It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts
We’re also inviting everyone to join our Award Winning Books Reading Challenge for 2015 (#AWBRead2015)! You still have a few weeks left before the year ends to win a book prize.
Here is the sign up page and the November-December linky if you already have reviews up. One randomly-selected participant would receive a copy of The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres courtesy of Pansing Books.
Click here to view the announcement post to learn more details.
This week, join these characters as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime! One is a young boy in search of his favorite teddy bear and the other is a little mouse determined to fly to America. Both picture books offer fun stories that children will surely love!
Written and illustrated by: Philip C. Stead
Published by: Roaring Brook Press (2011)
Book borrowed from Medina County District Library. Photos by me.
In Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat, a boy named Jonathan lost his best friend — a stuffed teddy bear named Frederick. Jonathan and Frederick loved going to the old wharf and hanging out there until sunset. On the day that he found out that Frederick was gone, Jonathan walked to the old wharf alone, feeling very sad.
A tugboat captain noticed how sad Jonathan was. When Jonathan told the captain that Frederick was missing and could be anywhere in the world, the captain talked about his Big Blue Boat that traveled all over the world. This gave Jonathan an idea: hop aboard the Big Blue Boat and set sail to find his missing friend. Jonathan was bound for the biggest adventure of his life!
Along the way, Jonathan encountered obstacles, ran into pirates, and met new friends. With the help of a mountain goat, a circus elephant, and a friendly whale, Jonathan traveled far and wide, hoping to see Frederick again.
I wasn’t as enamored with Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat as I was with A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Still, Philip C. Stead came up with a fanciful tale of a boy who would stop at nothing to find his best friend. The illustrations are beautiful. Stead mixed collage and acrylics to bring Jonathan’s adventure to life. With its sparse text and minimal illustrations, Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat is perfect for the little ones.
If you’re planning to use this book as a teaching resource, you can add some activities to make it more fun for kids. Head over to The Artful Parent and check out more than 50 collage art ideas for kids. You can also visit My Kids’ Adventures to find out how to make paper boats and race them with the kids. These all sound fun, don’t you think?
Written and illustrated by: Torben Kuhlmann
Published by: NorthSouth Books (2014)
Awards received: Golden Island Award (Nami Island International Picture Book Illustration Concours 2015), Indiefab Winner (Foreword’s Book of the Year Award 2015), Outstanding International Book (USBBY 2015)
It was a dark time for a small mouse living somewhere in Europe. (Germany, perhaps?) Weeks have passed and he realized that no other mouse was to be found. Luckily for our little hero, he loved to read. He had read about the mousetraps scattered across the city, causing his fellow mice to flee the country and live elsewhere. He thought they might have gone to America. All mice knew about this faraway place, so he decided that he, too, must flee.
The mouse decided to go to the harbor so he could catch a ride in one of the ships. Alas, cats were everywhere so travel by sea was no longer an option. As he passed through the sewer tunnels, the mouse caught a glimpse of a group of bats flying across. This gave him an idea: he would learn to fly!
Armed with wit and courage, the mouse collected scrap materials and drew a blueprint of his flying invention. He worked hard crafting a pair of large wings and a tiny fin. The initial test failed and the mouse landed next to the railroad tracks. He realized that steam might support his flight better. The little mouse gathered new materials for his second invention. Putting together gears from watches, lighters, small metal housings, and screws, the mouse created an improved, steam-powered flying machine! Complete with pumping pistons, cogwheels, and propellers, the mouse was ready to fly to America!
“The life of an aviator seemed to me ideal. It involved skill. It brought adventure. It made use of the latest developments of science. Mechanical engineers were fettered to factories and drafting boards while pilots have the freedom of wind with the expanse of sky. There were times in an aeroplane when it seemed I had escaped mortality to look down on earth like a God.” — Charles Lindbergh, 1927
I fell in love with Lindbergh when I picked it up from the library. Lovers of the steampunk genre will take delight in this book. Kuhlmann’s artwork is impressive. Some pages that included illustrations drawn in poster or panel form reminded me of Shaun Tan’s illustrations. The story of the mouse was divided into short chapters, which help in keeping the attention of kids. I can easily see this book being turned into an animated film. It tells of courage and determination coming from a little mouse, and the crafty idea that it was the mouse that inspired Charles Lindbergh to fly across the Atlantic. This picture book is truly a gem. Hope you’re able to find a copy to share with kids!
There are a couple of fun activities you can do with kids in relation to the book. Find out if there’s an aircraft or aviation museum near you. That would be a great place for learning. You can also visit Family Crafts and check out 18 airplane crafts for kids. Loads of fun with the young ones!
#AWBRead2015 Challenge Update: 104 (35)