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 Weeks' Posts
- Welcome to Diverse Children's Book Linkup! There's an all-new #diversekidlit up, featuring books for children that showcase the diversity of our world. My latest link up post features a review of the newest Family Fletcher book!
- Featured Illustrator: Demi, part 2: traditional tales. This post features the incredible (mainly Chinese) traditional tales retold and illustrated by Demi.
- #3rdfor3rd: Spiderwick. Third grader Elsa shares why she loves this series.
- May Kid Lit Blog Hop. Join this month's Kid Lit Blog Hop to share and discover great posts about all kinds of children's literature.
Diego Rivera His World and Ours (2011) by Duncan Tonatiuh, Frida (2002) by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Ana Juan, and Viva Frida! (2014) by Yuyi Morales. This past week our librarian and I shared several books about Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo with my third graders.
Diego Rivera His World and Ours is really a book in two parts, the first is a traditional biography, while the second asks kids to consider what kinds of topics and subjects Diego Rivera might paint today. (Another good book we had available but did not read aloud was Diego by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Jeanette Winter.)
Frida is a more typical biography with imaginative illustrations, while Viva Frida! is more a statement about the artist and her beliefs. It worked much better with the second group when we read Frida first, followed by Viva Frida!
Middle Grade / Young Adult
It's Ain't So Awful, Falafel (2016) by Firoozeh Dumas. The weaknesses of this book made a little more sense to me after I got to the author's note in the back where she revealed that the main character, Zomorod ("Cindy"), is based on the author's own experiences growing up as an Iranian-American teenager during the Iran Hostage Crisis. For me, the characters were flat, the pacing was sporadic, and the story never quite hooked me. (While Cindy is in sixth through eighth grade in this book, there wasn't any particularly YA content.) It wasn't a bad book, but I had just hoped for more.