Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen Vincent and Kellee Moye co-host It's Monday! What Are You Reading weekly on their blogs. Some of my best book recommendations come from seeing what others are reading each week. To see what others are recommending or to participate, be sure to check out their blogs Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers on Mondays.

While I haven't been writing much on Mondays this summer, I have been reading. However, a lot of my reading has been related to the curriculum I have been writing this summer. Last week, I was able to find time to spend at our library and the book store so I enjoyed some picture books.

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino is a book that I will be buying for our kindergarten classes. Doug is a robot who learns about his world from information downloads.  When he disobeys parental orders, he unplugs and he flies all over the city, investigating various parts and places and making friends in the park. Since our curriculum involves learning about communities, I love the content, but I also enjoyed the message about becoming present and learning about our world by actually experiencing it.

I have been paying attention to unusual and unexpected how-to books so How To Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers by Moricai Gerstein caught my eye at the library. While classroom teachers could definitely use this book to teach some of the elements of procedural writing, they could also use this book to inspire creative thinking and ingenuity.

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies, has been a book that I have been looking forward to reading. Social curriculum is so important for children and this is a book that could inspire conversations about doing the right thing, how to handle disappointment and anger, and the importance of forgiveness.

One other favorite picture book of the week was The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywait. What an amazing mentor text for teaching young elementary students voice in persuasive writing! All of the crayons have issues with how Duncan is overusing or underusing them. Children will love thinking from the perspective of the crayons, but they will also be exposed to powerful techniques in relaying messages and opinions.

I am slowly working my way through And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini and if anyone is looking for a beautifully written adult read, I recommend it. I'm also looking forward to re-reading Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, since it is on my daughter's summer reading list and is one of my all-time favorite books.

Enjoy your reading,


  1. How to Bicycle to the Moon looks interesting. I have And the Mountains Echoed as my next adult read too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Animal Dreams was my favorite Kingsolver book for ages! I should reread it some time. I have seen the crayons book on a number of lists today, I may have to check it out for a quick picture book fix! Have a great week!

  3. Hi, Melanie,
    Well, I guess it's true: great minds think alike! When I read The Day the Crayons Quit, point of view and persuasive writing came to mind right away. Can't wait to share this with students and teachers.

    I loved Doug Unplugged and will look for How to Bicycle to the Moon the next time I'm at the library. It's been years since I read Animal Dreams. I remember liking it, but The Bean Trees is still my favorite Kingsolver. Have you read her newest book? Sadly, I don't read much adult fiction at all these days. Too many good kids books!

    Will you be at the CT Reading Conference? Maybe I'll see you there. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  4. Ben Rides On is one of my favourite picture books so far this year. I think it is so rich with possibility for sharing in the classroom. I found the illustrations so engaging.

  5. Ah! I read And the Mountains Echoed a few weeks ago. I agree--it is absolutely beautiful. You comment reminded me of it and made me smile.

  6. The Day the Crayons Quit seems so good. I keep hearing rave reviews. I really need to get that one!

  7. Hi there Melanie, I think I must have read Animal Dreams by Kingsolver several years back when I was still deeply into adult literature. I've heard a lot about Hosseini's book and can't wait to get my hands on it soon. :) Love the picture books you have recommended here as well, thanks for sharing.