Monday, April 12, 2021

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...


If Bees Disappeared by Lily Williams

This book introduces readers to honeybees, a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder that is causing bees to die, and the chain reaction of consequences that would result without bees. There is a strong message about the importance of bees, but also one of hope for the small creature that makes a big difference in our world. The illustrations are lovely.

The Little Library by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

Jake is reluctant to visit the school library, but once there, with the help of the librarian, he finds a treasured book. When the library is closing for the summer, Jake uses his book to work on a project to surprise his class and the librarian and make it possible to continue borrowing books. This is a lovely celebration of books and libraries.

A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu, and You by by Mike Barfield and illustrated by Jess Bradley

This book contains one- or two-page comic book style spreads providing a brief informational snapshot of interesting things related to the human body, the animal kingdom, and earth and science. Written from the perspective of the thing being described, each of the snapshots is amusing. This book is probably one that readers will revisit again and again rather than read all in one sitting. Educational and entertaining.

Knight of the Cape (Definitely Dominguita) by Terry Catasus Jennings and illustrated by Fatima Anaya 

Dominguita is going to prove to a bully at school that girls can be knights. An adventure to do good deeds leads her to new friendships. This is a sweet and charming chapter book.

Ways to Grow Love (A Ryan Hart Story) by Renée Watson

This is a chapter book that I absolutely love and along with the first book, Ways to Make Sunshine, think is a must-have for elementary classrooms and libraries. In this book, Ryan is navigating relationships with friends as she spends time at a summer camp. She's also awaiting the arrival of a sibling. It's a sweet, heart-warming book about friendship, kindness, and love. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy.

Leonard (My Life as a Cat) by Carla Sorosiak

This is a story about being human as told by a cat who is actually an alien. On his 300th birthday, he wishes to be a human park ranger at Yellowstone, but ends up as a cat in South Carolina. Olive rescues him and helps him learn about being human and what it means to be part of a family. It's fun and heart-warming. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Recent Reads

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

Chase the Moon, Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling's Daring Race to the Sea by Kelly Jordan and illustrated by Sally Walker

Written in verse, this book tells of a loggerhead turtle's extraordinary journey to the sea from the dune where it hatched. The turtle encounters various predators along the way, but continues on with determination. The story is informative, suspenseful, and beautiful.

Give It! (A Moneybunny Book) by Cinders McLeod

Chummy's gran gives him ten carrots for his birthday and tells hime to spend some on himself and some on helping others. With the help of his gran, Chummy decides who he wants to help, but he must figure out how to make the best use of his money. This is a sweet story about charitable giving and making a contribution that will help the world. 

Mr. Complain Takes the Train by Wade Bradford and illustrate by S. Britt

Mr. Complain is not very pleased with his train ride to Dullsville for his vacation. A very patient conductor tries to help, but there is only one thing that will change Mr. Complain's attitude. The interactive nature of the book adds to the fun.

Merci Suárez Can't Dance by Meg Medina 

I loved reading about Merci and the entire Suárez family again in this sequel to Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Merci is in seventh grade and faces many new challenges in her family and school life. The exploration of friendship and first crushes are especially heart-warming and relatable. Thanks to Candlewick for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishes this week.

The One Thing You'd Save by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng

This is a poignant book of verse and illustrations. A teacher asks her class to think about the one thing they would save if their houses were on fire and then they have a discussion about it. In the note at the end, the author describes her use of sijo, a traditional Korean poetry form, in writing the book. I think this is a book that will spark a lot of thinking and discussion.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Recent Reads

 

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

I Am Not a Dog Toy by Ethan T. Berlin and illustrated by Jared Chapman

Bear is excited when he is given as a present to a kid, but she tosses him aside without any thought of playing with him. Dog finds him and wants to play, but Bear insists he's not a dog toy. This is a fun story about realizing the value of a true friend.

My Day with the Panye by Tami Charles and illustrated by Sara Palacios

Fallon is invited to go with her Manman to the market and she desperately wants to be able to carry the panye on her head. This is a sweet story about a mother and daughter and a beautiful celebration of Haiti. The colorful and lively illustrations are gorgeous. 

Something's Wrong!: A Bear, A Hare and Some Underwear by Jory John and illustrated by Erin Kraan

I have yet to meet an elementary-aged reader who does not giggle at the mention of underwear in a picture book. With a bear who leaves his house wearing underwear, knowing that something just isn't right, this book will have readers laughing for sure. Luckily, Jeff the bear has a good friend who helps him realize what's wrong and overcome his embarrassment.

Sugar and Spite by Gail D. Villanueva

Jolina is adjusting to her new life living on a small island in the Philippines and struggling with a girl in her Bible class, Claudine, who is bullying her. In spite of her grandfather's warning about the consequences of spells, Jolina uses a love potion to get Claudine to be nicer to her. This heart-warming book with a dash of magic explores some important themes. Both the characters and the setting will charm readers. Thanks to the publisher for providing my book review group, #BookExcursion, with an advanced reader's copy. The book publishers in April.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Recent Reads

 

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

I Am the Longest Dog by Avery Monsen

This is an amusing story about an exceptionally long dog. The surprise ending, which includes a fold-out spread, proves just how long the dog is. Since books about dogs are always a hit, I think kids will enjoy this one.

