Monday, June 1, 2020

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.

I'm pleased to report that with the nice weather, I have stepped up my walking. In an effort to get, and stay, healthy, I walked just over twenty miles last week! One of the pleasures of my daily walks is the abundant birds and wildlife on our neighborhood trails. Norman, the blue heron that makes our subdivision's pond home, is one of my favorites. I could watch him all day long. I also managed to get in a little bit of reading. Until I get my hands on more picture books from the library, I'm limited to what I can get on my e-reader. Here's what I've been reading this past week:

Adult/YA Fiction

This novel looks at the foster-care system through the eyes of a young woman who has just turned eighteen and emancipated from her status as a ward of the state. Victoria had been abandoned as a baby and was in and out of different foster homes during her childhood. The older she became, the more angry and isolated she became. But a love of flowers and a deep interest in the meanings of different types of flowers drew Victoria to a job with a florist. Victoria's talents in creating artistic floral arrangements led to a new life and new friends. But she was haunted by her troubled past when she crossed paths with Grant, the nephew of her last foster care mom. I've always enjoyed flowers, but I never really gave much though to the different meanings behind different kinds of blooms. This book definitely has me looking at flowers through a different lens. This fast-paced book is a good one to read during the warm weather months when I run across so many flowers on my daily walks.

Picture Books

I'm sure when this wonderful picture book was written, the author had not idea just how important it was going to be. Life in 2020 hasn't been what anyone has imagined, and this book's message of making the best of Life's surprises and messes is definitely needed. The adorable illustrations shows Life personified, showing up on a little girl's doorstep. Life is full of surprises and has it's ups and downs, but through it all the girl learns that patience and optimism is the best way to deal with life.

We don't know what the next school year will look like with social distancing measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials and school leaders are still in the process of figuring out the best plans. However, young readers can get a look at one young man's plans to build the most awesome school ever. With bright, futuristic illustrations and lively, rhyming text readers will find out about a zoo in the lobby, tubes and towers that house the most amazing classrooms with hover desks and holograms, and even more cool things in the library, gym, and cafeteria. This fun book could inspire some great artwork and narratives as kids imagine their own awesome schools.

This fun nonfiction picture book has great information about the sun and our solar system presented lightheartedly in language that is definitely kid-friendly. With sharp, bold colored illustrations that give the book a graphic-novel style, young readers will have a great nonfiction resource. There is a glossary and additional fun facts at the end of the book.

It's very common to get hung up on the parts of ourselves that we don't like, especially perceived physical shortcomings. Edward, a giraffe, is very self-conscious about his long neck. He doesn't like the way it looks and he's certain that everyone is staring at it. Cyrus, a turtle, sees Edward's neck in a different light. When he shares with Edward how much he admires his neck and presents Edward with an opportunity to use his neck to help Cyrus out, the two strike up a terrific friendship. This book uses a sweet story about friendship and humorous illustrations to share a great message about self-acceptance and focusing on helping our neighbors rather than being obsessed with our sense of not being good enough.