Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 4/18/16

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

Picture Books

A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals (2016) by Lucy Ruth Cummings. Sarcastic irreverent picture books have almost become a genre in themselves (I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat, Carnivores, and more). This book plays on that idea, as the title sets you up immediately, but perhaps this book is not what you are expecting. Or is it?

The Only Child (2016) by Guojing. This incredible wordless picture book / graphic novel is based on the author's true experience growing up as an only child during China's one-child policy. This fanciful tale begins from that place of truth and then takes the reader on a magical yet emotional journey. Lovely.

A Rock Can Be ... (2015) by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija. This is the first book I have read in this charming science series (which also includes Water Can Be ... and A Leaf Can Be ...). Lyrical lines celebrate all the many different things that rocks can be and detailed notes at the end explain the science behind the words and illustrations. A great series for science teachers who want to integrate more literature.

My Two Blankets (2015) by Irena Kobald and illustrated by Freya Blackwood. This story is narrated by a young girl who flees her home country due to war and ends up with her aunt in an unfamiliar country with new languages and new animals. The two blankets are a metaphor for how she wraps herself in the known and the familiar. Also a testament to the power of a smile and of friendship. Based on the author's observations of her own Austrian-Australian daughter and her Sudanese-Australian friend. (One to add to my list of books about modern immigration.) (H/T Carrie at There's a Book for That.)

Super Cilantro Girl (2003) by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Honorio Robledo Tapia. This bilingual story tells of a girl whose mother has been detained at the US / Mexico border, and in response the girl finds herself morphing into a superhero who can fly across the border. This book could have been much more, and I agree with many other reviewers that the artwork distracts rather than adds to the story.

Dim Sum for Everyone (2003) by Grace Lin. Cute but slight. Not a lot of detail for someone who is unfamiliar with dim sum (though there is an author's note). Cartoonish illustrations.

Happy Reading!


  1. I have A Hungry Lion on my list, Katie & loved those 3 after it. Sorry the final 2 didn't meet your expectations; they look interesting.

  2. Have you seen the latest issue of Time? I was thrilled when I saw their book review column mention #weneeddiverse books in its review of It Ain't So Awful, Falfel by Firoozeh Dumas. They also highlighted several other books for middle school, including Kwame Alexander's latest.

  3. I have The Only Child in the library, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. (Well it is usually checked out anyway) I also loved My Two Blankets. In our school, Dim Sum for Everyone is used as a math resource, but dim sum is not unusual food around here.

  4. It's so fun to share A Hungry Lion with kids and watch as they catch on to what's going on in the story, lots of laughter.

  5. I've wanted to read Cilantro Girl, but haven't gotten around to it. I'm sorry to hear that the illustrations are distracting. I wondered about that though because for me the cover isn't really appealing. I want to like it though since it's Herrera. I will still find it to read, but hope I like it. I enjoy the Dim Sum book. It's a simple, but colorful text. It's not necessarily meant to be comprehensive. I'm sure children familiar with Dim Sum are excited to see it. Dim sum is a fun way to eat together.

  6. So pleased that you enjoyed My Two Blankets. I also LOVED A Hungry Lion . . . Can't wait to read this aloud to a class!

  7. I really love My Two Blankets and will be featuring it very soon as well. The Only Child is quite special, I thought.

  8. A Hungry Lion was a fun book. You think you know what it'll be about and then it surprises you multiple times.


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