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Fun and Games and Life Lessons with September 2015 Primary Titles!

August 28th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2015-2016 - (Comments Off on Fun and Games and Life Lessons with September 2015 Primary Titles!)

hula-hoopin queenThe Hula-Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin. Illustrated by Primary Icon of a White-Tailed DeerVanessa Brantley-Newton. Lee & Low, 2014.

We love this multi-generational and multicultural story with universal themes of friendship, family and community! — ROW Primary Literacy Advisory Committee members.

Read the CCBC annotation:

Kameeka is determined to defeat Jamara Johnson and become the Hula Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. Kameeka’s so preoccupied with thoughts of victory that she makes a mistake setting the oven temperature for the cake her mama’s making for Miz Adeline’s birthday and it falls flat. Hoop in hand she heads out to buy more sugar for another cake but gets sidetracked when she runs into Jamara. By the time Kameeka remembers the sugar it’s too late to make another cake before the party. And Miz Adeline loves chocolate cake. But to Kameeka’s surprise it turns out she also loves something else — hula hooping! An appealing debut picture book set in a predominantly African American neighborhood is grounded in lively details and has a wonderful sense of family and community along with terrific dialogue and turns of phrase. (“Mama stands still as water in a puddle. She gives me her look.”) Highly Commended, 2015 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start discussion with these questions:

  1. What conflicts does Kameka face in the story? What is the result of these conflicts? How are these conflicts resolved?
  2. In the book, what do you think Kameka learns? What makes you think this?
  3. The author uses comparisons such as “Momma stands as still as water in a puddle” to describe characters and situations. What other comparisons did you notice in the book?

 

Ling & Ting: Twice As Silly by Grace Lin. Little, Brown, 2014.

A great funny story to engage and encourage beginning readers! — ROW Primary Literacy Advisory Committee members.

Read the CCBC annotation:

ling and ting twice as sillyAlmost identical in appearance, twins Ling and Ting have far from identical personalities as fans of this series that began with Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same (Little, Brown, 2010) know. But both girls excel at being silly, as the stories in this third offering about the Chinese American sisters show. Wordplay is at the root of the humor in some chapters, as when Ting gives up on her idea for a cupcake garden and decides to plant jelly beans instead (because beans are seeds). When Ling announces she can swing higher than a tree, even one that is taller than a building, taller than a mountain, and higher than the clouds, Ting is skeptical until Ling points out that “Trees can’t swing.” The six chapters conclude with Ling and Ting making up a story that is “very, very silly,” and that also brings the volume full circle as they imagine a cupcake tree.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start discussion with these questions:

  1. What does Ting plant in the garden to see if it will grow? Why does Ting plant this?
  2. What words do Ling and Ting change in the last story? How does this change the meaning of the story?
  3. The author/illustrator outlines the pictures in either straight lines or curvy lines? Why do you think?

September 2015: Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

August 28th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September | 2015-2016 - (Comments Off on September 2015: Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers)

My Busmy bus by Byron Barton. Greenwillow / HarperCollinIcon_PreSchools, 2014.

What could be more appealing to toddlers than a book about a bus driver and his canine and feline passengers? A book in which those cats and dogs are driven to a boat (“They sail away”), a train (“They ride away”), and a plane (“They fly away”). Finally there is only one dog left. “My dog,” says the bus driver. “Bow wow.” Classic Byron Barton, the illustrations feature bright colors, rounded shapes, and flat perspective, as well as priceless expressions on the faces of the cats and dogs. Barton’s winning book offers the opportunity to count on every page spread (anywhere from one to five), not to mention bark and meow with wild abandon.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

  • Talk: About the traffic signs in the book. Ask children to point to signs they recognize.
  • Sing: Sing the Wheels on the Bus with your child.
  • Write: For letter awareness, point out the traffic signs in the book. Ask children to trace the shapes and letters on the sign.
  • Play: Try a round of Red Light, Green Light or Mother May I.
  • STEM: Count the dogs on the bus? Count the cats on the bus? Count the total. Caregivers: Notice the use of ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) Discuss, other first, second, and thirds in daily routines.

mommies and their babiesMommies and Their Babies (Black And White) by Guido van Genechten. Translated from the Dutch. Clavis, 2012

daddies and their babies

Daddies and Their Babies (Black And White) by Guido van Genechten. Translated from the Dutch. Clavis, 2012.

