It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/4/2021 #imwayr

2020-1-4-COLLAGE

Happy 2021, everyone!! Our holiday break festivities continued right on through New Year’s Day and the weekend. I cannot say enough about all the gloriously rich foods and desserts we’ve eaten, but I’m definitely feeling an urge to load up on fresh veggies and fruits for a while. 🙂 The whole family enjoyed more board and card games (Catan, Axis and Allies, Monopoly, Pinochle, Uno) over this past week and we even finished our Winter 2020 Harry Potter movie marathon along with several other enjoyable movies. Since my hubby is an administrator for the college this year, he has to go back to work today. Bummer! Everyone is going to have to adjust to him not being here with us all day. *sniff, sniff* I’ll probably be spending much of this week organizing my schedule for the spring, checking out award lists to see what reading I’ve missed, and eventually taking our holiday decorations down and packing them away. I suppose it’s time to jump into the new year with both feet. Yeehaw!

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!

On December 31st, I logged the last of my 2020 books and just barely surpassed my goal of 365. So I have a long list of picture books to share, today. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.


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She Persisted in Sports:
American Olympians Who
Changed the Game
Chelsea Clinton
Alexandra Boiger, illustrator
September 22, 2020
Philomel Books

Sixteen women are featured in this new “She Persisted” book focused on sports successes. Not only did these amazing women have to fight hard due to their sex, but they sometimes faced unique challenges, such as: being hard of hearing, growing up in leg brace after surviving polio, being born with spina bifida and confined to wheelchair, being born with clubfoot, competing while pregnant, and facing rampant racism. The art was done in watercolor and ink on Fabriano paper, then edited in Photoshop.

She-Persisted-in-Sports-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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The Invisible Alphabet
Joshua David Stein
Ron Barrett, illustrator
September 22, 2020
Rise X Penguin Workshop

Another good addition to an “Alphabet Books” collections, but this curious little book shares something from each letter of the alphabet that is invisible, missing, late, private, etc. For example, H is for Hidden, M is for Microscopic, S is for Secret, V is for vanished, etc. The pictures are primarily in black and white with orange as an accent. The art was created using pen and ink, and colored in Photoshop.

Invisible-Alphabet-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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Our Subway Baby:
The True Story of How
One Baby Found His Home
Peter Mercurio
Leo Espinosa, illustrator
September 15, 2020
Dial Books

This was such a wonderful winter read as baby Kevin was brought home just three days before Christmas. It’s a heartwarming story about how two dads found their soon-to-be son. They hadn’t planned to adopt, but once they held little Kevin they knew it would all work out. There’s a beautiful Author’s Note at the very end that tells what’s happened since the adoption of young Kevin. He’s now over 6 feet tall and in college!! The art for this book was created digitally with Photoshop and mixed media.

Subway-Baby-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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Speak Up, Molly Lou Melon
Patty Lovell
David Catrow, illustrator
September 8, 2020
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

This is a precious, bright, and colorful book about doing what’s right, even when it’s hard — be true to yourself, take responsibility for what you do, accept people who are different from you, and speak up for others. When Molly Lou’s mom instructs her on these character traits, she is truly put to the test when she goes off to school. Kids can be mean and it’s easy to spot those who are neglected. But Molly Lou’s heart shines through and she makes a friendship circle that can get her through anything. I got a little nervous while I was reading this book because there was a VERY not nice kid in it and I’m always rooting for the underdog and worried that they’re going to remain bad. But never fear, it has a beautiful (wordless, even) ending that gave me all the smiles!! 🙂 The artwork was really engaging and children will be kept busy looking around for all the details hidden on each page. These illustrations were done in pencil, watercolor, and ink.

