Monday, May 20, 2019

It's Monday - Beautiful Books Again!

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 
         I'll need to skip next Monday, am leaving this Wednesday to travel to my grandson's high school graduation. It is an exciting time for our family! I'll read on the plane, but suspect that's about it! Here are the books I've read this past week!
         

          Anytime there is a book with a quest, I'm in. (I re-read The Hobbit once in a while!) Yes, I finished this one and now how long might be the wait for the next adventure for brave, growing-up and now adventurous Byx and her companions, humans Khara and Renzo, catlike felivet Gambler, and the small and mighty Tobble? They have continued their journey to find the traveling island of Tarok, hoping to find more dairnes, saving Byx from being the last one of her species. The plot expands into political strife and danger in the land with the reigning dictator, the Murdano, gearing up to fight the other vicious Kazar Sg’drit, enslaving species to build his army. Connections to today's political challenges including war, prejudices of 'other', and human trafficking may go unnoticed by children, but not by adult readers. Khara is rising as a leader in the coming war and her companions, including Byx, will face the battle with her. Now we must wait for number three! Katherine Applegate's imagined world in this series is extraordinary! 



        Oh, wow, this is a gorgeous book, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline and a story full of nostalgia by Michelle Houts. Some years ago, a young boy spends the summer with his grandmother at her cottage by the sea. He finds what he learns is a piece of sea glass, smoothed by its tumbling in the ocean from, perhaps, years ago. Grandmother tells that each piece is connected by a story, one we may never know, but it has one. She gives him his grandfather's magnifying glass to look at his found treasures more closely. Turning the page, Houts imagines the story in the boy's dream, illustrated in muted black and white by Ibatoulline, a beautiful time travel transition to a ship’s christening and a schooner tossed in a tempest’s fury. Sadly, the boy drops the magnifying glass which breaks and he tosses the pieces into the sea. The story moves on to present day and a young girl also discovering sea glass, a particularly special piece that "might" be part of that same glass. Houts shares the story which feels real, but no matter real or not, looking for sea glass and imagining its story will make the adventure (if you can ever have one) a wonderful thing. 
          There is a brief author's note that speaks of the time in the past when many dumped all their trash in the ocean and the change today to be more environmentally conscious. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy.

         First time published in the U.S., this is sure to be a favorite for young dinosaur lovers! Jason Cockcroft tells and illustrates this new book with a twist. What if you received an enormous package in the mail one day and in it was an egg that soon hatched a dinosaur? It is a sweet one, but huge (of course), and this young boy needs to learn how to manage some "huge" challenges. He must fix breakfast for his new pet (It is not picky, will eat anything.); how to teach it to share, especially at the playground; and, worse of all but funny, too, how to clean up the enormous piles of poop. Cockcroft's illustrations show a lively, but positive outlook for this new adventure in bright and colorful pages. (The other pet, the dog, adds humor, too.) He ends the story with a sleepy, lovable pet and a happy little boy. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy!





   
             I adore Philip and Erin Stead's books and I love moon stories.  Young girl Harriet (Call me Hank.) longs to play her cello alone in her room. A noisy owl disrupts her playing and she throws her teacup out the window, accidentally knocking the moon out of the sky. What happens next, shown in dreamy illustrations by Erin Stead, feels like a dream, too. Harriet buys the moon a hat from the bear hatmaker (it's chilly) and takes him on a boat rented from a walrus fisherman across a lake (a long-time wish). She makes amends with the owl and enlists him to gather other owls to help return the moon to where he belongs. The final challenge, to play for an audience, the moon. This Music for Mister Moon glows in its beautiful story.




       Kelly Starling Lyon's book takes me back to my own childhood, the exciting time traveling to be with "all" the family, just as this family is, a warm and loving story told by "Lil Alan". They're on their way before daybreak. (Remember that sleepy time in the backseat?) They're going to great-grandma Granny's where grandparents, uncles and aunts, and lots of cousins will be. It is a reunion of hugs and laughs and good food. The older folks point out places of memory, like when Daddy points to a spot in the church where he and Uncle performed a duet on trombone and trumpet. Daniel Minter illustrates the real-time itself in colorful overlays of watercolor with the memories hanging out in the background, a beautiful way to show the stories that are told in family reunions. The final even-more special day is when everyone shares something in celebration. Alan has been so worried that he doesn't have anything. His sister is going to sing Granny's favorite song. A cousin is reading Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son". Others will share the trials of ancestors' slave-time. What Alan finally chooses is a beautiful thing. It is a book to bring to your own family gatherings.



