Nerdy Birdy Tweets

February 16, 2018

FullSizeRender (3)Two friends: Nerdy Birdy and Vulture. They are different, but they are real friends. A must-have book for my library!

Aaron Reynolds creates a delightful banter between two friends in Nerdy Birdy Tweets. Nerdy Birdy loves his video games and his new tweeter friends. Absorbed in the online media, he forgets his friend, Vulture. A story of learning to balance social media with relationships.

Check out video clips of books and interviews of Aaron Reynolds. View some of the illustrations by Matt Davies and tweets between Reynolds and Davies regarding their new book.

Savorings for Nerdy Birdy Tweets:

  • Character Traits – compare/contrast
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Perspective
  • Play on words
  • Restorative Practice
  • Friendship

Fortunately, Unfortunately

January 9, 2012

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the day you have planned out and obstacles happen along the way. Welcome to this post. Literally. I have typed this post twice only to have the page come up blank. Frustrating. Fortunately, I write out my reviews and am able to¬†revise my thoughts. ūüôā

Michael Foreman must have had a day like this. He created an adventurous, fun book in Fortunately, Unfortunately. Your students will have fun following the adventure, especially the boys.

The day begin ordinarily for Milos, the monkey. He’s returning the umbrella to his grandmother. Along the way, several detours create problems for him.

Michael Foreman teaches children to see a positive in each negative happening. The cause and effect text shares a domino of events, creating anticipation from the reader.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Fortunately, Unfortunately:

  • Perspective
  • Cause and effect
  • Sequence of events
  • Fantasy sprinkled in to an ordinary event – teaches children how to fabricate the everyday events of their lives
  • Prediction – what’s new?

Warsaw Community Public Library – new (c2011)


October 16, 2011

Bill Thomson dedicates his book to his three sons. I wonder if one of his boys told a story about a dinosaur that sparked the idea for the book. Click on the author’s name and you will read about how Bill began illustrating and the start of Chalk.

Children create imaginative stories from their surrounds. Bill Thomson captures a child’s play in his wordless book, Chalk.¬† On a rainy day , three children find a bag of chalk. Wishing for sunshine, the girl sketches the sun on the sidewalk and like magic, the sun appears. Each child drawing comes to life. With a mischievous look, the boy draws a dinosaur. The adventure begins. To view a video clip of Chalk and see Bill Thomson’s brilliant illustrations, click here.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Chalk:

  • Inlay, zoomed-in picture
  • Wondering – the story will leave the child wondering what may happen next
  • Perspective
  • Tension – this book will allow children to feel the tension within a story
  • Prediction


PES new book

Imaginative Boys

July 30, 2011

I love the imagination that springs from this text. Two young boys. Two favorite toys. One ultimate challenge.

Shark vs. Train shares the imaginative play of two boys, challenging each other to a competition. Depending on the setting, either the shark dominates the train or visa-versa. Tom Lichtenheld begins with showing two boys playing with their toys that evolves into the full-page visualization of the imaginative play.  Chris Barton shows the importance of the story setting effect with conflict. You get a great sense of perspective too.

Tammy and I shared this book at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute this past June. My friend, Tammy, explained that after reading this book to her first grade class, students began creating their own books with two objects challenging the other. The mentor text provides a springboard for students to practice perspective even at a young age. We first were introduced to this text by our friend, Ruth, on TwoWritingTeachers.

Savorings for reading in and writing for Shark vs. Train:

  • Onomatopoeia – lots of sounds that young boys use
  • Perspective
  • Compare/Contrast – who is tougher
  • Every day events – imagination with toys
  • Speech Bubbles

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

June 17, 2011

One book every teacher should have is Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell. The message Patty shares is believing in yourself, a topic many children struggle with. David Catrow¬†illustrations highlight the perseverance and self-confidence of the young lady. Molly Lou’s grandma share the following advice:

Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too.”

Molly Lou is not a perfect young girl. Despite her physical imperfections, Molly’s grandma encourages her to see the positive. As Molly acts in a proactive way, she makes friends at her new school. The ending will definitely make you smile.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon:

  • Bullying – name calling; great way to introduce the topic of bullying and what to do when being bullied
  • Magic of 3 – each time Molly responds to the difficulties
  • Character Description – comparison
  • Repeating structure – the advice grandma gives Molly Lou
  • Perspective – positive approach






September 3, 2009

Belle Yang¬†created a tale about three mates who grow up together:¬† Foo Frog, Sue-Lin Salamander, and Mao-Mao Mudpuppy.¬† In Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond, the three played and played together, all starting out at the same size.¬† Foo Frog begins to grow bigger and bigger each day.¬† He brags about himself.¬† He’s “the biggest animal in the whole wide world.”¬† The two friends grow tired of the bragging, but still care about their friend.¬† Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond

One day, as Foo Frog puffs himself up, Foo takes a journey with the wind.  He still perceives himself to be the biggest until he almost becomes prey to three larger animals.  In the end, Foo Frog lands back in the pond, feeling sorry for himself.  His friends come along and give him a different perspective.

This book is another good read to talk about friendships.  It deals with getting along and being considerate of others.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond:

  • Grabber Lead /Magic of 3 – “They began life on the very same day in the very same spot on the banks of Washtub Pond.¬† they also began life the very same size.”
  • Onomatopoeia – “Waaah!” screamed Foo.
  • Friendship – working out differences, not being boastful
  • Synthesize – perspective; two sides to every story
  • Science – species, comparing sizes, viewpoint; Pigs, donkeys, water buffalo, goats, and horses dotted the meadow below him.¬† “Hnh,”¬† foo snorted.¬† “The animals of the world are no bigger than tadpoles and gnats.¬† I am in deep the biggest creature in the whole wide —

(Warsaw Public Library)

Cat vs. Dog

July 18, 2009

Golden retriever dogs are my favorite.  They are beautiful, gentle, and loyal.  So when I saw the cover of My Big Dog, I immediately picked it up.  Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel  have created a fun read with excellent voice.  Children will love hearing the voice of the cat and will laugh at the illustrated scenes.

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The story is told through the eyes of a cat named Merl.¬† He loves his people and is very content to be the center of attention… until one day when his people bring home a puppy.¬† I chuckled and laughed “hearing” the cat’s perspective.

Here come my people.  They are picking it up.  They are talking to it in cutesy, smootsey, lovey-dovey baby voices.  Uh-oh.  It sees me.  Emergency alert РI have to hide!

Poor Merl.  He does not like the puppy and to his astonishment, the puppy keeps growing and growing and growing.  Making an ultimatum, Merl the cat decides to leave his home in search of another more suitable place to reside.  And, thus his unfortunate quest begins.

Savorings for reading and in writing for My Big Dog:

  • Voice – the cat speaks to the reader
  • Repeating Line and Structure – “PANT.¬† PANT.¬† SLURP.¬† It’s licking me with its sloppy, drooly tongue.¬† Yuck.”
  • Adjectives – wiggly, noisy, slurpy, clumsy puppy
  • Perspective – “My name is Merl and I am a cat, a very special cat.”
  • Everyday happening – Children often have pets that they write about.¬† Nudge them to try and write from the pet’s perspective.¬† This book is based on Janet Stevens’s pets, the real Merl and Violet.