My Reading Week #IMWAYR- June 29, 2020/ Review: The Monkey and the Turtle

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Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

Recent Posts:
#NFPB2020- June 24, 2020
My Coast to Coast Vacation Revisited

The Monkey and the Turtle: A Philippine Folk Tale
Written by José Rizal
Illustrated by José Rizal
Digitally enhanced by Auri Asuncion Yambao and Mary Grace Asuncion

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I was pleased and excited that Tahanan Books, a Filipino publisher had a satellite office in Seattle, Washington. I couldn’t resist getting some titles to add to my library.

One of the books I bought was The Monkey and the Turtle, a Philippine folk tale retold- and apparently illustrated- by José Rizal. I only knew him as a Philippine national hero who wrote novels- his most famous being Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)– that criticized the Spanish rule over the Filipinos.

You can watch my review here:

My ignorance is in full show since I didn’t even realize he spoke English. Tagalog and Spanish, sure, and maybe some Latin, but English didn’t cross my mind at all.

His version of the story was an excerpt from the 1889 article “Two Eastern Fables” (Trübner’s Oriental Record) which he compared two similar folk tales- one from Japan and one from the Philippines. It’s actually a pretty fascinating read.

This retelling is considered to be the formal beginning of Philippine children’s literature. So, of course, I had to have it!

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I’ll review the other books I bought on future posts.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

My Coast to Coast Vacation Revisited

No one could have predicted what 2020 had in store for us. So many things have changed- and will continue to change. Lots of things we did and maybe took for granted aren’t available to do in our present state. Lots of celebrations and other festive moments have had to be adjusted to accommodate current situations.

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June is Pride month and most of the events have gone virtual. While it’s great that that’s an option, it’s just not the same. Yet, I don’t really mind the change since Pride has sort of fittingly gone back to its roots in terms of rioting against the forces that try to oppress us.

With that being said, I wanted to share my coast to coast vacation where I traveled from San Francisco to New York and got to enjoy some gay history.

Growing up in San Francisco, I knew about The Castro neighborhood but never went there even though it called me. I wasn’t out until I was in my late 20’s, and even then- even now, sometimes- I was still ashamed for being gay. But, from my first sighting of a rainbow flag, I felt welcome.

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“Hope will never be silent”
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The Castro Theatre

While walking around, I noticed bronze plaques on the ground depicting LGBTQ figures throughout history. Being the completist I am, I made sure to see all 28 (and growing!) of The Rainbow Honor Walk. I know I want to go through the pics again and learn more about these amazing people!

I went to the GLBT Historical Society Museum. I was quite moved hearing a snippet of Harvey Milk’s last recording as part of their permanent exhibition, Queer Past Becomes Present.

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Harvey Milk’s presence was everywhere- from the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy

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… to the Harvey Milk Plaza…

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… to the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library…

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… and to plaques on the ground and murals on side of buildings.

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A Harvey Milk mural

My favorite place was Harvey Milk’s former camera shop which now housed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Store. I just loved the fact that they preserved the space. The employee working there was quite nice as well.

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I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there.

And, from The Castro to The Stonewall Inn!

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Even though it was a long flight and it was late and I was still carrying my luggage, my friends were nice enough to take me to see it. What an electric place! It was really too dark to see anything, though.

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So, naturally, I went back in the morning to see it without crowds and to take in Christopher Street.

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I couldn’t have gone to New York for my first time at a better time since it was also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

The New York Public Library had the exhibit Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 up at their main branch.

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But my gay adventures didn’t end there since I spent a couple days at my friends’ house in Rochester where we visited Equal Grounds, a coffee house that’s LGBTQ owned and operated,…

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The Out Alliance, a nonprofit providing a safe space and resource center as well as offering various services to the LGBTQ community,…

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… and, of course, another library- this time, it was the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County- which had a Stonewall: 50 Years Out exhibit going on at the Anthony Mascioli Gallery.

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I’d been meaning to write this blog post for awhile now. It was great to relive this incredible spur-of-the-moment vacation. I hope you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with me.

Happy Pride!

#NFPB2020- June 24, 2020

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Watch my latest video for the review of The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents by Kate Messner with illustrations by Adam Rex.

Watch for reviews of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds and This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on how to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell with illustrations by Aurelia Durand.

Watch for review of This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman with illustrations by Kristyna Litten.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- June 22, 2020

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Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

This week, I’m sharing old book reviews from an old blog I had focusing on libraries.

