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Our October Titles!

September 18th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | Primary (Grades K-2) | October | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2015-2016 | Middle School | High School - (Comments Off on Our October Titles!)

Find out more about these titles! Click on the book cover to read the annotation! Check out resources from TeachingBooks.net for links to teaching guides, videos, author interviews and more for all of the titles below! And, now, check out the posts below for discussion prompts, annotations, and prompts for each title.

Cover for book i am so braveBook cover to go shapes gobook cover of Shh! We Have a Planbook cover for sam and dave dig a holebook cover for gravity

book cover for separate is never equal

book cover for madman of piney woodsswallowscreaming staircsehow it went down

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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

ROW 2015-2016 Book Lists are HERE!

May 29th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | Primary (Grades K-2) | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2015-2016 | Middle School | High School - (Comments Off on ROW 2015-2016 Book Lists are HERE!)

After much hard work and diligence from the Read On Wisconsin Literacy Advisory Committee and the CCBC librarians, the Read On Wisconsin book selections are now complete for the 2015-2016 year.

Please check out the NEW 2015-2016 Read On Wisconsin Books here or on the Books page of the website. And, spread the word!

Enjoy a Favorite Wisconsin Author with the May 2015 Primary Title!

May 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | May - (Comments Off on Enjoy a Favorite Wisconsin Author with the May 2015 Primary Title!)

year of billy  millerGRK-2

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2013.

Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a mix of anxiety and excitement. By the end of the first day anxiety wins out. There’s a bossy girl at his table who doesn’t like him. Even worse, he’s worried his teacher, Ms. Silver, thinks he was making fun of her (he wasn’t). Billy lives with his stay-at-home artist dad, his high-school English teacher mom, and his three-year-old sister, Sal. In a novel divided into sections titled Teacher, Father, Sister, Mother, Kevin Henkes’s story follows Billy over the course of his second-grade year by chronicling events that illuminate these four important relationships in his life, with each section following its own arc while fitting seamlessly into the novel as a whole. Henkes skillfully relates details and events of Billy’s life that will hit young readers right where they are at both socially and emotionally. Billy wants to fit in and stand out. He wonders. He worries. He is loved, but doesn’t always like what the people who love him—and whom he loves—do. Sometimes he falls short on patience as a big brother, and sometimes he excels at being wonderful. A novel substantial in every way is completely accessible to young children reading independently or listening to it read aloud. There’s plenty of white space, and occasional spot illustrations in storytelling defined by rich characterizations and fine plotting in a book that is often funny, but also thoughtful and touching and serious. Life is like that when you’re seven, after all. (MS) ©2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Encourage kids to examine the book and text more closely with these discussion questions:

1. Billy is nervous about starting second grade. What are some things that happen in the story to show us why he’s worried?Primary Icon of a White-Tailed Deer

2. What makes it the year of Billy Miller?

3. How do his relationships with his teacher, father, mother and sister change throughout the book?

Primary Titles for April: Take Me Out to the Yakyu

April 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | April - (Comments Off on Primary Titles for April: Take Me Out to the Yakyu)

take me out to the yakhuGRK-2

Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon. Atheneum, 2013.

1. What are three things that are similar at a baseball game in the United States and Japan? What are three things that are different?

2. What do you like to do with your grandparents?

3. Can you think of something that you do in two or more different places? (for example, eating, reading, jobs) How is it the same? How is it different?

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No Monkeys, No Chocolate

March 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | March - (Comments Off on No Monkeys, No Chocolate)

no monkeys no chocolateGRK-2

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young. Illustrated by Nicole Wong.  Charlesbridge, 2013.

1. Why can’t chocolate grow without monkeys and other creatures? Why do you think the author chose the title, No Monkeys, No Chocolate, for this book?

2. What do you think are the important things the author wants us to know about chocolate?

3. In what other ways do plants, insects and animals depend on each other?

A Splash of Red / Kunu’s Basket

February 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | February - (Comments Off on A Splash of Red / Kunu’s Basket)

splash of red

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.

1. Why do you think the author wants us to learn about Horace Pippin? What did you learn by reading this book?

2. Why does Horace Pippin keep painting even when it is difficult?

3. Why do you think he included a splash of red in each painting?

 

kunu's basket

Kunu’s Basket: A Story from Indian Island by Lee DeCora Francis. Illustrated by Susan Drucker. Tilbury House, 2012.

1. Making a basket is hard work. Why does Kunu persevere in making the basket?

2. How are baskets used in the story?

3. Kunu’s grandfather helps him with his basket. Who helps you when something is difficult?

 

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Nora’s Chicks / This is the Rope

January 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | January - (Comments Off on Nora’s Chicks / This is the Rope)

nora's chicks

Nora’s Chicks by Patricia MacLachlan. Illustrated by Kathryn Brown. Candlewick Press, 2013.

1. What are ways the author and illustrator let us know that Nora is lonely?

2. Who do we meet at the beginning of the story? What is happening then?  Who do we meet in the middle of the story?  What happens? At the end of the story, how have things changed for Nora?

3. How do Nora’s chicks help her?

 

this is the ropeGRK-2

This Is the Rope:  A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated by James Ransome. Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2013.

1. Who is telling the story of the rope? About whom is she telling the story?

2. In what different ways is the rope used in the story?

3. What object does your family own that tells a story?

 

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Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm

December 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | December | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm)

meetthedogsofbedlamfarm

Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm by John Katz. Henry Holt, 2011.

1. What are the different jobs of the dogs? How do the dogs help the farm by performing these different jobs?

2. What is your job in your family? How does this help your family?

3. What do you think the author wants us to learn from this book?

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Thanks a Million: Poems / The Big Wet Balloon

November 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | November | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Thanks a Million: Poems / The Big Wet Balloon)

thanks a million

Thanks a Million: Poems by Nikki Grimes. Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera. Amistad, 2006.

1. What makes you thankful?

2. These poems are written in many different ways. Which one do you like best? What makes you like that poem? The illustrations?  The style?  The words? Something else?

3. Which of these poems feels like it could be talking about you? Why?

 

 

big wet balloon

The Big Wet Balloon by Liniers.  Toon Books/Candlewick Press, 2013.

1. How do the pictures and words work together to tell the story? Do you think you could understand the story without the words? without the pictures? How might the lack of words or picture change the story?

2.Why do you think the balloon is important to the story?

3. What do you think will happen at the end of the story? Why?

 

 

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Picture a Tree / Chavela and the Magic Bubble

October 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | October | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Picture a Tree / Chavela and the Magic Bubble)

picture a tree

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid. U.S. edition: Albert Whitman, 2013.

1. According to the author, what are some of the uses of a tree? Can you think of new ways to use trees?

2. What changes do you see in the tree in the book? What changes are taking place with the trees outside? What other changes will occur?

3. How do the pictures help you understand the words?

 

chavela and the magic bubble

Chavela and the Magic Bubble by Monica Brown. Illustrated by Magaly Morales. Clarion, 2010.

1. Where does Chavela’s magic bubble take her?

2. What types of trees does Chavela visit? What do people make from these trees?

3. How does Chavela know that her magical trip takes her to her grandmother’s past?

 

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