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What Are You Reading? (112) #IMWAYR – September 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!

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

This week, I posted:

-New Releases: September 9, 2014- Read my reviews for:

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

-Celebrate This Week- This week, I’m celebrating volunteering! I reached 100 hours today!

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson [***]

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson [***]


brown girl dreaming is a powerful moving memoir told in verse written by a gifted writer. Jacqueline Woodson gives us glimpses of her childhood in a way that seems rushed but then stops at moments with startling discovery. I loved the relationships- how family can cause us pain and sadness but how they can also make us happier and stronger than anything else in the world. Kids will enjoy- and parents will appreciate- how patience helped Woodson discover what she was good at. Don’t we all want to excel something that’ll set us apart? Aspiring writers will take inspiration and courage from the fact that stories are all around us and within us if we just look.

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss [***]

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss [***]


It’s such a thrill to have had new Seuss stories to look forward to! Following The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories brings back familiar faces and places. Nostalgia and admiration for his “logical insanity” will be rampant while reading this 4-story collection featuring Horton, Marco, Mulberry Street, and a Grinch (but not that Grinch!) Even the introduction by Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen was entertaining providing background and context to the found stories.

Fox's Garden by Princesse Camcam [**]

Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam [**]


Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Cut-paper illustrations set the scenes for this wordless picture book about the surprising consequences of kindness.

Draw! by Raúl Colón [**]

Draw! by Raúl Colón [**]


This wordless picture book finds a boy alone in his room… and with his drawings and his imagination finds himself in a safari adventure. This would be a fun companion to David Wiesner’s Art & Max. Available September 16th.

Druthers by Matt Phelan [**]

Druthers by Matt Phelan [**]


First of all, the title itself is a fun new word to learn! Second, I’ve always enjoyed Matt Phelan’s stories and illustrations. Third, I like seeing strong relationships, this time between a father and daughter. Fourth, this is just an overall cute story about how much fun can be had with a good dose of imagination- and a great companion!

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts, Illustrated by Christian Robinson [*]

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts, Illustrated by Christian Robinson [*]


The message of standing up for what’s right was good. The illustrations were good. The story itself was lacking.

One by Kathryn Otoshi [*]

One by Kathryn Otoshi [*]


I’m surprised I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. Not to sound like a broken record but: The message of standing up for what’s right was good. The illustrations were good. The story itself was lacking. I will check out her other books though.

Expect reviews for these books during Wednesday’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge post:

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

I’m reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Michelle Knudsen’s Evil Librarian.

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- September 13, 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 volunteering.

This past Tuesday was particularly great. Lots of conversations about books and musicals. And, of course, there was the whole cleaning books to get them ready to give to kids of low-income families! I don’t think the other volunteers wanted to leave- which is awesome because hopefully they’ll tell others and come back themselves with new friends in tow!

And, at long last, I’ll reach 100 hours of volunteering later today at my library shift!

Another thing I’m celebrating is my upcoming trip to San Francisco later this month to visit family and do some sightseeing. I get excited thinking about what I’m book I’m going to bring with me and I’ve narrowed it down to:

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #36

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.

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales, Photographed by Tim O'Meara [**]

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales, Photographed by Tim O’Meara [**]

The doll/puppet portraits are visually stunning and definitely the selling point of this picture book. Another cool aspect is the bilingual aspect- even the author’s note (which has the actual non-fiction parts) is written in both English and Spanish.

Jason Chin has been recommended to me by a lot of our customers so I’ve been meaning to read his books and finally got around to it. And I am thrilled to have found such a great “new” writer/illustrator.

Gravity was my introduction to Jason Chin. His latest is also his shortest- and illustratively his weakest as well- but doesn’t diminish how enjoyable and informative it was.

Coral Reefs was a wonder of a book. I loved the fantasy element mixed in with all the fascinating facts!

Redwoods is another creative non-fiction type of picture book.

His storytelling style reminds me a bit of David Weisner’s.

I will definitely be recommending Jason Chin to others!

 

New Releases: September 9, 2014

 Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow [*]

Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow [*]


A companion to Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, this wasn’t as enjoyable but I think that’s mostly due to sequels rarely being as good as their predecessors.

