The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts  and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme!  New book time! What fun it has been this week to both have new book deliveries AND be approved of reading numerous novels I’ve been dying to read via Netgalley! I’ll try to review at appropriate times and only mention here on my #IMWAYR posts. I additionally am not sharing all the books I’ve read this week because Chinese New Year begins this Thursday night and I think prewriting a few posts would be wise…

Picture Book Heaven:

The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco – How absolutely beautiful is this book… it ties together conflict, family, traditions, history, timelines, and so much more. Beautiful story about a tea set that was separated with only a cup that provided a blessing on the family for years and years. I never tire of Patricia Polacco’s depth and creative, beautiful illustrations. Goodreads Summary: “A single china cup from a tea set left behind when Jews were forced to leave Russia helps hold a family together through generations of living in America, reminding them of the most important things in life.”

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco – This is THE book that I fell for. The FIRST book I read by Patricia Polacco. My mom introduced the book to me. While I was away at college, she had the opportunity to meet and see Patricia Polacco at an author lecture. My mom’s enthusiasm got me to pick up picture books while I was knee deep in research and studies on Special Education. I count this book as one of the first things that kick started me into getting lost in children’s literature, specifically picture books, after many years away… I love the story. I love the use of the quilt. I LOVED reading this with my son and his perking up when there was religious mention that he could identify with in addition to sharing traditions with him. I cannot wait to share this with students. I’m happy to add to my school library. Perhaps it was there before and then lost… it is perfect for the Y2 unit about time periods and traditions… Goodreads Summary: “”We will make a quilt to help us always remember home,” Anna’s mother said. “It will be like heaving the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night. And so it was. From a basket of old clothes, Anna’s babushka, Uncle Vladimir’s shirt, Aunt Havalah’s nightdress and an apron of Aunt Natasha’s become The Keeping Quilt, passed along from mother to daughter for almost a century. For four generations the quilt is a Sabbath tablecloth, a wedding canopy, and a blanket that welcomes babies warmly into the world.”

Ling & Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin – Grace Lin did it again. She created a fantastic picture book that I know many of my stduents will borrow because they can read it, identify with the characters, and adore the short stories- 6 of them in this book. Precious early reader/early chapter book. I can only hope for more! Goodreads Summary: “Ling & Ting are twins. They share a birthday. They bake cakes, and they make birthday wishes. They tell stories and wrap gifts. They also share a birthday secret! Have fun with Ling and Ting! They stick together and look alike. But they are not exactly the same.”

Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden, illustrated by Renata Liwska – I will feature this in the future in a special review. I cannot put into words my deep feelings for this book yet. But I will soon. Goodreads Summary: “Does a feather remember it once was a bird? Does a book remember it once was a word? When a feather drifts through a child’s window, a magical journey begins. As the boy follows the feather, he is swept away to a world filled with adorable animals, where fantasy and reality come together in surprising and playful ways. From the cake that once was grain to the ocean that once was rain, whimsical “before” and “after” scenes offer readers a peek at the world as seen through the eyes of a curious child, ultimately asking the question, “What will you remember?””

Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot; Violet Mackerel’s Remarkable Recovery; How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel – by Anna Branford – Early Chapter Books – I will feature these three books in a special review soon.


Project Panda – Adventures of Riley by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz – Good quick story about visiting and learning about China, pandas, and even mixed in a little adventure to rescue a lost panda. Interesting book with a favorite style, images and facts placed on top of beautiful photographs.


Superworm by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler – Interesting premise, cute and not too stretching with the rhyming text, humorous conclusion. I enjoyed reading this new Julia Donaldson book. I know I won’t see it in the library once I add it to the collection! Goodreads Summary: “The funny and fantastically-illustrated story is full of bouncy rhyming verses and has a fun chorus that is sure to have preschoolers joining in as they follow Superworm’s adventures as he faces up to the wicked Wizard Lizard and his sinister servant Crow. When Superworm is kidnapped by them, it is up to his animal friends to save him.”

Little Fred Riding Hood by Michael Cox, illustrated by Liz Million – early chapter book, fairy tale adaptation – Enjoyed reading this adaptation, humorous and entertaining. Quick read that’s perfect for a reader developing fluency skills. I am looking forward to meeting Liz Million soon, she’s an author/illustrator visiting my school soon. Goodreads Summary: “Big Bad Wolf is Wilf Wolf’s hero and Little Red Riding Hood is his favorite story, although pages are mysteriously missing from the end of the story. One day, on his way back from Wolfworths, Wilf meets a boy called Little Fred who has just been visiting his granny and who is wearing a red hood! Wilf can’t believe his luck and plans to gobble Fred’s granny, just like in the story! But when Wilf knocks on granny’s door he gets a shock. Granny is six feet tall! She’s the granny Little Fred visits on Saturday, not the small, tasty-looking one that Wilf saw on Thursday! Little Fred and his Saturday granny chase Wilf through the woods threatening to marmalise him! Poor Wilf! Time to find a new favorite book. How about The Three Little Pigs? This is a hilarious story for all naughty wolves!”

