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