Sunday, January 31, 2016

Early Readers and Chapter Books From an Animal's Point of View

One of the websites I follow is Book Riot. It is a great resource for books, not only for adults but for children and young adults. This morning they posted a list of books for early and middle grade readers from an animal's point of view. Most of the ones on the early reader list are new to me except for The Story of Diva and Flea. On the middle grade list is one of this blog's favorites: The One And Only Ivan. Note that several of these books are the first of a series. Series are great for reluctant readers. If they like the first book, they will often want to read the entire series.

Early Readers

The Sonoma County Library has ten copies. This is the first of a series. There is no AR for any book in this series.

The Sonoma County Library has twenty-nine copies. The AR is 4.6.

The Sonoma County Library has seven copies. This is the first in a series and the AR is 2.6.

The Sonoma County Library has seven copies. This is part of The Park Pals adventure series. The AR is 4.7.

The Sonoma County Library has nineteen copies. This book is the first in a series. The AR is 4.2.

Middle Grade

This book will be published on February 9, 2016.

The Sonoma County Library has four copies. The AR is 4.9.

The Sonoma County Library has one copy. The AR is 4.9.

The Sonoma County Library has thirty-one copies. The AR is 3.6.

The Sonoma County Library has three copies. The AR is 5.1.

The Sonoma County Library has eleven copies. The AR is 3.7.

The Sonoma County Library has eight copies. This the first book of a series. The AR is 4.5.

You may have noticed that some of the early readers have as high or higher reading levels (according to the Accelerated Reader rankings) than the middle grade books. In this article the categories are according to interest. One of my first grade granddaughters has read The Story of Diva and Flea; the only word trouble she had was with the very few French words in the story. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal and Honors

The American Library Association gives the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the “most distinguished beginning reader book”. This year’s Medal winner is Don't Throw It To Mo! written by David A Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks.

And the Honors are A Pig, a Fox and a Box written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske. 

Supertruck written and illustrated by Stephen Savage.

Waiting by Kevin Henkes.

2016 Newbery Medal and Honors

The American Library Association awarded the 2016 Newbery Medal  for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” to Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson.

And Honors to The War That Saved My Life written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

Roller Girl written by Victoria Jamieson.

Echo written by Pam Munoz Ryan.

2016 Caldecott Medal and Honors

Each year the Caldecott Award is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. This morning the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of  the American Library Association, awarded the 2016 Caldecott Medal to Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear illustrated by Sophie Blackhall and written by Lindsay Mattick.

And Honors to Trombone Shorty illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Troy Andrews.

Waiting written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes.

Voice of Freedom: Fanny Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Carol Boston Weatherford.

Last Stop on Market Street illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Matt de la Pena.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Whisper

Two time winner of Caldecott Honors, Pamela Zagarenski, has written a celebration of story telling and imagination, The Whisper. A little girl who loves words and stories is lent a magical book by her teacher. On her way home, words spill out of the book. We can see, but she cannot, a fox gathering all the words into a net. When she gets home and opens the book she can see all the beautiful pictures but there are no words. How can there be stories without words? She hears a wind blow and a small voice whisper: "You can imagine the words, you can imagine the stories."

It felt difficult at first to imagine a story, but she looked harder at the details: are the two bears best friends? Is one of them bringing a gift of honey to the other bear? She had a title, Blue Bear's Visit, and then a story. So the reader can get into the fun, we see the pages in the magical book. The little girl can be seen in the bottom of each two page spread. as she turns the pages, she gets quicker at finding the stories in the pictures. Before she returns the book to school, she meets the fox and he gives her the words he gathered and she helps him reach a bunch of grapes. 

Those familiar with Zagarenski's illustrations in Sleep Like A Tiger will recognize her signature wheels, tea cups crowns and tigers. This book is a feast for the eyes. It also offers a child an opportunity to make up her own stories.

The Sonoma County Library has eight copies.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Little Lola

Lola is sleeping in the park when she is woken up by an apple falling on her head. She has big plans. One of them is to have an adventure. Lola finds a pair of pink glasses, a blue skirt, a red stripped shirt and a pink backpack. Dressed and ready to go, she hops on the school bus.

At school, Lola practices reading, writing, math, art and singing. She especially loves story time and show and tell. Her contribution is a live mouse which causes a mess that Lola promptly puts back in order (almost). School is over and Lola is back at the park for a nap.

Little Lola is the first book for husband-wife team, Julie Saab and David Gothard. It is a perfect first day of school book but it also is a fun beginning reader. There are only a few words on each page, the font is easy to read and some of the harder words are clearly illustrated to help in decoding.  The AR is 1.3 (first grade, third month). The Sonoma County Library has three copies.

50 Ways to Encourage a Child

When working with students, I like to give them feedback that is more specific than just, "good job". Head Start has compiled a list of encouraging phrases that might be useful.

Hat tip: the roommom

Reading Aloud

The Scholastic Parent's blog has 16 great reasons about why 2016 should be the year of the Read-Aloud. There are three generations of readers in my family created by the nightly read-aloud routine. Even after kids can read on their own, reading together is important. 

Hat Tip: Growing Book by Book