Off The Shelves Reflection

Image result for that's not mine by anna kang
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Kang, Anna. That’s (Not) Mine. Illustrated by Christopher Weyant. Two Lions. 2015. 32 Pages. Tr. $9.98, 978-1-4778-2639-3

Reading That’s (Not) Mine was a very helpful experience for me as a person who loves to read to young students. This particular book was for ages 3-5 years old because of it’s simple pictures and simple and short sentences. I was nervous at first but as I began I felt more comfortable. It is funny how it’s easier for me to speak in front of children but not in front of adults. My whole purpose was to be engaging and to have fun. I love to read books to my students that are exciting, interactive and humorous. If I’m bored with a book I know my students are bored so I like to make reading an adventure. I believe that imagination is so important especially for young children so if I can get them into a story whether through changing my voice or incorporating them into the story I do it. One of feedback statements I received said that I should have spoke to the students about the word “Mine” because it can encourage them to latch onto it and say it. Which is absolutely true! At the end of the story what I could have done was ask them about the word “mine”. Is it a nice word to say while sharing? How would you feel if you wanted someone to share with you and they said “No… Mine”. The discussion would help them understand that it’s not very nice to say. Something I also could have done better would be to take advantage of the parts of the book that showed emotion so I could question the students about feelings and why the characters felt the way they looked in the story. I could have also provided a moment where the children predicted what was going to happen next. To get them more engaged actively thinking about what could happen. It was an overall great experience. I enjoyed it and I hope you all did too.


Image result for the BFG audiobook

Dahl,. R. (2013). The bfg. Retrieved from

Ronald Dahl’s The BFG has an excellent audiobook for librarians to consider as a tool to inspire children who may have a difficult time reading. This audiobook is recommended for children ages 8-10. The BFG is a tale about a young girl who is saved by a big, friendly giant. Together, they join forces to defeat an evil horde of human eating giants. The narrator’s voice reads in such a way that can give your listener goosebumps! The narrator’s voice is soft, yet intentional. Every word that David reads can spark a mental image that enables the listener to picture not only a scene but to actually feel what the character feels. The way David Walliams reads brings the words of this story alive. Easily a child can be brought London where giants and creatures roam while children are sleeping. David’s pauses and emphasis on words meshed together with the subtle background sounds can help stimulate the imagination of any listener.

This Little Blog Is Juuuuust Right…

Goldilocks and The Three Bears is a classic folktale that has been told in many different variations. I’ve chosen these three:

Image result for goldilocks and the three bears by mara alperin
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Alperin, M., & Daubney, K. (2015). Goldilocks and the three bears. Wilton, CT: Tiger Tales.

In this variation of Goldilocks and the three bears is full of very bright and colorful pictures. It’s extremely inviting and kid friendly. This variation lives up to the usual tale of Goldilocks. In this story, Goldilocks is portrayed as a curious little girl who just gets into everything and she makes a mess of the poor bears’ home. So much so that baby bear asks to just eat toast instead of porridge for breakfast which adds a bit of humor to the story. I’d recommend this book for a child age 3 to 5 years old.

Image result for Jan Brett and the three snow bears
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Brett, J., & Kaye, R. (2007). The three snow bears. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

I love this variation of Goldilocks because this story is set in the arctic with Aloo-ki playing the role of Goldilocks and the three bears are actually snow bears instead. In this story, Aloo-ki finds an igloo after her sled dogs have disappeared on broken ice leaving her stranded. She goes through their home and instead of finding a chair just right to sit in she finds fur boots and walks around with them on. The story ends with the polar bears helping Aloo-ki bring her dogs back to the land so she can continue to ride home in safety. As an added bonus she got to keep baby bear’s comfortable furry snow boots. I admire Jan Brett because her stories usually have stories within them playing out along the border of the pages. While Aloo-ki was looking through the house; on the mini pictures along the border the polar bears were outside saving her dogs.  I’d say this book is a good read for ages 5-7. The book is a bit lengthier for younger children and there is a lot to look at on each page which can prove distracting.

Image result for Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
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Willems, M., & Rago, M. (2012). Goldilocks and the three dinosaurs. New York: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins.

This is the funniest rendition of Goldilocks I’ve ever read. In this story, three dinosaurs (mama, papa and dinosaur visiting from Norway) set up a trap similar to the story set up of Goldilocks and the three bears. They have chocolate pudding instead of porridge, three massive chairs and three beds. The dinosaurs hide in the forest and try their hardest to keep quiet while a naive Goldilocks goes through the motions she should within the folktale. However, the dinosaurs’ booming voices ruined their trap. Goldilocks hears them planning to eat her and runs away just before she can be caught. The illustrations are very bright and the vocabulary is advanced. Words like succulent, enormous and Norwegian were in the story.  I think this story would be harder for young children to understand because of sarcsam and clever use of language. I would recommend this book for a 6 to 9 year old.


