Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Monday-What Are You Reading? December 9, 2013

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

I read a bunch of picture books and early readers this week. Most were read in an attempt to be a more informed voter for the 2013 Nerdies.  Click here to see the amazing list of contenders. 
Click on the book titles to learn more about the books. 

Picture Books

by Rodrigo Folguiera
Illustrated by Poly Bernatene
Cute book about a pig who thinks he's a frog, much to the dismay of the frog in the pond. 

by Amy Dyckman
Illustrated by K. G. Campbell
A real bear just wants a few cookies, but gets more than he bargains for at this tea party when the little girl mistakes him for her teddy. 

by Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
A sweet story to share with new parents.  
Be warned, it's a real tear-jerker. I was crying in the stacks at the book store, not pretty. 

Picture Books 

by Brenda Guiberson
Illustrated by Gennady Spirin
In this beautifully illustrated book, the reader will learn about the different sounds frogs make around the world.

by Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
This book is a new favorite nonfiction picture book.  Great example of "girl power". 

by Annette LeBlanc Cate
I know nothing about bird-watching so this book was perfect for me. The format is graphic novelish with lots of pictures and captions.  It is entertaining as well as informative. 

Early Chapter Books/Early Readers

by Kevin Henkes
This was my first Penny book and it was great.  I can see kids in grades 1-2 loving this series. In this book Penny struggles with her own conscience when she picks up a marble on the sidewalk and takes it home.

by Grace Lin
I love Grace Lin as a middle grade/YZ author so I was excited about this book.  I really took to these two characters.  It is set up like a chapter book with few sentences in each chapter.  Again, great for grades 1-2. 

by Mo Willems
I have an author crush on Mo Willems.  I love the Elephant and Piggie books.  This book explores big and small in the cutest way. 

by Mo Willems
Kids will be excited to play pretend after reading this Elephant and Piggie book.  

by Laurie Keller
Young kids will like it for its humor, pictures and silliness, but it was not for me.  

Middle Grade/YA

by Holly Goldberg Sloan
I'm not sure if I would categorize this book as middle grade or YA, but I loved it.  You will fall in love with Willow Chance.  A touching story of loss, love, family and courage. 

Currently Reading

by Tim Federle
I am only 2 chapters into this book, but I am enjoying it so far. 

by Donald H. Graves
Donald Graves shed light on a big problem for many teachers, burnout and loss of energy.  Really liking it so far. 

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. Love all your picture books!! The only ones I haven't read are Someday and Look Up! I have Look Up! from the library, so I'll get to it this week. I LOVED Counting by 7s and hope it wins some kind of sticker this Jan. :-) Awesome that you're on the planning committee of nErDcamp Northern New England!!

    1. Thanks Holly. nErDcamp should be great. It's coming up in January.

  2. I loved Look Up too and I must get my hands on Frog Song! It's one that I keep meaning to track down, but haven't quite been able to yet. Thanks for the extra motivation to do so.

  3. Lovely picture books, her. But my favorite in your stack is Counting by 7s - such an amazing book.

    1. I agree Tara, just wonderful. I almost didn't read it and I am so glad I did.

  4. Super list, Gigi. Some of my favorite mentor texts for writing are on there.

    Your post just reminded me that I lent Look Up to someone. Definitely want to get that one back soon!

    1. Ha! Yes, I am often forgetting where my books go also :-)

  5. Great choices, Gig! I love all the Penny books, but this one seemed extra special. I'm really looking forward to Tea Party Rules. Boy + Bot is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love, love, love Counting by 7s! One of my favourites of the year. I am such a fan of the Penny books - sure hope Henkes keeps writing them. They are to be treasured.

  7. I grabbed The Energy to Teach at NCTE! I'm hoping to get to it sooner rather than later but that's always my plan and it doesn't always happen. I love seeing Look Up! on your list. That was a fun read. We need to do more bird watching. Lots of others that look great, too! :)

  8. Hello there Gigi, Ribbit has a great picture book cover. Will definitely check out the Elizabeth Blackwell picture book biography - love girl power themed books. And yes, one can never go wrong with Mo Willems. Have a great reading week!