Monday, March 23, 2015

Walking and Listening to "The Iron Trial"

Black, Holly and Cassandra Clare. The Iron Trial. 10 hours and 37 minutes, Listening Library, 2014, $45.00, 978-0-8041-2260-3.

Starting at a very young age, Call's father began to warn Call not only of the dangers of magic but also the dangers of The Magisterium. So when Call is invited to tryout for The Magisterium, Mr. Hunt stresses to Call the importance of purposefully failing the entrance tests. Call's testing turns out to be disastrous, setting things on fire, exploding pens and even scoring the lowest score out of all the applicants, but yet he still manages to gain entrance. Not sure as to what he should do, Call ends up attending The Magisterium to begin his mage training with Master Rufus. As he and his fellow apprentices, Aaron and Tamara are learning how to channel their magical abilities, he can't help but hear his father's warnings about magic in the back of his mind. However even with his father's warning, there is no way for Call to fully prepare for what is in store for him.

Paul Boemer does a nice job narrating this story. While there weren't any character voices that stood out to me and certain characters sounded a bit too much like others, listening to this story was still enjoyable.

One day while I was out walking and listening to this book, I saw this Minion kite stuck up in a tree. I am sure some child was very sad that their kite had blown away, but I could only imagine the hilarious things that the Minions were saying to each other.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March Bulletin Boards

Oops! I just realized that March is halfway over and I haven't shared the bulletin boards that we created this month. 
Our giant bulletin board declares, "March Into Reading!" which features many little ants created out of egg cartons. We were also able to incorporate last months trees into this months design. I love it when we are able to do that.
Greg was totally decked out for St. Patrick's Day this year, however he still doesn't look happy.
We continued the St. Patrick's Day celebration on the back bulletin board. 
Steve Jenkins makes the most amazing illustrations in his non-fiction books and this month he is celebrating his birthday.
Steve Jenkins isn't the only one celebrating his birthday today. So is Dr. Seuss!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Walking and Listening to "The Terrible Two"

Barnett, Mac and Jory John. The Terrible Two. 3 cd's. 3 hours 22 minutes. Blackstone Audio, 2015, $30.00, ISBN 978-1-4815-1530-6.

Having to move, leaving your friends and everything you know behind is never easy. But, it's even harder for Miles because he has built himself quite the reputation for being the ultimate prankster. When he arrives to school on the first day and sees the principal's car parked on the school steps, he realizes his new school already has a prankster, one better than he could ever be. While Miles has no idea who is behind this brilliant prank, he decides he needs to pull the ultimate prank, one that entails pranking everyone in the school, letting them know that there is another prankster in their midst. Will the prank birthday party for Cody Burr Tyler be everything Miles wanted it to be or will the whole prank backfire?

Adam Verner does a fabulous job narrating this audiobook. Each character was easily distinguishable and their personalities shown through. My favorite voice was that of Stewart. To me it sounded like a combination of Fozzie Bear and Animal from The Muppets. Loved it!

Side Note #1: As I was listening to this book I knew exactly which children to share it with. They have been loving it, telling their friends about it and now this book has a nice long waitlist.

Side Note #2: I loved the random cow facts scattered throughout the book.

While out walking, listening and cutting through the beach park, I took this picture. It was a gorgeous afternoon.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Walking and Listening to "The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing"

Turnage, Shiela. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. 8 hours. Penguin Audio. 2014, $29.95, ISBN 9781629235158. 

It's hard to imagine enjoying a sequel even more than the first book in the series. Perhaps it was the story itself or the difference between listening to it versus reading it. Whatever the reason might, I loved everything about this book and being able to spend time with Mo and Dale again and see what the Desperado Detective Agency has been up to. 

Practically everyone in Tupelo Landing has shown up for the auction at the inn, with not only the hope of purchasing something, but to see who ends up buying the inn. Wanting to avoid having certain people as her neighbors, Miss Lana becomes the new owner of the inn, not realizing all that comes with the inn since she wasn't aware of the fine print in the contract. What might that fine print reveal you ask? Why, a ghost of course. The inn is haunted. When Mo discovers this, she is quick to decide that the Desperado Detective Agency is on the case, much to Dale'e chagrin. 

Lauren Fortgang does and amazing job narrating this book. Every character is unique and each
character's personality shines through. Also by providing very distinct voices for each of the characters, the story is very easy for the listener to follow. I especially loved Dale's serenade to Newton.

Favorite Chapter Title: Pre-Flunked

I switched my walking route up a bit while walking and listening to this book. I ended up in the tree tunnel and just loved how these plants and trees looked.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Special Delivery!

It all started when a mysterious package arrived two weeks ago.
It ended with me chanting, "CHUGGA, CHUGGA, CHUGGA" and the children shouting back, "BEANS! BEANS! BEANS!"
Waiting for March 3rd to arrive was painful, worse than Christmas. Sneak peeks were attempted on numerous occasions, but just as I about to rip open the brown package or try to open the red envelope in a way that no one would notice, my conscience got the better of me and I moved the package out of sight. When the day FINALLY ARRIVED and Mr. Lum's second graders walked in the door, I begged them to turn their books in as quickly as possible and meet me on the carpet. When they saw the package sitting on my rocking chair, the questions began to fly. The only way to answer their questions was to rip the envelope and package open. 
Inside was a letter and the new book, Special Delivery, written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. As I began to read, the laughter began to start, from both me and the students. 
After quite a few rounds of, ""CHUGGA, CHUGGA, CHUGGA""BEANS! BEANS! BEANS!"I asked the kids "If you could send a package to anyone, anywhere around the world what would you send them and why?" I told them that they would be writing their answers on postcards that we'd be sending to one of Mr. Schu's classes in Naperville, IL.
They couldn't wait to get to get started.
The postcards were finished, the craziest things were sent, and the postcards immediately sent off to Mr. Schu. We can't wait to get postcards from Mr. Schu's class and hear what they would send to someone.
We all had a blast celebrating #SpecialDeliveryDay, opening a mysterious package, reading a fabulous story, pouring over the pictures, making connections with new friends and laughing and chanting all the way.

Side Note: If you loved this book, the pictures in this book, stamps or the work of Matthew Cordell in general, there is a way for you to get a original piece of art. I can't wait to make a donation. I am crossing my fingers that I win!
Another side note: Are you looking for some fun activities to do with your class?
Just click on the book cover below and you're on your way!