Book reviewer extraordinaire!

Posts tagged ‘book’

The Letter D

I have been reading books to my PreK and Kindergarten students. Big surprise. The authors all have last names that begin with the letter D. This week I read a great book to them called Sody Salleratus by Aubrey Davis.

I had no clue what sody salleratus was or meant, all I knew is the author’s last name began with a D and it looked cute. We actually learned that sody salleratus was also known as baking soda. This story is not really about baking soda. It is an Applachian Three Billy Goats Gruff. The Old Woman decides to bake biscuits and needs her sody salleratus. She sends Boy to the grocer to buy some, which he dutifully complies. On the way back home he crosses a bridge only to be accosted by a large grumpy bear. Once the bear eats Boy the story moves on. The Old Woman proceeds to send Girl, then Old Man, and then herself to find out what has taken them so long to return home. All are eaten by the bear. Oh, did I forget to mention that they had a squirrel living on the mantlepiece? Yep, and squirrel goes last to find Old Woman, Old Man, Girls and Boy only to discover the bear and his boasting at eating them all.

Squirrel ends up outsmarting the bear and … well, there is a happily ever after to this story that includes the biscuits, thanks to the sody salleratus, and a bear skin rug.

The kids love the repetitive story line and begin to “read” it with me. They love the roaring and growling of the bear. Sody Salleratus is a fun little tale great to share.


What I have read recently,



Stretch by Doreen Cronin

Another cute story by children’s author Doreen Cronin. Children get to move with this book and explore the creative ways in which we can stretch. My pre-k students love Stretch, Wiggle, and Bounce.

It’s Hard to be Five by Jamie Lee Curtis

Cover of "It's Hard to Be Five: Learning ...   Jamie Lee Curtis created a fun story about growing up and becoming a big kid versus still being a baby. Sometime it is hard but it also rewarding. Kindergarten and first grade students like this. Some of the words are beyond my pre-k groups.

Louella Mae, She’s Run Away by Karen Beaumont Alarcón

  • Students love this rhyming book and are very surprised to find out where Louella Mae has hidden and why. Very fun! Read with PK through 1st and they all got a giggle out of it!

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

  • My students love the lyrical side of this story. A little boy who promises his mommy that he isn’t going to paint the walls and furniture any more discovers a new outlet for his craft. Very fun!

All By Myself! by Aliki

Cover of "All by Myself!"

A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring #1) by James Dashner

Another dystopian story but intended for a younger audience. Two tweens, Dak and Sera, discover a secret experiment, their world falls apart. Missing parents, time travel, historical figures and events. The past is not as we know it and they must travel back in time, all the while hiding from and evil group who has risen to power through influencing the past. Good historical references, moderate action, and a bit of humour. Intended for the Pre-teen crowd. Can’t wait to introduce the series to my third and fourth graders.

Young Adult (YA)

Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) by Orson Scott CardCover of "Ender's Game (Ender Quartet)"

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
  • Dystopian view of the US, very popular today. At 16, kids are required to choose a faction in which they will spend the rest of their lives. They will leave friends and family if they choose a faction other than the one in which they were raised. As in all dystopian stories, the system is broken and these kids must figure out how to fix it. Similar to the Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) in that children are put in harm’s way over and over to survive. Some make it and get stronger, some crumble and turn, some do not make it out. I am concerned that the movie version of this series will be like Hunger Games and use actors much older than the book characters and change the “feel” of the story. The who idea is that children are put into situations even adults cannot bear. I did not like the ending to the series. I understand why the author wrote it the way she did, I personally wanted a different outcome.

The 39 Clues: Unstoppable: Nowhere to Run: Book 1

The 39 Clues

The 39 Clues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Jude Watson

The 39 Clues is a great series written by multiple authors. Siblings, Amy and Dan, find themselves in turmoil as their parents and beloved grandmother, Grace, have been murdered and they are involved in a clue hunt to not only save themselves, but the entire world. This is the first book of the Unstoppable series, a sub-series in the 39 Clues world.

