The Book Stack

I have three gems for you. I. LOVE. These. Books.

Love them.

Chloe Instead by Micah Player. Chronicle Books, 2012. Review copy provided.

Micah Player previously worked for Paul Frank Industries. His illustrations and story are whimsical made me fall in love on the spot. Check out Chronicle Books website for more information on CHLOE INSTEAD.

I’m looking forward to using this text in writing workshop for these reasons:

  1. The way the characters feel on the inside is shown on the outside. This is accomplished through facial expression, body posture, and color. (Not to mention the million character illustration lessons available within this text: facial features; perspective; movement; front, back, side views; clothing; ect.)
  2. The totally cool circular ending, which shows the character change within the circular ending. I’m partial to the nature of circular endings, and this one is accomplished with even more finesse (if that’s possible) than most.
  3. The ordinary nature of the story and the genuine connection many young readers will be able to make to the text. It’s an exceptional mentor for taking the ordinary and turning it into a story worth writing.

NO BEARS by Meb McKinlay and Leila Rudge, Candlewick Press, 2012. Review copy provided.

I couldn’t help but read this book out loud to Deb Gaby and a few other teachers who happened to be around when I cracked it open. It is a book within a book and clever, sneaky, and inspiring. The main character, Ella, is in charge of the book and she insists there are absolutely no bears. (My daughter, Steph, loved this book too and began envisioning a story she could write, with Stephanie in charge of the book and absolutely no…cats? fish? mushrooms?) Check out more information on Candlewick’s site. As if that’s not enough, here are a few ways I’d use it in writing workshop.

  1. The way a character’s personality drives the voice. Ella is a little girl who is in-charge and strong-willed. There’s no way people are going to tell her what to do. This is apparent in the first few pages of the book. Take these pages and study them in a minilesson, digging into the way voice comes alive and is driven by personality. It makes the abstract concept of voice a little more concrete when connected to character personality.
  2. It’s also an interesting text to use to study humor. The nuances of the what Ella thinks and what actually happens crafts the humor. I think humor is tough to accomplish in writing…this text gives shoulders to stand on for young writers to try humor in their own writing.
  3. I think it would be nice to embark on a genre conversation using this text. I like how it’s a fairy tale, but with a little bit of a twist from the traditional.

LARF by Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press, 2012. Review copy provided.

Like many other Kids Can Press books, LARF by Ashley Spires is filled with humor and a warm-cozy-feeling I just can’t get enough of.  My son (age 6) giggled throughout and then sighed with satisfaction at the end. Check out the link to Kids Can Press to find out more about this story.

How about you? What’s in your book stack? You may want to check out what others are reading on:

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Check out this book trailer for CHLOE INSTEAD. But consider yourself warned…you’ll totally want to buy the book!