Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading July 1, 2013

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who hosts this terrific meme each week.

You know it's summer when I read too many books to post.  Here are the highlights from last week. Click on the cover to 
go to the book's page on

Picture Books


Middle Grade

Finished Reading

Finished Listening

Currently Reading

What Are You Reading Friends?

A review of Miss Moore Thought Otherwise and Why I LOVE Libraries and Librarians

I wasn't able to attend the ALA 13 conference this week with all my nerdy peeps.  So I thought I would use this post to pay homage to my librarian friends, discuss my love of libraries and review a wonderful picture book.

Like I said, I LOVE libraries and librarians! I think anyone who is crazy about books feels the same way. I could stay in a library all day, sit in a comfy chair and just get lost in wonderful books. I love the smell of books as you walk in (yes they have a smell). I love the displays showcasing certain books, and the little book character stuffed animals sitting atop the neatly organized shelves.

Librarians are ROCK Stars! They get to spend the day surrounded by books.  They help people find information and connect readers with just the right books. They host author talks and reading events to spark the love of books and reading in children (I do realize that their job entails so much more but this is my romanticized, overly-simplistic notion of what it means to be a librarian and I want to hold on to it).  
I regularly visit three libraries, my town library, my school library and the library in the town where I work.  The librarians are  always amazingly helpful.  They take the time to get to know me and have great suggestions for books that I would enjoy. Best of all, they will find the books that I want to read through interlibrary loan or they will try to purchase them. My town librarian, Laurel Parker, will often give me first crack at new arrivals, how awesome is that?  Like I said, Librarians ROCK!

It amazes me every time I walk into my public library and leave with a pile of books for myself and my children for FREE! Seriously? What a deal! 
So please help support your town and school library.  This amazing resource gets harder to provide each year with town and school budget cuts. 

Here is some interesting info on libraries and budget cuts
Read about 99 ways to support your local library.
Quotes about libraries and librarians

Kids, parents and teachers around the world have this librarian to thank for helping to start the first libraries for children.
 Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children  
by Jan Pinborough  
Illustrated by Debby Atwell

Published March 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Hardcover Non-Fiction Picture Book, Biography
40 Pages

Ages 6-9
Obtained from The Windham Public Library
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads Summary
Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.

My Thoughts
I learned so much from this book.  I am ashamed to say that until I read it, I never realized that libraries were not meant for children at first.  I am even more embarrassed that I didn't know that Anne Carroll Moore was from MAINE!  
I found this book fascinating to read. There is also some interesting additional information about her in the back of the book.

In the Classroom
The factual information presented, accompanied by the colorful illustrations will hold the interest of children in grades K-5.  It would make a good read aloud during a unit on biographies. It lends itself to discussions about how people create change and characteristics of influential people. It would also be a springboard for a discussion about libraries!

Here are some lists of children's books about libraries and librarians
Reading Rockets
Flashlight Worthy

Book Trailer 

Give a "shout out" leave a comment 
about libraries or your favorite librarian!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Great Opportunity for Bloggers- Join a Giveaway Hop

  If you are a blogger and would like 
more info on signing up for this hop, visit Kid Lit Frenzy for more info on this July Kindle Fire Giveaway Hop

I will be participating in this giveaway 
hop later in July so be sure to check back.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Published in June, 2013 by Viking Juvenile
Picture Book-Fiction
Ages 3-7
40 Pages

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I love the concept of this book about friendship, having the courage to try new things and sharing a great book.  

Fish and Snail live together in their book.  Adventurous Fish leaves the book every day to travel to other stories.  Timid Snail stays behind and waits eagerly for Fish to return and tell him about his travels. 

After an especially thrilling pirate adventure, Fish tries to convince Snail to join him as he explores. However, Snail is too afraid to leave the familiar security of his safe little book.  Soon the two friends are arguing and their friendship seems to be in jeopardy.  

After Fish leaves, Snail somehow finds the courage to follow him out of the book thus saving their friendship and opening the door to new worlds of reading adventures for the duo. 

The author uses black and white in the background and color for the book(s) where the two friends travel.  Children will enjoy seeing the animals leaning out of one book and diving into the next with a splash. 

Classroom uses
Although the book is suggested for ages 3-7,  I think it could be used in grades K-4 as a read aloud.  Just be sure to keep the book available for several days to follow because the students will all want a chance to look at the pictures more closely. The Story of Fish and Snail lends itself to discussions of accepting differences, showing courage, friendship and conflict resolution.  It could also be used as a mentor text for making predictions and analyzing characters.  

