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

06 Jul
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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10 responses to “What Are You Reading? (102) #IMWAYR – July 6, 2014

  1. Robin

    July 6, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I keep waiting for you to talk about the religious allegory element to the Narnia books. Have you already discussed that elsewhere? Quite curious whether or not that’s impacted your reading of the books.

     
    • Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

      July 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Well, see, those religious overtones/undertones are always mentioned but I doubt a 7 or 8 year old reader will be aware of that. Good for them if they comment on all the symbolism or if they want to compare or contrast. But for me I’m all about the story and characters first.

       
      • Robin

        July 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        Yeah, I think I have a hard time distancing myself from it because in the conservative town I grew up in the religious aspects were mentioned to kids. I realize that by and large that’s not the case.

         
  2. Tara Smith

    July 7, 2014 at 3:32 am

    What a wonderful selection f picture books here – the one on Darwin looks especially interesting. The Narnia series is one of my all time favorite, and you are quite right to try and experience the reading as a child would – for the rich story that it is. The allegorical elements, as in Tolkien’s works, makes for reading the series through another, more complicated, lens. I know that none of my students are quite ready for that type of work yet – they just want to get wrapped up in the story.

     
  3. Michele

    July 7, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I just saw Jubilee at the library so I’ll be interested in your thoughts on that one! A lot of people love Bad Bye Good Bye. I thought it was ok. I did love Lion/Bird though! I remember people recommending the Narnia books to me when I was a kid but I never got into It. I did enjoy the movie adaptation. I should give the book another try!

     
  4. Linda Baie

    July 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

    I love that you’re sharing so many different books, Earl. Thanks for The Normal Heart. I put it on my list, have not heard of it. I haven’t read the Narnia books in a long time either, maybe should give one a try again. Thanks for that final one-I am intrigued by it!

     
  5. Ricki Ginsberg

    July 7, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for sharing The Normal Heart with us. I have added it to my TBR list. Often, I struggle to read a book after watching the movie/play, so it is good to hear that this play doesn’t fall into that trap. I hope you have a great week. 🙂

     
  6. Elisabeth Ellington

    July 7, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I didn’t realize there was a sequel to Oliver and His Alligator (a book I loved–my son thought it was absolutely horrifying, which I found hilarious. He could not get the spirit of the story at all.) Will have to look for that.When I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe about ten years ago, I was surprised by how little the religious allusions seemed to be present for me. I was expected the symbolism to be very obvious and blatant, but I really didn’t think it was. Never heard of The Normal Heart, but I’m always searching for good movies, so will add it to my list. Thanks!

     
  7. The Styling Librarian

    July 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Great to meet/visit this past week, thanks for the time, loved the bookstore… Must find Little Owl Lost to enjoy! Happy reading week to you!

     
  8. Myra GB

    July 9, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Hi there Earl, it’s the first time I’m hearing about The Normal Heart, thanks for sharing such a glowing review of the novel. Seems to have an interesting premise. My daughter just read One Bettle too many and she enjoyed it. My former book club read the entire chronicles of narnia in a month’s time, that was a blast. Love the artists/writers title – I pinned that one in my PBB Pinterest Board. 🙂

     

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