September 17

Truth and Reconciliation Week Book Picks and Storytime

The OJCS will be holding Truth and Reconciliation week the week of September 27th.  The OJCS library has many great book selections for our youngest to our oldest students on both residential schools and on indigenous culture and traditions.  Included in this post are two storytime videos that you can use with your students.  One is specifically about residential schools but is very sensitively written for even the youngest students.  The other video is an indigenous folk tale.

Residential Schools

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett

A young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak Cree and spend so much time with her family?  As she asks questions, her grandmother shares her experiences in a residential school, when all of these things were taken away.  Suggested for grades K-4

I have recorded a video of this story as well…

 

 

Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave

When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko reminds Shinchi, her six-year-old brother, that they can only use their English names and that they can’t speak to each other. For Shinchi, life becomes an endless cycle of church mass, school, and work, punctuated by skimpy meals. He finds solace at the river, clutching a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from his father, and dreaming of the day when the salmon return to the river — a sign that it’s almost time to return home. This poignant story about a devastating chapter in First Nations history is told at a child’s level of understanding.  Suggested for grades 2-4

 

When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and Gabrielle Grimard

Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. Ignoring her father’s warnings, she travels far from her Arctic home to the outsiders’ school to learn. The nuns at the school call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do menial chores, but she remains undaunted. Her tenacity draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But the young girl is more determined than ever to learn how to read.  Suggested for grades 5-6

 

These Are My Words by Ruby Slipperjack

Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at residential school. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her “white” school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name―she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was.

Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel.

Drawing from her own experiences at residential school, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation’s history.  This book is suggested as a chapter book read-aloud for grades 6-8.

 

Wenjack by Joseph Boyden

An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. Along the way he’s followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.

Written by Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author Joseph Boyden and beautifully illustrated by acclaimed artist Ken Monkman, Wenjack is a powerful and poignant look into the world of a residential school runaway trying to find his way home.  This book is a short chapter book read-aloud recommended for grade 8.

 

Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire

Secret Path is a ten song digital download album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.

Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to return home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids—more than anyone will be able to imagine—he tried.  This oversize graphic novel is suggested for grade 8.

Indigenous Culture and Traditions

 

Indigenous Communities in Canada Series (available in French and English)

Approximately 1.4 million Indigenous people live in Canada today. They come from a large number of communities, each with its own history, language, and cultural practices. Indigenous Canadian Communities in Canada will explore the lives of Indigenous people, both in the past and in current times.  Recommended for grades 3-8.

 

 

A Day With Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell and Julie Flett

Set in the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, in Canada’s westernmost province, a First Nations family goes on an outing to forage for herbs and mushrooms. A grandmother passes down her knowledge of plant life and the natural world to her young grandchildren.  Suggested for grades JK-2

 

 

 

 

The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette and Julie Flett

While picking berries with her mother, a little girl wanders too far into the woods. When she realizes she is lost, she begins to panic. A large grey wolf makes a sudden appearance between some distant trees. Using his sense of smell, he determines where she came from and decides to help her. Through a series of questions from the wolf, the little girl realizes she had the knowledge and skill to navigate herself-she just needed to remember that those abilities were there all along.  Suggested for grades JK-2

Here is a video in which I read The Girl and the Wolf that I recorded last year.  I queued up this video to start at the beginning of this book.

 

Raven – A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest by Gerald McDermott

Raven, the trickster, wants to give people the gift of light. But can he find out where Sky Chief keeps it? And if he does, will he be able to escape without being discovered? His dream seems impossible, but if anyone can find a way to bring light to the world, wise and clever Raven can!  Suggested for grades JK-2

 

 

The Gift of the Sacred Dog by Paul Goble

A brave boy goes into the hills and prays for help for his people. A rider on a magnificent animal comes to him and says: “This animal is called the Sacred Dog. He can do many things your dogs can do and also more…He is as the wind: gentle but sometimes frightening.” The clouds close and suddenly one by one countless Sacred Dogs course down from the sky. And so the courage of one determined boy is rewarded by the Great Spirit: The horse, or Sacred Dog, is given to his tribe.  Suggested for grades 2-6

 

 

Clamshell Boy – A Makah Legend by Terri Cohlene and Charles Reasoner

Wicked Basket Woman is stealing children to eat. Can clever Clamshell Boy come up with a way to trick the witch?

