Sunday, May 6, 2012

April Reading Recap

The next few months will be sparse, both in blogging and reading. Life is moving too fast, and I must remember to stop and look around. :)

Which is how I'm six days into May, and I haven't blogged about my April reading yet! Eek!

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (2012) --- I LOVE this book! It's my favorite book of the year, easily. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Ivan is the gorilla on the cover, and he lives on display in a mall, with a couple of other animals that are meant to attract tourists. Ivan's gift is art - he loves to paint. The story is told in short chapters in his voice, and it's lovely. Sad, of course, since wild animals are really not meant to be held captive, but also sweet and sensitive with a touch of humor. I'm a big crybaby, so I was sobbing through most of this book, but that just signals a job well done in the writing department, I think. Oh, this is an instant all-time favorite!

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg (2011) --- I bought this book for my library with my 2nd and 3rd grade students in mind, especially the ones that love Eileen Spinelli's novels in verse (Where I Live & The Dancing Pancake). It's the story of a little girl who has to deal with losing her first and favorite babysitter (the babysitter moves away), which can be a hard thing. It's sweet and emotionally on target.

Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! by Mo Willems (2011) --- It's by Mo Willems, so I'm supposed to love this book. The kiddos will, for sure. Especially since it has chapters. And it's in his signature style. But I'm not a fan of this one. It's a friendship story, I guess. But I prefer me some Elephant & Piggie any day.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (2011) --- I read this when it came out last year and was unimpressed, but after I bought it for the library and read it again, I learned to appreciate its genius. It's one of those books that kids will get right away - they'll be shouting at you (the book) during storytime because they know something the main character doesn't know. And that's a wonderful thing. :)

Yoko Learns to Read by Rosemary Wells (2012) --- I can't look at this book with an objective eye because it's been such a hit with one of our 1st grade ESL classes. First of all, who doesn't love Rosemary Wells? Yes, she gave us Max & Ruby, but she also gave us Yoko & Friends, and I just love this little Japanese cat. This is the story of Yoko learning to read in English, something even her mother can't do. But her mother does read to her every night, from one of the three Japanese books that they own. Oh, this is such a touching story about a parent learning to read in English right alongside her child, not uncommon among our international student population.

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider (2011) --- This is an early reader, and it won the Geisl Award, so I decided to read it when it came in a box filled with new books. It's supposed to be a clever tale, I think, with a father outsmarting his son by getting the son to eat foods that are not all that appealing to him. The chapters are very short and each describe a different food incident. Eh, I didn't love it. And I don't know if kids will pick it up on their own. Best to be shared with a family member, perhaps.

Getting Started with English Language Learners by Judie Haynes (2007) --- Read this for a professional development book club. Because I've been working with ESL students for 3 years now, I felt like I learned much of the content in this book on the job. Probably should have read it a couple years ago! I did appreciate the first chapter on debunking common language myths (no, children don't acquire language faster or better than adults - differently, yes). The appendix is also rather useful.



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