Sunday, May 8, 2016

It's Monday-Lots to Love

  On Mondays, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want everyone to know about. If you visit, you'll be sure to find a book or more that you know you'll want to read! 

          Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.   Tweet #IMWAYR




The Raven King, The Raven Cycle, Book Four - Maggie Stiefvater

               I cannot write much about this book because I don't want to spoil any of it for anyone. It's one more book by Maggie Stiefvater that I loved thoroughly. The main characters have grown, are getting ready for graduation. The story felt even edgier, if that's possible, with more adult language, much creepier than the earlier books. New things happen, new people appear, old familiars return. Deepening the layers of the characters feels comfortable because they are maturing, and they each have new ideas to consider about life, and the magic that surrounds them. The extraordinary complexity of the plot thread makes close and enjoyable reading. (FYI-my friend reminded me that across the four books in the series really only nine months have passed, and I didn't remember that. It does seem that through all that has happened, years have passed, but also considering the events, they have matured in their judgment of what is really important in life.)
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         These first two, both wordless, tell stories full of details, forcing the reader to look so closely, find what is there that surprises and delights. 


the Whale - Ethan Murrow and Vita Murrow
              Wow! It’s a wordless picture book, told in incredible pencil sketches, and beginning with a collage of parts of newspaper stories. A boy and a girl return from an ocean adventure, claiming to have spotted a “magnificent spotted whale”. Those older headlines question the truth, as do the current ones: “Giant whale or giant hoax.”  But these later ones issue a challenge, to prove the story. A boy and a girl decide to try for it, a hurricane is coming, and the story of their search is such an adventure that holds excitement, daring, and big surprise. What  a juicy book to pore over, again and again.

Spot, the Cat - Henry Cole
                This is a favorite of the week, remembering Henry Cole’s A Nest for Celeste and Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad, too. The illustrations are so filled with wonderfully detailed pen and ink sketches as the reader tries to imagine this wordless story. We look and look to spot the cat along the way as he wanders through all kinds of places, like a farmer’s market and a park. He’s escaped through a window and his owner, a little boy place “lost” ads on telephone poles, is missing his pet very much.  Finally, back home, all is okay!

The Cat With Seven Names - Tony Johnston and Christine Davenier
                Beautiful watercolor sketches tell a story of a wandering cat who surprises several people by visiting and having a bite to eat, then moving on. He brings cheer to an older, lonely man, a librarian, a homeless man, and others. There is a surprise ending which will cheer readers, too.

What Can You Do With A Paleta? - Carmen Tafolla and Magaly Morales
           You can do funny things, sweet things and messy things, all with a paleta, which is similar to a popsicle. Color-filled pages show well the joy of hot summer days and cooling off.  The story shows a little girl walking from home through her barrio of good smells floating from the windows, celebrating paletas and helping others enjoy them by sharing a few with them, too.  

Breathe - Scott Magoon
             With a few words of encouragement, a mama whale takes her baby on an adventure to “explore”, “swim”, and once in a while to “breathe”.  The illustrations fill the page with ocean deep and on the top as the baby learns about his home.  It’s a story that can add to beginning knowledge of whales for the little ones, and a metaphor for new life of any animal, including humans.

Teeny Tiny Toady - Jill Esbaum and Keika Yamaguchi
             Oh, my! Teeny Tiny Toady’s Mama has been caught in a bucket by some people collecting toads and other creatures. Teeny runs to get help from the other larger toads, “wishing she could be a bigger, stronger/hero kind of toad.” Written in rhyme with pages filled with emotion and action, the story is one with a message, being little doesn’t mean one can’t contribute in a BIG way. Very fun story for the little ones, with a happy ending!

Where’s The Elephant - Barroux
             The book is well done, but I think it must be good for older children because the message is clear, this is about cutting forests in order to use the land for other things, like growing crops or building homes. It’s wordless, but looking for the elephant, the bird and the snake becomes easier because as the pages progress, the forest becomes smaller, and the part gone is filled with other things. The ending is a sad one, too.  It was fun to read for a while, but as I read it to a young granddaughter, there was a lot of explaining to do.

Next: I've started and am enjoying The Memory of Things by Gae Polisher, still reading Day's End, the book about night.


