Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Thanks to Jen at TeachMentorText for the weekly meme highlighting children's literature - picture books to young adult.  Gosh, I don't know where the time has gone.  I haven't posted in awhile.  The end of the school year always exhausts me!  I hope to keep up and post more regularly.  How do all you bloggers juggle it all - going to the gym, eating, laundry, cleaning, working, family, reading books, reading blogs?

The book images are linked to Goodreads, so you can get a complete summary and easily add it to your books to read list!

Rump:  The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

I just loved this wonderful and creative story of young Rumpelstiltskin, or Rump as he is called, and his search for his true destiny.  As we find out, the story isn't quite as simple as the fairy tale we are all familiar with!  Liesl Shurtliff has created a tale that is full of magic, trolls, and even some sassy pixies.  But most of all she has created an endearing character in young Rump.  As a young boy he is teased and picked on for his unusual name.  But he is full of heart and humor, so as a reader you can't help root for him!  Rump has found himself cursed after being  lured by the power of magic.  At every turn Rump finds himself pulled further and deeper into the magic, even when he tries to do the right thing.  I enjoyed seeing how Leisl weaved the traditional story of Rumpelstiltskin into the plot, and I think children will have fun with this aspect as well.
This book is considered a middle grade book.  I think independent readers in grades 4 - 7 would enjoy this story.   But I also think it could make a great read aloud for ages 6 - 9.  In fact, I think I will be adding this book to my chapter book read alouds for my second grade.  I love how the concept of destiny is introduced into the story and think it will make such a great discussion.  Do we choose our own destiny or is it chosen for us?  There are so many themes that come to mind as I think about the book which makes it a great choice for read aloud!  Friendship, acceptance, inner journeys, and doing the right thing, even when it may not be easy or popular are all themes that could be explored with this novel.  And of course it would be a terrific addition to a fairy tale unit.

If you like books or movies like Ella Enchanted, The True Story of The Three Little Pigs, Tangled or Wicked I think you will like this book.  Check out Liesl Shurtliff's website for the book trailer.

I have also read a lot of terrific picture books this last week.  Here are some highlights.

The following books have a theme of friendship.  Don't think these are just simple stories about friendship.  They are worthy of reading over and over and having deep discussions about the characters, the story, and the illustrations.  This is the power of a picture book.

The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman

A very original story about friendship.  I absolutely love Deborah's illustrations.  They are clever and inventive as both the fish and snail seem to jump off the pages.  And who doesn't like a pirate-fish?

Ribbit by Rodrigo Folgueira and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

Another wonderful story about friendship and acceptance.  Hurray for the little pig who doesn't let the little frogs get him down.  And what is is about pigs in children's literature?
Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea

When I first got the book I immediately felt the need to read the book aloud (I was alone) and to do voices for each of the main characters, Goat and Unicorn.  Sometimes friendships don't always start out so easily.  I think many readers, both young and old can relate to Goat's initial thoughts of Unicorn.  Sometime we can all be a little judgmental or even jealous.  But Unicorn shows us how to be a good and kind friend.  I also really like the style of the illustrations - sort of Picasso - ish with the faces.

Tea Rex by Molly Idle

Such a wonderfully cute story!  And the illustrations add so much to the story - you must stop and really enjoy them.  Can you imagine inviting a real dinosaur to your house?  I predict this book will go to the top of my second graders favorites.  Molly Idle is becoming one of my favorite picture book authors and I can't wait to see what she has planned next.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Each crayon writes a letter to their owner about their particular needs or problem.  Each crayon has their own personality that really comes out in each letter.  The child finds a great way to solve their problem.  The childlike drawings and hand written letters add to the charm of the book.  I can't wait to read this book to my second graders.  I am already filled with ideas of how to use the book.  Can you say persuasive writing mentor text??
Have you enjoyed any of these books?
What are you reading this week?

1 comment:

  1. So many colorful books! The Day the Crayons Quit looks so adorable. I need to get that one.