More Early Chapter Books. . .
We are on a quest to find books like Mercy Watson that give kids that feeling of "real reading". Here is a list of others we love . . .
Bink & Gollie Series
It's hard to find books that are good for this level of comprehension, accuracy and stamina. We find there just are not enough of them out there. In looking for good early chapter books you look for. . . picture support, short chapters that reflect the words that the children know how to read and stories that they can relate to and fall in love with. This is often the first time students think of themselves as a real reader. There is pride on their face as they as for a bookmark!
In Mercy Watson. students are introduced to everyones favorite porcine wonder, who they immediately fall in love with as they follow along with her on her many chases and adventures with the Watsons. When kids pick up Mercy Watson, they dive into a adventure and feel the ride of a "real " chapter book.
We first meet Leroy in Mercy Watson Fights Crime. As a lovable, clumsy thief, Leroy attempts to rob the Watsons. In the end, he learns the error of his ways and sets his sights on becoming a cowboy. His first task he decides in Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, is that he must get a horse. The very first time he mounts him Leroy begins to notice the world differently-- "The colors were deeper. The sun shone brighter. The birds sang more sweetly." Readers will love his creative solutions to problems and how simple he is. He is a man who loves his horse.
More Early Chapter Books. . .
This week we wanted to share about some of our favorite idea books. An idea book is about creative problem solving and guides students down the path of independent thinking. It gives students the extra oomph to go after their ideas, dreams & goals.
"This is MY idea, I thought. No one knows it like I do. And it's okay if it's different, and weird, and maybe a little crazy." We love this book because kids don't often get the chance to sit, come up with their own ideas and love them into fruition. The message of this book is all ideas are important and you can come up with more ideas through talking, collaboration and independent thinking. Your ideas can be weird or different and people might laugh at you, and that's ok. The book puts creative problem solving in kid terms, it gives students access to a different way of thinking about our world. When we were first reading this book we knew it needed to be added to our classrooms, but the last line of the book put it into a special place in our hearts: "And then, I realized what you do with an idea ... You change the world."
Children need to know that mistakes are good. Mistakes are what make you learn. Without mistakes you're not learning. This book treats kids mistakes as an opportunity to make something beautiful. It's a great reminder to help children who think their work must be perfect to see it in a new light. It looks at an oops in a different way and makes it into a masterpiece. "Oops! A torn pice of paper ... is just the beginning!" We love reading this in the classroom because it's a great segue away from the first of the year meltdowns.
More Idea Books...
The Catchers went to their first author signing together, Annie Barrows. While not knowing a lot about Annie going into the presentation, we sure learned some great seed ideas about writing after listening to her speak. Listening to Annie talk, gave us insight into who she is as an author and we walked away wanting to read more about her and read more of her books.
Some things we learned about Annie & writing:
Anytime you can go and meet an author---GO! You learn so much about writing, ideas and just great words to live by-- you walk away a better reader and thinker!
Each week (starting now) we are going to share 2(ish) books that got us excited. Excited to share with our kids, excited to put it in the hands of readers and excited by how it inspired us. We will each share our opinions about the book, along with how you can use the book in the classroom, books that are similar and readers who would love this book.
The Catchers love how this book gives a well rounded vision about how children should interact with both technology and the outside world. Dot playfully tweets and surfs both figuratively and technologically. We love how Dot goes outside to "reboot, recharge and restart."
This book would be a great conversation starter with children about dividing life between technology, family and nature. Readers who like technology would easily make connections with the technology terms used in this book.
"I love art. It's my imagination on the outside." We were hooked on this book as soon as we saw that Golden Line. Louise's little brother, Art, idolizes her as readers can see through his imitation of what she does. Art can be seen drawing just like Louise and even making glasses for himself to look like his sister. Louise's passion of art is so on the outside that her brother cannot help by try to be just like her. When you love something it's contagious to those around you. The Catchers think this is why so many of our students are such huge book lovers, just like us.
Readers who reread Louise Loves Art will find new details every time. Big brothers and big sisters who think their littles are pesky would love the new perspective this book brings to sibling imitation.