On the Wing by David Elliott, Illustrated by Becca Stadtlander [*]

On the Wing by David Elliott, Illustrated by Becca Stadtlander [*]


Beautiful illustrations are paired with short (or even shorter) poems each one focusing on a different type of bird. This is just another must-add title to the whole flock of great bird books that have come out this past year.

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton [**]

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton [**]


Chris Haughton seems to be an up and coming author/illustrator. His Little Owl Lost has been extremely popular as I’m sure this would be as well. Reading Shh! was like watching a classic cartoon- full of visual gags and humor both obvious and subtle.

Telephone by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Jen Corace [***]

Telephone by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Jen Corace [***]


What a great read aloud! I think this might win the Theodore Geisel award. I’ll definitely be recommending this to customers who love a fun story, taking something most of us are familiar with and twisting it into something new!

 

What Are You Reading? (111) #IMWAYR – September 7, 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!

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:


-Celebrate This Week- This week I celebrate the wonder of Wonder! Read my reviews for:

Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young [**]- Elephants can remember lots of things but Nancy knows she’s forgotten something important! Readers will enjoy the mixed media illustrations of graphite drawings and paper sculptures in this cleverly presented tale! The dust jacket can be removed to reveal a beautiful poster!

Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young [**]- Elephants can remember lots of things but Nancy knows she’s forgotten something important! Readers will enjoy the mixed media illustrations of graphite drawings and paper sculptures in this cleverly presented tale! The dust jacket can be removed to reveal a beautiful poster!

Hermelin: The Detective Mouse by Mini Grey [**]- I'd been meaning to read this since it first came out but only recently read it. I enjoy mysteries and I was pleasantly surprised with this picture book. Lots of details in the background. An enjoyable story of which I can't wait to read more of in which I assume will be a series.

Hermelin: The Detective Mouse by Mini Grey [**]- I’d been meaning to read this since it first came out but only recently read it. I enjoy mysteries and I was pleasantly surprised with this picture book. Lots of details in the background. An enjoyable story of which I can’t wait to read more of in which I assume will be a series.

Miss Brooks' Story Nook by Barbara Bottner, Illustrated by Michael Emberley [*]- I usually like books about librarians and creativity but I didn't like this story at all. At least, the books in the series have been consistent that way.

Miss Brooks’ Story Nook by Barbara Bottner, Illustrated by Michael Emberley [*]- I usually like books about librarians and creativity but I didn’t like this story at all. At least, the books in the series have been consistent that way.

Calvin Can't Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie by Jennifer Berne, Illustrated by Keith Bendis [**]- A book-loving bird finds he needs glasses. After donning a pair, he gets teased. But after getting separated from his flock, the glasses might just come in handy in this surprisingly good story!

Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie by Jennifer Berne, Illustrated by Keith Bendis [**]- A book-loving bird finds he needs glasses. After donning a pair, he gets teased. But after getting separated from his flock, the glasses might just come in handy in this surprisingly good story!

Joseph Fipps by Nadine Roberts, Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout [*]- A very disappointing book! The illustrations are super cute and the summary sounded fine but maybe there was something lost in the translation.

Joseph Fipps by Nadine Roberts, Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout [*]- A very disappointing book! The illustrations are super cute and the summary sounded fine but maybe there was something lost in the translation.

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz [*]- What was even the point? Maybe the book was too hyped up and my expectations were too high? Although, I'm thinking I just didn't like any of the characters. Maybe it was too realistic? Only this collection of short stories centering around one main character would make that a problem? I understand this is probably some people's lives- they never get a break- but why write about it when we can just live it? It's overly depressing. I wasn't even that impressed with the writing. The best part of the book was that it ended!

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz [*]- What was even the point?
Maybe the book was too hyped up and my expectations were too high? Although, I’m thinking I just didn’t like any of the characters.
Maybe it was too realistic? Only this collection of short stories centering around one main character would make that a problem? I understand this is probably some people’s lives- they never get a break- but why write about it when we can just live it? It’s overly depressing.
I wasn’t even that impressed with the writing.
The best part of the book was that it ended!

Our Planet by Jimi Lee [**]- Cleverly designed, beautifully illustrated wordless board book that asks readers "what kind of world do you want?"

Our Planet by Jimi Lee [**]- Cleverly designed, beautifully illustrated wordless board book that asks readers “what kind of world do you want?”