The Legends of the World opens readers’ minds to the diverse cultures of Native America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the Americas through enchanting tales passed down through countless generations. Each book in the series features geographical, historical, and cultural information. Illustrated in full color.  Suggested for grades 3-8

 

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.  Suggested for JK-2

 

 

Nibi’s Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco and Chief Lady Bird

Nibi is the Anishinaabemowin word for water. In Nibi’s Water Song , an Indigenous girl on the search for clean water to drink. Though she is faced with repeated obstacles, Nibi’s joyful and determined energy becomes a catalyst for change and action as her community, and then in widening circles the country and government, rally around her to make clean drinking water available for all. In a story perfectly levelled for young readers, there is a strong underlying message that even when a problem seems too large to face, every bit that everyone does helps. And inaction in the face of a wrong is not an option.  Recommended for grades 3-6.

 

The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.  Recommended as a read aloud for grades 5-8.

June 14

Solve a Story Mystery – Case File #2

Today we read the second case file from Lemony Snicket’s book File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents.

Follow along and write down any clues or important information.  If you were able to solve the mystery, let me know in the comments!  But no spoilers or solutions in the comments please, we don’t want our friends to see the answer before they listen to the story.

 

June 9

Awesome Summer Reads for Grades 4-5

Summer Reading | Waterstones

Reading just adds to the fun of summer.  What is better than lounging around outside with an awesome book?  Or sitting up late and reading by flashlight in a tent or in bed?  Here is a list of books for grades 4 and 5 that you don’t want to miss!  They will keep you hooked and reading well past your bedtime!

Amari and The Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

 

Friend Me by Sheila M. Averbuch

Roisin hasn’t made a single friend since moving from Ireland to Massachusetts. In fact, she is falling apart under constant abuse from a school bully, Zara. Zara torments Roisin in person and on social media. She makes Roisin the laughingstock of the whole school.

Roisin feels utterly alone… until she bonds with Haley online. Finally there’s someone who gets her. Haley is smart, strong, and shares anti-mean-girl memes that make Roisin laugh. Together, they are able to imagine what life could look like without Zara. Haley quickly becomes Roisin’s lifeline.

Then Zara has a painful accident, police investigate, and Roisin panics. Could her chats with Haley look incriminating?

Roisin wants Haley to delete her copies of their messages, but when she tries to meet Haley in person, she can’t find her anywhere. What’s going on? Her best friend would never have lied to her, right? Or is Haley not who she says she is…

 

Airman by Eoin Colfer
Conor Broekhart was born to fly.
It is the 1890s, and Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella.
But the boy’s idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor intervenes, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions.
There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines into the prison walls. The months turn into years, but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the skies.

The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas

All Nestor Lopez wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad.

When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother after his dad’s latest deployment, Nestor plans to lay low. He definitely doesn’t want to anyone find out his deepest secret: that he can talk to animals.

But when the animals in his new town start disappearing, Nestor’s grandmother becomes the prime suspect after she is spotted in the woods where they were last seen. As Nestor investigates the source of the disappearances, he learns that they are being seized by a tule vieja—a witch who can absorb an animal’s powers by biting it during a solar eclipse. And the next eclipse is just around the corner…

Now it’s up to Nestor’s extraordinary ability and his new friends to catch the tule vieja—and save a place he might just call home.

 

Healer Of The Water Monster, Book by Brian Young (Hardcover) | www.chapters.indigo.caHealer of the Water Monster by Brian Young

When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer, with no electricity or cell service. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his uncle Jet, though it’s clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him.

One night, while lost in the nearby desert, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story–a Water Monster–in need of help.

Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster, and to support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain.

