Friday, May 26, 2017

Baked 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese {gluten free}

Baked 3 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese- easily gluten free using everyday ingredients. Kid friendly dinner and loved by adults. Everyone loves this homemade comfort food.  Amazing easy to make recipe in under an hour.  Vegetarian, gluten free, simple. Weeknight meal. Fast. Family meal at its best. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

In January my doctor informed me that I needed to go strictly gluten free.  It is inconvenient at times, especially when traveling.  However, to be honest it has been a good challenge.  I have to learn how to easily make my family's favorites gluten free.  I eat a lot of veggies and green smoothies.  I've mastered this GF Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, and now I have delicious Mac and Cheese comfort food.  I can totally do this, and you can go GF too if you have to. 

My kiddos, like 99% of the kids in this world (clearly that statistic is completely made up), love Macaroni and Cheese.  I also haven't met an adult who doesn't love a good homemade Mac and Cheese dish.   

This Baked 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese is Gluten Free using normal (no gluten free flour used) ingredients, and it is oh so delicious.  Delicious to kids, yet equally pleasing to grown-ups.  Win-win!  

Baked 3 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese- easily gluten free using everyday ingredients. Kid friendly dinner and loved by adults. Everyone loves this homemade comfort food.  Amazing easy to make recipe in under an hour.  Vegetarian, gluten free, simple. Weeknight meal. Fast. Family meal at its best. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

If you have a gluten free friend, give this homemade comfort food recipe a go.  You all will love it! 

Baked 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese- Gluten Free
Recipe: Alohamora
Active Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes
Servings: about 8

Ingredients: 
1 pkg (8oz) quinoa pasta
4 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. onion, diced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
salt/pepper
dash cayenne 
1 1/2 c. milk 
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c. white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c. crushed Rice Chex

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and pull out a 2 quart baking dish. 
  2. In a medium pot cook the quinoa pasta according to the directions on the box.  I prefer quinoa pasta over corn, rice, or bean pasta for my gluten free option.  You can find this quinoa pasta at any grocery store.  Cook the pasta, rinse and drain it, and pour it into the baking dish you have set aside. 
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter with the garlic and onion. 
  4. When the butter is melted at the spices and stir for 30 seconds or just until flavorful. 
  5. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and bring the milk to a boil.  Simmer it for 3-5 minutes. 
  6. In a small bowl stir the remaining half a cup of milk and the cornstarch together.  Add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir it in.  Stir the sauce for 8-10 minutes letting it simmer and thicken. 
  7. When sauce is thickened turn off the heat, add the cheese to the pan, and stir until the cheese is melted and combined.  
  8. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to combine everything. 
  9. Evenly top the mac and cheese casserole with hand crushed Rice Chex
  10. Bake the mac and cheese at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. 
  11. Serve hot and enjoy! 
  12. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Happy Easily Gluten Free Baked 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese Eating! 

    

Monday, May 22, 2017

High School Graduate DIY Survival Kit {diy, craft, gift}

HIgh School Graduate DIY Survival Kit full of Life Lessons ever kid (going to college or not) needs to know. Craft. Inexpensive gift. Lesson. Church. Teacher. Alohamora Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

In college I learned I could get by on $30 a month for groceries.  In college I learned I could work more, study more, and have more fun with friends than I thought possible.  In college I learned that I should think before acting b/c the consequences can be painful and long lasting.  In college I learned that even the hardest classes still only last 4 months and you just have to hang on.  

College, and those early working years as an elementary school teacher, provided a lot of lessons learned.  I loved those years of learning more about myself and what I was capable of.  I truly hope the high school kids I interact with at school or at church can make fewer mistakes than I did and learn who they are and what they are capable of. 


HIgh School Graduate DIY Survival Kit full of Life Lessons ever kid (going to college or not) needs to know. Craft. Inexpensive gift. Lesson. Church. Teacher. Alohamora Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

When I was 17 I had a teacher at church that gave me this small Survival Kit.  It was similar to the kit shown above.  I don't remember all the items and lessons those items taught, but I remember looking back at the survival kit for many years after I received it.  

I teach junior and seniors in high school at church.  Many of the kids are graduating this week, and moving onto bigger and better things.  I gave them my version of a High School Graduate Survival Kit.  I also gave a little info or story to go with why that lesson is important to surviving the storms of life.  


