It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 7/20/15

IMWAYR

Visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to participate in the kidlit version of this weekly meme.

On the blog:

In reading:

good morning to me

There is something so exuberant and happy-making about Lita Judge’s illustrations. As the mom of a precious tween who has A LOT of trouble modulating his voice, I enjoyed this story of a parrot who’s just a little—ok, a lot—too loud and whose voice and over-enthusiasm disturb the animals he lives with. I definitely don’t think my son recognized himself in this story, but I sure did.

here comes the tooth fairy cat

I love the illustrations and ample use of white space in Deborah Underwood’s series about the cat who gets to moonlight as the various fantasy creatures of childhood. The stories are all just a bit long for me, but they’re clever, and I’m a sucker for a cat book. Cat longs to see the Tooth Fairy and is willing to do just about anything to make his dream come true—including trying to trick the Tooth Fairy by leaving her the tooth from a comb instead of a tooth from a mouth. The Tooth Fairy has a trick up her sleeves for Cat too.

little miss big sis

Using very few words, Amy Krouse Rosenthal crafts a sweet story that’s perfect to give to soon-to-be big sisters. Rosenthal captures the joy and frustrations of little siblings. Peter Reynolds’s illustrations are charming as always. I found my son’s response to this book quite interesting. The focus is on the sibling relationship, and so the parents are very much in the background. The story and illustrations show the big sister doing much of the work caring for, playing with, and watching after the little sister. “Where are the parents?” he kept demanding. “Why is the kid doing the parenting?”one word from sophia

I think I would have to read this one to a group of children to decide what I really think. I had a very hard time understanding the audience for this book. First, a rundown of the plot. More than anything, Sophia wants a giraffe for her birthday, but first, she must persuade four very tough customers to agree: her mother, her father, her uncle, and her Grand-mama. There’s an interesting lesson in rhetoric here as Sophia marshalls different evidence and crafts different speeches for each of her tough customers. Not one of her speeches gets results: her family accuses her of using too many words. Which is actually my complaint about this book. So many hard words! I found the scribbly drawings very appealing and charming, but for me, they skewed the audience quite young. The moral of the story—please and thank you are the most important words—also skews young. The writing, on the other hand, is really complex and difficult with sentence after sentence packed with very high-level vocabulary. There is a short glossary in the back but there are many more words that probably should have been included in it. I could tell that I lost my son many times while I was reading this story. Granted, he’s still an English language learner, but he is going into 7th grade and generally never gets lost in a picture book.

i yam a donkey

Another winner from CeCe Bell. I wish I could have figured out how to do a donkey voice for my read-aloud. Regardless, Donkey is one of my new favorite characters. He is so very confused by Yam’s grammar lessons. What Donkey does when he discovers all his new friends are actually vegetables is hilarious. Well, I found it hilarious. My son dislikes even light dark humor in a picture book, so he was very disturbed. I anticipate this will be a new favorite in my Children’s Lit class. Which means I’ve got to develop a Donkey voice.

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9 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 7/20/15

  1. Lots of laughs in these books. I was just discussing the tooth fairy with my granddaughter who now has several loose teeth. She’s 6 & a bit dismayed that she still hasn’t lost one yet, & wonders about that tooth fairy, & what “does” she do with all those teeth anyway, etc. I may need to purchase the cat book. I agree about Lita Judge, always happy books. This too looks like one to enjoy! Thanks, Elisabeth!

  2. I loved the new Cece Bell book too! And I definitely read it in an Eddie-Murphy-as-Donkey voice 🙂
    I liked Sophia – I would use it for an older audience to show persuasive writing and thinking about your audience.
    Another Cat book – each one has made me laugh out loud.
    Happy reading this week!

  3. I will be reading this Cece Bell book pretty much immediately in the fall! So hilarious! I am a fan of Lita Judge as well. I wonder if I like her fiction or nonfiction titles more. She is incredibly talented.

  4. I haven’t read any of these books. I think I have I Yam a Donkey in an order somewhere that I will send off near the middle of August. Good Morning to Me sounds like the kind of book that many students won’t recognize themselves in, but the rest of us will. Happy reading this week.

  5. I haven’t read any of these yet, though I Yam a Donkey is definitely on my TBR list. Anything Peter Reynolds is involved with is eventually going to be in my hands, so Little Miss, Big Sis will be in my next order from The Blue Bunny Bookstore (Peter’s bookstore in Dedham). Thanks for the recommendations, and good luck with the donkey voice! (teehee!)

  6. Definitely adding Little Miss, Big Sis to my list for the Amy Krouse Rosenthal study for the Global Read Aloud.

    As for the donkey, it’s funny that you had a hard time hearing his “voice.” I couldn’t NOT hear Eddie Murphy as Donkey in Shrek!

  7. Hah! Good luck on the Donkey voice! 🙂 I will be doing a read-aloud to a group of 9 year olds in August, but selected poetry instead – I don’t think I can manage a donkey voice myself. 🙂

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