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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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!

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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!

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!

Reading Resolutions: February Update

With so many Reading Challenges out there, I figured keeping a monthly update on the ones I’m participating in will be a great way to keep track of my progress!

Off the Shelf 2015 Goal: 10 books– 1 more book read this month for a total of 2; Click on my To Be Read 2015 post for review.

Diverse Books Goal: 52 books– 10 more books read this month for a total of 21;
-Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
-Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
-Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
-Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
-Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

-This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, Illustrated by Kristyna Litten
-Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan

-Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day by Pat Mora, Illustrated by Rafael López
-Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
-Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Nonfiction Picture Book 2015 Goal: 104 books– 8 more books read this month for a total of 20; Read reviews here, here, here, and here.

To Be Read 2015/ Must Read in 2015– 7 more books read this month for a total of 18; Click on link to see which ones I’ve read!

I added one book to My Most Favorite Favorites:
-Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

Reading Snapshot
110 Books Read in 2015
4 Adult Fiction
1 Adult Non-Fiction
3 Graphic Novels
29 Middle Readers
68 Picture Books
5 Young Adult

Readings & Literary Events
-An Evening of Shakespeare- I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on Shakespeare. I don’t think I’ll even be able to hold a conversation about him. I know of him and of his works. The only play I’ve really seen of his were two different productions of Hamlet.

But I decided to attend this event which was part lecture and part screening of Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS. And it was fun to be a in room full of Shakespeare fans and hearing their thoughts and stories. One of the presenters even said, “Shakespeare saved my life (when I was thirteen.)”

I came away with a new appreciation of Shakespeare and theater in general.

How are your Reading Resolutions going?

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #60

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Little Melba and Her Big TromboneLittle Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

View all my reviews
[We Need Diverse Books]

What Are You Reading? (135) #IMWAYR – February 22, 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 reviews for:

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson

-Celebrate This Week- This week, I’m celebrating teachers. Read my review for:

Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The Fire Cat by Esther Averill
The Fire Cat by Esther Averill

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.

A Surprise for Giraffe and Elephant by Paul Gude
A Surprise for Giraffe and Elephant by Paul Gude

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.

 Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Zachariah OHara
Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Zachariah OHara

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!

I Am the Wolf...and Here I Come! by Bénédicte Guettier
I Am the Wolf…and Here I Come! by Bénédicte Guettier

This board book is rather dark but super funny. A wolf gets himself ready to eat the reader!

Mr. Squirrel & the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser
Mr. Squirrel & the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

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!

Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen
Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen

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.

Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny LinskyJenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky by Esther Averill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

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MastermindsMasterminds by Gordon Korman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s something screwy in Serenity, New Mexico.

Everything should be perfect. In fact, it is. There’s no crime, no poverty, nothing bad to speak of at all in this small town.

But five kids will learn a devastating secret that will change their lives forever in this fast-paced, exhilarating first book in a new trilogy.

Offering various points of views, the picture is completed piece by piece. Boys and girls will find something to enjoy in this adventure story.

It’ll be criminal to miss out on such an exciting read!

(Aside from some questionable vocal choices, the audio book was very good.)

View all my reviews

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The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint, Illustrated by Charles Vess
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint, Illustrated by Charles Vess

Expect reviews for this book later this week.

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

Have a great reading week!