Wednesday, November 22, 2017

These Small Stones Poems selected by Norma Farber and Myra Cohn Livingston*

I bought this used copy at our library's book sale and am so glad that I own this gem!  These ladies, Ms Farber and Ms. Livingston, selected a wonderful collection of unique poems by a variety of poets.  Although these poems were collected with children in mind, they included "adult" sophisticated poets too (e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Lord Alfred Tennyson).  The poems also span many countries and time periods (Japanese, Armenian, Spanish).
I love the variety this anthology offers. 
All the poems share the same theme- small items.
*Highly recommend.
-I own this book.

Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott*

Award winner- Caldecott Honor Book
The people of Ghana love sharing the story about Kwaku Anansi the spider and his six sons.  Each son has a special gift and utilizes his gift to save his father when he is in danger.
A very fun, creative story!
Both of my boys read this book to themselves during our study of Ancient Africa.
It reminds me of The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop (text to text connections)-we own this book plus The Seven Chinese Brothers.
*Highly recommend.
-Borrowed from the library.

Monday, November 20, 2017

I Am Phoenix by Paul Fleischmann illustrated by Ken Nutt*

Poems for Two Voices
These poems feature different types of birds.  The poem order is clever as the first poem is about  dawn and the last one is about owls.
To perform these poems, the readers would need to practice often.  I read these aloud with my sons in the mornings.  They were reluctant to read them aloud with me as the lines could be confusing when read at the same time (different words at the same time). 
But, I loved the cleverness and thoughtfulness Mr. Fleischmann utilized to create these poems and think when practiced, they would sound incredible.
*Highly recommend.
-I own this book.

Pretty Salma by Niki Daly

A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa
Salma, who lives in Ghana, goes to market for Granny.  Granny warns her not to talk to strangers, but the advice goes unheeded when a flattering dog offers to help her carry her purchases.
My eight year old read this to himself during our study of Africa.
Strategies: connections (text to text)/comparing contrasting
-Borrowed from the library.

An Interactive History Adventure-Ancient China by Terry Collins*

You Choose Books
My ten year old read this book during our brief study of Ancient China.
He enjoyed choosing which "story path" to read.  He also learned a lot about Ancient China!
*Highly recommend.
-Borrowed from the library.

Life in Ancient Civilizations The Chinese by Matt Doeden illustrated by Samuel Hiti

My ten year old read selected sections from this book during our brief study of Ancient China.
The book covers the years from 618-907, during the Tang dynasty and Zhou dynasty.  Besides the main text, inserts offer a lot of additional information.
-Borrowed from the library.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead**

**Newbery Medal Winner
Sarah Mackenzie from Read Aloud Revival hosted a podcast with Sarita Holzmann the founder of Sonlight Curriculum the other week.  Mrs. Holzmann discussed the seven attributes she looks for in a book before she recommends it for Sonlight.  She mentioned some books that epitomize those attributes and one of them was When You Reach Me. 
I highly, highly recommend this book.  It has been years since a book has captivated me like this one did!
Miranda, a sixth grader, receives a note saying that she must write a letter to the note sender and that her friend's life is in danger.  Notes keep appearing and contain information that has not even occurred yet!
A whole host of characters and events are presented that seem separate but are intricately and cleverly woven together by the end of the story.
I am still thinking about this book!
**Highly, highly recommend.
-Borrowed from the library.
Points to discuss/warnings: Marcus beats up Sal, Miranda's best friend, until he bleeds and is sick; some boys cat call to Miranda; "hell" is used a couple of times as a curse word; a boy kisses Miranda and she kisses him back; someone dies; Miranda's mom "swipes" office supplies from the law firm where she works (stealing).