Happy Thanksgiving week! Reflecting on everything Thanksgiving stands for, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes about gratitude.
“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”Randy Pausch
I know I am so very thankful, grateful, and unbelievably blessed in my life. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family and friends. I did not read as many books this last week simply due to reading longer books for the majority of my reading. I focused more on some books that would be good in a second grade classroom and my chapter book but I did squeeze in some picture books. Let’s take a look at what I read this past week…
The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
This book was very promising. A murder, a child that escapes, ghosts who raise the child, and obviously some bad guys. The story set up was very good but trailed off towards the end of the book into nothing. I ended up loosing interest in the book about halfway through and I personally did not like the ending. Would I use this book in my classroom? Probably not.
Judy Moody Was in a Mood written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter Reynolds
It’s the first day of school and Judy is in a BAD mood. She doesn’t have a vacation t-shirt to wear and Frank Pearl (her annoying admirer) is in her class….sitting right next to her. OH NO! She is also worried about what kind of teacher she will have since she loved her 2nd grade teacher. And then, there’s Stink, her annoying little brother who she never tires of teasing with her best friend Rocky. There are the people that populate Judy’s world as she tries to create a Me Collage, gets a new pet, and go’s to Frank Pearl’s birthday party (the ONLY girl)!
This was a nice chapter book with entertaining stories that flow into the main story line well. The illustrations are also great! They add an entertaining aspect to the novel for students to get engaged. I would suggest this book for 2nd through 4th grade. Judy is a very emotional and realistic character. As for classroom instruction, you could use this book to talk about emotions or a fun read aloud but I think I would just suggest this for independent readings.
Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter Reynolds
Stink, Judy Moody’s little brother, is in 2nd grade but is preoccupied by the fact that he is short and may be SHRINKING!! Nothing seems to go his way until one day when Stink gets to take home the class newt for the weekend. Not everything goes according to plan though when his sister gets involved. Stink overcomes these challenge and ends up finding a way to honor the best president ever, James Madison, while accepting his height.
This book would be best for grades 2nd through 4th. I would use this book in my classroom to teach students about perseverance. Even though Stink is short and appears to be shrinking, it does not stop him. Between each chapter, there is also a comic featuring The Incredible Stink who has super powers to deal with everyday problems. The main reminder in this book was no matter what you are going through, it is all about your outlook on life.
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie written by Julie Sternberg, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Eleanor’s babysitter, Bibi, has to move away. She is so upset and hurt and cannot do ANYTHING because EVERYTHING she does reminds her of Bibi. She writes to Bibi and waits…and waits…and waits…for a letter back from Bibi. She FINALLY gets the letter and realizes maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem.
We all know what it is like to loose someone or for someone to move away. This would be a great independent or class read to go over change with students. I think it would be most enjoyed by grades 2nd and 3rd grade.
King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub written by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood
King Bidgood just will not get out of the tub! His entire court tries to persuade him to get out but it’s good to be the King. How will they get him out of the tub? This was a very fun, repetitive, and lyrical book. The illustrations are absolutely amazing in this book as well! This would be a perfect read aloud book that students would enjoy but you could also use this book to teach about problem solving. I would suggest to have this books for Kindergarten through 6th grade.
Diary of a Worm written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss
This book is simply silly. It puts you in the perspective of a worm through its diary. Through it’s humor, it explains the life of a worm and different scenarios a kid would go through but in a worms perspective.
For the classroom, I would say it is most appropriate for Kindergarten through 5th grade. I would use this book to show students what a diary looks like and to talk about perspective. I can also see myself using it to talk about the importance of worms in nature.
After The Fall How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again written by Dan Santat
After Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall and gotten put back together again, he continues living his life but there’s a catch. He is scared of heights! He cannot sleep in his bunk bed or even reach the cereal at the grocery store that is on the top shelf. He thinks about the wall often and watches the birds fly over. Then one day, he decides to make a paper airplane. He practices and practices until the perfect paper airplane is made. But what will he end up doing when it flies over the wall?!?
This book is an inspirational book for all ages. It’s the type of book that will help readers feel better about making mistakes. It’s got some great lessons about overcoming fears and getting back up again. The illustrations are so beautiful in this book. I highly suggest this book for everyone.
Harry the Dirty Dog written by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham
Harry does not like to get baths. One day, when he hears the bath water start, Harry takes off with the scrub brush! He hides it in the back yard and then runs away from home. While he is out, he gets very dirty. So dirty that his family does not recognize him! What will he do?
I would suggest grades 3rd through 6th. I am not sure this book is good for the classroom other than to have students read it themselves for fun. I suppose this would be a good read aloud for a discussion about hygiene though