Two simple board books show animal parents and their offspring, using the correct name for the young: “snake mommy with her baby snakelet,” “crocodile daddy with his baby hatchling,” and so on. But it’s the warmth of the relationships captured in the striking black-and-white illustrations that really is the point. The illustrations’ bold shapes and shading create great visual interest for very young children, while the round eyes of the creatures in each pair gaze upon one another with affection and delight.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center.

  • Talk: The language of books is richer than the language of conversation, more rare words are used. Point out new words to your child as you read these books.
  • Write: Draw a picture of your own family and label who is in it.
  • STEM: Count the number of people in your family.

Find more early literacy activities from the Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association’s 2015 Early Literacy Calendar created by Youth Services librarians across Wisconsin.

New School Year! New Read On Wisconsin Year!

August 28th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in 2015-2016 - (Comments Off on New School Year! New Read On Wisconsin Year!)

Yep, that’s right! We start our Read On Wisconsin year in September at the same time the schools around Wisconsin begin their new school year. That means we have a new list of suggested titles for engaging, exciting and easily accessible monthly common reads for babies up to high schoolers. Reader’s advisory, book group, read-alouds: you can use ROW titles for these and more. We also encourage you to share the titles with kids and caregivers in your library and your school. See the list here or at the Books tab above.

Also, we encourage you, your kiddos and their caregivers to check out titles and resources on our website, @ReadOnWi on Twitter and Pinterest. Again this year, the fabulous TeachingBooks.net has partnered with us to share their amazing resources. You can find hundreds of instructional materials for the ROW titles at their Read On Wisconsin 2015-2016 bookshelf. They even have QR codes for all the ROW bookshelves and individual titles that you can print and post around your library or with the books.

A few new things this year: First, we’re trying to make information and resources for the books easily accessible. Monthly titles along with a CCBC annotation for the books, discussion starters, discussion questions, recommendations from the ROW Literacy Advisory Board and links to resources will be posted on the front page of the website. You can now easily search by age level group titles using the new sidebar buttons. We’ve reorganized our Pinterest boards. Now, you can get a sneak preview of upcoming books and their resources. Also, we’re going all in with hashtags and our age level icons. Now you can search any social media with #ROW2015 for the latests post this year. We also have hashtags for the age level groups related to their icons (see below).

Watch for these icons to appear throughout the site and social media to help you identify the appropriate age titles

Legend for the age icons

Robin = Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers = #ROWrobin
White-tailed Deer = Primary (Grades K-2) = #ROWdeer
Muskie = Intermediate (Grades 3-5) = #ROWmuskie
Maple leaf = Middle School = #ROWmaple
Badger paw print = High School #ROWbadger

And, as always, if you have suggestions or if you’d like to be part of our programming and outreach efforts, please contact the me at Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support!

Check back regularly for news about ROW programming and outreach as well as monthly titles and resources!

Read On Wisconsin!

Back Up!

August 6th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Book trailer | 2015-2016 - (Comments Off on Back Up!)

Our fabulous web guru has fixed the errors! You can now peruse any page or post.  The book trailers are only available through the drop down menu. Unfortunately, clicking on a link on the Booktrailer pages will result in an error.

Please Excuse Our 404’s: Permalinks Mishap

July 28th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Please Excuse Our 404’s: Permalinks Mishap)

Unfortunately, you’ll be finding lots of 404 Error messages on the ROW website. Please standby while we fix our permalink structure and redirection. Thank you for your patience.

Another Inspiring Book Trailer from Jack Young Middle School!

June 10th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in November | Middle School | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Another Inspiring Book Trailer from Jack Young Middle School!)

For another great middle school read — Claudia Mills’ Zero Tolerance (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013). Thanks for the promo, JYMS!

 

Big, Big Thanks!

June 10th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Middle School - (Comments Off on Big, Big Thanks!)
Thank you to all who completed the Read On Wisconsin Book Trailer Survey for Middle School Teachers and Library Media Specialists! We’ll announce the winner of the Read On Wisconsin 2015-2016 Middle School books this Friday, June 12! Thank you, again, for your participation!

New Book Trailer from Jack Young Middle School Students!

June 10th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in October | Book trailer | Middle School | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on New Book Trailer from Jack Young Middle School Students!)

Shout out of thanks to JYMS for sending us this book trailer for the ROW 2014 October title, The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Illustrated by Julia Kuo. Atheneum, 2013. Just in time for summer reading suggestions!

Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers Summer Titles: Enjoy the Outdoors with These Books

June 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2014-2015 | Summer - (Comments Off on Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers Summer Titles: Enjoy the Outdoors with These Books)

oscarshalfbirthdayOscar’s Half Birthday by Bob Graham. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2005.

