It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/11/2021 #imwayr


2021-10-11-COLLAGE

On Friday, my husband headed to Texas for my father-in-law’s memorial service. So with him out of town, I decided to make this my weekend of reviewing past posts and seeing where I failed to follow-up on comments. And that’s when I discovered just how badly I’ve dropped the ball. Ugh. I don’t know how many of my readers actually come back to read replies, but if comments calls for engagement or a response I’ll plan to do a better job of showing up in the future.

If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! Today is Monday, and I regularly participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme. 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 week I’m sharing a middle grade novel, a middle grade graphic novel, and a pile of picture books. Maybe you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.


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Elatsoe
Darcie Little Badger
August 25, 2020
Levine Querido

I honestly don’t know how to talk about this book because it’s so different from just about anything I’ve read. It took me about a third of the book to get into the story, but then I was fully committed. This book showcases a Lipan Apache main character named Elatsoe (AKA Ellie) and the murder mystery integrates ghosts, vampires, spells, curses, and legends into the storyline. I loved the dialog and relationships and that dogs could be so loyal and powerful, well into the afterlife. This book was on my #MustReadin2021 list and it was well worth the wait! (Also, I didn’t even notice the cover had animal ghosts. I thought it was a girl wandering around in a blizzard!!!!!)

AWARDS: Locus Award, Best First Novel (2021), Andre Norton Award Nominee (2020), Lodestar Award Nominee (2021), Ignyte Award Nominee, Best YA Novel (2021)

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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Pashmina
Nidhi Chanani
October 3, 2017
First Second

This graphic novel was the story of a young girl searching for the secret to her cultural identity. Who was her father? How did her mother end up in America? Why won’t she go back to India? One day Priyanka finds her mother’s pashmina (scarf/shawl) and when she wraps up in it, she’s taken to a fantasy land where she gets to see a version of India. The story features black and white vs. colored panels as it flipped back and forth between real life and when the magical pashmina took Priyanka to the hidden world.

Pashmina-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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Jack Horner: Dinosaur Hunter
Sophia Gholz
David Shephard, illustrator
August 15, 2021
Sleeping Bear Press

Jack Horner had undiagnosed dyslexia and struggled terribly throughout school, failing most of his classes while winning science fairs. His parents encouraged his love of dinosaurs by taking him places to search and dig. However, when he headed off to college, he again failed his courses. After fighting in Vietnam, he decided to keep chasing his dream of digging up dinosaurs and so he wrote to museums all over. He was hired by Princeton University’s natural history museum, who eventually sent him into the field where he was the first to find an intact fossilized dinosaur embryo. He named the new dinosaur species the Maiasaura. He later became an expert advisor for ALL the Jurassic Park movies!! 😮 The artwork resembled a graphic novel, at times. I think this book will be a huge hit in elementary schools, everywhere!

Jack-Horner-Dinosaur-Hunter-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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You Know How to Love
Rachel Tawil Kenyon
Mary Londquist, illustrator
November 3, 2020
Philomel Books
(Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)

In rhyming text, this precious picture book starts out with, presumably, a father holding his newborn baby. “It starts at the start when you can’t even talk. Before you stand up and learn how to walk.” As the child grows older and begins to make friendships and explore the world, they learn to listen, be kind, share, play fair, comfort, etc. In the end, we truly know how to love and should spread that kindness around. The artwork for this book was made with pencil, watercolor, and gouache on watercolor paper.

You-Know-How-to-Love-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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Turtle Walk
Matt Phelan
October 6, 2020
Greenwillow Books
(Imprint of HarperCollins)

In this super cute picture book, a group of four turtles are taking a loooong journey. As they patiently travel, we witness the changing of the seasons through the Spring, Summer, Fall, and the Winter. The text is repetitive… until it isn’t. “Turtle Walk. Nice and Slow. Here we go. Are we there yet? No.” Be looking for a funny little twist near the end that will have youngsters chuckling. This one would be especially fun to read on a snow day! ❄️ Watercolor and pencils were used to prepare the full-color art in this book.

