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IMWAYR: The Polar Express

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers!

A Beautiful Holiday Tale

The idea of the extraordinary happening in the context of the ordinary is what's fascinating to me. -Chris Van Allsburg
  One of my favorite authors is Chris Van Allsburg.  Some of my favorite read alouds are The Wretched Stone, The Stranger and Jumanji.  However during this time of year, I love The Polar Express.

If you're not familiar with this classic tale, it's about a boy listening for the bells of Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. He doesn't quite believe in all the tales. However, instead he hears a train pulling up!  

It's the Polar Express and it's taking kids to the North Pole to meet Santa!  He climbs on.

He is taken to the North Pole and is asked what he would like for his gift.  He requests a bell from Santa's reindeer and he puts the gift in his pocket.

When he gets home, he's crushed to find a hole in his pocket instead of the bell.  Under the tree, there is a small box addressed to him.  It's the bell!

He and his sister can hear it but not his parents.  Even when he grows up, he can still hear it because he believes.

Here is link to Mr. Van Allsburg's home page.  You can see all the amazing books he's written.  Here is link on Houghton Mifflin with a teacher's guide to help you out.  



IMWAYR: How Many Days to America: A Thanksgiving Story

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers!

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Story

         This is my favorite Thanksgiving read aloud. Eve Bunting (Love her!) really brings out the meaning of Thanksgiving.

These people love their home.

They have to flee a country they love because of political pressures.  
Soldiers invade their home one night....

They leave with almost nothing.

Luckily, they are able to secure a spot on a boat.

They run out of food.

Thieves rob them on the boat.

They arrive on Thanksgiving day.  
They are welcomed and are served a feast.

Hope you enjoy this book.  It's different from the pilgrim and Native American stories.  If you're looking for more traditional resources and you'd like more on the first Thanksgiving, Scholastic has some great stuff.  My kid loved the letters by the children: a Pilgrim girl and a Wampanoag boy. They even have audio.



IMWAYR: Veteran's Day

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers!

Veteran's Day

Here are a few of my favorite read alouds for Veteran's Day...

Cute book.  It's easy and it rhymes.  
I love the connections to the people around us.

An older book by Eve Bunting.  
It's about a boy and his dad visiting the Vietnam Memorial.

I never knew about Moina Belle Michael until I read this book.
It's about how she made the red poppy a symbol for WW1 vets.

Hope you enjoy reading about our heroes.  If you'd like some printables, go to TPT and visit Mel D.  She has a great freebie for American heroes



Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Latino Picks!

Nonfiction Book Challenge: Latino picks!

Hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy

Great book about Sylvia Mendez and her families right to attend public schools in California.

Beautiful illustrations by award winning Yuyi Morales about the amazing Frida Kahlo.

Mexican folktales about women.

Read about Pele, the living legend.

Interactive book with flaps, cut-outs and pull tabs.

Illustrated by the wonderful Yuyi Morales, you'll learn more about the icon, Cesar Chavez.

Read about this amazing cultural celebration,

Lovely book about all the stages of a tortilla.

Great Latino heroes like Sonia Sotomayor and Desi Arnaz Jr..

Second book about family by Carmen Lomas Garza.

Hope you enjoyed learning about some amazing Latino centered nonfiction picture books!  
Have you found any good ones that should be added to the list?

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