Monday, February 27, 2017

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.


What a strange week it's been in central Ohio. We've had record-breaking high temperatures. The weather felt like spring, and the kids had a great time playing outside at recess. Then the storms rolled in at the end of the week, and now we're back to winter temperatures again. The extended forecast suggests that the temperatures are going back up and then down and then up, etc. It's hard to know how to dress for this weather! Anyway, here is the round-up of picture books that I managed to read this week:

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures by Kwame Alexander, Joel Sartore (Photographs)  
This is a beautiful collaborative book that takes the stunning photography of Joel Sartore and puts it together with the poetry of Kwame Alexander to make a celebration of all animals in our world. Sartore took great care to make sure that all the animals were photographed so that they all looked equally impressive; small animals were captured close-up so that they looked big, and all animals' were shown in all their fascinating detail. The hope was to present a work that would inspire all readers to take steps to save the endangered species in our world. I know that this book will be very popular in all schools and libraries. 

Bear Likes Jam by Ciara Gavin  
This is an adorable picture book from the author of Bear Is Not Tired. Bear learns that jam tastes wonderful, and it becomes one of his favorite things. He eats jam all of the time to the exclusion of everything else. Mama Duck firmly tells him that he'll get no more jam until he balances his diet with vegetables. Picky eaters will definitely appreciate Bear's problem, and caregivers might learn some fun ways to get kids to eat their vegetables. Warm, friendly illustrations rendered in watercolor, will draw young readers in, and make this a favorite read aloud.

What Will Grow? by Jennifer Ward, Susie Ghahremani (Illustrator)  
This is a great book to have around as folks star planning and planting their gardens. This rhyming picture book looks at all the different types of seeds that grow into backyard trees and plants. The beautifully painted illustrations draw the reader in to the beauty of a garden and stretches the fun with fold-out pages. 

Dormouse Dreams by Karma Wilson 
This is a cute picture book about a hibernating dormouse who spends his winter snoring and dreaming about playing with his friend in the spring. The rhyming text, along with the adorable illustrations, make this a great book to share at bedtime.  

Mickey Mantle: The Commerce Comet by Jonah Winter  
This beautifully illustrated picture book biography tells readers the inspirational story of Mickey Mantle's life in baseball. An unhealthy child growing up, Mantle overcame his physical barriers to become a phenomenal baseball player. Although he had to work very hard, and sometimes was far from perfect, he learned to power through adversity. This book has a great message of perseverance to pass on to young readers. 

I Do Not Like Al's Hat by Erin McGill  
This is kind of a fun story about a magician's rabbit who's fed up with being pulled out of a hat by his ears. After sitting down and thinking through his options, he answers an ad to be Sophie's pet and best friend. The choice is clear, and the reader learns that sometimes it's best to make a change in life when your current situation isn't working for you. Cut paper collage illustrations help make this a cute picture book. 
North, South, East, West by Margaret Wise Brown, Greg Pizzoli (Illustrations)  
A little bird is learning to fly, and asks her mother in which direction should she go - north, south, east or west. When she visits north, south, and west, she comes to the conclusion that her home is in the east and she wants to go back where she belongs. This heartwarming book by classic children's author, Margaret Wise Brown, has awesome digital illustrations by Greg Pizzoli.  

Play with Me! by Michelle Lee  
This picture book would be terrific to share with young readers who are still figuring out how to get along together and play in a way that makes everyone happy. Pip wants to play with Nico, and suggests all sorts of fun ideas. Nico isn't interested in any of Pip's ideas, because he just wants to play his cello. This book could generate some good discussions, as kids read to find out how they can play together. The watercolor and ink illustrations are very sweet and cheerful, and help make this a great book for a primary bookshelf.  

Caterpillar Dreams by Clive McFarland  
This sweet picture book has a great message for young readers. Henri is a little caterpillar that longs to see the world. Adventuring beyond the walls of his garden seems to be impossible. But with persistence and help from his friends, Henri ventures out and chases his dream of flying. Uplifting text along with lovely illustrations make this a great book to share with young children. 

Nope by Drew Sheneman  
This nearly wordless picture book tells the story of a baby bird faced with the terror of making its first flight from the nest. The baby looks down from the nest and imagines all of the horrible things that could happen if he falls. The mother practices some tough love to get the young one to take flight. It would be interesting to share this book with young readers to see what they infer from the awesome illustrations. It also could serve as great inspiration to anyone who's afraid to try something new.  

When You're Feeling Sick by Coy Bowles  
This is the time of year when many kids (and teachers) get sick. This is a silly picture book with bright, funny illustrations that would be great to share with a young reader that isn't feeling well. The author reaches back into some of his own difficult experiences of attempting to bring comfort and cheer to friends and loved ones who were recovering from health setbacks. Sometimes readers just need something that can bring some laughs and relaxation. 


  1. I should read the Mickey Mantle book because he always shows up in sports time travel books!

  2. What Will Grow is in my pile for this week. I noticed Animal Ark is in the Scholastic orders, it's a must purchase!

  3. So many cute ones, Jana. I'll put them on my list, will especially look for Dormouse Dreams! Our weather is weird too, warm then cold, warm today, snow tomorrow. I've dug out cropped pants & tees!

  4. What a wonderful reading week you've had Jana. Some of these are new to me, but others are on my list.
    We've been having crazy weather here in Vancouver BC too. The ornamental cherry blossoms outside my window are growing buds, and we woke up to snow coming down. Thankfully, it didn't last.

  5. I have to make a collection of "sick"-themed picturebooks - there's so much out there! :)