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What Are You Reading? (104) #IMWAYR – July 20, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey's album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey’s album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my reviews for:


-Celebrate This Week- Live a life of love. Let that be the legacy we leave.

Comics Squad: Recess! By Various [***]- Fun! Ever since the editors broke the news on Twitter in such a unique and hilarious way, I wanted to read this. Kids will enjoy reading shorter adventures of their favorite characters and meeting new ones. My favorite was definitely Gene Luen Yang's! I'm glad there'll be more!

Comics Squad: Recess! By Various [***]- Fun! Ever since the editors broke the news on Twitter in such a unique and hilarious way, I wanted to read this. Kids will enjoy reading shorter adventures of their favorite characters and meeting new ones. My favorite was definitely Gene Luen Yang’s! I’m glad there’ll be more!

B Is for Box by David A. Carter [**]- David Carter is a big name in the pop-up and interactive novelty book world. This is a cute addition in the Happy Little Yellow Box series that makes learning the alphabet fun for the young, curious readers.

B Is for Box by David A. Carter [**]- David Carter is a big name in the pop-up and interactive novelty book world. This is a cute addition in the Happy Little Yellow Box series that makes learning the alphabet fun for the young, curious readers.

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop [***]- This isn't supposed to be out until September but a big-chain bookstore had it on their shelves already. How can independent bookstores compete when the bigger competitions don't have any problem not following rules? I will keep my review until closer to the publication date! I can't wait to have this title in our store!

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop [***]- This isn’t supposed to be out until September but a big-chain bookstore had it on their shelves already. How can independent bookstores compete when the bigger competitions don’t have any problem not following rules? I will keep my review until closer to the publication date! I can’t wait to have this title in our store!

Touch the Red Button by Alex A. Lluch [X]- I'm not even going to give this one star. And I'm going to follow the adage: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Read Press Here instead.

Touch the Red Button by Alex A. Lluch [X]- I’m not even going to give this one star. And I’m going to follow the adage: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Read Press Here instead.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll [**]-  	The art is what attracted me to this graphic novel collection of short stories aimed for teens. The cover alone is worth the price. Through the Woods reminds me of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. There's a lot of open-endedness, leaving much to be interpreted. The mood was haunting. "His Face All Red" was my favorite of the bunch. I would actually give this collection 2.5 stars but I can see how others will like this more.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll [**]- The art is what attracted me to this graphic novel collection of short stories aimed for teens. The cover alone is worth the price. Through the Woods reminds me of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. There’s a lot of open-endedness, leaving much to be interpreted. The mood was haunting. “His Face All Red” was my favorite of the bunch.
I would actually give this collection 2.5 stars but I can see how others will like this more.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]- Once more, a return to Narnia... Familiar faces return. New characters are introduced. Having this story take place mostly on a ship and the islands they encounter sets it apart from the other books. It had more of a quest feel to it. I also found this installment slightly more gruesome in parts which is odd considering the other books were about war. The religious aspects were also more apparent here. I'm actually interested to read more about this (and C.S. Lewis' life and beliefs, in general) after I finish the series.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]- Once more, a return to Narnia… Familiar faces return. New characters are introduced.
Having this story take place mostly on a ship and the islands they encounter sets it apart from the other books. It had more of a quest feel to it.
I also found this installment slightly more gruesome in parts which is odd considering the other books were about war.
The religious aspects were also more apparent here. I’m actually interested to read more about this (and C.S. Lewis’ life and beliefs, in general) after I finish the series.

Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller, Illustrated by Justin Lowe [***]- This may be a local title, for now, but this is a laugh-out-loud introduction to this "half unicorn, half octopus, half confused" creature. The illustrator stopped by our store to drop off copies. He was super nice. We sold 75% of the inventory the next day. It helps to be nice to booksellers! Click on the cover to go to their website!

Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller, Illustrated by Justin Lowe [***]- This may be a local title, for now, but this is a laugh-out-loud introduction to this “half unicorn, half octopus, half confused” creature. The illustrator stopped by our store to drop off copies. He was super nice. We sold 75% of the inventory the next day. It helps to be nice to booksellers! Click on the cover to go to their website!

The Queen of Colors by Jutta Bauer [*]- Queen Matilda has complete control of her colorful subjects until one day a quarrel with Yellow gets out of control and leaves everything a drab gray. An artistic look about our different moods, of getting along, and how something good can come from sadness.

The Queen of Colors by Jutta Bauer [*]- Queen Matilda has complete control of her colorful subjects until one day a quarrel with Yellow gets out of control and leaves everything a drab gray. An artistic look about our different moods, of getting along, and how something good can come from sadness.

