Saturday, June 24, 2017

Banjo of Destiny (Cary Fagan)

Great little story about following your passions. If you ever were forced to play an instrument you didn't love, you'll relate to Jeremiah. Jeremiah has a good friend, Luella, who encourages him on in his pursuit to play the banjo. Jeremiah isn't the cool kid. He's picked last for sports. He messes up at the piano recital. Other boys like to pick on him and tease him. However, he continues on doing what he loves.

Goodreads summary:

Jeremiah Birnbaum is stinking rich. He lives in a house with nine bathrooms, a games room, an exercise room, an indoor pool, a hot tub, a movie theater, a bowling alley and a tennis court. His parents, a former hotdog vendor and window cleaner who made it big in dental floss, make sure Jeremiah goes to the very best private school, and that he takes lessons in all the things he will need to know how to do as an accomplished and impressive young man: etiquette lessons, ballroom dancing, watercolor painting. And, of course, classical piano.

Jeremiah complies, because he wants to please his parents. But one day, by chance, he hears the captivating strains of a different kind of music -- the strums, plucks and rhythms of a banjo. It is music that stirs something in Jeremiah's dutiful little soul, and he is suddenly obsessed. And when his parents forbid him to play one, he decides to learn anyway -- even if he has to make the instrument himself.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat (Bryan Langdo)

This is a hilarious story. Very well written and a joy to read aloud. It's fun to use a cowboy twang when reading it. It was an interesting mix of magic, cowboys, talking animals, danger and heroes.

Goodreads summary:

Tornado Slim is just your regular cowboy . . . until the day he meets the coyote. The coyote gives Slim his special hat and asks him to deliver a letter to the sheriff of Fire Gulch City. Slim has never been to Fire Gulch City, but he figures he can handle it. As Slim travels from town to town, disaster seems to follow. Pretty soon Slim learns that his new hat is NOT your average cowboy hat. Will Slim ever make it to Fire Gulch City? And what did the wily coyote put down in that letter, anyway? Watercolor illustrations add lively humor to this original tall tale. 

Monday, June 12, 2017


This week I need to finish this for my book club!


I also have a big book club event with  my grade threes. Can't wait! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Alice in Pastaland (Alexandra Wright)

We read/watched this on tumblebooks. The animation was not quite as robust as other tumble books, but there were interesting things that happened along the way: especially numbers and equations that kept scrolling on the bottom of the page or side of the pages here and there. The different voices in the story were great too.

I'm not usually a fan of books with math concepts embedded in them, but this one was quite enjoyable! Unfortunately they were imperial (inches and feet) instead of metric. There was a cat that had numbers on his nametag and it was actually a math family diagram. Funny word play on characters like a snake, an adder that sits adding numbers all the time. There was even an introduction to Soduko! The play on the story of Alice in Wonderland is super cute. There was even good science information.

Goodreads summary:

Suppose that Alice had fallen into a wonderland where pasta was the only common denominator. In this clever parody of Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Alexandra Wright presents a mathematically aware Alice whose adventures are an appetizing combination of numbers, humor, and fun. With the Math Hatter dishing it up, the Adder using his noodle, and the Quantum Cat adding spice, arithmetic is full of pastabilities.


I'm reading Cary Falange books this week. I'm hoping that we can have him visit our school next ear during Word Fest.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wolfie and Fly (Cary Fagan)

I loved the main character, Renata Wolfman (also known as Wolfie). She's an independent kid who doesn't need friends for approval or for fun. However, she does end up in some interesting situations iwth her neighbor, Livingston Flott, also known as Fly. I can see these two having a lot of interesting adventures together. Looking forward to reading more!

Goodreads Summary:

A classic story of imagination, friendship, adventure and speeding through the ocean in a cardboard box. For fans of Ivy & BeanJudy Moody or Nate the Great. Wolfie and Fly is an early chapter book at its simplest and best. Our heroine, Renata Wolfman (Wolfie) does everything by herself. Friends just get in the way, and she only has time for facts and reading. But friendship finds her in the form of Livingston Flott (Fly), the slightly weird and wordy boy from next door. Before she knows it, Wolfie is motoring through deep water with Fly as her second in command in a submarine made from a cardboard box. 
Out on a solo swim to retrieve a baseball vital to the mission, Wolfie is finally by herself again, but for the first time, she finds it a little lonely. Maybe there is something to this friend thing...

Monday, May 29, 2017


Yes. I'm still reading this one. I'm not being very serious about it though. I do need to get serious.

The latest Newberry winner! I'm excited to read this one.
Last week I heard Deborah Ellis speak. With all the work AB Ed is doing to get teachers to understand first nations' issues, I thought this would be a great read to start with.