Tag Archives: Easy Reader

Picture Book Month: Dogs

11 Nov

This title is all about expression, and if you don’t use expression, this will be one of the most boring books you read… because the only word throughout the whole story is “ball.”

The adorable dog on the cover loves playing with his ball. He waits (not so patiently) for his human to wake up to play ball, he waits all day while she’s at school to come back and play ball and while he’s waiting he tries to engage the rest of his family to play with him but with very little luck.

This story is great for dog-loving families, for kids learning to read with expression and works really well as a tool to engage kids in more than just the word on the page. The pictures really tell the story! Continue reading


(Unofficial) Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Titles for Shark Week

25 Jul

shark week.png

I’ve had a number of kids interested in shark books – everything from picture books (for those who frighten easily) to nonfiction titles that show rows of teeth and talk about sharks as apex predators and an important part of the ecosystem. So while everyone watches Michael Phelps race a Great White Shark, here are some awesome books to share together!

  1. Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  2. Gilbert the Great by Jane Clarke, illustrated by Charles Fuge
  3. Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever–or Snack Time? by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Michael Slack
  4. The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist, illustrated by Julia Gorton
  5. I’m a Shark by Bob Shea
  6. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating, illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns
  7. Sharks! by Anne Schreiber
  8. Fly Guy Presents: Sharks by Tedd Arnold
  9. Magic Tree House #53: Merlin Missions, Shadow of the Shark by Mary Pope Osborne
  10. I Survived: The Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis

And a bonus title:

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy

2016 CYBILS Awards

15 Feb

The awards have been announced! The CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literary Awards) are announced on February 14th of each year. The award began in 2009 to “recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal.” The categories include:

  • Audiobooks
  • Book Apps (Currently Inactive)
  • Early Chapter Books
  • Easy Readers
  • Fiction Picture Books & Board Books
  • Graphic Novels
    • Elementary/Middle-Grade
    • Young Adult
  • Middle-Grade Fiction
  • Nonfiction
    • Juvenile/Elementary
    • Middle-Grade/Young Adult
  • Poetry
  • Speculative Fiction
    • Elementary/Middle-Grade
    • Young Adult
  • Young Adult Fiction

And now, for the winners of the 2016 CYBILS, congratulations!

2016 CYBILS.pngAudiobooks – The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
by Adam Gidwitz
Read by Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Adam Gidwitz, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer, and Arthur Morey.
Listening Library

Board Books – Cityblock (Alphablock)
by Christopher Franceschelli, illustrated by Peskimo
Harry N Abrams

Early Chapter Books – Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig (Book One)
by Polly Faber, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
Candlewick Press

Easy Reader – Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends
by Tina Kugler
HMH Books for Young Readers

Elementary Non-Fiction – Giant Squid
by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Roaring Brook Press

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels – Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Book 2) (Lowriders in Space)
by Cathy Camper and Raúl the Third
Chronicle Books

Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction – Shadow Magic
by Joshua Khan

Fiction Picture Books – A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Juvenile Non-Fiction – Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
by Melissa Sweet

Middle Grade Fiction – Ghost (Track)
by Jason Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Middle Grade Non-Fiction – Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story
by Caren Stelson
Carolrhoda Books

Poetry The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
by Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books

Young  Adult Fiction – Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys

Young Adult Graphic Novels – March: Book Three
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Top Shelf Productions

Young Adult Non-Fiction – Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland

Young Adult Speculative Fiction – Illuminae
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Book Review: The Totally Secret Secret

1 Sep

23197611The Totally Secret Secret written and illustrated by Bob Shea is the story of two friends who play together everyday.  But, everyday they play the same thing, ballet.  One day, Sparkles the Pony has a secret that he is afraid to share with Ballet Cat, a secret that would make Ballet Cat not want to be his friend anymore.  Finally, after much pleading on Ballet Cat’s part, Sparkles shares with Ballet Cat that sometimes he just doesn’t want to play ballet.  Ballet Cat reveals that even those she loves ballet, she loves her friend Sparkles, more.

With bright backgrounds and basic line drawings that convey more expression than you can imagine in Shea’s typical style, this story is perfect for an beginner reader who is comfortable following speech bubbles (similar to Mo Willem’s Elephant & Pigge series) with words that are a little more advanced and inflection with words written in italics.  A story to share the importance of listening, compromise, and friendship.

Title: The Totally Secret Secret
Author & Illustrator: Bob Shea
Publisher: Disney
Publication Date: 2015

Reader’s Advisory

19 Aug

I love Reader’s Advisory, I read a ton of books and get so excited to share them with the kids in my library.  I love reading something and know exactly who I’ll recommend it to, other times I get the chance to talk to someone and pull out a book that I’ve read that will be absolutely perfect.  I feel like I can do a great job with kids from babies – 1st/2nd grade.  And I can kick butt when it comes to middle grade fiction and even hold my own in the young adult department.  I love talking with kids who are passionate about books – those kids who have read just about everything you can suggest off the top of your head.  My other favorite group are the really picky readers who are so particular it can feel like a battle to find something they might be interested in.  But, the best part is when they come back, both those avid and particular readers, and exclaim how great their books were!  That is what I live for!  But when a 3rd or 4th grader comes in looking for a book… it’s the hardest group for me to advise.

I think it comes down to a wide variety in reading levels – many kids can read at a higher age level, but parents worry about the content.  I know the typical series books, that are ever so popular, but have trouble coming up with some other ideas for more picky readers.  I think this is going to be something I’ll need to focus a little more closely on in the future, maybe by checking blogs and journals for books for that age group.  And I think I’ll create an easy go-to list of some quality choices for both boys and girls to have on hand if I completely draw a blank.

What are your favorite suggestions for 3rd and 4th graders?

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