Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Monday! Here's What I'm Reading--

A lot of my reading time has been dedicated to reading daily slices, as I am participating in the daily March Slice of Life Challenge, hosted at There are so many people writing wonderful, insightful posts every day and I have felt compelled to read a lot of them! A Snicker of Magic remains on my nightstand, but I have only completed picture books this week. Check out what others are reading through and

A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams and illustrated by Floyd Cooper was one of the wonderful picture books that I read this week. Gregory is a little boy enjoying some independent beach exploration, but wanders a little too far. There are moments of worry, opportunities for prediction, even a little science woven in, as well as beautiful language and pictures. This book would be a great read aloud for younger students!

And the Soldiers Sang by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Brian Kelly caught my eye at the library while I was waiting for my daughter. Who knew I would be crying by the end of it? Had Cecily not appeared right then, I can say with some certainty that I would have been crying hard. I had never heard of the Christmas truce between the soldiers fighting in World War I. Through beautiful language and the story of a young man from Wales, we hear about the night the soldiers set guns down and sang together. This book would work as a paired text with other books about World War I, but have kleenex ready. I'd save this one for older students.

Sixth-graders have been studying Tanzania all year so I was excited to see Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson and illustrated by A.G. Ford at Barnes and Noble. This is the true story about Aunt Sharon and Grandmother Bibi going to visit their family in Tanzania. The descriptions of the lifestyles, safari, and ruins are educational and engaging. I did not realize until I researched the author that Sharon Robinson is Jackie Robinson's daughter and I have a new idol. She has done so much to honor the courage of her father through literature, foundations, and educational opportunities for young people.

What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom is a beautiful allegory that encourages people to embrace new thinking and creativity. It would be a great read aloud for any age classroom, as the message to be innovative is so strong. It could also be a really special book to give to a graduate.

Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure, written and illustrated by Anna Walker, has been showing up on many IMWAYR blogs, so I was happy to pick it up when we were at the bookstore. I had read that adults would love the pictures and I did! My 17 year-old daughter did, as well. We laughed out loud at some of a chicken's facial expressions about things that she finds in a department store. I would love to have a Peggy painting in my home, and I would love to share some of the messages about bravery, resilience, and resourcefulness with any aged classroom.

Happy reading,


  1. The illustrations were my favorite part of Peggy! Full of expression! I picked up the Idea book, as well. It's in my pile to read this week. Looks like you had a good reading week!

  2. How wonderful that you've managed to squeeze in this reading Melanie. I'll be back to IMWAYR in April. LOVED And the Soldiers Sang. The paintings are so moving, and the story is one all our kids should hear.

  3. I added some 'more' books from your list, Melanie. I'd forgotten about Peggy and A Beach Tail looks wonderful. We have And The Soldiers Sang; it is a beautiful story. Thanks for all!

  4. Love the look of What Do You Do with an Idea? I think you are right - it is an inspirational gift. I want to read Peggy - the cover is so appealing to me. Thanks for sharing all of these titles this week!

  5. Melanie, I'm so impressed at all the reading you did and wrote every day! You and Linda put me to shame. This is going to be an expensive Monday. Each one of these books sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  6. These are all new to me! I especially love the look of Peggy since I love chickens. ;-)

  7. Hi there Melanie. I've been seeing Peggy around and I know I have to find that one soonest. I know what you mean about And the Soldiers Sang - truly haunting and beautiful. Definitely a book that I would have to feature for our War and Poetry reading theme. What do you do with an Idea? is another picturebook I must find and yes Under the Same Sun too. :) Thanks for sharing all these gorgeous titles.