Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I've been playing catch-up in the Book Nook in my library this week, reading Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas to some classes and Meet the Parents by Peter Bently to others.  

Water Can Be is a delightful nonfiction picture book about the many forms and tasks water can, well, be!  Each illustrated page is simply narrated by a two-word description of what the water is, or is doing, in the picture.  Examples are "downhill speeder", "salmon highway", and "kid-drencher".  

After a general discussion about nonfiction text--and how it can be illustrated by hand, as Violeta Dabija has done, not just by photographs--I had the students close their eyes and quietly think of all the ways they have interacted with water.  They were then instructed to give me a silent thumbs-up every time one of their musings connected with an image in the book.  I also gave my own thumbs-up on several pages!

Salas gives additional information at the end of the book about how water in involved in each scene (I learned something about "woodchuck warmer"), as well as a glossary and further reading resources.  This makes for a wonderful introduction to nonfiction text features for younger students, and I've already had teachers request the book to use next year with their water cycle units.  

Meet the Parents is a sweet story about the many roles moms and dads have, from "menders of trains" to dads acting as horses and mom's dresses as towels for grimy hands.  The pictures by Sara Ogilvie are bright and a bit chaotic, perfectly illustrating the messiness that seems inherent in raising children.   The scenes may be geared more for the preschool years, but my second-graders were engaged and had no problem connecting with handing over leftovers for a parent to finish and getting tucked in at night with a kiss.  I plan on making this book one of my go-to baby shower gifts. 

I have been doing well with my morning reading time, given my small goal of 6-12 pages in Thomas Moore's A Religion of One's Own as I drink my first cup of coffee.  I'm also halfway through Dogs of Winter and will report on that one next week, I think!  Spring break is right around the corner, and I'm planning on a reading binge or two during those days off.

What's in your reading queue this week?



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