Wednesday, August 27, 2014

53. Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

#2 The Lunar Chronicles
Audio read by Rebecca Soler
9 unabridged cds
2013 Macmillan Audiobook
452 pgs.
YA Dystopia/Fantasy/SciFi
Finished 8/26/14
Goodreads rating:  4.31
My rating:  4.5 (It was really good)
Acquired TPPL
France and in orbit above earth - in the near future

My comments:  I think I might have liked this second book in the series better than the first.  I love the way that Ms. Meyer weaves in fairy tale characteristics both subtly and not-so-subtly.  I'm so glad that Scarlet figured Wolf out right away and didn't keep throwing his wickedness back at him. And we all know what happened to Granny when she encountered the big bad wolf, but I sure would have liked to hear just a little more of her story.  Lastly, I've got to say that I love the character of Iko (I've only listened to this on audio, so I don't know the spelling), who is the little robot character that has now become the mind of the spaceship.  Looking forward to the next installment in the series!

Goodreads book summary:  Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MOVIE - The Giver

PG-13 (1:40)
Wide Release 8/15/14
Viewed at El Con with Sheila 8/17/14
RT Critic: 32   Audience: 68
cag: 4.5/Liked it a whole lot
Directed by Philip Noyce
The Weinstein Company]
from the book by Lois Lowry

Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard

My thoughts:  If you're the kind of person that gets upset because there are a lot of changes from the book, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed in this movie.  There were definitely changes, but they all worked.  In the previews I couldn't help be sneer a little because it seems that they had added some sort of love interest for Jonas.  Considering the direction they took with the ending, it all worked perfectly.  Good movie.  Excellent, actually.  And I love the different actors that played the different parts.  The only questions I have, the only problem with it as I left the theater, was that the Meryl Streep character also seemed to have all the memories.  My problem was not that she had them, that no reference had been made to this fact.
          When the movie was over, a young couple sitting behind us made the comment that it was a little slow in places.  There was no slowness for me.  Granted, I've read the book seven or eight times at least so it was interesting to see all the wonderful changes and additions.  The story is certainly no supposed to be action-filled.  It is nothing like Hunger Games or Divergent.  The giver is the predecessor to all the current dystopian stories.  And I love and admire it as such.
          I've heard that Lois Lowry is quite satisfied with the end product.  If she is, so am I!

RT Summary:  The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community's memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community's secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined - a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all - a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before. THE GIVER is based on Lois Lowry's beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Knitting Yarns - edited by Ann Hood

Writers on Knitting
Yee Ha!  I'm reading nonfiction!
This ones Dewey Decimal number is 746.432K749
I borrowed it from TPPL
294 pgs.
2014 WW Norton & Company
Goodreads rating:  3.73
My rating:

(I've decided to add this book to my blog, even though I'm in the midst of reading it.  I'll do this for any/all short story/essay collections, or I'll never get some of them posted!)

Intro by Ann Hood, the editor (5 pgs.)
She began knitting in 2002 to help lessen the grief she bore after losing her 5-year-old daughter to a strep virus.She drives 40 miles from Providence once a week to Sakonett Purls in Tiverton, RI.

The Pretend Knitter by Elizabeth Berg (6 pgs.)
"Can someone who loves everything about knitting -- the yarn, the tools of the trade, the knitted projects -- actually learn to knit?"
     Elizabeth Berg loves to knit; she loves all the physical and "spiritual" things that go along with it. She tells of knitting a long, long, l o n g garter stitch scarf for her college roommate.  She thought if she made it longer, the dropped stitches wouldn't be so noticeable!

The Perfect Gift by Lan Samantha Chang (7 pgs.)
"Is it possible that we need and like to knit so badly that we don't really care if the recipients of our knitted goods find them aesthetically pleasing or even bearable?"
     Lan Samantha Chang compares knitting a gift to preparing a meal...and then discovering, after everyone sits down with great anticipation to enjoy it, that it doesn't taste very good...at all.  She tells of people giving gifts to her mother, who frequently didn't like or care for them and put them aside, never to look at again.  And she tells of the one perfect sweater that she spent forever knitting, ripping, reknitting, that her mother absolutely loved.

Blood, Root, Knit, Purl by Andre Dubus III (12 pgs.)
"Knitting becomes an unexpected avenue to a Christmas gift for his aunt, and a way to knit his relationship with his young, rich girlfriend"
     What lovely writing!  Andre Dubus tells of his upbringing, living with his divorced mother and three siblings in Massachusetts and New Hampshire  mill towns in the 70's.  And he tells of the re-connection with his mother's family in Louisiana.  He tells of the somewhat strained relationship he has with his then-girlfriend in their tiny (8 x 13 - truly?) NYC apartment/room and how she taught him to knit so he could make a scarf for his aunt for Christmas.  Super memoir.

