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What Are You Reading? (157) #IMWAYR – August 2, 2015/ Reading Resolutions: July Update

This week, I posted:

New Releases– Read my reviews for:

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

Top 10 Picture Books I Can’t Wait to Read This Fall & Winter

Review: All the Light We Cannot See
allthelight

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating Authors.

The Rox in Sox Children’s Music and Books Festival was this past Saturday. I talked about it in a previous post. It’s always great to be part of anything that promotes literacy.

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Dilly Dally Daisy by Mark Fearing

Dilly Dally Daisy by Mark Fearing


[***] Adorable and hilarious, we have an energetic and imaginative girl who has a problem getting anywhere on time. There’s just so much to do! I love the manic facial expressions.

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss


[***] A new release by a deceased author is always a cause for excitement and worry. But fortunately this is a nice addition to any Seuss library starting of simple and then getting sillier by the page. What I probably enjoyed more than the story was the background information about Seuss and his pets and what was done to get this story printed.

The Christmas Tree Ship by Jeanette Winter

The Christmas Tree Ship by Jeanette Winter


[**] While based on a true story, I decided not to include this as a nonfiction picture book. During the holidays, a ship travels down to Chicago to deliver Christmas trees. Until one day, the captain and his ship doesn’t. His family (his wife and their daughters) continues his legacy in this heartwarming tale.

Pepper & Poe by Frann Preston-Gannon

Pepper & Poe by Frann Preston-Gannon


[***] A cute story about a new kitten in the family and how the old cat can feel frustrated that there’s someone else stealing the attention- not to mention the food- and how it’s nice, even convenient, to have someone else to share the adventures and trouble with.

Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen, Illustrated by Matt Phelan

Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, Illustrated by Matt Phelan


[****] Adorable story where every kid has a monster they can call their own. Everyone except Marilyn, who after patience fails to produce one, goes out to find her monster. It’s not the way to get one but she’s determined. Matt Phelan’s illustrations are always a visual familiar treat.

Castle of Books by Bernard Clavel, Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene

Castle of Books by Bernard Clavel, Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene


[***] A sweet father and son story who learn their separate interests can actually help each other out.

The Nest Where I Like to Rest by Dawn Babb Prochovnic, Illustrated by Stephanie Bauer

The Nest Where I Like to Rest by Dawn Babb Prochovnic, Illustrated by Stephanie Bauer


[***]
Dawn Prochovnic has done monthly sign language story times at our store in the past and they’ve always been one of my favorite story times that we offer since they are always so active and musical. This is a great story about some very busy goings-on around a bird’s nest. Includes visual ASL signs for animals.


[***]
In the very busy lives of families, sometimes even the moms and dads need time-outs. It was nice to meet Valarie Pearce and her family in person and not just through the pages of the books.

I Will Chomp You! by Jory John, Illustrated by Bob Shea

I Will Chomp You! by Jory John, Illustrated by Bob Shea


[***]
In the same vein as There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, I Will Chomp You features a more aggressive but still adorable creature willing to chomp at readers who keep turning the pages.

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett

Orange Pear Apple Bear
by Emily Gravett


[***] An elderly lady read me this at work over the weekend. I love a spontaneous storytime! Unexpected perks of being a bookseller! A simple story with few words that (with the aide of the illustrations) somehow manages to capture the reader’s attention and imagination.

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes


[****] One of my favorite recent picture books. What a great message of doing the best you can despite the overwhelming odds and being pleasantly surprised that there’s others out there doing their best as well.

Super Amoeba (Squish, #1)Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Being a huge fan of the Babymouse series and the Holm duo, it was inevitable that I read this. A nice start to a series about an amoeba who loves comic books. I enjoy the science references and can’t wait to read the other books!

View all my reviews

The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle, #1)The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie. While she is one of my favorite writers, it was mostly because I liked her Hercule Poirot mysteries so much. This thriller, although not featuring any of her other famous detectives, was still much praised. Fun and full of likable characters, brilliant with twists and turns befitting her classic novels, it did not disappoint. It left me racing through the pages to see what would happen next.

View all my reviews

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

With so many Reading Challenges out there, I figured keeping a monthly update on the ones I’m participating in will be a great way to keep track of my progress!

Jeanette Winter– I finally started reading more of her nonfiction picture books. You can read reviews here, here and here.

Barbara Kerley & Edwin Fotheringham– I finished this challenge! You can read my reviews of their books here.

Off the Shelf 2015 Goal: 11 books– 2 more books read this month for a total of 6; Click on my To Be Read 2015 post for review.

