Monday, October 24, 2016

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.

Sorry it's been a while since I've last posted my reads. With the change of the seasons comes lots of busy times. Last weekend my parents made the trek from Iowa to come for a visit. It was awesome to be able to take time to catch up. We also had my husband's family over for food, fun and football!

It's also the end of the first grading period. If the school year were a football game, we would be done with the first quarter and ready to start the second. So this weekend I've been catching up on all the work I didn't do while my family was visiting. Plus it's time to write report cards! At any rate, I did manage to finish a middle grade fiction book and relax with a few fun picture books.

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White 

I had the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. This book is a lot of fun! I love that the protagonist is a plucky young lady that doesn't back down from a challenge. Anne has spent her entire life in a horrible orphanage under the rule of a mean and nasty matron. When the day finally arrives for her departure, she finds out she's not allowed to leave. An unexpected opportunity to escape with a friend to a fantastic quest academy starts a wild adventure for her. She has to successfully complete a dangerous quest in three days, or face severe, and maybe even deadly consequences. There is plenty of action in this mix if science fiction and fantasy to keep young readers engaged.

Penguin Problems by Jory John, Lane Smith (Illustrations)  

This is the perfect book for ANYONE that's having a bad day and feels overwhelmed by life's complications. Penguin wakes up complaining about everything. Everything seems like too much of a hassle. And nobody else seems to understand this penguins problems. He receives some words of wisdom from a stranger that we should all take to heart. I definitely need to get my own copy for those grumpy days!  

Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead  

This is a fantastic picture book that has a beautiful story about friendship. Samson doesn't have any friends, and often wonders what it would be like. One day he meets a little red bird who is looking for yellow flowers to cheer up a friend who is having a bad day and needs them. Later on, there is a blinding snowstorm and Samson becomes worried about the little bird. As the story develops, Samson winds up with two friends and happiness. The illustrations are gorgeous and draw readers into this snowy world. This book could be a great start to some good discussions about kindness and friendship. 

Shy by Deborah Freedman 

This picture book is very cute and makes such clever use of the gutter (the place where the book pages are bound together). Shy spends all of his time hiding and reading books. One day a bird comes along and Shy is delighted by her singing, but he's too shy to say anything. Young readers, especially shy ones will appreciate Shy's journey to find this bird. The illustrations, made with pencil, watercolor, bits of colored pencil, and assembled in Photoshop, are just beautiful!  

A Hop Is Up by Kristy Dempsey, Lori Richmond (Illustrations)  

This is a cute concept book. Rhyming text and colorful, engaging illustrations would make this a fun book to read aloud to young readers.

King Baby by Kate Beaton  

This is a cute picture book book that really seems to capture the reality of having a baby in the house. This would be a great book to share with young readers who have recently become big brothers or sisters to a newborn. The baby is the king of the household and the proud parents run themselves ragged trying to meet his demands.   

I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino  

This is an awesome picture book that celebrates the life and importance of a story. The text traces the history of a story through time, from a campfire in ancient times to the modern era of digital media and all of the manifestations in between. The book inspires readers to consider stories that have lived through the ages and also shows us that everyone's story is important. Boldly colored ink illustrations pull readers in and takes them on a journey through time and makes them want to cherish and enjoy stories all the more. 

Ned the Knitting Pirate by Diana Murray, Leslie Lammle (Illustrations)  

This is a cute picture book with fun rhyming text that tells the story of a young pirate who loves to knit, even though everyone around him makes fun of him and he gets in trouble with his captain for it. The message that it's okay to do your own thing is told with a fun pirate story that has adventure, buried treasure, and a dangerous monster. This would be fun to read aloud with a pirate accent! 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak  

What a beautiful book to share with kids this time of year. Right now in central Ohio, we have been enjoying several days of unusually warm weather. Temperatures have soared into the 80s and the days have been sunny and wonderful. But the television meteorologist says that all changes soon. Rain is coming in tonight, and with it, the temperatures will drop to more fall-like conditions. As we transition to autumn, this book takes us on a walk with a young girl who has a running conversation with the trees, plants, and breezes of the last gasp of summer, and the cold rains and colorful leaves of autumn. Young readers will be able to imagine what the world around them has to say as the season gives way to colder times. The artwork, created with watercolor and pencil and digitally enhanced, really complements the text, making it such a wonderful book to have on your library's shelf. 


  1. I got The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes from the library, but I haven't read it yet. I picked it up yesterday and considered it, but because of it's length I picked something else. Maybe, I'll read it next. Samson in the Snow is one I want to read as well.

  2. Great selection. They all look really fun.

  3. King Baby is hilarious! I've heard so many great things about I Am a Story, I really need to add it to my list. Have a great week!

  4. I think picture books are all I have time for these days. You read one more middle grade book than I did....

  5. Great picture books this week! I really enjoyed SHY. I'm looking forward to reading PENGUIN PROBLEMS, I AM A STORY, and SAMSON IN THE SNOW.

  6. I am sooo looking forward to receiving I am a Story - I enjoyed A Child of Books too - I have a feeling they would be great companion texts.