Speak-Up-Molly-Lou-Melon-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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Leif and the Fall
Allison Sweet Grant
Adam Grant
Merrilee Liddiart, illustrator
September 8, 2020
Dial Books

Leif is fearful of falling. The other leaves laugh at him and continually remind him that all leaves fall. It’s what they’re meant to do. But Leif is still afraid. His good buddy Laurel helps him come up with many options for a safe fall, but all of them fail. In the end, he survives the fall and all is well. There are a number of things we all experience in life that are “natural” but that we still fear. Ultimately, we run into the big fear of death. But the story could be a nice way to discuss a wide variety of natural experiences ranging from sleeping alone to going off to school, etc. This book would pair nicely with The Very Last Leaf by Stef Wade, another recent picture book published on the same topic — an autumn leaf who is fearful of falling. This art was created with mixed media and digital collage.

Leif-and-the-Fall-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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Give It!
Cinders McLeod
September 8, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

Give It! is book #4 in The Moneybunny Book Series by Cinders McLeod. I’ve only read two books in this series, and both make very good points about dealing with money from earning to spending to giving to saving. I especially appreciate the fact that the main character, Chummy, is talking with his gran about financial decisions. Gran is oh so patient and wise. All-round a nice picture book for sharing with young spenders. The illustrations were drawn with HB pencil on Mylar film and then digitally colored.

Give-it-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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Sleep Tight with The
Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
September 1, 2020
World of Eric Carle

This very short, brightly colored board book is especially intended for fans of the very hungry caterpillar. Each page ends by asking what’s hiding on the following page. There’s a flap to lift that will reveal Eric Carle characters hiding in the grass, in a tree, in the water, in a barn, or in a sunflower.

Sleep-Tight-Hungry-Caterpillar-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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Play with Paint!
Jenny Pinkerton
September 1, 2020
Penguin Workshop

This brightly colored board book will be very attractive to toddlers. Most of the images look to be real pictures of finger painting, giving the reader the feeling they’re watching art in progress. The text is written as finger paint with each letter sporting a different color. Several of the pages talk about mixing the paint to make new colors. All round a nice toddler introduction to finger painting!

Play-with-Paint-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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Scaredy Snacks!
Terry Border
August 25, 2020
Philomel Books

What a fun little book about a group of snacks that travel across the kitchen to welcome the new Dr. Nuttenstein. But when they arrived at his house, they hide and discover what he’s actually up to — he’s making a cookie monster! It’s not long before the hiding snacks are found and I just hope they all make it out of there alive! The illustrations are particularly fun to look at. The art was done by manipulating and photographing three-dimensional objects.

Scaredy-Snacks-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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Penny and the Plain Piece of Paper
Miri Leshem-Pelly
August 25, 2020
Philomel Books

 This was a really cute story about a colorful little girl who isn’t happy where she is. The message centers around how we often think the grass is always greener elsewhere. As Penny jumps from paper to paper (newspaper, map, graph paper, wrapping paper, and coloring book), she discovers all the rules and negative aspects of each location and winds up back on the plain piece of paper. But this time she knows exactly what to do!

Penny-and-the-Plain-Piece-of-Paper-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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Huddle Up! Cuddle Up!
Bethany Hegedus
Michael Deas, illustrator
August 25, 2020
Viking Books for Young Readers

In this bedtime book, we witness a biracial family running through the house, taking care of regular bedtime routines along with surprises and clean-up. All along, the mom and dad are playing as “coaches” while they cheer their children on through bath time, getting dressed, teeth brushing, picking up toys/blocks, playing with the dog (unnecessary “ruffness”), and ending with a touchdown in their bedrooms. By the way, the mom and dad have WAY more energy that my hubby and I have at bedtime. Whew! The artwork was created with brush pen and watercolor.

Huddle-Up-Cuddle-Up-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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Emergency Monster Squad
Dave Horowitz
August 25, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

In rhyming text, this fun, brightly colored picture book is about an EMS that is run by the Emergency Monster Squad. And all of their patients are just NOT right. But one rule everyone knows is to never say the Q-word. That’s “quiet” for those who don’t already know. If you say it’s been quiet, then you’re likely to jinx the whole night. The pages are riddled with little asides that will make an adult reader giggle to themselves. The art was done with construction paper, charcoal, and colored pencils.

