It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/20/2018 #imwayr


Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday!

We had a wonderful trip to Texas, taking care of my mom after her knee replacement surgery. She’s healing up beautifully, so I’m relieved. I traveled with my oldest and youngest this time, so I’ll share a picture of us all together the day we arrived and some photos my mom asked me to take of my girls while we were there (our three boys stayed home with their daddy).

Today is the first day of school at the college. My oldest is 14 and will be taking her very first face-to-face college coursework this semester. At least she’s attending the same college where hubby and I teach — I’m glad we’ll all still be in close proximity. WHEW! So… on to my reading for the week. I didn’t get to visit and comment on all participants’ blogs last week (due to travel), but hopefully I can make the usual rounds this week.

Frida-Kahlo-and-her-AnimalitosFrida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
Monica Brown
John Parra, illustrator
September 5, 2017
NorthSouth Books
Children’s Picture Book

I picked this up from our college library. It seems I’ve been seeing a lot of books on Frida Kahlo, but I missed this one from this past year. This picture book focuses mostly on Frida Kahlo’s childhood and teenage years, but hits a little bit on her adulthood, too. We learn all about her favorite animals (dogs, cat, turkeys, monkeys, and even a fawn) and how they kept her company. She also liked to included them in her paintings. This book showcases the feisty part of Frida’s personality and is sure to interest children who march to the beat of their own drum. The book includes a lengthy “author’s note” at the end providing more details about Frida’s life and accomplishments. The notes do not specify how the artwork was completed in this book, but it’s worth mentioning that it took the Pura Belpre Award for illustrator for 2018. 🙂 I’ll provide one spread, below:

What-Can-you-Do-with-a-RebozoWhat Can You Do With a Rebozo?
Carmen Taffeta
Amy Cordova, illustrator
April 1, 2008
Tricycle Press, Crown Publishing Group,
Random House, Inc.

This is an older picture book I’ve read before, but I was drawn back to it this week. I’ve mentioned, in the past, that I’ve worked in the birthing world with midwifery, doulas, and other obstetrical staff (and even home birthed my last three babies after my first two were born via cesarean). Well, MY first introduction to the rebozo wasn’t even mentioned in this book — they are used a great deal in pre-labor, labor, and delivery. They cradle the baby belly, gently rock the baby into a good birthing position, and then help momma move and relax as she births her baby. One of my birth colleagues from Texas, Gena Garcia-Kirby, carefully crafts these beautiful woven shawls and puts on entire workshops demonstrating how to use them. So yes, I was personally drawn to this book and enjoyed seeing all the other practical AND creative ways a robozo is used. The colorful artwork was created with acrylic paint on paper. NOTE: This book won a 2009 Pura Belpre Illustration Honor.

Its-Not-JackIt’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk
Josh Funk
Edwardian Taylor, illustrator
September 19, 2017
Publisher: Two Lions
Children’s Picture Book

This is a really cute fractured fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack realizes what’s happening with his story, so he takes over and re-writes the tale. While the narrator might be frustrated, young readers are sure to enjoy hearing Jack’s and the giant’s take on how things are supposed to turn out. Here’s one cute page-spread from the story:
Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 6.34.43 PM

To Be Read:

I’m finishing Reaper this week and I would like to at least get started on Benefits of Being an Octopus. YAY!

Have a WONDERFUL reading week, everyone!

27 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/20/2018 #imwayr

    1. Thanks so much! I’m pretty excited about Octopus. Sounds like some difficult subject matter, but if it’s as good as I’ve heard then I’ll really enjoy it. Thanks for visiting, Lisa!


  1. I enjoyed the story about Frida Kahlo very much, knew very little of her early life until reading it. I don’t know about the Rebozo, and love hearing about it, Shaye & your own experience with it, too. Josh Funk makes great books, such fun to read aloud especially. Thanks, and happy reading this busy week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was great reading this week–great picture books! And on the rebozo, I would LOVE to own one some day. But the high quality ones are also pricey. Maybe I’ll be able to support my friend’s business some day and pick out a couple to keep here at home. They’re so useful! Thanks so much for dropping by, Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard of Benefits of Being an Octopus, but I love that title! I was a bit meh on the Frida Kahlo title (though I loved the illustrations–John Parra is one of my favorite illustrators). Can’t believe the semester starts today! I still have soooo much to do!! (Which is why I’m here commenting on reading posts!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you — HOW IN THE WORLD is this the start of the semester?! Also, it was 42 degrees when Lee left for work, this morning. Brrrr! Then I was locked out of my classroom, this morning, with students piling up (they’re ordering me a set of keys, thank goodness). OH, then the projector wouldn’t work. Ahhhh, the lovely first day of school issues. Oh well, it’ll all work out in time. I’m excited about Octopus, so I hope it lives up to the hype. See you around campus, friend! ❤


  3. I loved Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos – I thought it was very inspiring that this artist used her circumstances and her special relationship with her animals to inspire her art. Definitely a great book to inspire a growth mindset. Glad you had a nice trip and visit with your mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She must have been extremely close to her various pets (especially after all the time she spent alone during illness). It’s really neat that this book focused on that aspect of her childhood!


  4. Thanks for the heads up about Benefits of Being an Octopus. It looks like the kind of book I love to read so I’ve added it to my list. I also want to read What Can You Do With a Rebozo? since I’ve never even heard of such a thing before!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard so many good things about Octopus, so I’d be surprised if it lets me down. LOL The rebozo is an important piece of equipment in Mexico, but it’s popularity is slowly spreading further north. A number of my acquaintances now own at least one, so I think it’s special to have an entire book devoted to this household item. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by, Cheriee!


  5. I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts on OCTOPUS! I think it’s a good reminder that we never know everything our students come to us are dealing with at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My second grade sponsored #classroombookaday class voted Jack the most humorous story we read aloud all year. I can’t wait for your review of Octopus. It is a book that stays with you long after reading. Have a great week Shaye!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how neat to be voted as most humorous!! And you weren’t kidding about Octopus. I’m not quite 1/4 in and I’m already feeling it. Zoey’s living experiences, at least to this point in the book, remind me so much of one of my very best friends from middle school. I always just thought of her as my dear friend, but little did I understand of her life until we had been friends for a while. Thank you for visiting, Laura!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have been hoping to get a copy of Octopus soon, it looks great! I am also a big fan of Josh Funk picture books. I am looking forward to his third Lady Pancake book next month and later in 2019 It’s Not Hansel and Gretl. You had some great books this week, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That poor giant NEVER had to die — it’s about time Jack wised up and took over at the wheel. LOL I hope you enjoy Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos. Thanks for visiting, Ricki!!


  8. So glad your trip went well and your mom is doing well, too. Your daughters are beautiful! Your 14-year old is taking a college course?? Wow, that is quite advanced!

    Enjoy your books this week (oops – the week is almost over – I’m a bit behind – family stuff here, too – my niece was visiting).


    Book By Book

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were only gone a week, but it was such an important trip for my mom’s healing! I’m glad we went. Thank you for the sweet comment. My oldest is very mature. She’s been home educated her whole life, so she has friends of all ages and apparently knows no bounds in her educational goals. LOL I’m just glad she has the confidence to say, “I think I’m ready to start taking college classes. Sign me up!” Students typically have 7 years to finish a degree, so there’s no harm in starting little early. Thank you for dropping by, Sue. I sure hope you’ll be hosting the Big Book Challenge every summer!


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