Author Archives: Colby Sharp
My fourth graders are spending some time these last few weeks of school building their to-read lists. I’m hoping that when they leave me in early June that they have lots of strategies to build their to-read lists, and a pile of books that they can read during the summer.
I have heard about book speed dating from multiple people on Twitter the last two years. I’m sure that I do it a little differently than other people. As long as kids are getting the opportunity to preview and talk about lots of different titles, book speed dating serves its purpose.
How we roll:
1. I place a giant stack of books at each table group.
When selecting books for book speed dating I try to find titles that:
Are in a series that not many students know about
Books that I am surprised not many students have found during the year
Favorite authors that my kids are not reading (Blume, Dahl, Cleary, etc.)
Lots and lots of nonfiction
Old favorites-books that kids loved at the start of the year
Old read alouds-I love including the books that my students teachers read aloud to them in third grade
2. Tell students my reasons for selecting the books (above)
- Add to our to read list
- Explore books that we might not usually explore
- Revisit old friends
4. Set the timer
After the time goes off students rotate to the next station.
After students have visited each station, I give students an opportunity to share with one book that they enjoyed previewing.
On July 11th the first annual Nerd Camp will take place in Battle Creek, Michigan. Book lovers from all over the country will join forces to share, learn, and grow together.
I could not be more excited. I’ll be sharing more about Nerd Camp on the Nerdy Book Club blog at the end of May. My mind still needs time to process the the potential that this event holds.
Today, I am super excited to reveal the official Nerd Camp logo. The logo was designed by illustrator John Green. You are probably familiar with John’s work illustrating Teen Boat!
I only gave John three pieces of information before he disigned this AMAZING logo.
1. Our event is called nErD Camp
2. Battle Creek is the cereal city
3. I showed him the offical Ed Camp logo
Somehow John was able to take that information and create this fantastic nErD Camp logo.
Thank you, Mr. Green!
We would love to have you join us for nErD Camp this summer. It is going to be a rocking good time.
In an effort to celebrate more books on my blog without taking up too much of my time, I am launching a “10 Minute Review” feature. I will only give myself 10 minutes to write the review. The clock starts when I sit down at my computer, when 10 minutes is up, I have to finish that sentence and click publish.
By: Bridget Heos
Illustrated By: Joy Ang
A couple of weeks ago my children and I cuddled up on the sofa and read Mustache Baby. The book became an instant bedtime hit. We laugh our way through Mustache Baby each and every time we read Bridget’s book.
I think that one of the reasons that I love this book so much is that my kids (6,4, and 3) were able to instantly relate to “good-guy mustache” and “bad-guy mustache”. Lord knows we have plenty of good-guy and bad-guy mustache days at our house.
My absolute favorite part of this book is the last page. I haven’t found a page turn that I enjoy as much as the last page turn in this book since Me..Jane.
I hope the young readers in your life enjoy Mustache Baby as much as the Sharp kids.
Be sure to visit Mentor Texts to learn more about It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Counting By 7s
By: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Penguin and Pinecone
By: Salina Yoon
That is Not a Good Idea
By: Mo Willems
Flora & Ulysses
By: Kate DiCamillo
For the first time all year I find myself a few miles behind pace in my quest to reach 1006 miles. To be honest, I am just holding on for dear life. I’m tired. Hoping that I can just make it to summer without falling too far behind.
Miles Last Week: 10
Total Miles: 363
Books Last Week: 11
Total Books: 367
I’d like to start by wishing every mother out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I am blessed to have been raised by my awesome lunch lady mom. I have no idea how she put up with my picky eating, my messy room, or my obsession with ESPN. She is a saint.
They say that lightening doesn’t ever strike twice in the same place, but I was struck with mom awesomeness twice. After growing up with an amazing mom, I am now married to a perfect mom. My children are so lucky to have a mom that loves them for who they are, and a woman who takes such great care of them. My wife is the bomb.
I think of my wife every time I read Luciana Navarro Powell’s My Mom is the Best Circus. Sometimes I even start to think that my wife looks a little bit like the mother in this beautiful board book. On a day that it is all about the moms in our lives, I think this book is a perfect book to celebrate.
My favorite pages in My Moms is the Best Circus is the two page spread that shows the mother being both a magician and a clown. One thing that I love so much about my wife and my mother is that they know how to give their kids whatever it is they need in each specific situation.
