#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.
I enjoyed a fabulous time away with a group of women friends last weekend. There was love, laughter and serious conversation. Wine and spectacular food were plentiful. I finished listening to one book on the ferry, but didn't accomplish much reading other than that.
Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne & Jess X. Snow (Illustrator)
The message in this powerful poem is brilliantly illustrated by Jess X Snow. It's an empowering piece that I connected to in part, just because I am a woman. I also had my eyes open to challenges unique to black women.
Questions Asked by Jostein Gaarder, Don Bartlett (Translation) & Akin Duezakin (Illustrations)
This book is loaded with big questions. The questions are accompanied with beautiful illustrations that highlight the importance of them.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Can I be sure my memories really happened?
Did a god create us? Or did we create our own ideas of a god in our minds?
If I was teaching my own class I might use a question a week to facilitate classroom conversations.
A Blue So Blue by Jean-François Dumont, Editions Flammarion (Creator), Michel Bourque (Translator)
Both the illustrations and the prose are stunning.
A young boy goes on a search for the blue of his dreams, "a blue so blue, it was both dark and bright." He travels around the world across oceans, prairies, and up the Mississippi River to listen to the blues, but can not find that just right blue anywhere.
Imagine by Norman Messenger
I've been watching students interact with this book over the past few weeks. A group gathers round and they ooh and ahh over it as they turn the pages. Each page is filled with wonder. There are puzzles and creative challenges to keep a reader entertained for hours, and that is before beginning to appreciate the stunning art work!
Dog on a Frog? by Kes Gray, Claire Gray & Jim Field (Illustrations)
With all this wacky rhyming, this book and it's delightful illustrations was a lot of fun.
I read the sequel before reading this, but it doesn't really matter. Both are charmingly hilarious! These are perfect for beginning readers, or for starting out a poetry unit. It's almost impossible not to talk in rhyme when you are done!
Little i by Michael Hall
This is a clever, quirky book about coming of age and accepting who you are, with the main character being the lower case i whose dot has disappeared. It goes in search of it and runs into all kinds of punctuation based images.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mary Finch (Retelling) & Roberta Arenson (Illustrator)
This one was kid tested on kindergarten and grade ones this week. The illustrations are gorgeous with an Eric Carle feel to them. To be honest, the story itself is one I love to tell or read out loud anyway because it has all kinds of potential for student interaction and it's just so much fun to read the voices of the different characters. This one is especially fun because it has the troll singing a hilarious song that I sang and had the children sing with me:
"I'm a troll from a deep dark hole
My tummy's getting thinner
I need to eat and goat's a treat
So I'll have you for my dinner."
Say Something by Peggy Moss & Lea Lyon (Illustrator)
A girl watches other children being bullied but does nothing. It’s only when she herself is bullied that she starts to realize how it feels. This motivates her to sit beside a girl who is being excluded.
The back of the book has two pages of suggestions for what you can do to stop bullying. Lea Lyon’s artwork is beautiful.
NON FICTION PICTURE BOOKS
Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History by Sue Stauffacher & Sarah McMenemy (Illustrator)
Tillie was not only inspiring and amazing in her time, she would be a pretty impressive woman if she were alive today. Her accomplishments, being a woman bike racer at a time when this was not an acceptable activity for women, are what make her story memorable!
Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart
Well, that was a delightful tear jerker of a book. Dan Gemeinhart just gets better and better. The two ghost dogs,Tuck and Brodie, are marvellous characters, but it is Patsy, that ghost cat who is most fascinating. I wonder if her story will ever be told?
Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King
This is another brilliant novel by A. S. King. It is both magical and profound. It addresses the magnitude of environmental degradation we humans are perpetrating upon the earth. At the same time it deals with the more ordinary issue of friends growing up and apart. There are realistic issues of bullying, but the adults mostly step up to the plate when they are finally made aware. Marvin Gardens is an imaginary creature who eats plastic, and it is this strange creature who kept me wondering through the entire book. I would love to discuss this with others.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This is one of those books I am recommending that everyone who wants to understand America should read. Coates' writing is powerful and profound. There are parts of it that were hard to listen to because it details the dystopian reality of being black in America and Canada too.
I'm almost done listening to Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I'm reading All That Was by Karen Rivers at home. At work I've been reading Restart by Gordon Kormon during my breaks.
I expect to be finished Braiding Sweetgrass tomorrow and will then start listening to Sunny by Jason Reynolds. As soon as All That Was is done, I'll start Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MustReadIn2018 14/25 1 in progress
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 7/25
Goodreads Reading Challenge 185/333