Monday, August 15, 2022

It's Monday - Books Loved in past Weeks!



        I've taken some time away from my blog, and have recently returned from a family trip to Costa Rica, on the beach, having a fabulous time in and out of the waves! Now it's time to look ahead. I actually didn't read very much on the trip. Too much was happening all the time, especially outside by the sea. But through the weeks I haven't posted, I have read, a lot! Here's a small pic of what I want to share. I've shared the more recent ones below with a few exceptions, like Gary Paulsen's last book. In this collage, note Canoe Days, an older picture book by Paulsen, a wonderful 'find' at the used bookstore where I volunteer!

         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! 

           I shared On A Gold-Blooming DayFinding Fall Treasures, a new book by Buffy Silverman last week for Poetry Friday here. It's great!

       It was bittersweet reading Gary Paulsen's final book, perhaps a fitting end, an adventure of a twelve-year-old boy, Leif, who had to flee his ship's camp because everyone had some disease, were dying. He was a foundling, raised by the crew but still a prisoner on board. One kind seaman sent him with a dugout canoe, a blanket bundle, a handaxe, a knife, flint and steel, and a metal point for making a spear. His journey along the north coasts, among islands, shows his survival instincts and skills. Interactions with whales and ravens, eagles and bears, plus observations about nature and life itself are beautifully written as Paulsen allows Leif to tell his story. When you read an author's note from him, you'll find it has a personal connection that feels very real. It's a lovely ending story from this special author.

       I  dearly love grandparent/grandchild stories and also stories by Philip Stead and Matthew Cordell. Here is another to adore! Young Louis wants a dog but his gram says there are too many dogs in the neighborhood already. They write the authorities to check and discover that no record is kept. Well, there they go, taking their own time to find ALL the dogs in the neighborhood. It's the cutest story, with a super surprise at the end for Louis! Don't miss this one!

       Dan Santat's art and stories amaze and satisfy. This time, with underlying grief over the loss of her father, Sophia is struggling to meet a teacher's expectations for a science fair project, is sad that her uncle has little time to see her, and hangs out at Aqualand that her dad and uncle created, but her uncle still has no time. Her world changes drastically when an "aquanaut" breaks into the research lab. Where else but in Santat's books can sea creatures like an octopus and a crab learn to use an old diving suit and manage a daring rescue? There's love here and a message about what's most important in our lives. It's terrific!

     A story we might not ever know without this telling by Stephen 
Briseño in his debut picture book. At the San Ysidro border in Mexico, Noemi and her mother are told to find the "notebook keeper" to be sure to add their names. They are given a number. That way, every day, the border patrol allows a few to cross the border to apply for asylum. Some stay; some are turned away. It's not a happy book, but one that tells the story of the kind notebook keeper who keeps hope in her heart to offer to everyone. "Tengan fe", she says, "Have faith." Magdalena Mora's illustrations are filled with color and poignant in her portrayal of the worry and sadness as so many wait, then wait some more. Briseño shares that no one knows how this notebook idea started but it ended at the beginning of the Pandemic and has not returned. There is one 'real' photo of one notebook keeper included at the end. 

        Maria Gianferrari has given us a book about a dog that shows us all the ways humans can also "be". Right now, you can rise and stretch, play, and enjoy the smells and what you see. And, "if you're really happy" you can WAG! Back pages share the ways dogs smell and see, taste, hear, and feel with stats and additional mindful exercises. Pete Oswald's illustrations make it so-o-o entertaining while Being A Dog. You will love this "tail of Mindfulness"!

        A young boy tells about his family's preparation for the important Pride parade he and his moms and now little brother Sammy will participate in. With color-filled illustrations by Juana Medina showing all kinds of diverse people, it explains what happens and a brief history of "why" and "how" it started, going back to the Stonewall riots of 1969. The joyous tone invites a happy read-aloud for young readers. 

What's Next! Weeks ago I put on Goodreads that I was reading Emily St. John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility but I've just started it! Like her others, it's already intriguing.

Happy Reading! 

I missed learning about new books from each of you!


  1. So happy to hear you had a nice vacation. All of these books sound great, especially the one by Dan Santat. His books are always so incredible.

    1. Thanks, Stacy. It was a terrific getaway! And I agree. All Santat's books are wonderful & fun!

  2. A trip to Costa Rica sounds amazing! I read The Notebook Keeper, but all the rest are books I still need to check out. They sound great.

    1. It was a lovely trip, Lisa. Thanks! Enjoy the other books. I loved The Notebook Keeper, something new to learn & it is so poignant.

  3. Wow, Linda—I'm so glad you got to take a trip with your family to Costa Rica! That sounds like so much fun, and I hope it was a great chance to rest and spend time with people you love. It looks like you've been reading some great books too! I made note of The Aquanaut, which I have been hesitant to read for some reason—your explanation made me feel more like it's a book I would enjoy. 'Twas the Night Before Pride sounds delightful as well, and Northwind sounds incredible—I am glad to hear Gary Paulsen's last book is a fitting end. Thank you so much for the wonderful post!

  4. Hi there! Welcome back! I'm so happy you got to travel with your family! You have some excellent books advertised here - I LOVED The Aquanaut and I gave the dog 5 stars for being mindful! Have a great week!

  5. Happy to hear that you had a great vacation. Always nice to spend some time away. I also really enjoyed The Aquanaut as well as In Our Garden. You have given me several books to check out including The Notebook Keeper, I appreciated reading the backstory behind the whole idea. Thanks for the post, nice to see you back here.

  6. Thanks everyone for coming by. I hope you discovered a book that you will savor when you read it. I've been at the bookstore all the rest of yesterday and with my granddaughters all today. Now time for a little reading!


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