Monday, August 29, 2011

The Case of the Mistaken Identity: The Brixton Brothers, Book 1The Case of the Mistaken Identity: The Brixton Brothers, Book 1 by Mac Barnett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is totally exaggerated and in places not particularly truly believable. BUT ... isn't that part of the fun of reading?

I listened to it while I was running (OK, and walking) on the treadmill at the gym so I can't stop and jot down all the funny lines about super ninja librarians and gumshoe detectives.

I also took this book around to a couple different fourth and fifth grade classes and read the scene aloud where Steve goes to check out his library book.

I PROMISE YOU ... you've never read such a cliffhanger book checkout scene. The waiting list for this book is now a mile long.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Number Two

This one is for The Teacher's Funeral. I LOVE this book but can never quite get anyone else to love it as much as me. Can't convince my students to love historical fiction. Can convince them of just about any other genre. Will have to keep trying!

First of Book Trailers I've Made ... Two More to Come

One will be posted right after this one. And I'm still working on the other (never tried stop-motion before). But any constructive comments would be appreciated because I want them to be as good as possible before I "turn them in" to our director of Library Services. He picked me as one of the three (and only elementary teacher librarian) to sort of head this up districtwide and I don't want to disappoint.

10 for 10

Only these are not in order because hello, I could not order them. I love them all.

Piggie and Elephant. Ah, Piggie and Elephant. I enjoy all of them. A lot. But this one will always hold a special place in my heart. The amount and intensity of emotion Mo Willems can convey in an eyebrow or dot pupil.

This is always a hit read out loud.

This one is also another guaranteed hit. Maybe because the only accent I can do is a stereotypical cowboy twang and I can't help myself. It comes out every time I read this book.

Plus who doesn't love a Fairy Godcow?

Like a total dufus I collected Little Critter books before I ever even thought about going back to grad school to become a librarian. I was a secondary English/Spanish teaching major. I just ... I just really liked the little guy.

Truthfully ... I don't even like cats. They make me sneeze and send my sister to the hospital for breathing treatments. But this little guy makes me smile. Actually, this one I really like to just play the CD. The author does such a funny job reading/singing the story.

OH MY GOODNESS. The story about cookies and self-control? That is the story of my life. Good ol' Frog and Toad. So simple and yet so giggle-worthy.

So this one is representing one that I remember as a kid. Arthur and his sister were fighting over their room. You would think for as many times as I remember reading that one I would 1)remember the title; and 2)have noticed that maybe it is no longer in print? I couldn't find it on B& But I read all of the Arthur books as a kid.

This one is my favorite, though again, I quite enjoy all of them. Does there have to be a reason? My tongue just likes to say "moose" and "muffin" in the same sentence. He's so tall and gangly.

Of course this is another case where really this is just representative of all of his books. But I loved this one as a kid. AND I love reading it out loud at school because this is the one book where kids can kneel instead of sitting "criss-cross, applesauce". I make 'em jump up every time the word "up" is read. (Or, sometimes, they do sit criss-cross and then just throw their arms up in the air. Depends on the class and how rowdy they might get jumping up and down.)

They are either really tired or really wound up by the time we're done. Teachers are either grateful for the spent energy or mad at me for the wound-up kiddos.

I LOVE the part where he talks about how his sister loves to look in the mirror but no matter how many times she does it her face will always look just like her rear end. Not always the part that makes the kids laugh the most but it's usually when myself or other teachers listening in get the giggles.

Newer one but I love it. Learning to read is such an exciting time. Kids really like the little dog and birdie. I like this one even more now because it's a favorite of my nephew and while I was just visiting him in Hawaii the recording of his Dad (my brother) reading it to him arrived from Afghanistan.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Am the BookI Am the Book by Lee Bennett Hopkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I think my favorite might have been A Poem Is by Jane Yolen. Or maybe Who's Rich by Naomi Shihab Nye. Or This Book by Avis Harley.

It's hard to decide.

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Mr. Duck Means BusinessMr. Duck Means Business by Tammi Sauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So and so "did not get the message."

"All the peace and quiet? It was gone."

Both made me laugh as I have been accused of being inflexible when I get frustrated when my library assistant is constantly pulled at unexpected times. Lighten up they say. Never mind that it doesn't just affect the one class it affects all the other classes after it that day.

See. I guess I haven't learned my lesson. ;] But Mr. Duck did.

View all my reviA Pirate's Guide to First GradeA Pirate's Guide to First Grade by James Preller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, so clever. Practice with the pirate voice is a must for this read aloud.

Only one thing. I think it might have made more sense for this to be a little older book. Like maybe a second or third grade "Guide."

Not sure first day first graders would get the vocabulary.

That said, still loved it. Especially (slight spoiler ahead) the ending. That IS where treasure lies.