That Book WomanThat Book Woman by Heather Henson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the innovative ways people have thought up to get books into the hands of others! The Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky was one example of such.

That Book Woman (2008) by Heather Henson and illustrations by David Small is a fictionalized account of one boy’s perspective of a “book woman” who comes to his family’s home on a regular basis whatever the weather. It’s another great tribute to those traveling librarians- and the power of books. It was a wonderful moment when the boy asked his younger sister to teach him how to read.

My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the WorldMy Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World by Margriet Ruurs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Living in Portland, I’m definitely familiar with and spoiled by library love. Whether it’s the magnificent buildings of the Multnomah County Library, a bicycle-powered mobile library for the homeless, or mini lending libraries popping up all over the city, there are no shortages of access to books here. Because they are seemingly everywhere, it can be easy to take for granted this one of many (many, many) services libraries provide. In other countries, libraries can be rarities, which in turn means loss opportunities to enhance one’s mind, one’s self, and one’s community. Luckily, there are resourceful people who understand the power of books and are determined to reach these unserved populations.

“My Librarian Is a Camel” (2005) by Margriet Ruurs is a children’s non-fiction picture book that showcases the ingenuity of librarians, reading promoters, volunteers, and other literacy-minded individuals who do just that. From Australia to Zimbabwe, by boat, bus, camels, and practically any other mode of transportation you can think of, we see the value libraries bring to communities.

Recently you may have heard about Luis Soriano, a teacher who travels with his donkeys (Alfa and Beto) to bring books to children in his native Columbia. He was chosen as a CNN Hero in 2010 and the subject of a PBS documentary for his efforts. Last year alone, two children’s picture books were published about him and his Biblioburro or Donkey Library.

“My Librarian Is a Camel” introduced me to and reminded me of people like Luis Soriano who do these incredible things to ensure books get in the hands of children.

Other Noteworthy Non-fiction (or Based on True Stories) Children’s Picture Books about Libraries and Librarians (and Other People who Give out Books!)
*The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq- Jeanette Winter
*Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq: Inspired by a True Story- Mark Alan Stamaty
[The above two books are about Alia Muhammad Baker, an Iraqi librarian who saved the books in her country during wartime. You can read more about her here: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/27/wor… ]
*Biblioburro- Jeanette Winter: A True Story from Colombia
*Waiting for the Biblioburro- Monica Brown
[The above two books are about Luis Soriano. More information about the documentary can be found here: http://www.pbs.org/pov/biblioburro/

Librarian on the Roof! A True StoryLibrarian on the Roof! A True Story by M.G. King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Earlier in the month, I read a picture book “Librarian on the Roof!” by M.G. King with illustrations by Stephen Gilpin. Based on a true story, it was cool to learn someone actually schemed up an original idea to raise money for their library to have a children’s section that kids would actually want to visit. The storytelling fell flat to me but kudos to RoseAleta Laurell of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas for what she did!

Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of KentuckyDown Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathi Appelt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the innovative ways people have thought up to get books into the hands of others! The Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky was one example of such.

Down Cut Shin Creek (2001) by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer gives a more detailed account of this program. It was inspiring to read about the women (and men) who took part in this- all of whom seemed very courageous and determined. And I’m glad people appreciated their dedication. Families with nothing to give still managed to find something to offer them as a token of their gratitude whether it be a quilt pattern or a family recipe.

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us AllThis Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve wanted to read “This Book is Overdue!” by Marilyn Johnson ever since it came out in 2010. It was getting a lot of buzz within my circle of friends. Not surprisingly, since most of them are book people and library lovers like me- if not librarians themselves. I don’t know why only now did I finally get around to it but I’m glad I did.

Even from its subtitle “How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All,” readers can expect that this won’t just be a typical look at libraries and librarians of yesteryear but also sharing how they are constantly changing in these days of information overload. Marilyn Johnson manages to cover these topics in an easy, conversational manner.

Of course, she’s preaching to the choir with me. I can’t say enough how important libraries are in people’s lives and as an integral part of any community. I can’t say enough how awesome librarians are in being of service to the public. This book just reconfirmed all my beliefs and strengthened them every time I read more.

Through blogging, publishing zines, and even creating digital version of themselves in cyberspace, they’re there to help. With fighting for patrons’ right to privacy and information, protecting important pieces of history, and changing the world through the use of technology, a librarian’s job is never done.

