#IMWAYR – August 21, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

Hot…hot hot hot hot hot….It has been HOT. It was 30 degrees yesterday. THIRTY DEGREES. (That’s 86 degrees for you Yankees). Sure, compared to the East Coast heat wave that might not sound all that impressive (actually I was surprised when I did the conversion,it feels so much hotter than a measly little 86 degrees….), but here in the air conditioning-less Pacific Northwest, 30 is HOT.

OK, weather-related rant over and done with, on to the books!

This week I…..

Shared some ways to use Shaun Tan’s wonderfully weird picture book Rules of Summer  in a class or library group setting.

rules of summer cover

  • Talked about some of my favourite book settings, and completely forgot to mention others (I blame it on my melting brain….).

TTT Top Ten Tuesday The Book Wars

I participated in another edition of Nonfiction Wednesday, talking about The Toad, another edition in one of my favourite nonfiction series for young reader, Elise Gravel’s Disgusting Critters!

I co-hosted another Diverse Kids Lit roundup – be sure to check it out for some fantastic titles and inspiring posts!

DiverseKidLit

My British Columbia-based Reading Staycation experience continues with one of my favourite story time books, the very funny Grumpy Bird by Vancouver-based Jeremy Tankard. Who can’t relate to this grumpy bird who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed?

I shook my Reading Staycation series up a bit with an interview with the fantastic, super-talented and super-duper nice Vancouver-based illustrator Dawn Lo. I love being able to support local, independent artists and creative entrepreneurs – the artistic life is a rewarding one, but it can also be pretty challenging, so let’s all support each other!

dl_illus01

I’m currently enjoying a new-to-me Stephen King novel, The Cell.  The premise is pretty cheesy – a mysterious event dubbed “the pulse” has turned cell phone users into terrifying zombie-like creatures. Cell phone usage = zombification. Not really the most imaginative (or subtle….) premise there (tell me what you really think about young people, Mr. King…), but if you can overlook that aspect of the novel it really it quite enjoyable (so far anyway).  King is a thoughtful, clever writer who balances shocking horror and character-drive story to create very readable experiences.  But oh MAN is this novel done a major disservice by its unintentionally HILARIOUS back copy…

From international bestseller Stephen King, a high-concept, ingenious and terrifying story about the mayhem unleashed when a pulse from a mysterious source transforms all cell phone users into homicidal maniacs. There’s a reason cell rhymes with hell.

Cell: A Novel by [King, Stephen]

So, there’s my week in a nutshell! Hope everyone has been having an AMAZING week – stay cool and hydrated everybody (unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you lucky duckies)!

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Nonfiction Wednesday – Aug 17, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2016 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.

The Toad

Elise Gravel is back with another entry in her so-gross-it’s-cute Disgusting Critters series! Having looked at such icky critters as slugs, flies, spiders, worms and head lice, this newest critter doesn’t really seam all that disgusting by comparison! It’s time for the common toad to get the Disgusting Critters treatment, and once again Gravel blends interesting facts with silly illustrations to create a very kid-friendly nonfiction entry-level graphic novel.

Part of a book for kids that I’m working on. Toads and frogs: we need them! #kidlit #science #illustration

I’ve used this series twice with my Early Readers’ Book Clubs at the library, and plan to use them again in the future. I love being able to give the kids some choice in what they read, while still creating that traditional book club atmosphere where everyone talks about the same book. In our last meeting we created little books about our different animals, which allowed the kids to take on the role of expert and teach their friends all about the different disgusting critters.

The Disgusting Critters series is so much fun because it introduces kids to the idea that nonfiction can actually be read for enjoyment and recreation, and that fun and educational need not be mutually exclusive. Informational texts can be cartoony, silly, light-hearted, and still informational.

Elise Gravel is Canadian, too, which makes the whole thing even better. 🙂

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday – December 9, 2015

nonfictionNonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.

rat

Title: The Rat
Author/Illustrator: Elise Gravel
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: 2014
Genre/Format: Nonfiction/Early Reader
Publisher’s SummaryOne in a series of humorous books about disgusting creatures, The Rat is a look at the black rat. It covers such topics as the rat’s long, agile tail (it’s good for balancing and picking noses), long teeth (they can chew through anything, including books) and disgusting taste in food (delicious electrical wires in tomato sauce, anyone?). Although silly and off-the-wall, The Rat contains real information that will tie in with curriculum.

My Two CentsI used Elise Gravel’s series Disgusting Critters with an Early Readers book club back in the summer, and it was a big hit! The children each picked a book from the series (which also includes such kid-pleasing titles as The Slug, The Fly, and The Worm) to read, and shared what they learned with the rest of the group.

This series works so well because it matches real biology with a zany sense of humour and wacky illustrations. The rat, a potentially frightening creature, becomes a cheeky little rascal, challenging any preconceived notions about this highly intelligent animal. Kids learn about the animal’s diet, anatomy, habitat, and behaviour in a way that doesn’t actually feel like learning (perfect for a summer program). The last thing an educational text should feel like is, well, an educational text! The entire series is kid-friendly from top to bottom, with a cute font that appears almost hand-written, and a balance of text and illustrations that makes each book an accessible nonfiction text for early readers. Highly recommended – and Canadian, too!

disgustingcritters

So, which nonfiction books have caught your eye this week?

Parent-Child Drop-in Visit – March 26, 2015

Talk about a busy (but awesome) day! After my preschool visit I was off to a community health center to talk about books and babies with a parent-child drop-in group.

I led a mini-baby time with the group, then shared some tips and tricks for helping baby prepare to read, and talked about some of the many free resources available at the library.

Here’s what we did!

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Songs/Tickles

  • The moon is round
  • Two little eyes
  • Everybody knows I love my toes

Book 1: Do Cows Meow? / Salina Yoon

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Bounces

  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus
  • You be the lemon
  • Bumping up and down in my little red wagon

Book 2: Monkey and me / Emily Gravett

monkey

Movement Songs

  • Dancing with bears
  • My bonny lies over the ocean
  • Zoom zoom zoom
  • The elevator song

Soothing Songs

  • Rain is falling down
  • You are my little panda bear

The program was really gentle and relaxed, and I was able to sit on the mats and chat with everyone – the atmosphere was very similar to a Mother Goose session, which is smaller than a typical baby time, with a slower pace.

I really appreciate the amazing opportunities I get to go out into the community and connect with people around my neighborhood!