Week 7: Review of Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Pena

I chose two stories for this week’s review. I chose Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Pena and Firebird by Misty Copeland. Last Stop on Market Street won 2016’s Newbery Medal while Firebird won Coretta Scott King’s 2015 Illustrator Award.

Image result for last stop on market streetImage result for firebird by misty copeland

I chose to review Last Stop on Market Street. I’ve seen this story before but never have I read it until today. Last Stop on Market Street won more than just the Newbery Award. This story has also won the 2016 Caldecott Honor, 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015.

In a stunning tale of perspective, a young boy, CJ, is taught by his grandmother how to see the beauty in everything around him. CJ’s desire to understand why people and situations “are the way they are” allows for the reader to be brought along on a back and forth discussion between CJ and his grandmother. This story is written with an inner city slang which brings CJ’s character to life. CJ asks his grandmother questions such as “Nana, how come we don’t got no car?” and “How come we got to wait for the bus in all this wet?” This story is filled page after page with bright colors and full pages of illustrations. The reader is brought into a realistic world of optimism by the grandmother’s captivating way of turning all negative situations into positive ones. If it’s one thing this story teaches its readers it is how to see the world as beautiful no matter what you may or may not have. De la Pena does a great job at bringing the reader through the city, exploring people from all walks of life as well as teaching a valuable lesson in appreciation for what you have and that there is beauty amongst diversity.

De la Pena, Matt. Last Stop On Market Street. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Radndom House. 2015. 32 pages. Tr. $16.99, 9780399257742

Firebird. By Misty Copeland. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Penguin Random House. 2014. 40 pages. Tr. $17.99









Wombat Books

Wombat Books is an independent publishing company based out of Australia. Rochelle Manners is Wombat Books’ founder. She is a teacher, author, mother and has a graduate degree in editing and publishing. She is also director of Rhiza Press which is Wombat Books sister company that publishes novels for young adults and adults. Wombat Books works closely with Australian authors both new and well known. Wombat Book publishes children’s picture books, non fiction books, books on faith, and chapter books for children ages 6 and up. They also offer competitions for illustrators to be a part of the Wombat Books illustration team and ask of manuscript submissions from upcoming authors who are interested in publishing their stories. They also have a blog website that is not very active but they have an active Facebook Account where they post regularly.

Catalogue 2016


Jack and Mia by Robert Vescio illustrated by Claire Richards is an adorable story about two friends from different racial backgrounds named Jack and Mia that learn how to remain friends as Mia moves away. This story can be used to teach valuable lessons on friendship, race and a positive way to use technology.


Reading Time Blog: March 13, 2017

Jack and Mia is a sweet story about two young friends who live next door to each other and love to play together. The children enjoy all the traditional childhood games – playing dress-ups and make believe, building a cardboard cubby, card games and putting on impromptu concerts for their mums.

Then Mia’s family moves away. Jack is sad but, this is a modern book and, Queensland author Robert Vescio shows that today’s technology can help bridge the distance. The Internet means the two friends can actually see each other online. And so they talk, play and laugh together in a whole new way, as well as share drawings and photographs from across the world.

Jack and Mia can be a light read or a prompt for discussion about topics such as friendship, inclusivity, vaccinations and careers. The two main characters are obviously different genders and they have also been illustrated with different coloured skin, yet they “fit together like a puzzle“. If you have a youngster due for their next immunisations, they may be able to relate to the story when Mia and Jack both get sick with red spots (perhaps it’s chicken pox?). And when Mia is waved off, her dad is wearing army greens, so there’s an opportunity for discussion about the demands of particular jobs or the importance of the armed forces.

South Australian illustrator Claire Richards has created bright, fun and colourful pictures that fill the pages, with plenty of inspiration for childhood games and play.

My 8-tear-old twin girls had already read this book at school before I pulled it out at home and were happy to hear it over again. Little Man, 4, liked it too.

GoodReads: October 2016

Jack and Mia is a charming story about friendship. It is told in simple language, which includes enough stylistic quirks to lift the story into individuality. It is by turns happy, sad, and then joyous as Jack and Mia, with help from their sympathetic parents, manage to come together for play dates despite living half a world away from one another. Claire Richards has drawn affectionate slightly Quentin-Blake-like pictures that suggest children’s drawings while still showing her professional touch.