Novel Obsession:

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer M. Nielsen – Loved reading this, conclusion to the brilliant series, shall share thoughts when allowed in another post.

The Wavering Werewolf by David Lubar – Fantasy/Humor – I enjoyed reading from a boy’s perspective as he slowly changed his way of thinking, feeling, physically changing and reacting to things in different ways, and acting and turned into a werewolf. Terrific. I love how David wrote about this character, Norman, who loves math whether it is in math class or simply thinking and playing with numbers, wonderful. How Norman realized that he wasn’t wearing his glasses for over half a day was brilliant… Too bad that library books are useless for helping you figure out if you’re a werewolf but hooray for a kid who knows how to go, find his resources, and research! Now, there is one portion of the book that threw me, but that was because this is a book in the middle of a series I haven’t read before… so, I accept that it isn’t completely a stand-alone book. I do love when authors sneak in the “what could possibly go wrong?” question into their books, sly wink to the reader. Additionally, if you want a good chuckle, you should simply flip through the book and look at the title headings, from “tents moments” to “rabbit transit”, David pulls out the humorous stops all the way through the book! I was amused by this line: “Wolves always bring down their prey by the nose.” HAH! I’d partner this book with The Monster Ring by Bruce Coville, perfect partnership I think! So, I’m looking forward to adding this series to my library, I have many fans of Goosebumps, David Lubar’s Weenie series, and other horror/humor books that will fall for this book quickly! Goodreads Summary: “Hair today…gone tomorrow?? Okay. It happened to Splat. And to his sister, Angie. How many kids could get “monsterized” in one neighborhood? Well, at least one more apparently. It started with a walk in the woods — and ended up with an overly fuzzy kid who finds himself howling at the moon. There is a way for Norman to get back to his old self. But there are two problems: He kind of likes being a wolf; and there’s only a few more days until the next full moon…”

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

16 comments on “Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

  1. Fats Suela
    January 27, 2014

    Patricia Polacco’s The Keeping Quilt is love, love, love! I don’t have my own copy… yet. Her works are wonderful, don’t you think? Once Upon a Memory has a lovely cover design and looks like a very charming read. I’ve never heard of Violet Mackerel but she sounds like a lovable heroine. =)

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 27, 2014

      I LOVE Patricia Polacco’s works… Once Upon a Memory, beautiful… Violet Mackerel is a special character… 🙂 Happy reading week!

  2. Stacey H. (@libraryjo92)
    January 27, 2014

    I love all of Patricia Polacco’s books. You’ve got quite a few I haven’t heard of, but have added to my to read list. I’m counting the days until I can get my copy of The Shadow Throne. Thanks for sharing.

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 27, 2014

      🙂 Took a lot to not provide further thoughts on The Shadow Throne… prewrote post. 🙂

  3. Andrea Payan (@payanar)
    January 27, 2014

    I am really looking forward to The Shadow Throne. I will be interested to see the post you wrote when you can publish it 🙂

  4. linda Baie (@LBaie)
    January 27, 2014

    Many good books here. I love getting some new books from NetGalley too, but still have so many others to read! The Polacco books are wonderful, I just got Bully from the library, but haven’t read it yet! Thanks for the ‘memory’ review-looks terrific!

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 28, 2014

      I am feeling overloaded with ARCs at the moment, but I’m so excited as well… some favorite authors have new novels coming out! 🙂

  5. Tara Smith
    January 28, 2014

    Oh, wow – a Polacco book to connect with The Keeping Quilt. She’s right, I am going to love this story!

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 28, 2014

      🙂 I loved seeing the keeping quilt mixed with the story, even parts of one story mixed with the other…

  6. carriegelson
    January 28, 2014

    Love that you will share your thoughts when “allowed” about Shadow Throne! 🙂 I can’t wait to read this title with my children. I really like the Violet Mackerel titles – look forward to your review.

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 28, 2014

      🙂 Really trying to be good and prewrite and schedule the post right when I read the book. I figure I can mention that I’ve read it and then post later. 🙂

  7. I need to read more Polacco. And Once Upon a Memory is such a sweet before-and-after story.

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 28, 2014

      Polacco would be a beautiful one to explore. Another favorite is Mrs. Katz and Tush, plus Thank You Mr. Falker and Junkyard Wonders…. Could go on and on… ok one more: Thundercake- I used to share this one yearly with my little Kindergarteners in the spring… connected them to wild weather and cooking books. 🙂

  8. ipushbooks
    January 29, 2014

    I just found out that Patricia Polacco is one of the headliners for the Illinois Reading Council’s conference in October. And I get to go for free because of my committee work 🙂

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