52. Frozen - Erin Bowman

#2 in the TAKEN series
2014 Harper Teen
362 pgs.
YA Dystopian Fantasy
Finished 8/22/2014
Goodreads rating:  3.97
My rating:  3-I liked it, much of the time.
Acquired TPPL
Setting" Dystopian future somewhere on earth

1st sentence/s:  "We have been walking for two weeks.  Nothing tails us but snow and crows and dark shadows of doubt.  The days grow shorter, the evenings frigid.  I  I thought I'd be able to handle the cold. I was wrong."

My comments:   The first half of this book seemed agonizingly slow, but the second half was not - I couldn't put it down.  I've read so many books between Taken and Frozen that I couldn't remember some of the relationships between main and not-so-main characters.  There were hints throughout the book, though, so that by the end I pretty much remembered everything that needed to be remembered.  I can pretty much lay out the plotline in the next in the series....lots about "Forgeries," particularly Gray's; more of bad, bad Frank; the real Emma will reappear, and by the end of the book Bree and Gray will finally be "together."

Goodreads book summary:  Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.
          Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem

MOVIE - What If

PG-13 (1:42)
Limited release 8/8/2014
Viewed Mid-August 2014
RT Critic:  70   Audience:   79
cag: 5/Loved It
Directed by Michael Dowse
CBS Films

Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan

My thoughts:   I think I might have a new favorite movie.  I was afraid I'd spend the whole movie thinking of wide-eyed Harry Potter as the protagonist, but I didn't think of Harry once. This is an absolutely delightful love story that, as you watch, are sure will have a happy ending. Everyone needs a totally, 100% feel-good movie once in awhile.  Radcliffe and Kazan were a blast to watch.  I loved it!

RT Summary:  WHAT IF is the story of medical school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan (Adam Driver) seems to be finding the perfect partner (Mackenzie Davis), Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall). Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

51. The Art Forger - B. A. Shapiro

2012, Algonquin Books
355 pgs.
Adult mystery
Finished 8/13/2014
Goodreads rating:  3.67
My rating:    4 - Loved it
Acquired TPPL, Recommended by Fran
Contemporary BOSTON!

1st sentence/s: "I step back and scrutinize the paintings.  There are eleven, although I have hundreds, maybe thousands.  My plan is to show him only pieces from my window series.  Or not.  I pull my cell from my pocket, check the time.  I can still change my mind."

My comments:  I haven't read late into the night to see what was going to happen in a book in ages. This was an interesting book on many levels.  It was a clever mystery (at the end, the reader had some facts about some of the "whys" that even the protagonist did not have).  It was about art ... and artists ... and the art world ... which all seem totally fascinating to me.  It was based on a real-life art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that i have followed for the last 20+ years.  The protagonist has many flaws, which makes her seem real.  She is sneaky and also brutally honest.  She is driven.  I also got to learn a lot about Edgar Degas in a really interesting way.  I only think of his ballet paintings when I hear his name, so now I want to look at much more.

Goodreads book summary:  On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.

Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

Monday, August 11, 2014

MOVIE - A Million Ways to Die in the West

R (1:56)
Wide release 5/30/2014
Century Gateway on Kolb, Sunday night (7:40 show! How decadent!) 8-10-14
RT Critic:  33   Audience:  43
cag: 1.5 - Mostly NOPE
Directed by Seth MacFarlane
Universal Pictures

Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Siefried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman

My thoughts:  There were some funny, silly places, but all-in-all this movie was mainly a colossal waste-of-time. I don't mind x-rated kind of stuff - I'm even know to enjoy it - but the sheer crudeness of many of the "jokes" were definitely unneeded.  There was one set of scenes, out in the desert with Cochise and a band of his men, that was particularly well done, funny, and worthwhile. I went because of this incredible list of good actors. I can't believe that this movie is STILL in the cheap theaters, and at almost 8 o'clock on a Sunday night there were at least three dozen people in the theater watching it....

RT Summary:  Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

50. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell - Nadia Hashimi

2014 William Morrow / Harper Collins
452 pgs.
Adult Realistic Fiction - switches between contemporary and historical/100 years ago
Finished Sat. 8/8/14
Goodreads rating:  4.28
My rating:   4.5 This was an outstanding book
TPPL
Setting: a village in Afghanistan, includes peeks at Kabul during both time periods depicted (1900 and 2007)

1st sentence/s: "Shahla stood by our front door, the bright green metal rusting on the edges.  She craned her neck. Parwin and I rounded the corner  and saw the relief in her eyes.  We couldn't be late again."

My comments:  I have to think really hard about rating this book.  I keep thinking about the last words I read in it, in the acknowledgement section by the author.  She says, "A special acknowledgement to all the daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, and teachers of Afghanistan...."  However, other than the protagonists (and Rahima's immediate family), with only a few exceptions, the women depicted in the novel are hateful, vengeful, and mean. This includes mothers-in-law, grandmothers, sisters-in-law, and other wives who are also daughters, mothers, and aunts.

