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!
Quick Update: We got our home appraisal back and it was high enough to give us the immediate equity to do everything we need to do on our new home. Furthermore, the seller’s agreed to replace the roof before closing. Whew! For now we pretty much just sit tight and wait for the new roof and all the paperwork to be completed. We should close on or before July 20th, so we’re down to the last three weeks. While we are all very excited, there’s also been some sadness about leaving this house. Even the kids have started mentioning how they’ll miss this place. It is the only home any of our children have ever known (our oldest was 2 when we moved in and she’ll turn 17 later this summer). In fact, some were even BORN in this home. So yeah, totally mixed emotions. Still, we look forward to finally being settled and having the space we’ve needed for a very long time.
Thank you for visiting, today! With all the house prep we’re still doing, I was only able to actually finish my picture books. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading wish list.
Kat & Juju
July 1, 2020
As part of the Amazon First Reads program, I picked up this little book last week. Kat is shy. She doesn’t know how to have a friend or how to be a friend. On her birthday, she inherits a new best friend who is very different from her. Over the course of their time together, she learns all about helping others until, at last, she finds her bravery. The illustrations are simply adorable. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Brett Helquist, illustrator
February 11, 2020
G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
This picture book biography shares the difficult experiences of Paul Cezanne, a French painter who wasn’t truly appreciated for a very long time. I pretty much knew nothing about Cezanne, so this was very educational for me. As is so often the experience of artists, Cezanne wasn’t sincerely appreciated until he learned to not worry about what others thought about his work. The humor in this story is found in Cezanne’s pet parrot, Bisou, who refuses to say ‘Cezanne is a great painter!’ Heehee! The back matter includes an Author’s Note, a bibliography, source notes, and a list of the paintings that were depicted in the story. The artwork for this book was done in oil on paper. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Cyclops of Central Park
Victoria Tentler-Krylov, illustrator
February 11, 2020
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
At first glance, the artwork in this book appeared far too busy for my tastes. But there’s a deep and important lesson in this story that made me better appreciate each crazy illustration. Cyclops lives in the Central Park cave with his flock of sheep. One sheep named Eugene has always been enamored by the world. And, sure enough, he goes missing. In the wild hunt to find his lost sheep, Cyclops finds a deeper appreciation for the world. It’s quite meaningful and there’s a sweetness that’s not to be missed! The artwork for this book was painted in watercolor and gouache, and completed with Adobe Photoshop. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
I’ve been waiting for this one for a loooong while after seeing so many in my reading community talk about it. Fry Bread, a beloved Native American food, can be everything from something to detect with our senses (flavor, sound, color) to location (state, nation). It encompasses so much meaning, depending on who you ask. By the end, it makes the reader want to eat fry bread. So it’s a good thing that the author provides his own recipe with detailed directions. The artwork in this book is something to behold — plan to spend loads of time exploring the entire page as the details and facial expressions are extraordinary! Be sure to examine the back matter, which includes nine pages of detailed information, including an Author’s Note and references. The illustrations for this book were done in acrylics, colored pencils, and graphite on hand-textured paper. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
What a clever little book! The story is written with a play on words. While younger emerging readers will enjoy hearing about upper/lower case letters they’re still learning about, older children will more easily appreciate all the little jokes along the way. This book is part of a series, but I was able to know what was going on even without having read book #1. The publisher doesn’t share how the artwork was created, but I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival
January 22, 2019
Written in poetic text matched by gorgeous artwork on every page, this lovely picture book ends the same way it begins — with a polar bear that has learned how to hope and wait from its polar bear mother. The back matter includes a great deal more information about polar bears, the ringed seal, the walrus, the Greenland shark, the narwhal, and the bowhead whale. The full-colored art was rendered in graphite, watercolor, drawing inks, conte crayon, and color pencil. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
How Do You Do?
Gianna Marino, illustrator
January 15, 2019
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
What a perfect picture book for middle-of-summer reading:
The day was hot.
The day before had also been hot.
And the day before that.
And the day before that.
Yep. Pretty much what we’ve been experiencing, lately. But this book has a lovely message about how meeting someone new makes all the difference in the world. GREAT book for discussion! The illustrations for this book were created with gouache on watercolor paper. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
The Bureau of Misplaced Dads
Pauline Martin, illustrator
August 1, 2015
Kids Can Press
Awwww. This picture book about a child who misplaces his dad is super cute. Who knew there were so many dads who have been misplaced. Thankfully, this youngster finds his dad right where he left him. ❤ The illustrations remind me so much of books I read during my childhood. The artwork was rendered digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:
To Be Read:
Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 218/200
Big Book Summer 2020 Challenge — 2