HIgh School Graduate DIY Survival Kit full of Life Lessons ever kid (going to college or not) needs to know. Craft. Inexpensive gift. Lesson. Church. Teacher. Alohamora Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

When I scoured Pinterest I found some okay ideas for Survival Kits, but nothing I felt was really good to go like I was hoping.  Therefore, I made what I consider to be the best survival kit for high school graduates moving onto the next phase.  This kit has some candy and all of the items are easy to find and not expensive.  This kit has some fun reminders as well as deep and meaningful lessons.  I'm telling you, this kit has it all and it is good to go.    

You can print off the bag label/descriptions here; it is a document you can edit if there is something you want to remove, add, or edit.  

In regards to the Survival Kit, I placed all of the items in a sandwich bag, and handed a bag to each of the kids as we had a great lesson.

May this Survival Kit be helpful, and may it make your life a little easier b/c it is already done.  

Happy Do It Yourself Survival Kit Making and Teenage Influencing!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Small Great Things gets 4.5 Stars {adult contemporary fiction}

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is an adult contemporary fiction aka realistic fiction about racism and white privilege. It's a great eye opening book, page turner, fast read earning 4.5 out of 5 Stars in my book review.  Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

"I'm not racist." or "I don't see color." is a phrase many say, even I have said it before.  What I didn't understand before reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was that I was awarded certain privileges b/c I am white.

I appreciated the way Picoult wrote about racism and this sensitive topic.  I appreciate the fact that she didn't try to write as if she understood what it was like to be black.  Instead she allowed the reader to have their eyes opened about white privileges along side Kennedy, the white lawyer for Ruth.  

This page turner received 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.  This book is fabulous.  The story keeps you thinking, grabs your emotionally, and not only entertains but enlightens and inspires.  "We may not all be able to do great things, but we can do small things in a great way." 

I loved the character development both Ruth and Kennedy experienced throughout the story.  These two main characters grew and became not only stronger but a better version of themselves.  I loved how strong both of the women characters were and became. 

To be honest, I didn't realize how much hate white supremacists have for blacks; I was definitely naive in this area.  I didn't realize people could hate another so much without even knowing them, but strictly on their beliefs or color of skin.  I didn't realize the privileges that come with being white; privileges like not be followed in a store, or having my bag checked when I leave a store.  In some ways I felt Small Great Things was a Racism 101 class.  It is definitely a tough subject to write about, but Picoult wrote it like a champion.  

Small Great Things lost half a star b/c there were a few parts of the story that were unrealistic.  There was a surprising twist near the end that allowed the story to work out far too perfectly.  As well as that perfect twist, the ending had far too much of a Happily Ever After to really make this book seem unrealistic in major parts.

Overall, Small Great Things is a fantastic book, and Picoult again delivers another great read.  I have really enjoyed most of the Jodi Picoult books I've read.  If you are like me, then check out these reviews, this book, and this one was unique; definitely check out this book list for Picoult fans as well.   

Amazon has the following book description just to give you a little more background of the story: 

"Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game."

Happy Eyeopening Adult Contemporary Fiction reading! 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Best For: Adults, Young Adults and College Students
Worth a Check Out: Yes!
Buy It or Not: I say no, but if you are an avid Picoult fan you probably already own it.
Read Aloud: Not so much, unless you are a high school English teacher, or want to discuss a sensititve topic with you teenage kiddo.
Lesson Ideas: Racial Awareness, Racism, White Privilege, 









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SPOILER ALERT
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Seriously, did you see Brittany being half black? OMG!




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

They All Saw a Cat gets 5 Stars {picture book, caldecott honor}

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel is a fantastic book with beautiful pictures and a great simple story with lots of repetition and attention to detail.  


They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

They All Saw a Cat won a Caldecott Honor this year b/c the illustrations in this book are fantastic and not only enhance the story, but the pictures are critical in telling the story.  

I even love the detail of cat fur found on the endpapers shown above.  I have a special place in my heart for endpapers that enhance the story. 
         
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

This picture book, They All Saw a Cat, that is all about perspective gets 5 out of 5 stars in my book review.  