In a way, reading this book was long overdue. Don’t let that happen to you and check out a copy now! If you just can’t enough, be sure to check out the website of the same name, which includes the entire epilogue from the paperback edition, updates, and bonus features!

Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public LibrarianQuiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian by Scott Douglas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This week, I finished Scott Douglas’s humor memoir “Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian.” I kind of hated it put I couldn’t put it down. It definitely started off fun and promising then spiraled into a whiny, exaggerated, humorless book. Having worked at libraries, I definitely knew people like he wrote about.

Central Library: Portland's crown jewelCentral Library: Portland’s crown jewel by Richard E Ritz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Multnomah County Library is currently in a very critical position in its history. They’re poised to lose two-thirds of their funding which means layoffs and less service hours. They are hoping to raise awareness so they can keep continue being the excellent community institution they are known for. Find out what’s at stake and ways to help their campaign at the Libraries Yes website. http://www.librariesyes.com/

With all that said, I love it when I’m able to find a book that is reflective of what’s going on in my life or around me. I’ve seen “Central Library: Portland’s Crown Jewel” on display at the Friends Library Store but, for some reason or other, it wasn’t something that I felt like reading- until now.

This is a great book for any library lover out there. Central Library has a rich history that mirrors a lot of what’s happening now. Richard E. Ritz introduces us to the key players who’ve shaped MCL into how we currently know it and provides many pictures and documents to accompany this tour through time.

From recognizing the need for a library in the first place and then letting it become free to the public and having to continually reinvent and renovate itself to stay relevant in the changing times, I discovered a city of readers who supported their library through a lot. And, it was their library, as it is now yours, mine- ours. And, I hope Portland is still full of people who will unite and keep the Multnomah County Libraries open.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- June 1, 2020 / May 2020 Review

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Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

One of the highlights of May was holding my first KidLit Quarantine Book Club for Adults. We talked about Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Screenshot_2020-05-29 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videos

You can watch my review here.

Next up, we’ll be reading Rick by Alex Gino and discussing it on Thursday, June 11th at 7pm Pacific. Do join if you’re interested!

Plus, I held a Virtual Silent Reading Party and will probably hold another one in June.

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My friend and I also started our Reading the Rainbow BINGO Reading Challenge 2020 as a way to celebrate Pride month!

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I’ve been pleased to be able to dedicate at least minutes every day to writing.

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I also had a rather fun Zoom chat with family.

So far this year, I’ve read 152 books, which is super low compared to other years. The breakdown is:
4- Adult novels
8- Adult non-fiction
15- Graphic novels
26- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)
97- Picture Books and Board Books
2- Young Adult novels

of which
28- Nonfiction Pictures (Goal: 104)
16- Audio Books

Some faves of the past month:

How are you holding up? What are some of your highlights for May?

Since May was Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I wanted to share some recent books by Asian Pacific American authors.

We Dream of SpaceWe Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting read about three kids whose orbits hardly ever cross despite being siblings and living in the same house. And their school is counting down the days until the launch of the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger. I wish there was more about the aftermath of the shared experience.

Doorkeeper: A Graphic NovelDoorkeeper: A Graphic Novel by Scott Lee Chua
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An epic graphic novel event from the Philippines featuring the Doorkeeper, an immortal being and the guardian of time. He shows up at pivotal moments of people’s lives to reveal the consequences of their actions.

With the collaboration of several graphic novelists, we are presented multiple stories that span different time periods from the distant past all the way into a far off future featuring a wild mix of characters. It’s in these stories, these people, that makes the Doorkeeper do something he never did before. He interferes.

Touching on Phillipine history and literature, readers are in for a wild ride.

The creators have made it available for free to read here: https://issuu.com/scottchua/docs/door…

On Earth We're Briefly GorgeousOn Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Butterflies. Mothers. Fireproof. Grandmas. Milk. White hair. Stories. Ox tails. Mood rings. Soldiers. Flowers. Grandfathers. Tiger Woods. Memories. Nail salons. Phantom limbs. Tobacco fields. Apologies. First loves. Peaches. Chopin. Pizza bites. Exchanged truths. Colors. Gravity. Beauty. Replications. Commas. Placentas. Coca Cola. Veal. Stop signs. Buffalo. Green apple. Purple flowers. Funerals. Tables. Stories. Mother and son.
I listened to this on audiobook and it’s always a treat to listen to the author narrate since you hear how the author meant it be read. I think that adds a different layer to the whole experience. And I can’t believe I put this off until now. The writing is the kind I like to say makes you fall in love with a book. One of the other time I felt like this was with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 25, 2020

New-2020-IMWAYR-Button
Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

Recent Posts:
Reading the Rainbow BINGO Reading Challenge 2020

My friend and I are bringing back a fun Reading Challenge we did last year for Pride month and incorporated BINGO into it. Check the post above to read more about it. Play along with us if you want!

