Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #62

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Welcome to the NeighborwoodWelcome to the Neighborwood by Shawn Sheehy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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Bird & DizBird & Diz by Gary Golio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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New Releases: March 10, 2015

It was another great week of new releases!

My Pen by Christopher Myers
My Pen by Christopher Myers

[****] 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!

The Boy & the Book by David Michael Slater, Illustrated by Bob Kolar
The Boy & the Book by David Michael Slater, Illustrated by Bob Kolar

[*] 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.

Edmund Unravels by Andrew Kolb
Edmund Unravels by Andrew Kolb

[***] 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!

What Are You Reading? (137) #IMWAYR – March 8, 2015

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!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

lgbtbd
I’m having an LGBT Book Drive to benefit Basic Rights Oregon. Being LGBT can be isolating. Whenever we see ourselves in others, even in the pages of a book, there’s hope that we aren’t alone.

This week, I posted:

New Releases– Read my reviews for:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my review for:

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, Illustrated by Gilbert Ford
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, Illustrated by Gilbert Ford

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating

Captain Awesome to the Rescue!Captain Awesome to the Rescue! by Stan Kirby
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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.

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Gabriel Finley and the Raven's RiddleGabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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Kingsman: The Secret ServiceKingsman: The Secret Service by Mark Millar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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Slumber PartySlumber Party by Christopher Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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Twelve Steps to a Compassionate LifeTwelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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

Have a great reading week!

Celebrate This Week- March 6, 2015

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating new picture books released this week. There were just so many that came out this past Tuesday that I only got caught up now.

I reviewed two titles in a previous post.

Wish by Matthew Cordell
Wish by Matthew Cordell

[**] 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.

Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt, Illustrated by Rob Dunlavey
Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt, Illustrated by Rob Dunlavey

A playful, rhyming counting book about a dozen crows and one hungry cat.

Polar Bear's Underwear by Tupera Tupera
Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera

[***] 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.

In by Nikki McClure
In by Nikki McClure

[***] 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.

Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Matthew Cordell

[****] 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.

Farewell Floppy by Benjamin Chaud
Farewell Floppy by Benjamin Chaud

[***] 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.

My Audio/Video of the Week is the first episode of a new podcast- Happier with Gretchen Rubin. She’s the author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Her next book Better than Before is on my TBR List and comes out March 17th.
https://soundcloud.com/panoply/happier-with-gretchen-rubin-ep-001

What are you celebrating this week?

New Releases: March 3, 2015

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

[***] 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.

 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School... by Davide Cali, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School… by Davide Cali, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud

[***] 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.

What Are You Reading? (136) #IMWAYR – March 1, 2015

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!

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 review for:

 Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating bookish moments in my life. Read my reviews for:

Reading Resolutions: February Update

I’m holding a Book Drive through this site if anyone is interested. Click here for more information.

Home by Carson Ellis
Home by Carson Ellis

[***] Beautiful illustrations of what a home is and means to everyone. I enjoyed the touch of whimsy in this picture book.

Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry by Vern Kousky
Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry by Vern Kousky

[***] 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.

Cat & Bunny by Mary Lundquist
Cat & Bunny by Mary Lundquist

[**] Cute story about friendship. If the actual story is not as strong, the illustrations are too adorable to pass up.

Galaxy Zack: Hello, NebulonGalaxy Zack: Hello, Nebulon by Ray O’Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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The Way to Stay in DestinyThe Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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The Residue YearsThe Residue Years by Mitchell S. Jackson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

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!

View all my reviews

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

I have an audio book I want to finish this week. Plus, I want to start Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan and The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds.

Have a great reading week!