Oscar’s family celebrates his six-month birthday with a walk to their neighborhood park, a rather lopsided cake, and a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday,” sung by family members and the strangers who have gathered around to admire baby Oscar. Although the birthday boy is the center of attention, the real star of the show is his three-year-old sister, Millie, who wears coat-hanger fairy wings on her back and a dinosaur puppet on her left hand, symbolic of her dual nature. “A little more fairy and a little less dinosaur,” her mother chides her gently when Millie’s play is a bit too vigorous for little Oscar. Bob Graham’s depiction of a slightly offbeat, interracial family is right on target: Millie, in her behavior and dialogue, is the quintessential three year old, commanding the attention of both her parents and the book’s readers, while Oscar remains, for the most part, completely oblivious to the fuss being made over him. The parents, young and hip, are everything good parents should be: caring, attentive, firm, and, above all, they seem to truly enjoy both of their children. Graham’s trademark pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings show a diverse cast of characters living in a working class neighborhood. Highly Commended, 2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

globalbabiesGlobal Babies by Global Fund for Children. Charlesbridge, 2007.

“Wherever they live, wherever they go, whatever they wear, whatever they feel, babies everywhere are beautiful, special, and loved.” These sentiments are spectacularly captured with sweet and stunning photographs of babies from around the world. Babies from Mali and Spain, the United States and Thailand, Iraq, Guatemala, and beyond are included in this board book. Swaddled in colorful cloth, wrapped in warm fur, or tucked into cradling arms, these babies are an affirmation of love.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

beach tailA Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Boyds Mills Press, 2010.

Swish-swoosh.” The sound of waves washing the shore repeats throughout an engaging picture book in which a young African American boy is the architect of his own adventure. After Gregory draws “a Sandy lion” in the sand at the beach, his dad cautions, “Don’t go in the water, and don’t leave Sandy.” And Gregory doesn’t, but as the tail he draws on Sandy gets longer and longer, it takes him farther and farther away from his dad: over an old sand castle, around a horseshoe and a ghost crab, all the way to a jetty. “But Gregory did not go in the water, and he did not leave Sandy.” It’s only when he finally looks up that Gregory realizes how far he’s gone. He turns a moment of worry—which one of those distant figures sitting on towels is his dad?–into masterful problem solving when he follows Sandy’s tail over and around all the objects, back to his dad’s welcome smile. Floyd Cooper’s sun-washed, sandy illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this terrific picture book narrative. Highly Commended, 2011 Charlotte Zolotow Award (MS) ©2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

summer days and nightsSummer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, 2012.

“Summer days, so warm and bright, / Paint my room in morning light.” A small Asian girl describes her activities over the course of a single summer day in a quietly engaging narrative that sees her butterfly-chasing in the morning followed by a dip in the wading pool, then on an afternoon picnic with her parents. Nighttime finds the hot, restless child looking out the window and then heading out for a discovery-rich walk in the moonlight with her dad. “Across the field, on past the gate … My eyelids droop, it’s getting late.” Wong Herbert Yee’s story is perfectly sized for the hands of toddlers and preschoolers, with a gentle ambience that is both playful and reassuring. The illustrations have a softness and warmth that add to the comforting feel, as does this realistic family, which includes a pregnant mom and a dad clad in chinos, undershirt, and fedora.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

owlbabiesOwl Babies by Martin Icon to identify Summer Reading BooksWaddell.Icon_PreSchool Illustrated by Patrick Benson. Candlewick Press, 1992, 1996.

Listen: Podcast featuring Owl Babies from the CCBC.

Primary (Grades K-2) Summer Titles: Colorful and Diverse

June 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | Summer - (Comments Off on Primary (Grades K-2) Summer Titles: Colorful and Diverse)

water in the park

Water in the Park: A Book about Water & the Times of Day by Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. Schwartz & Wade, 2013.
Over the course of a summer day in a city park, time is measured by the hour as dramas and pleasures small and large unfold. “Just before six o’clock, turtles settle on rocks. They warm their turtle shells in the light. Good morning park!” Dogs and their humans show up between six and seven, when the first babies appear. By ten, the playground is packed with children and caregivers. At eleven, park volunteers water the flowerbeds. At noon, “it’s time for lunch. Maybe a nap.” And so it goes, hour by hour, on through the afternoon and into the evening. A few children (and dogs) show up several times throughout the day, but the park itself, with its ever-changing cast of characters and myriad, constantly varied activities, is the focus, as is the steady advance of an unseen but ever-present clock toward day’s end, marked by darkness. “Good night, park.” Emily Jenkins’s engagingly detailed and perfectly paced narrative is set against Stepahanie Graegin’s equally wonderful illustrations. There’s so much to look at and discover across the pages of the story, and the hours of the day.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

chicken-chasingqueen

Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington. Illustrated by Shelley Jackson. Melanie Kroupa Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

