Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

The Nonfiction Detectives and I are hosting a Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge. In honor of Halloween, a nonfiction picture book for the season.

National Geographic Readers: Halloween by Laura Marsh (July 2012, National Geographic Children's Books)

Description from GoodReads:
From visiting the pumpkin patch, to bobbing for apples, to picking out a favorite costume, Halloween is a magical time for young children. The fun and festivities are captured in this book, with full-color illustrations and simple easy-to-grasp text. In the spirit of this beloved holiday, this level one reader is sure to captivate and fascinate children.

This high-interest, educationally vetted series of beginning readers features the magnificent images of National Geographic, accompanied by texts written by experienced, skilled children's book authors. The inside back cover of the paperback edition is an interactive feature based upon the book. Level 1 books reinforce the content of the book with a kinesthetic learning activity. In Level 2 books readers complete a Cloze letter, or fun fill-in, with vocabulary words.

My quick thoughts on this book:
This Level 1 reader is a great way to celebrate the holiday.  The photographs in this book just "pop" and there is a mix of fun facts, history, and activities that can be used to celebrate the holiday as a family.  Topics covered in the book include:  Halloween Fun!, Trick or Treat, Costumes, Halloween Today, Day of the Dead, and more.  A fun book to include in your classroom or school library.  

Check out the website - National Geographic Super Reader for more information.

Don't forget to connect up your nonfiction picture book posts here:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cover Reveal: Wig in the Window

I am so excited to have been selected to reveal the cover for Kristen Kittscher's debut middle grade novel The Wig in the Window (Harper Collins, 2013).   I have known Kristen for over a year now and she is not only a fabulous writer but also a wonderful friend and teacher.

Synopsis from the back of the ARC for The Wig in the Window:
"Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game of spying on their neighbors, but when they stake out the home of notoriously phony middle school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward) they stumble across a terrifying scene.

Or do they? No matter what, the girls are convinced that Dr. Agford’s sugary sweet façade hides a dark secret. But as they get closer to the truth about Agford, the strain of the investigation pushes Sophie and Grace farther apart. Even if they crack their case, will their friendship survive?

Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Wig in the Window is a smart, funny mystery with a Rear Window twist."

And now the cover reveal...

I love the cover and I can't wait for everyone to meet Young & Yang.  One lucky reader will get to read The Wig in the Window now.  Kristen is giving away an advanced readers copy of The Wig in the Window.  You can enter by using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom.

Here is a teaser quote from the back cover
"I looked back across the dark stretch of Agford’s lawn to the house. Every light was ablaze and her blinds were pulled low, creating a milky-white screen. And projected onto that screen was the most terrifying image I had ever encountered. Agford’s silhouetted figure loomed before me, twenty feet high and ten feet wide. She raised one arm and paused—the black outline of a cleaver hovering overhead—before swinging violently downward."

For more information about Kristen Kittscher: twitter | facebook | website

Kristen Kittscher is a writing tutor in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, Kai. A graduate of Brown University and former seventh grade English teacher, she loves writing funny mysteries for the precocious middle schoolers she once enjoyed teaching so much. She’s now at work on Young & Yang’s next adventure, THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

The Nonfiction Detectives and I are hosting a Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge.  In looking back on my October Nonfiction Picture Book releases, I have missed a few titles.  Here is an update in the style of my "It's Monday! What are you reading post!"

Here are two that I overlooked but read and loved:

Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renée Watson; Illustrated by Christian Robinson - Really enjoyed this biographical story of Florence Mills.  Will add this to my Harlem Renaissance picture books.

Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane's Musical Journey by Gary Golio; Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez - Amazing illustrations and Golio does a great job telling John Coltrane's story.  Enjoyed this one like I enjoyed his Jimi Hendrix picture book.

And here are two that were on my list that I enjoyed:

Noah Webster and His Words by Jeri Chase Ferris; Illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch - great way of telling Webster's story and includes definitions throughout the story. 

Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story by Lise Friedman; Photography Mary Dowdle- Definitely a book for 4th grade and up - perfect for those girls who dream of becoming a ballerina. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Recently, I had some time to hang out with a couple of friends and author, Adam Gidwitz.  Adam's book A Tale Dark & Grimm is one of my favorites and his new book In a Glass Grimmly has just recently been released.  As we talked, the topic of scary stories came up.  One of my friends started talking about how scary Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist is.   Each of us in this group had various levels of tolerance for creepy stories.  After a run in during 9th grade with books by Stephen King and John Saul, I have decided that I like my scary stories with a sufficient dose of snark and lite on the super creepy scary parts. 

All of this discussion and with Halloween right around the corner, I started to think more about whether there is a benefit for children in reading scary stories.  Some might ask if children should ever read scary stories.  As I thought about it and read some blog posts by others, my answer is a definite yes, but with some guidelines. First, especially as teachers and educators, it is important to know your students.  Everyone has a different threshold for what is scary and what isn’t.  Additionally, teachers need to be respectful of parents’ wishes. What I might be comfortable with a parent isn't.  With that said, here are some benefits to children to reading those creepy books.

Many experts divide scary stories into three categories:  Fairy Tales, Campfire Type Stories, and Real Life Scary Situations.  

Fairy Tales: Grimm not Disney – Most of us have become accustomed to the adaptations Disney has made with the original Grimm Fairy Tales, but pull out the original stories and what you have are tales that were quite dark.  What do children gain from these tales?  The stories allow children to grapple with lessons related to concepts such as greed, envy, vanity, abandonment, and more.  Also, children get to work through issues of good versus evil.  One of the regular patterns in these stories involve the evil witch dying in the end and the children triumphing over adversity.  As Adam Gidwitz mentioned in our informal chat, the happy ending balances out the gruesomeness of the story.

Spine-tinglers & Campfire Stories – How many of us recall times when we were children sitting around a camp fire or curled up on the floor in a darkened living room listening to a friend or an adult tell a ghost story or urban legend or other tale designed to scare us?  What was the common reactions to these stories, usually lots of screams, grabbing one another, running around, and inevitably laughter followed by the words "tell another one".  It is why books such as RL Stine's Goosebumps series is so popular.  It hits us with the right balance of scary and glad that it is happening to someone else.  

Real Issues that are Frightening – Children of all ages have to go through life challenges that can be difficult and truly scary.  Issues such as divorce, death of a close family member or a friend, fears of dogs or flying or what's under the bed, and even family abuse may be difficult to talk about.  Reading stories about these circumstances can help children develop ways of dealing or coping with the situations in their own live and provide them with words in which to discuss what may be bothering them.  One of my favorites from 2011 is Patrick Ness’ AMonster Calls, which uses a fantastical element of a monster who arrives at the same time each night as a means for a young teen boy to come to grips with his mother’s pending death. 

Some additional resources:
Check out the blog post for just right scary book reads for preschooler to teens – GettingReady for a Shivery Good Read on  For a professional look at the benefits of reading scary stories, look into Sheldon Cashdan’s TheWitch Must Die: The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales.   

This Halloween join author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and more) is celebrating by recommending that people give away a scary book(s) this year.  Check out his site All Hallows Read for book suggestions, and additional resources. 

To celebrate the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm, I am celebrating by giving away a scary book of your choice (under $15 on Amazon) to one lucky winner.  And this is a big giveaway hop - 500 bloggers participating.  Blogs will start posting sometime today though the giveaway technically begins tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern - feel free to start entering. 

Rules for the Giveaway:
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. Eastern Time on October 24th to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 31st.
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, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (43)

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.

You may have noticed that the blog was quiet last week.  I needed sometime to just step back and breathe.  As I was speaking with Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks on twitter) this weekend, I realized that I am sort of feeling like I am in that first year or teaching or first year of being a principal again.  In August, I transitioned out of my position as an Elementary Principal and into a position doing Program Support for Instructional Services.  Basically what it means is that I wear a lot of hats.  Some of those hats are very comfortable and I feel confident in what I am doing.  Other hats are requiring that I learn some new skills.  Mix all of that together and I am finding that I am still learning the rhythm for my new position.  Additionally, my reading life is somewhat topsy turvy.