        Sub-titled as "A Book of Remembering", Joseph Coelho writes a story of both happiness and grief, of loving companionship between a young girl and her grandpa. Told with the happiness of colorful pages (flowers are everywhere, outside and in), a young girl shares about her grandpa, all the special moments. It is a beautiful sentimental story, sad but in a good way because she's bringing the stories with her and because he gave them to her. She says "If all the world were memories/the past would be rooms I could visit, and in each room would be my grandpa."


Now reading: Just out, Shouting At The Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt! I'm over halfway through already. It is good!

17 comments:

  1. I checked out a digital copy of Endling The First, last week, but now I'm wondering if I might need to review book #1 to make sure I haven't forgotten too much. Might have to come back to this one because I don't want to miss anything! Sea Glass Summer looks just beautiful. I have a friend who makes jewelry out of sea glass (it started as a way to commemorate the loss of her son). I wonder this this might make a nice gift for her -- I'll have to see if I can hunt down a local copy to read. I'm also adding Grandpa's Stories to my list. I adore the line you shared from it! I'm excited about Shouting at the Rain, so I hope you're enjoying that one! We'll miss you next week, Linda, but have a wonderful time at your grandson's high school graduation!!

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    1. When I started the new Endling, I was a bit confused, but went back to read my review, which helped. Sea Glass Summer will be wonderful for your friend, I suspect. It connects to stories as perhaps she does for her son? Grandpa's Stories is a wonderful book, hope you enjoy it, too, Shaye. Yes, Shouting at the Rain is wonderful! Thanks, Shaye!

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  2. I really enjoyed Going Down Home with Daddy. It reminded me of The Relatives Came. I love books that make readers appreciate the joy of being with extended family. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

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    1. Me, too, Jana. It is a good companion to The Relatives Came, a favorite of mine, and now this one will be, too. Thanks!

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  3. Talking animals are my bete noir! My students only seem to like Warriors; even Brian Jacques gathers dust. Houts is from my town, and she was at the Ohioana Book Festival, so I'll have to take a look at her new book.

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    1. Isn't it interesting how tastes are different, even year to year! It's great that you have a connection to Houts. I loved Seaglass Summer, Karen. Thanks!

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  4. Sea Glass Summer really does sound gorgeous. That cover makes me yearn for a summer beach day! You reminded me that I have Going Down Home With Daddy in my library pile. I forgot to read it!

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    1. Enjoy them both. They'll lovely stories.

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  5. Wonderful books this week! Love Going Down Home, I've got it on a potential Mock Caldecott list! Grandpa's Stories was so touching. I just picked up Sea Glass Summer from the library. And I can't wait for Endling #3.... Applegate is really putting us through the ringer right now! The Steads' books are iffy for me. This one did not hit the mark for me, but the illustrations were beautiful!

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    1. Love hearing your opinions always, Michele. I think I like the Stead's books for the illustrations most. This was an interesting look at shy kids. Yes, Going Down Home is wonderful, made me remember those times. Now my grandchildren get the excitement by flying to family! Yes, I hate the wait for the next Endling! Thanks!

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  6. Endling #2 is on my list and plan to read it over the summer. Grandpa's Stories sounds beautiful.

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    1. I enjoyed both very much, Laura. Hope you do, too! Thanks!

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  7. I still haven't read Grandpa's Stories. It's great that you have wonderful family milestones ahead!

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    1. Grandpa's Stories is quite a sweet book, Earl. Thanks. I'm excited for this weekend!

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  8. I need to read Engling. I love everything by Applegate!

    Happy reading this week :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee! Wishing you a good one, too!

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  9. Going Down Home with Daddy looks like a must-have - I just placed it in my Goodreads to find list. I've heard of The endling - it looks like it is an interesting and thoroughly absorbing read. :) Have a great reading week, Linda!

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