Why did we start with these two books?
When Jacquie discovered Louise Loves Art while innocently browsing on Amazon her first thought was, "This book is for Jen!" On the other side of town, Jen was innocently wandering around Swiss Days and saw Dot. and immediately thought, "Jacquie has to have this book!" This is the best part of having Book Friends. When you surround yourself with book lovers you learn about new books that you might never have found. The Catchers literally surround their classrooms with great books knowing that our students will then leave our classroom with a love of literature and authors. They too become Book Catchers as they discover new books and share them with other readers.
As we catch books for you,
we hope you in return become catchers for others
as you read and share books.
We're excited to let you know that Ivy + Bean's author Annie Barrows is coming to Salt Lake! She will be at the Book Catcher's favorite bookstore, The King's English. Come hear a real live author share about her newest book and talk about her life as a writer.
Do you know Ivy + Bean the two friends who never meant to like each other? You can find more about them on their website anniebarrows.com/ivyandbean/ or in one of their ten books.
Fun Facts About Ivy + Bean Books
The Book Catchers will be at The King's English to meet Annie. Come join us!
Do you have a favorite Ivy + Bean book? Leave us a comment about your favorite book and you'll be entered to win a copy of the latest Ivy + Bean installment, "Ivy + Bean Take the Case"
Our Top 5(ish) Favorite Elephant & Piggies
Who can pick just 5 ... err 6 ... ok, how about 7!
Top 5 (for real, 5!) Favorite Places to Find Pigeon
Pigeon only appears in the text of one Elephant & Piggie Book. Can you find him?
Lessons Elephant & Piggie Have Taught Us
"Pretending is when you act like something you are not."
"You can just go out and pretend to be something you are not!?"
"Sure. Everyone pretends."
"Even grown-up people?"
"All the time."
Elephant & Piggie teach us to use our imagination to pretend to be anything we want. Everyone pretends, even adults!
"If they are having that much fun together, then ... maybe they do not need us."
"Have fun with your new friend."
Elephant & Piggie teach us to trust our friendships and we can have more than one friend.
Think Outside the Box
"This is not working."
"We need a new idea..."
Elephant & Piggie teach us if you're not having success with something you can work together and try another way.
"I am not flying!"
"You are not flying?"
"I am getting help."
Elephant & Piggie teach us that sometimes we need to ask for help and it is ok to accept help from others to reach our goals.
"Maybe we can have fun, too ...."
"We can try."
Elephant & Piggie teach us to look for the fun in every situation, even if we cannot see it at first.
"You are right, Gerald. I did not really throw the ball very far."
"But, I had fun!"
"La, la, la!"
Piggie teaches us you might not be great at everything but you can have fun doing anything.
"With a little help,"
"we can all have"
Elephant & Piggie teach us our differences can be strengths when we work together.
"Gerald, it does not say that you cannot try!"
Elephant & Piggie teach us even if someone tells you that you cannot do something you can always try. You can persevere and have success.
"Our plans are ruined."
"WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW!?!"
"We could play "Pirate."
Elephant & Piggie teach us if something is not working it's ok to have other ideas and try something else.
Let's go on an Elephant & Piggie Guest Character Hunt!
Did you know that there are 13 guest characters that appear in Elephant & Piggie Books? Download our Guest Character Hunt by clicking on the picture below and see if you can list the titles where you find each character. Once you find them all, be sure to show us what you've found!
We'd love to hear about your favorite Elephant & Piggie books and what they have taught you. Comment on our post to share with us! Show us a picture of you and your favorite book.
Hello Book Lovers! Welcome to our new book space. As avid readers we are excited to share our love of literature with all of you. Through this site we will be sharing old favorites, new must haves and titles we can't wait to read. Authors are our rock stars and in true groupie fashion we'll be featuring many of our favorites in our blog posts. Join us as we travel to book stores and libraries around Utah (and the country!) to catch our favorite books.
We're excited to have you join on this book adventure with us and look forward to talking books with you.
"To be kept waiting is unfortunate, but to be kept waiting with nothing interesting to read is a tragedy of Greek proportions."