I love the way Wenzel tells the story of the cat and how others see this cat.  This concept of perspective that is so well illustrated in a book that I find to be creative, fun, and simple enough even toddlers will enjoy.  However, you can dive into deeper ideas with older kids and adults, such as how others see us and how we see ourselves.  A story that is creative, simple and to the point, and can be enjoyed by such a wide range of ages are just a few of the reasons this book won the coveted 5 star rating from me.  

What did you think of They All Saw a Cat


They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

They All Saw a Cat is an awesome picture book, and it would make a great read aloud for preschool to a 2nd grade classroom, but it would also make a great read aloud book for an art teacher discussing perspective, or a writing lesson on how we perceive things can change the story.

This story has a lot of potential for lessons and read aloud fun for many ages.  It's definitely a keeper, and a good book to purchase if you will use it in classroom lessons.   

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Please tell me you enjoyed the different pictures I've included.  There are so many other awesome ones in the book too that I had a hard time narrowing down which ones to share with you.  In the picture above, I love how the mouse sees the cat as a villain so the colors are red, bold, and scary looking. I love the way the bee sees the cat illustrated in the picture below.  

All in all, I think Brendan Wenzel did a great job as a first time author and illustrator.  


They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Goodreads (I'm Megan - Alohamora Open a Book if you want to be friends, I'm really trying to be more active on there) had the following book description: 

"The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .In this celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many views of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?"


They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel gets 5 out of 5 stars for this Caldecott Honor book about a cat, perspective, and how ones see themself verse how others see us. Great fun read aloud with a simple repetitious story. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Happy Simple, Fun, and Repetitious Caldecott Honor Cat Loving Picture Book reading! 

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Rating: 5/5 stars
Best For: 2-6 year old, toddler through 1st grade
Worth a Check Out: Yes!
Buy It or Not: If you teach or love American history then definitely yes.
Read Aloud: Yes! Fun simple story for young kids, and lovely concept for older.
Lesson Ideas:  Perspective, Repetition, Art, Writing, and How others see us verse how we see ourselves. 



Monday, May 15, 2017

Leave Me Alone! gets 4.5 stars {picture book, caldecott honor}

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for this creative, fun, and definitely a little weird sci-fi like Caldecott Honor picture book.  Best for Kindergarten through 3rd grade with repetitious phrases.  Martians, wormholes, knitting. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Worm holes, knitting, and a grandma that wants to be able to give sweaters to her grandkids basically sums up this unexpected and fun picture book.  


Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for this creative, fun, and definitely a little weird sci-fi like Caldecott Honor picture book.  Best for Kindergarten through 3rd grade with repetitious phrases.  Martians, wormholes, knitting. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Clearly, this Grandma is not getting any time to herself to knit.  I know my kids swarm grandma anytime they see her, but this grandma goes to some unexpected places for a little peace and quiet. 
   
Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for this creative, fun, and definitely a little weird sci-fi like Caldecott Honor picture book.  Best for Kindergarten through 3rd grade with repetitious phrases.  Martians, wormholes, knitting. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book review of this Caldecott Honor book.  A Caldecott an award given for the book with the best illustrations.

Leave Me Alone! has beautiful pictures, and the story is definitely fun and unique.  To be honest, I don' think I have ever read a book about knitting that included martians and a wormhole.  It's fun and definitely unexpected, with a repetitious phrase, "Leave me alone!" that young kids will enjoy participating in while you read aloud this fun book.     
  
Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for this creative, fun, and definitely a little weird sci-fi like Caldecott Honor picture book.  Best for Kindergarten through 3rd grade with repetitious phrases.  Martians, wormholes, knitting. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

The illustrations in this story truly make this story fantastic.  I love the pictures, and Brosgol deserves this high award.

The main reason I have taken off a half a star is b/c the martians and the wormhole is just a little to weird.  The book is great for younger ages with the repetitious phrase, but the concept of wormholes is above their heads.  Overall, it is a fun book with a concept that is out there.  


Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for this creative, fun, and definitely a little weird sci-fi like Caldecott Honor picture book.  Best for Kindergarten through 3rd grade with repetitious phrases.  Martians, wormholes, knitting. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Amazon has the following book review from School Library Journal: 

"Brosgol incorporates folktale elements in her amusing story of an old woman in search of a quiet place to knit. Fleeing her too small house overrun with too many energetic grandchildren, she packs her needles and yarn and heads for the mountains. Unfortunately, she can't find an undisturbed spot. Hungry bears, curious mountain goats, and little green moon-men provoke her to shout: "Leave me alone!" Climbing through a wormhole, she discovers a dark and quiet place to complete 30 little sweaters. Then she crawls through a wormhole that leads to her house, where 30 grandchildren rush to meet her. Peasant clothing, wooden houses, and village scenes create a setting reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm or of Fiddler on the Roof. The humorous illustrations depict the determined woman knitting in improbable circumstances as she climbs ever higher. A huge bear looms above her, curious "about what she might taste like." Mountain goats frolic with balls of yarn they consider tasty snacks. Green creatures investigate the woman with handheld scanners while she sits on a chair-shaped moon rock. Brosgol is a master of facial expressions, using eyes, mouth, and forehead lines to indicate the old woman's thoughts and emotions. VERDICT This offbeat tale will please readers who appreciate subtle humor, especially those who crave some time alone. A good choice for collections needing to bolster their supply of humorous titles."


Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for this creative, fun, and definitely a little weird sci-fi like Caldecott Honor picture book.  Best for Kindergarten through 3rd grade with repetitious phrases.  Martians, wormholes, knitting. Alohamora Open a Book https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/


Happy Unexpected Caldecott Honor Picture Book reading! 

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Best For: 5-8, Kindergarten to 3rd grade.
Worth a Check Out: Yes!
Buy It or Not: If you know a knitter than it's a worthy purchase.
Read Aloud: Fun, random, and unexpected, with a repetitious phrase.
Lesson Ideas: Concept of wormholes. 



Monday, May 8, 2017

Freedom in Congo Square gets 5 Stars {picture book, caldecott honor}

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie won the Caldecott Honor for this amazing historical fiction picture book.  A book about the slaves in New Orleans that were allowed to meet in Congo Square every Sunday to celebrate them.  Simple, rhythmic, rhyming, historical, powerful. Alohamroa Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

Simple yet deep.  Informative yet entertaining.  Unexpected yet enjoyed.  

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie won a Caldecott Honor for this fantastic picture book.


Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie won the Caldecott Honor for this amazing historical fiction picture book.  A book about the slaves in New Orleans that were allowed to meet in Congo Square every Sunday to celebrate them.  Simple, rhythmic, rhyming, historical, powerful. Alohamroa Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

I give Freedom in Congo Square 5 out of 5 stars.  This picture book is fantastic.  I love the simplicity, rhythm, rhyming, and the illustrations that take the book from great to a wow.  

With the simple text, rhyming words, and the beautiful rhythm of the words this book is enjoyed by the young, such as 1st through 3rd grade.  Though, the subject matter makes me say this book is powerful and incredibly useful in 5th through 8th grade classrooms, libraries, or homes where the kids are learning American history.  


Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie won the Caldecott Honor for this amazing historical fiction picture book.  A book about the slaves in New Orleans that were allowed to meet in Congo Square every Sunday to celebrate them.  Simple, rhythmic, rhyming, historical, powerful. Alohamroa Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

Kids aren't the only ones that will enjoy Freedom in Congo Square.  I found the book not only entertaining, but from the book and the author's note at the end I learned about how New Orleans and Louisiana were unique in giving slaves a day off on Sunday and allowing them to not only meet together, play African drums.  The meetings, dancing, and celebrations that went on on Sundays in Congo Square gave not only a sense of freedom, but was the beginning of Jazz.  I learned a ton from this fabulous book.  


Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie won the Caldecott Honor for this amazing historical fiction picture book.  A book about the slaves in New Orleans that were allowed to meet in Congo Square every Sunday to celebrate them.  Simple, rhythmic, rhyming, historical, powerful. Alohamroa Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

Amazon has the following book review from School Library Journal: 

