Category Archives: books

Mock Caldecott 2015 Nominations

Over the last month or so we have been reading and studying many picture books.  Mrs. Rosenquist chose her favorite picture books from 2014 and the students in our class will decide which book to award our Mock Caldecott Medal.

Do you know what the Caldecott Medal is?  Every year the American Library Association awards the medal to the illustrator that has created the best picture book of the year.  In our class we learned about the different criteria the judges use to pick the winner.

Here are our nominees and some videos to go along with some of the books.

Which books have you read?

What are your favorites?

Which book do you think will win the real medal?  It will be announced on Monday, February 2.  We hope to watch the awards be announced live (if we don’t have another snow day)!  Come back to our blog tomorrow to find out which book won our Mock Caldecott Medal!


Skyping with Kate Messner

Blog post written by Cassie, T.J. and Emeli

Today we skyped with Kate Messner.  Kate gave us a sneak peek of her new books coming out next year.  We asked some questions.  And we got to talk to her.  She said it took her 14 drafts to write Marty McGuire!  Kate says she keeps 7 different writers notebooks.  She would even bring her notebook if she is camping.

When we Skype we have different jobs – speakers, greeter, bloggers, news recorders, photographers and videographers.  When you speak you have to be confident, speak loud and clear and remember to slow down your speech.

Watch a short video clip from our skype. Kate answers Hannah’s question, “Do you have anyone help you with your writing?”

Or you can watch on Vimeo.

Kate Messner Skype from Debra Rosenquist on Vimeo.


Photographers: Griffin & Ariana
Videographers: Yaneliz & Ariah

Thank you to Kate Messner for Skyping with our class today!

What was your favorite part of our Skype session?

What was the most interesting thing you learned about Kate?

Room 202 Book Reviews 2014

The Friday before Spring Break we finished writing book reviews and students selected their favorites to record on Audioboo.  Enjoy.  And don’t forget we really like comments on our blog!


Mock Caldecott 2014 Part 3



This is the third post about our Mock Caldecott.  You can see Post 1 here and Post 2 here.


Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

In this book Niño pretends he is a wrestler.  He wrestles aliens and a mummy.  And then he wrestles his little sisters.  He is dressed up in a costume like a wrestler. He is wearing his underwear and you can see his belly button. We like how the artist drew this part.  We like that some of the words are in Spanish.

odd duck

Odd Duck written by Cecil Castellucci and illustrated by Sara Varon

We like the wacky duck, Chad, and the way he is drawn.  We like that it’s written like a cartoon with speech bubbles.

mr tiger

Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

We like how everyone was black and gray, but Mr. Tiger had orange.  The tiger looked like he was in a real forest and we liked the way the artist drew vines. We liked that at first the animals were on 2 feet and at the end they were on 4 feet.  Some of us noticed that some animals were on 4 feet in the beginning.


Locomotive by Brian Floca

The train looked very real and had so many details. We liked how the illustration showed the 2 locomotives going up the hill.  The illustrator did a good job on the tunnel and painting the darkness inside. There were so many colors and details we liked in the pictures.

building house

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean

We liked how the illustrations showed the frame of the house and how it went together.  We liked the part that showed the basement being built.  The picutres do a good job showing how a house gets built.

the beginner's guide to running away from home

The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away From Home written by Jennifer Larue Huget and illustrated by Chris Sickels

We liked how the people are sculpted – we think it looks like they are made out of clay.  The style sort of reminded us of movies we have seen, like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.  We wonder if they are bobble heads.

With snow days, early dismissals and delayed openings we ran out of time to write about all of our nominees.   But we want you to know we loved all of the books very much.  When Mrs. Rosenquist read the last book today we said, “AWWW” until she reminded us that there will always be more good books to read, even when the Mock Caldecott is over.  Tomorrow all of the second grade with do a final vote to decide on the winner of our Mock Caldecott.  Then on Monday we will try to watch the real Caldecott Award ceremony on the computer!  We will announce our winner tomorrow.  So here’s the rest of our nominees!

a splash of red bluebird frog song tree lady hello my name is ruby the darkmiss maples seeds


Have you read any of these books?

If not, be sure to run to the library and check them out!

Mock Caldecott 2014 Part 2

This is our second post about the books we are reviewing for our Mock Caldecott.  Click here to read Part 1.



Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

This book is about  a goat and a unicorn.  The goat is jealous of the unicorn because he gets more attention.  We think the illustrator did good work because he put in lots of bright colors.  It is very colorful and looks like a cartoon. (written by Ashley and Maeve)


little red writing

Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

This story is about a little pencil called Little Red.  She is writing a story and pretends she is in the story.  I like how Little Red is a pencil and all the characters are pencils.  The erasers are the heads of the pencil people.  I thought the illustrator did a good job with the Wolf 3000 pencil sharpener.  It looked like a wolf.  I also thought the illustrations were awesome because I like how the Granny pencil was so small and there were pencils shavings on the floor!  It was so funny. (written by Carson and Julian)

fish and snail

The Story of Fish & Snail by Deborah Freedman

This is why we think the book should win the Mock Caldecott.  The story is about 2 best friends named Fish and Snail. Our favorite page is when Snail splashes down into the next book.  We like how the author uses blue for the ocean.  We like how the author makes a book inside a book.  We also like how they jump out of one book and into another.  This book stands out because the illustrations really show the characters feelings. (written by Sarah and Ryan C.)


Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

This story is about a little girl named Flora and a flamingo.  The flamingo is dancing and the little girl is copying.  We liked the illustrations because they used the colors pink, black, gray and white.  This book is special because it has no words and it is a flap book. (written by Xiomara and Cheyenne)

Come back tomorrow because we plan on posting more about our Mock Caldecott books!

Have you read these books?

If not go to your library and check them out!


Mock Caldecott Nominations 2014 Part 1

The second graders at our school are participating in a Mock Caldecott this month.  The Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to the illustrator of a picture book.  We will try to highlight each of the 20 picture books that have been selected for our Mock Caldecott.  Here’s the first three.


Journey by Aaron Becker

This story is about a girl that has a very good imagination.  We like how Aaron Becker tells the story in pictures only.  He also uses details in the book.  We like how Aaron uses dull colors like browns, blacks and grays.  And then one important color which was red and he only uses a touch on each page.  Journey stands out because sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it’s really cool because he uses lots of details in his drawings.  The ones with the castle and the ships must have taken a long time.  (written by Sarah, Ryan C. and Peter)

on a beam of light

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

This book is a real story about Albert Einstein. We think it should win because the illustrations are good.  The illustator used pencil sketches that we like.  It also looks like they used paint.  The illustrations are a little old fashioned and we like that.  We liked the page where the illustrator showed us what atoms looked like.  We noticed that all the pages had yellow and we think its because the author wanted us to think of a beam of light.  ( written by Nava and Donnie and the class)

day the crayons quit

The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

This story is about the crayons writing notes to the boy.  We liked that the illustrator used a lot of colors.  Our favorite pictures were when the peach crayon was naked and when the blue crayon was very short.  We liked how the illustrator used all of the colors on the last page and the boy got an A plus for coloring. (written by Daniel and Ryan B.)

Have you read these books?

If not, be sure to visit your local library and check out these great books!

And come back tomorrow for our next post on our Mock Caldecott.


Global Read Aloud 2013 – Marty McGuire

We finished reading Marty McGuire by Kate Messner.  Some of the students in our class helped create a Padlet about the main character, Marty.

We thought about Marty and asked;

  • What did she say?
  • What did she feel?
  • What did she like?
  • What does she do?
  • What does she see?
  • What did she think?

Add your own idea about Marty McGuire to our Padlet.  Just double click on the Padlet. Your writing won’t show up until it gets approved.  So come back later to check it out!


Our First Marty McGuire Skype

This week began the Global Read Aloud.  Our class is participating by reading the book, Marty McGuire, written by Kate Messner.  Hundreds of other elementary students around the world are also reading Marty McGuire during the month of October!

Before we began the book we watched the book trailer and made some predictions.

After we finished the first 2 chapters we Skyped with Mrs. Wider’s class from Gig Harbor Academy in Washington State.

We Skyped with 2nd and third graders. They are from Gig Harbor, Washington.  It is near the big city of Seattle.  We learned that Seattle has a famous landmark called the Space Needle.



What did you think of the first 2 chapters of Marty McGuire?

What was your favorite part of our Skype with Mrs. Wider’s class? 

Read for the Record with Otis

Today we joined millions of children and adults and celebrated Read for the Record by reading the book, Otis by Loren Long.  Afterwards we watched videos of Loren discussing Otis, his books and artwork.  We used watercolors to try and paint in the same style as Loren Long.  We painted our own versions of Otis, the tractor.

Books can teach us important life lessons.  Here’s some life lessons that we think Otis taught us;

  • the importance of friendship
  • old people, animals and other things are still valuable
  • heroism – anyone can be a hero (Mrs. Rosenquist is very proud that a second grader used the word, heroism!)


Have you read any of the Otis books?

Did you participate in Read for the Record?