Monday, March 6, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 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 see more of my reading, visit my Goodreads shelves here. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Two Weeks in Books:  I've finally started to pick up the pace of my reading. It's been a while since I've been reading large amounts of books. I work very part-time at the public library and I was able to read through some of the newly processed books last week while I was at the reference desk. 

Cover images of the four books described below. The first shows a child with dark hair that is crying and the title is within the dark shape that is her open mouth. The second is all in earth tones and shows and grandmother and granddaughter leaning their faces together with smiles. The third shows a young girl and an even younger boy sitting on the floor playing on a circular carpet with many brightly colored toys from a box that has the Star of David on it. The final on is called All Aboard the Schooltrain and shows a girl with braids holding up a book with a big smile. Behind her is a line of children walking to the right.

This is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang illustrated by Eugenia Yoh depicts a child and her family moving to Taiwan to help her grandmother. Lily is not pleased to be in a place where so many things feel unfamilar. It was very interesting and I think that there are many people who can connect with this specific situation, but there are also those who can relate simply to feeling out of place somewhere. 

Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers illustrated by Julie Flett is simply beautiful. The illustrations are lovely of course, but the relationship between the grandmother and grand-daughter is also just a joy to see. 

The Not-Quite-Perfect Passover by Laura Gehl illlustrated by Olga Ivanov & Aleksey Ivanov is a cute story about Ruby and her family trying to get ready to host the first Passover seder since their Bubbe, who usually does this, broke her leg. Ruby wants it to be perfect, but many things happen, often because of her younger sibling, but they manage to pull it all together with a theme of being not quite perfect. 

All Aboard the Schooltrain: A Little Story from the Great Migration by Glenda Armand illustrated by Keisha Morris is a story based on things from the author's family history. It is about some families in the south slowly seeing others leave their town. Rather than taking a bus to school, they walk together to school in a line like a train, but there are also trains taking people to other places. It's a good one for introducing the Great Migration.
Young Japanese woman is wearing a crown and there are cherry blossoms framing her on each side. She is smiling. The background is green.

I finished reading the young adult novel Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean. It's the sequel to Tokyo Ever After and is a nice follow up to the first novel. She and her mother both have to deal with the ever after part of happily. What happens after you find your love and the every day details start to get in the way? 

I was able to go to the California School Library Association annual conference this week and I took along the graphic travelogue Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Florent Chavouet. I figured it would be easy to pick up and put down in between workshops and things and it was a good one to have there. I really enjoyed the maps and remembering different places that we have visited. Some of the authors humor didn't appeal as he has a tendency to make fun of the way people look, but the art is nice and I started to skim the commentary towards the end. 

There are some tall flowered plants on the right and a tree on the left. In the middle, the ocean can be seen. There is a small area that is darker and that is the top of the kelp where the sea otters were floating.

It's a beach view with many rocks. There are some trees in the distance on the left. They look like they have been sculpted by the wind. There are waves rolling into the beach. The sky is blue with some white clouds.

The conference was on the California coast and we had some opportunities to walk along the ocean. It was beautiful. In the top photo, it is difficult to see, but there were sea otters out there in the kelp floating around. It was fun to have gone into Pacific Grove to the bookstore and library. I was able to read a board book called Sea Otter Pup by Victoria Miles illustrated by Elizabeth Gatt so I knew that it was the kelp that was keeping them altogether so they wouldn't float away. 

In the exhibit area I read Mommy's Hometown by Hope Lim illustrated by Jaime Kim tells of a young boy and his mother traveling to Korea to visit her childhood home. He has heard many stories about this place, but it many things have changed. It's fun to watch them explore and discover things on their way.

Gibberish by Young Vo is about a child who has moved to a new country and doesn't understand the language around him. You can really empathize with him and see what that might be like. If that's an experience that a reader is familiar with it could also be affirming. 

A young child is lying in a field of grass looking up at the bright sky.

A Kite for Melia by Samuel Narh and Freda Narh illustrated by Valeria Suria was at one of the tables and I was able to meet the author. It's a sweet story about a child wanting to make a kite and her determination as she goes to the library to find out how to do that. 

A family is standing together. The father has light brown skin and a short haircut. His hand is on a daughter standing in front of him. Her skin is darker. She has two blue bows in her hair. She's smiling at the baby in her mother's arms. Her mother has dark shin and shoulder length hair. The title says Love is All Around.

There were a few other authors there. Nikki Shannon-Smith was there. I had heard her speak at our county library a few weeks ago. She has a relatively new board book named Love is All Around illustrated by Ronique Ellis.

We were also lucky because Minh Lê was the guest speaker since Drawn Together won the California Young Reader's Award last year. It was nice to see him again and it's always lovely to hear him speak about that book. It's a treasure.

It was fun to have dinner with many of the other librarians from our school district, but also have the authors Nikki Shannon-Smith, Nadia Salomon, and Robin Yardi with us to chat. Nikki is a fourth grade teacher in our school district and we are lucky to have her in our community.

Two young children are staring out a window. We see them from the back. Out in the stars like a constellation, there is an image of Ganesha. There is a face and trunk of an elephant and four human arms with hands and two legs and human feet. The book has a dark cover with gold and red patterns in the curtains and designs.

Nadia was right next to me and I got her book Goodnight Ganesha right after dinner. The trailer is here. The book was illustrated by Poonam Mistry and I have really loved her previous books like You're Safe with Me. Her designs are always vibrant and gorgeous. They used the very slick paper too so the pages are very smooth and shiny. It's a bedtime story and has lots of love.

The Coming Week: I have a newish Jasmine Guillory book on my Kindle and I am also reading a digital ARC of the new Marene Goo young adult rom-com Throwback. What will you be reading? I hope it's a great week for you. 


  1. Hi Crystal, it's nice to read about what you've been doing, and reading! I just read Odder so it was fun to see that pic you shared and hear about the conference. Thanks for the book recs, some new to me. I need to get "Just Like Grandma" since I am one!

  2. So exciting that you got meet Minh!