Friday List Mania 6 – The My Brain Is Fried Edition

I had two full day workshops this week.  Two full day workshops, an entire chapter of my dissertation to write, a ba-zillion pages of website content to generate (Mrs. Mimi website coming soon to an internet near you!), a nursery rug to purchase and a book proposal to polish up.  All while being 32 weeks pregnant and so exhausted that I could fall asleep on the floor with the vacuum running and the TV on. 

Long story short, my brain… she is fried. 

But you know I can always find the energy for list making. 

A while ago, a few readers asked me to post the titles of some of my most favoritest read alouds.  Request From You + Very Tired Brain = List Post About Books.  It’s like a match made in heaven…like peanut butter and chocolate.  Which reminds me, I must find some ice cream after posting and pre napping. 

So here are a few (Because, really?  We ALL know I have a Children’s Book Shopping Problem) of my faves, in no particular order.  I hope this is what you were looking for!! (Click the images for links.)

(Keep in mind I taught the small fries in first and second grades.)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I mean, no brainer, right?  Although I have to say I miss the days before every child had seen that fairly odd Johnny Depp version because it’s so much better when they use their imaginations…

Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) I am also a closeted Junie B. Jones lover.  Talk about hilarious…my kids almost wet themselves laughing at these perfect End Of The Day bite sized chapters. And talk about a great illustration of the use of voice in a written text!

Willimena Rules! Rule Book #1: How to Lose Your Class Pet: Willimena Rules!: How to Lose Your Class Pet - Book #1 (No. 1) I am also a big fan of Willimena…girlfriend is pretty funny.  Her books are a great introduction to the chapter book experience.

Clementine I am seeing a theme here, now that I’m mid-way through this post.  I have a thing for books with strong female characters…shall we yell out “Girl Power” now, or save it for later?

Strega Nona  I am also obsessed with all things Strega Nona.  I mean, I can’t pass up the opportunity to use a bad Italian accent during a read aloud, can I?  (Clearly, no, I can’t.  Just ask my friends.) 

The Dot As a lover of teaching the arts and farts in class, this book is fan-tabulous.  So many of my friends would be consumed with a fear of “messing up” their artwork, but this book usually seemed to do the trick.

Stephanie's Ponytail (Classic Munsch)  Again, more with the whole Girl Power thing.  I’m sorry, but Stephanie’s commitment to being an individual rocks.  Period.

The Paper Bag Princess  I feel like I mention this book every chance at get.   And at every workshop that I lead.  I should just get a Team Munsch T-shirt and call it a day.

Meggie Moon Girls who play in the junkyard?  Girls who have killer imaginations?  Girls who are unafraid to be individuals?  Yes, please.

Big Wolf and Little Wolf Besides clearly being obsessed with books about Girl Power, I also have a thing for books about unlikely friendships.  Don’t ask me why, just go with it.  This book is just fabulous. 

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge More unlikely friendships.  Except bring a Kleenex for this one. I always cry at the end…like I don’t see it coming year after year.

I think that’s enough for now.  If you’re still with me and reading, you deserve a virtual high five…or at least a cocktail.  Have one for me too. 

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  • I cry every time I read Wilfred Gordon too. The Paperbag Princess is one of my favorites, followed closely by Purple, Green and Yellow. Team Munsch! My son couldn't pick a favorite character for Character Day (Halloween) in kinder, so he chose Robert Munsch. We made a paper Robert Munsch mask and he wore jeans and a blue chambray shirt and a tie to school.

    FYI, the Robert Munsch website has downloadable mp3 files of Munsch reading a bunch of his books.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • Oh. My. Word. I have to know what you did with your class library when you left teaching. Does it fit in your home? I'm currently pink slipped and my husband (supportive as he is) instantly said "What are we going to do with all your BOOKS?!?" Ha 🙂

    I LOVE The Dot; I actually read it aloud to an administrator who interviewed me right out of grad school…and I got the job! I also love Ish.

    Another favorite genre is fairytales. I love Lynn Roberts especially. Another good one is Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude. The kids ATE IT UP.

    Okay now I've whipped myself into a frenzy. Books….books…I'm an addict.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • I love The Dot! It totally impacted me as a beginning teacher who wanted everything to be perfect. What a great list! I can't wait to check out some of these that I've never read before.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • Talk about a Team Munsch T-shirt… I'm 19 and a little obsessed with his book Purple, Green and Yellow… We all carry the love.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • I'll go along with those…I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to all my third grade classes, plus James and the Giant Peach, and the BFG.

    My all time favorite, though, is Stone Fox. The moment when Little Willy and Searchlight cross the finish line is probably my favorite moment in children's literature.

    And…Charlotte's Web, Tuck Everlasting, Island of the Blue Dolphin, and on and on. Reading aloud to kids is what I am going to miss most about not teaching any more…hands down.

    Check this out…

    The Top 100 Children's Novels

    If you need help finding books to read, go to Jim Trelease's Web Site.

    April 18, 2010 at 11:58 am
  • Hey Mrs. Mimi,

    What about Ellie McDoodle? Have you read her books? My daughter just found them (as in last week) and LOVED it. When I say loved this is a girl (2nd grade 8yo) who didn't quite get reading until recently, and finished a 100 page book in LESS than a WEEK! 😀 I'm just an excited mama (and a pre-service Middle school teacher). ;D

    April 18, 2010 at 11:58 am
  • My class adored Clementine… I think I enjoyed it just as much, if not more. We're reading Charlotte's Web right now and I never tire of it.

    April 18, 2010 at 11:58 am
  • I found Ivy & Bean this year by Annie Barrows, love it and the kids gobbled them up.

    April 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm
  • I just love the book Stephanie's Ponytail! I read it every year in 4th grade and the kids just love the ending!

    A great choice!

    April 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm
  • Tomie De Paola's Irish stories are great as well… I almost think the irish accent is more fun than the italian. Plus once you get into it, you add Lucky Charms as a snack.

    April 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm
  • question: what are your/your readers thoughts on ghost stories? not to generalize, but the gender gap is quite predictable on these AND as much as they help focus some of the less concentrated students in my class, i'm worried about alienating the rest of the class. What are people's thoughts on genres in general that appeal to a small (but strategic for classroom control) group of the class?

    April 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm
  • Juan Pablo – I posted your question on my Facebook Fan page – hope you don't mind! It was so interesting and I knew you would get more responses that way…thanks for posting!

    April 20, 2010 at 10:09 pm
  • Talk about girl power…have you read Little Red Riding Hood A Newfangled Prairie Tale? Fabulous surprise ending! And I'm with you on the accents; I do a mean Irish accent with DePaola's Fin M'Coul.

    As for Juan Pablo's comment, I think it's all about balance. Kids have different needs and part of us meeting their needs may be reading a book now and then that suits a small number and not the majority. I think it's OK! Kids should feel that not only are their needs being met but their interests are valued.

    Ghosts stories, though, I don't mess with. I teach K/1 and they'd be scared.

    April 21, 2010 at 2:16 am
  • If you love Strega Nona, you really must check out the pop-up book. It is beautiful!

    April 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

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