Sunday, September 17, 2017

Monday Reading Fun

It's Monday - Reading Recap

              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love! Thanks to Jen, Kellee and Ricki who share so much from their own reading lives and support this meme, too.
          Those affected by the hurricanes and forest fires are still on my mind. Don't forget to help where you can.
                                I'm taking next week off, will be flying to see my son and family this weekend into Monday.  Less reading but good visiting!
                                                 tweet #IMWAYR

I shared Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's new poetry book, Read! Read! Read!, on Friday HERE! It's a wonderful book for the school year's beginning or for any time you want to celebrate reading! 

         Thanks to Candlewick Press, I was able to enjoy this wonderful new fairy tale retelling! There is little changed in the tales, and they are recognizable, but just enough to entice new readings of old favorites like “Snow White” and “Hansel and Gretel”. Emily Jenkins has managed to link them all within the setting of an icy cold, wintry forest. She writes that some say “vengeful sprites and witches with cold hearts along with others with hot ovens and wicked appetites live there,” and you’ll need to read these stories to discover if you recognize some old friends, or perhaps enemies!  I imagine a fabulous read aloud happening with this new book where there will be “holding-one’s-breath” times and a “just one more” time. Emily Jenkins shares her desire to write these tales from a history of loving, collecting and studying fairy tales in an author’s note.  I enjoyed my own reading very much.

          A father, Mark Gonzales, writes a new picture book inspired by his daughter of the joys of a multi-cultural heritage. “Yo Soy Muslim” is “I Am Muslim” in Spanish. The stunning illustrations by Mehrdokht Amini bring both cultures into their creation, filling the pages with dream work, the girl climbing a tree so that her “smile will touch the sky.” He adds an homage to the girl’s abuela, tells of those who question where she is from and offers an answer. A favorite part is when she flies with swans and is a “child of crescent moons. . . an ancestor in training.” For every child or adult who wants to celebrate her or his heritage, this book will make a heart beat faster.

         A young boy wants to do so much for his grandmother and not only does he wish these things, he draws a picture of them. Bianca Diaz creates the illustrations in her own style, but in the boy’s youthful style too. The boy Wilson says, “One day, I will paint your house orange and yellow like the sun.” Gigi, the grandmother smiled. “I will like that. But today, you are all the sunshine I need.” The story continues with more of Wilson’s wishes and at the end, there is a big surprise. 
         Julia Durango tells there is a story behind this story about a tradition in her small town called “Labor of Love Day” where many volunteer to fix the needs of some repairs in their homes. She adds links to Habitat for Humanity and other similar organizations.

         Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time, and sometimes luck helps a little, too! Morris the Mole, the littlest mole, dug into the earth with his brothers, and one day they ran out of food. They agreed that they must dig deeper, but Morris tried to get their attention because he had an idea. He dug up! The triumphs and failures that occur are just right for young readers. There is happiness and trouble, but goodness helps solve everything, a lesson to remember.  A fox and friends are there with Morris, and a wolf as well. My only concern is that once again the big, bad wolf stereotype is extended. I wish that wolves weren’t often the bad ones. The full-page illustrations by Dan Vaccarino are full of story, too, his spare text illuminated with broad humor, alarm, and finally, relief. It’s such fun to read this book. 

          This story won both story and illustration awards in Japan. It’s a small bit of whimsy when a little girl realizes she’s left her jump rope in the woods. When she returns to fetch it and her little brother goes along, they find a group of foxes learning how to jump. What happens next is pure whimsy accompanied by a kind deed at the end. The illustrations are gorgeous, quite dream-like. It will be a fun read aloud to young children.

          This is realistic fiction, a mama reads a book to her young boy at bedtime. It’s about a bear getting ready for winter, then hibernating. But there is sweetness of the mom with her boy, answering his questions, reading page by page, repeating “sleep, big bear, sleep” creates a sort of magic. Lovely full-page illustrations by Georg Hallensleben show the setting and  Kate Banks creates the mood with a different approach to a story. On one page, after the bear has begun hibernating, she writes: “Snowflakes began to fall across the pages of the book.”  Later, “Winter settled like a big hush,” read the boy’s mother.  It’s a must read aloud, and young children will love it.

         This book could be a gift for everyone, young and old. Although the illustrations fill the page with excited, happy children, adults can always join in the celebration, too. In sing-song verse, the children shout, “when’s my birthday?/where’s my birthday?/how many days until/my birthday?” I remember a grandchild asking and asking, and her mom usually answered, “Your birthday’s coming up!” Then my grandchild would run to the door or window to look UP! It certainly is hard to wait, as Julie Fogliano shows well with the words asked often, when and what and where? Finally: “it’s the daytime!/here’s my birthday!/happy! happy!/hee! hee! hee!” I love the double page at the end with all the months and numbers, asking, “When’s your birthday?”
Still Reading: Evicted. It's good, but I'm taking it slowly! And I want to give a heads up to an ARC I'm in the middle of: The Wonderling by Mira Bartok. It comes out next week! It's quite long, but I'm loving this fantasy adventure, know a lot of kids who enjoy fantasy will be thrilled to read it! 


  1. The One Day House looks amazing. What a beautiful collection of picture books here Linda! I also love the language and illustrations in The Bear in the Book.

    1. Thanks, Carrie. The One Day House is adorable, the way the child's pictures are combined with the illustrations, and the message is wonderful. Yes, I loved the language in The Bear In The Book, too!

  2. The Fox Wish looks like a beautiful book. I'll definitely look for it at the library. I thought When's My Birthday was a very sweet book, too! Have a great week!

    1. Thanks, Jana, enjoy The Fox Wish, and hope you have a great week, too!

  3. You are so right about the big, bad wolf! I read a YA book about wolves several years ago, and I was surprised when the wolves were GOOD. Why do certain animals (poor hyenas!) get such bad coverage?!

  4. I loved Brave Red! Such a wonderful collection!
    I need to read Mole--you and Ricki love it :)
    I just got Birthday and am saving it to give to Trent for his bday.

    Happy reading this week!

  5. The One Day House sounds lovely. I thought the The Wonderling was great and I think you're right that many fantasy fans will enjoy it.

  6. The Fox Wish looks so beautiful. Just love the illustrations of the foxes jumping rope.

  7. I am struck by the cover of Yo Soy Muslim, but my library doesn't have it. I am thinking the birthday book will be one for when my grandchildren are older.
    I enjoyed Morris Mole too, and don't even remember the wolf!

  8. Oh goodness, I have a lot of these books in my piles somewhere! Looks like I have some good books in my future!
    I did not fall for Emily Jenkins' new book. I think I missed the connection that was supposed to be there between the stories?

  9. I absolutely loved The One Day House!

  10. Evicted is definitely a book to read slowly. Lots of chracters and facts to take in.

  11. I am so eager to get When is My Birthday. I only hear fabulous things about it. I agree that Yo Soy Muslim has beautiful artwork. It's a favorite of mine this year. I also appreciated The One Day House. I'll have to look for The Fox Wish. Have fun with your family.

  12. Thanks, Crystal. I'm excited for my visit. And thanks everyone else. I have struggled with messing with my wifi since I arrived home after having the grand-girls this afternoon and early evening. Ugh, something is wrong, but now I'm relying on Verizon for a while! These are all books worth reading, as some of you know. I hope the rest of you enjoy them when you can!


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