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! by Lorna Scobie

Rabbit is content being an only child. When his family grows, he asks fox to look after his rabbit siblings. Humorous and relatable for any child who has had to adjust to a new sibling in the family.

Shy Willow by Cat Min

Willow is a shy rabbit living in an abandoned mailbox. When a letter addressed to the moon is dropped in her mailbox, she decides she must be the one to deliver it. This is a fanciful and sweet story of adventure, courage, and resilience. Enchanting illustrations.
 

J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard and illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts

J.D. realizes he has a talent for cutting hair and begins his own business. When a local barber wants J.D. to shut down his operations, J.D. challenges him to a competition. This is a really fun and sweet chapter book. 

The House That Wasn't There by Elana K. Arnold

This is a heart-warming and magical story about a fifth-grader named Alder and Oak, his new next-door neighbor. Although they don't hit it off at first, they begin to discover that their lives are connected in mysterious ways. A unique story about friendship, family, and coincidences. Thanks to the publisher, I read a digital review copy. The book publishes at the end of the month.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Recent Reads

 

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

Daisy by Jessixa Bagley

Daisy was named after her mother's favorite flower, but when she's around her teasing classmates she doesn't feel she lives up to her name. Because she is always looking down, she finds discarded treasures and takes joy in their hidden beauty. Daisy also discovers that she is not the only one who enjoys these treasures. This is a sweet story about feeling different and wanting to fit in and friendship.

Sunny-Side Up by Jacky Davis and illustrated by Fiona Woodcock

The child in this story is disappointed to learn there is a storm and she can't go outside to play. With encouragement from her dad, she finds ways to make the best of the day inside. The child's emotions in this story will be relatable to those who have had a day that's gone different than planned. 

The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable by Better Midler with photographs by Michiko Kakutani and illustrated by Joana Avillez

Based on a true story, this book tells about a Mandarin Duck who turned up in New York City. The duck melted people's hearts and got them to put their phones away for a bit. It's a meaningful story and the photographs are gorgeous.

Switched by Bruce Hale

Sixth-grader Parker and his goldendoodle, Boof, wake up one morning in each other's bodies. I know many students who enjoy stories about dogs and this one will definitely delight them. Very humorous. Thanks to the publisher for sharing an advanced reader's copy with my book review group. The book publishes next month.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Recent Reads

 

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

I Am Not a Penguin: A Pangolin's Lament by Liz Wong

A pangolin is giving a presentation to inform the other animals about what kind of creature he is, but they confuse him with other animals and are disappointed he's not a penguin. This is a humorous book that provides facts about an intriguing animal.

It's So Quiet: A Not-Quite-Going-to-Bed Book by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tony Fucile

Mouse's mama has tucked him into bed, but first the night is too quiet and then it is too noisy. With rhyming text and sound words, I think this will be a fun book to read aloud. 

We Wait For the Sun by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe and illustrated by Raissa Figueroa

This is a beautiful story based on the childhood experience of civil rights lawyer, Dovey Johnson Roundtree. Before dawn, Dovey Mae and her grandmother go berry picking in the forest and then watch the sun rise together. The illustrations are gorgeous.

Super Detectives (Simon and Chester #1) by Cale Atkinson

Simon, the ghost, and his human friend, Chester, are back in this graphic novel spin-off of Sir Simon: Super Scarer. Although they don't always agree on everything, the two work together to solve the case of the mysterious pug. Perfect for early readers looking to read graphic novels.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Recent Reads

 

Every Monday, I share books I have recently read. I also participate in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. To find out what other bloggers are reading, check out the host blogs, Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, or follow on Twitter at #imwayr.

Recent Reads...

The Little Butterfly That Could by Ross Burach

This is a humorous follow-up to The Very Impatient Caterpillar about persistence. The dialogue between the butterfly and whale and illustrations are fun. Thanks to the publisher for sharing a review copy with my book review group, #BookExcursion. The book publishes in March.

The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and illustrated by Davide Ortu

Three friends discover there is magic at their library and then must work together to save it from Mr. Salt who wants to destroy it. This is a charming and humorous chapter book with a positive message about reading. This is one of the books from the #MustReadin2021 list I made at the start of the year and have been making great progress with. Thanks to the publisher, I read a digital review copy. The book publishes in March.

Shoe Wars by Liz Pichon 

There are flying shoes, an evil villain, and two brave siblings in this illustrated middle grade novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy silly and fun stories.

Adult Reading Recommendation


The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

Ruth lives in Chicago with her husband who is eager to start a family. After revealing to him that she gave a baby up for adoption when she was seventeen, she returns to her hometown in Indiana to find out what happened to her child. This is a thought-provoking read that explores themes related to racism, social class, and family.