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I have quite a lot of reviews for this week’s Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge.

I’m currently reading:
-Of Giants and Ice by Shelby Bach- middle reader fantasy; for work, Family Book Club, local author
-Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson- adult novel that’s getting a lot of buzz, local author
-The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis- for my Summer of Narnia Reading Challenge
One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva- YA novel

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- July 19, 2014

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

I had something else I was going to celebrate this week but I just found out one of my former bosses passed away. I really didn’t think it would affect me as much as it is since we hadn’t talked to one another in years and we’ve succumbed to receiving the occasional updates on Facebook.

We worked together at Day by Day Calendar Co., which was a subdivision of Borders. That was my first job since moving to Portland- and it was going to be my first holiday on my own. He was nice enough to invite me over to their place for Thanksgiving, even picking me up during one of the worst snowstorm in recent years.

That’s what I’ll remember about him. His kindness knew no limits and he gave it to everyone. He loved his wife and son. He loved his friends. He loved people.

His death is a reminder that nothing in life is guaranteed to us. Live a life of love. Let that be the legacy we leave.

William, rest in peace.

What- or who- are you celebrating this week?

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #28

The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

Francis and Eddie by Brad Herzog, Illustrated by Zachary Pullen [***]

Francis and Eddie by Brad Herzog, Illustrated by Zachary Pullen [***]

A surprisingly delightful read! Even if you don’t like sports (I don’t) or if you’re not particularly a fan of the illustrations (I’m not), you can’t help but get caught up in this uplifting, feel-good story about two underdogs and the game of golf.

Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renée Watson, Christian Robinson [***]

Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson, Christian Robinson [***]


A biography of a life whose talent is overshadowed only by her generosity, who used her vocal talents not only to stir souls with her songs but to speak out against injustice… Once you read Florence Mills’ story, you’d wish there were some audio and video to go along with this picture book!

 

What Are You Reading? (103) #IMWAYR – July 13, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey's album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey’s album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my review for

Jubilee!: One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]

Jubilee!: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]

-Celebrate This Week- This week I celebrating having one of the best jobs in the world! I asked our customers to write birthday messages for the store’s anniversary and compiled them to surprise my boss with!
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Drop It, Rocket! by Tad Hills [**]- Rocket is such an adorable character. I think kids will enjoy his adventures in this new leveled reader format!

Drop It, Rocket! by Tad Hills [**]- Rocket is such an adorable character. I think kids will enjoy his adventures in this new leveled reader format!

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****- My Pick of the Week]- I definitely haven't read this before. It was a great return to Narnia- and I highly encourage reading the books in publication order. You get the feeling of being thrown into the middle of things and there's a sense of excitement in trying to figure out how things fit together. So much more adventure than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And, to me, the religious overtones were more apparent here. I wasn't really bothered by them. In fact, I think it's great to believe wholeheartedly in things- as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****- My Pick of the Week]- I definitely haven’t read this before. It was a great return to Narnia- and I highly encourage reading the books in publication order. You get the feeling of being thrown into the middle of things and there’s a sense of excitement in trying to figure out how things fit together.
So much more adventure than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And, to me, the religious overtones were more apparent here. I wasn’t really bothered by them. In fact, I think it’s great to believe wholeheartedly in things- as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.

Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Julie Morstad [**]- A charming story about friendship and the wonderfulness of being young inspired by the life of Julia Child. Cute illustrations.

Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Julie Morstad [**]- A charming story about friendship and the wonderfulness of being young inspired by the life of Julia Child. Cute illustrations.

My Pet Book by Bob Staake [*]- I like the concept of having a pet book and I enjoyed the lively illustrations but the writing left me uninspired.

My Pet Book by Bob Staake [*]- I like the concept of having a pet book and I enjoyed the lively illustrations but the writing left me uninspired.

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, Illustrated by Frank Morrison [**]- Music is all around in this picture book featuring a multicultural cast. This might be a good read aloud with two or more people!

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, Illustrated by Frank Morrison [**]- Music is all around in this picture book featuring a multicultural cast. This might be a good read aloud with two or more people!

The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo [**]- A sweet enough story that might make a great daughter-to-mother gift. The illustrations are more winning than the story.

The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo [**]- A sweet enough story that might make a great daughter-to-mother gift. The illustrations are more winning than the story.

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I’m hoping to finish Shelby Bach’s Of Giants and Ice for my work’s Family Book Club and another Narnia novel- plus, at least one non-fiction picture book!

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- July 12, 2014

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating having one of the best jobs in the world! Bookselling is more than just putting books in the hands of people. It’s about the connections made.

If you follow on Facebook, it seems I’m always gushing about being a bookseller- but can you blame me?

