Sunday, April 23, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

We finally moved into our new house. We are loving it, but are exhausted and are short on time. I haven't done an update for a few weeks. I also missed the #MustReadin2017 update in the chaos. Here are the posts that happened in the meantime and a few screenshots of what I've been reading in between packing, cleaning and unpacking.

Last Week on the Blogs:
I didn't work on any true blog posts, but I have been posting spine poems all through the month of April over on my instagram account. Here are a few:





Kelly Jensen (veronikellymars) had the idea to do spine poems every day for Poetry Month and I am glad she challenged people to join in the fun. It's been a great addition to my day.

Last Week in Books: 
 
 

I loved A Prayer for World Peace. It's beautiful and was perfect for Earth Day. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance was an excellent collection of poetry. Radio Silence was a nice relaxing young adult novel that made me smile more often than not. The rest of the books were also nice, but those three were the standouts.

The Coming Week:
I'm reading Miles Morales (A Spider-Man Novel) by Jason Reynolds from NetGalley and am enjoying it so far. I also started reading Emotional Agility - an adult nonfiction book. I'm not sure what else I'll dive into, but I am sure to read lots of picture books.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 189/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 97/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 54/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

We finally moved into our new house. We are loving it, but are exhausted and are short on time. I haven't done an update for a few weeks. I also missed the #MustReadin2017 update in the chaos. Here are the posts that happened in the meantime and a few screenshots of what I've been reading in between packing, cleaning and unpacking.

Last Two Weeks On the Blogs:
 

Last Two Weeks in Books: 
 
 


The Coming Week:
I just started reading Radio Silence and I will likely read One Last Word by Nikki Grimes.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 175/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 91/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 51/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: The Blue Songbird

Title: The Blue Songbird
Author: Vern Kousky
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Pages: 40
Availability: On Shelves Now
Review Copy: Final copy provided by publisher

Summary: A little blue songbird longs to sing like her sisters. But whenever she tries, she cannot get the tune right. Her mother encourages her to leave home and find a song that only she can sing.

With courage and tenacity, she travels the world, seeking advice from a crane, an owl, and a mean-looking crow, and other birds, hoping they will lead her to her special song.

Told in gentle, lyrical prose and with bright, beautiful watercolor illustrations, The Blue Songbird is an empowering story for kids of all shapes, sizes, and singing ability.

Review: The blue songbird is on a quest to find her song. She is finding her own voice. More than just about music, the book is about telling our own story and showing how important and empowering it is to use our voice. I liked the message that the bird had a different story and sang it in a different way, but was still connected with those around her.

The illustrations are sweet and add to the quiet feeling of the book. I love the blues and yellows. I also appreciated the playfulness with the text. Sometimes it is straight, but at times the text is also in a variety of shapes.

Recommendation: If you want more stories to encourage young readers to share their own stories or songs, this would be a nice one to add to your collection.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: When I Carried You in My Belly

Title: When I Carried You in My Belly
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Illustrator: Ziyue Chen
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Pages: 40
Availability: On shelves starting today
Review Copy: Final copy provided by publisher

Summary: The special bond between a mother and her child begins well before the baby is born. But once the baby is born and starts to grow into her own person, traits from both parents begin to show themselves in delightful and humorous ways. When I Carried You in My Belly is a mother's song to her growing daughter, capturing the warmth and magic of the time when her daughter was housed inside her belly. The girl's laugh, her love of music, her sweet disposition, and her carefree attitude can all be traced back to her time in her mother's tummy, when her mother would laugh, sing songs, eat yummy treats, and dance the day away.

Thrity Umrigar's lyrical and playful text are well complemented by Ziyue Chen's soft and delightful illustrations, and together they create a sentimental and insightful book about the special bond between parents and children. With a similar tone to On the Night You Were Born and the spirit of I Loved You Before You Were Born, When I Carried You in My Belly is primed to become a new timeless classic.

Review: I've read several of Thrity Umrigar's novels and was excited to see she has ventured into the world of picture books. This is a beautiful book in both illustration and text. The mother shares many wonderful experiences from her pregnancy that seem to be reflected in her child now. These are lovely connections between her parent's life before she was born and the person she is becoming. Grandparents even have an effect on the child's life with the grandpa baking and the grandma building a crib. There is much love and joy expressed throughout the book. I especially love the spread showing the expectant mother dancing. It's nearly impossible to keep from smiling. This is a book that would be delightful to share between parent and child that could lead to discussions of what may have influenced their own personality.