Emergency-Monster-Squad-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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We’re Going on a Goon Hunt:
A Petrifying Parody
Michael Rex
August 18, 2020
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

This book is exactly as the title indicates, a “petrifying parody” of the original book Going on a Bear Hunt where the characters travel to find a sneaky goon (which you can see peaking out at them every other page), but once they find it they end up running back to their home (passing every spot discussed in the book, previously). It would be a cute addition to Halloween reading and well worth doing a comparison to the well-known book it was based on. The artist used pencil drawings colored in Photoshop to create the illustrations for this book.

Were-Going-On-A-Goon-Hunt-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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The Ocean Calls:
A Haenyeo Mermaid Story
Tina Cho
Jess X. Snow, illustrator
August 4, 2020
Kokila

What a fascinating look at haenyeo through the loving relationship of a young girl and her Grandma! I especially liked the reference to mermaids due to the relationship with the sea. The back matter shares more about this practice, so don’t miss the extra reading! The art for this book was created digitally with hand-painted textures and line work.

Ocean-Calls-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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Every Little Letter
Deborah Underwood
Joy Hwang Ruiz, illustrator
August 4, 2020
Dial Books

In this pastel-colored picture book, each letter of the alphabet is walled off — separated from other letters. They seem happy enough, but there was still curiosity about other letters. One day a young letter h peeks through the wall and finds a young letter i. Together, they spell the word, “hi.” And despite the attempts to stop the letters connecting, they find so many more wonderful words and sentiments to make together. So for those who think this book is about the alphabet, it’s really about the fear of those who are different from us. Or perhaps the fear of change. Yet, it’s also a lesson in how much more we can do if we work together and use our different strengths. The illustrations in this book were created digitally, with the help of ProCreate and all the letters from A to Z, both big and small. 🙂

Every-Little-Letter-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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How to Find a Bird
Jennifer Ward
Diana Sudyka, illustrator
August 4, 2020
Beach Lane Books

This is a nice little beginner’s guide to birds. Two unnamed children (appears to be a boy with a younger/shorter girl) walk around nature with a pair of binoculars, birdwatching. The book shows illustrations of many birds, which are labeled, and expresses that they can be found all over: the sky, in a tree, on the ground, and even in the water. Also shared are the calls they make and how some of them are hidden in their habitats. The back matter shares more details, such as tools and tips, how to use a field guide, and how to become a Citizen Scientist. The illustrations for this book were rendered in watercolor gouache on paper, and finished digitally.

How-to-find-a-Bird-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 am still working my way through a stack of picture books, mostly from 2020. So this week I’ll start with After Squidnight by Jonathan E. Fenske and Hey, Who Made This Mess? by Primo Gallanosa.

2020-1-4-TBR


What are YOU reading?

24 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/4/2021 #imwayr

  1. Lots of great picture books! So far this year I’ve only read picture books. After the Cybils I kinda collapsed. Now I have to pick myself up and start looking at all the books I’ve been putting on my TBR for the past few months!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ordered WAY more picture books than necessary before Christmas just to make sure I wouldn’t run out. I mentioned, last week, that I’m having an eye issue — that’s still going on, unfortunately. But my doctor ordered me a new pair of reading glasses along with my regular glasses. I was STUNNED to find out my reading glasses, alone, were $200. *groan* But hey, if they allow me to read again then it’ll be well worth the trouble!

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  2. Congratulations on making your goal in such a crazy year, Shaye! And “yeehaw” indeed. I don’t want to go back! Thanks for each one of these. I noted a few. The list grows already & it’s only the 4th! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I goodness, I hear you on the growing list. We’ve only so many hours in a week. I’m trying to figure out if I’m ready to put a complete stop to purchasing new books until I get at least 1/2 of my current “owned” stack read. Every time I find a good deal for an e-book or audiobook or even a print book, I jump at it. But as we’re still settling into our new home, I realize I have quite a collection, here. And some of these are books I’ve been SO excited to read (and perhaps forgot all about??). Anyway, I do wonder if I’m disciplined enough to enjoy what’s already on my plate for a couple months. LOL Thanks for stopping by, Linda!

