Monday, January 29, 2024

Monday Reading - 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! Nearly done, but reading for the Cybils is both wonderful and takes time. I'll be able to share my reviews after Valentine's Day, when the winners are announced! Here are a few from the previous two weeks.

         In the nineteen-seventies there was Pottstown, PA; nearby was Chicken Hill, full of negroes and immigrant Jews, others from across the ocean, turning to America for its promise; sadly, as James McBride writes, they were "moving into an American nothing". Yet, like today, they are a society of good people with a few despicable and frightening ones in the bunch. It begins with a mystery when, years later, a skeleton was dug up with no means of solving this whodunnit! But as readers know, when you put a gun on the mantel, that gun has to be used sometime in the story. When finished, remember to return to the beginning and re-read it. It'll give you a big, big smile! It is a marvelous story, unfortunately with parallels to today, over fifty years later.

Thanks to Candlewick Press for these next two! 

            This was published a few years ago by Walker Books, but thanks to Candlewick Press for a new copy. This Little Donkey loves grass, will only eat grass, and sad to say, he turns green, and only realizes it when he's thirsty and dips into a stream for a drink, then sees his reflection. Oh, my, he needs to find something else to love! Anushka Allepuz's brief poetic words, even letting this little donkey make a rhyme or two about his love(s), give us a fun, but cautionary tale, with bright, colorful illustrations. Wait till you see what his next food choice is! 

         Jyoti Rajan Gopal was inspired to write this poetic story through her experience of balcony singing in Italy during the Pandemic. One note begins and it swirls throughout the neighborhood in musical poems. One can almost hear the notes with the fabulous full-color pages illustrated by Sonia Sánchez. It is such a delightful inspiration to, at least, hum along while reading! Here's one example toward the end: 
           Ten notes swirl
            and whirl and wing,
            sparkling, glittering,
            a living thing."

From my library!

         Here, readers learn of three families who celebrate their children growing up by sharing about hands, ones that fit inside the parents' hands, but soon, seems so fast, before one realizes, those hands won't fit anymore but move on to learn and create, bring love, too, but inside and outside the family. They are diverse families, and one child is deaf; there's a small glossary showing some of the sign language used in the story. Elizabeth Lilly's illustrations fill us up with family life, the fun and the foibles that happen every day, and then the future grown kids and how they're doing now, all with brief, enjoyable text by Jonathan Stutzman. 
 I'm sure adults will love this, too!

          First published in Canada, translated by Elisa Amado, it's a loving story about a pet shop. A young girl named Ana works there, and in the days shown in the book, she watches all the pets leave with new owners except one dog that Ana had found as a pup in the alley outside the bookstore, a hedgehog, and a mouse. Ana is shown playing with these three, getting closer to them every day. She is sad when the owner comes by to say that the store is closing and knows she needs to help. What happens to Ana and those three ends well, and like all of the book, award-winning Rafael Yockteng's illustrations and Jairo Buitrago's story-telling bring a wonderful story to read and enjoy. (Maybe this belongs in real pet store windows!)

Now reading: still the Cybil's finalists and North Woods by Daniel Mason


  1. Hi Linda, As usual, I want to run out and get all the books you've shared today. Unfortunately, I have a huge pile of books waiting for me. Instead I've just added them to my for later list...

    1. I'm sure we just trade titles, Cheriee! And that's a good thing. Enjoy what you can & thanks!

  2. We love using The Little Green Donkey at preschool visits at my library, it's an older books, but such a fun one! I love when older books get new copies, it's easy to miss these gems under the constant flood of shiny new books. :)

  3. Soon, Your Hands was really sweet.

  4. Thanks, Jane & Earl, I agree about those two books. They're wonderful for young readers!


Thanks for visiting!