Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (28)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen & Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

The last few days I have been at ALA with friends.  It has been a fantastic experience.  I have been reading a lot of F & G's (folded & gathered) for new picture books and though they have been wonderful to read, I hate to list so many books that won't be out for 4 months in this week's post.  However, I have to mention at least a few. 

Here are some favorites from this past week:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

This is the 2nd Annual Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop and it will take place from June 20th to 26th! Thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer and  Uniquely Moi Books for co-hosting.  Don't forget to check out the links to see all of the different giveaways!

Since I will be attending my first ALA annual conference, I am doing a surprise giveaway.  I am not sure which Advanced Readers Copies - otherwise known as ARC's (Middle Grade and Young Adult) - I will be able to snag, but from my ALA Midwinter experience, I know that it will be good.  So I am planning to giveaway 2 yet to be named ARC's.  I will post a picture of as soon as I know.

The Rules:

1. Though comments are very much appreciated, please do not enter any personal information in the comments section (including your email, website, etc.). If you do enter personal information, your comment will not be posted.
2. You must complete the entry form to official enter the giveaway.
3. The Contest runs from 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 20th to 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on June 26th.
4. You must be 13 years or older to participate.
5. If you are selected as the winner, you will be notified by email. If you do not respond within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
6. US participants only.


Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (27)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen & Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

I have to admit that with school out it is much easier to get reading time in.  This past week, I actually managed to get in some decent reading.  Don't forget to check out my Hot Off the Press! post from yesterday for several additional books and also stop by on Wednesday for several others.  I divided up my reading between the three posts.

Here are some favorites from this past week:

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes
An around the world look at a variety of schools in all kinds of settings and environments.  The pages are a bit crowded and the text can be a little "text-booky", but I can see this one being good for discussing diversity and also expanding children's views of what school looks like.

Small Bunny's Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney
This one is for all those kids who are attached to a blanket (and even adults who remember their blanket) - it captures the emotional attachment to a blanket perfectly...I loved it when the mother said it "would only be 1 minute while the blanket washed and it was really 107 minutes" - This would be a good read aloud too.

The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng; Illustrated by Abigail Halpin
As I read this one, I kept thinking of students that I thought would like it or relate to the characters. It is one of those books that I can't wait to share with students in the fall.  I might even email a few of them to share sooner.  

Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen
A quick Middle Grade/Upper Middle Grade read and good for those kids who don't want something long and drawn out. Finn wants to just spend the summer holed up reading books, but when he meets Johanna - a twenty-something young woman battling cancer - life changes. 

So, what will you be reading this week?

I will be heading off to ALA later in the week and not exactly sure what I will be reading.  However, I expect to find some great stuff. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hot Off the Press! (20)

Hot Off the Press is a weekly feature of picture books that are recent releases.  I usually base the post on my weekly visits to Vroman's Bookstore but this week's visit features books from Mrs. Nelson's Bookstore in LaVerne. 

Happy Like Soccer
Author: Maribeth Boelts
Illustrator: Lauren Castillo
Publisher: Candlewick (May 8, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

Often times, we forget that Saturday soccer games may be difficult for some parents or guardians to attend given work schedules.  In this book, Sierra loves soccer, but she would love for someone to be there to shout out her name.  However, Sierra's aunt works in a restaurant and isn't able to get away on a busy Saturday.  When the one game that Sierra's aunt is able to attend is rained out, Sierra comes up with a possible solution.  I really liked the message in this story. It presents the challenges that a working single guardian faces in order to attend the Saturday soccer games of her niece. Not preachy and not negative...loved the final resolution.

Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always
Author/Illustrator: Tao Nyeu
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (June 28, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

Squid and Octopus join the ranks of Mouse & Mole, Frog & Toad, Elephant & Piggie as friends that children will want to read about. Part picture book and part early reader, Tao Nyeu infuses the story with fabulous illustrations and just the right amount of humor  I love the hat, and scarves, mittens and socks worn by our two friends.   The story is fun but the little side notes are almost funnier. For example, on the side, two little fish are watching an underwater sea cruiser. Fish One: X-ray vision! Now wouldn't that be grand? Fish Two: Grand Indeed.  And yes, Squid and Octopus are "grand indeed".

Oh No! Not Again! (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History) (Or At Least My History Grade)
Author: Mac Barnett
Illustrator: Dan Santat
Publisher: Hyperion (June 5, 2012)
Audience: Ages 5 to 8

Our protagonist from Oh No! is back.  This time in an effort to improve her History grade she creates a time machine to go back into history to change the facts so that her answers will be correct.  Of course, nothing is ever that easy. As with the first book, Santat's illustrations take Barnett's illustrations to a new level.   

Check out the official book trailer here:

I Have the Right to be a Child
Author: Alain Serres
Translator:  Helen Mixter
Illustrator: Aurelia Fronty
Publisher: Groundwood Books (June 12, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

In 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of a Child.  Ratified by 193 countries, the United States and Somolia have still not adopted it.  This is the second book that I have seen which seeks to share what the rights are in a child friendly format.  The text is simple and clear and the illustrations are bright, and fun. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (26)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen & Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Last week, I missed posting on Monday!  With Fifth Grade promotion happening and a bunch of other things, blogging just wasn't happening. Now that school is out, I am hoping to get back into a regular posting schedule and reading schedule.   

Here are some favorites from the last two weeks:

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown - This is a fun one for Star Wars fans and dads.

Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School by Timothy P. McLaughlin (editor) - Why didn't I find this one during National Poetry Month? The illustrations are beautiful and the poems touching.

It's a Tiger by David LaRochelle - This isn't out yet, but I really like this one for a read aloud.  Review coming soon.

The Hueys in the New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers - I think I love everything Jeffers does.

North: The Amazing Story of Artic Migration by Nick Dowson; Illustrated by Patrick Benson - Beautifully illustrated and informative.

A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead - I loved when I came to the end of this one.  Just fun!

So, what are you reading this week?

Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators by Leonard S. Marcus (editor)