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    1. The weekend really cannot get here fast enough. I mean, I’m so happy he has a wonderful job and all, but WOW was today a reality check in how much fun we have when he’s around here. Thanks so much for dropping by, Jane!

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  3. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed the holidays! Congrats on meeting your reading goal! What a wonderful selection of picture books—She Persisted in Sports, Our Subway Baby, and Every Little Letter all sound great! I’ve also seen a lot of praise for The Ocean Calls. I’m glad you’re getting some of your books from 2020 read—I have utterly failed at doing that! Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep seeing all these amazing challenges that everyone is joining and I’m just sitting over here looking at all the piles around me, realizing I have some work to do before I can agree to look for more books. LOL I guess it’s a good problem to have (especially since we do live in a very secluded city where it’s often difficult to find the books I want). Thanks for visiting!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Every Little Letter was oh so precious! Those little FACES! Such cuteness. I need to read Scaredy Snacks with my two youngest. I think my just-turned-10 year old would get some great ideas about book creation with items laying around our house. LOL Thanks so much for visiting, Laura!

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  4. I spent yesterday packing up the Christmas dishes and linens and removing the decorations from the tree. I leave my lighted village up until the end of January.
    That’s one heck of a lot of picture books! I was most keen on Subway Baby and am sad to say that my local library doesn’t have it. I’ve noted Sleep Tight with The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a possible gift for my newest grandbabies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year! I’m with Cheriee, my library doesn’t have Subway Baby either, and it’s one I’ve had my eye on!
    I was disappointed with the lack of paralympic athletes in She Persisted. There was only one. My daughter is on the United States National Paralympic swim team so it’s something that is near and dear to my heart. Clinton selected several athletes that overcame a physical challenge, but it’s celebrated they overcame this challenge in order to compete in an able bodied competition. This is always celebrated more and raised up over disabled athletes, who are amazing athletes that have a disability. It’s something that is easily overlooked… just something I’m quick to see with the personal experience I have with it!! The more you know and all that!!!
    Looking forward to 2021 reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so appreciate you spreading awareness on this topic, Michele. It’s one of those things that so many of us don’t encounter or understand. So I’m grateful to get your feedback! ❤ I feel the same way about a couple life experiences near and dear to my heart that I see as entirely misrepresented or underrepresented in children's literature. And it's one reason why I love the opportunity to discuss these books in this community and exchange personal insights. Thanks for dropping by and sharing!

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  6. Shaye, so many books now added to my TBR.. I adore Molly Lou and am going to look for this book at the library first; Penny as well as both the alphabet books and Subway Baby also are asking to be read right now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing I enjoyed about the alphabet books this week is the fact that they highlighted entirely different focuses: one on invisible/hidden/missing/empty things for each letter and the other on teamwork and acceptance. I like that young children just learning about the alphabet can gain so many life lessons through the topic. Thanks for visiting, Vidya!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy New Year, Shaye! (late with my visits, as usual 🙂 ).

    I am jealous of all your game time – I so miss that! I have LOVED all kinds of games since I was a kid and miss having my sons around to play with me – my husband isn’t much of a game guy. We did watch a few good movies New Year’s weekend, though.

    Wow, more than 365 books in one year! I know many were picture books, but that’s still pretty amazing. The ones you listed all sound good – I miss discovering new picture books!

    Here’s to another outstanding reading year for you!!

    Sue

    Book By Book

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m honestly not a “natural” board game player, but I do it for my kiddos. And I’m always glad I participated as the game comes to an end. My husband, however, is VERY into board games. He’s always certain he will win, too. LOL Thanks for visiting, Sue!

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