Amy and Dan have just finished another clue hunt to save members of their remarkable family and find out more about themselves, their parents and grandmother. Now, another entity has stolen something no one should possess and he is out to remove Amy and Dan from getting in his way as he attempts to dominate the world. These books are entertaining and educational as the characters travel all over the world, learn about famous people and events in history.

Great for the upper-elementary and middle school age kids. My husband even enjoys them!


You can also find a series of mystery and adventure games on the 39 Clues website.

What I Read To Students: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

by Eric Litwin, James & Kim Dean

At the beginning of the school year I read a variety of books to students in PK through Fourth Grade. I want to grab their attention and draw them into reading as quickly as I can and turn them into independent life-long readers.

I focus on Library Manners for my new students in PreKindergarten and Kindergarten to help them understand what it means to use a shared space and how we can use the small library well without being disruptive to others. However, there are times when we must be a little disruptive. 😀

The Book Fair is coming and we have been watching the video sent with the chairperson tool kit. My PK through 2nd grade students are loving Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons! I love the silliness of the book and how it implements math! Yeah, MATH!

My only issue with the book fair video is the singer of PtC and HFGB is the enunciation of the word buttons. I know, it may be picky but when teaching children to speak clearly, spell and read well, it is so important to enunciate. In the video, Pete is singing “My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons” but it comes out like my buh-uns, ,y my buh-uns, my four groovy buh-uns. Yeah. I am going to be picky.

Dear James & Kim Dean,

PLEASE do not allow a great book and teaching tool to be degraded by poor speech!

Thank you,

Shawn Weisser, Teacher Librarian.


UPDATE: 10/3/2013

We are running the book fair this week and I sold out of the Pete the Cat books! All of the books I read or showcased the week before, students bought! I love that I made these books come alive for my students! I LOVE reading and turning students onto books!!


Ever wonder?

NorthangeAlibi   Did you ever wonder what happened to the book you read when you werea kid? You know, the Louisecover_haunted_libraryones that were full of adventure and mystery? The ones that were full of real romance and fantasy? Those books that made us fall in love with history and sci-fi?

Well, they are back. Not the ones we read way back then but new modern books that can make you enjoy fantastical battles, solve great mysteries and fall in love all over again. Where, you ask?

Here! Well, not here, but at! What’s better? A 99-Cent Back to School Event! On September 13th, yes, Friday the 13th, the authors on will be offering numerous books for 99 cents each from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other vendors and in various formats.

At you will find children’s, YA (young adult), and adult literature. Various genre to choose from: fantasy, romance, historical, Christian, LDS, and more.

Join us at!!


I Love Toni Buzzeo!

Really! The woman is a genius!

I have been reading a”back to school” selection of books to my students this week and I chose Get Fired Up With Reading! for my second through fourth grade students. It never fails to inspire my students to read.They all want to have a contest and get their teachers into the dragon-head costume! Mrs. Skorupski is at it again as she challenges the entire school to read. The winning class is awarded the honor of having their teacher in the head of the dragon costume to be worn in the Read Across America parade. The top readers (measured in minutes read) in each grade level will fill out the body of the dragon.

Two girls in Mr. Dickinson’s fourth grade class battle it out while one kindergartener needs help to be the dragon’s tail! See who wins in this wonderful book that is inspiring my students to read!

Toni Buzzeo is a school library media specialist (this is what she calls herself) in Maine. She has written numerous books about Mrs. Skorupski and her devious ways to get students to use the library media center! She has also written other non-library education books that leave me breathless, such as The Sea Chest. However, I think her brilliance is in the way she inspires educators such as myself to read and explore the library.

Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon Starting Line and Progress Post

"One of the lovely things about writing i...

“One of the lovely things about writing is you can get revenge.” -Gail Carson Levine (Photo credit: MrSchuReads)

Gail Carson Levine is one of my favorite authors. She writes books anyone can read, but what I find wonderful about her books is they show young girls that they can overcome adversity. Her books are so well written that some of my boys, those who are willing to give a “girl’s book” a chance, find they love them and begin recommending them to their peers.
Great for all ages. Great for all genders.

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