To me, books are everything, pure and simple.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

#bookaday Hound Dog True by Linda Urban

Wonderful! A great beginning of the year book to read aloud at school or home. Mattie and her mother have moved so many times that Mattie fears for the first day of school, which is coming up soon. But this time they have moved in with family. Her Uncle Potluck is the janitor at the local elementary school and Mattie gets to go with him and help out. She takes her trusty notebook with her, writing down everything she is learning from her Uncle about taking care of a school. She's so shy that she's hoping to be her Uncle's assistant at recess and lunch time because she knows, from experience, these are the hardest times when you're the new kid.

Mattie has a secret that she can't tell anyone. We, the reader, know what it is and we feel for her, because it's so much bigger to her than it needs to be. Luckily, with the help of Uncle Potluck, Poor Moe, Quincy, principal Bonnet, and others, Mattie's secret helps her realize that her passion is hound dog true!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Curious Garden by Peter Brown

An early book of Peter Brown's that is as luscious to look at as all of his other books. My students LOVE Peter Brown and they'll like this one about spreading gardens in unusual places. 4 Stars

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#bookaday But! by Tim Hamilton

Laughter burst out when I saw this book on the shelf. Aren't the illustrations hilarious? I always hope the book is as funny as the pictures..and this one is! Fun read aloud because on each page each it ends with BUT... Adults will love this book as much as the kids! 4 Stars

Monday, July 20, 2015

#bookaday Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass

Love this book full of colorful photographs of food. Name as many purple fruits and vegetables as you can...go ahead...I'll wait. La, la, la....mmm hmmmm. Did you name corn, broccoli, kale, peppers, peas, beans, asparagus, cauliflower, or tomato? You didn't? Well, wait until you see the OTHER foods that can be all the colors of the rainbow. 5 Stars

Sunday, July 19, 2015

#bookaday The Little Bear Book by Anthony Browne

Cleaver bear walks through the woods helping animals with his magic pencil. Colorful illustrations! 3 Stars

Saturday, July 18, 2015

#bookaday Gwendolyn Grace by Katherine Hannigan

You know you're in trouble when your parents call you by your first AND middle name, right? Yep...there's a new baby in Gwendolyn Grace's house and she keeps getting in trouble for waking up the baby. 4 Stars

Friday, July 17, 2015

#bookaday The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

My love of books in verse is growing and growing. We need books of diversity and this is one of the best. A story of twin brothers in full basketball mode at their middle school don't realize the big changes they're about to go through. Author, Kwame Alexander, uses the mean rap stylings of one the twins, Josh, to tell their story.

"A bolt of lightning on my kicks
          The court is sizzling.
                     My sweat is drizzling.
Stop all that quivering.
          Cuz tonight I'm delivering."

This 2015 Newbery Award and Coretta Scott King Honor award would be a great read aloud in every home and classroom. 5 Stars

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#bookaday Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall

What a great way to show what self-esteem and uniqueness looks like. Red looks like something else on the outside but is completely different on the inside. Follow your heart, knowing what your talents are! Fabulous book! 5 Stars

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

#bookaday Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie

Wow! I am just discovering this series. Very cute, and what beautiful, fun illustrations. 4 Stars

Monday, July 13, 2015

#bookaday Rules by Cynthia Lord

Wow...her first book gets a well-deserved win with a Newbery Honor award! This is about a twelve year old girl who feels ignored because her younger brother David has autism. Even though it deals with family dynamics because of the autistic brother, this book won an award because of its universal appeal and the realistic trials and tribulations this family, especially the sister, go through. What a great read aloud for ANY family or classroom! 5 Stars!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#bookaday All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

It wasn't long after I started this book that I knew it was going to become a favorite. After finishing, I proclaimed it so, second only to To Kill a Mockingbird. As in Mockingbird, every time I think of it, feelings will grip me with such imagery that it's like I was there...like I experienced it...like their memories are mine. Is it not the test of an excellent book how it makes you feel? And when their fear, their hunger, and their love can physically affect you, is this not proof of its power? His writing is so gorgeous that it took my breath away again and again. I know that years from now, when I think of this book, these emotions will still wash over me, and no matter how heartbreaking, I will welcome them.

Monday, July 6, 2015

#bookaday Perloo the Bold by Avi

While we were waiting for our plane in Orlando, I spoke with a family about Star Wars. I had noticed one of the boy's R2D2 backpack. We didn't say much, just a few words about our mutual love of all things Star Wars and how fun the events were at Disney World. The father and his oldest son both resumed their reading, as did I. Dad had an ebook while his son had a copy of Perloo the Bold by Avi. Being a former elementary librarian, I was shocked that I had not heard of this book by such a famous and familiar author. (It still makes me laugh at myself that I don't know every book in the world...just because I wish it, doesn't make it so.) I wanted to ask him about it but I didn't want to interrupt their reading. Sometimes my introvert characteristic of noticing EVERYTHING is annoying, but this particular day, I watched the father and son interact, enjoying every minute. At one point the father shared something from his book with his son. His son then asked him a question about it. I didn't actually hear any of the words they were saying, I just watched their faces, while trying not to gawk. Whatever the father was telling him, he did so in such a respectful way, and extremely interesting to his son. I could almost see the wheels in his brain mulling over what his Dad was telling him. The look and rapt attention on his face was wondrous. He would ask him more questions and the look on his face was priceless in its intensity and wonder. It gave me such joy to witness this as an onlooker and one of my favorite memories of our whole trip. Reading is such an incredible gift. To witness the love of books makes me grateful and so very happy.  

I came home and went straight to the library and today just finished Perloo the Bold. A fun fantasy about a shy bookworm named Perloo who finds out that after the death of the leader of their tribe, she has proclaimed that Perloo now be in charge. He never imagined such a notion and does not want anything to do with it. But beyond his control he is thrown into stopping a war between his tribe and another. It's a great story of knowing who you are and standing up for yourself, as well as being about how war should be avoided at all costs. Wonderful.