Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Book Store

OK, how exciting is this? A new indie book store is opening 5 blocks from my front door! I walked by and looked in the window of The Bookery Nook. It looks REALLY cool. New black book cases, comfy chairs etc. It looks like it will have a big kids section. I can even take, my dog, Gus. Their web site says opening April. Hopefully, by this time next week I will have an update.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight

Recently Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight was reviewed on A Year of Reading. As usual their reviews make me want new books. Well, I did get a chance to read it as well. For full disclosure I must admit that I love Westies. Eric Wight’s illustrations of Argyle are incredible. He captures every mood of the stubborn Westie.

I have an idea for a follow up with the kid with the world’s most amazing imagination. Frankie Pickle imagines Argyle is a dog that listens (not just when he wants to), that can go on a walk without a lead, comes when he is called, and does not look at Frankie with looks of contempt. Wait, that’s not a Westie that’s a Golden. What fun is having a Westie without the cute and the stubborn?

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Gardening is very important to me. Last summer we were on the local garden tour, and when we plan trips seeing different gardens is always on the itinerary. That is why two of my favorite books are Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney and The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. Flowers and plants are important to the soul. A new book has taken their place, and the main character is a boy! The Curious Garden by Peter Brown is a wonderful book. The story is about a boy named Liam that discovers the abandoned elevated train tracks. He finds dying plants and takes it upon himself to be their gardener. Tending the thicket always has joyous results. (There is aLiam in my class who's mother is a master gardener, and is responsible for Montclair's fantastic spring plant sale!)

Peter Brown’s story and illustrations give me goose bumps. As I reread the story I find more fun things that make me want to read it again. I do love the mysterious gardener. The message is similar to Miss Rumphius and The Gardener. Our little efforts at making the world a better place pay off. It may be cliché, but smiling is contagious!

Thank you Peter Brown!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Soccer or Book Club?

Soccer season has started. Many of the third grade guys are on the same soccer team, so there were fewer of us at book club. I am glad their parents are making them choose. Actually, I think some are saying you have to do soccer. For the couple of boys that are “picking” soccer over reading I am glad. One of the 3rd grade writing prompts was about having the choice to play outside or read for an hour and two wrote about playing, and not reading. L even wrote that he hates reading! Liar, liar pants on fire. L has read Here Be Monsters four times! I told them that at least their essays were well written even though they were far from the truth. Their grins told the real story. E wrote “I try to get in as much reading as I can every day.”

OK back to book club. Our book was Billy Hooten Owl Boy by Tom Sniegoski. The guys loved it. One even said that it is a great book to discuss because it is so well rounded and fun. He needs to help my book club get back on track. The guys love to talk about their favorite parts and for once they didn’t all have the same one.

Boys can be very silly. N a very quiet boy got the giggles and tried to stop, but that only made it worse. He finally ran out of the room laughing and crying. Now, you must understand boys are so sympathetic to feelings because when N returned they all said the same word that set him off originally. Yes, he lost it again.

Our next book is another Tom Sniegoski book titled The Brimstone Network. It looks good!

Happy Birthday Carol

For a dear friend, special person, loving mother, awesome teacher, and important mentor I say to you HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recently I received the first two books in the Roscoe Riley Rules series by Katherine Applegate. My plan was to read them quickly during free time at school and write about them on my blog. Well, they vanished the first morning. Book 2 did reappear yesterday morning. It is hard to pry good books from 3rd grade hands.

The funny part is that the series is for lower reading level then the class that has the books. It is hard to tell if older kids will read books about younger kids, but they seem to love this series. One boy said he has them at home and rereads them.

We are dealing with bullying issues here at school (which school isn’t?), so I think most can relate to how Roscoe and his friend feel.

My goal is to get the book into the hands of struggling readers.

Books sent to me by the author.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CSAP Poetry

Today we start the Writing part of the CSAP. Lauren gave me a great poem.

The Toucan
Tell me who can
Catch a toucan?
Lou can.

Just how few can
Ride the toucan?
Two can.

What kind of goo can
Stick you to the toucan?
Glue can.

Who can write some
More about the toucan?
You can!

Shel Silverstein