The story is about two different women, one living at the beginning of the 20th century, the other more contemporary, living at the beginning of the 21st.  Related by blood, both get the opportunity to "shed" their female personna for part of their lives and live a bit more freely as a male.  They both become wives and mothers, but not in the way most American women might think of becoming a wife and mother. The chapters alternate and it is not at all difficult to keep the stories or the people in each story separate.

The images left in my mind after reading this book will stay with me. I couldn't put this book down. I realize that Afghanistan's reality is incredibly different from mine, and this novel gave me added perspective.  So many questions are left, particularly about religion and the heavyhandedness some apply to the "rules" that go along with that religion....

Goodreads book summary:  Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel, The Pearl that Broke Its Shell is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See.

In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.

But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.

Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

PICTURE BOOK - The Shabbat Puppy - Leslie Kimmelman

Illustrated by Jaime  Zollars
A PJ Library Selection
2012 Marshall Cavendish Children
HC $17.99
32pages
Goodreads rating:
My rating: 3.5
Endpapers: a solid light blue
With dedications, explanation for two of the important, commonly used words:  "In Hebrew, shalom has three meanings:  hello, good-bye, and peace.  Mazel (rhymes with "nozzle") means luck."
Illustrations "rendered in graphite and digital paint."

1st line:  "Every Saturday morning, Noah and Grampa take a Shabbat walk. 
       'It's the best time,' Grampa explains, 'to find Shabbat Shalom, some Sabbath peace."

My comments:  Since I try to remember to say, "Shabbat shalom" to parents and kids each Friday as they leave school (a Hebrew day school), this book is a nice reminder to me of its true meaning.

Goodreads:  Every Saturday morning Noah and Grampa take a walk, looking for "Shabbat shalom"--Sabbath peace--but Grampa will not let Noah's noisy puppy Mazel come along.

Books About Quilts and Quilting

Picture Books
Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend (Ramsey & Stroud/Holyfield)
Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom (Stroud/Bennett)
Stitchin' and Pullin' a Gee's Bend Quilt (McKissack/Cabrara)
Stormy Weather (Gliori)
Tsunami Quilt, The (Fredericks/Yee)

Novels - Adult
Prayers for Sale (Dallas)

Novels - YA

Novels - Middle Grades
Leaving Gee's Bend (Latham)

NonFiction

Picture Books About Other Cultures

Afghanistan
Sky of Afghanistan, The (de Eulate/Wimmer)

Africa
No Set Country
          New Old Shoes (Blessing/Phillips)
          Village That Vanished, The (Grifalconi/Nelson)
          Water Hole Waiting (Kurtz & Kurtz/Christiansen) east African savavnnah

Refugees
          Color of Home, The (Hoffman/Littlewood) from Somalia
          My Name is Sangoel (Williams & Mohammed/Stock) refugee from Sudan

Eritrea
          Mangrove Tree, The (Roth & Trumbore)

Ghana
          Ananse and the Lizard (Cummings) folktale
          One Hen (Milway/Fernandes) Getting Involved/Making a Difference
          Spider Weaver, The (Musgrove/Cairns)

Kenya
           14 Cows for America (Deedy/Gonzalez)
           Beatrice's Dream (Williams/Stone) photo journal
           Chirchir is Singing (Cunnane/Dadly)
           Muktar and the Camels (Graber/Mack) also Somalia
           On a Road in Africa (Doner)
          Wangari's Trees of Peace (Winter) Wangari Matthai


Malawi
          Galimoto (Williams/Stock)

Mali
          Yatandou (Whelan/Sylvada)

Namibia
          Three Little Dassies (Brett)

Nigeria
          One Big Family: Sharing Life in an African Village (Onyefulu/photos)

Somalia
          Dhegdheer, A Scary Somali Folktale (Hassa/)Bowen)
          Muktar and the Camels (Graber/Mack) also Kenya
          Wiil Waal (Moriarty/Amir) foldtale

South Africa
          Elsina's Clouds (Winter)        
          Goal! (Javaherbin/Gord)
          Over the Green Hills (Isadora)
          What's Cooking, Jamela? (Daly)

Sudan
          Brothers in Hope (Williams/Christie)

Uganda
          Beatarice's Goat (McBrier/Lohstoeter)

Zimbabwe
          Gugu's House (Stock)

China
Gift, A (Chen)
Ling Cho and His Three Friends (Pacilio/Cook)
Lin Yi's Lantern (Williams/LaCombe)
Lucky New Year! (Man-Kong/Chung)
Pet Dragon, The (Niemann)
Shanghai Messenger (Cheng/Young)
Sparrow Girl  (Pennypacker/Tanaka)
Wishing Tree, The (Thong/McLennan)

England
Walk in London, A (Rubbino) contemporary LONDON

Bangladesh
Yasmin's Hammer (Malaspina/Ghayka)

Easter Island
Day the Stones Walked, The (Barron//Low)

