This pop-up looks at seven different creatures who are considered builders. It shows what they build, how they build them, to what purpose, etc. Then there’s the way the author manages to bring them all together to help build a sense of community, inter-connectivity.
Bird & Diz pays tribute to two bebop legends- sax player Charlie “Bird” Parker and trumpeter John “Dizzy” Gillespie- and how they riffed off one another to create a new form of music. The illustrations are reminiscent of Chris Raschka’s “messy style. The book folds out accordion style to reveal a double sided panoramic image.
[****] Beautiful lyrical story about creativity and imagination. Beautiful black and white illustrations. I loved the image of his dad, Walter Dean Myers, which caught me by surprise. This book is a must-read. This should win all kinds of awards!
[*] I have very tolerance for people (even kids) who destroy books. And I hate it when the parents are OK with letting children destroy them instead of teaching them the proper care and handling of books. I will give this book a re-read though to give it a second chance.
[***] A cute story about a ball of yarn who goes off on an adventure only to find there’s something missing. I love how the story celebrates independence and the importance of maintaining connections.
Stay tuned tomorrow for reviews of new nonfiction picture books!
Um, yeah, I’m definitely not the target audience for this one. The writing was not that strong. Some of the chapters seemed to end in media res with no follow up. I guess kids might enjoy the humor and the premise.
Fans of fantasy (Which at this day and age means if you like Harry Potter) will find this an enjoyable read- especially if readers like riddles. The world and characters are not as complex but I like the take on Norse mythology featuring Huginn and Muninn.
This adult graphic novel is what the current movie starring Colin Firth is based on. It’s about a troubled teen taken in by his uncle to learn super agent spy skills. Meanwhile, celebrities are being kidnapped and it’s up to them to uncover and stop a very diabolical plot. Flashy and funny at the same time.
Good old Pike. Slumber Party is your standard YA thriller genre that I still say was in its peak in the late 80’s through mid 90’s. A group of friends have a ski weekend but mysterious fire-related incidents keep happening that recalls an accident from their past. What I love(d) about Pike’s books were that they seemed edgy at the time.
There’s something about rereading books. You pick up the clues that the writer has planted. You also appreciate the structure of the story more.
If not completely new in terms of its lessons in being kind to oneself and others, I do feel this is an important book one should read. And to get the most of it, one should reread and apply the steps to one’s own life.
[**] There’s just something about elephants that make them so easy to draw as cute. This picture book is no exception about how one baby elephant came into the lives of two grown elephants. Sad and sweet at the same time.
A playful, rhyming counting book about a dozen crows and one hungry cat.
[***] This is a delightful tale about a polar bear searching for his missing underwear. In fact, to read the book, you must first remove his red underwear. He and his mouse friend find different underwear throughout and die cuts reveal who they belong to with a hilarious surprise at the end.
[***] This picture book tells the story of a boy’s day who lets his imagination dictates whether he wants to be indoors or out. I love the paper cut illustrations.
[****] Truly special. A girl is set on sending her aunt an elephant. I love the refrain of Aunt Josephine “who lives completely alone and can really use the company.” Sadie is such a great character- kind-hearted, determined, and willing to go with the flow.
[***] After deciding having a rather useless bunny for a pet is childish, a boy decides to leave his floppy-eared friend in the forest. But he has second thoughts seconds too late because when he comes back, the bunny is gone! A sweet friendship story.
[***] Super sweet. After reading this beautifully told and illustrated book, I couldn’t but feel happier. The animals seem livelier than the ones he did for Baby Bear.
[***] Benjamin Chaud has become one of my favorite new artists. A follow up to the duo’s I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…, the boy with the wildly imaginative excuses is back to explain why he was late to class.
I’m holding a Book Drive through this site if anyone is interested. Click here for more information.
[***] Beautiful illustrations of what a home is and means to everyone. I enjoyed the touch of whimsy in this picture book.
