Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey as a way to share what you have read and/or reviewed in the past week. It's also a terrific way to find out what other people are reading.

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers have given this meme a children's literature focus: picture books, middle grade novels, etc. They "encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting the other bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.
Here's what I've been reading lately:

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

I had the opportunity to read a digital-ARC of this book from NetGalley (with special thanks to The School and Library team at Random House Children's Books) in exchange for an honest review. Reading this book was a pleasure, as I thoroughly enjoyed Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff and Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff.
For my complete review, see my previous blog post:

Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell   This is a heartwarming story with beautiful illustrations. The narrator, Sarah Jean, had a special relationship with her uncle Jedediah (her grandfather's brother). Uncle Jed became a barber, but hadn't saved up enough money to open a barber shop. So he would visit the family's home every Wednesday evening to cut hair. Sarah Jean became very ill and needed a surgery that the family couldn't afford. Jed gave them the money they needed, even though it put off his barbershop dream even further. Just when he was about to realize his dream, the Great Depression began and he lost all his money and had to start over yet again. Through all of these challenges, he never lost sight of his goals. The messages about perseverance and the importance of family are important ones for youngsters to hear today. I'm looking forward to sharing this book with my fifth graders.

Snowy Day: Stories and Poems by Caroline Feller Bauer (Editor), Margot Tomes (Illustrations)  This is a nice collection of stories, poems, recipes and crafts centered around snow. Black and white drawings by Margot Tomes enhance the literature in this book. There is poetry by Aileen Fisher, Eve Merriam, Ogden Nash, X. J. Kennedy and Karla Kuskin. I found this book at a library book sale and I think it will be a nice addition to my classroom library.

How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting, Beth Peck (Illustrator)

A beautifully illustrated story about a family that is forced to flee their Caribbean island home as refugees. They crowd onto a small fishing boat with only the clothes that they are wearing and not nearly enough to eat or drink. As the boat makes its way to America, the people suffer many setbacks - a failed engine, thieves, soldiers forcing them to keep moving to another landing place. When they finally arrive, they have plenty to be thankful for. This is an excellent book to use to compare to the pilgrims in the original Thanksgiving story.


The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller   This is a fun book to read. One day, as the United States were waking up, Kansas was unhappy. He was unhappy because he was bored. So all the states got together for a party and decided to switch places with each other. It's kind of a silly story, but the illustrations are so much fun. As the story progresses, there's so many sidebar captions and jokes that I spent a lot of time just enjoying the pictures. This would be fun to share in the classroom and it could lead to some good discussions about geography and the unique characteristics of each state.

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller    This is a fun sequel to The Scrambled States of America. One night, New York woke all the other states and suggested they get together and have a talent show. Everyone was all excited, but then Georgia got a case of stage fright. This is a silly story, but the illustrations with all of the sidebar captions and jokes are so much fun to enjoy.



  1. I keep thinking about reading Red, and now maybe I'll finally pick it up. Thank you :)

  2. I have Red, too, but still haven't touched it, will go back to read your review after reading, Jana. I have the Snowy Day poetry. It is good, I agree. Thanks for Uncle Jed's Barbershop. It does sound like I need to find it. What a story. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. I'm going to have to get a copy of Jack, before I get to Red. I too enjoyed Rump. Happy reading this week.

  4. I love the cover of Red....I am very curious about it. All of your books look tempting...enjoy!


  5. I've somehow not read any of the books you mentioned at all. Have a great reading week ahead!

  6. How Many Days to America seems familiar to me, I think perhaps it was a book that was used for teaching reading strategies by Stephanie Harvey. Great idea to compare story with first pilgrims.

  7. Love all of the books.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  8. One day, I will do an academic study of Eve Bunting's picture books - she is simply so prolific and she writes so beautifully! :)

  9. Oh my goodness I am so excited to read Red! Glad to know you enjoyed it