 

 

Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster by Michelle Delaney

Alice Fleck’s father is a culinary historian, and for as long as she can remember, she’s been helping him recreate meals from the past — a hobby she prefers to keep secret from kids her age. But when her father’s new girlfriend enters them into a cooking competition at a Victorian festival, Alice finds herself and her hobby thrust into the spotlight.
     And that’s just the first of many surprises awaiting her. On arriving at the festival, Alice learns that she and her father are actually contestants on Culinary Combat, a new reality TV show hosted by Tom Truffleman, the most famous and fierce judge on TV! And to make matters worse, she begins to suspect that someone is at work behind the scenes, sabotaging the competition.
     It’s up to Alice, with the help of a few new friends, to find the saboteur before the entire competition is ruined, all the while tackling some of the hardest cooking challenges of her life . . . for the whole world to see.

 

 

Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai

Henry Khoo’s family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!

But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he’s on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr. . . hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.

 

 

Best Nerds Forever: Patterson, James, Grabenstein, Chris: 9780316500241: Books - Amazon.caBest Nerds Forever by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

One minute, Finn was biking home from school, and the next, he was run off the road by a maniac in a big van. Now, he’s a ghost. He can do lots of fun things, like try every ice cream flavor in the store, sneak up on people, and play as many video games as he wants. Finn even has a new ghost friend, Isabella, to show him the ropes. But he also has a lot of BIG questions, like: who wanted him dead? And can he stop the maniac from striking again? 

Packed with hilarious moments, epic friendships, and fun art, Best Nerds Forever celebrates the nerd in each of us and the joy of living life to its fullest. 

 

 

Fins by Randy Wayne White

The world’s shark population is in trouble for a sad, simple reason: shark fin soup. And although it’s illegal, poachers have been targeting Florida’s biannual migration of blacktip sharks.

Marine biologist Doc Ford needs some assistance protecting the sharks and enlists the help of three kids—Luke, Maribel and Sabina. Luke is brand-new to Florida from the Midwest; sisters Maribel and Sabina have only recently arrived from Cuba—and all three feel like fish out of water. It’s going to take some convincing for them to work as a team and to recognize in themselves the courage, wisdom and tenacity that Doc sees in them.

Together they form Sharks, Inc. and are given an important assignment: to set out each day on their small fishing boat in hopes of tagging sharks for Doc’s research—and to stay away—far away—from any possible poachers in the area.

Best Babysitters Ever: Cala, Caroline: 9781328850898: Books - Amazon.caBest Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala

The trio certainly isn’t looking for trouble, but when they come face to face with danger, survival requires them to rely on each of their own unique gifts, and especially on one another.

Once upon a time, a girl named Kristy Thomas had a great idea: to form The Baby-Sitters Club with her best friends. And now twelve-year-old Malia Twiggs has had a great idea too. Technically, she had Kristy’s idea.(And technically, little kids seem gross and annoying, but a paycheck is a paycheck). After a little convincing, Malia and her friends Dot and Bree start a babysitting club to earn funds for an epic birthday bash. But babysitting definitely isn’t what they thought it would be.  

Three friends. No parents. Unlimited snacks. And, okay, occasionally watching other people’s children. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Rebound by Kwame Alexander

Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. Chuck Bell takes center stage as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to.

A novel in verse with all the impact and rhythm readers have come to expect from Kwame Alexander, Rebound goes back in time to visit the childhood of Chuck “Da Man” Bell during one pivotal summer when young Charlie is sent to stay with his grandparents where he discovers basketball and learns more about his family’s past.

 

 

The Adventure is Now by Jess Redman

Sometimes it’s hard to be Milton P. Greene. He says all the wrong things, his family is falling apart, and everyone at school avoids him because of the very embarrassing Bird Brain Incident. But when Milton plays his video game Isle of Wild, he becomes someone else—Sea Hawk, the brave and brilliant naturalist explorer who conquers danger at every turn.
Then Milton’s parents ship him off to the remote Lone Island for the summer, where his uncle Evan is an environmentalist researcher. The island is chock-full of spectaculous species, and Milton realizes this is his chance to become the brave and brilliant naturalist he’s always wanted to be—and even meet some fellow explorers!

But as it turns out, the future of the Lone Island is in some pretty serious peril, and the only thing that can save it is a field guide full of cryptic clues. If Milton and his unexpected new friends are going to protect the island, they’ll have to trust each other, discover new truths, and embark on a wild and wondrous adventure all their own.