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I thought I’d share reviews of what I’ve read recently to fill up some of the spaces.

The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in PicturesThe Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures by Noelle Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been a fan of Noelle Stevenson since Nimona. This chronicles her drive to create graphic novels while going through rather personal stuff that would eventually cause burn out. But it also tells the story of a resilient spirit that can rise out of the ashes to lead a happy life.

Boy Erased: A MemoirBoy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A memoir that details a young man’s experience trying to figure out how he can exist in a world where he’s raised in a religious family and have feelings for other men. He undergoes ex-gay conversion therapy but realizes the cost to fit in may be too much to live with. Such a sad story that hopefully had a good ending but scary and frustrating that there are people who still fall for this life-damaging practice.

I reviewed Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

I reviewed Rainbow Revolutionaries by Sarah Prager with illustrations by Sarah Papworth on my YouTube channel.

I’ll be reading Rick by Alex Gino and discuss it during my KidLit Quarantine Book Club for Adults on Thursday, June 11th at 7pm Pacific. Do join if you’re interested!

Screenshot_2020-05-25 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videos

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

Reading the Rainbow BINGO Reading Challenge 2020

My friend and I are bringing back a fun Reading Challenge we did last year for Pride month.

We’re trying to read as many LGBTQ2SIA+ books from the different categories we came up with. And, we incorporated BINGO into it so we win if we get 6 in a row- or a RAINBOW. (I know ROYGBIV is technically 7 colors but who really uses indigo?) We included some fun non-reading options, too.

The categories this year for a 6 by 6 Bingo card: (No Free Space this year.)
-Kids Fiction
-YA Fiction
-Adult Fiction
-Kids Nonfiction
-YA Nonfiction
-Adult Nonfiction
-Kids/YA Graphic Novel
-Adult Graphic Novel
-Romance
-Mystery
-Sci-Fi/Fantasy
-History
-Play
-Poetry
-Bio/Memoir by Someone Living
-Bio/Memoir by Someone Dead
-Short Story Collection by One Author
-Anthology with Multiple Authors
-Essay Collection
-Set in Portland
-Set Outside N. America or Europe
-Book Published in 1939 or Before
-Book Published Between 1940-1959
-Book Published Between 1960-1979
-Book Published Between 1980-1999
-Book Published Between 2000-2019
-Book Published in 2020
-Stonewall Award Winner
-LAMBDA Award Winner
-GLAAD Award Winner
-Documentary or Film
-Podcast or Album
-Attend an Online Event
-A Book Recommended by a Friend
-Learn more about something you read
-Write a letter or email to an author

Our first assignment was to create our own game boards- designed any way we want and randomly generated with the numbers coinciding with the categories we chose.

This year, I decided to “keep it simple” since I wanted it to be in my bullet journal.

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Below are my friend’s card from last year, my card from last year and my card completed.

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It runs from May 16th through the end of June. You can start anytime and backdate. Join us if you’re interested and tag #ReadingTheRainbowBINGO!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 11, 2020

New-2020-IMWAYR-Button
Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

Recent Posts:
April 2020 Review
#NFPB2020- March 6, 2020

I held my first ever Zoom Kidlit Quarantine Book Club for Adults and we discussed Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Mañanaland. You can watch my review here:

Esperanza RisingEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been meaning to read this but wasn’t in the mood the first time I decided to listen to it on audio. But I decided to give it another try recently since we were reading Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Mañanaland for a book club and I wanted to be able to compare it with her other works.

It’s a reversal of fortune when Esperanza’s father is killed and she and her mom must leave their comfortable life in Mexico to work in the fields of California. She has a hard time adjusting to their new lives and learns things about others she never would have. When it seems it’s just one bad thing after another, can she keep hope alive that things will soon be better?

Riding FreedomRiding Freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on the true story of Charlotte Parkhurst (One-Eyed Charlie), this chronicles her life from losing her parents, growing up in an orphanage, and eventually making her way in the world even if it meant masquerading as a man. I was originally intrigued by this book since it features art by Brian Selznick but I was also in a Pam Muñoz Ryan reading binge.