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Translated by Richard Howard [****]- I can't remember when I first read The Little Prince but I don't think it made much of an impact on me back then. Maybe I even disliked it. But, after having reread it, I thought it was a lovely story. Maybe I tend to enjoy rather sad-yet-hopeful books.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Translated by Richard Howard [****]- I can’t remember when I first read The Little Prince but I don’t think it made much of an impact on me back then. Maybe I even disliked it. But, after having reread it, I thought it was a lovely story. Maybe I tend to enjoy rather sad-yet-hopeful books.

Pomelo's Big Adventure by Ramona Badescu, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud [*]- Little lovable Pomelo sets out on a journey that takes him far, far, far into the great big world out there and discovers things deep, deep, deep within himself. Reminiscent of both The Little Prince and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! this makes for a perfect gift for anyone ready to embark on an exciting new chapter in their life.

Pomelo’s Big Adventure by Ramona Badescu, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud [*]- Little lovable Pomelo sets out on a journey that takes him far, far, far into the great big world out there and discovers things deep, deep, deep within himself. Reminiscent of both The Little Prince and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! this makes for a perfect gift for anyone ready to embark on an exciting new chapter in their life.

Elephabet by Hilary Pfeifer [**]- Elephabet is by Portland artist Hilary Pfeifer of Bunny with a Toolbelt. In this fun and wild alphabet book, Pfeifer mixes pachyderms with portmanteaus creating hilarious creatures like “acrobatipants” and “neopoliphants.” It will inspire readers of all ages to come up with their own. In fact, there’s a “Do-It-Your-Selfabet” book as well!

Elephabet by Hilary Pfeifer [**]- Elephabet is by Portland artist Hilary Pfeifer of Bunny with a Toolbelt. In this fun and wild alphabet book, Pfeifer mixes pachyderms with portmanteaus creating hilarious creatures like “acrobatipants” and “neopoliphants.” It will inspire readers of all ages to come up with their own. In fact, there’s a “Do-It-Your-Selfabet” book as well!

Baby Bedtime by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Emma Quay [**]- Everything about this book screams sweet! The soothing text of a parent elephant getting the baby ready for bedtime reads like a lullaby. The illustrations are a combination of crayon drawings and mixed media creating a soft visual treat.

Baby Bedtime by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Emma Quay [**]- Everything about this book screams sweet! The soothing text of a parent elephant getting the baby ready for bedtime reads like a lullaby. The illustrations are a combination of crayon drawings and mixed media creating a soft visual treat.

Expect reviews for these books during Wednesday’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge post:

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

I am hopefully going to finish reading brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson but I also want to read some Family Book Club picks.

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- September 6, 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 the Wonder-ful books of R.J. Palacio!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I’d written about Wonder and the Choose Kind initiative when it first came out.

I wrote about Wonder again after watching the Bully documentary. From that post, “It just reinforces my belief that we all should be a little kinder- maybe a lot kinder- if you’re up for the challenge. Problems like [bullying] may seem insurmountable but if we can be a positive example to our circle of friends, then perhaps one of them will be a good role model to others in their own groups. And so on until our individual light of love and understanding drives out the darkness created by hate and indifference.”

There have been two new releases set in the world of Wonder- one is a short story from the antagonist’s point of view and the other is a collection of maxims.

The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio [***]

The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio [***]

Released individually as a separate story and included in the Special Edition, readers get to discover Julian’s side of the story. While not necessary, it was at least nice and interesting. It was also a good reminder that everyone is going through unknowable stuff so we shouldn’t be quick to classify them a certain way. A new character is introduced that tells a touching story of Julian’s namesake.

365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts by R.J. Palacio [***]

365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts by R.J. Palacio [***]

Already I know I’ll be recommending this as the perfect gift for the holidays for educators and any families with kids. This is a collection of precepts- famous and original sayings that will inspire and lift up one’s spirit. There’s also some Wonder back story thrown in from Mr. Browne’s perspective!

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #35

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.

I was in a butterfly state of mind this week.

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert [***]

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert [***]


The life cycle of butterflies is told in a very fascinating way using brightly colored collage and rhyming text in different-sized pages. I love the additional pages of facts including how to plant a butterfly garden found at the end of this book!

Butterflies by Nic Bishop [***]

Butterflies by Nic Bishop [***]


Nic Bishop once again provides amazing up close pictures- this time of butterflies! A glossary and a photo index can be found at the end of the book.

 
 
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