Egypt
Clever Ali (Farmer/deMarcken) folk tale

Haiti
Hope for Haiti (Watson)

Holland
Boxes for Katje (Fleming) WWII 1947

India
Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit (Das) 2013
Sanyasin's First Day (ShankStock)

Iraq
Librarian of Basra (Winter)

Ireland
Finn McCool and the Great Fish (Bunting/Pullen) tall tale

Ireland, Northern
Walking to School (Bunting/Dooling)

Japan
Erika-San (Say)
Tsunami (Kajikawa/Young)

Jewish
Hanukkah
          Papa's Latke's (Edwards/Shuett)
Holocaust
          Benno and the Night of Broken Glass (Wiviott/Bisaillon)
          Secret Seder, The (Rappaport/McCully)
Just for Fun
          Beautiful Yetta, the Yiddish Chicken (D. Pinkwater/ J. Pinkwater)
          Someone for Mr. Sussman (Polacco)
Passover
          Passover (Ziefert/Gudeon)
          Secret Seder, The (Rappaport/McCully)
          Tale of Two Seders, A (Portnoy/Sis)
          Yankee at the Seder, The (Weber/Gustavson)
Purim
          Story of Queen Esther, The (Koralek/Holderness)
Shabbat
          Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher (Snyder/Goldin)
          Shabbat Puppy, The (Kimmelman/Zollars)
Tashlich
          Tashlich at Turtle Rock (Schnur & Schnur-Fishman/Steele-Morgan)
Tzedakah
          How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box (Heller//McQueen) TZEDAKAH

Mexico/Hispanic
Bravest Flute, The (Grifalconi) Maya
Carmen Learns English (Cox/Dominguez)
El Barrio (Chocolate/Diaz)
Gathering the Sun (Ada/Zubizaretta
Gift for Abuelita (Luenn/Chapman)
Julio's Magic (Dorros/Grifilconi)
Let's Go See Papa! (Schimel/Rivera)
Pablo's Tree (Mora/Lang)
What Can You Do With a Rebozo? (Tarfolla/Cordova)

Middle East - General or Unnamed
Four Feet, Two Sandals (Williams & Mohammed/Chayka)

Morocco
Storytellers, The (Lewin)

Muslim
My First Ramadan (Katz)
My Name is Bilal (Mobin-Uddin/Kiwok)
One Green Apple (Bunting/Lewin)
Party in Ramadan, A (Mobin-Uddin/Jacobsen)

Nepal
Kami and the Yaks (Stryer/Dobson)

Ukraine
Mitten, The (Aylesworth/McClintock)

Vietnam
Walking Stick, The (Trottier/Gravel)

Many Cultures
At the Same Moment, Around the World (Perrin)
Just Like You (Konrad/Wang)
We Planted a Tree (Muldrow/Staake)
Thank You World (McGinty/Halperin)

Picture Books to Use in My Fourth Grade Classroom

For Thinking and Creativity               Just for Laughs and/or FUN
For Writing                                          Picture Book Mysteries
For Writing: Memoir                           Fractured Fairy Tales
For Writing: Poetry                             Biographies
For Grammar                                       Families with Gay Parents
For Bookmaking Ideas                       About Immigrants & Immigration
Wonderful Words                                Arizona
Alphabets/ABC                                    For Science
Celebrating Books & Reading   Ecology & the Environment
For Holidays & Happenings       For Bedtime
For Owning Up                                     Aesop

For Thinking and Creativity
America The Beautiful, Together We Stand (Bates & many artists) Famous Quotes
If.... (Perry)
Some Things Are Scary (Heide/Feiffer) Use this!
When I Grow Up (Yankovic)

