Monday, April 5, 2021

It's Monday - More New & Special 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! 

       Today - more new books and they're all super!

        Yes, it is satisfying but oh, so sad to see that the series is ending. I have no idea what Katherine Applegate is thinking or planning for the future. This third book wrapped up quite a lot of details, connections, and relationships in heart-warming ways. Someday I imagine I'll read it again and be amazed at the creation of many intriguing creatures who take on challenges they never imagined doing. To me, it's like reading and re-reading Tolkien stories, adventurous and breath-holding in parts, loving and heartbreaking in others. I like these kinds of stories and hope they give young readers a chance to see what can be if they are faced with choices between good and evil. One wise phrase from the Wobbyks that means "that you can set yourself up as greater than others, but only if you're a tree that gives shade. Not if you're a useless plant that must be cut down." I hope they like them as much as I do. It's hard to dislike any of Applegate's books, always treasures! 

          One of the first books that I've read that is clearly about this past year, from March to March, and needed as we continue on! Grant Snyder's colored pencil illustrations offer the message there is always something good on the other side. "On the other side of a window/there is a neighbor, a path, a voice" and yes, "a rainbow". I love that he included a Zoom-like grid on a screen while another shows a child alone at the computer. Diverse people walk, greet, help, hug while rainbows hang in windows and positive messages are seen on sidewalks like "Thank You Heroes" and "Black Lives Matter". I'm happy to read this and wish we all had it months ago. It was just out at the end of January! It would be lovely to share and talk about this with a class!

        Out in early March, Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul write a hope-filled and rhyming poem/message that defines "Peace". It can be a wide range of things from a "hello or a hug" and "pronouncing your friend's name correctly". With brief but profound actions, we all may be able to find and achieve "Peace". I especially loved "Peace is on purpose./Peace is a choice./Peace lets the smallest of us/have a voice." With double-page gorgeous and colorful illustrations (even one fold-out!), Esteli Meza shows a myriad of scenes with a myriad of diverse people and animals making peaceful choices. An afterword from the authors speaks of the importance of peace and how the absence of it, the effects of war and violence in a country harms every living thing, not only people. They tell that after a war in Mozambique, not only did people lose their lives or were forced to flee, 90% of the wildlife was lost. Recovery is happening in Gorongosa National Park, a piece of hope! Illustrations have included some of those animals found today, but they are not named. It is a book that will be lovely to share.

         I had to wait a while to get this from the library, so many holds! I've been excited to read it because I loved The Old Truck that was so full of love from Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. In this story, again time passes and you have to watch carefully because while it seems simple in the illustrations and is told with very few words, the message of love for family and home is powerful. When you realize time is passing with a few subtle changes, you want to move on to discover what's next. And that is a surprise, a lovely one. I'll be interested to see what others think of this new book by the Pumphreys.

              A lively parable with illustrations by Daniel Miyares fills the pages with shadowy and woodsy scenes and one insect wearing a crown, evidently the king! He insists he needs a high throne and demands that the others bring big rocks to create a tall throne. He turns away a small insect while laughing at its choice. What happens next is the king's comeuppance but more than that, a thrilling ending you need to see, a redemption for that little insect.

           An amautik (1-MOW-tick) is "the pouch in the back of a woman's parka where a baby can be carried", according to the glossary at the back of the book. Nadia Sammurtok lets the young child tell how she or he feels when in that soft, warm place. She begins each page with "In my anaana's amautik. . ." and the words are feelings like "I feel warm. The warmth of her skin feels like sunshine." And "I feel calm. Her scent reminds me of flowers." It's not hard to imagine those feelings and I wonder if when reading this to young children they may have a similar memory of something in their own lives? Lenny Lishehenko's illustrations add to the special feelings with soft paintings. It's a lovely book.

            From the team that created the wonderful Ida, Always, Caron Lewis, and Charles Santoso, comes another book full of love between two animals and a little bit about a woman who helped. Based on stories of others who live on rescue ranches, this is based on a story about a real Charlie, and Jack! With a beginning friendship, there are some bumps. Charlie is blind in one eye who does the best he can, is pretty friendly. Their first encounter is Charlie bumping into Jack, but it also gives an opening for Jack, a loner, to show how he really is inside. It's a loving story and even nicer that's it's based on a true one and portrayed with gorgeous illustrations by Charles Santoso. 

What's Next? Starfish by Lisa Fipps and an advanced copy out just this month titled The Year of The Buttered Cat by Susan Haas with Lexi Haas, a mostly true story.


  1. I'm behind on my Endling reading. This is a must get for me and my kiddos. Thank you!

  2. Normally love Applegate, but the names in the Endling were rather quirky. Thanks for the updates on picture books. I don't read many, so I love it when others review them.

  3. I haven't read any of of this Applegate series. If only there was more time for reading... I'm glad you enjoyed In My Anaana's Amamautik. I've noted Bring Me a Rock! because I love Daniel Miyares work. Unfortunately, my library does not have a copy. They do have The Old Boat on order, and since I haven't read The Old Truck, I've put a hold on it. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful titles today.

  4. There is a Rainbow sounds absolutely lovely. I'm definitely going to have to check that one out.

  5. I read the first Endling and need to catch up! So many new to me picture books! I love The Old Truck so thanks for sharing The Old Boat!

  6. Applegate's books really are amazing! I didn't realize the Endlings series was ending. I hope she has some other great series in the works!

  7. Thanks, everyone. I've been doing spring yard cleaning much of the day, hope you found a new book just right for you! As for the "Endling" books, this third one "seemed to end the tale", but perhaps some new adventure waits?

  8. What a great set of books! The Endling series sounds really good, especially considering it's by Katherine Applegate. There is a Rainbow, Peace, and In My Anaana's Amautik also sound excellent! Thanks for the great post!


Thanks for visiting!