Turtle-Walk-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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Cow Boy is Not a Cowboy
Gregory Barrington
October 20, 2020
Harper
(imprint of HarperCollins)

What’s not to love about an uptight bull who refuses to face his unrealistic dreams? NOTHING. All he needs is an adventure-seeking Goat Girl to help him come to his senses. The very expressive illustrations on shiny pages bring this hilarious tale to life. The artist used pencil sketches scanned and painted in Adobe Photoshop.

Cow-Boy-is-not-a-Cowboy-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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Hugsby
Dow Phumiruk
November 3, 2020
Viking
(imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)

Children will be delighted to meet Hugsby! In a world full of busy-busy and go-go-go, sometimes we’re in a hurry to figure out our gifts or passions. But never underestimate the value of a good hug. This might pair nicely with Don’t Hug Doug to discuss who does and doesn’t like to be hugged. The sweet, muted-colored art for this book was created with pencil and Photoshop, including scanned watercolor textures.

Hugsby-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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Sharko and Hippo
Elliott Kalan
Andrea Tsurumi, illustrator
September 29, 2020
Balzer + Bray
(imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)

Meet Sharko and Hippo. Sharko does the talking and Hippo does the carrying. But there are some serious communication problems here that leave Sharko practically in tears (even if listening children are moved to laughter). This would be a great book to use to discuss rhyming and alliteration (and, perhaps, selective hearing). The artist used Sumi ink, nibs, watercolor, collage, and Photoshop to create the illustrations for this book.

Sharko-and-Hippo-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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A Map Into the World
Kao Kalia Yang
Seo Kim, illustrator
October 1, 2019
Carolrhoda Books
(an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group)

This gorgeous picture book is powerful as it deals with the death of a neighbor and the empathy of a young Hmong girl named Paj Ntaub. We see the circle of life as the main character becomes a big sister to two baby twin brothers. All the while, the seasons bear witness to the loving interaction as Paj Ntaub notices the beauty of nature: growing vegetables, leaves on the trees, snowflakes, the first worm of spring, lilac flowers, etc. In the end, Paj Ntaub finds a beautiful way to share these discoveries in a map into the world that she creates with colorful chalk for her grieving neighbor. This is so very beautiful with lovely artwork and it’s sweetly emotional in the end. The illustrations in this book were created digitally using digital graphite, pastels, watercolor, and scanned handmade textures.

Map-into-the-World-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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Vessel of Promises:
A Bookish Fable
Stephen Cowan
Ed Young, illustrator
November 10, 2020
Philomel Books
(imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)

This is a most unusual picture book in the way it was created that you flip through one direction and then halfway through begin reading in another direction. It’s difficult to explain without showing you, but trust that it’s a pretty nifty experience. In rhyming text, the storyline is of an old woman who dreams of an impending flood. So she seals up any cracks in her home and begins gathering promises “in pairs” for safe keeping.  Strong, small, mysterious, light, sad, slow… they were all set aside for safe keeping. When the rains came down her house floated until it landed on dry sand, keeping the promises safe and dry. And can you guess what these precious promises were? The illustrations are mysterious and dark in color with the handwritten text going in all directions. And the author’s note and illustrator’s note give very special shout out to the importance of libraries in their lives. Ed Young gives a thank you to the help of a Photoshop artist named John Hudak and a Calligrapher named Ellen Cohn for their help with the artwork.

vessel-of-promises-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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My First Day
Phùng Nguyên Quang
Huỳnh Kim Liên
February 16, 2021
Make Me a World

The Author’s and Illustrator’s Note for this book says: “For the people of the Mekong Delta, the water shapes their relationship with everything in their daily life. It’s a roadway, a supermarket, a meeting place, and even the path to school.” And we don’t know it in the beginning, but this is precisely what this story is about – a young Mekong child making their journey on their “first day.” It’s a great discussion starter for how things work all around the world. The back matter includes some facts about the Mekong River and a personal letter written to the reader from Christopher Myers. The illustrations were quite beautiful and I had a difficult time picking just one to showcase. The artwork was created using Adobe Photoshop.

My-First-Day-SPREAD2

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.


Groundwood Logos Spine

Night Walk
Sara O’Leary
Ellie Arscott
September 29, 2020
Groundwood Books

A child is wide awake in bed, long after they should be asleep. So the father invites them to go on a walk together. Along the way, they see so many different homes and activities happening around town, deep into the night. The father shares how his childhood was so different since he grew up out in the country where he rarely saw another home or neighbor. It’s quite a thoughtful book that will provide some discussion about what’s happening at night in different locations. The illustrations were done in watercolor and ink pen on paper. I’ll provide one example, below:

Night-Walk-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.


Currently Reading/To Be Read:

I am not 100% sure about the coming week, since I’ve made plans in recent weeks and completely changed them at the last minute. But I’m thinking I’ll be finishing Dragon Hoops in print and Anxious People as an audiobook.

2021-10-11-TBR

Flowery-flourish

Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  199/200
#MustReadIn2021: 29/49


What are YOU reading?

16 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/11/2021 #imwayr

  1. You’ve shared many new picture books, Shaye & like Lisa, that one about Jack Horner sounds great. I loved A Map Into The World. Hope you enjoy Dragon Hoops. I love Gene Luen Yang’s books! And, no worries about the commenting, etc. Everyone is busy & does the best they can. Thanks, & have a good week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I’m thankful I saw your post on Facebook. My oldest grandkids and their fathers just left so I’m not posting this week. I’m exhausted.
    I really enjoyed Elatsoe. I have come to appreciate these genre novels written from specific cultural perspectives. Have you read The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline? It’s brilliant!
    I enjoyed Pashmina too. It was a Cybil finalist one year.
    I also loved A Map Into the World. Not only is it gorgeous, that it’s based on reality, makes it even more profound.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not yet read The Marrow Thieves, but I’ve had it on my list a long time. I’d like to get to it over the coming year as I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. You’re always missed when you need a week off from #imwayr, but I hope you get a chance to rest up. Happy Thanksgiving, Cheriee!

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    2. Happy Thanksgiving, Cherie. I agree with her comment about The Marrow Thieves. I have the upcoming companion novel as an e-ARC, but it does not seem to work on my IPAD. I will have to read it on my computer, which means I might not finish it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sitting at my computer to read an entire novel severely limits how far I’ll get, too. I guess I move around a lot – around town, through doctors’ offices, to my bed, to my desk, to the living room, etc.

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  3. So many wonderful picture books in your list! I miss my days of reading picture books. Youngest child of three just turned 30 yesterday, and no hint of grandchildren from any of our kids yet, at this point, anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww. You’re in that in-between point. I know I’ll sure miss reading picture books to my Littles. We started our family pretty late (compared to all our friends) and then we were super surprised with our 5th baby in our 40s, so I can still sit and read picture books to these sweeties (even though they’re all reading novels, these days). Thanks so much for visiting, Laurie!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t worry about the late comment replies—I think we should remember that running a blog at all is WAY more than most people commit to in the first place, so falling behind on some things is always OK! (Plus, since you’re on WordPress, I actually don’t have to go back through your website for comments—they just show up in my little WordPress notifications panel. I wish Blogger had that feature for my own blog!)

    What great books! My family tried Elatsoe as a read-aloud and realized we were 100 pages in and still not invested, so we quit—but it’s interesting to hear that it gets better! I read Pashmina a while back, so I’m glad you enjoyed it—if you liked it, I’d recommend Jukebox, which is Chanani’s newer book that I personally liked more. And A Map into the World is SO GOOD—I’m so glad you got a chance to read it! And you picked my favorite spread too (except for maybe the actual chalk scenes). Thank you so much for the awesome post as always, Shaye!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elatsoe was quite an unusual read. During that first 1/3 I wasn’t really invested at all. So I don’t think it would have done well as a read aloud to my crew.

      Yes, YES! Running a blog is WAY more work than most people realize. I remember a friend asking me about my blog a few years back and her main response to it was, “Why would I ever want to do that? It’s like being in school all over again!” LOL Well yeah, in some ways I suppose it is. But when it’s something you really love, you just make it happen. And it helps when you have a fantastic community to visit and bond with each week. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked Elatsoe, but it has been a while since I read it. I can’t remember exactly when I got really into her world. So many great picture books here featuring terrific artwork done in a multitude of ways. Thanks for sharing so many great books. I will have to choose carefully which I can afford to add to our library list. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been a while since I had such a nice pile of picture books. I put in another order about a week ago, but it’ll probably take a while for them to come in. I’m always amazed at how much the art contributes to each story, though. Thanks for dropping by, Aaron!

      Like

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