Duckscares – The Nightmare Formula by Tommy Greenwild and Elisa Ferrari

Huey, Dewey, and Louie–the world-famous nephews of Donald Duck–are off on a globetrotting adventure! When the boys are suddenly (and confusingly) selected for a prestigious exchange program, they head off to Germany, where they learn about soccer, the local culture . . . and a spooky plot plaguing their new friends. What’s all this about a haunting? Written by acclaimed author Tommy Greenwald and featuring two-color illustrations throughout, this series starter is perfect for young mystery fans.

 

 

Summer Lifeguards – Selena to the Rescue by Elizabeth Doyle Carey

Junior Lifeguards basic training isn’t for wimps. Thirteen-year-old aspiring actress Selena Diaz learns this the hard way during her first week of training. Along with best pals Jenna, Piper, and Ziggy, Selena is just getting her feet wet as a lifeguard trainee and the going is tough.

What’s worse, she’s also dealing with a new job, swim lessons, a show-tunes singing math tutor, and a haughty neighbor who’s also kind of her boss. Meanwhile, they soon discover that a real Hollywood star is shining brightly in their midst—right here on the Cape!

It’s going take all of Selena’s showbiz enthusiasm to tackle her busiest summer ever.

 

The Ship of Stolen Words by Fran Wilde

No matter how much trouble Sam gets in, he knows that he can always rely on his magic word, “sorry,” to get him out of a pinch. Teasing his little sister too much? Sorry! Hurt someone’s feelings in class? Sorry! Forgot to do his chores? So sorry! But when goblins come and steal his “sorry,” he can’t apologize for anything anymore. To get his “sorry” back and stop the goblins from stealing anyone else’s words, Sam will have to enter the goblins’ world and try and find the depository of stolen words.
There, he meets Tolver, a young goblin who’s always dreamed of adventure. Tolver longs to use the goblin technology—which can turn words into fuel to power ships—to set off and explore, but his grandma warns him that the goblin prospectors will only bring trouble.
Together, Tolver and Sam will have to outsmart the cruel prospectors and save the day before Sam’s parents ground him forever!

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June 4

Fantastic Summer Reads K-3

Summer Reading For Your Woke Kid : NPR Ed : NPR

Reading over the summer is one of life’s joys!  A time when we are reading simply for the fun of it, not for homework.  It also keeps our literacy skills sharp all summer long.  Here is a list of books so fun that kids will want make time for reading each day.

Picture Books

Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol

A young girl finds a clever way to keep her favorite things–and people–close to her forever in Memory Jars, from Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol.

Freda is devastated when she can’t eat all the delicious blueberries she’s picked. She has to wait a whole year before they’re back, and she doesn’t want to lose them! Then Gran reminds her that they can save blueberries in a jar, as jam. So Freda begins to save all her favorite things. But it turns out that saving everything also means she can’t enjoy anything, and Freda realizes that some things are best saved as memories.

 

Dessert Island by Ben Zhu

Ben Zhu’s Dessert Island is an irresistible picture book about sharing and caring.

Monkey is on a dessert island. It is made of frosting, berries, and other delicious things.  Fox is on a desert island. It is made of dirt, rocks, and sand.  But as time goes on, their fortunes change, and Monkey and Fox discover that no animal is an island.  This wonderfully layered story has themes of consumption and conservation at its center, and wraps up with a sweet and satisfying ending.

 

We All Play by Julie Flett

From Julie Flett, the beloved author and illustrator of Birdsong, comes a joyous new book about playtime for babies, toddlers, and kids up to age 7. 

Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful Own Voices book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. 

 

 

 

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

In this Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch as a rabbit fears his favorite treats are out to get him.

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.
He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.
Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?
     Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.

 

Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris and LeUyen Pham

Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn’t know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren’t any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck.

These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn’t know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along.
This hilarious picture book and heartfelt message celebrates the joy and fun that’s in store when you embark together on a ride of a lifetime.

