Friday, April 12, 2019
Since I have many Chinese students in my class, they were really keen to read this book. They all listened attentively. The story moves quickly enough but still is a good story for a substantial read at the carpet. I wondered if it really is a Chinese legend or just the creativity of the author. The author's note at the end was fascinating. The author loved to read forbidden books. It was a way to trick the rulers in China who banned certain books. She said due to the lack of books and other entertainment, she and her friends would pass the time by reciting stories from the illegal books they had read. This story is one she made up, adding her own twist to it, after hearing The Emporer's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. The picture of the author at the end, taken during the Cultural Revolution in China, is delightful!
Ming Da is only nine years old when he becomes the emperor of China, and his three advisors take advantage of him by stealing his stores of rice, gold, and precious stones. But Ming Da has a plan. With the help of his tailors, he comes up with a clever idea to outsmart his devious advisors: He asks his tailors to make “magical” new clothes for him. Anyone who is honest, the young emperor explains, will see the clothes’ true splendor, but anyone who is dishonest will see only burlap sacks. The emperor dons a burlap sack, and the ministers can’t help but fall for his cunning trick.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
This humorous, quirky story is about a little boy who tells a lie, only to be followed around by his guilt in the form of the Whopper, a hungry and persistent monster. As Percy's guilt grows, so does the Whopper, until finally the Whopper EATS Percy! Percy at last realizes that he must tell the truth in order to keep the Whopper from growing any bigger. An appealing and warmhearted story about how a little lie can quickly grow out of control.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
This is one of those books that I'd love to read with kids. It's a little too much for grade 3 though, I think. It made me want to read more by this author. It came highly recommended and did not disappoint.
The main character, Nan, really drew me in and had me cheering for her. It made me want to learn more about the history of child labor and sweeps and caring for orphans. A good twist to the lovely Mary Poppins stories. It's kind of a fairy tale, historical fiction book full of good cliff hangers and plot twists.
“ Brooms Up!”
“With brush and pail and soot and song!
A sweep brings luck all season long!”
For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on "climbing boys"--orphans owned by chimney sweeps--to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived--and a girl. With her wits and will, she's managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature--a golem--made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together--saving one another in the process.
This was a great book to read and discuss as we read. The “Ways to Reinforce the Ideas in Stand Tall!” was really great too. I've had trouble finding books directly about integrity.
Integrity is an important trait for children to develop—especially as they grow, learn, and have more opportunities to make choices for themselves. With this encouraging book, support children in knowing right from wrong, making positive decisions, keeping promises, and staying true to themselves. Back matter includes advice for teaching integrity at home, at school, and in childcare.
Being the Best Me Series:
From the author of the popular Learning to Get Along® books comes a one-of-a-kind character-development series. Each of the first six books in the Being the Best Me! series helps children learn, understand, and develop attitudes and positive character traits that strengthen self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Each book focuses on a specific attitude or character trait—optimism, self-esteem, assertiveness, resilience, integrity, and forgiveness. Also included are discussion questions, games, activities, and additional information for adults. Filled with diversity, these social story books will be welcome in school, home, and childcare settings.
Monday, April 8, 2019
Super cute. The story is based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears only the bears are librarians and Goldilocks goes into their house, which looks like a book. She talks about the five finger rule for finding a book that is just right.
Avid reader Goldie Socks wanders into a house made of books, and she must find just the right book and right reading spot.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
I'm a big Gretchen Rubin fan. I've read The Happiness Project, The Four Tendencies and Better Than Before (which I try to re-read about every six months). Since I enjoyed all of those so much, I pre-ordered this and was happy to get it as soon as it came out. I think it's definitely one to re-visit annually.
This one is different than the others. It's a quick read with a really narrow focus: lots of tips for organizing. One thing I love about Gretchen Rubin is that she doesn't get stuck on one way to do things. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and didn't love it because she was too prescriptive with one right way to de-clutter and organize. Gretchen Rubin recognizes that there are a lot of good ways to accomplish the same thing. I especially connected with the section on the importance of the words we use (instead of apologizing for being late, thank people for waiting....instead of mindlessly wandering, explore and so on). She had some good tips. I read it while we were driving on a family trip and found myself anxiously looking forward to getting home to implement some of the strategies.
Bestselling author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin illuminates one of her key realizations about happiness: For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. In a new book packed with more than one hundred concrete ideas, she helps us create the order and organization that can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.
In the context of a happy life, a messy desk or crowded coat closet is a trivial problem–yet Gretchen Rubin has found that getting control of the stuff of life makes us feel more in control of our lives generally. By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, as well as things that don’t work, don’t fit, or don’t suit, we free our mind (and our shelves) for what we truly value.
In this trim book filled with insights, strategies, and sometimes surprising tips, Gretchen tackles the key challenges of creating outer order, by explaining how to “Make Choices,” “Create Order,” “Know Yourself–and Others,” “Cultivate Helpful Habits,” and, of course, “Add Beauty.”
When we get our possessions under control, we feel both calmer and more energetic. With a sense of humor, and also a clear sense of what’s realistic for most people, Gretchen suggests dozens of manageable steps for creating a more serene, orderly environment–one that helps us to create the lives we yearn for.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Kate DiCamillo's beloved, best-selling debut novel is now available in a paperback digest edition.
Kate DiCamillo's first published novel, like Winn-Dixie himself, immediately proved to be a keeper—a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor winner, the inspiration for a popular film, and most especially, a cherished classic that touches the hearts of readers of all ages. It's now available in a paperback digest format certain to bring this tale's magic to an even wider circle of fans.
The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket—and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.
Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship—and forgiveness—can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.