It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 5/16/16

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On the blog:

In reading:

swindle

Gordon Korman’s Swindle is an engaging middle-grade heist novel. It’s the first in a series of (I think) seven. I’m having a hard time imagining how this particular group of kids is going to find themselves in seven different heisty plots, but Korman is never short on plot, so I will have faith that it’s possible. Of course the technicalities of Swindle are absurd, but then that’s usually the case in a heist story. Plausibility isn’t necessarily the goal. There’s plenty of action, and while it’s a bit short on character development, it’s a quick, satisfying read. My son wanted to begin the second book, Zoobreak, immediately.

when spring comes

When Spring Comes, written by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Laura Dronzek, is just as lovely as you’d imagine. The text by Henkes is simple and poetic, and Dronzek’s illustrations—though not personally to my taste—effectively convey that simplicity of language through image. Not, I think, a book that would interest older readers very much, but a good choice for young ones and picture book lovers.

bugs in my hair

David Shannon’s Bugs In My Hair tackles a topic I never expected to see given picture book treatment: lice! And it’s terrific. Funny, informative, and just a little bit squirm-inducing.The lice manage to be both cute and gross at the same time.

frances dean who loved to dance

Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance has a message that I never tire of reading in picture books: get over feeling self-conscious and embrace who you are. Frances Dean loves to dance—but only when nobody is watching. She meets a girl who loves to sing and isn’t afraid to belt it out in public, which helps Frances Dean develop her own confidence. Of course Birgitta Sif’s illustrations are marvelous. I love how the cat is in all the pictures. This is one I think I’ll start reading in my Creative Mind class.

duck duck moose

Duck, Duck, Moose! uses just two words and some capitalization and punctuation to tell an engaging story about a moose who manages to create chaos wherever he goes. The illustrations tell much of the story. Very clever and funny.

little pink pup

Little Pink Pup is a true story (illustrated by photographs, which I wish were used more often in nonfiction picture books) of a runt pig who can’t complete with his brothers and sisters and is brought into the house to try to survive. Tink, the dachshund, has recently had a litter of puppies, and she decides to adopt the new little pink pup too. She’s as enthusiastic about him as she is about her biological pups (she was also fostering pups from another dachshund at the same time!) The text is straightforward and simple; the photos are the real star. I didn’t read this one aloud to my son, but he asked what it was about and looked at some of the pictures. My favorite moment was definitely when he pointed to a picture of Tink and Pink and said, “That’s us! You’re my Tink!” Tink is apparently a minor Internet star, so I’m off to look at pictures and watch videos of her with some of her other rescues (who include a goat and a cat, among many puppies!).

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9 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 5/16/16

  1. Gordon Korman is pretty darn amazing, I grew up reading his Macdonald Hall books (he published his first book when he was only 14!!!), so glad to see he’s still going strong.

  2. I’m with you on photographs. Especially when people are writing the nonfiction-y “Kids around the world” kinds of books. Show us ACTUAL kids around the world then!

    I had a student who plagiarized Duck, Duck, Moose nearly word for word as his own fictional story one year. (Thankfully, his mother noticed, because I hadn’t read the book yet.) Yikes.

  3. The series by Korman must be appealing to many since he’s written seven. I think I’d like to read the one about lice. They arrive at school now & then, but in the younger children. Thanks for the Frances Dean book too-sounds very cute.

  4. I just finished Masterminds by Korman, and I realized that I need to read more of his books because I enjoy everything I read by him. Swindle seems like a good next one to read 🙂
    You have some great PB authors in this list! I loved Frances and her freeing dance, but I haven’t read any of the others.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  5. That Korman series is very popular and you have articulated exactly how I felt about the ones I read. They are plot driven with lots of action, but not much character development. If my students read them, I’m happy. I want Francis Dean Loves to Dance. What a great cover! Link Pink Pup reminded me of a pet pig friends of ours had. That little creature was really smart and adorable. Then it grew up. Pigs just don’t fit into ordinary sized houses.

  6. When Spring Comes was a favorite of mine earlier this year. It absolutely hit home what spring is like in Chicago – the picture of the beautiful day and then snow the next. Yup, midwestern spring! It was 80 degrees last month and now at home it’s in the 40s. This is when I’m glad we’re in Florida!

  7. I’m always on the lookout for funny nonfiction (or nonfiction-ish) books. I’m definitely going to check out the David Shannon book about lice.
    My seventh grader inahles the Korman books. He absolutely loves them.

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