Monday, June 8, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/8/15


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.


Last Week's Posts

  • Featured Illustrator: Meilo So. Our featured illustrator for the month of June is Meilo So. This initial post introduces her modern stories and parables. Stay tuned to learn more about her, as well as her incredible collection of traditional tales. 
  • Kit Lit Blog Hop plus Google+. There's still time to add your book-related posts to the latest #KidLitBlogHop! You can also join the Google+ linky and find new folks to follow.

Picture Books


Sniff! Sniff! (2015) by Ryan Sias. This is a great picture book to help kids build their predicting skills, as they try to guess where the puppy might be going based on the different items he has smelled. Looking for art ideas for the summer? Author/illustrator Ryan Sias sends out weekly emails with goofy writing and drawing prompts. Sign up as Sias Studios. (H/T Tara Lazar - plus a download for how to draw the dog!)


Wolfie the Bunny (2015) by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora. This cross-species tale takes sibling rivalry and antagonism to a whole new level, as the bunny, Dot, is convinced that her newly adopted baby brother, Wolfie, is a threat to the family. I think kids will find this an amusing tale, but I'm not sure I was as blown away by this book as many other reviewers seemed to be.


The Good Luck Cat (2000) by Joy Harjo and illustrated by Paul Lee. This charming story details the lost eight lives of Woogie, the titular cat, and the fear of her only having her ninth life left. I was intrigued about this book after Elisabeth's astute observation about how rare it is to find a story featuring modern Native Americans, which adds another special dimension to this tender tale.


That Book Woman (2008) by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Small. I love books about unusual libraries and the difference that access to books can make. This story is a great addition, as it features a Pack Horse Librarian in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky around the 1930s. These woman faced many struggles getting books into the hands of readers, and this is a great book for helping kids appreciate the easy access they have today to books and resources. (H/T Tammy and Clare.)


Heather Has Two Mommies (2015 ed.) by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Laura Cornell. Heather's favorite number is two, and the book uses her love of 2s to structure a story about her life and first day of school. This book is a great one for helping all students understand and embrace the broad range of what the term "family" truly means.

(I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I had never read any of the earlier versions of this classic book. I've requested a few of the older editions from the library, since I'm curious.) Review copy provided by the Candlewick Best in Class mailing. (All thoughts are my own.)

Middle Grade


Circus Mirandus (2015) by Cassie Beasley. This charming debut novel has the feeling of a classic. Here was my quick-take for my #bookaday tweet:

My only complaint is that while there are some darker elements at times, overall the story seemed a bit too tidy. (H/T Mrs. Knott and then many more!)


The Familiars (2010) by Adam Jap Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. I finished this one up last week but did not have time to share about it. This one was recommended to me by a student who insisted that I buy it for our classroom library. It is an interesting adventure story with a twist on the usual young-child-discovers-magical-talent trope: the story is told by that child's cat, his "familiar." This fresh twist keeps the story interesting and engaging and will also draw in readers more comfortable with animal characters than people. There are already four books out in the series.

#Bookaday Challenge update: days read a book 3/7 (the last week of school just totally overwhelmed me), books read 3/90

Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 11 books, 2 dedicated posts

Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 127 books, 27 dedicated posts (this week: Featured Illustrator: Meilo So)

Happy Reading!

18 comments:

  1. I really have got to get myself a copy of Circus Mirandus. Everything I've heard has been so positive. I also really liked Wolfie the Bunny and my students enjoyed it too. Here is my accounting of last week. Happy reading!

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    1. I think you will definitely enjoy Circus Mirandus, Kathy!

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  2. Zacharia OHara is fast becoming an illustrator to look out for. My Cousin Momo was hilarious. I loved Circus Mirandus.

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    1. I will have to check out, My Cousin Momo, thanks!

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  3. It was my final week of school too & now am writing evals! I really would just like to read! I'll need to find Circus Mirandus-lots of love out for it! I know the picture books, but haven't found The Good Luck Cat yet. Thanks, Katie.

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    1. Good luck finishing evals, Linda! We have to turn ours in about a week before to give the office time to compile everything and get them out to kids on the last day. Hectic combined with still having to teach, but at least it means you are done when you're done!

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  4. I truly loved Wolfie the Bunny! :)

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    1. I'd love to hear what really made it shine for you!

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  5. The Familiars was one of those books students convinced me to read also. I was pleasantly surprised and ordered the sequels for our library. I've put Circus Mirandus on hold, but it is still on order. Wolfie is in a box of books that just arrived but so far I haven't had a chance to look at any of them.

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    1. My stack of "books I haven't looked at yet" can be measured in feet ...

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  6. The Familiars is HUGE at our school thanks to a couple classes doing it as a read aloud for a couple years now. They are dying for "Will there be a book five?" I ordered the two space ones written by the same duo but they didn't come in until late April so not many got to try them.

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    1. Ooh, space ones! Funny, the student who recommended The Familiars to me is also in love with Zita the Spacegirl. Will have to check those out, thanks!

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  7. I've only heard good things about Circus Mirandus--I will need to move it to the top of my pile! I've also wanted to read The Familiars since it came out--your review reminded me. (I also hadn't realized it was a series or that they had another series until Ms. O's comment!)
    Glad you loved Wolfie, I did too, and I will have to get Sniff Sniff--looks so cute!

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee! You will enjoy Circus Mirandus and will likely be pleasantly surprised by The Familiars. Happy Reading!

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  8. I didn't realize that Newman updates Heather Has Two Mommies--fascinating! I'm going to have to purchase the 2015 edition. I've been reading great things about Circus Mirandus--will be looking for that title for sure.

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    1. I've got at least one of the older editions of Heather Has Two Mommies waiting now at the library - the cover is fascinatingly-dated! Looking forward to hearing what you think about Circus Mirandus.

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  9. So much love for Circus Mirandus! I would definitely have to get my own copy soonest! :)

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