"This vibrant picture book examines Congo Square in New Orleans. A foreword and author's note explain how, historically, slaves in Louisiana were allowed Sunday afternoons off. This custom continued after the territory joined the United States, although in time, New Orleans established one location for all slaves to gather: an area that became known as Congo Square. This unique practice helped enslaved and free Africans maintain cultural traditions. The impact was felt far beyond New Orleans as musicians, dancers, and singers developed, explored, and shared rhythms that eventually grew into jazz music. The text is realistic but child appropriate. Couplets count down the days to Sunday in a conversational tone ("Slavery was no ways fair./Six more days to Congo Square."). The writing is accompanied by folk art-style illustrations, with paint applied in thick layers. Some images, such as faces, are more detailed, while others are presented as silhouettes. Collage with painted elements is incorporated on occasion. The architecture portrayed evokes the New Orleans setting. Bright colors suggest the exuberance displayed at Congo Square. Spreads where the slaves are finally able to sing, dance, and express emotion contrast effectively with the forced restraint of those depicting the work week. VERDICT Unique in its subject and artistic expression, this beautiful book belongs in most collections."

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie won the Caldecott Honor for this amazing historical fiction picture book.  A book about the slaves in New Orleans that were allowed to meet in Congo Square every Sunday to celebrate them.  Simple, rhythmic, rhyming, historical, powerful. Alohamroa Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

Happy Beautiful Historical Caldecott Honor Picture Book reading! 

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
Rating: 5/5 stars
Best For: 10 - 14 year olds, 5th through 8th grade (high school too)
Worth a Check Out: Yes!
Buy It or Not: If you teach or love American history then definitely yes.
Read Aloud: A beautiful and powerful read aloud.
Lesson Ideas: American history, slavery. Life of a Louisiana slave in the earlier 1800s. 



Monday, May 1, 2017

Du Iz Tak? gets 3.5 Stars {picture book, caldecott honor}

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis won a Caldecott Honor for this basically wordless picture book about bugs, nature, and a lot of imaginative fun in this quirky picture book. Book review gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/ writing, literacy development, writing your own version of the book, or tell your version of the book.

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis is one of four Caldecott Honor books, aka that means this book was a runner-up to the book with the best illustrations. 

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis won a Caldecott Honor for this basically wordless picture book about bugs, nature, and a lot of imaginative fun in this quirky picture book. Book review gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/ writing, literacy development, writing your own version of the book, or tell your version of the book.

To be honest, I think the illustrations in this book are great and unique in a quirky and fun way. 


Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis won a Caldecott Honor for this basically wordless picture book about bugs, nature, and a lot of imaginative fun in this quirky picture book. Book review gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/ writing, literacy development, writing your own version of the book, or tell your version of the book.

I give Du Iz Tak? 3.5 out of 5 stars. Basically, the story is imaginative and fun about bugs, plants, and the seasons.  Ellis wrote a made-up bug language to go with this book.  This book is basically a wordless picture book.  

Parents and teachers could use this book for early literacy development by letting their toddler or preschooler tell the story.  Older 2nd and 3rd grade teachers can use this book as a writing lesson by prompting the students to translate the words and/or write the story.  
   
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis won a Caldecott Honor for this basically wordless picture book about bugs, nature, and a lot of imaginative fun in this quirky picture book. Book review gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/ writing, literacy development, writing your own version of the book, or tell your version of the book.

I gave this book a very average rating.  There isn't anything jarringly wrong with the story, and I did like the pictures.  However, Du Iz Tak? didn't grab me; there was nothing about the story that made me want to buy it or keep it.  It's an okay book with cool illustrations and a quirky story, but that seems to be all.  

Am I off track with your thoughts?  What did you think? According to Goodreads there are a lot of people that absolutely adore the book.  If you are one who loved Du Iz Tak? I'd love to know why.  


Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis won a Caldecott Honor for this basically wordless picture book about bugs, nature, and a lot of imaginative fun in this quirky picture book. Book review gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/ writing, literacy development, writing your own version of the book, or tell your version of the book.

Even if I didn't think there was anything amazing about this book; I do think wordless books are fantastic and so very useful for young kids and for writing lessons with older kids (2nd through 4th grade).  Definitely give this quirky one a check out if you haven't yet. 

Happy Wordless/Invented Language Caldecott Honor Picture Book reading! 

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Best For: 2-7 year olds, toddler through 2nd grade
Worth a Check Out: Yes!
Buy It or Not: Not. It is not one for me.
Read Aloud: Not your typical read aloud, but it could be funny if done right.
Lesson Ideas: Literacy development- have the kids tell the story. Writing- have the kids translate the words, or write their own original text. A book about bugs, nature, seasons, and/or the life of a caterpillar.