It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/2/2020 #imwayr

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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 to share what you’ve been reading!

49360778I posted last week’s #imwayr post a few days late, so I wanted to mention that I reviewed The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner. You can learn more about that new middle grade historical fiction series RIGHT HERE in case it is new to you.

This week I decided to have some fun reading different Why? picture books I rounded up from our local libraries. I’m also reviewing Help Wanted, Must Love Books by Janet Sumner Johnson and Courtney Dawson, which is being published TODAY. In any case, whether it’s a new book or an older title, I hope you find something to add to your reading list.


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Help Wanted, Must Love Books
Janet Sumner Johnson
Courtney Dawson, illustrator
March 2, 2020
Capstone

Young Shailey is in a rough situation. Her bedtime story reader is not working out, so she fires him. That is, she fires her dad! She creates a sign for the position and a number of fairytale characters apply, but none of them are quite what she needs. In the end, Shailey is in for a big surprise when the final applicant shows up and ends up being perfect for the job. In the end, we’re all reminded of the importance of prioritizing those we love and showing up when it matters most.

At the conclusion of the story, there are a couple pages of ADORABLE resumes from Pinocchio, Robin Hood, Tinkerbell, and The Frog Prince. So make sure to keep turning the page to enjoy the details from each applicant. This will be such a great book to read with your youngster at bedtime!

The sweet, soft artwork showcases many pastels and I loved exploring the details in each illustration. The page spread, below, comes from the ARC, so it may be altered in the final print. But I hoped to provide an example of the adorable art you can expect:

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Thank you NetGalley and Capstone for sending me an advanced copy so I could provide an honest review.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Beginners Welcome
Cindy Baldwin
February 11, 2020
Quill Tree Books

This is such a beautiful, heart strings book full of love, loss, vulnerability, and friendship. Annie Lee’s daddy died just a few months ago. He was never a planner because he lived in the moment. So Annie and her mother are left with only a tiny insurance policy while they can barely make ends meet. Annie Lee makes a new friend at school and their friendship blossoms into something quite beautiful. Annie begins sneaking away to the mall across town to take private piano lessons with an elderly gentleman willing to teach for free. But as so often is the case, secrets can damage so many people in their wake. I love that this story shares so much heartache, but also offers much-needed resolution. Just lovely!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Things You Save in a Fire
Katherine Center
August 13, 2019
St. Martin’s Press

It was nice to squeeze some adult literature into my reading week with Things You Save in a Fire. The story was fast-paced and a nice mixture of firehouse and fire fighting information, facing past abuse, mother-daughter bonding, feminism, and yes, even romance. I enjoyed this one enough that I immediately put a hold on How to Walk Away.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Why?
Adam Rex
Claire Keane, illustrator
October 1, 2019
Chronicle Books

In this story, a little girl helps a super villain uncover the root to his problems with one simple word: Why? Parts of this one are hysterical as we discover the villain has daddy issues. The book ends with a cute twist where the main character finally says something other than “Why?”

The illustrations were created digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Why-Adam-Rex-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Why?
Laura Vaccaro Seeger
August 13, 2019
Neal Porter Books

This is a sweet little picture book with bear and rabbit. Rabbit is full of “why?” questions and bear attempts to answer every one. Until one time when he says “I don’t know why. Sometimes I just don’t know why!” Children can look at each illustration and attempt to figure out what rabbit’s complete question would have been. Such a precious story with heart warming artwork.

The illustrations in this book were made using watercolors. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Why-Laura-Seeger-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Why?
Richard Torrey
April 27, 2010
Balzer + Bray

This picture book has a mixture of happy, sad, and hilarious situations where a younger brother persists with so many “why?” questions. “Why do feet stink?” “Why doesn’t hair hurt when you cut it?” One of my favorite pages is where he asks “Why is it always your turn?” when it’s an illustration of his brother getting to use the TV remote. But on the mirror page he asks, “Why is it always my turn?” when the illustration shows him having to take the trash out. Very cute picture book and I really love the expressive pictures in this one.