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finished! Couldn't sleep so I finished. Creepy! Do not read late at night. The photos will give you the willies.

It always takes so much longer to read when you stop and make notes ... but there are some really cool descriptions in here and I'd like to remember at least a few of them. So jealous of people who can write!

"In the distance I saw a little harbor bobbing with colorful fishing boats, and beyond it a town set into a green bowl of land. A patchwork of sheep-speckled fields spread across hills that rose away to meet a high ridge, where a wall of clouds stood like a cotton parapet." (p 67)

"A vast, lunar bog stretched away into the mist from either side of the path, just brown grass and tea-colored water as far as I could see, featureless but for the occasional mound of piled-up stones. It ended abruptly at a forest of skeletal trees, branches spindling up like the tips of wet paintbrushes, and for a while the path became so lost beneath fallen trunks and carpets of ivy that navigating it was a matter of faith." (p 78)

I wonder if his descriptions have anything to do with his filmmaking or photocollecting hobby. You know ... knows the power of a visual image so well it inspires him to make that part of his story?

AAAACK! I just read a few lines further.

"What stood before me know was no refuge from monsters but a monster itself, staring down from its perch on the hill with vacant hunger. Trees burst forth from broken windows and skins of scabrous vine gnawed at the walls like antibodies attacking a virus--as if nature itself had waged war against it--but the house seemed unkillable, resolutely upright despite the wrongness of its angles and the jagged teeth of sky visible through the sections of collapsed roof." (p 79)

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Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Liked it. Didn't love the ending. Well ... didn't really like Grace in this one, either. Why does Sam care about her so much?

Didn't take any notes on this one so I don't have any quotes to share. Not that there wasn't good writing in here.

Can't wait for The Scorpio Races!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really enjoying this series ... Raina, Han, and Amon all experience problems that made for some interesting twists.

I might have the page numbers mixed up ... reading on an e-reader often messes that up.

(p 67) "But it's not enough to know right from wrong. You need the strength to do what's right even when what you want most in the world is the wrong thing."

(p 81) "Rulers don't get to do the easy thing. You don't get to do what you want to do."

(p 212) "You should dress like who you aspire to be."

(p 215) "Killing is one way to handle a rival, but it also shows respect. It shows he's important enough to have a chat with. A better way is to humble him. Make him look a fool. Show him that the price for coming after you is his reputation."

(p 240) "The new dawn found ... [can't say who or it's a spoiler!] awake, exhausted, and completely empty of dreams."

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Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finished on the plane today. OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS SO GOOD. Don't have any quotes jotted down because it was dark (read on my Nook ... hooray! Great for night flights, not so great for beach reads) and I was barely coherent (flying overnight will do that to you) but this was so good I couldn't put it down even though I was so sleepy.

I won't bother with a plot recap. Just ... READ THIS BOOK!

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All the Water in the WorldAll the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The design nut in me giggled at how beautiful the layout of color and text work together in this book. I almost gave it a five. In fact, for design I would give it a five.

The teacher in me knows this is a great beginning explanation to water and why we need to be careful and conserve what we can. Protect the planet and all. A little more depth might have been good. But it is an introductory piece so I will let that slide.

But seriously. Publishers, take note. You're doing pretty well but more books like this would be most awesome.

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Leap Back Home to MeLeap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, how cute. Love the illustrations. Little kiddos will love the simple, repetitive, rhyming text.

I have never been a big flannel board person ... but I recently started "following" some librarian bloggers who post lots of cute ideas. And I think this one would be fun. I love the pictures in the book ... but the little ones might have fun moving the little frog around and sort of interact with the story.

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Grin and Bear ItGrin and Bear It by Leo Landry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those too long to be a regular picture book, vocab too advanced to be an early reader, but in the end too short to be what most of the teachers (at least at my school) are thinking of when they say "chapter book." So it will need some talking up because the right readers won't necessarily just find it on their own.

That said ... it is cute. The shock poor Bear goes through when he tries to fulfill his dream and it doesn't work out quite like he thought it would. We've all been there, right? I like how it ends.

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Panda KindergartenPanda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not for research ... but for CUTER THAN CUTER THAN CUTE (oh, my goodness, I have become one of those people) this is the one.

Kiddos will be able to read a lot of it themselves, which is nice.

And the pictures. Did I mention the pictures?

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BlackoutBlackout by John Rocco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I already loved his artwork. Now I love it even more.

I will try to remember to take advantage of the time when the rolling blackouts (due to energy consumption during a heat wave) make us lose power. Take advantage of it. Unplug. Try not to sizzle. ;]

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Buglette, the Messy SleeperBuglette, the Messy Sleeper by Bethanie Murguia

This little bug is so cute. I loved the book ... until the end. Sort of fell a little flat for me. But it's OK because I still think the kids will enjoy it.

How fun does this little launch party look?

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