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! This past week I went to my Goodreads ‘to read’ list and then opened my library account. I hit my limit on book reservations. I had to take two trips from the library to my car in order to bring all the books I reserved out. The librarian was very kind and friendly. When I got back to my parents house. I sat with towers of books to read around me… and didn’t know what to do first… so I read the picture books. What heaven. I had some books that I’d wanted to read for over two years on that to-read list. I was so happy to finally have my hands on them. Here’s what I thought about the books: (Um, too many books, shall share more next week as well!)

Celebrated this past Saturday: 

Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown

The big wet balloon by Liniers – Toon books – Lovely little graphic novel with a very patient older sister who brings her little sister out to play in the rain. Fun quick story with those funny moments where the little sister misunderstands directions and words, perfect dialogue and illustrations. Goodreads Summary: “When her little sister, Clemmie, refuses to go out in the rain, Matilda sets out to teach her all the delights of a wet Saturday. But after her enthusiasm leads her to make a big mistake, it’s Matilda who will end up learning an unforgettable lesson.”


Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – Interesting little story that shows the cycle of abuse with name calling/bullying- a little bull is called names by an elder and then calls names to other farm animals. Appreciated how he realized and resolved his bullying actions. Goodreads Summary: “Bully doesn’t have a kind word for any of his friends. When the other animals ask him to play, he responds in the way he’s been taught: Chicken! Slow poke! You stink! Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s bold, graphic artwork, along with her spare but powerful words, make for a tender, hilarious, and thoughtful tale.”
The Umbrella by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert – 2010 – Was wondering why this was on my Goodreads “to read” list but then completely understood as soon as I opened the book. This is a gorgeous wordless picture book packed with adventure and survival. Excellent journey around the world as a dog gets carried around on an umbrella. Goodreads Summary: “A little dog finds an umbrella in the garden on a windy day.  The moment the dog picks up the umbrella, it catches the wind and pulls the dog skywards.  This is the start to fantastic journey around the world.  The wind carries the umbrellas and the dog all over the world, from the desert to the sea, from the jungle to the north pole.”
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, collages by Susan L. Roth – FINALLY I got to read this book! Just love the formatting of this book, such a smart action to bring more life to the flight of the parrots in the book. Fascinating history of Puerto Rico, the connections to the birds, and how human interaction almost killed off the parrots by bringing in creatures to the island that invaded their habitat from honeybees to black rats. Interesting that the parrots had to be raised in captivity to redevelop their population. So glad I have this book ordered for my library. Perfect book to read aloud and discuss how human interaction can negatively impact animal populations. Also, I’m still quite obsessed with Kakapo birds and I think that the book Kakapo Rescue- Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery would perfectly fit with this book as well. Goodreads Summary: “Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home. . . . These are Puerto Rican parrots. They lived on this island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth forever.  Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction. In this compelling book, Roth and Trumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots’ story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.”
Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka – Love this sequel to A Ball for Daisy, very special, almost wordless book about Daisy, a white little dog, who gets lost after chasing a squirrel, too cute for words with the action sequences and also the touching search that Daisy’s owner has to go on. Goodreads Summary: “Any child who has ever felt lost will relate to Daisy’s despair upon finding herself in an unfamiliar part of the park after chasing a squirrel. In a nearly wordless picture book, Daisy encounters the unease of being lost and the joys of being found. Raschka’s signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers, teachers, parents and, of course, the legions of Daisy fans out there.”
Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Steven Kellogg – “No two the same – All beautiful.” So touching. I love Patricia MacLachlan’s gorgeous word choice and find it inspiring and heartbreaking that she was inspired to write this book in honor of the Sandy Hook support fund. Goodreads Summary: “In Snowflakes Fall, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Steven Kellogg portray life’s natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can grow.”
Oh No, George! By Chris Haughton – HILARIOUS! I know this book would be SO fun to read aloud to young age levels. What a funny dog that has good intentions and hopes but also loves doing a few naughty things. Goodreads Summary: “George is a dog with all the best intentions. And his owner, Harry, has all the best hopes that George will be a well-behaved dog when he leaves him alone for the day. But when George spies a delicious cake sitting on the kitchen table, his resolve starts to waver. You see, George loves cake. . . . Uh-oh. What to do now? It’s so hard to be a good dog when there are cats to chase and flowers to dig up! What ever will Harry say when he gets back?”
The Museum by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds – Love the way the book explores through a museum with all the different art forms and styles… and how the art lives inside of the girl at the end of the book. Hooray for a new art celebration book! Goodreads Summary: “When I see a work of art, something happens in my heart!
As a little girl tours and twirls through the halls of the art museum, she finds herself on an exciting adventure. Each piece of art evokes something new inside of her: silliness, curiosity, joy, and ultimately inspiration. When confronted with an empty white canvas, she is energized to create and express herself—which is the greatest feeling of all.”
Oddrey by Dave Whamond – 2012 – A book to go with that discussion about how it is ok to be different and stand out from the crowd. How you shouldn’t let others influence your actions. Too bad the teacher didn’t learn to appreciate originality by the end of the book but lovely how the classmates accepted and appreciated differences and originality. Goodreads Summary: “From Blue Spruce Award–winning author-illustrator Dave Whamond comes the story of Oddrey, a young girl who is a little bit different from everybody else. Every aspect of Oddrey’s world is a study in playful curiosity. Her adventures and flights of fancy, however, are often a source of some teasing at the hands of her classmates. Her technicolor snow sculpture has the rest of the playground gaping in disbelief. Her drawing of blue apples is met with a stern look from her teacher. But Oddrey, never one to let anything get her down, faces all of these discouragements with optimism and offhanded grace.
So when her class production of The Wizard of Oz is cast and Oddrey is given the rather spiritless role of a tree, she decides to make the best of the situation and vows to be the most unique tree ever. Sadly, her teacher has other ideas, and Oddrey dons an uninspired costume and sways in the back row. But when her classmates start forgetting their lines, knocking down props, and suffering from stage fright, Oddrey steps in to save the show — not by stealing it, but by helping her classmates rise to the occasion.”
When Elephant met Giraffe by Paul Gude – What do you do when you have someone who is silent? Do you avoid them? Make friends with them? Love how a friendship can blossom and develop between a very verbal elephant and a not-a-sound giraffe. Goodreads Summary: “From the instant she sees him at the water hole, Elephant is curious about Giraffe. And while Giraffe doesn’t have much to say, Elephant is more than happy to make the first move. From inviting herself to bake pretzels with Giraffe to ordering him around while playing pirates, Elephant s bold and brassy style takes some getting used to. But still waters run deep and silent Giraffe seems to have no problem making himself heard. The result is a friend for the ages.”

