Monday, August 22, 2022

Monday Reading - Take a Look!



            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! 

             Best wishes to you who have started your school year or are starting today as Denver schools are. My granddaughters are excited! 

         Stretching across three centuries, including a story of old-time primogeniture sending a younger son into exile, to an author who lives on a moon colony who's written a scene in her pandemic novel that some cannot explain, then to an investigation from the mysterious Time Institute that doesn't end well, or does it? Emily St. John Mandel's story may help answer questions about the future and what we wish it to be, no matter the new inventions and living in far places, no matter the time.  Like all her books, I enjoyed this new one very much.

             I realized after posting last week that I didn't include any of my early books read from Candlewick. Here they are plus some new ones.

            It's so nice to read a book where Marisol tells this story of her feelings about sports even when her older brother Oz is a super athlete. She knows this isn't one of her good traits and struggles to find something about herself so others will say "Way to go, Marisol!" She also has a hard time sharing her worries, with her dad who works far away, and the only time the family talks to him several weeks of the month is through an online chat. Then, everyone is listening! Readers will connect, I'm sure, and also see that sometimes it all works out well, especially if one does share and also does the right thing with best friends. 

 There will be many city kids who are familiar with food trucks, maybe even Food Truck Friday. Yet, every reader will laugh at the idea that Bean has an idea to win the 'best food' prize with his "Big Bean Candy Mountain", a sprinkle donut. Frank likes the idea of eating healthier (and he's a hot dog!) so creates his own food truck to add to the mix. He's selling bowls of oatmeal! Through all the fun and chaos of the various trucks like sloth sells slow-cooked soup while Owl's truck sells Night Owl Coffee, an accident produces the favorite. Color-filled and cute illustrations by Bob Kolar make this second early reader story about Frank and Bean by Jamie Michalak even more fun.

       Louie and Ralphie Ratso want to have their friends sing and dance in a concert to raise money to fix up the rundown park. They are so excited until Chad teases and says the new costumes with glitter and sequins are "too girly". However, all is not lost when that same Chad's secrets are discovered when a box of his own "fan stash" falls off a shelf by mistake. There's more talk (and learning) about being girly and what is or what is not truly okay. What a great story to read with a group and discuss. 

          McTavish, believe it or not, always seems to save the day. This time, among all the Peachey family, Betty needs him the most. Pa Peachey has found a new job and a new happier outlook. The family needs to move and while that feels okay to others, Betty is the one who will have a new school. She's worried about having no friends, thinking no one will talk to her, etc. Perhaps others who read the book will understand what that means. Yet, they must move. Betty and all the family like their new home which is next to a park, but nerves increase for Betty when that "first day" arrives. Mom and McTavish walk with her for support but what happens next seems like a disaster, until it isn't. Meg Rosoff tells a fun story, one those who've never had a pet may not believe. Dogs do know more than we can imagine, don't they? There are a few illustrations that add to the tone of the story. It's another great one showing off charming and helpful McTavish. 

          In poetic, bouncy, fun, Leslie Patricelli tells all about a beach trip with a friend. Now I have older grandchildren going to the beach with me but would have loved this when the whole family went and they were babies, new to so much "new" to learn about like hot sand, crabs and seashells, melty ice cream cones, and sand castles. It's a great take-along book for your vacation with the little ones. 

        It may be hard to believe yet Ben Mantle has managed to include a lot of frog and toad information in this amusing book about a fight between frog and toad and who exactly is best. They hurl insults after a fly, caught between the tongues of the two, screams "I'm being eaten by two frogs!" They, of course, are insulted and begin their own attacks on each other. "Wait . . . did you call me slimy?" croaked Frog. "Well, you're dry and lumpy!" Toad was annoyed. "Oh, why don't you hop it, Long Legs!" The insults continue, some connected to fairy tales that kids will recognize. However, the ending will show that finding nice connections in a relationship may be far better than oneupmanship. Full page, colorful and action-filled, Mantle manages a blast of a story and surprises, too. 


               At my all-volunteer-run bookstore, where I volunteer, we were fortunate to have this book by Floyd Cooper donated. It's a joy to read and see Cooper's beautiful illustrations of a moment in a young boy's life where he wants to be the best he can be, yet worries about things! Young Jackson's mother is getting married and he is to be the ring bearer. What if he trips? How will it be to have a stepsister named Sophie and a new family? Children do worry about stuff and Jackson is no different but the outcome of what Cooper's story shows makes me want to stand and applaud. It is a wonderful story.
     This time, a plus is that this happens to be one of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library books, so I get to see how the book is presented. It has sturdy covers and a description of her program on the back flap.

What's Next:  I have several ARCs to read and I found a book that tells about the ways that America sent books to those fighting in World War II, a response to Hitler's book banning and burning. It's When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning.


  1. I have Frog vs. Toad in my library stack. I've glanced through it and it seems hilarious. Love some of these others - Frank and Bean, The Infamous Ratsos, and Marisol Rainey. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have really enjoyed the early Infamous Ratsos books, but am not up to date with them yet. I really liked the others that you shared as well, particularly Frank and Bean and Frog vs. Toad. Thanks for the post, and have a great week!

  3. Thanks, Lisa & Aaron. I like hearing that you enjoy some of these books, the old & then new ones. Since I don't teach anymore, it's sometimes hard to know what kids are loving.

  4. What a wonderful set of books you've been reading lately, Linda! I've heard amazing things about Sea of Tranquility, and I actually just saw another review of Surely Surely Marisol Rainey as well—I am sure that one will be very popular. The Frank and Bean and Infamous Ratsos books look delightful, and it's so fun to see a Leslie Patricelli book—I used to adore those as an extremely little kid! The Ring Bearer is also now on my list—I need to read more books by Floyd Cooper. Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

  5. It's nice to see the Rainey book on two blogs this week. I will definitely have to pick it up. The others are new to me. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks, Max & Stacy. As you both know, there are so many great books available to us. I'm glad you found some here to read!


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