If you are looking for a great book to read and reread, I recommend that you check out My Mom is the Best Circus. It is a book that is worth celebrating all year-long (just like the moms in our lives).
I received this book from Random House in exchange for an honest review.
It feels very good to be back from Screen Free Week. It was very odd not watching a Mr. Schu Newbery video last Saturday.
The next time we have a Saturday without a Newbery Challenge video will be the week after we run our Ivan video. Crazy to think that the Newbery Challenge will be over before we know it. I’ve had so much fun reading, learning, and growing with all the participants.
Big thanks to Shana Corey for filming this video.
As a kid, I was always fascinated with the names of male, female, and baby animals. I thought it was so cool that a baby goat was called a kid and a female fox a vixen. Whenever I found out the term of what to call a different baby, male, or female animal I always felt sort of proud. A little bit like I discovered a secret.
A couple of years ago when I found Aaron Zenz’s book Chuckling Duckling at a bookshop I had to purchase it immediately. This warm picture book is like a dictionary of what to call different baby animals. My son, who was 3 at the time, was mesmerized. We read Chuckling Ducklings over and over and over again.
I am very excited to now be able to share Aaron’s new books Hug a Bull and I Love Ewe with my children. During bedtime the last couple of weeks my children and I have been learning the names of different animal moms and dads. It has been great fun. I had no idea that a father mouse is called a buck. Who knew?
If you’re looking for a some warm and inviting picture books that are going to educate the young readers in your life on some very cool topics, I hope that you’ll check out Aaron’s books.
Mon May 6: Bookie Woogie (www.bookiewoogie.blogspot.com)
Tue May 7: Reading to Know (www.readingtoknow.com)
Wed May 8: Playing by the Book (www.playingbythebook.net)
Thu May 9: Brimful Curiosities (www.brimfulcuriosities.com)
Fri May 10: Sharpread (www.sharpread.wordpress.com)
Sat May 11: From the Mixed-up Files ( www.writerjenn.blogspot.com/2013/03/rerun-aaron-zenzs-creative-space.html )
All artwork that appear in this post are copyright © 2013 by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
I’ve gone back and forth on how I’d like to celebrate Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Platypus Police Squad. I’ve thought about discussing how I think Jarrett is becoming the face of all things that are great about children’s literature. I considered talking about how masterfully Jarrett has transitioned from picture books to graphic novels to a beautiful middle grade novel.
In the end I’ve decided that I just want to talk about how I think Platypus Police Squad is like a kids version of Law & Order.
Note: Law & Order was my FAVORITE television show when I was in high school.
Without further ado, I give you five reasons why Platypus Police Squad is like Law & Order.
1. The detectives in Platypus Police Squad don’t carry guns, they carry boomerangs (I think this is brilliant).
2. In Law & Order it always seemed like they main characters were a young cop and a veteran cop. We have the same model in Platypus Police Squad with characters Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley.
3. Say No to
Drugs Illegal Fish! I loved that the issue in The Frog That Croaked centered on the trade of illegal fish.
4. The police chief. I was always a fan, when watching Law & Order of how the officers interacted with the police chief. I absolutely loved reading the scenes when Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley interacted with the police chief.
5. Crime Doesn’t Pay. I learned from watching Law & Order as a did that it isn’t a good idea to mess with the NYPD. I got the a similar vibe from reading Platypus Police Squad: Don’t mess with these officers from Kalamazoo.
Be sure to check out JJK’s Platypus Police Squad next time you visit your local independent bookshop.
Last week Jerzy Drozd told me about Astronaut Academy Day! (May 14th). I told my students in comic book club about it last Wednesday and they got super excited. My comic loving students are huge fans of Dave’s work in Astronaut Academy. They decided that we should spend our comic book club meeting on May 8th celebrating Dave’s work. I can’t wait. I’ll be sharing pictures, on Twitter, using the hashtag #astronautacademyday on May 14th.
If you ever get a chance to listen to Dave speak I highly recommend that you check out what he has to say. I’m not sure that I have ever met anyone that cares as deeply about kids having the opportunity to read and create comics/graphic novels as much as Dave does.
I hope that you’ll share Astronaut Academy Day with your young readers. For me the day is about much more than celebrating Dave’s new book. Astronaut Academy Day is about celebrating a man that cares deeply about the young readers that inhabit our classrooms and libraries.
Join me in celebrating Astronaut Academy Day May 14th using the hashtag #astronautacademyday!
For more info click on the banner below.