Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9-15-14

Originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers also host a kidlit version of It's Monday! What are You Reading?

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 just started an amazing graduate class last week called Prizing Children's Literature, so you will probably notice that a lot of my reading in the coming weeks will revolve around award winners.

Last week I reviewed:

Firebird by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers
Definitely one to keep an eye on during award season next year.

Picture books I enjoyed last week:

Quest by Aaron Becker
While the story of Quest was harder to follow than that of Journey, the gorgeous art warrants several read-throughs for appreciation-sake alone. And reading it over and over again to admire the art will only make for greater understanding of the actual story. A brilliant move on Becker's part. 

Monster Party! by Annie Bach
Such a fun book! Loved the rhythm and the rhyme and despite the lack of subject-verb agreement throughout the entire book, (e.g., Monster prepare, Monster brush hair) it is absolutely delightful -- a book you'll no doubt want to read aloud to a classroom full of kids. 

Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato
No doubt we need to get MerryMakers on board with creating a Little Elliot plush doll. What a darling story and endearing illustrations! I'm not sure if this one is in contention for a Caldecott (though I think it should be) but I'm thinking it has a chance for a Geisel for sure. 

Still reading:

El Deafo by CeCe Bell 
Because I'm taking two graduate classes this semester, my personal reading has kind of fallen by the wayside. But it's not for lack of desire. I am absolutely LOVING this graphic memoir

Currently reading with my ears:

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
I abandoned this book once before but alas, it's required reading for my Prizing Children's Literature class. If I'm being brutally honest here, I can find nothing to like about this book. It is painful to listen to. It will surely make for a lively discussion in class tonight, that's for sure! 

On my teaching blog last week:
Celebrating authors as mentors and changes of heart


  1. I need to check out Monster Party and Firebird! Hopefully I can get to my copy of El Deafo by the end of this year!

  2. Quest and Journey are two picture books I've been meaning to read. And I've heard nothing but wonderful things about El Deafo - have to check that out, too.

  3. Beth, I have abandoned Kira Kira 4 or 5 times. I don't know why I can't get through it. It's not even long! I've tried listening to it on audio too. Abandoned it in that format too. I made the mistake of trying to flip through Quest very quickly in the bookstore--found that I had NO idea what was going on and had to start over and slow way down. I like your point about how this is a book that will reward slower reading and rereading. I really want to get my hands on Firebird though I primarily know Misty Copeland as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance and she drives both me and my son crazy. He makes me fast forward through her comments so we don't have to hear about the dancer's necks every time!

  4. I loved Firebird too. It has a great message. My favorite book of the season (because they change every so often!) is Little Elliot! I could look at those pictures forever. I am interested in reading Kira Kira. I saw your goodreads review and now I'm intrigued! I own it, but never read it. Have fun at your class, I'm sure it will be an interesting discussion!

  5. I feel like you and I are kindred spirits right now--trying to squeeze in our personal reading with our coursework. We will emerge victorious in the end! El Deafo is on my must-read list, so I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you finish!

  6. Firebird is on my TBR list and am just enchanted by the cover of Elliot. Need to read both of these.

  7. Curious to hear if your discussion will change your mind about Kira-Kira. I recall personally enjoying reading it but thinking it was much too sad and aimed older than my students.

  8. I'm in love with Elliot! And I will definitely buy a "plush" version of him! I also shared El Deafo this week - it's an amazing memoir and so well done. Firebird is definitely one I am going to be looking out for. Your class sounds amazing - good luck with all your studies!

  9. Firebird looks absolutely gorgeous. I've been hearing so many great things about El Deafo and will definitely try to find it. Kira Kira is a meandering read, one that requires some measure of leisurely reading, I remembered it as a slow start, but one that eventually picked up for me later on. Have fun in your class!