Diverse Books Goal: 52 books– I finished this challenge! I like to think that I read a lot and I was surprised that I had to seek out books featuring people of color or people with disabilities, or anything that would be considered diverse. While I’m not going keep track of how many more diverse books I read, I will definitely still read more so I can share them.
-Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
-Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexicoby Marcia Wells
-The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats-Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats-A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats-Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats-Goggles! by Ezra Jack Keats-Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats-Pet Show by Ezra Jack Keats

Nonfiction Picture Book 2015 Goal: 104 books– 14 more books read this month for a total of 66. Read reviews here, here, here, here, and here.

To Be Read 2015/ Must Read in 2015– I updated this list again. 3 more books read this month for a total of 40; Click on link to see which ones I’ve read!

My Most Favorite Favorites– I added two more titles to my list.
–State of Giving: Stories of Oregon Nonprofits, Donors, and Volunteers by Greg Chaillé and Kristin Anderson
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr</a

Reading Snapshots

357 Books Read in 2015
8 Adult Fiction
9 Adult Non-Fiction
11 Graphic Novels
65 Middle Readers
248 Picture Books
16 Young Adult

Readings & Literary Events
-Junior Booksellers Boot Camp
-Susan Hill Long

-Shelby Bach

How are your Reading Resolutions going?

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!

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- July 31, 2015

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 Authors.

First up is Shelby Bach. The fourth book in her Ever Afters series just came out and she had her release party at Green Bean Books.

sb5

There were cupcakes, games, prizes, and lots of fun. I enjoyed the creativity and dedication of her fans- a few of them had driven from Washington just to see her!

As you know, Shelby included us in the acknowledgements so I just had to get a signed copy of her book. I even took a selfie with her to add to my Authors I’ve Met album.

oeae1

sb6

Green Bean Books is excited to be part of Rox in Sox– a children’s music and book festival who uses their free events to collect shoes, socks, and books to donate to kids around the world. I helped with the author’s line up and includes Cathy Camper, Jennifer Coughlin, Valarie Pearce, and Dawn Prochovnic.

I even got to be part of a group interview for the event on the local news! I was nervous the whole time leading to it but my one little word this year is FAIL- to try something new or different regardless of the outcome. Luckily it went fine. I was trying so hard to control my hand gestures! Here’s the video:
http://www.kgw.com/media/cinematic/video/30859769/cassidy-quinn-previews-rox-in-sox-a-childrens-music-book-festiv/

My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is Tim Federle’s graduation keynote speech at Hamline University.

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Review: All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

allthelight

I may be late to get on this bandwagon but I’m on it now with all the others who are raving about this novel.

All the Light We Cannot See
is truly a masterpiece. It took Anthony Doerr a decade to write this and it shows in the style and the attention to the details- wonderfully plotted like the miniature cities that play important pieces in the story.

Alternating mostly between Marie-Laure, the blind daughter of a museum keeper and locksmith, and Werner, the orphaned boy with a shock of white hair, their stories jump through the years until the inevitable collision of their two worlds. The fact that the moment is expected doesn’t take away the anticipation and the dread leading up to it. And, by the time it happens, readers would have already been dazzled by the writing, the story and the characters of All the Light We Cannot See.

It reminds me of The Book Thief and The Invention of Hugo Cabret, two of my other most favorite favorites.

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #81

nfpb2015

This is the final post for my Jeanette Winter nonfiction picture book reading challenge. Read the other posts here and here.

Emily Dickinson's Letters to the WorldEmily Dickinson’s Letters to the World by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was impressive to read that one of the most popular poets of all time was unknown during her lifetime- her over 1700 poems being found by her sister after her death. A selection of Emily Dickinson’s poems are shared in this picture book.

View all my reviews

The Secret World Of HildegardThe Secret World Of Hildegard by Jonah Winter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mother and son have another collaboration in this biography of a fascinating person I’d never heard about. Having visions, and hiding them from the world, caused Hildegard to have headaches and to go in hiding. But once she realized her visions were from God, she shared them. A creative look in the life of a woman when women weren’t treated as more than wives-and-mothers-in-the-making.

View all my reviews

Sebastian: A Book about BachSebastian: A Book about Bach by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Bach were a large musical family whose talents were passed from generation to generation. An overly simplified biography of someone who we may be all familiar with without knowing it!

View all my reviews

 

What Are You Reading? (156) #IMWAYR – July 26, 2015

This week, I posted:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:

Special #NFPB Post: More Jeanette Winter

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating beginnings.

A B See by Elizabeth Doyle

A B See by Elizabeth Doyle


[***] A beautiful alphabet board book with lots of things hidden that kids will enjoy identifying or looking for.


