It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – New treasures from Kids Can Press


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Despite my heartbreak at the fact that I will not be sharing these books with my students tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day after that due to the ongoing teacher’s strike in B.C., I am happy to share them with you in the hopes that you are not on strike and can share them with YOUR students!

Kids Can Press is a prominent Canadian publishing company.  I am fortunate to be on their list of people who receives samples of some of their new releases twice a year.   Last week, their fall books arrived at my doorstep!  Book joy!  I’m happy to be featuring some of these books in my IMWAYR post today.

Stop, Thief!

Stop, Theif! by Heather Takavec

I instantly fell in love with the main character in this book – an adorable little dog named Max.  Max lives on a farm and one day the farmer asks Max to help him catch a thief who has been stealing carrots, lettuce, beans and cherries from the farm.  Max is eager to help and begins asking all the farm animals if they know who the unidentified thief is.  The humor, of course, is that all the animals Max asks tell him they know nothing about a thief, while they are eating carrots, beans and lettuce!  This is definitely a fun book that will have young children laughing.  A great addition to books about farm animals, as well as for practicing simple inferring.  Charming illustrations!

Super Red Riding Hood

Super Red Riding Hood – Claudia Davila
This book is a perfect blend of old and new and I really enjoyed this modern twist to a classic fairy tale. When Ruby puts on her red cloak – she becomes Super Red Riding Hood!  Strong and spunky female character and bright and colorful illustrations.  A perfect addition to your fractured fairy tale collection and a great read-aloud for primary students.
Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
Hana Hashimoto – Sixth Violin – Chieri Uegaki
My friend Carrie Gelson has a special fondness for intergenerational picture books and books that promote the special bond between children and their grandparents.  I saw this book first on her blog (There’s a Book for That) and was excited to find it in my box of treasures from Kids Can Press.   It is a delightful story filled with so many wonderful themes – being creative, being determined, being brave.  Young Hana enters a violin talent contest and is determined to win.  Her Ojiichan (grandfather), himself a renouned violinist, is her strongest influence and plays a role in her efforts to face her fears.  I held my breath when she walks onto the stage and begins to play.  Beautiful writing, beautiful illustrations and a true celebration of music and family.
 Into the Woods (BIGFOOT Boy #1)The Sound of Thunder
Bigfoot Boy  – J. Torres
This graphic novel adventure series is action packed and perfect for readers grades 2-5.  The art is rich and colorful and the characters are humorous and fun.  What I like about this series is that it weaves aboriginal themes, characters and artifacts into the story.  In Into the Woods, the main character Rufus finds a totem necklace that turns him into a sasquatch.  In the Sound of Thunder, the story continues when someone steals the magic necklace from him.  His pal, Penny is a great addition to the second  book.  I am definitely going to share these with my librarian and get this series into our school!
Product Details
Loula and the Sister Recipe – Anne Villeneuve
This charming book is about a little girl who is tiring of her younger triplet brothers and asks her parents to “make her a sister”.  Her father explains, “Making a sister is . . . well, it’s like making a cake. You need the right ingredients…..a papa and a mama, butterflies in the stomach, a full moon, a candlelit supper, kisses and hugs and chocolate.”  Loula then proceeds to “follow the recipe” to make her own sister.  The ending will surprise you!  While reading it, I was visualizing a class listening to the story and possibly tricky side track conversations that might ensue about baby-making!  Other than that, I enjoyed the story, particularly the character of Loula – she is observent, determined, cheerful and very creative!  Apparently, this is the second Loula book but I will now be searching for the first.
The Best Part of The Day
The Best Part of the Day – Sarah Ban Breathnach
Part of my bedtime routine with my boys when they were little was to do “gratefuls” –  listing things and people we were grateful for that day. This book would have been the perfect addition to that ritual.  It is a lovely bedtime book I would recommend for parents but also a great book for making connections and one that would certainly stimulate younger children writing about the best part of their day.   The illustrations are gorgeous – detailed and meant for savoring.  The writing is lyrical with a simple rhyming scheme that young children would be reciting with you.  A perfect gift book for pre-school age children.
Little Elliot, Big City
Little Elliot, Big City -Mike Curato
There is nothing I don’t love about this charming book about the challenges an adorable polka dot elephant named Elliot faces in the big city.  This book includes SO many teachable topics – embracing differences, making friends, facing challenges and experiencing greatness. The illustrations are amazing! A must read aloud! (and serve cupcakes afterwards!)
Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success
Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success  by Regie Routman
I have just started reading Regie Routman’s new book called Read, Write and Lead.  My good friends in Kelowna, Lisa Wilson and Donna    , are using this book as a professional book study and have invited me to join in their discussions via Skype.  Regie Routman has had a strong influence on my teaching practice – I find her books practical and full of wisdom and I’ve used them both in my teaching and my writing.  This book looks at what is needed to create a supportive literacy community in your school and  increasing joy in teaching and learning.  It is definitely one I would recommend for a school book study and I am looking forward to implementing her ideas (as soon as the strike is over!)
Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know which book caught your eye?



