Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Animal Planet - Ocean Animals and Polar Animals



Titles: Animal Planet - Ocean Animals and Animal Planet - Polar Animals  
Publisher: Animal Planet 
Publication Date: February, 16, 2016
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary - Ocean Animals: With more than 200 gorgeous animal photos of sharks, whales, clown fish, jelly fish, dolphins, and others, Animal Planet Ocean Animals is a fun, habitat-by-habitat guide that provides kids in the first years of schooling with the perfect bite-sized view of their favorite ocean-dwelling animals. Arranged thematically with focus on animal behavior and family relationships, young readers will explore sections about animal bodies, baby animals, food, play time, conservation and more. Special book features designed for this age group include Quick Bites sidebars with cool animal facts, simple infographics, and illustrated maps of Earth's watery environments.
GoodReads Summary - Polar Animals: With more than 200 gorgeous animal photos of penguins, polar bears, sea lions, walruses, reindeer and others, Animal Planet Polar Animals is a fun, habitat-by-habitat guide that provides kids in the first years of schooling with the perfect bite-sized view of their favorite animals living in both polar climates. Arranged thematically with focus on animal behavior and family relationships, young readers will explore sections about animal bodies, baby animals, food, play time, conservation, and more. Special book features designed for this age group include Quick Bites sidebars with cool animal facts, simple infographics, and illustrated maps of the coldest places on Earth.
What I Think: Non-fiction is so cool these days! Both Ocean Animals and Polar Animals are great additions to the amazing non-fiction available to kids these days. Both of these books are full of wonderful, colorful photographs that draw readers in. Several different topics as they relate to ocean and polar animals are covered. I really enjoyed how both of these books didn't focus on the animals, the focus instead is on a particular topic or idea related to these animals and then pictures and text on the pages support the topic. It's a neat way of approaching the ideas and building a bigger picture for readers. 
     In my experience, kids love books like Guinness World Record books and these are similar but based on science topics. As we see more and more choice and curiosity being celebrated in schools - especially with experiences like Genius Hour - I could see using these books as starting points for kids who are interested in a science topic but are looking for a topic to research more about. You can also send them to the Animal Planet blog for ideas too!
     As a mentor text, use these books to look at how to write clear an concise information that focuses on the key ideas. A powerful writing skills, particularly when it comes to non-fiction! 
Read Together: Grades K - 3 
Read Alone: Grades K - 3 
Read With: What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle, Non-Fiction books by Nic Bishop, Non-Fiction books by Seymour Simon, The Beetle Book and others by Steven Jenkins  
Snatch of Text:  
Ocean Animals
"Caring for our oceans
More than 96 percent of Earth's water can be found in the oceans. They affect the air we breatehe, our climate, and the weather. The oceans are an important source of food for animals and people, too."
Polar Animals
"Family face time
Walruses lie on the rocks in heaps that look almost like piles of rocks themselves. They're very sociable and spend time in groups. There's always at least one old guy who spits when he talks, and there is a lot of bellowing. Sound like your family?" 
Writing Prompts: Read about the different animals and choose one to research more about. Write your own non-fiction piece that brings your animal to life for readers. 
Topics Covered: Integration - Science 
I *heart* It:

Sunday, March 27, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/28/2016

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Announcements!

Maybe a Fox giveaway winner:
Ellen S.
*Thanks to Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of Maybe a Fox in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer the giveaway!*


Every Child a Super Reader giveaway winner:
Bill N.

*Thanks to Scholastic for 
a copy of Every Child a Super Reader in exchange for an honest review 

and the opportunity to offer the giveaway!*

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I'm reading and loving Ms. Bisby's Last Day by John David Anderson. It's a much deeper book than I thought it was going to be...I'm loving the characters. Peanut and I are still reading Kingdom Keepers and we also loved rereading Pink is for Blobfish!

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm hoping to finish up Ms. Bixby's Last Day and to keep reading Kingdom Keepers with Peanut!

This Week's Reviews:
 
 
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Let's Celebrate Dear Dragon - Book Jacket Cover Reveal!

It's time to CELEBRATE This Week with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.  Every week Ruth invites us to share our celebrations from the week and link up at her blog. What a fun way to reflect on everything there is to be thankful for. 


*                  *                   *

This week I'm celebrating Dear Dragon!

*throws confetti*



I hope I didn't get you tooooooo excited! Dear Dragon doesn't actually come out until this fall but I'm thrilled to share an exclusive look at the jacket cover for the book. If you haven't heard about Dear Dragon by Josh Funk and illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo yet, here's the summary from GoodReads:

A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face?


Totally sweet, right? But also completely awesome! It would be pretty amazing to have a dragon for a friend. It sounds like both George and Blaise are in for a surprise! And here's your prize for stopping in today. 