But here are a few title from my recent reading endeavors:

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin; Illustrated by James Dean - Who doesn't love Pete the Cat?

The Official Book Trailer for Pete the Cat Saves Christmas:

Batman Classic: Batman versus Man-Bat (I Can Read! 2 book) by J.E. Bright: Illustrated by Steven E. Gordon, Eric A. Gordon - I was just curious to see what an I Can Read version of Batman would be like. I kept thinking that with different formatting this would work well for older kids who were struggling to read.

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Temple Grandin, Sy Montgomery - As part of my goal to read more nonfiction, I picked up Temple Grandin's book.  This biography has lots on Grandin, her work, and about living with autism.

A Thunderous Whisper by Christina Diaz Gonzalez - If you haven't read anything by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, then you should.  I am now looking forward to whatever book she writes next.

What I am currently reading:

After seeing the movie version of Perks of Being a Wallflower, I started to read the book written by Stephen Chbosky.

Official Movie Trailer:

So what are you reading this week?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

International Ivy & Bean Day - Review of Ivy & Bean Make the Rules

Author: Annie Barrows
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 2012)
Independent Reading: Grades 2nd to 4th
Read Aloud: Grades 1st to 3rd
Fiction * Friendship * Camp

Description from GoodReads:
Bean's older sister, Nancy, is going to Girl Power 4-Ever Camp, where she will do Crafts and Music and First Aid and other secret things that Bean will never know about because girls have to be eleven to go to Girl Power 4-Ever Camp. Bean doesn't care. She doesn't want to go to camp. She wouldn't go even if they begged her. So ha. So ha ha. So-wait a second Bean and Ivy can make their own camp, their own better camp: Camp Flaming Arrow, where counselors Ivy and Bean will give a whole new meaning to Crafts, Music, First Aid, and hands-on learning

My thoughts on the book:
I can honestly say that with each installment of Ivy & Bean I have come to adore these two friends more.  In Ivy & Bean Make the Rules, our two friends have decided to hold their own day camp since they aren't old enough to attend Girl Power 4-Ever Camp with Bean's older sister Nancy. 

As I was reading the book, it made me realize that today it is so much harder for children just to gather together in a park and play.  In many areas, children aren't allowed to leave their homes or yards and if at a park there would be so much adult supervision it would limit some of the freedom and the creativity that Ivy & Bean created in their make-believe camp.  But I digress...

Bean develops an idea of starting their own camp which despite an attempt to model things after Nancy's Girl Power 4-Ever Camp seems to be uniquely Ivy & Bean.  The two girls connect up with the visiting Franny and Harlan (siblings) and develop their own version of crafts, and nature study and even Women's History.  Over the week, more and more children join in on the fun...or maybe I should say chaos.  In the end, the reader can decide who had more fun - Nancy at real camp or Ivy & Bean at their made-up camp, Camp Flaming Arrow.

Yay to Annie Barrows for another great Ivy & Bean book.  I look forward to more adventures from our creative friends.   

Today is the first International Ivy and Bean Day! and the end of the nine week long Ivy and Bean Blog-A-Bration that also included huge giveaways and features of each of the other eight books in the series. Congratulations to The Grand Prize winner - Becky Wilson of Flint Hill Elementary School who entered at Sharpread blog!

Thank you Chronicle Books for organizing the blog-a-bration, and all the other pieces to this celebration.

Happy International Ivy & Bean Day - Thank you Chronicle for this video:


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Thunderous Whisper Blog Tour - Book Review

Thank you Alethea from Read Now Sleep Later for hosting A Thunderous Whisper Blog Tour.  Blog Tour Main Schedule.