Green Bean Books is an absolutely cozy and charming children’s bookstore. I’ve lost count how often I’ve written about it on this blog. When I first stepped into the shop, I knew immediately it was a magical place- some sort of Narnia and Wonderland, Oz and Neverland, all mixed into one. And, the opportunity to get to work there was like being handed a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory. And, today, Green Bean Books is celebrating its 5th anniversary! I’ve been excited all week!

As I was saying earlier, bookselling is about the connections made. Summer’s probably my favorite time of the year for the store because we have so many of our awesome customers bring their out-of-town guests in. They make it a destination spot!

I love talking about books to other passionate readers. A customer had lent me one of her favorite books and I told her I only gave it 2 of 5 stars on Goodreads. She said, “You should reconsider your rating system.” Jokingly, I’m sure. I love telling people how I really feel about books and hearing what people really feel about my recommendations! People’s preferences are so varied!

And, I love it when different aspects of my life collide. I got to meet Debbie of The Styling Librarian and show her around Green Bean Books! I thought it was a cool moment- how books have this incredible almost magical way of connecting people and it always feels like a new discovery every time it happens!

Our current window display! My boss is incredibly talented!

Our current window display! My boss is incredibly talented!

When you find yourself in Portland, Oregon, do stop by Green Bean Books and say hi!

If you’re feeling particularly festive, you can greet the store on Facebook or Twitter!

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #27

The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

Jubilee!: One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]

Jubilee!: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]


A fascinating read! The scope of the peace concert is incredible to imagine! What a sight- and sound!- that must have been! I love the onomatopoeia incorporated in the illustrations!

 

What Are You Reading? (102) #IMWAYR – July 6, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey's album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey’s album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

-Reading Resolutions: June Update
-Summer of Narnia- Join me on my Summer Reading Challenge: The Chronicles of Narnia!
-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my review for:

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Matthew Trueman [***]

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Matthew Trueman [***]


-Celebrate This Week- This week I’m celebrating library hopping!

Oliver and his Egg by Paul Schmid [**]

Oliver and his Egg by Paul Schmid [**]


A sequel to Oliver and His Alligator, the said-boy has another adventure- this time involving a rock and his imagination. I didn’t have a particularly strong emotion about this book either way but I do like Paul Schmid’s illustrations.

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton [***]

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton [***]


I can see why everyone enjoys this book so much. Very funny and cute!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]


It’s been a long time since I first read this that it seemed completely new and fresh. There were definitely some things I didn’t remember- and a particular character was a big surprise!

I enjoyed the writing style. The style was very “Come children, let me tell you a story.” For some reason, I found the repeated warnings of not closing the wardrobe door to be hilarious. I’m sure it was a joke.

Edmund was a delightfully wicked character but with very understandable motives. The Professor was an interesting character as well. (Some editions of the books list a cast of characters which spoils who he is!)

I can’t wait to read more!

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer [*****- My Pick of the Week]

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer [*****- My Pick of the Week]


Reading this play was still an emotional despite having seen the film (which was amazing) and knowing what was going to happen.

Ned Weeks is such a very unique character for all his faults and imperfections.

Completely heartbreaking.

Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean [**]

Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean [**]


Told in a simple verse-like structure similar, this would be a nice book for kids who are dealing with having to move or have recently moved. I like how the illustrator was able to depict movement.

If I Wrote a Book About You by Stephany Aulenback, Illustrated by Denise Holmes [**]

If I Wrote a Book About You by Stephany Aulenback, Illustrated by Denise Holmes [**]


Sweet and warm. My only drawback for these kinds of books is that they seem to only work for very specific people.

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc [**]

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc [**]


Everyone’s been talking about this book it seems! It’s a sweet message but maybe I had just read too much of the same theme recently that it just seemed repetitive. Reminded me of Mo Willem’s City Dog, Country Frog. And, maybe I had too high of an expectation since this was published by Enchanted Lion Books press.

Jubilee!: One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]

Jubilee!: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]


Expect a review for this during my Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge post on Wednesday.

 Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton, Satoshi Kitamura [**]

Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton, Satoshi Kitamura [**]


This was recommended by a librarian after I told her about What Would You Do With an Idea? It’s a cute story about how the right teacher can spark a student’s creativity.

Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of Fifty Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff by James Gulliver Hancock [***]

Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of Fifty Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff by James Gulliver Hancock [***]


A quick and quirky read to find out some fun facts of fifty famous people. Worth checking out!

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

This week, hopefully, I can finish another Narnia novel for my #SummerOfNarnia Reading Challenge. And, I need to get started with Shelby Bach’s Of Giants and Ice for my work’s Family Book Club.

Have a great reading week!

 
 
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