Thursday, September 22, 2016

Earl the Squirrel (Don Freeman)

You know you have a good one where there are lots of gasps and moments to laugh out loud. This is a simple story, but my students loved it!

I grabbed it when I saw it at the library because the author also wrote Cordoroy, a story that they read and love in grade 2 in our school. This one is equally loved. They loved that the squirrel has a friend (and her name is Jill!). They liked the mom's grumpiness. They LOVED The bull named Conrad. They totally predicted that the bull would get upset about the red scarf too.

I thought the names were great too....Earl the Squirrel and Conrad. So plain that they seemed funny!

Goodreads summary:

Earl the Squirrel doesn’t think of himself as spoiled, but his mother does. She decides it’s high time Earl learns to find acorns for himself. There’s only one problem—he doesn’t know where to look. Earl’s friend Jill offers to help, but that’s not what Earl’s mother had in mind. So, wearing his bright red scarf, Earl sets off on his own for an action-packed acornfinding mission.

Striking black-and-white scratchboard art is accented by Earl’s crimson scarf. The effect is classic, clean, and thoroughly recognizable as Don Freeman’s signature style.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Punished! (David Lubar)

This book took me about 25 minutes to read. It would be a great book for middle elementary kids who aren't super strong readers yet. The puns are entertaining. It teaches some great parts of language that would make for a great classroom discussion. It would be fun to build a wall full of puns,  oxymorons, anagrams and palindromes. We have talked about using this book for our Battle of the Books. Perhaps there could be an additional contest where teams could earn points by taking on the challenge that Logan finds himself absorbed in. I think this would also make a great read aloud. 

Goodreads summary: 

Logan and his friend Benedict run into the wrong guy at the library--literally. When Logan slams into the reference guy in the basement and gives him a little lip, Logan gets punished, really and truly punished. He has three days to complete three tasks before Professor Wordsworth will lift the magical punishment that keeps getting Logan in even more trouble.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clark the Shark (Bruce Hale)

I love this story! It is a great example of how thinking about how someone else feels can make a big difference in relationships. It also could be a great discussion starter about using self-discipline at school.

There's a time and a place for everything is a great lesson to learn.

Goodreads summary:

Clark the Shark is a great read-aloud picture book, with fun rhythm and rhyme, from the ever-popular Bruce Hale and Guy Francis.

Clark is a shark with zingbang, and BOOM. Clark zooms into school, crashes through the classroom, and is rowdy at recess. Clark loves life—but when his enthusiasm is too much for his friends, Clark's teacher, Mrs. Inkydink, helps him figure out a way to tone it down.

Clark the Shark celebrates boisterous enthusiasm—and knowing when it's time for indoor voices!

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Story About Ping (Marjorie Flack)

The Children Who Loved Books (Peter Carnavas)

The children in my class very quickly caught on to the idea that we don't need things to make us happy and spending time with our family, even reading, can be wonderful.

We really loved the illustrations too! They kind of reminded me of a non-black and white possibly Quinten Blake style illustration. There were a number of pages that funny things got pointed out.

Everyone was very focused and into this story. Reads well.

Goodreads summary:

Angus and Lucy love books.They have hundreds of them.Then one day, all the books are taken away, and Angus and Lucy discover they need books more than they ever imagined. A warm and moving celebration of books and the way in which they bring us all together.