It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. For more information and to find out what other bloggers are reading check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.
What I've Been Reading...
All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle
I love slice of life stories. I love them even more when the writing makes me pause to think about the choices the author made and then reread lines to immerse myself in the language and the words of the text. This is one of those books. It's also a book that celebrates the uniqueness of Cuba and will provide some background for readers. The author and illustrator also include notes at the end to tell more about Cuba and its antique cars. This is a beautiful picture book.
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin
Baby Monkey is absolutely adorable and amusing. He's a detective who solves five mysteries, one in each chapter of the book. The story is told through brief text and illustrations. Although there is a lot of repetition in each of the chapters, there is also variation in the text and illustrations that make it interesting. Selznick and Serlin have created a format that is a combination of the picture book and early chapter book. The book is two hundred pages long, but the simple, repetitive text and illustrations will appeal to beginning readers. This is a book I look forward to sharing with my first graders. I read an advanced reader's copy of this book that I received from the publisher at NCTE. Look for it to be published in February.
Rot, The Cutest in the World! by Ben Clanton
A mutant potato is a character I'm sure has not ever made an appearance in a picture book (or any book, for that matter) before, but you will wonder why not after reading this book. He may be a mutant, but he's charming, funny, cute, and will teach readers an important lesson about being oneself. This book is sure to be a hit with young readers who will be amused with the story, but also the dialogue and the illustrations.
The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) by Sayantani DasGupta
This is a book, based on Bengali folktales, that is interesting, action-packed, and humorous. Kiranmala, the heroine of the story will win over readers who like reading about brave and spunky characters. Read more about my thoughts about this book here.