EchoEcho by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish I liked Echo more. The concept was fascinating- a magical harmonica that lands in the hands of four different kids during different time periods. The writing was good as can be expected from Pam Munoz Ryan. But at a whopping 592 pages (!), I felt it was far too long.

Don’t get me wrong. Some parts I just sailed through it but the multiple shifts also hindered the story flow.
I decided to keep my original review since it’s interesting what I originally thought of the book. Since then, this has become one of my go-to books to recommend!

The DreamerThe Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this book, a retelling of Pablo Neruda’s childhood. What make it even more special is Peter Sis’s illustrations. And the use of green ink for the font was truly inspired.

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian AndersonWhen Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With such talented names attached to this project, it’s no wonder the finished product is a marvel to behold. Formatted like a programme, Marian Anderson’s life plays out beautifully despite the struggles she had to face during her time. I really appreciate the details Selznick puts into his works.

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a RideAmelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Based on a true event, this is a fictionalized account of two incredible women- and friends- who went on two exhilarating adventures- in the air and on the road- in one magical night.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

#NFPB2020- March 6, 2020

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My latest Book Review video features an upcoming picture book about Keith Haring.

This week, I’m sharing my reviews of Stacy McAnulty’s Our Universe series.

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion YearsEarth! My First 4.54 Billion Years by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earth finally gets to tell her story in this fun picture book about how she was born, what things she’s experienced in her long life so far, and how she gets along with humans.

Vibrant artwork and additional informational in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud.

Sun!: One in a BillionSun!: One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sun gets her time to shine in this picture book that tells her life story and why she’s a star!

Vibrant artwork and additional informational in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud. Perfect companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years.

Moon! Earth's Best FriendMoon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earth’s best friend- Moon!-tells her story in this fun picture book about what things she’s experienced in her long life so far and how she gets along with Earth.

Vibrant artwork and additional information in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud.

Ocean: Waves for AllOcean: Waves for All by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stacy McAnulty’s Our Universe series expands with Ocean who seems like a bit too cool but actually has a good message to share with the readers.

Another fun addition to the series and this time reuniting the original team.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

April 2020 Review

It’s kind of hard to look back and try to remember details when everything just seems to be one long day.

But I managed to pick a couple of highlights for April. The first one was being drawn in a comic strip thanks to Aron Nels Steinke, a wonderful teacher and graphic novelist (Mr. Wolf’s Class, etc.) and independent bookstore supporter. You can read the comic strip here.

And it was my birthday and it was definitely weird trying to celebrate it during these times. I decided to hold a virtual fundraiser to benefit The Children’s Book Bank.

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They had their annual storytelling fundraiser as well and it was a good time to watch the event and fold some boxes for The Soul Box Project.

Screenshot_2020-05-02 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videos

I have to say I was also happy to add a couple of new things to my Mariah Carey collection namely one of the All I Want For Christmas Is You CD singles I ordered back in December!

And things are actually coming back to me (admittedly, I’m also going through my social media pages) and I was happy to continue virtually hanging out with family and friends.

In last month’s review, I mentioned I hadn’t read any YA novels. And, in April, I read two. I already mentioned the one by Christopher Pike in my latest IMWAYR post. The first YA novel I read this year was Randy Ribay’s Patron Saints of Nothing.

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I actually listened to the audio book which was narrated by Ramon de Ocampo. It’s a thought-provoking coming-of-age story that has half-Filipino, half-American teenager Jay traveling to the Philippines to better understand how his cousin died. He finds himself knowing more about the war on drugs going on there and deep in a tangled web of family secrets. Is truth worth searching for when it may not be what we think it is?

So far this year, I’ve read 115 books, which is super low compared to other years. The breakdown is:
3- Adult novels
5- Adult non-fiction
9- Graphic novels
18- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)
78- Picture Books and Board Books
2- Young Adult novels

of which
24- Nonfiction Pictures (Goal: 104)
12- Audio Books

I also started reading Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan since I’m holding a KidLit Quarantine Book Club for Adults via Zoom on Thursday, May 7th at 7pm PST. Feel free to join if you’re interested. Just send me your email and I’ll send you the Zoom invite.

Screenshot_2020-05-02 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videos(1)

Anyway, some days are good. Some days are bad. We will get through this. Take care!