How I learned to stop worrying and write curriculum about Bomb

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

One of the projects I am involved in is a program where a group of retired folks work in schools to facilitate after-school reading groups with middle graders. One piece of my work is to write curriculum about books that (we hope) are high-interest and wide-ranging in subject, so groups will have many options as […]

High interest, low readability

High interest, low readability

One of the perennial struggles of teaching deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students is finding texts of interest for struggling older readers — high interest, low readability, as they are called. Not to get too research-y here, but studies show that the average DHH student graduates from high school reading at a fourth grade […]

Llama Llama Single Mama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series has been one of the favorites of the four and five year olds in my classroom for years now. The fun rhymes combined with relatable stories and illustrations of the characters faces that are great at conveying emotions seem to really draw the children into the books. However, there is […]

Third Grade Reads…a lot of series!

Geronimo Stilton

This year, I’ve been fortunate to work in a school where the kids love to read for fun. Throughout the year, I’ve noticed a couple of standout books, the kind of book where there is waitlist for reading; the kind of book where if they can’t find a new book to read, they’ll reread one […]

Books mentioned in the May 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Folklore Duffy, Chris, Editor Fairy Tale Comics Gr. K–3    128 pp.     Roaring Brook/First Second    2013 Trade ISBN 978-1-59643-823-1 Goldman, Judy Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico Illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck Gr. 4–6    58 pp.    Charlesbridge    2013 Trade ISBN 978-1-58089-372-5 Lee, H. Chuku, Reteller Beauty and the Beast Illustrated by Pat Cummings Gr. K–3    32 pp.    HarperCollins/Amistad    2014 Trade ISBN 978-0-688-14819-5 […]

Insects and arachnids

arnosky_creep and flutter

Arnosky, Jim Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders Gr. 4–6   40 pp. Sterling This introductory volume encourages readers to be “mindful of the small.” Arnosky highlights specimens in labeled groupings that he presents — textually and visually — in accurate, captivating, and even tender detail. Conversational prose is illustrated with the author’s […]

Folklore

duffy_fairy tale comics

Duffy, Chris, Editor Fairy Tale Comics Gr. K–3   128 pp. Roaring Brook/First Second In this fine companion to Nursery Rhyme Comics, editor Duffy has chosen seventeen tales (“Puss in Boots,” “Rapunzel,” and “Hansel and Gretel,” among others) to be adapted by seventeen illustrators and cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Charise Mericle Harper, and Jillian Tamaki. […]

Sports and recreation

hudson_girls' golf

Hudson, Maryann Girls’ Golf Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Lawrence, Blythe Girls’ Gymnastics Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Peters, Chris Girls’ Hockey Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Williams, Doug Girls’ Basketball Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Girls’ SportsZone series. These volumes survey four sports and the female athletes at their forefronts. Each chapter pairs a […]

Gardening and outdoor discovery

It's Our Garden

Ancona, George It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden Gr. K–3   48 pp. Candlewick From spring planting to winterization, full-color photographs chronicle a year in the life of an elementary school garden in Santa Fe; students are shown composting soil, watering plants, and sampling the edible delights. While green is visually ubiquitous, […]

Oceanography

butterworth_see what a seal can do

Butterworth, Chris See What a Seal Can Do PS–Gr. 3   32 pp. Candlewick Illustrated by Kate Nelms. Butterworth tells the story of one gray seal’s search for food. He dives down deep, and on his way back up, he comes across a mackerel shoal (an impressively illustrated motion-filled orb). Facts about seals appear in smaller italicized […]