I give you, the epic book jacket cover reveal! Ta da!




I've heard from Josh that this book is told in epistolary letter form which means it's a collection of letters used to tell the story. How fun is that? I recently met with a teacher to talk about how to practice letter writing with kindergarteners. We brainstormed expanding the letter writing idea to writing emails and even posting updates to Twitter. I can see how Dear Dragon might be a great mentor text for letter writing. I can't wait!

Mark your calendars! 
Dear Dragon comes out September 6th 2016 
from Viking Books for Young Readers!

And until then, be sure to follow Josh and Rodolfo on social media. 

Visit Josh's website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram.

Visit Rodolfo's website
Twitter
Facebook.

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pink Is For Blobfish: Discovering The World's Perfectly Pink Animals





Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Aly at Kid Lit Frenzy. 
Every Wednesday, bloggers link up their non-fiction picture book reviews. Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what great non-fiction books are shared this week!
Title: Pink Is For Blobfish: Discovering The World's Perfectly Pink Animals
Author: Jess Keating 
Illustrator: David Degrand 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Pinkalicious meets National Geographic in this nonfiction picture book introducing the weirdest, wildest, pinkest critters in the animal kingdom!

Some people think pink is a pretty color. A fluffy, sparkly, princess-y color. But it's so much more.
Sure, pink is the color of princesses and bubblegum, but it's also the color of monster slugs and poisonous insects. Not to mention ultra-intelligent dolphins, naked mole rats and bizarre, bloated blobfish.
Isn't it about time to rethink pink? 
What I Think: I love the color pink but even if this wasn't a book about super strange but awesome pink creatures, I would still love it! All of the animals in this book are super funky! We had fun reading about each of these animals. I love how the two-page layouts are set up. Each covers one animal and shares facts like its name, species name, size, diet, habitat, and predators and threats but also gives information about the animal and an interesting quirky fact about it too. 
     Over the years, non-fiction has totally grown on me. I think it helps that children's non-fiction has gotten cooler and cooler over the years - and this book is definitely example of this. One thing I really love about non-fiction is that the reader gets a little bit more ownership about how he or she wants to read it than with fiction. For example, we started reading one night but had to stop because it was time for bed. The next night when we picked up the book again, I started reading from the back of the back and working forwards to where we had left off the night before. All of a sudden, Peanut shook his head and said, "Wait, are you reading it backwards?!?" We had a good chuckle over that but then we talked about how some non-fiction books work like that - you can read them forwards or backwards or even jump around. This is so important for kids to realize. They have to know the difference between fiction and non-fiction and how - especially when doing research - you might skip around and skim different parts until you really find what you are looking for. I didn't realize Peanut would be so shocked when I started reading backwards but it helped me remember that we have to teach students the ins and outs of different genres and help them think through how they'll access each text they encounter.
     I also strongly believe in encouraging students to use description and voice in their non-fiction writing. I know some people don't see the connection between the two, but I believe we need students to see how description is important when bringing non-fiction to life. Students can read any of the descriptions of the animals in Pink is for Blobfish and see how Jess uses literary devices such as alliteration, similes, strong adjectives, nouns, and verbs to bring her non-fiction writing to life for readers. 
Read Together: Grades K - 6 
Read Alone: Grades K - 6 
Read With: What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle, Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, Non-Fiction books by Nic Bishop, The Beetle Book and others by Steven Jenkins  
Snatch of Text: 
"A Different Dolphin!
Unlike dolphins from the open ocean, Amazon river dolphins have flexible necks. 
They sweep their snouts through the watery vegetation, flushing prey from their hiding places."
Writing Prompts: Write about animals that are your favorite color!  
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Animals, Curiosity 
I *heart* It:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/21/2016

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I was finishing up both Maybe a Fox and Every Child a Super Reader so I could get my reviews up and they were both amazing. Be sure to click on the links below as there are giveaways up for both of these great books. 
Reviewed Last Week:
Giveaways still open! (Click the images below to enter to win!)
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I didn't get a chance to start Mrs. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson yet but that's the plan. I'm also still reading aloud Kingdom Keepers to Peanut!

This Week's Reviews:
 
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Let's Celebrate Super Readers! and a Giveaway!

It's time to CELEBRATE This Week with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.  Every week Ruth invites us to share our celebrations from the week and link up at her blog. What a fun way to reflect on everything there is to be thankful for. 

*                  *                   *

This week I'm celebrating Super Readers!

*throws confetti*



When I was pregnant with my first son, I went to our local library to hear Jim Trelease speak. I had read The Read Aloud Handbook and loved it. He shared his presentation - complete with overhead projector - and it was so great to hear him talk about reading aloud firsthand.