Recommendation: This is definitely a book that would work well as a gift for a family expecting a child or with a new child. It's also a great one to have available for young children to check out and take home. It's a book to inspire hugs, kisses and smiles.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

On the Blog:
Review of comic book America #1 at Rich in Color

Last Weeks in Books: 
 
 

Piecing Me Together touched me in many ways. It is a coming-of-age story and there are issues of class, race, friendship, and speaking up. Many of the things Jade deals with are universal. I will share more in a review at Rich in Color on Friday. I loved this one.

Pathfinders and We Will Not Be Silent are both excellent middle grade nonfiction. Pathfinders is a collection of brief bios about African Americans who made a difference in the world. Many of them are people who don't show up in typical history books. The final bio is about Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson who is showcased in the book and movie Hidden Figures. We Will Not Be Silent provides more information about the White Rose student resistance group. I first learned of this group when reading Susan Bertoletti's Hitler Youth years ago. When I went to Munich I found a memorial, but knew only a little about the group and this book fills in details of this inspiring group of young people.

Triangle is a cute story of friends playing jokes on each other though it's not a favorite for me. We're All Wonders is a sweet book about acceptance and kindness.

I had heard a lot of good things about the YA fantasy The Girl From Everywhere, but it's long so I had put it off. Spring Break was the perfect time to read this one. It's got action, romance and intrigue, but I'm not a big time travel fan. It was okay for me, but I didn't go on to the second book. The Gauntlet is a really fun brand new middle grade book by a young writer. Three friends get caught inside a game along with one of their siblings. It has a feeling like Jumanji, but has a much more developed fantasy world within the game.

If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed reminds me a little of Monster Trouble. I think they'd pair well together. It's a cute book with plenty of fun and humor. Pig the Pug is a humorous lesson about being greedy with a surprising ending.

Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy was an audio book I listened to while packing. It wasn't my favorite Woodson book, but it is a quick read that lets readers glimpse one pathway to drug addiction. It's may be a good window book for those who have little idea of how that can happen.

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes is a well done book that helps explain the tiny critters in our world. I think it would be great paired with the Squish graphic novels.

Last Week in Podcasts:
Because I spent a significant portion of my week packing up our house, I also listened to quite a few podcasts. If you want to venture into podcasts, these are several that I tend to enjoy & the specific episodes I heard this week.


The Coming Week:
I just started reading Hello, Universe and I'm re-reading Pax with my ears this time. I have a few books from the library including The March Against Fear, but with our move at the end of the week, I'm not sure how much I will read. Have a great week! Next time I write it will be from my new, cozy (smaller) home.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 164/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 85/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 48/125
#MustReadin2017 - 12/24

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

On the Blog:

Last 2 Weeks in Books (I was at a conference last weekend): 
 
 
 
My favorites were:
Out of Wonder - a great collection of poems inspired by famous poets
Sachiko - a narrative non-fiction account of the bombing of Nagasaki
Rad Women Worldwide - a non-fiction biography collection highlighting a diverse group of women
Flowers for Sarajevo - an account of a bombing in Sarajevo & the musician who honored the victims through music
The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans - a fun Latina short story collection

The Coming Week:
I just started On the Edge of Gone and have several lined up for my Spring Break, but I am packing up my house to move down the road to a smaller house, so I'm not sure how much I will get to read. I wish you a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 153/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 77/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 44/125
#MustReadin2017 - 11/24

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Women's History Month



Many of my feminist role models write books or are found in the pages of books. Here are some of the books that have helped shape my own beliefs about feminism and some newer books that I highly recommend for children.



Leading off is Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen. This is a must read book for all teens and adults. The many contributors to the book share their perspectives on feminism in a variety of entries including essays, artwork, playlists and more. This week Kelly is hosting a roundup of posts celebrating Women's History Month and the release of this fantastic book. My contribution is this collection of books.

Adult 
  Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhni

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism 
Edited by Daisy Hernandez & Bushra Rehma

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

A Really Good Brown Girl by Marilyn Dumont


Young Adult
 

Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers by Nancy Amanda Redd


Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Crazy Horse's Girlfriend by Erika T. Wurth

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay illustrated by Sophia Janowitz



Middle Grade


 The Birchbark House (and the rest of the series) by Louise Erdrich

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

The Shadows of Sherwood (& sequel) by Kekla Magoon

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell




Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muños Ryan

Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

Picture Books


Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell 

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown illustrated by Sara Palacios

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story by Paula Yoo illustrated by Lin Wang

Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges illustrated by Sophie Blackall


by Sue Macy illustrated by C.F. Payne

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark illustrated by April Chu

by Margarita Engle illustrated by Rafael López

Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty

I'm a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail 

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch illustrated by Michael Martchenko