Sunday, May 21, 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.


Last Week in Books:

The book that made me smile the most this week was Not Your Sidekick. Give Bees a Chance was also quite fun. It's by the same person who did the book about nonfiction picture book I'm Trying to Like Spiders. Not quite as hilarious this time, but I felt like I learned more and still enjoyed it. Loving vs. Virginia was nicely done. I'm glad their story has been told in ways accessible to many different ages lately. 

I finally finished Afterworlds. The beginning really sucked me in, but my interest waned and it took me a long time to finish. 

I read a few books by Charlotte Zolotow. I had never read William's Doll or if I had it was too long ago to remember it. What a great book!

I'm looking forward to reading Prince Ribbit with some of my students. It definitely teaches you to question what you read on the Internet and in print and it made me laugh too.

Both Wolf in the Snow and You and Me were heart warmers for me. Quackers is a cute one and I read it because it will be the Read for the Record book in October.

BOOM!: Big, Big Thunder and One Small Dog was a book I used for another spine poem in honor of my dog and our sleepless night during a storm. After I made the poem, I had to read the book.


I started making a spine poem every day in April (inspired by Kelly Jensen) and have made several in May too. It's so much fun to hunt for titles that create something new.

The Coming Week:
I'm really not sure what I'm going to be reading this week. We are getting our wood floors refinished this week and the house is in disarray so life will be a little more serendipitous than normal for a while I think. Have a great week filled with reading!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 250/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 114/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 65/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24

Sunday, May 14, 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.


Last Week in Books:
 
 
 
I really enjoyed The Sound Jazz Makes. Carole Boston Weatherford did a great history of jazz in simple text. Frankie is super funny and is about a foster dog settling in with another dog. They don't get along at first. Chavela and the Magic Bubble is fun and takes place partially in the rain forest so it will work well for our first grade unit about rain forests. I'm excited to read it this week along with making bubbles. I also really appreciated Girl Rising.

The Coming Week:
I still have 2 CDs of 12 to listen to this week with Afterworlds. I also had to pause the Spider-Man book for a bit. I hope to finish both this week. I'm not sure what else I'll be reading though. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 227/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 108/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 63/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24

Sunday, May 7, 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.

Last Week on the Blogs:


Last Week in Books:
 
Goodbye Days was a tough book to read. There is quite a bit of emotion to handle as the main character is dealing with grief and guilt. It was a powerful book and worth the read though. I loved Sing, Don't Cry and Now. They will be released later this year. Sing shares a story of the author's grandfather. I loved the connection to music. Now is a great book about appreciating the moment happening now. Carrot & Pea was a very cute friendship story I shared with first & second grade. It made us giggle & smile.

The Coming Week:
I'm still reading Miles Morales (A Spider-Man Novel) by Jason Reynolds from NetGalley and am enjoying it so far. I'm still reading Emotional Agility - an adult nonfiction book, but haven't made much progress. I'm still listening to Afterworlds and am about 3/4 through. I want to finish all three this week.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 205/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 104/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 60/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24

Sunday, April 30, 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.

Last Week on the Blogs:



 Words from my spine poems

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


Last Week in Books: 
 

Highlights: I really enjoyed Sweet Words so Brave. It's a history of African American literature. I appreciated learning about many excellent authors. A Dime a Dozen was a collection of poems by Nikki Grimes and was a sort of memoir. It was very good. I also had a nice time read Juan Felipe Herrera's verse novel Cinnamon Girl.

The Coming Week:
I'm still reading Miles Morales (A Spider-Man Novel) by Jason Reynolds from NetGalley and am enjoying it so far. I'm still reading Emotional Agility - an adult nonfiction book, but haven't made much progress. I started Goodbye Days too. I'm listening to Afterworlds and am about half-way through. I'm re-reading some books for a committee I'm on so I'm not sure how many new books I'll get to this week.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 197/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 102/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 58/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24

Celebrating a New Home


Ruth Ayres has a link-up on weekends where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every week.


We Moved!!

Moving is an exciting and exhausting challenge. Three weeks ago, we started bringing all of the bits and pieces of our lives into a new shelter. On Easter weekend, we had our adult children home and we were all together under the same new roof for the first time. We started to make memories in this new home and my heart was full.


I'm not much of a TV watcher, but with fewer public spaces in our new smaller space, I'm exposed to it more, but that means sharing shows with all of my family members. We've relaxed together with Bob Ross, traveled with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and have experienced the antics of Dear White People. This cuts into my reading time, but has been a time of learning at least for me. 

The house was built in 1920 so there are many nooks and crannies along with some special touches like the sweet things hanging on light chains and a great laundry chute with doors upstairs and in the kitchen. 


I adore dropping things down the laundry chute. My grandparents had one and I remember dropping all manner of things down it as a child and running downstairs to see how it landed.



It's fun to set up reading areas too. We have two different sun rooms and both have comfy seating for reading. 


We've settled in for the most part, but there is so much more to arrange and unpack. I keep humming the song, "It's getting better all the time."


I'm sitting in our office at the front of the house looking out our beautiful old windows at the trees and the rain while celebrating this space our family shares now.

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