Author:  Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Publisher: Random House (October 9, 2012)
Source: Copy for Review
Audience:  Ages 10 and up
Historical Fiction * Guernica/Spain * Spanish Civil War

Description from GoodReads:
Ani believes she is just an insignificant whisper of a 12-year-old girl in a loud world. This is what her mother tells her anyway. Her father made her feel important, but he's been off fighting in Spain's Civil War, and his voice in her head is fading. Then she meets Mathias. His family has just moved to Guernica and he's as far from a whisper as a 14-year-old boy can be. Ani thinks Mathias is more like lightning. A boy of action. Mathias's father is part of a spy network and soon Ani finds herself helping him deliver messages to other members of the underground. She's actually making a difference in the world.

And then her world explodes. The sleepy little market town of Guernica is destroyed by Nazi bombers. In one afternoon Ani loses her city, her home, her mother. But in helping the other survivors, Ani gains a sense of her own strength. And she and Mathias make plans to fight back in their own unique way.

My thoughts on this book:
In 2010, Christina Diaz Gonzalez released her first novel The Red Umbrella.  I had the chance to interact with her via twitter and facebook prior to the release of her debut novel and then to actually meet her at a couple of author events during the summer of 2010.  Not only did I really love The Red Umbrella and the story and characters that she created, but I found Christina to be a charming and wonderful person.  As a result, I have been eager to read her newest book A Thunderous Whisper which takes place in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War in the mid to late 1930's. 

What I am discovering about Diaz Gonzalez is that like her main character Ani, she is a storyteller.  She is able to find a way to give a voice to the children and families who in the middle of political unrest or war had no voice.  For many of us, we have heard of the stories of Nazi Germany, of the Holocaust, and Concentration Camps.  However, little did I know of the Basque families in Spain who were at the same time fighting their own war to maintain their culture and identity.  In her two characters 12 year old Ani and 14 year old Mathias, she weaves together pieces of both stories.  Ani has grown up in Guernica and Mathias who is half Basque and half German Jew finds himself in Guernica.  In the matter of a few weeks, these two new friends are forced to grow up as they find their way in a rapidly changing world. Through the start of her friendship with Mathias to the devastation that comes at the hands of Nazi bombers, Ani begins to transform from the shy, quiet, invisible girl to one who discovers the role she is to play and the voice she needs to have. 

I loved so many of the characters that Diaz Gonzalez created, and amazed once again, that she is able to create fictional characters that the readers can connect with and befriend.  Her ability to paint a picture of what life was like during this time period and the challenges and struggle moved me emotionally.  Yes, I pulled out tissues at one part.   Diaz Gonzalez is also able to write a story that can appeal to a wide age range.  From fifth grade to middle school to high school to adults, there will be readers who will connect with the themes and messages in A Thunderous Whisper.

If you are looking for historical fiction that is readable, draws you in, and teaches you about things you might not have known about, then you want to pick up a copy of A Thunderous Whisper.  Purchase a copy at your local bookstore or look for it at a local library.  

Christina Diaz Gonzalez is the author of the award-winning and best-selling children’s novel, THE RED UMBRELLA. Ms. Gonzalez’s debut novel (the story of a 14 year old Cuban girl who is sent to the U.S. in 1961 as part of Operation Pedro Pan) showcases the generosity of the American spirit and highlights the pain of losing one’s homeland. Reviewers from publications such as The Washington Post, Publisher’s Weekly and School Library Journal have praised the book as being exceptional, compelling and inspirational. Her second novel, A THUNDEROUS WHISPER, is to be released in Fall 2012.

For more information about Christina Diaz Gonzalez: website | facebook | twitter

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (42)

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 read quite a few books this past week.  Here is what jumped out of the stack.

Here are a couple of favorites from this week:

Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee - It's Marla Frazee - need I say more.

Let's Go For A Drive by Mo Willems - I just love Elephant and Piggie and this one is fantastic. 

National Geographic Readers: Halloween by Laura Marsh- A fun early reader about Halloween.  The photography was wonderful.

My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt- This novel in verse tells a powerful story of prostitution and drug addiction.

Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am? by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis - Another powerful story about the results of an injury sustained during combat duty in the Army by a young man and the impact on him and his family and friends.

