Bookin' It

I love reading all kinds of books to draw inspiration, get ideas, escape reality, and enter another world. I'm an artist so when I read books, my imagination and creativity really get working and I come up with lots of new creative ideas.

"Once upon a time there was no alphabet, no jellybeans, no names... only numbers."

The Numberlys - William Joyce, Christina Ellis

"And soon something  ABSOLUTELY, BRILLIANTLY, CHEERFUL started to happen..."

This book is a work of art.  It is gorgeous from cover to cover.  The story starts in a world of only numbers.  Its orderly, there's no color, only black and white numbers.  Then the five heroes wanted something different, and began putting numbers together and changing them into letters.  This brings about color and flavor and fun unto the world, and the full-page illustrations express that beautifully.  I also love that after you open the book, you realize that most of the text and illustrations are arranged so that the book is held vertically or horizontally, changing back and forth randomly.  This book beautifully conveys the importance of letters and words and books and reading in making the world wonderful.  I also love the underlying theme that being different is good, and to "be happy!" This book is perfect for kindergarten and 1st grade classes, when students are beginning to learn letters and words and reading.  I would read this book aloud to my class, taking time to show the artwork.  I would make copies of the pages where the letters become present.  I would hand these pages out after the read aloud.  For a kindergarten class, I would have them use crayons to trace every occurance of specific letters, and for 1st graders, I would have them make as many words as possible from the letters on the pages.  This book could possibly be read aloud to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders to show deeper themes of being different and being happy.

Fractured Fables

Fractured Fables - Jim Valentino, Kristen Koerner Simon

Fractured Fables has taken many of our favorite fairy tales and fables, crammed them together inside this collection, and given each story a comedic twist.  What makes this even better to me is that the stories are told in comic book style, and are written and illustrated by several well-known comic book writers.  Each story has its own style of writing, and each has its own style of illustrations.  This book is geared more towards the older students, 6th grade and up.  I would actually use this book when the class is studying creative writing and even art.  This book would be a great for introducing students to new writing formats, such as comic books and graphic novels.  The changes to familiar stories would aid in modeling to students how to think of familiar ideas in different ways.  I would have small group students analyze a few of the different stories and discuss the different styles of writing.  I would also include the differences in the artists' styles on the illustrations.  

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big - Berkeley Breathed

I love love love this book!!  Fannie Fudwupper tells the rhyming story about her fibbing brother, Edwurd, and how he tells one fib so big that it spins out of control.... and into outer space!  This book would be a great read for any 3rd or 4th grader, and a great read-aloud book for 1st and 2nd grades.  I would include this book in my classroom library for students to choose and read, and I would read this book aloud to the whole class.  Students with siblings would definitely relate to the story, and learn the value of sibling relationships even if they don't always get along.  This book works well by itself just to entertain students.  I would also use the book to supplement character education, socialization, and cause and effect.  The book would aid in teaching honesty, how students should treat others even if they don't get along, and the gravity of their actions.

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths - Ingri d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

This book is a wonderful introduction to Greek mythology!  Every well known character in Greek mythology, along with lots of not so well known ones, is identified and described in an easily understandable way.  Along with the character explanations, the book includes the amazing myths that the characters appear in.  I was surprised at how smoothly one story or character transitions to another, making the entire book seem like one big story.  Along with engaging stories, the pages are illuminated by beautiful illustrations depicting scenes from the accompanying story.  I would not introduce this book to students below 4th grade, but all grades 4th and up could benefit from the book.  I would select particular stories to read aloud to the class or in literacy circles.  I also would select individual stories from the book and make copies for students to read in guided reading groups.  I would use this book when my class is learning about fiction and myths.  It would be a great resource to help students understand elements in fiction and in myths, and the purposes of myths.

Currently reading

The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights
A.S. Byatt, Richard Francis Burton, Anonymous