#IMWAYR – January 31, 2016

31 Jan

This week, I posted:

New Releases: Read my review for:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating a couple of book events. Also, read my reviews for:

I love it when authors and illustrators randomly stop by the store!* Today it was Salina Yoon who signed her books including Be a Friend, which is my first favorite picture book of 2016! She was super friendly and had some interesting insights about her books. What’s your favorite Salina Yoon book?

(*Actually, I don’t like being surprised. I love it when they introduce themselves and if we actually have their books in stock and if I’ve read- and preferably, enjoyed- their books! Luckily, I knew she was coming in advance- and all the other criteria were met!)

Guess Again!Guess Again! by Mac Barnett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This has been super popular during a couple of story times. The absurd answers really tickle grown-ups’ funny bones!
View all my reviews

ABC DreamABC Dream by Kim Krans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This ABC picture book may not be text heavy but the illustrations are fun and readers will enjoy figuring out all the things that start with each letter.
View all my reviews

Read Anything Good Lately?Read Anything Good Lately? by Susan Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An alphabet book about different kinds of things you can read.
View all my reviews

In a Village by the SeaIn a Village by the Sea by Muon Van
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lush artwork with lyrical writing makes this a perfect read-aloud. I like the touch of whimsy. It reminded me a little bit of Ponyo.
View all my reviews

The White GoblinThe White Goblin by Ul De Rico
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Two decades after The Rainbow Goblin comes this sequel which is visually more breathtaking than the first. This would actually go perfect with other Earth Day books because of its message.
View all my reviews

The Thing About JellyfishThe Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually read this in 2015 but despite my Goodreads account, my Excel spreadsheet, and my blog, somehow I didn’t put up a review of it. I checked my older notebooks to see if I wrote one down but couldn’t find one.

I remembered liking it fine. It was one of those “heavy books of 2015” where death drove the story forward. When her best friend dies, the girl tries to learn everything about jellyfish to come to terms with it.

View all my reviews

Anna and the Swallow ManAnna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It seems any book aimed for kids set during WWII is quickly compared to The Book Thief.

This received early buzz at our store and with its beautiful writing and interesting premise, I saw why. I’m not a big fan of historical fiction but the magical realism thrown in fascinated me. In fact, I could have used more of the latter.

I felt the characters and the story didn’t live up to their full potential. Maybe I needed to take some time to analyze the book more to fully get it but I didn’t really want to work that hard.

This is definitely for older kids.
View all my reviews

I would also recommend another of her short non-fiction work of which I’m also including my review.

How Reading Changed My LifeHow Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I can’t believe how far I’ll travel to go to a library- even though there’s one less than half an hour’s walk away from where I live. They may all be set up the same way (Dewey decimal, by subject, by author’s last name in alphabetical order) but some of the books are different. It’s amazing what I’ll find to read by browsing through the rows that I wouldn’t normally run across had I just been using the computerized library catalog- a book I didn’t even want to read (or even know existed) until I saw it. Anna Quindlen’s “How Reading Changed My Life” was a book like that. Published in 1998 as part of the Library of Contemporary Thought series, this very thin book is pretty much just an extended essay on her thoughts on books and reading. Of course, I knew of her (as the writer of “One True Thing”) but reading her words on those subjects was like finding a kindred spirit of sorts. Anyone who considers themselves a reader will surely enjoy this book as much as I had- a light, pleasurable way to pass the time. (There are even lists of recommended books at the end.)
View all my reviews


I also read Dan Gemeinhart’s bonus short story from The Honest Truth. Read “Beau’s Lost Chapter” only on the Nerdy Book Club.  Told from a dog’s point of view, this tear-jerker tale will appreciate the bond between owner and pet. I’m not an animal lover at all but this got me.


[***]  This is the series I wanted to get into. The first trilogy I read wasn’t as addicting as I hoped. But, now, knowing the characters, I actually cared about the story. With a mysterious mother’s past playing a huge role and brother and sister relationships taking center stage, I was hooked. Lots of action to keep readers turning the pages.

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

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!


9 responses to “#IMWAYR – January 31, 2016

  1. Jane Whittingham

    January 31, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Whenever I travel I like to visit libraries in different places, you can learn a lot about a community by browsing through its libraries.

    • aaroncleaveley

      February 1, 2016 at 1:24 am

      So true. Also, the independent and used book stores too.

  2. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    February 1, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I can’t wait to read the Holms’ new board books! So excited about them!

  3. Cheriee Weichel

    February 1, 2016 at 6:56 am

    I need a baby gift so I almost stopped reading after seeing these here. I went and put them on order but did come back to see what else you could seduce me into buying. My partner and I visit book stores of all sorts when we travel. We are particularly fond of used ones, but Powell’s books in Portland is a destination unto itself.

  4. Michele

    February 1, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I ordered the new board books, the plan was to give them to my younger nieces and nephews, but I actually like the I’m Grumpy book to use for drawing conclusions!
    I’m guessing they will be good sellers at the store!

  5. Linda Baie

    February 1, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I love all Anna Quindlen’s books, have given so many as gifts. But the reading life one is really special, isn’t it? I still need to read The Honest Truth, hopefully soon. So glad you got to meet Salina Yoon, Earl. What a fun time you must have had.

  6. Kellee from Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye)

    February 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I really want to get the new Holms books for my son and also Comic Squad for my classroom library 🙂 I may just have to order them!
    Happy reading this week 🙂

  7. Crystal

    February 1, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    I’ve got the Holms board books on my newest book order. I’m excited to see them.

  8. Myra GB

    February 2, 2016 at 2:43 am

    I really like the look of Comics Squad. My daughter enjoyed the first book – I’m sure she’d be excited to learn there’s another one. I often quote passages from Quindlen in my own teaching, but haven’t really read any of her books – thanks for sharing a bunch here! How Reading Changed My Life is available in my institution’s library – will borrow that one tomorrow. Excited to read it.


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