Sunday, January 17, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Last Week on the Blogs:

Last Week in Books:
Picture Books


I thought Lost. Found. was adorable and a great companion for other see-saw books like Wait. Ketzel the Cat Who Composed stole my heart even though I'm a dog person. Hens for Friends and Sonya's Chickens both show children caring for chickens. They would work well together and could even be used with Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer and the nonfiction book City Chickens

I'm New Here is a great window for students. It shares the experiences of three different students as they come to the U.S. from other countries. Readers see some of the challenges of coming to a U.S. school and learning English for the first time.  Pelé, King of Soccer/Pelé, el rey del fútbol is an energetic and vibrant book about this legend of soccer. I reviewed it here. Two White Rabbits was a quiet book that shares what it can be like to leave Mexico and come to the U.S. It also shows what it's like to be a young child and not always know what's going on around you.

The Wolf-Birds was very interesting. I didn't realize that some species actually communicate with others so that they can be mutually beneficial. The birds sometimes direct the wolves to easy prey so they both can eat.

New Shoes clearly and simply shows discrimination against African Americans in the 1950s. It also shows two girls figuring out a way to make their dreams happen within the confines of the rules and culture of that time. The Book Itch was a definite favorite. I wrote quite a bit about it here

Dear Yeti was nice, but I have to ask, isn't the market getting a little saturated with the Yeti stories? I just found a blog post about the large number of yeti picture books in 2015 so it's not just my imagination. Ninja Baby is in a similar situation. I feel like ninjas are always popular, but the market is overflowing with ninja books at this point and the quality isn't always what it could be. I love buying ninja books, but I will probably skip this one as I've been buying lots of ninja books already.

The Enduring Ark is a fairly typical retelling of the story of Noah and the Ark. What makes this book unique is the artwork and design. The pages are really one long page in an accordion style. The pages unfold. You can read them the way you usually read a book or unfold it completely on a large surface to see it in sequence. The images are gorgeous and the Bengali style creates a unique view of this story. The only image that is a little jarring is the one during the flood when readers see the people who are drowning. They look relatively peaceful, but it could certainly be unsettling for some readers.

Middle Grade Through Adult

I read, and loved,  an ARC of Burn Baby Burn and will review it over at Rich in Color next month. Control was on my #MustReadin2015 list and I finally got it through ILL. It was a good young adult sci-fi. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao took some time to grow on me, but eventually I didn't want to put it down. Tricky Vic drew me in and kept me in awe of this man who could have done well had he used his talents and intelligence through legal channels. The man was rather brilliant. I also loved the illustrations.

The Coming Week:
I'm listening to Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang. It's very amusing. I'm reading one of Mary Oliver's poetry collections. I'm also reading Boarding School Blues: Revisiting American Indian Educational Experiences. I have Canary checked out through ILL that is due next weekend so will try to get that finished. Otherwise, I have several books from the library including Honor Girl and Lumberjanes. I bought American Ace for review next week at Rich in Color. I really enjoy Marilyn Nelson so I'm looking forward to that one. I wish you a wonderful week filled with great books.


  1. Congratulations on the Ukelele! I have a friend who plays that will love that Amanda Palmer video. That is a lot of picture books here Crystal! I'm impressed by how you can keep track of all of them. I also enjoyed reading and sharing I Am New Here.

  2. Oscar Wao was one of those novels I abandoned because I couldn't really get behind the voice of the protagonist - your review here makes me think I should have given it a longer chance to grow on me. Burn Baby Burn sounds really promising. I have I'm New Here from our library and I really am looking forward to going through the stack of picturebooks I borrowed this week.

    1. What's interesting about Oscar Wao is that it ends up getting told from multiple points of view. I had a hard time initially, but as I saw the story from different angles, it got a lot better.

  3. I love Junot Diaz's short stories but haven't managed to get hooked by Oscar Wao. I will try again someday--it's been attempted and abandoned a couple of times by me already. I have added several books here to my TBR pile--thanks for sharing!

    1. The beginning was tough. There were a lot of things, especially the views of women, that were hard to get through in the beginning. I liked it a lot more once it moved to his sister and other perspectives.

  4. I did enjoy I'm New Here and Tricky vic, need to look for The Wolf Birds. That's a symbiotic relationship I've never heard about. Also looking forward to Burn, Baby, Burn. I'm sure it will be good. Have a good week, Crystal!

  5. You have some interesting books here. I'll have to check them out. It's kind of true about the yetis and the ninjas. Although these picture books are cute and appealing to students sometimes I want a little more depth in the picture books I read.

  6. It's funny how trends seem to go, a colleague and I were commenting that there seems to be a glut of imaginary friend books out, too. Only people who work with children or children's lit get to say things like "there seems to be a run on yeti books right now" :)

  7. That's a cool looking ukelele - congratulations! I love that particular anthology of Oliver's - her earlier poetry is often neglected, sadly.

  8. Lost.Found is a great book. A lot to talk about in that book just through the illustrations.
    I just got Sonya's Chickens through the library. Will read that in the next few weeks.
    I think New Shoes is a good one to use for kids to help them see the prejudices African Americans faced.

  9. I've never heard of the Pele book before. I definitely need to check that out. The cover art is stunning.

  10. Tricky Vic was one of my favorite 2015 picture books!
    I didn't know the Pele book either--thank you for sharing.
    I so look forward to reading Burn Baby Burn!
    Happy reading this week :)