The Snowy Day [***]
Whistle for Willie [***]
A Letter to Amy [***]
Peter’s Chair [***]
Goggles! [***]
Hi, Cat! [***]
Pet Show [***]
All books by Ezra Jack Keats
I wanted to meet my goal for my We Need Diverse Books Reading Challenge. I remember reading The Snowy Day as part of my Caldecott Reading Challenge and I was surprised the character Peter is featured in more books so I decided to check them out. It was fun to watch Peter and his friends grow and have fun and have adventures around their neighborhood. I also appreciated that the neighborhood portrayed a realistic urban scene. The illustrations were fun.

Supercat vs The Fry Thief (Supercat, Book 1)Supercat vs The Fry Thief by Jeanne Willis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Super Cat- Super silly, super fun and super entertaining read for beginning chapter readers. Kids and adults will enjoy this as much if not more than the Captain Underpants series. At least, I found it less crude.

View all my reviews

The Stars of Summer (All Four Stars, #2)The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good sequel needs to build from the previous installment and be able to stand on its own merit. The characters we’ve been introduced to needs to have grown from the things they’ve experienced- and any new characters need to be interesting enough without being the center of attention. The situations need to up their ante. The Stars of Summer does all this successful and I really can’t wait to read more of her foodie adventures.

View all my reviews

must-read-2015-logo

Until the End by Christopher Pike

Until the End by Christopher Pike


[****] [Off the Shelf Reading Challenge]
Until the End is an omnibus of the following three books:

The Party (Final Friends, #1)The Party by Christopher Pike
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book introduces readers to the characters that they will come to know and love and hate. There will be high school milestones throughout the series since it takes places during one senior year. In this instance, there are football games and student body elections and first dates. And, there will be a party that will end in death for one of them.

Friendships will form and crumble. Love will be found and lost. Lives will be taken and changed for better or for worse. It will leave readers wanting more.

View all my reviews

The Dance (Final Friends, #2)The Dance by Christopher Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dealing with the consequences of the party, the characters learn to move forward with their lives. High school continues to be full of typical teenage drama including getting ready for the big homecoming dance. This book definitely feels like a filler since enough things happen to make it interesting but not enough to explain anything. That’s saved for the final book.

View all my reviews

The Graduation (Final Friends, #3)The Graduation by Christopher Pike
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book in the series takes place all in one fateful day- graduation and the senior class party. And what a doozy of a day it is! Secrets are exposed. Feelings are expressed. The truth is finally revealed.

Reaping from all the seeds planted in the previous two books, this offers a satisfying conclusion to the series. It makes me wonder what they are doing now!

Rereading the series, I was impressed by the maturity and the diversity of Pike’s characters. This seemed like pretty risque things back when I was in fourth, fifth and sixth grade!

View all my reviews

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

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!

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- July 24, 2015

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

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

A few weeks ago, I celebrated Endings. This week I’m celebrating Beginnings.

Not only have I moved into my new place, I’ve also unpacked all my things into their proper yet temporary places. I only procrastinated about a week before finally doing so but it felt good afterwards.

Here’s the before and after pics:

I may not have a lot in terms of furnishings but it feels good to have a place I can call home.

And just because I’ve ended my regular volunteering commitments doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to be a bit more helpful in the world. I’ve joined the Promotions Committee for the main street where my work is located and we have our annual Street Fair to gear up for in August. I’ve been handing out posters to different businesses and it’s been great to meet the owners and employees and to just check out places I’ve never been into.

Yesterday, I volunteered at a brewers festival. It was something new for me. But I went there a year or so ago with friends and had a great time. So if I can help others have fun, I’m all for it.

My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is one of my favorite Five For Fighting’s song, World. It asks, “What kind of world do you want?”

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Special #NFPB Post: More Jeanette Winter

As part of my Reading Challenge this year, I wanted to read Jeanette Winter’s nonfiction picture books. I shared some that I’ve read recently last week here.

The following are reviews of her books I’ve read in the past.

Henri's ScissorsHenri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An inspiring account of an artist’s life who didn’t let a serious illness get in the way of creating art that would touch millions of people’s hearts. Jeanette Winter provides a glimpse into Henri Matisse, his incredible paper cutouts, and how everything he did was an extension of his passion!

View all my reviews

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from AfghanistanNasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on a true story, this is a great picture book that highlights the importance of education. It’s always mindboggling to see how other countries seem to value education more than we do here. But it’s also been nice to see in real life and online so many dedicated teachers who give their all despite being overworked and underappreciated.

View all my reviews

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from IraqThe Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This picture book is about Alia Muhammad Baker, an Iraqi librarian who saved the books in her country during wartime. This shows how important books are, how far people would go to protect them.

View all my reviews

Biblioburro: A True Story from ColombiaBiblioburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is about Luis Soriano, a man who decided to travel around his country of Colombia by donkey in order to provide books to people who need them. Inspiring!

View all my reviews

I’ve just checked out the last batch of her nonfiction picture books so I can’t wait to read them and review them soon!

 
 
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