Hurrah! #IMWAYR time again. This weekly event is sponsored by the inimitable Jen at Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers. Check out their sites for links to other bloggers writing about kidlit. It's a great way to get ideas for what to read next. (Although be warned, it can be a tad expensive)
Poem in your pocket day at Dickens was a smashing success!
The pockets full of poems I put out on Wednesday were emptied before the end of day. (I forgot to take pictures of them full) In a mad frenzy I printed off more and came in early Thursday morning to cut them out, fold them and refill the pockets. Through it all, children, (mostly boys) came to show me the poems they were carrying with them. Some had poems they had copied themselves. Others were poems they had pulled from the posted pockets. A few carried poems they had written themselves. Everyone was excited even if they couldn't read them! One seven-year-old came and recited from memory, The Creature in the Classroom by Jack Prelutsky. Actions accompanied it. The library was crowded during open book exchange with children searching through poetry collections hoping to find a just right poem. One of our grade seven girls sat in the library and read Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones. It was then passed around by a group of girls and eventually made it's way to me.
Aside from that, I have been reading and listening to many kinds of books this week.
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer
This is a delightful book about a boy discovering that poetry abides in all aspects of ordinary life. These beautifully coloured illustrations are filled with details to get lost in.
Friday afternoon, in preparation for retirement at the end of June, I started cleaning out my work room. I'm not sure why I call it that, as there is too much junk in it to do anything! I have been keeping a collection of older picture books (and some information titles) that I wasn't ready to weed completely. I went through them and put a few aside to keep and put the rest of them in the hall to give away. This meant I had to read or at least peruse them. Here are some of the ones I read and will keep.
When Jackie and Hank Met by Cathy Goldberg Fishman
The only sport worth watching is Baseball, but not on TV. You have to be there in the stands. Baseball fans are a culture unto themselves. It's a relaxed party atmosphere where strangers chat with other strangers. There is barbeque and beer. I bring along my knitting and a book, because the game leaves spaces for other activities. I also love to read about baseball. The important thing about the best baseball narratives is that they regularly deal with bigger philosophical issues.This book shows us how two very talented players, Jackie Robinson and Hank Greenberg, grew up, dealt with prejudice, and became friends.
PS If you haven't read The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles, you better go and do it ASAP!
Traveling Butterflies by Susuma Shingu
This is an excellent introductory book on the migration of monarch butterflies. I read it twice to really appreciate how much information is in the simple text. The illustrations that accompany it are flat out gorgeous, and enhance a reader's understanding of this remarkable creature's journey.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate Dicamillo
I'm a little bit heartbroken. I wanted to love this book, but it just didn't quite work for me. Yes, there is some beautiful writing, and I even had moments where my eyes filled with tears. The problem is that I just couldn't really connect to the characters, so I didn't care enough about them. It felt like the novel skimmed the surface of what might otherwise have been a powerful read.
Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein narrated by Jesse Bernstein
This one started out slow for me, but then, just like in Grabenstein's last book, before I knew it, there I was, right inside the story. Everything I loved about the last book was here: great characters, the connection to children's literature, the gaming, the puzzles and riddles, the sense of creation and wonder! I especially appreciated the connections to banned (and missing) books.
Salt to the Sea by Rutya Sepetys narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
I'm still kind of gobsmacked by how stunning this book is. It's the story of a group of refugees from different backgrounds trying to escape the advancing Russian troops at the end of the second world war. This exquisitely written book reveals to us the humanity of strangers against a backdrop of evil, and what horror, terror, and brutality that entails. These different narrators brought the characters to life for me as I listened to this book.
I started Famous Last Words by Katie Alender, but it is too creepy and scary for me. (I'll try reading it with my eyes since it's easier to skip over the really nasty bits.) I abandoned it and started listening to The Book of Kings by Cynthia Voigt. I'm in the middle of Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy. Books in verse seem like you can read them quickly, but I find I need to take a bit of time and savour them.
I still haven't started those coding books. Maybe I should just accept defeat and return them to the library. Otherwise, I've got a mess of audiobooks that should be available soon from the public library and I just picked up Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar, so maybe that will be next. I've also got Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke and The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner ready to read from Netgalley. (I'm actually amazed they let me read anything at all after the long list of books I didn't get to before they were archived)