It’s Monday again, and that last week felt like a long one to me. A colleague called it “the longest week ever,” (it was our first week back from Spring Break) and while I wouldn’t go that far, it was hectic and my reading was a little light. I did get three classes into their Literature Circles this week and did some great planning for our Battle of the Books. I am happy to link up my post with others at teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com (thanks to Jen, Kellee and Ricki for hosting) and hopefully I will make more time to read over the posts from this week and last as I only caught the first eight or so.
Books I Finished This Week
I found this title at my public library where I was waiting for my two children to finish up their book club. I have previously read and enjoyed Ross Burach’s I am Not a Chair and The Very Impatient Caterpillar so this one called to me from its front facing position. Great humour and appealing illustrations will make this book a well loved library title for me next year (I have pretty much blown the budget for this year). A bear and a porcupine become fast friends as they come together for a buddy quest to help bear find his lucky leaf.
This is an author that I know well for his MG books, and I discovered recently that he has a lot of picture books. I know that he spends time in Africa so I picked this one to read. It is based on West African creation stories told to Eric Walters (see author’s note) and has striking illustrations. It tells the story of many animal’s creation but in particular the wildebeest.
I re-read this to be more prepared for the Literature Circles in my class and for the district Battle of the Books that I am co-planning. I love this creepy, sci-fi tale. It has some stereotypical characters (a “goody-goody” and a bully) but most kids that I read this with really enjoy how we get to know these characters a little beyond their stereotypes. The real star though, is the Fuzzy Mud, which causes an epidemic that threatens to wipe out the whole town in which two elementary students start out facing trouble through the conflict with a bully and end up facing a trouble that no one saw coming. Some interesting science and politics in this book that packs a lot into less than 200 pages.
There is a new Aladdin movie coming out, but this is not a novelization of that, but rather a story within that story. This is the story of the second wish, the magic carpet ride. It tells the story of what happens when Aladdin, posing as Prince Ali, takes Jasmine to on a ride, including a visit to his fictional kingdom. I requested this from NetGalley because we have so many young readers who wanted more of Aisha Saeed’s work after reading Amal Unbound for Global Read Aloud in the fall. Once again, Saeed has written a strong female character in making Jasmine a young lady who is determined to lead her people and is not impressed with male authority figures who would lessen her role. While I did not really get into some of the plot, the parts in which she asserts herself and where Prince Ali/Aladdin shows his true colours (in a good way) have lots of redeeming value and there are some great messages here.
This book had some neat humour and the message of getting outside more and dropping the technology is a good one, of course. It got some interest right away in my library because it looks like an IPAD. Kids want to pick it up right away. It feels a little heavy handed at times, but the humour won me over. A Dad who bemoans not being able to invent fire, and the razor when situations come up in the story and the fake names of dinosaurs were also cute.
Endling is our family read aloud and Hello Universe is also a part of our Battle of the Books so I am re-reading it. I just finished Far From Agrabah and haven’t had a chance to pick up a new books yet. I have a long TBR list and will likely choose from these books to start the week:
On deck books
These are a couple of books I have had on my list for a while and a couple of series that I would like to get back to. I hope you had a great reading week, I intend to check on how other people have been doing with their reading, and thanks for reading about my week!