6 Things to know about Children’s Lit

I have always loved reading children’s books so taking an entire semester to read them and explore them a little more in depth was a lot of fun for me. During this course I discovered 6 things that everyone should know about children’s literature:


  1. Children’s literature is not just for children –more often than not kids books teach a lesson or moral that is relevant for everyone. It’s amazing how reading a simple story about sharing and being kind can be a reminder for even us adults.
  2. Children’s literature is a cat lover’s paradise –so. many. books. about. cats.!!!
  3. Reading to children is extremely important- reading to our children is the first step in facilitating their lives as readers themselves. Even reading to middle schoolers and high schoolers is beneficial to their reading levels and comprehension of the literature.
  4. The Children’s literature community is awesome- the online community for children’s lit is such an inviting and fun place to hang out. Yes, serious topics about literature do get discussed, but it’s a lot less controversial and confrontational than some other lit discussions… YA lit…
  5. Reading children’s literature can transform you as a reader- some of us fall out love love with reading or some of us have never been in love with reading in the first place (crazies as I call them). Nevertheless, reading children’s books is a great way to get (back) into reading again!
  6. Children’s literature book awards are valid- these books are winners for a reason and I think that it is with while to read them all.

Top 10 Picture Books

Sometimes words aren’t necessary to tell a great story. For my last Top 10 Book List, I chose a few of my favorite wordless picture books or graphic novels (not in any particular order).

Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton


The Arrival 


Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride


Sector 7




Time Flies




The Snowman




The Lion and the Mouse


Top 10 Books Everyone Should Read

I tried to chose these books based on content that I thought was important. Books are a great way to help people understand other people or to gain a new perspective on something, especially with young readers. So these are my Top 10 Books that I believe are important for everyone to read (in no particular order):

Leo the Late Bloomer


Anything But Typical


Knock, Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me


Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad


The One and Only Ivan


The Pirate of Kindergarten 






The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

PT Indian

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive Me


Top 10 Books of Fall 2015

Though I didn’t read as much as I had hoped this semester, I did read a lot of great books, so it might be hard to narrow them down into “Top 10” categories. Let’s start with my Top 10 favorite books that I read this fall (not in any specific order):


The Watermelon Seed


I Want My Hat Back


Anything But Typical


Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuba Folktale




Doll Bones


What To Do About Alice?




One Cool Friend


The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend


#IMWAYR 12/7/15

I can’t believe it’s my last Monday post! Instead of fretting about what theme to end this semester on, I decided to just grab some books off of the shelf that looked or sounded fun to me- no rhyme or reason!

Here are a few of my favorites:


I loved how this book was partially a non-prose picture story and that it was (mostly) historically accurate. Not to mention, the pictures are so colorful and full of action.


This was a great story about keeping your chin up even if things don’t turn out the way you expected them to.


This colorful picture-book biography about Josephine, a girl with big dreams and even bigger dance moves. No matter what struggles she faces throughout her life, she never lets her passion burn out.


This book will forever be a favorite of mine- it’s definitely my favorite version of the classic tale.


I cannot say it better than the Goodreads synopsis so I won’t: “Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the ‘tar beach’ of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one’s world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book.”–(starred) Horn Book.

Mock Caldecott

It’s funny that this is the topic for this week’s lesson because just two weeks ago I was asking Dr. Ellington if it was too late to participate in the Mock Sibert challenge.

Out of all of the mock award categories I think that the Caldecott would be my most favorite because I appreciate the illustrations of a picture book more than the text itself- if there was no picture many of the stories wouldn’t be as zany, or whimsical, or hard-hitting.

As I have said several times in my blog (I know, I know), I am not a mock teacher- I won’t have my own classroom to institute a mock Caldecott award challenge; however, if I did my main concern would be whether the kids were actually evaluating the book critically in order to come to a finite, deserving winner… But does that really matter?

The main goal of this challenge is to get students reading, to familiarize them with the different awards and their criteria, and to look at literature critically.

After viewing Mr Schu’s list of nominees for the 2016 Caldecott I want to read them ALL! But if I can only pick three…

  1. The Whisperer – just look at that artwork! And Pamela seems like a “sketch in the margins” type of person, like me.9780544416864_hres
  2. Float- I haven’t looked up any reviews or an abstract of this book- but just reading how Daniel came to draw this cover really inspires me to find out more about it. float-9781481415248_hr
  3. Night World- Again, I know nothing about this book, but the title and cover are both so magical and is that a cat I see?373342993ceed83013d107b6ee92fc1b

#IMWAYR 11/30/15


I love the week of Thanksgiving- family, friends, food, shopping for Christmas gifts, and decorating for the holidays! This year I didn’t get to go home or even have a tradition Thanksgiving meal, but I was still with the people (and cats) that I love so I am still truly thankful.

Last week got me into the spirit of reading books about Christmas and winter…Here are some of my favorites:


Francisco Jiménez celebrates the true meaning of Christmas in this true story of his own childhood. I also really like that the story is translated into both English and Spanish on each page, making it a great bilingual learning book for children of all ages.


This is an onomatopoetic story meaning that the story is told only through the sounds and the beautiful illustrations by David A. Johnson. I think this would be a great story to get younger kids thinking about the plot of a story and even to attempt writing/illustrating their own onomatopoetic story.


I have never heard that angels sing through the songs of birds, frogs, people, and crickets, but now I believe it! This is an adorable story about appreciating the smallest things in life (even crickets) and about always having self worth.


This was probably my favorite story from last week. It’s a longer one that would be perfect for a read-aloud. Plus, I love how organic little Pyn’s decorations for her tree are- acorns, berries, and real bird feathers? I wish my tree was that unique!


This is again a true story from the author’s childhood. Virginia grew up on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and now lives in Rapid City. All Virginia wants for Christmas is a new coat, but when one comes in the church donations Virginia can’t pick it out because one, she is the priest’s daughter and two, her mother always says, “The others need it more than we do.”