Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? October 28, 2013

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Please click on the picture to go to the book's page on Goodreads to learn more about it.

Picture Books

by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Adorable little Spork is searching for his place in the world.  He's not a fork, nor a spoon and the other utensils shun him.  Until one day a messy "thing" arrives. 
I read this to my 4th graders and they loved it.  They especially liked guessing what the messy thing was and rooting for Spork to find self-acceptance. 

Not A Box 
by Antoinette Portis
Oh the wonders and possibilities of a simple, empty cardboard box.  In this book the rabbit uses the box as a spaceship, robot and a car just to name a few. 
Good for ages 4-8. 

Bob and Otto
by Robert O. Bruel
Illustrated by Nick Bruel
I was delighted to find this book at my library.  I love Nick Bruel's illustrations and after looking into it more, I discovered that Nick Bruel found this story his father had written after his father passed away. He made some minor changes and did the illustrations. 
This is a story of friendship.  Bob and Otto are great friends and enjoy spending their days together on the ground.  
You can read the book online at the site below.
Good for grades K-3

Nonfiction Picture Book

 Harlem's Little Blackbird
by Renee Watson
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
This picture book biography is about Florence Mills, a singer/dancer from Harlem in the 1920's. She was lesser known than some more famous African-American performers of the time, but just as influential.  Strangely enough, there are no known audio or video recordings of her voice on record, so her story has been passed down by generations of story tellers. 
Good for grades 3-5.


A Stick is an Excellent Thing
by Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
This is a really fun book of short poetry to celebrate outdoor play.  It made me want to roll in some leaves and jump off a swing.  Good for grades 2-4.

Middle Grade

Fortunately, the Milk
by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Skottie Young
Although this book was not a favorite for me, many kids will enjoy it for it's over-the-top silliness. A father gets delayed bringing milk home for his two daughters.  The tale he tells about why he is late is the basis for the book. Traveling through time, being captured by pirates and rescued by a stegosaurus in a hot air balloon are just a few events from his tall tale.  The fun, messy illustrations are the best part of this book. 
Good for grades 3-4.

Currently Reading

Frog Burgers 
by Lee Mandel

The Graveyard Book 
by Neil Gaiman

Currently Listening

Waiting for Normal
by Leslie Connor

What Are You Reading Friends?

Gigi McAllister teaches at Great Falls Elementary. In her 21 years as an educator, she has taught K-6 special education for 10 years, spent one year at grade 5 and is currently in her 10th year of teaching 4th grade. She is serves on the executive board of the MRA and on the planning committee for nErDcamp Northern New England (have you signed up yet?) You can visit her blog (The Late Bloomer's Book Blog) where she posts about books, reading and classroom practices here. You can also find her on Twitter and on her professional Facebook page


  1. Spork looks like a good beginning of the year title! thanks!

  2. The Graveyard Book - could not get into this one. Your picture book slections make me wish I was teaching the younger set - enchanting!

  3. Gigi I love the book Waiting for Normal - hope you are enjoying it! I am also a fan of Spork. Love both the illustrator and the author! Got to hear Kyo Maclear speak at the Vancouver Writer's Festival last fall. She is so lovely.

  4. Gaiman is just so prolific. I have to find Fortunately the Milk here in our libraries. I am a Kyo Maclear fan and I enjoyed reading Spork too - very cute story. The messy 'thing' was just brilliant. I've been meaning to find Harlem's Little Blackbird too. :) Have a great reading week!