Monday, August 29, 2022

It's Monday - A Wide Array!



            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 know, the following isn't a children's book, but it would be great for young adults. Here's my review!


       This is a must-read for all those today who are planning to ban books. It's a World War II effort I have never read about and it is a story of an amazing accomplishment. A quote: "By VE Day, it is estimated that Germany had destroyed over 100 books in Europe." and "The (US) government supplied more than 120 million free books to ensure that America's fighting men were equipped with spirit and resolve to carry them through their battles."
       At first, people realized that soldiers and sailors needed reading material to fill the long hours of waiting, even in foxholes between bombardments! A nationwide call for donations was started yet soon realized that any old book, particularly hardbacks, would not be the right thing. A group was formed (you will read the names in the book) who worked with publishers to create special, very small, editions of varied titles, ones that would fit in a back pocket. At the time, few paperbacks had been being published. Most preferred the fancier hardbacks. However, this particular and successful idea served as entertainment all over the world. These bundles of books were sent quickly and became much sought after by every soldier and sailor. Also included in the "books" were magazines, like The Saturday Evening Post. 
       Manning has included a lot of background to the war, a partial list of authors whose books were banned by the Nazi regime, the many lists of books that were included in America, notes, and an index. Knowing how challenging this was and the way everyone worked so hard to get it done is a tribute to still another part of the effort to stop Germany. "We all know that books burn--yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory." It is a special book about the history of World War II.
          Marianne Dubuc adds this note at the end of her picture book: "Marianne Dubuc writes, "Sometimes life forces us to move, whether physically or mentally. It's important to let ourselves be guided by this ebb and flow, remembering that everything will be fine in the end and that there is always a comforting corner of the world to find." Although kids often don't have a choice, this particular book will bring a way to talk about moving positively. Bear has a nice life, a nice house, and nice friends. But one day he wakes and realizes he has a yen to move. Through his wandering, meeting a new friend or two, yet continuing on through some frightening events, he finds it's going to be okay and change feels good. Dubuc's soft and dreamy illustrations create a comforting story to read and enjoy.

          Three stories from Max, a poet and dreamer, with fantastic illustrations from Maira Kalman, was donated to the used bookstore where I volunteer. What a book to read and love with kids or just self, looking and smiling, often chuckling, at Max's adventures, filled with surprises from Kalman's art in words and picture.

         One last book I discovered at the library. I didn't know Christina Soontornvat had this book out! 
         It's brief, it's powerful, it's an ode to earth. Between Christina Soontornvat's words and Rahele Jomepour Bell's illustrations, readers are taken on a journey, from earth's beginnings to how one person, then many persons, have made changes. These changes, as many know, have not been good for the earth, and they themselves need changing. There are few words, and Christina has given additional information in the backmatter. If you want to share with others, perhaps students, perhaps family, this is a great place to begin.

Currently reading: from Candlewick by David Almond, a curious book titled Brand New Boy. Next, I have Pet and Bitter waiting for me at my library, per Max's reviews last week!


  1. To Change a Planet is great. I love how picture books can have few words, but still say a lot.

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed Bear and the Whisper of the Wind. Marianne Dubuc is one of my favourite Canadian author illustrators. I wish my library had a copy of To Change a Planet. They do have a copy of When Books Went to War, but it's already in use, and honestly, I don't know when I would find time for it.

  3. What an amazing set of books, Linda! When Books Went to War sounds fascinating—I had no idea we sent books to WWII soldiers to help them pass the time, nor did I know it helped spawn the beginning of paperbacks. Bear and the Whisper of the Wind is a wonderful story, and I'm glad you got to try it! I also made note of To Change a Planet, and Max Deluxe looks like a ton of fun—you must get to discover so many cool books from the bookstore! And I'm so glad to hear you checked out Pet and Bitter—I really hope you enjoy both of those! Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

  4. Thanks, Lisa, Cheriee, & Max. It's been a busy day & Max, I'll try to get to your post sometime. When Books Went to War was a total surprise to me, too. I wish I could now ask some of my family who are long passed if they knew about it. I read a little at a time, Cheriee. It was fascinating if you can take the time.


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