Monday, April 18, 2022

It's Monday - Poetry & Other Special Stories

    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! 
    from Cheriee at Library MattersJust a reminder to everyone participating in #MustReadIn2022,  I will host an (entirely optional) update at the end of the month.
           I'm writing a poem every day in April for Poetry Month. Come visit, or, visit Jama's Alphabet Soup here for all the ways poets are celebrating this month.

     Nancy Merlin has written some amazing YA fantasy stories, but this time her fantastical writing is a book for middle schoolers. Sylvie and her mother and grandmother live in a medieval French village quite comfortably yet there are a few rumors that they may do more than brew herbs for healing. As other descriptions say, "Perhaps they're a bit . . . witchy". When Sylvie's grandmother dies, attempts to help her mother as she grieves go terribly wrong. Sylvie must seek help but struggles with whom to trust as the search becomes a mix of terror and a search into her own heart. It may be a lesson for growing up, a time to listen to self, a time to learn that some can be trusted, some cannot.
                         Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy!

      From Baptiste Paul and Jacquelin Alcántara (remember The Field?) comes a gorgeous book about a climb where the dad is urged on to the top by his energetic daughter! Gorgeous illustrations on the pages show the steep and wild jungle setting as, eventually, it's the dad who does the support. The climb is filled with native animals and a huge reward at the end, the view! There's a fun surprise at the very end as well. This needs to be seen, read aloud, and enjoyed with a group. Not only will they enjoy the view all along the hike but learn a few Creole words as perhaps they pretend to mouté (Climb on!). First, a little bwe (drink), then a manjé (snack)! Time to get outside!

           Told in rhyme by Juli Abery with much more information about Sakamoto's inspirational story at the back, one I didn't know and now am glad I do. He watched children swimming in the irrigation ditches while their families worked in the sugar cane fields only to leap out to run from the whip of the plantation police officer's whip. He promised to take care of them and received permission from the plantation, thus beginning his life's work, to form a swim team. They worked so hard, eventually surprising the world by winning the National Championship, now ready for the Olympics! World War II dashed the hopes, but one swimmer, Bill Smith, won Olympic gold in 1948. The accomplishments did not stop. Chris Sasaki's illustrations fill the pages with motion amid the bright colors from Hawaii! 

Oh, my! I think everything's cooking at 10 Garden Street and I also think we all need to buy this book! Every double-page spread shows the tenants - grandmas and grandpas, singles, mothers and fathers, with children on the left, everyone chopping and slicing, dicing and mixing, blending and frying, and happy! On the right, beautifully illustrated ingredients explain exactly how to cook, "the recipe". At the end, ready, all gather in the garden of the apartment, to eat and savor. "Everyone's welcome!" Felicia Sala tells the story and illustrates with beautiful and muted colors.
There was an earlier French edition, out in the U.S. in 2019. You can see some pages and recipes on Amazon here. It's a fun and creative way to show fellowship through sharing meals. 

Next: Still John Green, nearly done, but I only read a piece or two at bedtime. And I have Worser by Jennifer Ziegler, plus some ARCs I need to get to! Good reading ahead!

Have a great reading week everyone!


  1. What an interesting idea for a cookbook, or is it a cooking themed picture book? Either way! I also think I should see if I can get a copy of Healer & Witch. Your picture books look beautiful as well, and I have not heard of the story of those swimmers until recently. Thanks for sharing these great looking books and for writing a wonderful post.

    1. As I went through "What's Cooking" I was surprised & really pleased, Aaron. I thought it would only mention the varied dishes, but no, it gave the ingredients & "how-to". Healer & Witch was very nicely done, drama & love & courage all rolled in! Thanks!

  2. Werlin's YA mysteries still circulate well in my library. Glad you enjoyed her new book!

    1. Good to know. This is a lovely new one for the younger readers, a nice addition. Thanks!

  3. I can't wait to get to Worser! I need a payday, first. LOL I LOVE the covers for these books you've posted today! Have a great week of reading!

    1. I was lucky to get it from my library, Jennifer. Thanks, & hoping you have a good week, too!


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