It’s my turn this week to join It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Jen and Kellee from Teacher Mentor Texts (and brainchild of Shella at BookJourney). Because I barely have time to read lately (for reasons even I cannot understand), I get my kick out of reading mostly through picture books. It was only recently that I picked up on buying YA books again.
I bought a lot of picture books a couple of weeks ago, and found some good titles I haven’t seen before. I begin with Max Lucado’s You Are Special. While I have seen a bunch of his books, I’ve never really read any of them. I was delighted to discover this picture book that he has written. This particular story appeared in the children’s inspirational collection Tell Me the Secrets. The cover reminded me of Pinocchio; the story does, too, but only slightly. Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones—those with smooth wood and fine paint—always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots. This is a good resource to teach kids that being special does not have specific requirements.
I fell in love with the style of Oliver Jeffers ever since I read The Heart and the Bottle. How to Catch a Star was shortlisted in the 2004 Booktrust Early Years Award. I adore the sparse text with vivid cartoonish illustrations. It’s always nice to teach kids about the importance of perseverance and never giving up. This book is a great read-aloud for story time in class, and can be followed by an art activity on “star making.”
Another recommendation for a read-aloud picture book is Ed Vere‘s Bedtime for Monsters. And, yes, it’s also a nice bedtime story for kids. I was just flipping through its pages when I found this at the bookstore and the monster was so adorable. The story is told in verses with bold and bright cartoon illustrations. It wasn’t until after three spreads in the book that I realized that this book is a good resource for introducing the little ones to onomatopoeia.
As he bicycles bumpily
dark and terrible forest
BUMPITY BUMPITY BUMP
do you think
he’s smiling because
he remembered to pack
his knife and fork?
And as he crosses
the gloopy, schloopy swamp
GLOOP GLOOP SCHLOOP
do you think
he’s imagining just
all covered in ketchup?
Chloe by Peter McCarty is a recent discovery of mine. Something about the cover makes me think along the lines of Japanese animated films. Chloe, it seems to me, is like the bunny version of Olivia the pig. Children take delight in reading about animal characters. Chloe is another character that readers will grow to love. She is spunky, creative, and imaginative. This is the first Chloe PB that I’ve read. I’m not sure if there is a “Chloe series.” It’ll be nice to follow her future adventures. This book has a somewhat “adult” feel to it, and is timely for today’s technology- and media-heavy society. With the release of televisions, computers, and video game consoles, the idea of “fun” is being redefined. But Chloe reminds us that, through imagination, one can have fun even with just a simple box. The illustrations in this book are totally adorable!
How about you? What are you reading this week?
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers: Bisto Prize (Ireland) merit award; Booktrust Early Years Award (Best New Illustrator) shortlist
AWB Reading Challenge Update: 77 – 78 (35)