Monday, July 25, 2022

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...

Goodnight Butterfly by Ross Burach

Butterfly is woken up by Porcupine and learns what it means to be nocturnal. When Butterfly is too anxious to fall back asleep, Porcupine offers some advice that helps. Butterfly's questions and antics are humorous and there is a fun twist at the end. Being a follow-up to The Very Impatient Caterpillar and The Little Butterfly That Could, readers will be glad to see the return of the amusing butterfly. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. The book publishes in August. 

If You're a Kid Like Gavin: The True Story of a Young Trans Activist by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by J Yangh

This picture book biography is the story of Gavin Grimm, a transgender kid who spoke out after being denied the right to use the boys' bathroom at his high school. There is lot to talk about in this book including the choices that kids can and can't make and the importance of activism. Very powerful.

Pigeon & Cat by Edward Hemingway

Cat lives in a box in an empty city lot by himself and only ventures out to gather food. One day he finds an egg that he brings back to his box and once it hatches he has a new friend, Pigeon. Their friendship grows as they exhibit kindness in different ways toward each other. This is a sweet story about home, kindness, and moving out of one's comfort zone. 

Tomatoes in My Lunchbox by Costantia Manoli and illustrated by Magdalena Mora

The narrator of this book is in a new school in a new country where her teacher and classmates can't pronounce her name. She wishes for a name that is shorter and more recognizable like those of the other children. In addition to her name, she feels like she stands out because of other differences like her clothes and the food in her lunchbox. Her name though is a connection to her grandmother and when she thinks of her grandmother's advice she makes a new friend and begins to feel a sense of belonging. Based on the author's experience, this is a heart-warming book about belonging, self-acceptance, and friendship.

Hoggy Went-a-Courtin' (I Like to Read Comics) by Ethan Long

Hoggy wants to play basketball with his friends, but he is not good at being a team player. Some good advice helps Hoggy learn that the game is more fun when he is not being a ball hog or bad sport. Early readers, especially those who are interested in graphic novels will enjoy this. 

Too Pig To Fail by Rob Harrell

Readers loved When Pigs Fly and they are going to be excited to see this next installment in the series. It's just as humorous and adventurous as the first book. In one story, Batpig has to make time fly and in another he saves his neighborhood after a downpour of stinky gym socks and an attack by a Bumblekitten. This graphic novel series has lots of kid appeal.

Professional Reading 

Uncommon Sense Teaching: Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn by Barbara Oakley, Beth Rogowsky, and Terrence J. Sejnowski

There were some great insights, based on neuroscience, about learning in this book. I especially appreciated reading about how what we learn gets from our working memory into our long-term memory and the power of retrieval practice. Not only is the book useful for reflecting on classroom practice, but it made me think about my own learning as well. 


  1. I really enjoyed the second Batpig as well. I ordered Goodnight, Butterfly from Scholastic a few months ago. Must have been a Scholastic only kind of deal but kids enjoyed seeing the Butterfly again, just as you are predicting. It was a good late addition. Tomatoes in My Lunchbox is new to me and I am checking out the other books here as well. Thanks for the post.

  2. I've been seeing lots of food picture books and I feel I need to do a themed reading of them while maybe enjoying a good snack.

  3. What a great looking collection of books you have shared today. I'm very sorry that my library has none of the Batppig titles. I'm sure my grandson would love them.

  4. Too Pig to Fail is great! I want to read "Gavin" too. Have a great week!

  5. What a great set of books, Lisa! I made note of If You're a Kid Like Gavin—I will try to track that one down. Tomatoes in My Lunchbox looks fantastic too—I love the cover with the memories contained within droplets of tomato juice. Thanks so much for the wonderful post!