But as I read Every Child a Super Reader, I thought about pre-mom me and this is a book I would have loved. From the time I found out I was pregnant, I was reading aloud to my babies. If there is one thing I wanted to get right as a parent, it was making sure my kids loved reading. 

Now that the boys are almost 9 and 6, I think we've done pretty good...but there are amazing books in Every Child a Super Reader that I wish I had when I was a new mom. Even though my kids are older, I found a lot of great ideas I'm excited to try with them. This is a phenomenal resource for parents and for teachers. So many of the ideas are centered around helping kids find themselves and their way in this world but mostly about how to do that while also building their identities as readers. It's just a wonderfully heartfelt book all around. 

I'm so excited that Scholastic sent me a free copy of this too to review but also another copy to give away to a lucky reader! Be sure to enter to win below, this is a book you'll want to read and reread and share widely!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Maybe a Fox Blog Tour And Giveaway!

Title: Maybe a Fox 
Author: Kathi Appelt and Allison McGhee  
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books 
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel 
GoodReads Summary:  
Sylvie and Jules.

Jules and Sylvie.


Jules adores her older-by-one-year sister, Sylvie.

Sylvie: beautiful like their mother.
Sylvie: supreme maker of tiny snow families.
Sylvie: faster than fast.


Sylvie: gone.

Into thin air, Sylvie goes missing, and as Jules stumbles in grief, a fox cub is born. A shadow fox, spirit and animal in one. From the minute the cub opens her eyes, she senses something very wrong. Someone—Jules.

Jules: steadfast like their father.
Jules: supreme maker of tiny snow foxes.
Jules: collector of rocks.

Jules: heartbroken.

Who is this Jules? Who is this Sylvie she cries out for? And why does the air still prickle with something unsettled? As that dark unknown grows, the fates of the girl Jules and the fox cub, laced together with wishes and shadowy ties, are about to collide.

What I Think: You know how sometimes you read a book and it touches your heart? This book touched my heart. It's a story of two sisters but it's also a story of family and love and what that love looks like.  
     As a mentor text, I love the description in this book. Kathi and Allison bring the characters and their emotions to life so well. One thing that really struck me about how they do this is that they seem to have a really strong sense of their characters. They share what is important to each of the characters. Their description is so specific and it really makes the story shine because of this. As we work on voice and showing in writing, looking closely at what we know about the characters in the book based off of their writing is a great activity for young writers - and even for me! Showing not telling is sometimes hard to describe and clarify for writers. Activities like writing what is in your main character's closet, what songs they have on their phone, who their best friends are. Knowing your character and bringing him or her to life is a great place to start or to focus on when adding voice and developing characters.
Read Together: Grades 4 - 6
Read Alone: Grades 4 - 7 
Read With: See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 
Snatch of Text:  
"...no matter how hard she tried, her memories of their mom grew smaller and smaller, each one folding in on itself, so that not even her 10x magnifier could see them." (p. 13)
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when something unexpected happened to you.  
Topics Covered: Family, Friendship, Love, Loss, Courage, Determination 
Additional Resources:
Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her picture books include Oh My Baby, Little One, illustrated by Jane Dyer, and the Bubba and Beau series, illustrated by Arthur Howard. Her novels for older readers include two National Book Award finalists: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and The Underneath, which was also a Newbery Honor Book. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn  more, visit Kathi’s website at kathiappelt.com.

Alison McGhee is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Firefly HollowLittle BoySo Many DaysBye-Bye CribAlwaysA Very Brave Witch, and the Bink and Gollie books. Her other children’s books includeAll Rivers Flow to the SeaCountdown to Kindergarten, and Snap. Alison is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize–nominated adult novel Shadowbaby, which was also a Today show book club selection. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you can visit her at AlisonMcGhee.com.
I *heart* It:
Follow all the stops on their blog tour!
Fri, Mar 4
Mon, Mar 7
Tues, Mar 8
Wed, Mar 9
Thurs, Mar 10
Fri, Mar 11
Mon, Mar 14
Tues, Mar 15
Wed, Mar 16
Thurs, Mar 17
Fri, Mar 18


*Thanks to Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of Maybe a Fox in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer the giveaway above!*

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/14/2016

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I'm so enjoying Maybe a Fox and am almost done! I'm excited to finish up so I can share it on Wednesday. Peanut and I are still reading Kingdom Keepers and Little Bean is still so totally loving President Squid by Aaron Reynolds. I've also been reading Every Child a Super Reader by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell and I'll be sharing that this week as well!

Reviewed Last Week:
  
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm excited to finish up Maybe a Fox and Every Child a Super Reader and to keep reading Kingdom Keepers with Peanut. And then I'm hoping to dive into Mrs. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson.

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!