“Pruck! Pruck! . . . Squawkkk!” Despite Bigmama’s admonishment, a young African American girl can’t resist the chase when it comes to the family’s chickens. “I don’t want just any chicken. I want my favorite. Her feathers are shiny as a rained-on roof. She has high yellow stockings and long-fingered feet, and when she talks—‘Pruck! Pruck! Pruck!’—it sounds like pennies falling on a dinner plate.” Janice Harrington’s animated story pits the girl’s determination to embrace that standoffish chicken against the chicken’s own determination to evade capture. Harrington’s narrative flows with fresh, descriptive language and engaging use of hyperbole and onomatopoeia. Artist Shelley Jackson used materials suggestive of a rural or farm environment to create the chickens and other elements of her dynamic, richly textured illustrations. Her art is full of action and extends both the humor and overall appeal of this entertaining picture book. Highly Commended, 2008 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

ling and ting share a birthday

Ling & Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin.  Little, Brown, 2013.

Ling and Ting are back, and getting ready to celebrate their birthdays. The not-quite-identical twins (they have slightly different haircuts) each get birthday shoes in the opening chapter of this beginning chapter book. But one pair is red and one pair is green, prompting them to wear one from each pair so they match. Perfect! In the five chapters that follow, birthday plans continue, highlighting how even though the girls like dressing the same, they have differentinterests (Ling, who likes to read, buys Ting a book; Ting, who likes to play with Primary Icon of a White-Tailed DeerIcon to identify Summer Reading Bookstoys, buys Ling a yo-yo), and different ways of approaching a task (cake-baking success and failure), but their love for one another guarantees harmony in the end. Grace Lin’s follow-up to Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! (Little, Brown, 2010) features lively, colorful illustrations.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Intermediate (Grades 3-5) Summer Titles: Something for Everyone

June 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 | Summer - (Comments Off on Intermediate (Grades 3-5) Summer Titles: Something for Everyone)

Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede. Illustrated by Marije Tolman. Translated from the Dutch by Bill A. Nagelkerke. U.S. edition: Gecko Press, 2013.

“Dog is Wolf’s Cousin. Wolf is Dog’s cousin. That’s strange because: Wolf is wild. And Dog is tame.” The differences and similarities between these canine relatives provide ample material for this funny and charming easy novel in short verse lines. Wolf has bad table manners while Dog is a tidy chef, but both are familiar with the nuisance of flea bites. And although only Dog can read, Wolf enjoys nothing more than a good rhyme; in fact, he believes “rhyme’s sublime.” While each tries to outwit the other, both are nearly undone by a feisty forest cat. The social dynamics are a gem—wolflike, doglike, and childlike. Small illustrations help strike just the right note of warmth and whimsy.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Illustrated by Jim Madsen. HarperCollins, 2002.

An excellent collection of interrelated short stories will appeal to newly independent young readers ready to tackle one or more of these acessible stories. Young Ray Halfmoon lives with his grandpa in Chicago. In each chapter author Cynthia Leitich Smith places Ray and Grandpa into a believable adventure with a manageable challenge: summer fishing, baseball team, lonely holiday situation, contest, etc. Because her main characters have a Seminole-Cherokee heritage, the author has woven important Native cultural details into her narrative. Her adroit uses of colloquial language also earmark this fine collection of brief contemporary fiction. Smith herself lives in Texas, and is a mixed blood, enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. CCBC Categories: Books for Beginning Readers and Newly Independent Readers.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Odessa Again by Dana Reinhardt. Illustrated by Susan Reagan. Wendy Lamb Books, 2013.