[***] A super cute book about an owl who is ostracized for being different, namely for loving poetry. Great for compassion and poetry units. I appreciated that the verses recited in the picture book were identified at the end.
[**] Cute story about friendship. If the actual story is not as strong, the illustrations are too adorable to pass up.
This is a fun beginning chapter book with easy-to-read text and illustrations on every page. Even though Zack if from the future, travels in outer space, and interacts with aliens, his situations are very relatable which is another one of its appealing factors.
Theo and his uncle, whom he barely knows, move to Destiny, Florida at the tail end of the school year in 1974. It’s not easy for either of them but a surprise friendship with a girl who loves baseball as much as he does and clandestine opportunities to play piano makes Theo thinks this could be home. Conflict arises when the uncle thinks they should move elsewhere. Atypical characters with plenty of heart and humor make this a delightful read.
I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like the characters.
I just couldn’t.
I read this as part of my (Multnomah County Library) Everybody Reads challenge. I’ve never disliked a title they had chosen before until now. What makes me sad is how disappointing this book was! The only part I liked was all the Portland references.
I have nothing against books that depict life for what it is (both good and bad, wonderful and horrible) but books need to do more than that- provide some new insight or something.
But, because of my surprisingly strong dislike of it, I can’t wait to hear what others think!
This week I’m celebrating bookish moments in my life.
I had forgotten to mention it the other week but I had a great conversation over coffee about Christopher Pike with a regular bookstore customer. It was a blast to talk about our favorite author and the books of his that have inspired us to be writers!
This past Wednesday, we had our Family Book Club. We discussed Charles de Lint’s The Cats of Tanglewood Forest. It’s always fun to listen to how passionate the young readers get about the books we talk about. I love it when parents also end up participating and giving their input.
I also read the short story it was based on- A Circle of Cats. It basically had the same plot of a girl being turned into kitten to save her life. It was definitely interesting to see the differences between the two.
I went to an open house for a local non-profit last week. I learned many things. I had seen an empty bookshelf at their offices and I thought there’s definitely something missing. I met with one of the staff yesterday and I will be helping them build a library. I will share some more details about it soon since I’m very excited about this!
My Video Pick of the week is this scene from the Parks and Recreation series finale. I loved Leslie Knope’s enthusiasm and optimism and she knew that she wouldn’t have been where she’s at without the help of others. “Go find your team…”
Music has always been a part of Melba’s life ever since she was young. And she wasn’t going to let her size limit her dreams. Little Melba and her big trombone would eventually make music all over the world. This fantastic picture book biography captures her story with perfect accompanying illustrations.
If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!
This week, I posted:
-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my reviews for:
-Celebrate This Week- This week, I’m celebrating teachers. Read my review for:
I got a kick seeing Pickles the fire cat as a friend of Jenny’s so I ended up reading this picture book in addition to Jenny and the Cat Club. Also divided into shorter stories but for the “I Can Read” audience, it’s amusing to see the animals interacting with their human friends- they don’t talk to one another in the same language but understand what the other is saying regardless.
Fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie looking for longer tales will delight in the antics of these two friends who despite their differences are there for one another.
A hilarious book about siblings! A wolf cub is adopted into a bunny family. While Dot’s parents find him oh-so-adorable, she’s sure he’s going to eat them all once he gets bigger!
This board book is rather dark but super funny. A wolf gets himself ready to eat the reader!
A cheese wheel is mistaken for the moon in this hilarious tale about a squirrel and his friends trying to get it back up where it belongs. The illustrations are superb!
A cute story about an unlikely friendship. I’m glad it wasn’t another one of those books where a creature befriends a bird only to mysteriously lose him or her during wintertime and then is surprised when it comes back in the spring.
This was a book I’d only heard about since working at the bookstore. It’s been super popular which is surprising considering it is a much older title. This collection of stories features mild-mannered feline Jenny Linsky and her friends. Perfect for young readers and read-alouds.