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem by Lauren Soloy

Etty Darwin and her famous father go for a walk to ponder life, science . . . and fairies! Inspired by the real-life daughter of Charles Darwin.

A gorgeous rumination on belief and imagination featuring Henrietta (Etty) Darwin and her famous father, Charles. Etty went on to become a valued and keen editor of Charles’s work and a thoughtful and intellectual being in her own right. This imagined conversation between Etty and Charles as they stroll around Charles’s real-life “thinking track” explores their close relationship and shows that even science is nothing without an open mind and imagination.

The Elephants Come Home by Kim Tomsic and Hadley Hooper

The amazing true story of a herd of elephants, the man who saved them, and the miracle of love that brought them home.

One day in 1999, Lawrence Anthony and Francoise Malby hear that a herd of wild African elephants needs a new home. They welcome the elephants to their wildlife sanctuary—Thula Thula—with open arms. But the elephants are much less sure they want to stay. How will Lawrence prove to them that they are safe and loved? What follows is a gorgeously illustrated real-life story of a friendship . . . and the story of the miraculous way that love given freely will return—greater and more wonderful than it began.

Nerdy Corn by Andrew Root and Erin Kraan

Meet Fern! She’s a smart, creative unicorn who prefers building robots and coding software to jumping through shimmering rainbows and splashing in majestic waterfalls. Even though Fern is a good friend and always willing to help others, the other unicorns tease her and call her a nerdycorn.

One day, Fern has had enough and decides to stop fixing her friends’ broken things. But then the confetti machine, the rainbow synthesizer, and the starlight bedazzler all go haywire during the biggest Sparkle Dance Party of the year! Fern can certainly fix them…but will she?

 

Chapter Books

 

Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places by Katie Frawleg and Laurie Stansfield

Pack your bags and join Tabitha and Fritz as they journey across the world to switch lives.

Tabitha the cat is tired of her easy, coddled life. An adventure across the world might spice things up! Fritz the elephant dreams of celebrating his birthday with an exciting voyage to a faraway place. So after the two connect online via Lair-bnb, they pack their bags and head across the globe to trade places. Will Fritz love the city life? Will the rain forest be all that Tabitha has hoped for? Join this adventurous pair as they find out whether the grass really is greener…on the other side of the world!

 

The Good Dog Series by Cam Higgins and Ariel Landy

Meet the loveable and rambunctious puppy, Bo Davis, in this first book of the Good Dog series! When Bo loses something important, his search takes him all over the farm.

Springtime has arrived at the Davis Family Farm! Spring showers lead to muddy hijinks for a young pup named Bo. But when Bo loses his dog tag, he gets serious and enlists all of his barnyard pals to help him find it. From horse stalls to chicken coops to grazing fields and beyond, Bo’s adventure takes him all over the farm, introducing a cast of friends and frenemies.

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Good Dog chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

 

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp by Jonathan Auxier and Olga Demidova

The first book in a magical chapter-book adventure series by the Governor General Award-winning author of Sweep.

Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence — all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlit swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly

Marisol Rainey’s mother was born in the Philippines. Marisol’s father works and lives part-time on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. And Marisol, who has a big imagination and likes to name inanimate objects, has a tree in her backyard she calls Peppina . . . but she’s way too scared to climb it. This all makes Marisol the only girl in her small Louisiana town with a mother who was born elsewhere and a father who lives elsewhere (most of the time)—the only girl who’s fearful of adventure and fun.

Will Marisol be able to salvage her summer and have fun with Jada, her best friend? Maybe. Will Marisol figure out how to get annoying Evie Smythe to leave her alone? Maybe. Will Marisol ever get to spend enough real time with her father? Maybe. Will Marisol find the courage to climb Peppina? Maybe. 

Jojo Makoons by Dawn Quigley

Hello/Boozhoo—meet Jo Jo Makoons! Full of pride, joy, and plenty of humor, this first book in an all-new chapter book series by Dawn Quigley celebrates a spunky young Ojibwe girl who loves who she is.

Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn—about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly.

Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she’s worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore…

 

Mr. Putter and Tabby Series by Cynthia Rylant

“The gentle, affecting first volume introduces elderly Mr. Putter, who decides that a cat will keep him from feeling lonely. Rylant’s texts reflect admirable concern for brevity and meticulous consideration of every word. They are in perfect sync with Howard’s expressive sketches, which slip abundant visual jokes into sunny, transparent watercolors and gouaches, and fluid pencil and pastel scribbles.”–Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

 

 

Wallace The Brave by Will Henry

“Wallace the Brave is a little taste of classic comics from the past.”
—The Huffington Post

Welcome to Snug Harbor! Will Henry’s Wallace the Brave is a whimsical comic strip that centers around a bold and curious little boy named Wallace, his best friend Spud and the new girl in town, Amelia. Wallace lives in the quaint and funky town of Snug Harbor with his fisherman father, plant loving mother and feral little brother, Sterling.

 

 

 

Haggis and Tank Series by Jessica Young and James Burks

Meet Haggis and Tank–two dogs with BIG imaginations!Pick a book. Grow a reader! This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!Tank is an outgoing Great Dane. Haggis is a grumpy Scottie dog. In the first book in the series, Haggis and Tank set sail as pirates. At first, Haggis doesn’t see what Tank does–that an adventure awaits them with just a little imagination! But soon, Haggis joins in and the two friends go on a pirate adventure. They talk like pirates, swab the deck, and even search for buried treasure. This series is full of clever wordplay and homophones that make Haggis and Tank’s adventures even more fun!

 

Dragon Masters Series Set ( Books 1 - 8 ): Tracey West: Amazon.com: BooksDragon Masters Series by Tracey West

Pick a book. Grow a reader. This series is part of Scholastic”s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! DRAGON MASTERS has it all! Dragons, a Dragon Stone, a king, a wizard, and magic! In the first book in this fully-illustrated series, 8-year old Drake is snatched up by King Roland”s soldier and taken to the castle. He is to be trained as a Dragon Master. At the castle, he is joined by three other young Dragon Masters-in-training: Ana, Rori, and Bo. The Dragon Masters must learn how to connect with and train their dragons–and they must also uncover their dragons” special powers. Does Drake have what it takes to be a Dragon Master? What is his dragon”s special power

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson and Nina Mata

From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine.

Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind–school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she’s got the talent that matters most: it’s a talent that can’t be seen, she’s nice, not mean!

Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn’t everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don’t quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.

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June 3

Bake-A-Cake Storytime

Today we read two cake picture books.  Because who doesn’t LOVE cake?

We read;

I Really Want the Cake by Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggioti

and

The Bake-A-Cake Book by Marie Meijer and Charlotte Ramel

Cake Recipe

This recipe is from one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, How It All Vegan.  This is the cake recipe that I make most often at home.  It is very quick to whip up!

Quick and easy Chocolate Banana Cake recipe by VJ cooksAuntie Bonnie’s Wacky Cake
from ~”How it all Vegan”~
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Dry Sweetener ( I use sugar)
  • 4 TBS Cocoa or Carob Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 TBS Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 5 TBS Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Cold Water
Preheat oven to 325.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, Cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the sweetener, vanilla, vinegar, oil, and water and mix together gently until “just mixed”. Pour into a lightly oiled (8 inch round) cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Test with a fork to see if done, When cooled, ice and serve.

Delicious Icing

With a hand mixer or a stand mixer, combine 7 Tbs vegan butter or margarine, 3 1/2 cups icing sugar, 3 to 5 Tbs milk alternative, a few drops of vanilla OR for chocolate icing, a few tablespoons of cocoa powder.  You can add either a tiny bit more icing sugar or a tiny bit more milk until you get the perfect consistency.  If making vanilla icing you can add food colouring to make it any colour you like.

Decorate your cake with fresh fruit OR sprinkles and candy!

May 25

Mac B. Kid Spy 2 – Final Chapters

Today we finish Mac B. Kid Spy – The Impossible Crime by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Mike Lowery

Bitmoji Image In the comments I want to know how many of you guessed the answer to this mystery.

I hope you enjoy mysteries because next week I will start posting a short story mystery video each week for you to try and solve yourself!  It will be tough but also a lot of fun.