Genre- Fantasy

Title: Chester’s Waychesters-way1

Author: Kevin Henkes

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Date: 1988

Age Level: Primary(K-2)

Summary: “Chester and Wilson share the same exact way of doing things, until Lilly moves into the neighborhood and shows them that new ways can be just as good.”

Strengths: I thought this was a really cute book. I liked the topic of this book because so often we hear young children talk about how they only can have on best friend. This book shows students they can have more than one friend. I love Lilly’s personality and the fun she brings to Chester and Wilson. I thought the illustrations were great and there was a great use of white space.

Concerns: I worry that this book doesn’t show students that it is okay to be individuals. I think that is very important to show students to be who they are and not be followers.

Classroom Use: This would be a great book to read to a class that is having clique problems or when a new student comes to the class. The book is also just a great read to have in the classroom available to students.

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Published in: on March 11, 2009 at 3:28 am  Comments (1)  

Genre- Fantasy

Title: Bunniculabunnicula

Author: Deborah and James Howe

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Date: 1979

Age Level: Elementary (3-4)or Upper (5-6)

Summary: The Monroe family pets have a mystery on there hands. The dog and cat believe that the new bunny added to the family is actually a vampire bunny.

Strengths: This book is so fun. It has a mystery aspect to it that might turn on students to reading this book plus other mystery books. I love the relationship between the dog and cat and how concerned the cat is about the bunny. I thought the book was cute and told in a way that makes you want to continue reading. I love the ending!!

Concerns: I thought this book was great, therefore I have no concerns!

Classroom Use: This is a great book to have in the class to recommend to students. It is an awesome book and hooks the reader from the beginning. There are also more in the series so readers can continue if they like this one.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genre- Fantasy

Title: One Potatoe, Two Potatoeone-potatoe

Author: Cynthia DeFelice

Publisher: Farrar, Stratus and Giroux

Date: 2006

Age Level: Primary (K-2) or Elementary (3-4)

Summary: “A very poor, humble couple live so simple a life they share everything, until the husband discovers a pot with magical powers buried under the very last potatoe in the garden.”

Strengths: This book tells a great story about an elderly couple that don’t become greedy even when they find a pot. I like that this book could be used in a math lesson or just a fun book to read to students in class.  I think the story line is something students would pay attention to and be intrigued by. This book would also make students use their imagination and think about, what if they had a magic doubling pot. 

Concerns: I didn’t like the ending so much. I like the idea that they are very happy with just having friends, but it is a little weird to me. I think they should have put their house in the pot and got two houses out that way their friends could live next door to them in a house.

Classroom Use: This book could be used in the classroom as a math lesson about doubling. The teacher could read this book to the students and then give them a worksheet with a pot on it. The assignment could be to have the students draw something they wanted to put in the pot and have them draw what would come out of the pot. They would also have to make a math problem that would describe what happened in the pot.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Genre- Science Fiction

Title: Commander Toad and the Voyage Homecommander-toad

Author: Jane Yolen

Publisher: G.P. Putman’s Sons

Date: 1998

Age Level: Elementary (3-4)

Summary: Commander Toad sets off in “Space Warts,” his space machine, to explore but runs into troubles on his voyage home.

Strengths: I enjoyed the fun writing of Yolen. Her writing is fairly simple to read, so it would be good for beginning readers. I thought the writing was very descriptive and really emphasized the expressions and emotions of the characters in the book. It was just an overall fun book to read. There is a series of Commander Toad books so if students enjoy this book they can have more just like it to choose from.

Concerns: I thought the book was so simple that it kind of made the book just silly. I don’t know how I would feel as a teacher if one of my students got hooked on this book and wanted to continue reading more books in the series. I think they are good for beginners.

Classroom Use: This book would be great to influence struggling readers to read. The book is simple enough to read so it could boost their confidence. It is also fun and students that like sci-fiction stories would get really caught up in the book.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genre- Science Fiction

Title: The Giverthe-giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Publisher: Laurel Leaf Books

Date: 1993

Age Level: Upper(5-6)

Summary: A society grows raising everyone to be the exact same through strict rules and regulations.

Strengths: The book is something that the average student is not use to, so I think once you start reading you want to continue reading to see what is going to happen next. I believe that once you finish reading this book you really appreciate you individuality and being yourself, but mainly being able to freely be who you are.

Concerns: There are In some part the book is hard to understand because these societies are so different than the one we live in. The book could bring up difficult questions that may be hard to answer.

Classroom Use: This book could be offered in the classroom as a book for students to choose. It also could be a book to use in a book discussion. I think this book would bring up a lot of questions and thoughts from students, so it would be a great opportunity to really pick apart a book.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment