I have been lurking in the background of this meme hosted by Jenn Vincent of Teach Mentor Text and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers for some time. Between the readers sharing books here and the books shared by Mr. Schu at Watch.Read.Connect. my public library cardS and my Amazon one click get used frequently, and, more importantly, the kids in my classroom are reading EXTRAORDINARY BOOKS! So, with an extra long weekend and some terrific books on my desk and in my library cart I thought it was the time I try to pay back all of you wonderful readers by sharing three my weeks standouts.
I read the book; I Love You Already! By Jory John and Benji Davies somewhere and ordered it the same day, but as it often happens I could not remember where I read about this book or why ordered it. Then, with the red cover, the heart, and the calendar nearing Valentines day I wondered if I'd fallen victim to a holiday themed book. Well, the book sat for a few days keeping all its wonderful secrets! I finally opened the book, and it's secrets the first night of a winter break and immediately wanted to get back to school to share with my kiddos! I related to this book on so many levels, an elementary student, a parent and as a friend.
First, I identified my daughters in this story. Poor Bear can't wait to spend a quiet day at home (my oldest), and Duck insists, "We're having fun, whether you want to or not." (my youngest). As the day goes, I found myself laughing at the banter between Duck and Bear. The illustrations are are bold and inviting to a young reader and the book smells heavenly (if you like the smell of books)! I predict this will soon be a favorite in our classroom!
Another standout this week is Strickly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Strictly No Elephants is Lisa Mantchev's first picture book, and she hit a homeroom in my opinion. The story opens the door to so many lessons in the classroom. The young boy in the story tells the trouble of fitting in when you have an unusual pet. "The trouble with having a tiny elephant for a pet is that you never quite fit in." The boy is upset by the restrictions of the pet club, but he doesn't let stand in his way. The boy is innovative and has an open mindset which benefits those around him. I can't wait to hear the class discussion around this story.
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers stole my heart. From the minute, I saw this book I knew I had to own it. The bright yellow cover, child-like illustrations and that wonderful book smell had me right away. Then, I read the story, stopping half way through, sure I had missed something. When I realized what happened I began to doubt, I would own the book. I just wasn't sure I could read this to my young first graders. Death is a debatable topic in first grade. As I read on, the message was so beautiful, I would own this book. I am still debating whether or not I will share it with my students. The character's resilience in the story has many lessons in giving back and being there for others; these tender points just might sway me!