For Writing:
Birds (Henkes/Dronzek) Writing description
Book, A (Gerstein) genre study
Boy Who Loved Words, The (Schotter/Potter) lots of great words & ideas - website, too
Bravest Woman in America, The (Moss/U'ren) FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE, DESCRIPTION, VERBS
Bubble Trouble (Mahy/Dunbar) Tongue-Twister, Alliteration, Snazzy Verbs, Rich language, Rhyming & Rhythm
Charlie the Ranch Dog (Grummond/deGroat) lst person p-o-v is the dog, clever writing
Cloud Dance (Locker) Word Choice/Verbs especially
Crazy Hair (Gaiman/McKean) rhyme & Rhythm, put it to music, wonderful words
First Year Letters (Danneberg/Love)
Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School, The (Anderson/Hoyt) elipses (& funny)
Hinky Pink, The (McDonald/Floca) Needs more details, transitioning - great model for kids - includes lots of rich language...similes & metaphors
Imogene's Last Stand (Fleming/Carpenter) sprinkling quotes and research throughout a piece of fiction
Jungle Grapevine, The (Beard) alliteration, great words
Matchbox Diariy, The (Fleischman/Ibatouline) Oral Histories
Migrant (Trottier/Arsenault) FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
New Old Shoes (Blessing/Phillips) Needs work on transitions AND non-human p---v
Odious Ogre, The (Lester/Feiffer) Super-Snazzy words, Moral
Passing the Music Down (Sullivan/Root) Eloquent Writing & Figurative Language
Poem-Mobiles (Lewis & Florian)
Reading Makes You Feel Good (Parr) model, kids come up with more ideas, elipses
Robin Makes a Laughing Sound, The (Wolf) journal, observations, sketches
Seven for a Secret (Anholt/Coplestone) Entire book is letters back & forth
Sloppy Joe (Keane/Brunkus) character development
Spider Weaver, The (Musgrove/Cairns) similes,word choice, beginning a sentence with a prepositional phrase
Ten Rowdy Ravens (Ewing/Zerbetz)alliteration and great words
Theolonius Monster's Sky-High Pie (Sierra/Koren) wonderful words and illustrations to "copy"/model
Too Much Kissing (Katz/Catrow) models of songs (about parents)  the tune of amiliar songs
Thea's Tree (Jackson/Pederson) Letter-writing, Fractured Fairy Tales
Travel Game, The (Grandits/Alley)  Something to try in the classroom; geography, research, writing...
When I Grow Up (Yankovic)
Who Stole Mona Lisa? (Knapp/McElmurry)  Mona Lisa's 1st person p-o-v
Wonder Book, The (Rosenthal/Schmid) funny writing models to use that kids would LOVE

For Writing: Memoir
All the Places to Love  (Machlachlan/Wimmer) place, memoir
Aunt Mary's Rose (Wood/Pham) dialogue, memoir
Crow Call (Lowry/Ibatoullline) memoir
Ghost Wings (Joosse/Potter) 1st person/memory
Ma Dear's Old Green House (Patrick/Sadler)
Rocks In His Head (Hurst/Stevenson)
Testing the Ice (Robinson/Nelson) memoir
Uncle Andy's Cats (Warhola)

For Writing Poetry:
Alphabet Bird Collection (Ogilvy) COUPLETS
Creaky Old House (Ashman/Chesworth) couplets
I Call My Grandma Nana (Wolff) QUATRAINS
King Hugo's Huge Ego (VanDusen) Rhyming ABCB, Alliteration
Ling Cho and His Three Friends (Pacilio/Cook) COUPLETS, Alliteration, great words
Silver Seeds (Paolili & Brewer/Johnson & Fancher) ACROSTICS
Visit, The (Lindbergh/Halpern) four line stanza where ALL the lines rhyme!
Wing-Nuts (Janeczko & Lewis/Tusa) HAIKU
Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (Wardlaw/Yelchin) HAIKU

For Grammar:
Girl's Like Spaghetti, The (Truss/Simmons) apostrophes
Matchbox Diaries, The (Fleischman,Ibatouline) Dialogue (other ideas below)
Rock 'N' Roll Mole (Crimi/Munsinger) Snazzy VERBS
Sky of Afghanistan, The (de Eulate) ELIPSES

For Bookmaking Ideas:
All In a Day (Rylant/McClure) USE THIS BOOK TO CREAT A EHOLE-CLASS BOOK!!0
An Artist's America (Albert) Love it & want to do it!
Bookshop Dog (Rylant) nicely visually-accented pages
In the Land of Words, (Greenvield/Gilchrist) illustrations with stitching, great model for kids
Little Owl's Night (Srinivasan) White font on black pages
Open this Little Book (Klausmeier/Lee) Different sized pages making different books
Twelve Days of Springtime, The (Rose/Armstrong-Ellis) Model for a beginning of school book, or anything that you could come up with 12 different ideas for (based on the 1st day of Christmas song)

Wonderful Words
Blueberry Girl (Gaiman/Vess)
Boy Who Loved Words, The (Schotter/Potter)
Composer is Dead, The (Gaiman/Snicket)
Crazy Hair (Gaiman/McKean)
Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words (O'Connor/Glaser)
King Hugo's Huge Ego (VanDusen)
Little Owl's Night (Srinivasan)
Nest, Nook & Cranny (Blackaby/Hogan)
Pippa the Fool ((Fern/Estrada)
Water Can Be (Salas/Dabija)
When I Grow Up (Yankovic/Hargis)

Alphabets/ABC - Particularly for Older Kids
Alphabet Bird Collection (Ogilvy)
Amelia to Zora: 26 Women Who Changed the World (Chin-Lee/Haley & Addy)
Compost Stew: an A to Z Recipe for the Earth (Siddals/Wolff)
Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words(O'Connor/Glaser)
Just in Case (Morales)
Odious Ogre, The (Lester/Feiffer)
Ox, House, Stick; The History of Our Alphabet (Robb/Smith)
Read Anything Good Lately? (Allen & Lindaman/Enright)

