Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Up in the Leaves by Shira Boss and Jamey Christoph

Up in the Leaves 
by Shira Boss
Illustrated by Jamey Christoph
Published March, 2018
Sterling Children's Books
40 pages

Goodreads Summary
“Bob lived in the big city. The city was very crowded .”
A true story about Bob Redman, a New York City boy who built a series of intricate treehouses hidden in Central Park.
This picture book tells the true story of Bob Redman, a child growing up in New York City. Tired of the noise, the people, and the rushing around, Bob took shelter in the natural beauty of Central Park—where he covertly built a series of treehouses, starting with a simple platform and growing more and more elaborate over time. He played cat-and-mouse with the park workers, who kept tearing down his houses, until he was finally caught. But his story ends with a happy surprise . . .

My Thoughts
I was captivated by this story. My family have recently visited NYC for the first time and Central Park was naturally one of the places we wanted to visit. Being from Maine which has lots of space, trees, and relatively few people, we found the spacious park surrounded by huge buildings looming over it to be quite fascinating. 
As a child, I loved to climb trees. It was fun to imagine this young boy finding an escape from the busy, crowded city up in the trees. He built and rebuilt tress houses for twelve years after each one was torn down. Now that is dedication. 
Kids will love this story based on the true story of Bob Redman who is now an arborist for the city. The story itself is wonderful, but it is brought to life with wonderful illustrations from Jamey Christoph. Each page is filled with beautiful colors and interesting textures. There is an epilogue that introduces readers to the real Bob Redman. 
I would highly recommend this book for all elementary school ages. 

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Monday, April 23, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? April 23, 2018

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.
Here are some books I have enjoyed recently. 
Click on the covers to learn more about each book. 

Interesting book based on the true story of a Young boy who loved to the up in the tress of Central Park. Full review on Tuesday. For all elementary grades. 

Super-cute picture book that explores how people don't always know what wthey have until it's gone. Review Wed. 

This medieval adventure story was so good! Review Thursday. 

Still Listening

What are you reading friends? 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Kathi Appelt's The Underneath + Giveaway!

The Underneath
by Kathi Appelt
Published May, 2008
Athenuem Books for Young Readers
320 pages
Middle grade

Goodreads Summary
There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.

A calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the lonely howl of a chained-up hound deep in the backwaters of the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest, and the hound dares to befriend this cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the porch, to raise her kittens there because Gar-Face, the man living inside the house, will surely use them as alligator bait should he find them. But they are safe in the Underneath...as long as they stay in the Underneath.

Kittens, however, are notoriously curious creatures. And one kitten's one moment of curiosity sets off a chain of events that is astonishing, remarkable, and enormous in its meaning. For everyone who loves Sounder, Shiloh, and The Yearling, for everyone who loves the haunting beauty of writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Flannery O'Connor, and Carson McCullers, Kathi Appelt spins a harrowing yet keenly sweet tale about the power of love — and its opposite, hate — the fragility of happiness and the importance of making good on your promises.

About the Author
Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Book. It also received the PEN USA Award. Her other novels include The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, a National Book Award finalist, and Maybe a Fox, one of the Bank Street Books Best Children’s Books of the Year. 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, and to find curriculum materials and activity pages, visit her website at kathiappelt.com.

Check out the new trailer for The Underneath !

Fifteen lucky winners will receive an autographed paperback copy of THE UNDERNEATH. In addition, one Grand Prize winner will win a classroom set of 20 copies of the book PLUS a 30-40 minute Skype visit for her/his school, classroom, or library with award-winning author Kathi Appelt. Enter here!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

You're My Little Cuddle Bug by Nicola Edwards

You're My Little Cuddle Bug 
by Nicola Edwards
Illustrated by Natalie Marshall
Published February, 2018
Silver Dolphin Books
18 pages
Board book
Review copy provided by Media Masters

Goodreads Summary
Celebrate your little cuddle bug with this sweet and colorful rhyming board book!

Celebrate your little cuddle bug with this sweet and colorful rhyming board book! With chunky pages for little hands and die-cut cuddle bugs to add depth and interest, children will love the interactive features alongside the story.

My Thoughts
Definitely add this little board book to the library of your little one.  It compares the close relationship between caregivers and babies as each page features the love of a big and little insect. 
With rhyming verses, colorful chunky pages and cute cutouts, babies and toddlers will love hearing it over and over again. 
Grab it this spring! 

Image from Amazon.com

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Bit of Crowd-Sourcing-Help with Research Gathering

Hello literacy friends, 
This post is a plea for collaboration. I am finishing up a certificate of advanced study (CAS) certificate in literacy in May. This is a 30-credit post-masters certificate. As a final assignment I need to do a capstone project that I am very excited about! I have been working hard to create a website that will be organized into literacy practices and topics and pertinent research and articles that apply to those practices. For example, one topic is "independent reading". Clicking that tab brings you to a page with a list of research/articles and resources about independent reading. 

I have gathered many research studies and articles already and I will continue to gather many more, but I want this to be a valuable resource for educators and I don't want to miss any important research. Here is where you come in my friends. 

If you have a piece of research or article (or more than one) that you particularly find valuable, and are willing to share, please leave the title, authors or link in the comments. 

Right now I am focusing on reading K-5. Here are some of the topics I have so far.
Balanced Literacy      
Independent Reading     
Text levels, structure, selection    
Reading Life     
Small group instruction     
Spelling/Word work     
Read aloud     
Phonological/phonemic awareness
Reading Responses      

As a small token of appreciation I will randomly select 5 people, who comment with a piece of research by May 1st, to receive a mystery book (picture book, middle grade or YA) from me.  

I hope this project will benefit many teachers and I look forward to sharing it. Thank you for your help! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
Expected publication May 1, 2018
Feiwel and Friends
ARC provided by publisher
Middle Grade

Goodreads Summary
A classic middle-grade tale of magic and friendship, about a girl who helps an old friend find home, by two New York Times–bestselling authors Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead.
It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.
It turns out she’s right.
Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.
Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, two masterminds of classic, middle-grade fiction come together to craft this magical story about the enduring power of friendship.

My Thoughts
This book is the sweet story of a very special friendship that stands the test of time and distance. Livy had forgotten all about her friend Bob until she returns to her Grandmother's house in Australia 5 years after her last visit. There are so many questions to be answered....Is Bob an imaginary friend? Can others see him? What kind of creature is he? Does he have a family? Why did Livy forget about him? This mysterious story unfolds gently as the questions are answered and readers learns more about Bob and Livy and their unique connection. 
Readers will love Bob! Although the ARC did not have illustrations inside (the finished book will have some) his description is adorable as are his actions. But it is his undying devotion for his friend Livy that makes him so wonderful. 

I feel like grades 3-4 is the sweet spot for this book, although some 5th graders would also like it. Bob would also make a good read aloud for grade 2-4. 

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Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? April 16, 2018

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.
Here are some books I have enjoyed recently. 
Click on the covers to learn more about each book. 

Excellent new nf from Sarah Albee! See review here

LOVED this one! See review here. 
Middle Grade 4-6

A sweet, gentle story of friendship. 
Middle grades 3-5

Currently Reading

Currently Listening

What are you reading friends?