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers - Historical Fiction meets Fantasy Fiction for a very interesting read.

So what are you reading?  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ivy & Bean Day Blog-a-bration Week 8

And the count down to the 1st Annual International Ivy & Bean Day continues.  This week Chronicle Books is giving away a copy of Ivy & Bean Book 8: No News is Good News to one lucky winner and a set of mini-note cards to 3 other winners. Click here to check out the Ivy & Bean official page.

Description of the Book from GoodReads:
Ivy and Bean need some money. Ten dollars, to be exact. Never mind what for. Okay, it s for low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size. Don t ask why. How are Ivy and Bean going to make ten dollars? Hey, maybe they should write a newspaper about Pancake Court and sell it! Great idea! And easy, too. All they have to do is snoop around the neighborhood. Wow...It s very interesting what they can find out. It s even more interesting when the neighbors read about it in the newspaper.

Mini-review - My thoughts on this book:
Ivy & Bean need to find a way to purchase cheese - yep, the kind that comes encased in red wax. With an idea from Bean's dad the girls sell and create a newspaper. And do it all in classic Ivy & Bean style. One of the things I love about Ivy & Bean books is how each situation has an element that rings true.  Second thing I love is how one thing always leads to another that leads to another and before you know it - watch out, trouble has arrived.  And with that trouble a lesson to learn from.  In Book 8, No News is Good News, Ivy and Bean learn the lesson about newspaper reporting and what can and cannot be told about your neighbors.  

Over this series of books, it has been fun to watch the characters grow in some ways but maintain that same great spirit of fun and adventure that began in the first book.   As a result, I think I have come to love Ivy & Bean even more with each book that comes out.
Other Bloggers celebrating Ivy & Bean Blog-a-Bration:
                     Media Darlings                                  
                     There's A Book                                  
                    In the Pages                                      
                      The O.W.L.                                         
                  Coquette Maman                            
                   Ruth Ayres Writes                           
                 One Page to the Next                    
                 Van Meter Library Voice               
               The Family That Reads Together
                Roundtable Reviews for Kids      
                                                               The Children's Book Review    

This week's giveaway will run from October 5th-October 7th.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway by filling in the form at the bottom of the page.

The Winners of this week's giveaways will be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway.  Thanks Chronicle Books for this great prize pack:

A complete set of Ivy and Bean hardcover books signed by Annie Barrows 

1 set of Ivy and Bean Paper Dolls 

1 Ivy and Bean Button Factory 

1 Ivy and Bean READ Poster signed by Annie Barrows 

Set of Ivy and Bean Silly Bandz · Set of Ivy and Bean stickers  
And a set of IVY & BEAN Dolls!!!! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nonfiction Picture Book Releases - October 2012

The Nonfiction Detectives and I are hosting a Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge.  My goal has been to kick off the month with the new nonfiction picture book release titles.  Here are the October titles that I have found so far, but I know there are more.  Please share with me titles that you have found.

October 1, 2012

Being a Stunt Performer by Isabel Thomas

October 9, 2012

Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird A True Story by Stephanie Spinner; Illustrated by Meilo So
October 11, 2012

Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story by Lise Friedman; Illustrated/Photographed by Mary Dowdle

October 16, 2012

Helen's Big World by Doreen Rappaport; Illustrated by Matt Tavares

October 23, 2012

Noah Webster and His Big Words by Jeri Chase Ferris; Illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

October 30, 2012

Girls Who Rocked the World: Heroines from Joan of Arc to Mother Teresa by Michelle Roehm McMann; Illustrated by Amelie Welden, David Hahn

The links for the above books will take you directly to the book page for purchasing information, unless otherwise noted.  Please note, I do not make anything off these links or profit in anyway from posting the links.   I know that I am still searching for October releases and will likely do an update later in the month. If you know of a book that should be included in this list, please include the title and author in the comments section and I will update the list.

Feel free to link your nonfiction picture book reviews to the Mr. Linky below.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ralph Tells A Story Blog Tour: Guest Post with Abby Hanlon

Today, Kid Lit Frenzy is participating in a blog tour for Ralph Tells a Story by debut author/illustrator Abby Hanlon.  I am so excited that Abby is sharing ideas for writing with young children.  

