I read lots of good, short books over spring break last week. I didn't have as much time to read as I usually do as I tried to spent a good deal of time writing. And then there is the whole exercise thing that is taking up more and more time. Since I am focusing on fitness and making time for that in my life, I was worried that I was reading far less. But when I checked my Goodreads numbers, I am at about the same place I was last year. I think having less time to read it allowing me to focus on short books--poetry, graphic novels, picture books and I am loving the books I am finding. This week, I read.
HOW MANY JELLY BEANS? by Andrea Menotti This book is such fun. It reminds me a bit of HOW MUCH IS A MILLION and I think kids will love it. The story is about two kids discussing the number of jelly beans they could eat. When they get to the number of jelly beans they could eat across a year, the math thinking becomes more complex. I love all of the invitations for problems solving that this book has. This is definitely one that can be used in a math classroom or it could just be used as a fun read aloud. The size and colors also makes this one pretty fun.
I DON'T WANT TO BE A PEA by Ann Bonwill will make a fun read aloud. I pretty much buy anything that has any connection to the Princess and the Pea. But, I actually picked this one up because I like it for word play. This is the story of a hippo and a bird who are friends--who depend on each other. But when they are trying to decide on costumes for the upcoming costume party, they have some problems. I like all of the ideas that the bird and hippo come up with. This is a fun read aloud for younger kids and I think it would be a great conversation with older kids about how words go together.
HUFF AND PUFF by Claudia Rueda is another traditional tale retelling. In this one Rueda retells The Three Little Pigs in a short, interactive way. The whole story is told in just one sentence per page. And readers are invited to join along in the huffing and puffing. This one would be great to use with older kids to talk about summarizing/synthesizing etc.
I also read a few nonfiction picture books.
GOING APE by Eduardo Bustos is a short book with facts about various primates. Each page focuses on one type and has just a few sentence to go along with it. Great for all ages.
THE DAY ROY RIEGELS RAN THE WRONG WAY by Dan Gutman is a great story of a football player's game-changing mistake. I love adding new books to my collection of picture book biographies and I love this one because it is sports related and I love the message about mistakes. There is also an interesting writing style in which a grandfather is telling his grandson the story of Riegels and their talking bubble dialogue is set up on the side of the page.
LEO GEO AND HIS MIRACULOUS JOURNEY THROUGH THE CENTER OF THE EARTH by Jon Chat is one that I am still reading. It is an odd shaped book that chronicles a journey to the center of the earth--and back. The book is a bit of a graphic novel and it reminds me a little of a more grown-up version of The Magic Schoolbus. This book is not only unique in format, but it is PACKED with information about rocks, the earth's layers, etc. A great nonfiction book and one that will engage students due to its format and humor. I was surprised at how long the book takes to read-as I said, it is packed with information. There is far more text in the book than there appears to be.
OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW: A FIRST BOOK OF NATURE by Nicola Davies. I love this nonfiction author and was thrilled to see her new volume of poetry about nature and the outdoors. This looks to be a well-loved collection with lots of opportunities for studying craft.
absolute favorite read of the week was Tom Angleberger's FAKE MUSTACHE. What a great read! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this book and I was so happy to finally have a copy. I can't wait to share this book with kids. This is the story of Lenny whose best friend buys a fake mustache. With the mustache, he tries to take over the world. Lenny is the only one who can see what is happening and he tries to save the day. This book is hysterical. (The subtitle alone made me smile--FAKE MUSTACHE: OR HOW JODIE O'RODEO AND HER WONDER HORSE (AND SOME NERDY KID) SAVED THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FROM A MAD GENIUS CRIMINAL MASTERMIND. I laughed aloud a lot while reading. How Tom Angleberger thinks of these things is beyond me. This book is going to be a huge hit with my 4th and 5th grade readers. I am sure we'll need several copies of this one in the library. A great story that is really, really fun!