Tag Archives: Kelly Dipucchio

ALA Youth Media Awards

1 Feb


Tomorrow is the big day when the Youth Media Awards are announced. I hope to watch them live, but that means I will have to get to school extra extra early. Or take the morning off. You can watch them live here.

There are many books I hope to see honored at the ALA YMA and I think today is a good day to share a few of  them with you, in no particular order.

Unknown-1 The Story of Owen by E. K. Johnston

images Poisoned Apples  by Christine Heppernan

Unknown The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant

Unknown The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Unknown El Deafo by Cece Bell

Unknown Gaston  written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christine Robinson

Unknown I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora

20615330 Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Unknown Going Over  by Beth Kephart

Unknown-1 The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

Unknown Nuts to You  by Lynne Rae Perkins

Unknown Audrey (Cow)  by Dan Bar-El (this can;t win a Newbery because Bar-El is Canadian)

20702546 Gabi A Girl in Pieces  by Isabel Quintero

Unknown-2 Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Doggedly devoted

30 Aug

It has been whirlwind of a week. My classroom is set up enough to get me through the first week of school. Fiona and Lucy have readjusted to my return to work.


I have hardly read or knit all week. There’s just been too much to do and I returned home exhausted each evening. My stack of library books needs some serious attention. But here is a pair of picture books that I loved.

Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson, is about family.


Gaston is not like his sisters. He sometimes exasperates his mother.


When a chance encounter reveals that a mistake has been made, things look right. But they do not feel right. This book is about families, belonging, and square pegs in round holes.

David Ezra Stein’s I’m My Own Dog,  is another story about reversals.


Narrated from the dog’s point of view, we learn about an independent dog who fetches his own slippers. He can do everything for himself, except scratch that one spot in the middle of his back. So, one day, he lets a human scratch it. That poor human follows him home and eventually, dog finds that the human is a good companion.

Kids will love both of these books and I think they’d inspire some very funny writing by kids. The could tell stories from their pets’ perspective, or from the perspective of an animal in a zoo or in the wild. They could write about interspecies families.  They could also right about how they are the Gaston in their family.

These are also just really great read alouds too, especially as school begins and sometimes, that can have kids and teachers feeling a little like fish out of water.

The Dog Days of Summer

11 Aug

According to Wikipedia “The phrase dog days refers to the sultry days of summer.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are most commonly experienced in the months of July and August, which typically observe the hottest summer temperatures.”

And here we are. It is mid-August and we are experiencing a heat wave in Portland. Today will probably be the hottest day of the year, at 99°F.

I’m starting to think about returning to work. This is my last full week of vacation. Next week I have a two-day training on Wednesday & Thursday. I get my hair cut Friday, then inservice week begins two weeks from today. Sigh.

Although I long for summer to continue forever, I do enjoy the return to a more structured daily schedule.

In The Dog Days of School by Kelly DiPucchio, Charlie is in the situation I will be in once we’ve been back to school for a few weeks.


Charlie thinks his dog, Norman has a great life, with no homework and very little responsibility. One night, Charlie wishes on a star, hoping to have a life as easy as Norman. When Charlie wakes up the next morning, Norman is in his bed and their roles are reversed. Brian Biggs’ illustrations add some details that DiPucchio doesn’t include in the text, to make this a wonderful book about role reversal and the fact that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.


A great book for k-2 at the beginning of the year, or a few weeks in when the routine has set in and things feel more like a slog.

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