Odessa Green-Light still has a hyphenated last name, but her family has been de-hyphenated since her parents’ divorce. Determined to stop her dad’s pending remarriage, Odessa discovers that if she jumps on a certain spot in the bedroom of the house she’s just moved to with her mom and brother, time turns back. The first time she goes back twenty-four hours. The next time she goes back twenty-three. Odessa figures this means she has twenty-two chances left, but that’s plenty of opportunities to undo a bad grade on a quiz, erase an embarrassing moment, or be nicer to her little brother. Plenty of opportunities to make things better or to make them worse: to create some good luck (is it luck of you know in advance what will happen?), or to make her future stepmother angryIcon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readershttp://readon.education.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Summer.png in hopes she’ll call off the wedding. As Odessa’s chances to change things dwindle, she begins to think more carefully about what she can change, what she wants to change, and what really matters to her in Dana Reinhardt’s breezy novel.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School Summer Titles: Masterful Storytelling

June 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Middle School | 2014-2015 | Summer - (Comments Off on Middle School Summer Titles: Masterful Storytelling)

Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, 2008.

When 12-year-old Mitch’s parents divorce, he and his mother go to spend the summer with his grandparents in their cottage on Bird Lake. Mitch feels angry, sad, and lonely, and he retreats into his imagination where he pretends the long-vacant cottage next door belongs to him. He sweeps the front porch, cleans out the bird bath, and carves his initials into the porch’s wooden railing. He even resolves to keep the splinter he gets from the railing so the house will be a part of him. Mitch’s future plans are disturbed, however, when another family shows up to spend a week at the cottage. From his position in the crawl space underneath the front porch, he learns that they own the house and he decides he will try to scare them away by making them think the house is haunted. What Mitch doesn’t know is that 10-year-old Spencer and his family haven’t been to the lake for years because it was the site of his older brother’s drowning when he was four and Spencer was just two. And every small thing Mitch does to make them think the house is haunted, Spencer reads as a sign from his dead brother. Masterfully told with alternating points of view, Henkes shows the developing friendship between two boys who are both withholding information from each other. Only the reader knows the full story, and the dramatic tension builds as each boy gets closer to finding out the truth. (KTH) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

 

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia. Amistad / HarperCollins, 2013.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are back in Brooklyn after spending the summer of 1968 with their mother Cecile in Oakland (One Crazy Summer, Amistad / HarperCollins, 2010), and dramatic changes are in store. First, Pa has a girlfriend, Miss Marva Hendrix. Then Delphine starts sixth grade expecting to have Miss Honeywell, the most mod of teachers. Instead, she gets Mr. Mwila, on an exchange program from Zambia. And a new group—five singing and dancing brothers named Jackson—have the sisters and the nation mesmerized. When Miss Marva Hendrix offers to take them to see the Jackson 5 at Madison Square Garden, Pa insists they earn half the money for tickets, and Delphine assumes she’ll be in charge, like always. Miss Marva Hendrix appoints Vonetta to manage their earnings. Delphine predicts disaster. Vonetta doesn’t fail. Uncle Darrell comes home from Vietnam, but elation turns to worry when he struggles with drugs. It’s so disturbing that Big Ma, always dependable if demanding, begins to falter. “Be eleven,” Cecile writes Delphine at the end of each letter. But she is eleven. What does her mother mean? What matters is that Delphine knows Cecile’s message is rooted in love, just like Big Ma’s home training. And now there is Miss Marva Hendrix, who thinks a woman could run for president someday, further expanding Delphine’s understanding of being young and Black and female. The modeling and mothering provided by all three of these women buoy Delphine and her sisters in ways they don’t always understand but surely feel. Rita Williams-Garcia once again captures time and place with sparkling clarity in an inspired look at childhood and growth and change. (MS) ©2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

 

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2010.

Katey attends school in the Game, a converted mall designed by corporations, which have become the major funders of education. The companies constantly monitor students on camera and online in hopes of finding teens they can “brand” to help promote and sell their products. Everything in the Game is about being connected, being cool, and staying on top of the latest trend. Unlike most of her peers, Katey isn’t eager to be branded and does the bare minimum to remain a player; as a result, she’s intrigued by a group called the Unidentified who seem to be inviting the students to break out of the controlled and controlling system based on popularity and consumerism. But her very interest in the Unidentified—she’s the first to pay attention to what they are doing, and curious about who they are—attracts sponsor attention. Katey and her mom are struggling financially, and she accepts the sponsorship only because it comes with economic benefits. Suddenly the Unidentified are being exploited by sponsors as the nexthttp://readon.education.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Icon_MiddleSchool1.png big fad, http://readon.education.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Summer.pngeven as Katey discovers they may not be as radical as they originally appeared. This timely novel combines a mystery (who is behind the Unidentified?) with exploration of provocative issues of privacy and consumerism in a story set in a believably not-too-distant future.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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