Thursday, March 10, 2016

Award Site Idea

Here is a simple look at the award site I am considering to construct.  

2015 Mock Caldecott Winners

Here are the winners of our 2015 Mock Caldecott Award.

Medal Winner-
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler

Honor Winners-
My Pen by Christopher Myers
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, by Laurel Snyderill. by Julie Morstad
Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, by Sally Walker, ill. by Jonathan Voss

Time to Unpack Some New Books

It is always a pleasure to get new books.  These packages mostly contain picturebooks that we considered for our Mock Caldecott Award in December.  Once I unpack them, I'll share them with you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Idea to Test

Am I back?  I'm not sure yet, but time will tell. Currently, I am experimenting with the idea of a blog versus a web page to promote book awards for children.  I desire to have a one-stop-shop for teachers, parents and children as they explore various awards.  The goal is to have a plethora of awards... connected to books, authors, & illustrators listed on the site.  Time will tell as I move forward between the two formats. If the blog seems to be the best format then it will either be housed on this site (which will become active again) or I will create a new blog. So please be patient...this endeavor as a work in progress.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Picture Book Update

Here is a small list of some picture books I have recently enjoyed:

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse
By Marilyn Singer
Illustrated By Josee Masse

Poems from Fairy Tales written from two perspectives (reversible text). Radical Change.

Personal Thoughts: Loved it!

Gods & Heroes
by Matthew Reinhart & Robert Sabuda

An Encyclopedia of mythological tales
Traditional Sabuda Pop-Up construction

Personal Thoughts: Engaging and educational tool to cross curricula. Fantastic!

City Dog. Country Frog
By Mo Willems
Illustrated by Jon Muth

A city dog's adventure in the country. Friendship, gentle example of a friend's passing. Seasons

Personal Thoughts: What a great combo...Willems and Muth. Not what we have been seeing from Willems, but absolutely wonderful.

The Chicken Thief
By Beatrice Rodriguez

Wordless picture book. Quick story of misunderstanding. Friendship and adventure

Personal Thoughts: I love almost any wordless picture book, and this one is right there.

Chester's Masterpiece
By Melanie Watt

Book Writing. Radical Change.

Personal Thoughts: Melanie Watt is quickly becoming one of my favorite author/illustrators. Loved the dialog in this book.

Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Fire

Catching Fire
By Suzanne Collins

Second Book of The Hunger Games

If you haven't started this triology now is the time, because the final book, Mockingjay, comes out Aug. 24.

The adventure continues for Katniss as she makes her Victory Tour and gets back into the arena for the 75 Annual Games.

Personal Thoughts: On the way to being my favorite trilogy. Again, the whole romance thing is not my favorite, but I can handle it.

Star Rating:

Keep Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Four New Reads...all good

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs
by Ron Koertge

Baseball, poetry, and teenage love

Sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

Personal Thoughts: Well written and creative. There were types of poems I have never heard of before.

Out of My Mind
By Sharon Draper

Special Needs, Quiz Bowl

Connections: Stuck in Neutral

Personal Thoughts: I have enjoyed many of Draper's books, but this is my personal favorite. Excellent.

By Kathryn Erskine

Special Needs~Asperger's Syndrome, School Violence, Healing, Communication

Personal Thoughts: Very good read.

Borrowed Names
by Jeannine Atkins

Poems about: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, & Marie Curie

Personal Thoughts: I did not think I could handle this book...I was very wrong. I was engaged the whole time.

Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

New Posting Format

Since I have gotten out of the habit of updating my blog (something people continue to remind me about), I have a new strategy. Rather than trying to think what to write (the major reason I don't post) I have decided to primarily list the books I am reading. I will continue to give them star-ratings as long as they are not in contention for the Notable Award. I might even get a little brave and add a sentence or two, but don't count on too much more.

I'm not trying to be lazy, it just takes me too long to figure out what to write. Okay, maybe I am lazy.

Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Class: Response to Literature

EDU 570 Response to Literature
Taylor University

I have just finished teaching a three hour graduate class titled Response to Literature. The class ran from 8:30AM to 4:30PM for five days. Our culminating activity was a Mock Caldecott. This year we used 2009 and 2010 books. The winner of our EDU570 Mock Caldecott was Testing the Ice written by Sharon Robinson and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The class also choose four honor books: Finn Throughs a Fit (09), I Need My Monster (09), 14 Cows for America (09)and Chester's Masterpiece (10).
I am wearing an Ohio State jersey because too many of the class members were anti-Buckeyes. GO BUCKS!

The following photos are from our Reader's Theater activity:
Creak! Said the Bed by Phyllis Root
Barnyard Slam by Dian Curtis Regan
Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


By Jason Shiga

Desiring a creative "radical change" graphic novel? Then Meanwhile by Jason Shiga would be a great choice. This "choose your own adventure" style book has 3,856 different story possibilities. Your first choice is chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and then the adventure begins.

At this point I have only tried a few paths so I can't give you a lot of feedback about the book, but I can tell you that I like chocolate better than vanilla.

I love this quote from the author, "With perseverance and curiosity, you too can unlock the book's secrets and find your way home. Good luck and choose wisely!"

Grade level: upper elementary

Happy Adventuring,
Dr. Quinn

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mock Caldecott (9:00)

Here are the winners of this year's Mock Caldecott
(my 9:00 class):

Medal Winner

14 Cows for America
by Carmen Agra Deedy & Thomas Gonzalez Honor Books

Testing the Ice
by Sharon Robinson & Ill. by Kadir Nelson

The Lion & the Mouse
by Jerry Pinkney

I Need My Monster
By Amanda Noll & Ill. by Howard McWilliam

Keep Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mock Caldecott (8:00 Class)

Here are the winners of this year's Mock Caldecott
(my 8:00 class):

Medal Winner

14 Cows for America
by Carmen Agra Deedy & Thomas Gonzalez

Honor Books

The Lion & the Mouse
by Jerry Pinkney

Mama Says
by Rob D. Walker & Leo & Diane Dillon

Finn Throws a Fit
by David Elliott & Timothy Basil Ering

I Need My Monster
By Amanda Noll & Ill. by Howard McWilliam

Keep Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Monday, January 4, 2010

YA List

I had actually thought about stopping my blog since I have neglected it for so long. However, just this past weekend two past students told me how they use it, and that I better not stop. So I guess I'll do some posting again and see how it goes.

Today's post will have a list of books that are a part of my YA class. This class is an elective for any student on campus. However, it usually fills up immediately with elementary education majors. Just a little about the format of the class. The class is a part of Taylor University's January term. We meet twice a week in the evening at my house. We discuss YA books, drink coffee, and eat dessert. Plus there are no papers! Just read and discuss.

Here is this year's list: Stuck in Neutral, Cruise Control, Speak, Inexcusable, Monster, American Born Chinese, Give a Boy Gun, Wintergirls, Mexican Whiteboy, Hunger Games, 13 Reasons Why, Before I Die. Several of the books have already been mentioned on the blog so I will just briefly discuss some of the others.

Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins

This has been the best book I have read in quite awhile. I loved the action, description, plot, and characters. I found Hunger Games to be a very engaging read, and I highly recommend it for middle school.

Quick Summary: This is a futuristic tale and the US is called Panem, and it is divided into 12 districts. Each year one male and one female (age 12-18) from each district must participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event where contestants fight to the death. The last on living wins.

There was a bit too much romance for me in the book, but I understand the role it plays, and how it will impact the second book in the trilogy.


Give a Boy a Gun
By Todd Strasser

This is a difficult read that I like to pair with Nancy Garden's Endgame. The premise of this story is about two boys that have been teased and harassed throughout school. Finally they take situations in their hands during a school dance.

The story is told in first-person by various characters of the book including the suicide notes from each of the two boys. Various factoids and news snippets are found throughout the book in regards to real school violence events. The format of this book would be identified as radical change.

By Laure Halse Anderson

This 2009 book tells the story of two friends that struggle with an eating disorder. After a falling out Cassie makes a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to connect with her former friend Lia. The result is death for Cassie and potential death for Lia. Throughout the story Lia tries to put the puzzle pieces of Cassie's death together while also putting herself in a downward spiral towards death.

13 Reasons Why
By Jay Asher

In this story a high school girl commits suicide, but before doing so she sends 13 cassette tapes to 13 people who had an impact of her decision.
Asher write the book in a radical change format. He tells the story of Hannah via cassette tapes by writing it all in italicized font. Then he adds to the story by inserting the voice of another character by printing it in a regular font. This formatting allows the reader to "hear" the tapes while getting immediate insights from a living character in the book.
I found this book very creative, insightful, and engaging. Asher did a great job illustrating how rumors can snowball and have a negative impact on people.
Keep reading and I'll try to keep posting,
Dr. Quinn

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetery Road

Written by Kate Klise
Illustrated by: M. Sarah Klise

The Klise sisters kicked off their 43 Old Cemetery Road series with this creative and unique mystery titled Dying to Meet You. The book introduces the three main characters of the series: I. B. Grumply - a children's book author, Seymore Hope - 11 year-old boy, and Olive C. Spence - the woman that built the home on 43 Old Cemetery Road (she died 97 years before the story opens). Together these three live in the old home; however, the living arrange is not a smooth one at all. One is self-centered and grumpy, one is abandoned, and one is a Ghost.

The book is composed of letters, notes, newspaper articles, and drawings which makes it so creative. I enjoyed it, and I am interested in the next title. However, I think I am more interesed in the format than the storyline.

Age level: 3rd through 5th grade

Keep Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Lion and the Mouse

Jerry Pinkney's retelling of The Lion and the Mouse is fantastic. Masterful watercolor paintings combined the most simple text will provide the reader with a truly aesthetic experience.

I have read this fable many times, but I have never experienced it like I did this version. This book has moved to the top of my list in regards to Pinkney's work.

Keep Reading,
Dr. Quinn