I agree that this book is a great book about friendship. What’s cool is the modern touch on the story. Technology is important in children’s lives and shows how communication even miles a part is just as simple as a phone call away or a video call away. I believe that the Reading Time blog is more descriptive while the Good Reads blog has elements of critique. Reading Time did a great job explaining the different lessons that can be taught from Jack and Mia as well as letting the reader know how the writer’s own children responded to the book. The Good Reads review does not give as much detail as the Reading Time Review. I wanted to dig deeper into more about how Sally felt about the story’s style and why she felt so. She could have also gave more examples into the usage of language.

Vescio, R., & Richards, C. (2016). Jack and Mia. Capalaba B.c., Qld.: Wombat Books.




Transitional Book: The Lion and The Mouse

Guest Writer: Ann Korff

Image Courtesy of Google

     The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney is a wordless picture book that has very few words throughout the story. The only words that are printed are sounds that are being heard such as “ROOAARRRRRRRRR”, “puff puff” and “GRRR” to name a few. These words are in very large print, with white space and very detailed pictures. This book is great for transitional readers. Horning’s book states “Children at this stage of reading are beginning to read for meaning…” (pg. 133) Because of the lack of words within the story it is up to the children to create the sentences that go along with the illustrations. This means that children should make connections based off the illustrations and the sentences they are constructing to fit the story. Wordless books also push the reader to make connections within their own knowledge. For example, when the lion gets caught by the net and he roars, how should the roar sound to a child if the lion is roaring for help? Is it loud? Is it low and whispery? A child would have to think about several things based on the picture. The child would have to think about how he/she may feel if he/she was trapped and if the child needed help would he/she yell for it or say it softly. The Lion and The Mouse is not your traditional transitional chapter book but it does push the envelope for children who are discovering comprehension. This book helps the child make connections and use words that they know already to create a meaningful reading experience.

Through watercolor with color pencils, Pinkney creates illustrations that are realistic, but beautifully stylized at the same time. Animals and their natural environments are portrayed using fairly accurate, soft colors, while also showing swirling textures in varied framed and full-bleed layouts. Illustrations are made up of a range of single-page to full-page illustrations, showing long-shots of scenery, and close-ups of animal details. Despite the majority full-bleed illustrations, white space is abundant in the illustrations, creating well-balanced compositions. The illustrations do not feel cluttered or chaotic.

As is characteristic for easy reader books, per Horning, these illustrations support and carry the story, while supporting the sparse onomatopoeia text in the book. At the same time, Pinkney does not create stress in him images, even while illustrating the stressful episode where the lion gets caught in the net. This allows the reader to linger on the page and discover the story in each fine detail of the illustrations.

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Horning, K. (2010). From cover to cover : Evaluating and reviewing children’s books (Rev. ed.). New York: Collins. Ch. 6

Pinkney, J., & Aesop, . (2009). The lion & the mouse. New York: Little, Brown and Co. Books for Young Readers.

Great Blogs For Children’s Books is a great blog website for readers looking to get reviews on children’s book. Ms. Turek who is the blog curator is also a librarian who loves to read children’s book and is an avid reader herself. Her website is easy to navigate and beautifully organized. She has a section which is called “Best of  List” for books that have won awards or are deemed “Best Picture Books of the Year”. She also offers to compile a book list for your child (for a small fee) based on your child’s book history and the books you would like your child to read and the child’s interests. She discusses various topics such as choosing the right books for your child, discussing gender equality and how to read a book that has no words. Her reviews are also very detailed and show pictures of title as well as pages and quotes from the story.

I have found to be a website encouraging for fathers who read to their children. Of course anyone can read this blog but most blogs I have looked at are written by women. This dad offers reviews on several genres (picture books, book sets and audio books). He also offers advice to his readers such as why parents should invest in at home libraries or how to read aloud. He also has a side bar full of his top posts for the week and month as well as a featured post. All of which contain reviews. In his reviews, he talks about his children’s reactions to the story, how he felt about the stories, supplies a summary and where you could buy the book

My classmates chose:

Amanda B.  chose the “School Library Media Journal”. Which is one of my favorite resources for reviews. They include reviews on the most upcoming and classic books as well as have reviews on movies and a lot of their reviews are written by the children who have read the books.

Lindsay discussed “What to Read to Your Kids” which has an abundance of categories for the reader  to choose from. This blog caters to children who are reading on many different levels and  have different interests.

Teresa wrote about “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast”. The well roundedness of the blog writer can be useful in itself when choosing a blog for reviews. She reminds me of the woman who writes in the blog I chose Books4yourkids. She is also very knowledgeable and is a librarian and mother.