Picture book Saturday: The Paperbag Princess

The deets:
audience: wee ones
pages: 32
publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780439010177
Author: Robert Munsch
source: my own copy


The Paper Bag Princess

The Princess Elizabeth is slated to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. In resourceful and humorous fashion, Elizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald--who is less than pleased at her un-princess-like appearance.






I have no idea why I never knew about this book as a child. It is too cute to pass by!

Elizabeth is the perfect example of an independent female fitting for all young girls to aspire to. Yes, she has her heart set on marrying a prince, but she's not about to be limited by someone else's idea of what a true princess is. She's tough, witty, and incredibly resourceful. Isn't that what we want for all our young princesses?

The illustrations in The Paper Bag Princess were fabulous. The dragon is so funny! Maybe it's just me, but his expressions and demeanor often came across as very human-like, which made it that much more enjoyable.

I highly recommend this one for little princesses. It has a great story, an important message, and the illustrations will have you giggling with delight.


New Cover for Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun

So, back in September I shared the UK cover for the newest Emily Windsnap book. It was a complete shocker because there was no mermaid! Here was the original UK cover:



Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun (Emily Windsnap #5)

New cover:


Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun

Now it seems that the mermaids have made their way back to cover! I am so glad to see this. I also love that there is a merboy being represented this time around, alond with the beautiful glaciers of Alaska in the background. The colors are perfect to depict the setting sun in Alaska-- this is just what it looks like at 2 am during the summer (when the sun is going down).

What do you think about the new cover for Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun?


Cover reveal: Sweet Legacy (Tera Lynn Childs)

Oh, there is a cover for Sweet Legacy-- the third book in the amazing series by Tera Lynn Childs. If you haven't read Sweet Venom and Sweet Shadows, you need to check them out pronto!


 
 
You can see more about this great series on the author's website HERE.
 
 
I have to say, this is my favorite so far. Greer (cover) is stunning. Sweet Legacy hits the shelves in September 2013. 


Minute Review: Until I Die (Amy Plum)

The Deets:
audience: YA
pages: 357
publisher: May 8th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780062004048
genre: paranormal romance
source: library copy


Until I Die (Revenants, #2)Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.


I love this series, and I love Vincent (and Jules and Ambrose).

For a second book, this was a pretty good read. I didn't like it as much as the first one, but it was still enjoyable. I think what made me fall head over heels for Die For Me was Vincent. He was swoon worthy with his old school charm. But he didn't seem to be as present in Until I Die. Until I Die was mostly about Kate finding her place among the Revenants and with Vincent.

So, with that being said, I was a bit disappointed that it didn't have more Vincent. But, there was plenty of Jules and Ambrose to make up for that. I do enjoy those two so much. Georgia also had more presence in this book, which was nice. She still felt a bit flat, but she was enjoyable for a minor character.

Unfortunately, I figured the plot of Die For Me out around page 75. That didn't keep me from reading it, of course. I just wasn't at all surprised by the "twist" ending. I wish Amy Plum would have done a better job disguising the snake in the grass. She did do a nice job of making that ending so gripping that I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book 3: If I Should Die.

If you haven't read this series, you should. It's a fun read. Vincent and the other Revenants will have you proclaiming your love for them as your new book boyfriends. If you aren't a fan of paranormal romances, stay away. This is not for you.

Teacher Tuesday: NJ ASK 5th grade Language Arts and Literacy (Lumos Learning)









Ready for another installment of Teacher Tuesday? Again this week I am focusing on the Common Core Standards because that is what my life is consumed with right now as my state prepares to take its high stakes test in a few short weeks.

While I teach middle school Language Arts, I found this 5th grade test prep book still applicable. I've spent the last 7 years working with below proficiency readers. While they may be in grade seven, they often read at a third grade level. I found the materials in the NJ ASK 5th grade book to be a nice supplement for my struggling kids. I'm sure it would be perfectly suitable for 5th graders as well, but I don't have much experience with that grade level.

One of the things I noticed right away was the variety of material. I found poetry, short stories, nonfiction, informational texts, etc. in this book. Each passage also came with a variety of questions, depending on the story. Some stories focused more on the literary elements, while others focused on nonfiction traits or grammar. I also like that there were both diagnostic and practice tests included. When I saw this, I instantly thought "pre and post test" on a unit. That's just how my brain works.

Another perk is that each passage included a relevant writing task. For instance, if a student read a poem about two characters, they had to write a short literary analysis to compare and constrast certain traits between those two characters. Each of the prompts extended the learning in a practical and relevant way. Of course, some people may see writing prompts and think "I'm not a writing teacher" or "how do I score that"? Well, lucky for you there are extensive writing rubrics included for each prompt. The passages are based on a 4 point scale, so each rubric gives a sample paper for numbers 1-4 along with a detailed list of what should be included in the students' answers. That takes away the guess work of grading writing if you don't feel like its your strongest area.

Overall, I found the NJ ASK 5th grade Language Arts and Literacy test prep book to be another great addition to my teacher tool kit. It's not limited to just teachers in NJ (I'm in Florida, after all) because ALL students need these skill.
 

YA Author event in Savannah, Georgia

Calling all Southern Belles....

You know how we're always complaining that there just aren't any bookish events in our area?*  Well, I am happy to report there is an awesome one coming to Savannah, Georgia in August.


Authors After Dark. *swoon*  Check out the website HERE for more information. It is going to be incredible. They have shindigs! Like real ones. I saw a Vampire Ball and a river boat cruise listed as some of the festivities. Eek! And did I mention it's in amazing Savannah, GA?

But that's not what has me all giddy with excitement. This year there is a YA Day (on a day I can actually break away from grown up world-- Saturday).YA Day is loaded down with kick butt YA authors. You may not recognize all of the names, but I promise you know the books. After looking them all up, I realized there are about 10 authors/books that I have read, so I am freaking out about the chance to meet them in the flesh.

If you live within driving distance of Savannah (and won't need a hotel for the night), you can attend YA Day for just $100 bucks at the door. That price gets you a goody bag with treats and books, plus a ticket to spend the day with ME and the fabulous authors we love. See you there!**






* By "in our area" I really mean near me in Florida. NOTHING ever happens in North Florida. All the good stuff is in South Florida, which is about 5 hours from me. So those events never count.

** If you're going we should totally make it a shin dig. I'm bringing my peeps, so you bring yours.

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