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!
This current experience of COVID-19 is utterly surreal. I am concerned about several loved ones, near and far, but I understand they are doing everything possible to stay away from the public. Like most everyone else, we’re just reading tons of information online about this novel virus and keeping our family at home as much as possible. One thing is for sure, it will be very interesting to read future “historical fiction” books that include the COVID-19 experience as part of the story, won’t it?
While I know most of us have access to plenty of e-books and audiobooks, I would love to hear about any brick and mortar libraries in your area that are doing pick-up orders once a week or libraries that are delivering. It’s impressive how multiple businesses are finding new ways to serve the public while keeping a safe distance. I’m very grateful to my college library for continuing to let me order ILL print books from other libraries. I just got another batch of 35+ ordered a week ago and I was excited when a lot of them arrived a couple days ago. The library quarantines the books for just a few days and then we still sanitize them the moment they reach our home. All in all, it’s been a great borrowing experience and I’ve been able to catch up on some wonderful picture books I missed over the last couple years. Nevertheless, with the increasing need for social distancing, I realize this option may not last much longer.
Thank you so much for visiting, today. Whether it’s a new or older title, I hope you find something of interest to add to your TBR list. And if you link-up through the kidlit #imwayr community, I’ll be around to see what you’ve been reading very soon.
This book was so engaging — all about America’s space program and the aviators who set its course. There’s amazing focus on how difficult it was for women to be involved with NASA, but also so many personal details about various people who came in and out of the picture over the years. Also, I didn’t realize this until after I finished the book, but Mercury 13’s story is told in a recent Netflix documentary and a play based on Cobb’s life, “They Promised Her the Moon.” So I hope to check that out very soon!
The Only Black Girls in Town
March 10, 2020
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I absolutely loved this debut middle-grade novel about Alberta and Edie — the only black girls in town. Edie is new to town after her mother purchased a bed and breakfast. When Edie decides to make her bedroom in the attic of her new home, she and Alberta find a whole pile of journals left behind by someone who passed years ago. While reading through the journals, they both simultaneously experience racism in their community while coming to terms with who they can count on. This was such a pleasant surprise! I would classify it as a historical fiction novel because of the focus on black history, including specific mentions of Rosa Parks, Emmett Till, etc. It also had a Parker Inheritance feel because of the dual stories occurring between the past and the present. Highly recommend for the upper middle grade reader in your life!
(The Giver #1)
April 26, 1993
As I mentioned last week, this was a re-read because I wanted to share it with my five kiddos. All the kids stuck with it, respectfully listening and responding these last two weeks. However, I completely forgot the high vocabulary level of this book. Wow. I also forgot about the discussions of “stirrings,” which definitely became a family joke with my teens this month. LOL Anyway, we had wonderful discussions about sameness and how different governments throughout history have attempted to create sameness on various levels — some in very positive ways and some in highly questionable ways. Then we followed the conclusion of the book with watching the movie on Friday night.
AWARDS: Newbery Medal (1994), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children’s Literature (1994), Golden Duck Award for Young Adult (Hal Clement Award) (1994), Garden State Book Award for Teen Fiction Grades 6-8 (1996), Buckeye Children’s Book Award for Grade 6-8 (1997), Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (1995), Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award for Grade 6-9 (1995), Golden Sower Award for Young Adult (1995), Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award for Grades 3-8 (1995), Soaring Eagle Book Award Nominee (1996), Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader’s Choice Award for Senior (1996), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Nominee for Fiction (1993), New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award (1997), Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award (1997), William Allen White Children’s Book Award (1996), Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Nominee (1996), NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature Nominee (2013), Oklahoma Sequoyah Award for YA (1996), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (1996), Hea Lasteraamat (2010)
Froggy Builds a Snowman
Frank Remkiewicz, illustrator
January 7, 2020
Viking Books for Young Readers
Today is the Winter Carnival and Froggy is super excited as it’s his first time to attend. But once it begins, Froggy is doing everything out of order. Eventually he gets with the program and enjoys a full day of snowy fun with all his animal friends. The day ends on a very happy note, full of smiles. The artwork in this book was created with watercolor. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Snow Much Fun!
Sabina Gibson, illustrator
October 29, 2019
Balzer + Bray
What really makes this book so fun is the artwork. It was created with photos of fabric animals, so it the 3D feel will be enticing to children. Berry, Ginger, and Willow are off to enjoy a snow day. They have a wonderful day sledding, ice-skating, building a snowman, and even making cookies. The following day they hang garlands, go skiing, and play some hockey. But before the day is over, they look outside and see new flurries beginning to fall — tomorrow will be another snow day! The artwork in this book was created with a mix of handmade props and photography. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Hello Ninja (Netflix original)
N. D. Wilson
Forrest Dickison, illustrator
October 15, 2019 (orig. 2013)
With vivid greenery, an ocean of blue, fluffy white blizzards, and fancy castles with crowned cats, Ninjas are busy hopping, chopping, dancing, prancing, dodging, and spinning. But all good things must come to an end when Ninjas need a good night of sleep. The artwork in this book was created with photoshop. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Going Down Home With Daddy
Kelly Starling Lyons
Daniel Minter, illustrator
April 1, 2019
Peachtree Publishing Company
There’s no surprise that this book was a Caldecott Medal Nominee this past year. Stunning artwork will keep readers searching the page for context clues as the heartwarming text shares a story of the love of extended family. Reading this book is like being wrapped in a cozy-warm blanket as we read of road trips, hugs from Granny, an amazing dining room spread with so many comfort foods, going to church with family, family quilts, discussing history and ancestors, card games, and a final goodbye that leaves us hungering for the next family reunion. ❤
AWARDS: Caldecott Medal Nominee (2020)
The illustrations in this book were created in acrylic wash. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Horse & Buggy Paint It Out!
June 11, 2019
Horse and Buggy have very different approaches to painting. Horse doesn’t want a plan. He believes his artwork will materialize when it’s ready. Buggy, however, understands the importance of having a detailed plan of action before beginning. How will these two come to a mutual understanding? Or do they need to? The artwork in this book was created digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
As Warm as the Sun
Jim McMullan, illustrator
August 13, 2019
Neal Porter Books
This lovely picture book is about a little French Bulldog named Toby who loves the warm spots in his home — the sunlight on the floor, the fireplace, the cozy lap of his owner. But one day a new little dog named Pinkie comes along and begins invading all his favorite spots. Toby hides in a cold corner all by himself until he learns that you can find warmth in a new friend. The artwork for this book was made with watercolor. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
March 12, 2019
Diane Alber Art LLC
About a year ago I reviewed Splatter by Diane Alber and Scribble Stones is a similarly cute book about a boring gray stone trying to find his purpose and meaning. Eventually he encounters splatters and scribbles and, in an effort to help them solve their problem, he becomes beautifully decorated. Soon, other stones are lining up to bring happiness and fun everywhere they go.
One reason I appreciated this book is because we have a special group in Chadron called Chadrocks. People decorate and hide stones all over town. Then they take photos of what they find or what they hide so that someone else can find it. Perhaps you have something similar in your town? It’s a fun day to brighten the community and share our experiences on social media!
The artist used liquid watercolor, gouache, and pencil crayons to create the illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
To Be Read:
I’m just almost finished with my ARC of Micah McKinney and the Boys of Summer by Nina Chapman — it’s a really fun read! And I’m still working on Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein. It’s a lot to digest, but so very important (and eye-opening) for any parents of teens. I think I’ll start How to Walk Away by Katherine Center after enjoying Things You Save in a Fire over a month ago. And, as always, I also have a large stack of picture books to read this week. YAY!
Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 107/200