Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday Reading - Fun Books Again!


         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! 

        Every week finds us railing at the news, worrying each morning what will we discover that has happened now. I did manage some reading this week, but less than usual, unless you'd like a share of all the news articles? In better news, the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup last night. The city will be crazy this week! 

     For young middle-grade readers, it's a fun adventure with two young nobles, Thomas and Emily, who are discovering all sorts of things about their kingdom and their mother when they visit the workroom of the scribes. Meg, the main scribe, used to be friends with their mother, the lady of the castle but an event happened that changed that friendship. Thomas and Emily argue a lot but they continue to work together to solve what's becoming a bigger and bigger challenge to discover if what Meg tells is really true. Was there really a dragon in the castle? Knights, elves,  and the ways of castle-living make a funny story
       Clever illustrations by the author, Annette LeBlanc Cate add to the adventure, too.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy!

It's another book discovered at the used bookstore where I work from a favorite author. My own children and I loved Burningham's "Mr. Gumpy's Outing" and now here is Courtney, a dog new to the kids in this book that surprises in many ways. He can cook, juggle, and even saves the baby from a fire. He leaves suddenly, but the question remains, is he very far away?
        Poor Dat, who came over by boat, then by plane, now he's on a school bus and the beginning of his brain swirling because all anyone who's talking to him only speaks "gibberish". His expressions illustrated by Young Vo, who also writes the story, show the emotions wonderfully. Just look at that cover. It's hard to imagine what a challenge Dat and other immigrant children face when they cannot understand a thing and must go by what they "see" nearly all of the time. In the book, Vo shows Dat only in color with a variety of kids and adults surrounding him, fairly goofy looking, until, until, one child begins to help. It's something for everyone, kids and adults, to learn and see, that one can help, starting with a few words, like this young girl in the book. It's a book that full of sympathy for someone living in a new world. (Young Vo says that he learned to draw before he could write!)

         Explaining how gender identity works is not easy but this book whose author's daughter told her at five she wasn't the gender everyone thought she was will help children see themselves along with adults, too, who needed it long ago and also need to learn. Theresa Thorn explains in various ways while Noah Grigni, who is trans, illustrates in subtle ways, just as children, and adults, look and live. There is added help and explanations along with the author's and illustrator's notes in the back. 

         Jacqueline Woodson's new book, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, is glorious! I didn't grow up in a city, but even in my small town, when school ended and summer began, as Woodson writes, "and the whole wide world/felt like it belonged to us." Don't miss this book. It will make you smile!

Next: The Patron Thief of Bread - Lindsey Eager


  1. I think last week was the first I have heard of Gibberish. It sounds wonderful and I've put it on hold at my library.

  2. It has been a hard week. I'm glad you enjoyed Gibberish and The World Belonged to us. I will look forward to reading this John Burningham book. Like you, I enjoyed Mr. Gumpy's Outing. A Dragon Used to Live Here sounds like a sweet read.

  3. Thanks, Lisa & Cheriee, yes, another of "those" weeks, seem never-ending. Reading keeps me grounded, most of the time.

  4. Linda, I can completely understand you fitting in a little less reading, with the world being how it is right now—it's so alarming (which, like everything I could say, is obvious but I suppose still worth saying). I'm glad you were able to track down some books to enjoy this week anyway, though! Gibberish was a wonderful read that I am so glad you enjoyed as well, and I hope to get to The World Belonged to Us soon too. And It Feels Good to Be Yourself looks so meaningful as well! Thank you so much for the wonderful post—all of these blogs are little bright lights during this dark time!

  5. I completely understand your feeling about the news so thank you for sharing these wonderful, caring picture book reads. A Dragon Used to Live Here sounds like so much fun. I hope for all of us that this week's news is less upsetting, but unfortunately I think we are going to have to keep looking to books for our happy endings for a while.

    1. Totally agree! I'm always looking for a happy ending. Thanks, Stacy!


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