Monday, September 24, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey as a way to share what you have read and/or reviewed in the past week. It's also a terrific way to find out what other people are reading.

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers have given this meme a children's literature focus: picture books, middle grade novels, etc. They "encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting the other bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Even though today is the first full day of autumn and the temperatures have been pretty warm lately, it's still kind of depressing to see the pool empty, the loungers all put away for the winter and the skeletal umbrellas waiting for next summer. You can still sit at a picnic table or a bench and read, but you're going to have to take a tropical vacation or wait until next year to have the sundrenched times of laying by the pool with a juicy novel. This week I've read quite a few picture books, several of them great to share with kids during the fall. Here's what I've been reading this past week:

For young readers interested in learning more about the civil rights movement, this beautifully illustrated picture books examines the events of the winter of 1968 in Memphis (the sanitation strike, boycotts, riots) from the point of view of a child eyewitness. The book incorporates narrative text and poetry to tell about Martin Luther's last days in Memphis before his assassination. The timeline and resource notes at the back of the book make this a good nonfiction book to have on the bookshelf.

This clever picture books uses Rosie and her dog park experience to help young readers learn about making new friends. Rosie likes living with George and going for walks, but she often feels lonely for the company of other dogs. When George tries taking Rosie to the dog park, Rosie is reluctant to play with the other dogs. Maurice is too big and scary, and Fifi is too small and noisy. Young readers will enjoy finding out how these three different dogs become great friends. This would be a good way to start a discussion about making new friends.

From the same author as Rain, Sun, and Snow, this charming picture books continues to celebrate the special relationship between a little boy and his grandfather. With beautiful illustrations in rich fall colors with a wash of gray to show the storminess of the day, the book tells the story of a blustery day that would be perfect for flying a kite. As Grandpa and the little boy look for the kite, they find other items that remind them (and readers) of their previous adventures: mailing an important letter on a rainy day, having an awesome picnic in a cave on a hot summer day. This would be a terrific book to share with young readers on a blustery day and might be a great mentor text for young writers to share their own special experiences with a grandparent or on a rainy, windy fall day.

With bright, beautiful illustrations and a plot young readers will be able to relate to, this would be a great story to share with anyone who has a new baby in the family. Welcoming new babies into families can be stressful for young children. Loretta sees everyone piling up gifts for her baby cousin, but she is worried that she can't afford to buy a gift or make one that would be appreciated. But as she realizes that the baby loves her for her and isn't interested in all the other stuff she also realizes what's most important in families. This is a heartwarming story that would be great as a read aloud that all children will recognize themselves in.

This adorable picture book explores the seasons through the point of view of a little mouse who lives in a little hole in the middle of a meadow. In the spring and the summer, he's so happy to come outside and see the flowers and the animals. When autumn comes the leaves are falling and the other animals are getting ready for winter. And when winter comes, he's prepared to hunker down in his hole and sleep. The illustrations are very sweet and whimsical. I especially love the pictures of the little mouse's hole complete with a little kitchen, a little storage area, and a little bedroom. This would be a good book to use as a fun storytime book to talk about the seasons and how animals prepare for winter.

This wordless picture book is a humorous look at how a sleepy dog gets pulled into a fight with a spooky gang of cats. The poor dog in this story is minding his own business, trying to get some sleep. When the thieves takes his bed right out from underneath him, the chase is on. But when the dog gets to the big, creepy house next door, he realizes that it won't be an easy battle. The comic book style images and brightly, colored images will make this a fun book to share during the weeks leading up to Halloween.

With brightly painted illustrations, rhyming text that incorporate counting and numbers, and a fun story about a field trip to the pumpkin patch, this fun picture book invites young readers to count along. Ms. Blue's class is going on the field trip and readers will have the opportunity to count nametags, bus seats, animals, and of course, pumpkins. There are fun pumpkin facts on the endpapers and the book also includes information about growing pumpkins. This would be fun to share with a class getting ready to go on a pumpkin patch field trip or just as a way to practice counting.

This is a nice picture book that tells the story of two unlikely friends (a cat and a mouse) and their pumpkin growing project. In the spring, Cat wonders about how pumpkins grow and Mouse is happy to help. Together they gather the materials, plant the seeds, and watch them grow. When October rolls around and the pumpkins are ready, Mouse shows Cat something really awesome to do with pumpkins. This would be a good book to share with young children as part of a lesson on growing seeds, or just a good story about friends helping each other.

This cute picture shows the fun a cute little mouse house at the beginning of autumn. The lovely illustrations and simple text has young readers enjoying the pleasures of looking at all of the fun colors and shapes of the falling leaves, stacking them in a big pile, and jumping into them. This would be a nice one to share with young children as the season turns to fall.

With large, simple text and gorgeous illustrations this fall picture book tells the story of a little boy and a pumpkin seed. Jamie plants a pumpkin seed and spends all summer watching it grow. When the pumpkin is ready, he carves it and saves six of the seeds to plant next year. This would be another good book to share as part of a lesson on plants and seeds.