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

Keep DancingKeep Dancing by Cristina Oxtra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first heard about this book while doing a random Google search for Filipino books. And I wasn’t even sure this was a book I’d actually get to read since it seemed so obscure but when I was doing (yet another) random search for Filipino books on a library’s database, not only did they have it but they also had it in.

I didn’t realize this early reader chapter book was part of a series introducing young readers to different sports- in this instance tinikling which is a Filipino folk dance involving bamboo poles.

Lito is teased by some boys when they overhear he dances but his family helps him overcome it to help shine a light on his Filipino culture.

An American StoryAn American Story by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first must read picture book of 2023. Kwame Alexander uses his skills as poet to write about a very difficult- but necessary- topic to broach in the classrooms. Dare Coulter’s various art throughout the story compliments the powerful text and will hopefully give readers plenty to think and talk about.

The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and FriendshipThe Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship by Ibtihaj Muhammad
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet companion to The Proudest Blue with the sister of the main character from the first book having her turn to learn about herself and others.

My Uncle Is Coming Tomorrow / Mañana viene mi tíoMy Uncle Is Coming Tomorrow / Mañana viene mi tío by Sebastián Santana
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A random pick while browsing the library shelves. I thought it was going to be a wacky tale of anticipating a relative’s arrival but I was surprised and impressed that this very sparse picture book was actually about “disappearing people” due to government/military involvement causing a neverending source of grief and pain to their loved ones and usually offering no sort of closure.

Maya's SongMaya’s Song by Renée Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Renée Watson does it again in this appropriately lyrical biography of the celebrated writer and activist Maya Angelou. Also contributing to the awesomeness of this book is Bryan Collier’s always impressive artwork.

Vincent Van Gogh: He Saw the World in Vibrant Colors (What the Artist Saw)Vincent Van Gogh: He Saw the World in Vibrant Colors by Amy Guglielmo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What the Artist Saw is a new picture book biography series that introduces readers to artists and includes activities they can do themselves. This one focuses on Vincent Van Gogh. What I appreciated is that there were images of some of his work to help me better understand his art. I will definitely continue checking out the other books in this series.

Hope Is an Arrow: The Story of Lebanese-American Poet Khalil GibranHope Is an Arrow: The Story of Lebanese-American Poet Khalil Gibran by Cory McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone who’s read and enjoyed The Prophet, this picture book biography caught my eye. I didn’t realize the author had lived in Boston (which, of course, made me reminisce about my visit there) and was just fascinated by his life. The back matter material was very insightful. The collage artwork were beautiful.

J.D. and the Great Barber BattleJ.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun and unique premise about an eight year old who starts his own barbershop business after he discovers he has a knack for cutting hair. I wish the character was a bit older for some reason.

Welcome to FeralWelcome to Feral by Mark Fearing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful. The perfect blend of spooky and silly perfect for fans who’ve outgrown Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol and ready to sink their teeth into Goosebumps-style scary stories. Can’t wait for the next book.

You can view all my reviews over on Goodreads. Please consider supporting independent bookstores when you want to buy any of the books I’ve mentioned via or

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!


5 thoughts on “My Reading Week #IMWAYR- January 9, 2023

  1. Looks like you had a lot of interesting choices. I don’t get to the library very much, but random browsing can lead to delightful surprises. Hope your week involves lots of good books!

  2. Thanks for all the books you recommend, Earl. I liked Maya’s Song very much, just requested An American Story from my library, & will hope I can find Keep Dancing, sounds nice!

  3. I’m looking forward to reading My Uncle Is Coming Tomorrow. One of my libraries has it as an ebook.
    I wish this What the Artist Saw series had been available when I was still working. I would have purchased all of them!

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