#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. Kathryn hosts the adult version of this meme at Book Date. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers host the kidlit rendition. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.
Thank goodness the April Poem A Day Challenge is over (well I just have to get today's poem done.) I go to bed at night with chunks of possible poems running round in my head. I have to yell at them to stop! Some books had to be returned back to the library because I had no time to read them. How wonderful it will be to be back in my reading groove again.
Poem A Day Challenge 2018
The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier & Sonia Sanchez (Illustrator)
I enjoyed this retelling of the story of The Little Red Hen. Ruby wants to build a fort but her brothers scoff at her ability to build it. They don't want to be involved in any aspect of the building process. When it is done however, they want to play in it, but Ruby won't let them. How the story is resolved is delightful.
Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest & Jon J. Muth (Illustrator)
This is a beautiful book that shows a loving relationship between an elderly man and a young boy. They meet in the morning with similar bags and wait for the school bus to pick them up. There is so much to love about this book: the message of never being to old to learn something new, the love across color and age.
The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash & Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)
I've read this poem and book more times than I can count. It has been fun this week sharing it with groups of primary students at the school I am working at.
Custard looks like a regular dragon, but at heart he is a timid creature. The contradiction between his appearance - who he is, and how he is treated by his housemates is what makes this book such a delightful read.
Noisy Poems for a Busy Day by Robert Heidbreder & Lori Joy Smith (Illustrator)
I read this to a group of wild kindergartners. They calmed down and actually focused on the words and images. If this isn't proof that Robert Heidbreder, former kindergarten teacher and accomplished poet knows his stuff, I don't know what is.
The collections of poems take us through a day in the life of a very busy little person.
They are an absolute delight to read out loud as you can see from this poem here:
Climb up tree,
Whoa, down there!
Lori Joy Smith's joy filled illustrations are the perfect accompaniment for this collection.
NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford & Eric Velásquez (Illustrator)
With lyrical prose and stunning illustrations Carol Boston Weatherford and Eric Valesquez tell the story of Arturo Schomburg and his work collecting resources highlighting black history and achievements that eventually ended up as the Schomburg Collection. I appreciated that at the same time as it takes us on Schomburg’s journey, we are introduced to numerous important black characters across time. What was new to me wasn’t the breadth of intellectual and influential people, but rather those characters he identified as being whitewashed.
Vincent Can't Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky by Barb Rosenstock & Mary GrandPré (Illustrations)
From endpaper to endpaper this book, in both words and illustrations, is glorious. Van Gogh's life was a troubled one, nevermind that he was one of the most creative and innovative artists of time. His mental health issues are dealt with sensitively. Ultimately it is a joyful celebration of his accomplishments.
The backmatter contains an informational page about Van Gogh. There are also copies of his paintings and quotes from the artist.
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, John Jennings (Illustrator) & Stacey Robinson (Illustrator)
Alphonso is a gifted black teen with plans for a creative, successful future. He is in the process of purchasing his first suit when he is killed by a white police officer. Alfonso ends up on a ghost train with other black victims who have never had justice for their murders.
This book showcases what it means to be black in America today. It's a powerful indictment against a deeply flawed and racist police system. If you have been paying attention at all to the Black Lives Matter movement, what is revealed won't be a surprise. It's an important read.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, Jeff Woodman (Narrator)
I enjoyed this audiobook, but figuring out all the characters was a bit challenging at first. The ending was just delightful and I loved finding out how everyone ended up.
I'm a little farther along in Scythe by Neal Shusterman but managed to renew it so I put it aside to read American Panda which has to be back at the library in a few days.
I'll start listening to The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. If I finish that, I'll start We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I'm still trying to track down a copy of Ravensong by Celia Maracle so I can get it read for our next book club meeting.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 7/25
Goodreads Reading Challenge 151/333