Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-24-17


It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

RIP sweet Guenter
The past month has been really difficult, but the past few days especially. We had to say goodbye to our sweet pug, Guenter, on Friday and my heart is completely broken. At first I felt guilty for grieving the loss of a dog much deeper than many of the people in my life who have passed on, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I totally have permission to take this as hard as I need to. Afterall, he spent every single day with us for almost 12 years of our lives. How can that not hurt beyond measure when he's suddenly just not there anymore.





Anyway, I did get a little bit of reading done this past week despite my abject sadness over losing my dog.


The Lemonade Stand Cookbook by Kathy Strahs
A fabulous cookbook to include in school libraries for the budding chefs, bakers, and entrepreneurs in your life. I love all the colorful pictures of the recipes included in this book along with the equally colorful and organized layout.


Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith
Hilarious take on the Little Red Riding Hood story.


Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
A beautiful picture book about the ways a family gets their farm ready for the winter. I especially love the author's note at the end that describes how Doyle writes letters to a class of 3rd graders every year and then at the end of the year, they come visit her farm, help with some of the chores, and then have lunch together.

 
Real Cowboys by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
A beautiful book that challenges masculine norms from one of the most mythical and masculine of jobs in American culture: the cowboy.


A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins
A book that manages to be both totes adorbs and darkly funny. Fans of Jon Klassen will love this one.


Alan's Big, Scary Teeth by Jarvis
A hilarious book that is sure to be a read aloud hit about an alligator who loves his big, scary teeth and finds himself in a pickle when said teeth go missing.  


Currently reading:

Patina by Jason Reynolds 

Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-17-17


It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

It's been a stressful past couple of weeks as I've been trying to nurse a sick dog back to health. Almost 3 weeks ago, this little guy was diagnosed with diabetes, ketoacidosis, sepsis, and pancreatitis. He spent 3 days at the 24 hour emergency vet and has had many visits back for vomiting and inappetence. So my reading life has taken somewhat of a hit due to the anxiety of a dog that has been on death's door. He was starting to show signs of improving, like getting his appetite back and playing with some of his toys. But yesterday he had a huge setback by excessive vomiting and so I had to take him back to the emergency vet, because of course this had to happen on a Sunday when our regular vet isn't open. So yeah, reading hasn't quite been on the forefront of my mind these days. But I have gotten SOME reading done. Here's a highlight of some of my favorite books from the past couple of weeks:


Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
I have always loved books that focus more on character than plot, and this book has that in spades. Beatrice Zinker always sees the upside to life... because she spends so much time upside down.

This is an absolutely darling early chapter book to transition 2nd-4th graders into longer novels. I can't wait to read Beatrice's next upside down adventure.
 



Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey 
I'm guessing my love for this book is obvious based on what I wrote above, but I may have snorted from laughing so hard while reading this I'm the bookstore.


King Baby by Kate Beaton 
I love Kate Beaton's books. That is all.


Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel  
Stunning picture book about the beauty and wonder of life. I can see this one being a Caldecott contender. 

 
The One Day House by Julia Durango, illustrated by Bianca Diaz 
This beautiful book is a testament to what can happen when welcoming and diverse communities come together to pitch in and help their neighbors.  


Oh yeah, and in between all the stressful dog stuff, I did get a chance to attend nErDcampMI last week and it was by far the best year yet! Check out my Storify archive for a rundown on how it all went.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-3-17


It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.


Last week I posted:

Reflections from ALA 2017 


Last week I finished reading:

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
This was a hard book to read, but the characters are memorable and you really root hard for the main character, Charlie. 


Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L and Matthew Holm
Jennifer and Matthew Holm are dream team graphic novelists. Just like with Sunny Side Up, the sequel is full of heart and humor that will take away some of the sting of the difficult situation Sunny's family is going through. But what really elevates this book and the first book for me are the delightful visual details from the 1970s that make it more than just a decade of questionable fashion and home decor. 


Picture books that stood out in the pile last week:

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story by Rebecca Langston-George, illustrated by Janna Bock
She was warned. She was given an explanation. She was almost killed. Nevertheless, she persisted. 

 
Today by Julie Morstad 
Anything Julie Morstad illustrates is beautiful and brilliant and this book is no different. It's kind of like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure in re: all the small but significant decisions we make in a day (what to wear, how to wear your hair, what to eat for breakfast, etc.)


After the Fall by Dan Santat 
Humpty Dumpty loved sitting on his wall watching the birds. After he fell, he was afraid to get back up on his wall. Fear and anxiety plagued him. But eventually, he found the courage to get back up. Rife with rich metaphor and symbolism, After the Fall is a kidlit celebration of a phoenix rising from the ashes.  


Charlie and Mouse and Grumpy by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes 
Love this quiet, gentle, yet quirky series.

  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reflections from ALA 2017


What do you do when you get to check off the item that was at the top of your bucket list?

In recent years, that item was to get to hear civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis and get to shake his hand.

At ALA in Chicago, both of those wishes came true:

 


So what do I include at the top of my list now? Dare I be so bold as to want to meet Elizabeth Warren and/or President Obama? :)

In addition to the amazing experience of getting to hear John Lewis speak and getting to shake his hand, I also had a few more memorable experiences this year at ALA:

* Dan Santat and his editor showing off their Beekle tats

* Attending the Coretta Scott King breakfast thanks to Scholastic, and getting to hear Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, and John Lewis speak, among many other amazing authors and illustrators. The CSK breakfast felt like I was attending an incredibly uplifting church service. If I ever get a chance to attend ALA again, I will be sure not to miss this experience ever again.
 





* Attending a Penguin cocktail party and getting to hear Kristin Cashore and Sarah Dessen talk about their new novels

* Going right from the Penguin party to a small, intimate dinner with Candlewick Press and middle grade author Mira Bartok, who wrote The Wonderling, a book that isn't even in bookstores yet and is already being made into a movie.

*Meeting the illustrator of the March trilogy, Nate Powell, and learning many amazing insights into the life of John Lewis and the Civil Rights Movement.

*And of course, the piles of books I was lucky enough to bring back. These are just a few of the books I'm most looking forward to reading in the next few weeks:

For more inspirational nuggets from ALA, check out my Storify archive.

Monday, June 26, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? 6-26-17


It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

I am currently driving home from what was probably an amazing weekend at the American Library Association conference. So I am writing and scheduling this post a few days early. I will definitely be writing more about ALA in next's week's "It's Monday!" post.


Last week I reviewed:

 I Want a Monster! by Elise Gravel 
The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Stacy Innerst


Current blog tour/giveaway:

Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens 


Last week I finished reading:

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
That's two books in a row that Nicola Yoon has helped get me out of a reading rut. Following the success of her wildly popular first book, Everything, Everything, Yoon has managed to write an even more beautiful and compelling book the second time around, solidifying Yoon as an author whose books I will henceforth read without question or hesitation. I hope this book is also made into a movie! 


Picture books that stood out in the pile last week:

Mustache Baby Meets His Match by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Joy Ang
Sweeter, cuter, funnier, and more clever than the first one


Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 
Delightful picture book biography of John Newbery, who is considered by many as the father of children's literature. Will be using this as a read aloud on the library before the ALA Youth Media Awards.


 Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
This book has my heart. A beautiful, subtle (but colorful) message about identity and acceptance.  


Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed 
A strange but also beautiful story of friendship


Other picture books I enjoyed last week:


How I Did It! by Linda Ragsdale, illusrated by Anoosha Syed 
Alphabetter by Linda Ragsdale, illustrated by Martina Hogan


Currently reading with my eyes:

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow


Currently (still) reading with my ears:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood