Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fall Reading List

With the first day of winter just a few days away and Christmas in less than a week, I thought it was time to post our favorite books we read this fall. Carter has been a big reader for a long time and Elise had recently picked up the habit, I love it! Elise is becoming more interested in picking out books at the library and is more vocal about which books she likes the best. It is so much fun to have 2 kids loving to read around here. Read last year's winter list here, 2015's list here, 2014's list here, and 2013's list here.

Our Top Reading Choices From This Fall:
  • Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, I'm not sure who liked this book more, me or Carter. It was so funny, we were both cracking up. I also loved that it gave lots of opportunities for practice with shapes, counting, and sizes. I had Carter point out the small, medium, and large shapes on each page. He also counted to see how many triangles or squares were on each page. He loved that triangle sneaked up on square and hissed to make him think it was a snake. He walked to where Elise was and stood outside hissing at her to see if she would think it was a snake a few times, it was so funny! He kept thinking up different versions of the book and would orally plan them out for me in the car. In one of his versions square and triangle sneak up on circle and scare him by pretending to be dinosaurs. He kept running with it to where triangle, square, and circle scared heart. Then triangle, square, circle and heart scare hexagon. I think he has a whole series planned out for Barnett and Klassen. I loved that it made him excited to write his own books! 
  • Troll and the Oliver by Adam Stower, Carter loved this book. He thought it was great that Oliver was called "the Oliver". He also liked how Oliver always sang as he tricked the troll. He thought the troll was so funny. At the end of the book they had a recipe for Troll Cupcakes and Carter was so excited to make them.
  • Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani, Elise and I went to a storytime while Carter was at school and the librarian read this book. Elise loved the cats and I loved the math intertwined in the silliness of the book. When we got home I put it on hold so I could read it to Carter and he also enjoyed it. I kept thinking of all the fun math tubs and math open response questions I could center around the book so I definitely took note of it for when I go back to work!
  • Specs for Rex by Yasmeen Ismail, Carter loved this book about a lion who is embarrassed about his new glasses so he keeps trying to hide him. He said he liked it because the lion kept trying to hide his glasses and it was pretty funny some of the ways he did it. I think he could also relate to the lion being embarrassed and worrying about his friends laughing at him. It was a sweet story with him realizing his glasses were pretty neat by the end of the book.
  • Whaley Whale by Chris Raschka, Elise loved this book. She thought it was hilarious to see the whale hiding in the book. She also enjoyed getting to say no when it suggested a place where the whale wasn't actually hiding. It was a great book for practicing with different directional words like over, under, and beside. It also had that fun feel of inviting the kids to interact with the book like Mo Willems creates with his Pigeon books. I enjoyed it just as much as Elise although that was in large part due to listening to her belly laugh as we read!
  • Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison, I loved this book. It had such a wonderful message about how our attitude can really change our whole experience. I loved how one little act of kindness from Bernice changes the day of different animals in the story. It was a great message to stop and look at the big picture when you feel like nothing is going your way. I also liked how expressive Harrison drew Bernice's face. It really gave you a strong emotion to go along with the story and Carter loved pointing out how she looked at different points of the book.
  • Fox and the Jumping Contest by Corey R. Tabor, This was a super cute book about a jumping contest and a fox who would do anything to win it, including creating a jet pack. I loved the little snippets in it that could be turned into a learning moment. The elephant is happy just to be there and get to do the contest and is happy regardless of what place she gets. It also focuses on how winning isn't that important and maybe it's not a good idea to cheat. It does all that while being super adorable and funny. Carter laughed at multiple points in the book. This is a great book just to enjoy and also to open discussions on sportsmanship.
  • South by Daniel Duncan, Carter loved this book and wanted to read it over and over. I think partly just because the pictures were so beautiful. It was also a wonderful story of friendship and of letting go. It was one of those that made me tear up a little at the end, it was that sweet. It was also a great example of continuing to love and remember someone or something from afar or after they are gone.
  • Octopuses One to Ten by Ellen Jackson, This book jumped out at me at the library because it was illustrated by Steve Jenkins. I've found that even books he hasn't authored and had just illustrated are so wonderful. He's able to tell so much more in his illustration than are in the words. I adore him and I'd have to say he is probably my favorite nonfiction children's author. He finds such interesting ways to share information and children even as young as Carter and Elise can enjoy his books. This one was all about different kinds of octopuses and we found it fascinating. I realized that when I think of an octopus, I think of a Giant Pacific Octopus but really there are all kinds of octopuses, some even poisonous! On the bottom of each page they showed the size of the octopus compared to the size of an average adult male. It was really cool and Carter pointed that out to me. After reading this book we had to go to the aquarium to get a look at the octopus after learning more about her.  
  • Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp, I loved this book and it was another one that got me a little teared up. It was the sweet story of a girl who struggled to read. Eventually she finds confidence to read through reading with a dog at the library. Carter was amazed that there was a dog in the library and I told him our library does a special program where you can read to a dog. The book also opened up a conversation about how it is never okay to laugh at a classmate when they make a mistake. Carter brought it up and we talked about how I would never allow that as a teacher because it is so mean and disrespectful and that as his mom, I expect Carter to respect all of his classmates when they are trying their hardest. Carter's sensitive side definitely came out when we reached the part in the book where Madeline's peers laughed as she read aloud.