Celebrating Books & Reading
Best Book to Read, The (Bertram & Bloom)
Book, A (Gerstein)
Book Fiesta (Mora/Lopez)
Bookshop Dog (Rylant)
Dog Loves Books (Yates)
Fire Up With Reading (Buzzeo/Yoshikawa)
Library Mouse (Kirk)
Magic in the Margins (Nikola-Nish/Christensen)
Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don't) (Bottner/Emberley)
Our Library (Bunting/Smith)
Perfect Gift, The (DePalma)
Read Anything Good Lately? (Allen & Lindaman/Enright)
Reading Makes You Feel Good (Parr)
Red Book, The (Lehman)
Ron's Big Mission (Blue & Naden/Tate)

For Holidays & Happenings
September 11 
       14 Cows for America (Deedy/Gonzalez)
        September Roses (Winter)
MLK/Civil Rights/BlackHistory
        Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend (Ramsey & Stroud/Holyfield)
        Busing Brewster (Michelson/Roth)
        Finding Lincoln  (Malaspina/Bootman)
        Henry's Freedom Box (Levine/Nelson)
        I Want to Be Free (Slate/Lewis)
        January's Sparrow (Polacco)
        Listeners, The (Whelan/Benny) slavery
        Our Children Can Soar (Cook/many illustrators)
        Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom (Stroud/Bennett)
        Sit-In; How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down (A Pinkney/B. Pinkney)
        Stitchin' and Pullin' a Gee's Bend Quilt (McKissack/Cabrara)
Groundhog's Day
          Groundhog Weather School (Holub/Sorra)
President's Day
        America the Beautiful, Together We Stand (Bates/Numerous Artists)
        First Dog (Lewis & Zappitello/'Bowers)
        First Dog's White House Christmas (Lewis & Zaappitello/Bowers)
        First Family (Hopkinson/Ford) The OBAMAS
        First Pup, The (Staake)
St Patrick's Day
          Finn McCool and the Great Fish (Bunting/Pullen)
Earth Day
        See Also ECOLOGY & THE ENVIRONMENT (below)
Space Landing/s
          Moon Over Star, The (Aston/Pinkney) Great historical storytelling
Many Different Holidays
        Holiday Stew (Whitehead)

For Owning Up
Albert The Fix-It Man (Lord/Paschkis) what goes around comes around
Beatarice's Goat (McBrier/Lohstoeter) Heifer Project
Because of You (Hennessy/Nakata) simple acts of kindness make a GREAT difference in the world
Big Little Book of Happy Sadness (Thompson) Loneliness
Black Dog (Pinfold) stress and nervousness can sometimes make matters LOTS bigger than they really are
Call the Horse Lucky (Havill/Lane) animal abuse (having a cause)
Can Man, The (Williams/Orback) Homelessness and helping others
Can You Say Peace? (Katz)
Captain Cat (Moore) if you have a love of something, don't let others dissuade you
Color of Us, The (Katz) diversity (use in conjunction with Tan to Tamarind, Poems about the Color Brown
Dare to Dream ... Change the World (Corcoran) famous people who have made a difference
Earth Book, The (Parr) doing our part as a citizen of the world
It's Okay to be Different (Parr)
Junkyard Wonders, The (Polacco) Kids with disabilities
Let There Be Peace on Earth (Jackson & Miller/Diaz) includes 12 different symbols of peace
Lissy's Friends (Lin/) making friends, making paper cranes
My Brother Charlie (Peete & Peete/Evans) autistic sibling
New Old Shoes (Blessing/Phillips) Changing the world, one pair (of shoes) at a time
No! (McPhail) bullies, allegory, wordless & powerful
Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf (Bouler) 1-year old writes & illustrates a book to make a difference
One Green Apple (Bunting/Lewin) Tolerance
One Hen (Milway/Fernandes) Getting Involved/Making a Difference
Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine (Wortche) subtle bullies
Somewhere Today (Thomas/Futran PHOTOS) Ten simple ways to make the world a better place

Just for Laughs and/or FUN
Art and Max (Wiesner)
Basil's Birds (Reed)
Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher (Snyder/Goldin)
Boss Baby, The (Frazee)
Circus Ship, The (VanDuysen)
Creaky Old House (Ashman/Chesworth)great rhyme and rhythm
Guess Again (Barnett/Rex)
Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School, The (Anderson/Hoyt) elipses (& funny)
Hot Rod Hamster (Lord/Anderson)
Middle-Child Blues, The (Crow/Catrow)
Scaredy Squirrel (Watt)
Shark vs. Train (Barton/Lichtenheld) comparing & contrasting, higher order thinking skills
Strange Case of the Missing Sheep (Catusano)
Thanks a Lot, Emily Post! (Huget/Boiger)
That Cat Can't Stay (Krasnesky/Parkins)
Thea's Tree (Jackson/Pederson)
This Moose Belongs to Me (Jeffers)
Thumb Love (Primavera)
Toughest Cowboy, The (or How the West Was Tamed) (Frank/Pullen)
Tree Ring Circus (Rex)

