I am doubling up this week with post for my weekly reading and my post for my daily writing challenge. Jen Vincent and Kellee Moye host the weekly It's Monday! What are You Reading? at their blog, teachmentortexts.com. Most of my book recommendations come from the people who participate. For the month of March, Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres are hosting a Slice of Life daily writing challenge at their blog, twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. Both of these blogs are incredible places to find resources and inspiration for teaching and living.
I have spent a decadent hour at Barnes and Noble reading books that have been on my list for some time, now. Since I am in a writing frame of mind this month, these books provided me with several ideas for narrative posts that I will try out over the next couple of weeks. I will definitely be returning to a piece I started about a square who wished he was a rhombus and I will be using Exclamation Point by Amy Krouse Rosenthal as a mentor text.
I finally got to read Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and I have to say that I completely understand why so many people have written lovingly about it. I would use this book to teach character lessons and the importance of basic human kindness in our world. In many ways, Extra Yarn reminds me of One Smile, another one of my favorite picture books.
I also read Nora's Chicks by Patricia MacLachlan. I won a copy by commenting on Stacy Shubitz's interview with Patricia MacLachlan, but I couldn't wait for my copy to come in the mail. I wasn't expecting a picture book, but this one is packed with emotion, messages, and interpretations. As is the case with most of her books, Nora's Chicks could be in many classrooms as a text to read closely for craft and inspiration.
I can't remember who first recommended Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed (Was it you, Linda Baie?) but I'm so glad I remembered that title and found it. It's a small book, but full of big memories. During the spring, many of our teachers will be moving into narrative and memoir units. Ellen Bryan Obed has memories for all different types of ice and writes funny and poignant vignettes throughout the books, all relating from the various types of ice. The idea is clever and could inspire memoir writing in classrooms.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is one of my new favorite authors and I thank my blogging friends for recommending Exclamation Point. Another incredibly clever book that could not only work in the classroom for teaching punctuation, but also for launching conversations about kindness, acceptance, and empathy. I also read her book, Plant a Kiss, which is also a great launcher for conversations of kindness. Could also be used to introduce the concepts of symbols and metaphors to young children.
While I read others, I don't want to dilute my recommendations because these were all so amazing. I'll save other reviews for weeks when I don't have the gift of time in the bookstore.