Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mechanimals (Chris Tougas)


Goodreads says:

There once was a farmer who had lots of animals that got swept away by a tornado. The twister left behind a mountain of scrap metal and machine parts. And a very sad farmer. When a tornado leaves a farmer with a heap of scrap metal and no animals, his neighbors are sure it's all over for him. But the determined farmer refuses to admit defeat. His plans are big, and when his neighbors dismiss them with the words, When pigs fly, they grow bigger still. The farmer sets to work to turn that scrap metal into some rather surprising creatures. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Little Knight Who Battled Monsters (Gilles Tibo)

The Little Knight Who Battled Monsters

A Canadian author. Yea!!

This story was so cute. It is a great friendship story....similar to enemy pie. Maybe most of the witches and ogres and ghosts out there are just misunderstood.

We really had some good chuckles. The whole chocolate cake business was a good starter for conversations. Imagine how much more this little knight could do if he ate healthy? LOL The book will be a favorite in our library corner, for sure. Every page is full of hilarious labels and comments that will keep kids engrossed for long stretches, I'm sure.

This book isn't listed on Goodreads!!

Here is the story summary from my library:

Sometimes the bravest thing a knight can do is to lay down his arms.
In a curious kingdom built on top of a forest lives a little knight. He has no battles, because there are no enemies around. He spends long days reading and planting flowers, long nights dreaming and snoring peacefully.
One day the little knight wakes with a start to a loud knocking at his fortress door. Three of his loyal subjects have been kidnapped! With fresh chocolate cake in his belly, he sets off into the dark forest to find the monsters holding them captive. Can the little knight keep his vow and return them home safely?

Monday, December 4, 2017


November is a crazy month for me. I always think I will be able to finish report cards and continue with my life's regular activities. Once again, I was wrong. Report cards are finished now though and I'm ready to get back to things like blogging, making dinner and doing a little housework. Surprisingly, I did a fair bit of reading in November, but I wasn't so good at blogging about it and certainly not good at my note-keeping. Oh well. Moving on!

Here's what I'm reading this week:

I started this book a while ago, but got stopped. It is our grade 3 book club book this month. We did some pretty easy books so far this year. This one seems to have kids engaged in reading for longer periods of time. That is good. So far I love it. Looking forward to finishing it this week.


This is the book I'm reading for the book club I recently joined in my community. Another great Canadian author!

And of course, I'm still reading this great one by Brene Brown:


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Two Truths and a Lie (Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson)


This book is fabulous. It should be required reading for every adult before the post anything on Facebook (my current pet peeve is the STUPID falsehoods people put on Facebook). This would be a great book to use to start off a unit teaching students who to discern information that is useful and information that is not useful, especially online. This book would be a great way to teach kids to question what they read and seek back up information. The vocabulary in the book is quite impressive and might be tricky for younger grades.

I can't wait for the next volume to come out!

Goodreads says:

Two Truths and a Lie is the first book in a new series that presents some of the most crazy-but-true stories about the living world as well as a handful of stories that are too crazy to be true—and asks readers to separate facts from fakes! Did you know that there is a fungus that can control the mind of an ant and make it do its bidding? Would you believe there is such a thing as a corpse flower—a ten-foot-tall plant with a blossom that smells like a zombie? How about a species of octopus that doesn’t live in water but rather lurks in trees in the Pacific Northwest?

Every story in this book is strange and astounding. But not all of them are real. Just like the old game in this book’s title, two out of every three stories are completely true and one is an outright lie. Can you guess which? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable. And they’re all accompanied by dozens of photos, maps, and illustrations. Amaze yourself and trick your friends as you sort out the fakes from the facts!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Promise (Nicola Davies)


This works well with our decodable: Chinlow of Singboat.  It's about making something beautiful and changing the world.

I had to pause on these pages:

Her bag was full, but when I tried to snatch it from her, she held on with the strength of heroes.

and then: ...and I understood the promise I had made. I held a forest in my arms, and my heart changed. 

The illustrator wrote about it on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

Goodreads says:

An allegorical tale of hope takes on new life in this stirring, gorgeously illustrated story.

On a mean street in a mean, broken city, a young girl tries to snatch an old woman’s bag. But the frail old woman, holding on with the strength of heroes, says the thief can’t have it without giving something in return: the promise. It is the beginning of a journey that will change the thieving girl’s life — and a chance to change the world, for good. Here is the story of a magical discovery that will touch the heart and imagination of every reader, young and old. In an exciting collaboration, author Nicola Davies joins forces with illustrator Laura Carlin to create a contemporary tale inspired by Jean Giono’s 1953 story, L’homme qui plantait des arbres.

King of the Sky (Nicola Davies)


This book won an award for the illustrations. The author wrote about it on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

The book has an eerie feel because the illustrations are smudgey....which works well with the coal town it is set in. I think this could be an interesting story about friendship across different ages. It's beautiful. It could be used around Remembrance Day because it says that pigeons carried messages during the war.

I'm still not quite sure how I'd use it in my classroom though.

Goodreads says:

In this tale of a young boy, an old man, and a dauntless pigeon, a lyrical text and extraordinary illustrations offer a gorgeous meditation on loneliness, belonging, and home. 
A young Italian boy has moved to the Welsh hills with his family. He feels isolated and unhappy, a stranger in a strange land. It is only when he makes an unlikely friend, an old man who lets him fly one of his pigeons in a race, that he learns how he can belong. Nicola Davies s beautiful story an immigrant s tale with powerful resonance in our troubled times is illustrated by an artist who makes the world anew with every picture."

Monday, November 27, 2017

Esio Trot (Roald Dahl)


I've read this book before, but I have a student who is going through a Roald Dahl phase, reading all of his books, so I became compelled to read it again after our discussion about it.

It's a strange book...a man tricks a woman into marrying him. Given Roald Dahl's themes on children who are smarter than adults, this one is a little off. I wonder why he wrote it. It makes me think he didn't have a lot of respect for women, assuming they're focused on silly things and pretty easy to trick into doing what you want them to do.

Here's a quote:

"I beg you to tell me, Mr. Hoppy. I'll be your slave for life!"

When he heard the words your slave for life a shiver of excitement swept through Mr Hoppy.

Oh dear. When I read it I had to go back. "Wait?? Did I really read that??"

It makes me wonder if I should be encouraging kids to reads Roald Dahl books. It's kinda messed up. Good relationships are not built on deceit and trickery.

Goodreads says:

Mr. Hoppy is in love with Mrs. Silver, but her heart belongs to Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mr. Hoppy is too shy to approach Mrs. Silver, until one day he comes up with a brilliant idea to win her heart. If Mr. Hoppy's plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. But it's going to take one hundred and forty tortoises, an ancient spell, and a little bit of magic.