Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What Are You Reading weekly on their blogs.   To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs. Some of my very best reading recommendations come from this pathway!

People who know me as a reader know that I love Patricia MacLachlan's writing. I admire the way that she captures so much emotion in such simple words. Our PTO bought copies of  Snowflakes Fall
and recently presented them to teachers. I saw it on our principal's shelf and read it on the spot. I cried. Snowflakes Fall is a picture book that she wrote in honor of the people who died in Sandy Hook last year. Her writing combines with Stephen Kellogg's illustration to create a simple, but oh so powerful book about celebrating life and finding hope.  Definitely be sure to read this one on your own before reading out loud to a class full of children.  I'm not sure that I will ever be able to make it through the text without my throat shutting down.

I did have some less emotional reading as well since I had some time to spend at our local library while I was waiting for one of my daughters.  Pebble Plus books are fabulous nonfiction mentors for primary writers. Snow by Erin Edison was on the shelf and is full of text features and craft moves that will help young writers develop their informational repertoire. If you come across any of the Pebble Plus books, I recommend them!

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes is sure to inspire conversations about guilt and conscience! I love the simplicity of the story combined with the complexity of the emotions. For anyone who is trying to inspire young readers and writers to say and write more about a text, this book will provide many opportunities. I would love to hear a classroom of second-graders discuss Penny's moral dilemma!

I know that I read The Button Box by Margarette Reid several years ago, because it definitely was familiar. I read it again at the library with the lens of a writing teacher. What a powerful mentor to teach students how many stories even a box of buttons contains! 

The rest of my reading time has been taken up by curriculum, blogs, and articles. My pile of chapter books remains high...

Happy reading!


  1. Must get my hands on Snowflakes Fall soon! Thanks for the review... -Debbie

  2. I just checked our public library and they don't have Snowflakes Fall yet, but I now have it on my list. I love Steven Kellogg's work and am looking forward to checking this one out. Thanks for the review.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I had not heard of Snowflakes Fall. It is one that I want to get soon. I just love all the Penny books. I'm hoping to get it soon. I also love the Pebble Plus books. The are so good for those younger readers who want nonfiction. Have you tried any of the AV2 books? They have books for the younger readers and for the older readers. They are great nonfiction ones because they give a lot of extras. There is a code that you type in on their website, and asks you to type one word from the book. Once you do that, you get access to different video clips, audio clips, games, websites, and activities.

  4. I bought Snowflakes Fall when it came out, Melanie-it is both beautiful & heartbreaking to know the background of it. Thanks for sharing about it, and the good lessons connected to the other books too!

  5. Snowflakes Fall...lovely book, but how I wish there hadn't been he need to write this book....

  6. Hi Melanie, I just loved Penny and her Blue Marble. I also enjoyed Snowflakes Fall. Maybe it would be nice to pair the two snow books. Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is my favourite of the Penny books. I sure hope there are more on the horizon. Perfect for my young beginning readers.

  8. I adore Kevin Henkes. Penny and Her Marble looks cute! =)