Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Reading - Quite a Variety

  Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! 
      Remember the ALA Youth Media Awards are happening this morning! Do you have favorite books you hope will receive a shiny medal?

       For Poetry Friday, I shared the review of and a poem from this anthology!

               Yes, it took me a long time, reading other books along the way, then turning back to this beautiful book set in various places and times, woven together by a story from ancient times, a story of Aethon, who wants to become a bird in order to fly to a paradise in the sky. As the different characters come into the story, we readers find that in their unique ways, each one yearns for another life, wondering how it would be "if only". If you wish to know of each one, read the summary on Goodreads. Anthony Doerr writes that it is a paean to books, yet it also feels like a story of humans, a zest for what they believe is better, and perhaps (or hopefully) discover that better is really what they already have. From one page: "Sometimes the things we think are lost are only hidden, waiting to be rediscovered." Usually when reading, one falls in love with a singular character, yet as I consider the five disparate characters who play into this new story, I realize that each one touched me. I would read a part from one, enjoying or fretting about each specific plight, but at the same time, wondering what was next for another. The secondary characters played essential roles, too, adding in the ways they helped bolster the lives of the main ones, each one's actions adding kindness to those lives. It is a very special book!
Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following two books!

         Jo Knowles, so loved for her numerous chapter books like See You At Harry's, an all-time favorite of mine, and Where the Heart Is, now has a picture book, out tomorrow! Little Worm is on his way outside when he discovers he has an earworm and wonders who put it there! As he sings "Shimmy, shimmy, no-sachay..." he meets various animals, first Owl. He asks if Owl put the earworm in but Owl replies, "No." And he sings his own song. Moving on, with Owl, Little Worm meets Chipmunk, Bunny, and Fox, all of whom have unique earworms to which they sing and dance, all together! Galia Bernstein's illustrations wonderfully show the animals prancing along with glee and song, so happily that Little Worm forgets he's looking for who gave him that earworm! He does find out but I'll leave that for readers to smile when they discover the answer at the end. It's a cute story that will make a great one for bedtime for the little ones.

         First published in Australia in 2020 by Walker Books, in the US in 2022!    
         Young Audrey finds a lion with a special-looking cake, imagines, and asks if it's his birthday. "Sometimes," said Lion. "But not today." Lion had a cake and Audrey asks what he is celebrating. He tells her Tuesdays and coconuts. She was okay with that so they ate cake. Moving through the pages, readers will see that celebrations can be for lots of things, not only birthdays. Edwina Wyatts tells this sweet story and Tamsin Ainslie illustrates with lots and lots of colorful details. Audrey and the lion have a happy time with all kinds of fun while celebrating.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Poetry Friday - A New Favorite Poem


         Thanks to Tabatha Yeatt who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, here.  Thanks for hosting, Tabatha, for adding a piece to our puzzle every time you share! 

        Wishing you all a warm and cozy weekend, with at least a few poems that make you smile. It seems that lower temps have even reached the deep south! 

          I've read this over a matter of a few weeks, a poem or two each day at bedtime. There is solace and connection and a world to believe in within these pages. It's one I will return to.

         Ninety-seven poets have contributed to this, including many you will know, like William Stafford and Naomi Shihab Nye, Ted Kooser and Jane Kenyon, Joy Harjo and Ross Gay. As I read through all the brief bios at the end, I saw that each have published books of poetry, some a few, others many. I imagine I now have quite a list of poets' work to find and enjoy! 

        One poem toward the last touched me quite a lot, seemed to be especially for our "now". It's titled "Trust" by Thomas R. Smith. He has published seven books of poetry and his bio shares that he has edited two other works, and has published poems on various sites. You can find more about him if you search.

Here is the beginning:


It’s like so many other things in life   
to which you must say no or yes.                                    
So you take your car to the new mechanic.   
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.   

The package left with the disreputable-looking   
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,   
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—   
all show up at their intended destinations.   

The end is here!

Monday, January 17, 2022

It's Monday! Reads for All!

 Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! 
    My #MustReadin2022 can be found above and I posted it with Leigh Anne yesterday here

                In this world of discontent, let us remember the goodness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today and follow his path!

      All Bryan Collier needed for inspiration were the words to"We Shall Overcome" the gospel song that later became the protest song for Civil Rights. Here is his priceless book to share on this special day, our celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday every third Monday in January. His real birthday is January 15th. The young girl in the yellow dress moves along through a day as Collier's breathtaking illustrations take her through the past and present movements, protests, and demonstrations of the twentieth century. There is the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, Rosa Parks, too; Little Rock Central High School, where people tried to block nine black students from entering. And, there is the Black Lives Matter mural on the street. The young girl takes a part in working for peace through all the story. There is more to see and remember, with more explained in the back if needed. It is really a beautiful book, one to read in every classroom, every home.

           How can it be? One "WaaaAAH!" from Baby Izzie and one by one, the whole building's inhabitants awaken and create their own unique racket, piling on. As the soothing begins, softer sounds help everyone! Anne Wynter's cumulative tale which includes hilarious sounds with Oge Mora's exquisite collage work makes a delightful book, to admire page by page, or read with a group! 

           There are countless stories of the brave people who helped Jewish people hide and/or escape the Natzis during World War II and this time, Amalia Hoffman tells of Gino Bartali, a weak child, who managed first to ride his father's bicycle though it was too big. He lived in Florence and later took a job as a sixth-grader and managed to save enough for an old, rusty bike of his own. Then, working for a bicycle repair shop, he learned more about how to fix bikes, and in the meantime, he became stronger. There is the first part of his winning the Tour de France in 1938, then being contacted by a friend who was a Cardinal during the war who asked Gino to begin delivering forged papers from forger to printer, on to those in need. It's exciting and inspiring while imagining the danger as he rode that route of 110 miles although Gino did not stop this help. After the war in 1944, he began training again, and again won the Tour de France, at age 34, an "old man" according to those who knew the race. Chiara Fedele's realistic illustrations show the persistence and courage from boy to man of this cyclist who used his power for more than winning races. Hoffman adds information at the back with a great photo of Bartali. Here's a quote from the book's beginning by Bartali: "If you're good at a sport, they attach the medals to your shirts and then they shine in some museum. That which is earned by doing good deeds is attached to the soul and shines elsewhere." 
       (Note: A person contacted me on Goodreads bringing up controversy about this story. I have done some research and there are some who claim his work in Italy has not been proven.) I was unsure whether to share, yet thought it was a lesson that sometimes our own research is needed at least to be able to share other opinions.

       In this Skunk & Badger book # two, there are more adventures, more rock vocabulary because Badger still wishes to do "important rock work", and more cooking because Skunk is the cook. Chickens, especially one named Augusta, continue to be a big part as well. Amy Timberlake manages to make me smile, become anxious, yes, for Skunk & Badger's safety, yet even a bear comes through, along with a clam moving company. Yes, hard to believe some of this tale, but it is another filled with adventure and kindness, also a baby dinosaur! I wrote in the review of the first one that you will grow to love these two characters and learn quite a lot about geology and chickens and maybe yourself! And, Jon Klassen adds his special muted and sentimental illustrations. It all holds true again! It is a delight!

What's Next: I am nearly finished with Cloud Cuckoo Land and am in awe of what Doerr has created with such disparate parts, coming into a whole. And, still reading for the Cybils poetry. I have Gary Paulsen's final novel, Northwind, am anxious to read it!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

MustReadin2022 - Fourteen to Love

          Thanks to Cheriee Weichel and Leigh Anne Eck who continue this really important tradition, originated by Carrie Gelson, see the graphic above. If you wish to link a post for 2022, Leigh Anne is gathering HERE until the end of January

          I'm going to write nearly the same thing I did last year!  I didn't finish my list again. Too, too many books are moved to the top of my reading. This time, I'm showing you a book stack of those that will be on my 2022 list. These are those I own and really WANT to read, so will try again for two!  My goals have changed somewhat, am more aware of new authors, some BIPOC, and I want to read their books while also reading those authors I already love. I'm now reading poetry for the Cybils, am a judge for Round Two. And, I seem to be reading more adult books. There are some special ones recently published. Yikes, there are so many!  

         Remember I work at a used bookstore with co-workers and customers also recommending their recent "great reads". My list grows longer there, too, in addition to reading all your posts, and ones on Monday with the #IMWAYR group, on twitter, etc. It's a pleasure that I won't whine about. How could we ever tire of learning about good books?

Here's my round-up for last year of those I've read, and I've added the link to my Goodreads review of them. I will add two others to my list from 2022. I READ NINE OF TWELVE ON THE LIST.

With The Fire on High - Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land - Elizabeth Acevedo

Echo Mountain - Lauren Wolk

The Black Friend - Frederick Joseph

Prairie Lotus - Linda Sue Park

We Dream of Space - Erin Entrada Kelly

Coop Knows The Scoop - Taryn Souders

Superman Smashes the Klan - Gene Luen Yang

Show Me A Sign - Ann Clare LeZotte

And here's a pic of my new list, fourteen in all! 

Two from last year:

           The One and Only Bob - Katherine Applegate

           Doodleville - Chad Sell


Nine new on my list - Middle School and Young Adult

           African Town - Irene Latham and Charles Waters   (just out)

           Tight - Torrey Maldonaldo

           Flying Over Water - N.H. Senzai and Shannon Hitchcock  

           The House That Wasn't There - Elana K. Arnold

           The Shape of Thunder - Jasmine Warga

           The Hedgehog of Oz - Cory Leonardo

            Everything Sad Is Untrue - Daniel Nayeri

            Piecing Me Together - Renee Watson  

            Charming As A Verb - Ben Philippe

    Three for Adult

            Small Things Like These - Claire Keegan

            All That She Carried -

                The Journey of Ashley's Sack, A Black Family's Keepsake - Tiya Miles

            Lightning Strike - William Kent Krueger

Happy Reading Everyone!

One note: I just picked up Gary Paulsen's final book, Northwind from my local Indie, Tattered Cover. While bittersweet, I know I'll read it soon, too. He has given us many stories to love.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Poetry Friday - The Thing About Waiting


         Thanks to Mary Lee Hahn who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, A(another) Year of Reading, here.  Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee, and for showing us those spectacular and personal attributes of pomegranates.

                  I have been watching and watching the news about the terrible fire north of me, in Superior and Louisville, Colorado. The tragedy has touched me deeply. I try to imagine what I might feel if I lost everything. What would I escape with if needed? And, like most of you, I'm guessing, I'm waiting for Omicron to slow. We had 20,000 cases posted Wednesday, one day!  So I do what I often do with strong emotions, I respond in writing. I wonder how you feel sometimes when people tell you, "Be patient!" In certain places, I suppose it's okay, but in these circumstances, it's a challenge to do so, to achieve a sitting back, to wait.

     They Keep Saying “Wait”

                                An Acrostic Ask


N ote: “Be calm.” inflames instead of comforts.

O ne day here, next day, Wait!


P hilosophically, everything must wait for resolution.

A flower bud waits to bloom. 

T oadstools wait for moisture to grow.

I  cicles wait for sun in order to drip.

E very family member waits for a baby's arrival.

N ot one person I know wishes to wait for heartbreak.

C an we keen that kind of waiting

E ven if we have no loss ourselves?


                           Linda Baie ©