Monday, July 3, 2017

What Ms. Moore Is Reading - Vacation Week 1

Here are some of the most recent books I've read and thought my students would like. They're all available from the public library, but any donations towards getting them into our collection are most welcome! All cover images and descriptions are from Goodreads.

Board Book

Everyone knows the sun is hot. But open the flaps in this book and you may find a chilly surprise instead! Each spread of this cleverly designed board book reveals a surprising opposite that makes for a truly original way for toddlers to learn about words and concepts. Whether it be hot or cold, clean or dirty, slow or fast, this book has you covered—at least until you open the flaps. 

My take: LOVE. Ingenious. Will add to my Grade 1 Opposites lesson

Early Reader

Giraffe is bored, as usual. He'd love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen pal: Penguin. 

My take: This grew on me as it went along; by the time Giraffe and Pelican were making drawings of what they thought Penguin looked like, I was utterly charmed. Will recommend to 1st and 2nd grade teachers as jumping-off points for pen pal projects.

Charlie and Mouse, two young brothers, enjoy a day out together, attending an imaginary party and collecting rocks.

My take: Old fashioned, simple, and sweet. Lots of repetitive text for the early reader. And I love that Mouse wore a tutu to the party.

Middle Grades

Eleven-year-old Fern's rundown home borders a pristine forest, where her impoverished family hunts and forages for food. It's also her refuge from the crushing responsibility of caring for her wild younger brothers and PTSD-stricken stepfather. But when a fracking company rolls into town, Fern realizes that her special grove could be ripped away, and no one else seems to care.

My takeDon't read this if you're looking for a lighthearted story. I did like that it was an "issue" novel that wasn't overly preachy. But man, Fern's house made me feel cold and hungry.


Out of gratitude for the poet's art form, Newbery Award winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder.

My take: Should be on college syllabi for poetry classes. Will recommend to RI Mock Newbery committee. Not all the poems worked for me (in part because I'm not a fan of some of the poets being celebrated), but the sheer amount of work that went into this achievement is evident. Favorites:

  • I Like Your (celebrating e.e. cummings)
  • Jazz Jive Jam (celebrating Langston Hughes)
  • How Billy Collins Writes a Poem (celebrating Billy Collins)
  • No Idle Days (celebrating William Carlos Williams)

Also the artwork is gorgeous.

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