This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Gigi McAllister

    I have seen Little Elliot on several lists this week, but it has yet to arrive at any libraries here in Maine. I am always on the lookout for another great PD book. Regie Routman is such an amazing educator!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Little Elliot is worth waiting for – it is a gem of a book! If you enjoy Regie – I really think you will find this book very interesting and applicable! Thanks for stopping by this week!

  2. Linda Baie

    Wow, Adrienne, you’re fortunate to receive such a sweet box! Yes, I know about Hana Hashimoto via Carrie, not at the library yet, & I may buy it, but not yet. It does sound wonderful. And so does Stop, Thief! and the others. Isn’t it great to have so many good choices of books to share? Thank you!
    On the more serious note, as I say to Carrie, I’m so sorry for this awful conflict & I’m keeping track, watching for good news often. Best wishes Adrienne, to you & your colleagues, too!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Yes, the box of books cheered me up as we are all feeling very down around these parts because of the strike. Thank you for your kind words and well wishes for a quick end to this dispute. I’m so very sad I won’t be walking into my classroom tomorrow! My own children are also feeling a bit strange that they won’t be heading back to routines and friends and school activities. I shall be drowning my sorrows in the pages of books and hope that it all ends very soon!

  3. Ricki Ginsberg

    Adrienne, Super Red Riding Hood looks simply delightful. Thank you for sharing about it. I love new twists on the classics, and who doesn’t love a superhero! I am sorry about the BC strike. I hope you can escape in literature this week. 🙁

    1. Adrienne Gear

      You will really enjoy Super Red – so fun and a great way to add some current spunk to a classic tale! Thanks for your thoughts about the strike – it’s all very discouraging and I can’t believe that I won’t be walking into my classroom tomorrow and greeting my students! I will certainly try to distract myself by reading a lot!

  4. Bryn Coape-Arnold (@brynca6)

    Oh, how to choose? You describe these books so well it makes me want to read them all! I will have to check with Lisa & Donna about the book study as I’d love to join in…not sure if they have larger plans for a group or just you three. I saw Regie speak when she came to the Literacy Summit here in Kelowna and really enjoyed listening to her as well! As always, thanks for sharing, you really do make every book sound like a must read!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      I’m not sure about how many teachers are in the book study but I’m sure they’d let you join. I know they are working on some overviews to give to staffs as it is really a book promoting school literacy – not just classroom literacy. I would love to hear Regie speak again – I heard her at the IRA several years ago. Her books are wonderful and she has been a big inspiration to me. Thanks for your comments and for visiting my blog!

  5. carriegelson

    Wonderful titles all around. Drowning your sorrows in the pages of books – does sound like the order of the day for all of us! I am thrilled that you loved Hana Hashimoto. It is just so so very beautiful. Hang in there this week. Best to your boys.

  6. bevbaird

    What a wonderful assortment of books. Great reviews – I will be looking to read these soon! Having been through a 2 week strike in Ontario with Mike Harris, I can only commend all of you for standing up to the gov’t for the betterment of children’s education. All the best.

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Thanks for the support! It is hard to feel optimistic at the moment as all I want to do is welcome new students into my class! I fear this will be a long battle. But I will continue to read and share books because it makes me feel better!

  7. thelogonauts

    So many great books! I have been waiting for our library’s copy of Hana Hashimoto to arrive for quite some time, and I can’t wait to meet Little Elliott either. Can I ask how you managed to get on their mailing list? Such a great opportunity!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      You will love Little Elliott and Hana! I met a distributor from Kids Can Press at Reading For the Love of It conference in Toronto last February. My publisher introduced me to her and told her how much I promote literature to teachers at my workshops. The next thing I knew I was receiving boxes of books! I am very fortunate!

  8. Adrienne Gear

    Hi Debbie – Glad you stopped by and hoping that you found a few new titles this week! Happy reading!

  9. Myra GB

    What a wonderful list of books you have here, Adrienne. I am particularly intrigued with Little Elliot Big City, as I have been seeing it featured in quite a number of bookblogs recently – looks like something I would thoroughly enjoy.

  10. Myra GB

    What a wonderful list of books you have here, Adrienne. I am particularly intrigued with Little Elliot Big City, as I have been seeing it featured in quite a number of bookblogs recently – looks like something I would thoroughly enjoy.

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