Monday, June 6, 2022

It's Monday - More Terrific Books to Love


        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! 
       For Poetry Friday, I shared a wonderful and poetic picture book by Liz Garton Scanlon, Would You Come Too? Find it here!

      I enjoyed the first book about this Peach family, those ups and downs from losing their mother to the challenge of running a food truck. Now they are back facing a new challenge, renovating Aunt Lucinda's old mansion for their home and for starting a bed and breakfast! Whew! I like that Erin Soderberg Downing digs deep again into the family's personalities. Knowing each one's strengths and challenges means readers might find themselves or at least see that no matter the quirks, everyone can contribute to goals. Many adults believe that children are not capable of doing much and this book plus the first one show even the young ones mastering new things, creating new ideas, and adding to the family's goals with heart and expertise. Sometimes they work together for everyone's good. This time there are a few secrets kept, but it all works, just "peachy"! You will love the surprises in this old house, too. I liked "The Peach Pit" very much.

       Folktales make a new world when reading aloud, talking about the truth inside along with the wisdom and the humor. This one from West Africa does all of that as young boy Anansi learns more about his namesake who happens to be a trickster. How does that Golden Pot make the magic? Selasi adds more about the story and translates some of the delectable dishes that filled that pot. Tinuke Fabborun's illustrations create the colorful world of Anansi, both at home and while he visits his Nana at the beach. What a fun book this is!
       On their way to a violin recital, a young girl, visually impaired, shows "her" city of so many sounds: "hasty honks, impatient beeps, distant chimes" and more. Full-page collaged illustrations by Ashley Barron show how full a city can be while the girl and her father walk together. It can be an inspiration for children to listen to sounds at home, on their own way around their neighborhoods, or at their schools. It's lovely. 
       Once again a story is told about a little-known woman scientist, Anna Atkins. She was an English botanist and photographer, often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. Fiona Robinson starts the book by showing Anna's father teaching her from a very young age to identify plants and insects and to draw what she finds! He also begins teaching her their Latin names. Anna's life spanned from 1799 to 1871. During that time, girls were not usually educated but Anna's father was determined that she become as educated as possible. They work together gathering specimens and gathering information about them for years. Later in her life, she and her father hear of a new invention, photography, and she receives her first camera from him. She is believed to be the first woman to take a photograph.
       You may not realize the reason for Robinson's alluring, blue illustrations until she explains the later discovery and Anna's use of cyanotypes, an extraordinary invention that helps her begin to create a book of her seaweed collection of thousands. Anna's sex kept her from being included in The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge but her father passed on as many papers and information he could to her. Later, Anna was given membership in the Royal Botanic Society, one of the few institutions to admit women.
Anna did publish beautiful books with that cyanotype invention, and there is an additional author's note that tells more about her published works. The blue illustrations beautifully bring readers into this spectacular story.

Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following two picture books!

       Lily, the small sailboat on this cover tells the tale of a bridge that must be raised in order that she sail on out of the harbor. Unfortunately, much larger ships cut in line and Lily sway and bobs through big waves as she scoots along to avoid colliding. The book is a fun way for children to learn about the ships that come and go to a harbor and must signal to those at the bridge to raise it. Marci Preus, with Lily's help tells of the huge vessels along with all kinds of sailing ships that need these kinds of bridges raised. And she adds an author's note about the particular bridge in the book, adding more information about the signals used. Matt Myers, illustrator of The Infamous Ratsos fills the pages with lovely ocean action.

           Oh, this is a marvelous book! I have sailed several times with students, once on a two-masted schooner, another trip on a three-masted tall ship. This old wood boat is smaller and about to be restored by a family, "scraping and scrubbing and caulking", all the things needed to make her seaworthy again. (The raccoons will not stay!) Nikki McClure tells a tale that makes it seem like a story she knows according to her author's note. Her gorgeous hand-cut paper illustrations show the story from an old boat with resident raccoons to a family on a sailing adventure first to an island. There is a hint that the old boat has been there before! One double-page spread shows an amazing cross-section of everything on the boat, from bow to stern, on deck and below. It's a wonderful glimpse of one family's story of this "Old Wood Boat".

What's Next: Starting The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson!


  1. Anansi and the Golden Pot sounds great. I put a bunch of picture books on hold at the library and I think Lily Leads the Way was one of them. I look forward to reading it.

  2. I recently enjoyed the first Peach book and am looking forward to reading this one. I've added Anansi and the Golden Pot to my list and am happy that my library has it on order. I'm glad you enjoyed The Bluest of Blues and My City Speaks. Both of those boat books look delightful too.

  3. What a wonderful set of books, Linda! I came down to mention the exact same books that Cheriee Weichel did—The Peach Pit, Anansi and the Golden Pot, My City Speaks, and especially The Bluest of Blues all look great! (The last one grabbed me because of the illustrations, and it's wonderful that the color scheme has a real-world basis.) Now that I look at the comments, I am drawn to Lily Leads the Way as well! Thanks so much for the great post!

  4. You always have such interesting books for #IMWAYR and these are not exception. I loved the two boat books and I've been meaning to read The Peach Pit ever since I saw the author on a webinar. I don't know Anansi and the Golden Pot but will look for it in the library.


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