Possible Companion Texts
Octopus Alone
Memoirs of a Goldfish
Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever or Snack Time?

See what others are saying about The Story of Fish and Snail.
NY Times    
Publishers Weekly 

Here is an interview with author Deborah Freedman
John Schu at Watch. Connect. Read 

Other books by Deborah Freedman 

Visit other recent posts


Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Review of Imagine by Bart Vivian

For ages 4 and up
Reprinted in 2013 by Beyond Words an imprint of Simon and Schuster Originally published in 1998.

32 Pages

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Imagine what could be...

In this lovely, short book, the reader is invited to look at everyday experiences and imagine what they could be.  
The author shows an ordinary event on one page and when the page is turned, the event is shown as what it could be with some imagination.  For example, on one page a young girl looks admiringly at a ballerina figurine. When the page is turned, the same girl is a beautiful ballerina performing on stage in front of a large audience. 
A small boy imagines himself traveling across the ocean on an adventure as he plays with a toy boat. 

The illustrations are beautifully done and are reminiscent of Brian Selznick. 

Imagine is a great reminder to children and adults alike to never stop imagining what could be.  It could be used nicely as a class read aloud, a snuggly lap read or as a gift for a recent graduate.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Non-Fiction Picture Book Day, June 25, 2013

Please visit the host of this weekly event: Kid Lit Frenzy

Here are two non-fiction picture books I have read recently.
Books obtained from the Windham Public Library.

Illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Published in January of 2013 by Walker Children's 
48 pages
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Brief Summary
This is the amazing true story of a slave named John Price and how a town banded together to rescue him.  In 1850, the US government enacted The Fugitive Slave Law making it illegal for anyone to help slaves escape or elude capture. In 1856, Price and his cousin Dinah escaped from their Kentucky plantation. They traveled north using The Underground Railroad in hopes of eventually escaping into Canada.  After traveling over 200 miles, the pair stopped in Oberton, Ohio.  The state of Ohio believed that all people should be free so they worked hard to hide slaves.  Many slaves loved Oberton so much that they never left.  Price decided to stay and make Oberton his home until one day slave hunters came to town looking for escaped slaves. Price was captured by these hunters who were hired to bring him back to Kentucky.  After hearing of his capture, many Oberton residents came together to form a rescue party.  Blacks, whites, slaves and free men risked their own lives and their freedom to rescue John Price. 

I really enjoyed this book and I think kids will too.  What a great way to show a real example of courage and selflessness while teaching history.  If you teach about The Civil War, this book needs to be in your library.  It would make a great read aloud. 

The illustrations are vivid and realistic. A photograph of the rescue team (taken later in 1859) outside the Cleveland jail and a list of resources is a nice touch at the end. 

For more info on The Fugitive Slave Act visit this link about The Underground Railroad and The Fugitive Slave Act from PBS.

See what others have to say about The Price of Freedom.
Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews

by Shana Corey  Illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Published in 2012 by Scholastic Press
40 pages
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Girl Power!  "Daisy" was not an ordinary girl. She believed that girls could do anything. She believed in working hard, being a good friend and helping others.  She also believed communing with nature and exercising to stay strong were important. She single-handedly founded The Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.  The book is full of her quotes/words of wisdom accompanied by really wonderful illustrations and interesting fonts.  Here is one quote I liked, "Many of the greatest movements for the good of people and those which have influenced the world most, have been the work of one person." 
I would recommend this book to any present or former Girl Scout and anyone who enjoys biographies, history, or stories about "girl power".  It is a great example of how one person can make a huge impact.

Want more info on Juliette Gordon Low? Visit The Girl Scouts Page.

See what others have to say about Here Come the Girl Scouts.
School Library Journal
John Schu at Watch. Connect. Read.

Here is an interview with Shana Corey.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading June 24, 2013

Please visit the amazing blog: Teach Mentor Texts 
who host this terrific meme each week. 

Here are the books I read this week.  Please click on the cover to go the the book's page on

Picture Books from the Windham Public Library

Middle Grade

I finished two more on the MSBA list

Currently Reading

Currently Listening

What Else is Going On?

For the first time this summer I will be participating in Teachers Write hosted by Kate Messner, Jen Vincent and Gae Polisner and Jo Knowles.  Click here for more info. 

Check out my summer reading list.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Reading List

I have not had much time to read recently, but my last day of school was yesterday and, after two days of committee work, I will be on vacation. So I thought I would post some of the books I hope to read this summer (in no particular order). Click on the cover to go to the book's page on

What books do YOU hope to read this summer?

Recent posts: