Monday, July 5, 2021

Monday Reading - More "Don't-Miss" Books

  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! Happy Reading! 
       I'm taking the rest of July off, will continue reading and recording but need a break. I have some repairs to get done, including installing a new AC unit and a planned trip at the end of the month. Wishing you all a lovely July with summertime days exactly as you want them to be, including reading great books!

                When you meet young Etan and begin to read the story of his family, his community in the small town of Ship's Haven, outside of San Francisco, you readers will imagine his voice, soft and true. That is the voice 'inside', because right now, Etan is not speaking, not since his mother went to a hospital because she says, "she's sick on the inside". He only gets to visit once a month and early on tells about his talking with his mother, who listens "with her whole body". Though there is sadness, it's plain to see that Etan is loved by everyone, his father and grandfather, a neighbor whose dog he walks, a fruit seller, Mrs. Li, on Main Street. The street's description by Chris Baron via Etan made me want illustrations. I certainly did imagine them! It sounds warm and friendly, hugging Etan as he makes his way to his grandfather's jewelry shop. The town is made up of many who came across the sea years ago, keeping together from that past experience. The weaving of those townspeople's lives into the time of 1989 when everyone is talking about the World Series, A's versus Giants deepens the story, connecting reasons for certain actions, needed supports. 
          Thus, Etan continues his story, starting with a delivery for Mrs. Li where he meets Malia, the "creature", who peeks through the door's crack, Etan seeing only her eyes. When I read this book, I kept wishing to be reading it aloud to a class, wondering if they saw the sadness, but still continuing kindnesses Etan shows to everyone. There is something to learn in this story and I appreciate the way Chris Baron has shown that. There is that "magical imperfect" we might all understand and appreciate. 

          The amazing Albatross flies as much as 75,000 miles a year, only returning to land every two years to mate. Many species are at risk, per author Nicola Davies' note at the beginning of this story. But this is not "exactly" about the plight of the albatross but of young boy Javier who helps his father on their fishing boat. His mother has died and he misses her very much. The father is shown to be uncaring. He yells: "No slacking here!" Caught in a line, an albatross hangs injured which the boy rescues when given a chance to hide it away. Javier sneaks it home and cares for it through the kindnesses of shopkeepers and an uncle. When the father discovers it, he is furious, gives two weeks for recovery until the next sail, but on the last day sells it to a man who runs a fairground. Javier's frantic response to rescue brings him to the brink of disaster and a father who at last sees his child in a different light. Beautiful mixed-media illustrations of the people and setting by Salvatore Rubbino bring this poignant story to life 
     Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

My Poetry Friday Clunker

             Thanks to Laura Shovan who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, here.  She is sharing her poem that won honorable mention in a poetry contest, one of a monster and a woman unacknowledged for her creation. 

          I'm taking a break for the rest of the month, wishing each of you a July that means summertime is a season to love. I'll be back later in the summer. And also important, wishing you a great Independence Day celebration this weekend!

          Here's my response to Linda Mitchell's "clunker" ideas from last week. What fun it was writing some of my thoughts to "The price tag always lies." Thanks, Linda!

           Linda Mitchell’s clunker


The price tag always lies:

the way that model sways just enough

to show off the dress,

the one that will please

in an ocean breeze

but you end up in a gale;

the way a sale advertises

the best buy of all.

Then you realize

you don’t need, or want, 

or have enough to take 

that icing on the cake.

Words come with price tags, too.

Feelings inflate every price, 

whether you write or speak.

Keep them out of stock;

that’s the truth.


           Linda Baie ©


Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Morning - Love These Books

  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! Happy Reading! 
       Kellee! I am happy that things are going well with you!   Welcome back!       

             I took a long time reading this debut YA thriller by Angeline Boulley. Part of it was time. It is a long, dense book. But the other part is that sometimes I paused to consider what was happening, and what the protagonist who tells her story seemed to be telling me, the reader. As an almost nineteen-year-old, Daunis Fontaine appears to have lived a lot of her life already. She is a biracial, unenrolled tribal member who feels apart from her community and the Ojibwe reservation. She is both and neither. Also, I just recently read and shared a book in English and Anishinaabemovin, This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby, thus familiar with some of the background. My Goodreads review is here.
            A thriller was not expected when I started the book. Another reason I slowed down was the preponderance of sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat moments. On the other hand, sometimes it was definitely a story of growing up, making a mixed-up life fit. Then suddenly it turned into a life shattered with sadness and grief. Family support felt crucial for Daunis but typical for a teen, she wasn't always truthful about what was happening to her. She is strong and continues to be, shoving secrets and sadness inside, even from her mother and her Auntie who might be the ones who will step in to help. There is romance, so I thought it might be a thriller that had a deliriously happy ending. You'll need to read to decide if it did. 
         Words in Anishinaabemovin along with tribal traditions and beliefs make the story one that envelops the tragedy of so many Native American women going missing. That is in our news today! Angeline Boulley isn't telling only Daunis' story but the story of many, a thread that sews it all together. Speaking from the 'outside', I realize there is much more to know and understand, but I am grateful for this marvelous book that adds to my knowledge.

From Goodreads: 
Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

There are all kinds of animals, including people, with various numbers of legs. This story tells about Three, wandering through the day happy as can be. He was glad when it rained because he felt clean. His "waggly tail kept him well fed". Sometimes, he wandered and looked for a home, "wherever his nose led". Stephen Michael King writes and illustrates a special story of a positive dog with three legs, happy not to have legs too long (like horses) or too many to count (like caterpillars), yes, all positive. In all his walking, he was happy. One day he walked out of the city and met a young girl named Fern, and they seemed meant to be together. Three found his home! First published in Australia, this is published in the U.S. just this year. It's a lovely (and happy) story, just like Three.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Poetry Friday - Zentangle Fun

           Thanks to Linda Mitchell who is hosting this Poetry Friday, at her blog, A Word Edgewise. She has some 'clunkers' to trade. No, I didn't get that wrong. It is "clunkers"! Thanks for the fun, Linda!

         The "Poetry Sisters" - Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Sara Lewis Holmes, Kelly Ramsdell, Laura Purdie-Salas, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Andi Sibley, have been writing to certain challenges for a long time. In recent months, they have asked the rest of the PF bloggers if they would like to join in, hashtag #PoetryPals. This past month, They wrote this: Next month we are writing zentangle poems. If you are unfamiliar with this form, check out this post by Kat Apel. Share your poem on June 25th in a post with the tag #PoetryPals.

         I've loved seeing zentangles whenever I do see them. But I've never done one. This time, the challenge intrigued me, probably because of the found poem idea, but also, I thought it was high time I sat down and took the time to try. Thanks, Poetry Sisters. This was lots of fun! I'm looking forward to doing another! 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday Reading - More Stories to Enjoy

   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! Happy Reading! 
       Kellee! I am happy that things are going well with you!   Welcome back!       

             I read a lot,  yet simply could not finish The Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. With extra shifts at the bookstore, the granddaughters' visiting, and a Father's Day with their Papa and Mama, it was a busy week. Plus, my AC is on the blink and repair people are booked yet they won't be at my house until the 29th! It's okay, but a little different (ha!) on the hot days!  Happy Summer!

             Here are the picture books I enjoyed!

          Hugo, the pigeon, is a Park Warden and takes care of a small Parisian Park along with those who live around it. He feeds tidbits to the birds, visits Madame Grande on her balcony, and cleans up after children's play. There is "somebody" that never appears from behind a curtain, a mystery! Atinuke lets Hugo tell his story and it is a poignant one. That "somebody" finally peeks out and what happens after becomes a joyous time, but only after Hugo has to be saved, too! Illustrations are Birgitta Sif illustrates the story with beautiful creativity, some parts alive with color as the background fades into brown tones. It's a lovely and totally satisfying story.
            First published by Walker Books, UK. Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy, just published in the US this month!

           Noah waits and waits for his Nana to fix their boat so they can go sailing AND look for seals. He creates his own out of the sand, but they must take shelter from a fast-moving storm. Afterward, looking out, he sees his special seal has disappeared yet just as they turn away to leave, he looks back, to see his seal (or is it?) in the water. They rush to the boat, now fixed, and sail away to see, you guessed it, more seals! It's a sweet story by Layn Marlow for young readers with a bit of magic and beautiful pictures by the sea. 
            First published by Oxford University Press, UK. Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy, just published in the US this month!