Picture Book Mysteries
Grandpa's Teeth (Clement)
Great Paper Caper, The (Jeffers)

Fractured Fairy Tales - no description below, click on the title to go to original post
3 Bears and Goldilocks (Willey/Solomon) (tiny bit fractrued)
Bubba the Cowboy Prince (Ketteman/Warhola)
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (Willems) GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BEARS
Little Red Writing (Holub) LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Pied Piper's Magic, The (Kellogg) THE PIED PIPER
Three Little Dassies (Brett) THREE LITTLE PIGS
Three Pigs, The (Wiesner) THREE LITTLE PIGS
True Story of Little Red Riding Hood, The (Baruzzi & Natalini)


Biographies - no description below, can click on the title to go to original post
All Star!  Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever (Yolen/Burke)
Amelia to Zora: 26 Women Who Changed the World (Chin-Lee/Haley & Addy) Compilation
Americans Who Tell the Truth (Shetterly) Compilation
Anne Hutchinson's Way (Atkins/Dooling)
Boy of Fairfield Street, The (Krull/Johnson & Fancher) THEODORE GEISEL/ DR. SEUSS
Boys of Steel (Nobleman/MacDonald) THE CREATORS OF SUPERMAN)
Bravest Woman in America, The (Moss/U'Ren) IDA LEWIS Lighthouse Keeper in RI
Brothers Kennedy, The (Krull/Bates)
Boy Who Loved Math, The (Heiligman/Pham) PAUL ERDOS
Building on Nature (Rodriguez/Paschkis) Archiitect ANTONI GAuDI
Clara and Davie (Polacco) CLARA BARTON
Colorful Dreamer, The Story of Henri Matisse (Parker/Berry)
Coretta Scott (Shange/Nelson) CORETTA SCOTT KING
Dizzy (Winters/Qualls) DIZZY GILLESPIE
Emma's Poem (Glaser/Nivola) EMMA LAZARUS
Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, The (Markel/Hall)
First Family (Hopkinson/Ford) The OBAMA
Georgia Rises (Lasky/Eitan) GEORGIA O'KEEFFE
Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude (Winter/Brown) GERTRUDE STEIN
Hallelujah Flight (Bildner/Holyfield) THOMAS ALLEN & JAMES BANNING (Black pilots- inter-continental flight)
Henry Aaron's Dream (Tavares) HANK AARON
Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot (Silvey/Minor)
Heroes and She-roes (Lewis/Cooke) Poems on LOTS of People
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dreams Taking Flight (Krull/Bates)
John Brown: His Fight for Freedom (Hendrix)
Librarian of Basra (Winter)
Lincoln Tells a Joke (Krull & Brewer/Innerst)
Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer (Burleigh/Colon)
Me...Jane (McDonnell) JANE GOODALL
Moses (Weatherford/Nelson) HARRIET TUBMAN
My Uncle Emily (Yolen/Carpenter) EMILY DICKINSON
Nelson Mandela (Nelson) RON McNAIR
Noah Webster and His Words (Ferris/Kirsch)
Of Thee I Sing (Obama/Long) Many wonderful people
On a Road in Africa (Doner) CHRYSSEE PERRY MARTIN (saves Kenyan animals)
One Beetle Too Many, The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin (Lasky/Trueman)
Our Abe Lincoln (Aylesworth/McClintock)
Our Children Can Soar (Cook/many illustrators) Compilation - focus on black history/civil rights
Pippa the Fool ((Fern/Estrada) FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI Architect
Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson (Ehrlich/Minor)
River of Words, A (Bryant/Sweet) WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS
Ron's Big Mission (Blue & Naden/Tate) RON McNAIR
Sonia Sotomayor, A Judge Grows in the Bronx (Winter/Rodriguez)
Splash of Red, A: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Bryant/Sweet)
Testing the Ice (Robinson/Nelson) JACKIE ROBINSON
Wangari's Trees of Peace (Winter) WANGARI MATTHAI
What Darwin Saw (Schanzer) CHARLES DARWIN
Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? (Stone/Priceman) ELIZABETH BLACKWELL
Write On, Mercy! (Woelfle/Wallner) MERCY OTIS WARREN (Am Revolution)
Yankee at the Seder, The (Weber/Gustavson) TRUE STORY

Families with Gay Parents
In Our Mother's House (Polacco)
Tale of Two Daddies, A (Oelschlager/Blackwood & Blanc)

About Immigrants,  Immigration, Refugees
Brothers in Hope (Williams/Christie)
Carmen Learns English (Cox/Dominguez)
Color of Home, The (Hoffman/Littlewood) from Somalia
Emma's Poem (Glaser/Nivola) Statue of Liberty
Four Feet, Two Sandals (Williams & Mohammed/Chayka)
Let's Go See Papa! (Schimel/Rivera)
Matchbox Diariy, The (Fleischman/Ibatouline)
My Name is Sangoel (Williams & Mohammed/Stock) refugee from Sudan
One Green Apple (Bunting/Lewin)
Pepe the Lamplighter (Bartone/Lewin) NYC setting