As a public school teacher in New York City, I loved teaching writing to my first graders. Like thousands of elementary schools across the country, we used the Writer’s Workshop curriculum developed by Lucy Calkins of Teachers College at Columbia University. With the Writer’s Workshop model, writing time in an elementary school classroom isn’t much different than a college or adult creative writing class. Kids are encouraged to come up with their own ideas, to find their own story, to notice and remember the little details in their life. Nobody tells you what to write anymore!

Illustration copyright © 2012 by Abby Hanlon

For little kids who are just learning to form letters, who are making critical connections between letters and sounds and who are figuring out which direction the letters go on the page, writing time can be scary! But watching my students rise to this enormous challenge always amazed me. In Ralph Tells A Story, the book follows the structure of a Writer’s Workshop; the story starts off with some inspiration from the teacher, then the children go off to work on their own to write true stories about their lives. They come together at the end to share. In the book, I wanted to use this structure because it is familiar to kids. I hope that the book helps children to reflect upon their own experiences and fuels new story ideas.

Writing Tip 
Kids get really excited about very little things. Think about how many times a day your kid says, “Guess what?” “I found a bottle cap on the street!” “I heard about a lollipop with bubble gum inside of it!” “I beat Daddy in Candyland!” These are all great topics for Writer’s Workshop. No story is too small! In fact, small is perfect.

Thank you Abby for stopping by Kid Lit Frenzy and sharing writing tips and ideas about writing with young children.

Thanks to Blue Slip Media for hosting and organizing the blog tour, and to Amazon's Children's Publishing for hosting the giveaway.

Mon, Oct 1 - Momma Drama 
Tues, Oct 2 - KidLitFrenzy
Wed, Oct 3 - Susan Heim on Parenting
Thurs, Oct 4 - There's a Book
Fri, Oct 5 - Lille Punkin' Reviews
Mon, Oct 8 - A Mom's Take
Tues, Oct 9 - Just a Little Creativity
Wed, Oct 10 - The Children's Book Review
Thurs, Oct 11 - Adventures in Mommydom 
Fri, Oct 12 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

For more information about Abby Hanlon:  website
Abby Hanlon has a master’s degree in early childhood education from the City College of New York and bachelor’s from Barnard College, Columbia University. Abby has taught creative writing and first grade in the New York City public school system. Inspired by her students’ storytelling and drawings, Abby began to write her own stories for children. Determined to illustrate her stories, Abby taught herself to draw after not having drawn since childhood. Ralph Tells a Story is her first book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and their two children.

Please complete the form below to enter to win a copy of Ralph Tells a Story

Giveaway ends on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (41)

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.

One last author/book weekend has ended and I look forward to getting back to my book piles.  Over this past weekend, I spent Sunday, at the Orange County Festival of Books with Alethea (@frootjoos), Kate (@irishkatey22), Jane (@missjanegov), Roxy (r_a_black), and Jason (@ninjoblio).  Aside from seeing author friends, my favorite opportunity was getting to meet and chat with Tao Nyeu, author and illustrator of Squid & Octopus: Friends For Always.  She is really nice and Alethea & I are excited to be doing a special Bridge to Books event with her in December.

Here are a couple of favorites from this week:

Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself by Margaret Frith; Illustrated by Tomie dePaola - I loved this biography for younger readers.  I am excited to use this one and the one below with students.

Frida by Jonah Winter; Illustrated by Ana Juan - This picture book biography works nicely with the one above in explaining different aspects of Frida Kahlo's life to young readers.

Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril: Lunch Lady #8 by Jarrett J. Krosoczka - Another great Lunch Lady book. 

The City of Ember: Graphic Novel by Jeanne DuPrau, Dallas Middaugh; Illustrated by Niklas Asker - I call this graphic novel a teaser...just enough to get you to want to read the full book.  Asker's illustrations are great.

So what are you reading?