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!
What a wild week between toilet paper outages, business closings, schools canceling face-to-face classes, all sorts of online conversations over what to do and what misinformation is running wild, and, oh yeah, we also had a surprise snow storm (and another one on the way). As we collectively attempt to flatten the curve of this pandemic, I’m having to make myself take lengthy breaks from social media and COVID-19 tracking apps every so often just to sit and “be” with my family. We’ve been nestled in here at home with our five kiddos over the weekend, enjoying good food, movies, and books, but now that it’s Monday, hubby and my oldest have to continue going to work (hubby as a college administrator and our oldest daughter as a server/host at a restaurant). So I’m grateful, today, to have the #imwayr link-up so I can stay blissfully distracted, catching up with everyone’s weekly reading!
By the way, If you’re looking for extra non-book home activities to do with restless children this month, there’s a very long (and still growing) list of virtual museums, virtual e-learning, and various online collections at http://mcn.edu/a-guide-to-virtual-museum-resources.
Thank you for visiting, today! Whether it’s an older or a newer title, I hope you can find something to add to your reading list. 🙂
A Home for Goddesses and Dogs
February 25, 2020
Katherine Tegen Books
This story was quite amazing. I wish I had better words, but it just completely caught me by surprise. I checked it out on a whim (it was not on my TBR list) and even with a surprise snowstorm and coronavirus and schools and businesses being closed down, I felt like I was cozied up in a soft, warm blanket of love by the time I finished. So much devastating loss, but then healing and bonding and love and strength by the end. Thirteen-year-old Lydia was extremely close to her mom before her death. Now she has to come to terms with moving in with her Aunt Brat, her wife, Eileen, and Elloroy, the elderly gentleman who owns the home they’ll be living in. This unusual family hits a few bumps along the way, but there’s so much they face and grow through, together. And if you have a soft place in your heart for dogs and other animals, then you will find yourself right at home with this story.
Note: I tend to judge books by their cover, without even realizing it. However, now that I’m on the other side of this story, I can definitely say I have a much deeper appreciation for the artwork on the front of the book.
January 3, 2017
This one was a re-read that I did with my five children over the last three weeks. And I dare say I enjoyed it even more the second time. Jonathan Grisby is sent to Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys for a crime we don’t learn much about until later in the story. In a freak accident, all adults are struck by lightning and the boys must navigate life on their own, unexpectedly. It gets dark and scarier and it was honestly hard for me to stop reading it to the kids, every day. I love the goodness of Jonathan as he attempts to punish himself for things he cannot change. And by the end, we can all empathize more with the biggest bully of the group. While catalogued as a middle grade novel, there’s harsher language than I’m accustomed to for this level (damn it, pissed off, hell, etc.) as well as violence and frightening bullying. But I had fun narrating all the voices and my kids really seemed to enjoy it. At the end, my oldest asked if I owned any of Gemeinhart’s other books, so I handed off The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise to her. 🙂
Now to decide on a new read aloud. So many choices. I’m leaning toward The Giver, but hoping it’s not too scary for my 9 and 5 year old. It’s been so long since I last read it, so I’m not certain. Anyway, feel free to suggest a new read aloud for my whole gang, in the comments.
Corey R. Tabor
February 4, 2020
Balzer + Bray
This super cute picture book is about a snail who is determined, but also kind. While he has his eye set on the cabbages across the road, he takes time to entertain guests. And you just never know when humbleness and kindness will pay off.
The artist used pencil, watercolor, colored pencil, and ink, assembled digitally, to create the illustrations in this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Julia Woolf, illustrator
December 10, 2019
Katherine Tegen Books
What an adorable book, featuring a Chinese American family who loves to snuggle. With rhyming text, we see all the ways they choose to hug one another, including with their extended family. The final page is of them snuggled up in bed — the perfect story to read before bedtime.
The artist used ArtPrint printers ink by Seawhite of Brighton and Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Everybody Says Meow
November 5, 2019
This hilarious picture book features cats who just KNOW that everyone is supposed to say “Meow.” But it doesn’t take long before they realize that not everyone knows the rules. And some rules are meant to be bent. Nevertheless, just wait for the twist ending where everyone is a bit surprised!
The artist used pen, ink, and watercolor to create the illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Frank and Bean
Bob Kolar, illustrator
October 8, 2019
In this early chapter book, we meet Frank (hot dog) who is the calmer character of the two, but will be heard yelling, “Good gravy!” on certain occasions. Bean is rambunctious and completely unpredictable. And together, this duo is quite a funny match. I liked that the book ended with them heading off to sleep. Yet another good book to read at bed time. I’m assuming this is going to be a series, but I didn’t verify this. If you happen to know, please mention it in the comments.
The illustrations for this book were created digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
September 24, 2019
Neal Porter Books
This nonfiction picture book features rhyming text with pronunciation keys for difficult dinosaur names. The story takes us through their life on earth, their death, then follows with what we believe to be their descendants, today: flamingos, parakeets, chickens, and so many different types of birds. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and will keep young children engaged as the text is read aloud. This would be a great addition to any classroom study of dinosaurs!
The artwork for this book was made with transparent watercolor on watercolor paper. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
July 23, 2019
Viking Books for Young Readers
Awww. A young child is so excited to have a bot. But then his bot floats up and gets stuck in what appears to be a large apartment building. Everyone has a plan for getting the bot back down, but ultimately it’s a simple trick of distractions. There’s a funny little surprise ending, too! The cheery, colorful illustrations are bright and inviting, however, I could not find out how they were created. I’ll provide one page spread as an example of what to expect, below:
To Be Read:
I’m currently listening to 96 Miles by J.L. Esplin, still reading Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein, and I also may try to squeeze in Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, since my daughter really wants us to watch the movie, which was just released on Disney Plus last Friday.
Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 80/200