Arizona
Alphabet Bird Collection (Ogilvy) This is not ABOUT Arizona, but would be great to add AZ birds to its lineup!
Desert Night, Desert Day (Fredericks/Spengler)
Mule Train Mail (Brown)
Spanish Missions of Arizona, The (Lyon)

For Science:
Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem (Barnett/Rex)
City Dog, Country Frog (Willems/Muth) Cycle of Life/Life cycle
Dory Story (Pallotta) food chain, ocean life
Groundhog Weather School (Holub/Sorra) weather
Growing Frogs (French/  Life cycle of a frog
Me Oh My A Butterfly (Rabe/Ruiz & Mathieu
Robin Makes a Laughing Sound, The (Wolf) Deede/Gonzales)
Star Magic (Hopkins/Stawarski)
Stars! Stars! Stars! (Wallace)
Tsunami Quilt, The (Fredericks/Yee)
Who Will Plant a Tree? (Pallotta/Leonard)
Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry? (Rabe/Ruiz & Mathieu)
Winston of Churchill (Okimoto/Trammell) Global Warming/Polar Bears

Ecology & the Environment
Compost Stew: an A to Z Recipe for the Earth (Siddals/Wolff)
Cool Cat (Hogrogian)
Curious Garden, The (Brown)
Earth Book, The (Parr)
Green Poems (Bennett/various artists)
Nest, Nook & Cranny (Blackaby/Hogan)
Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf (Bouler)
One Red Apple (Ziefert/Gudeon)
Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson (Ehrlich/Minor)
Redwoods (Chin)
Regards to the Man on the Moon (Keats)
We Planted a Tree (Muldrow/Staake)
Winston of Churchill (Okimoto/Trammell) Global Warming/Polar Bears

For Bedtime (not necessarily for my fourth grade classroom!)
Bedtime at the Swamp (Crow/Paminutan)
Bedtime in the Southwest (Hodgson/Graef)
Ocean's Child (Ford & Holland/Diaz)
Sleepsong (Lyon/Catalanotto)
Sleepy ABC (Brown/Katz)
Stormy Weather (Gliori)
Weaver, The (Hurd/Kleven)

Aesop
Boy Who Cried Wolf, The (Hennessy/Kulikov)
But Who Will Bell the Cats? (vonBuhler)
Grasshopper's Song (Giovanni/Raschka)
Lion and the Mouse (Pinkney)
Lousy, Rotten, Stinkin' Grapes (Palatino/Moser)
Wolf Who Cried Boy, The (Hartman/Raglin)



Alphabetical Order by Title:

America the Beautiful, Together We Stand
Katherine Lee Bates

My Goodreads review:  Everything about this book was special. The ten American artists and the illustrations they created. The ten chosen quotes from ten different presidents. The four pages of information at the end. As I teacher, the book SCREAMS mini-lessons. Art, history, language arts, social consciousness....I can even use some of these great quotes for handwriting assignments with meaning and verve. I splurged. I wonder whose brainstorm it was to put it together?

If...
Sarah Perry

Read the book aloud. Afterwards, suggest they "dream up some more," using art, writing, drama.  Kids could work alone or in pairs.

Students could choose one of the "what ifs" to illustrate in their own way.

Here's a great 1 1/2 minute video on using the books to foster asking questions in order to better comprehend.
The Matchbox Diary
Paul Fleischman
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

This book is about how we record memories when we can't read or write.  Great premise.  Good storytelling.  Super book.

There's a wonderful TEACHER'S GUIDE on the Candlewick site.
There are also a zillion ideas on The Classroom Bookshelf site that have to do with oral histories and lots of other things.

Poem-Mobiles
Crazy Car Poems
Patrick Lewis & Douglas Florian

My comments:  This book of crazy, wacky poems is just plain fun.  I plan to use it as a writing starter/prompt with my fourth graders....read them a poem without sharing the illustration, get them to sketch what they see in their minds eye from the words alone, then share the illustration.  I can see the writing continuing on from there...some of my clever kids will fly!

September Roses
Jeanette Winter

I used this in my classroom on 9/11/13.  I read it aloud and gave the kids some background information. Then we watercolored a 3 x 3 painting of the flowers on the ground with only the front of a pair of shoes showing.  It worked out really well. (This small size was so that it would fit in their 5 x 7 memory books.  They wrote a couplet to go with it, sharing something of what they learned.

The 9/11 Memorial site has some ideas for lesson plans, including the use of September Roses.

When I Grow Up
Al Yankovic

Rhyming and rhythm and just-great-fun!

Margo Dill has a few ideas of ways to use this book -  including looking at word choice and the ideas that kids might have for their OWN future, which could definitely be an art/writing lesson.