Shelf Challenge 2013: Reporting My Reading

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I spent last week fighting off sinus headaches, so I didn’t get as much reading done as I had expected to for Matthew Winner’s Shelf Challenge.  I didn’t have time to write about everything, so here’s a sampling of what I’ve read so far from my Easy “L” Section, in no particular order.  (Hover over the book covers to see the titles and authors/illustrators.) Some of the books I read alone, some I read with one or both of my children.  Sorry for the poor formatting; my blog style and I are about to part ways over this issue!

Running the Road to ABC by Denize Lauture, illus by Reynold Ruffins

Lyrical text and vibrant illustrations capture the energy of the children as they rise early and run to school each morning. The busy artwork made for a fun read.

Snow Day by Lester Laminack, illus by Adam Gustavson

The surprise twist at the end wasn’t the surprise twist I was expecting, so I really was surprised! I especially enjoyed the expressions on everyone’s faces as they enjoyed the various snow day activities in this very cozy story.

The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins by Lester Laminack, illus by Constance Bergum

Confession: I had never read this classic before yesterday. Don’t like sad stories with watery illustrations, didn’t like this one.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illus by Robert Lawson

Confession: I’d never read this 1936 classic before, although I knew the gist of the story. Turns out the gist of the story was pretty much the whole story! But a sweet story nonetheless, one that got two thumbs up at my house.


Lunch Bunnies by Kathryn Lasky, illus by Marilyn Hafner

Not sure that too many kids are this worried about lunch on the first day of school. No friends, not knowing where to go, mean teacher = more realistic things to fret over, in my opinion. But the story works to reassure the fear, so it’s all good.

Jake's 100th Day of School by Lester Laminack, illus by Judy Love

What I liked best about this story was that Jake’s collection ended up being 100 books, and they came from the principal’s office. Message: Books are important, administrators are readers. Can’t ask for more than that!

Froggy Went A-Courtin' by John Langstaff, illus by Feodor Rojankovsky

The illustrations in this 1955 Caldecott winner have stood the test of time. They are still so charming and full of personality that I am keeping this book in my regular collection. Do kids still sing this song? Remember Ramona, forced to be Uncle Rat, singing it with Willa Jean? Ha!

Don't Count Your Chicks by Ingri & Edgar D'Aulaire

Copyright 1943, outdated language, my copy in bad condition = 3 Strikes. Sad to say, this one needs to go into the Weed pile.

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head by Kathryn Lasky, illus by David Catrow

This story of the creation of the Audubon Society was much more readable than I remembered, and includes an author’s note at the end. I need to share it with my 5th grade Social Studies teachers!

In the Snow by Huy Voun Lee

A simple look at the beauty – and logic – of Chinese picture language integrated into a seasonal story. Includes translations and a pronunciation guide.

In the Leaves by Huy Voun Lee

A simple look at the beauty – and logic – of Chinese picture language integrated into a seasonal story. I’ve shared this series with my Art teacher. 

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, illus by Jan Brett

She’s never won a major award, but I adore Jan Brett’s illustrations. She’s a master of telling two stories at once with her art. Watch for the two fish at the conclusion of the book – a perfect ending!

Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack, illus by Chris Soentpiet

Glorious, sun-drenched illustrations bring this “remembering” story to vivid life. It got two thumbs up at my house.

The Great Graph Contest by Loreen Leedy

I’m a huge fan of collage in picture book illustrations, and these are very nicely done. I’d say it’s a toss-up whether to shelve this in the E or the nonfiction Math section!

Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day by Jean Van Leeuwen, illus by Ann Schweninger

Whoops, this beginning reader book belongs in the “V” section! Somebody in the cataloging department slipped up!

Roberto the Insect Architect by Nina Laden

Did I mention I’m a huge fan of collage in picture book illustrations? I’m also a big fan of the inventive Nina Laden. This charming and original story is a favorite at my house.

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