28 comments:

  1. I'm in the middle of listening to The Raven King. Will Patton's narration has become part of the experience for me. I'm not certain, but it seems to be even more eloquently written than the other books. I love the covers of these two wordless books.

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    1. Maybe someday I'll find the time to get an audio and listen to a Raven book, Cheriee. I'm glad you told me. The two wordless books are fabulous, stories and illustrations. Thanks!

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  2. Wordless books are fun. I'll have to check out both of those since I haven't read either.

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  3. No Spot the Cat at the public library here. I'll have to keep a lookout for it!
    I need to read Maggie Stiefvater's books! They did not make the journey with me and I own many of them (in that never ending pile). I'll get to them at some point!
    I'm about halfway through The Memory of Things. I think it is Gae's best work to date.

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    1. Hope you can get to the Raven books sometime, worth the reading! Spot the Cat was wonderful, & my youngest granddaughter loved it! Yes, The Memory of Things is truly a lovely read so far. Thanks, Michele, hope it's a great week for you & the family.

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  4. I need both the cat books, of course! I enjoyed The Raven Boys (also on audiobook!) but then kind of petered out somewhere in Book 2 and never finished it. Series are often so difficult for me. It's a rare series that I read all the way through. The ones I do finish, I absolutely adore, so I wish I could get myself to commit more often.

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    1. Both the cat books are terrific, Elisabeth! I think I'll purchase Spot The Cat. The illustrations are awesome. I've done some series, others I can't take the time, but I really like Maggie Stiefvater's raven books, but my favorite is still The Scorpio Races. One series I also loved is Chaos Walking trilogy, like The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, another favorite writer.

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  5. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the Memory of Things.

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    1. Now, I'm getting really interested in how it will all work out, Beth. There was a tiny hint early on, but will see if that's at least part of the answer. I like reading in both voices!

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  6. I loved The Whale, too! I need to check out Spot, the Cat. I haven't used very many wordless picture books with my class, but I definitely want to try more of them. There are so many good ones that I've found, that I'm going to try to work them into my curriculum more.

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    1. There are many wonderful ones for sure, Jana. I had a colleague once who had many, and each student wrote a story to accompany the one he or she chose. It was a fabulous story writing project. Hope you enjoy Spot, the Cat.

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  7. We have to get Spot, the Cat and The Whale - They sound amazing and will be great additions to our wordless picture book collection.

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    1. They are terrific, will add a lot to the collection!

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  8. Teeny Tiny Toady! Just saying the title makes me smile! I've also added the wordless picture books to my list. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Kendra. That Teeny Tiny Toady is quite a hero!

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  9. I'm really behind on my Maggie Stiefvater. I liked Shiver, wasn't sure about Scorpio Racing, but everyone loves the Raven books. I need to try them.

    Happy reading this week :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, hope you enjoy the books when you do get to them. There are so many great books to read!

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  10. I simply adore reading Teeny Tiny Toady. Henry is a huge fan, and I love the fem power theme! I am glad to hear that you liked it, too! I hope you have a great reading week!

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    1. Thanks, Ricki, so glad to hear about Henry liking it too. So did my younger granddaughter!

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  11. I'm looking forward to reading The Raven King. I love the series so far, and am glad that it lives up the rest of the series.

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    1. I believe it does, and hope you enjoy it, Kay. Thanks!

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  12. I'm super excited about reading The Raven King. I kind of scanned your review so I wouldn't see anything I didn't want to. Thanks for the reminder of the short time frame. So much happens and there was so much time in between the writing of each of them (I've been reading since the pub of the first one) so it seems like it should have been a longer span.

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    1. I have read them all from the start, too Crystal. I tried not to do any 'spoiling' in my review, so no worries. Glad you read about the time thing too. You'll see what I mean when you read. Enjoy!

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  13. I can not wait to get my review copy of The Raven King - but sad as well that the series has concluded. I will be reviewing Breathe too! Soon! :)

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    1. So glad to hear that you love the Raven series too, & it is sad! Thanks, Myra!

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  14. I really enjoyed Where's the Elephant and I do like the fact it invites lots of questions!

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    1. It was fun, but rather alarming in the message, brought it in images very well.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!