What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR – June 2, 2013

02 Jun
Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

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

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts 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!

One of the bookstores in Portland is closing down and I’m so very sad about it. The owner is one passionate and knowledgeable bookseller! The important takeaway from this is to support the things you value in life before they’re gone!

I volunteered for the library to help them sort out the books and prizes they’ll be giving as incentives to the kids who join.

I wouldn’t even be able to remember anything if I weren’t looking over my Twitter and Facebook posts. This is Day 10 of 13 straight work & volunteer days. As stressful as it is, and it is my fault for not scheduling my time better, I’m glad I get to do what I love. Books are my passion.

Commitment to Literacy= 172 books to be donated

-Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems [***]
-Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems [**]
-Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems [***]
I was surprised at it being so emotional. The trajectory of the books- seeing the characters grow (in age and maturity level) in the span of three books- was so unusual for a kids book. It was such a love story between a dad and his daughter. And I thought the illustration style was interesting.

-A Dog Is a Dog by Stephen Shaskan [***]- This is a great read aloud book. Nice rhythm. Fun story. Wonderful illustrations.

-How to Negotiate Everything by Lisa Lutz, Illustrated by Jaime Temairik [**]- This was a hilarious picture book written by a fictional character- David Spellman who is a character in Lisa Lutz’s mystery novel series. I can’t wait to see kids taking the advice and using it to their advantage!

-Ball by Mary Sullivan [*]- There’s only one word in this picture book. The relationship between the dog and his owner was sweet. Another fun read for kids.

-Inferno by Dan Brown [***]- However much it’s easy to dismiss Dan Brown, this was quite a pageturner. However formulaic his books are, he really knows how to tell a story. This was definitely a vast improvement over The Lost Symbol. It brought up a very thought provoking topic. This is a book equivalent of a summer blockbuster popcorn flick. I always want to look at the architecture and pieces of art mentioned in his books. Plus now I want to read Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

-The Umbrella by Ingrid Schubert, Illustrated by Dieter Schubert [*]- This picture book was pretty good. It had humor and action and no words.

-Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary [****- My Pick of the Week]- How have I not read Dear Mr. Henshaw before? Writing. Authors. Librarians. Everything I love in a book. It’s about a boy who writes to his favorite writer and through the letters (and later through diary entries) we learn more the boy’s life. This is not a cookie-cutter book. It deals with divorce and trying to fit in in an unfamiliar environment. It’s amazing how kids books are perceived as simple but the best ones aren’t. This had depth and emotional resonance. And, for anyone aspiring to be a writer, this is a must read! Dear Ms. Cleary, you rock!


-Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long [*]

-Flora and Tiger by Eric Carle [**]- This is a collection of very short stories about his life in both Germany and America. Each recollection and memory is animal based because his father had instilled in him a love and respect of nature. Some are poignant and some are quite funny. There’s at least one of his signature collage illustrations in his story.

-Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card by Herman Parish and Lynne Avril [*]- I love libraries and I had grown quite fond of the Amelia Bedelia picture books. This was sweet even if I don’t have much to say about it.

-Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss! [*****]- Audible had a free download of this book, which is one of my favorite books ever. This was narrated by John Lithgow. Here’s the link to it but I don’t know for how much longer the offer will be good for.

-The Three Hedgehogs by Javier Saez Castan [**]- Hedgehogs are everywhere these days! This was a quirky picture book find divided into “two acts and a colophon” sandwiched between a “Dramatis Personae” and a glossary defining the Chinese, French, English, Spanish, and Latin terms found in its pages.

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

One of my goals in June is to finally finish Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. I’m alternating that between Jasper Fforde’s The Woman Who Died A Lot. Hopefully I’ll finish at least one of them this week.

Happy Reading!


8 responses to “What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR – June 2, 2013

  1. msyingling

    June 3, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Is there anything that Cleary wrote that ISN’T good? One of my all time favorites is Fifteen, and even though it was written before most of my students’ grandmothers were in high school, it’s still popular. That’s some good writing!

  2. Jennifer

    June 3, 2013 at 7:42 am

    So sorry to hear about the book store closing 😦 That always makes me sad.

    I hope you have a good week full of fantastic reads!

  3. Hannahlily Smith (@HannahlilyS)

    June 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Good for you for volunteering at your library! I LOVE Dear. Mr. Henshaw. I was a big Cleary fan as a kid, but that’s one of her books I didn’t managed to read til an adult. I wish I would have picked it up as a child though!

  4. Linda Baie

    June 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Many good books here, Earl. I didn’t know there was more than one Knufflebunny, so thanks! And I love Dear Mr. Henshaw. A teacher at school this year did a letter-writing study around that book, and it brought up good things to discuss, too! I’m sorry about your bookstore-so sad!

  5. Rose Milligan

    June 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Oh, that’s so sad about the bookstore closing. I remember reading Dear Mr. Henshaw in fifth grade. I’m reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares.

  6. carriegelson

    June 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I remember when I first read Dear Mr. Henshaw – I thought how could I have missed this book? It is such a personal read. I think this book would be gold in so many young reader’s and writer’s hands!

  7. Myra GB

    June 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I remember using Dear Mr Henshaw for a book club discussion. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The letters are written in such an authentic voice, don’t you think? I’m also glad you’re enjoying Mo Willems. 🙂 I have to get myself a copy of Dan Brown’s book – was just at the Gates of Hell last week! 🙂

  8. Jay Riv (@jljaina)

    June 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    While volunteering for special library events can be stressful, I also find it very rewarding myself. glad you liked Inferno. I hear it is really good.
    my Monday post


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