I’ll provide one page spread as an example of the artwork in this picture book:

Why-Richard-Torrey-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Why?
Lindsay Camp
Tony Ross, illustrator
January 1, 1998
Putnam Juvenile

This picture book flips back and forth between narrative prose and graphic novel squares with speech bubbles. Young Lily asks “Why?” to almost everything that happens with her father. It’s incredibly annoying, but he continues to answer her every question. Then one day a space ship lands while they’re playing at the park and Lily successfully convinces the Thargon aliens that their plans to destroy earth is not in everyone’s best interest. She does this with one simple word: Why? With humorous crayon-like artwork, the funny little story ends with her father better appreciating his daughter’s curious nature.

I don’t think it was quite as common to share how picture book artwork was created back in the 90s, so I can’t be sure if it was drawn with crayons or just made to look like it. In any case, I’ll share one page spread as an example of what to expect, below:

Why-Lindsay-Camp-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

I’m still re-reading Scar Island aloud to my children (a good follow-up to Holes with unique boys’ detention centers). I also just got a copy of the picture book Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler to read this week. And as I mentioned last week, for the foreseeable future I will be reading and reviewing some adolescent/teen books my husband and I recently purchased to discuss with our teenagers in 2020. These books cover a wide span of topics ranging from social media to sex. I’m beginning with Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. I also hope to finish New Kid by Jerry Craft. I’m really enjoying it, so far!

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Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 63/200


14 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/2/2020 #imwayr

    1. It was fun getting my hands on all of them and comparing/contrasting the stories. I had one more, but it ended up not really being a picture book so I sent it back. Hope you enjoy them, Clare!

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    1. Yeah, I don’t get to read a ton of adult lit. I liked that, while this had romance in it, it wasn’t solely focused on that. It showcased all the issues women experience in a male-led career. Thanks for letting me know how much you liked How to Walk Away, Lisa! Now I’m really looking forward to it coming in! 🙂

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  1. Wow! So many “Why?” books, perhaps should be followed by “Just Because” – tehe! I noted the chapter books, Shaye, all new to me & they sound nice. Our list grows longer and longer, doesn’t it? Have a lovely reading week!

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    1. I agree on the “because” books — I’ve been thinking of some I’d love to include if I do this, again. And YES — that list just keeps growing and growing, Linda. This community really keeps me on my toes. ❤

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  2. Help Wanted, Must Love Books sounds adorable and perfect for story time with my daughter. Oh, and you reminded me that I have Things You Save in a Fire sitting on my shelf. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I wasn’t sure what to expect with Things You Save in a Fire. But I appreciated the discussions and examples of what women experience when in a career that is dominated by men. Lots to think about there. Hope you enjoy it, Wendi!

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  3. Help Wanted, Must Love Books looks hilarious! I’m looking forward to finding a copy of it. I read Why? by Adam Rex at the school I was at today. It is just brilliant!
    I am becoming more and more interested in reading adult fiction. It’s satisfying on an entirely different level than MG or YA. (I don’t think I’ll ever give up reading those though)

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    1. Oh, totally agree on never giving up MGlit or YAlit, Cheriee! But I feel a different sort of satisfaction when I get into a good adult literature story. The complexities are richer and the resolution usually more developed and less rushed (although there are some adult lit books that completely disappoint). But I still love the innocence and lesser complication in books written for younger audiences. Thanks so much for dropping by!

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  4. I enjoyed all of your Why books this week. They reminded me of Just Because, a book I listened to this week. I have a copy of Beginner’s Welcome on the way at some point and am looking forward to it following your review. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. It would be so fun to round up all of the “because” books and do a similar comparison. I just did this on a whim, though — I was already having to I.L.L. the latest “why” book and so I ordered four more. One ended up being a children’s chapter book, though, so I didn’t include it. I hope you enjoy Beginner’s Welcome, Aaron!

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  5. Must Love Books was very cute! I loved the bright illustrations.
    I need to find the Why? book. It looks fun and I’ve missed that one!

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  6. I really enjoyed Beginners Welcome. My heart hurt for Annie Lee and her mom but they both grew a lot in the book when they began to trust others and rely on each other. New Kid is one of my favorite books and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.

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