In case you missed any of my blog posts this week, I shared what I’ve been reading online, wrote about how to plan an author visit to your classroom, argued that teachers need to be hopeful, and shared some tips for being a positive teacher.
We only read a few picture books this week, because I’ve been reading Kate DiCamillo’s wonderful Flora & Ulysses aloud. I am loving this story–and so are my kids.
We reread a few favorite Mo Willems’s books:
We finished Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca:
The art was spectacular in this book, but the writing was challenging for my son to comprehend and difficult for me to connect to. It seemed like the writing didn’t quite know what it wanted to be–a poem about a train journey, a narrative about a train journey, informational writing about a train journey. I didn’t feel like any one of those elements–poetry, narrative, informational writing–was quite strong enough, so it didn’t entirely work for me. But the pictures are gorgeous.
Then we read Tom’s Tweet, written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Dan Santat:
Santat’s art is incredibly expressive and funny, and Esbaum’s poetic lines are creative, surprising, and also very funny.
And I found another Rachel Isadora book at the library, Willaby:
A charming story about a girl named Willaby who loves to draw so much that she often forgets what else she should be doing. I think I’ve now exhausted my library’s collection of Isadora’s older books, so it’s time to start using interlibrary loan.
I finished listening to my audiobook, White Cat by Holly Black.
I’ve decided, first of all, that every book should be narrated by Jesse Eisenberg. And now I want to read the rest of the series. Also, searching on Google for this book cover is one of my favorite searches ever–hundreds of beautiful white cats! (Unlike searching for the picture book bio of Booker T. Washington last week, when hundreds of photos of 50 Cent turned up. You never know what might happen!)
And I will be ending with Skylark. Because this book just isn’t very good. First of all, the extreme overuse of the word “softly” drove me crazy. Someone speaks “softly” on nearly every page, and when they aren’t speaking to each other softly, they’re looking at each other softly! If I did a word cloud for this book, “softly” would be in giant letters right in the middle. How does an editor not catch that? And the story really didn’t work for me either. There is the thinnest sliver of a plot and even less character development. I can’t imagine what a reader would make of this book if they hadn’t read Sarah Plain and Tall first.
I’m traveling for a conference this week and have no idea what I’ll be reading–whatever’s on my Kindle! What about you?