The Girl of the Wish Garden by Uma Krishnaswami and Nasrin Khosravi – A Thumbelina Story – Really interesting that the illustrations were made years before the words were created. Different way to create a book for others. Not sure I can read this book aloud with others, it feels more like a book that you privately read to yourself and enjoy. Goodreads Summary: “This beautifully written story, loosely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “Thumbelina,” was created in response to the gorgeous award-winning art of Nasrin Khosravi. Author Uma Krishnaswami’s sensitive and poetic tale opens when Lina, a tiny girl no bigger than a thumb, is found in a flower by her mother. Because she is so tiny, adventure and mishap easily befall her — a giant frog leaves her stranded on a lily pad, she is freed by curious fish, then pestered by crazy bugs. Lina lives by herself in the depths of a forest until the cold of winter approaches and she begins to feel lonely. She encounters a mouse, who is happy to have someone to dust and sweep for him, but one day in the back room of his house Lina comes across the body of a swallow. The mouse is convinced the bird is dead but Lina, thinking she sees a wing tremble, brings it food and water. Amazingly, the swallow revives and the two of them fly together to the garden of wishes…”
Lila and the Secret of Rain by David Conway and Jude Daly – 2007 – Simple, touching story about how a girl brings rain to her village. Really enjoyed how the stories Lila found to be the saddest stories she knew but when she was honest and told of how she was suffering under the sun, then the rain came… Good to partner with a few other rain related books! Goodreads Summary: “For months, the sun has baked Lila’s Kenyan village. It’s too hot to gather firewood, too hot to weed the garden, even too hot to milk the cow. Without rain, the crops will fail. Lila is so worried that when her grandfather whispers to her the secret of making the rain fall, she decides to do something about it — even if it means confronting the sky itself.”

Eric The Boy Who Lost his Gravity by Jenni Desmond – What happens when you’re fed up and lose your temper? I enjoyed how Eric lost his gravity after getting so frustrated with his little sister. Goodreads Summary: “We’ve all seen kids who kick and scream and lose their cool. But when Eric loses his temper over his annoying little sister Alice, he floats up to the ceiling! And so we have a fresh and funny twist on temper tantrums created by star-on-the-rise Jenni Desmond. Eric, The Boy Who Lost His Gravity, with an amusing story and expressive painterly art, captures a spot-on understanding of how children feel when they get out of control and how they need help to pull themselves together – or, as in Eric’s case, back to the ground. There will always be annoying brothers and sisters and things one wants, but can’t have.”
Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman & Valerio Vidali – Fascinating look at a boy who was taken from his native land and brought to England to adjust and be put on show. When he returned to his island, he relearned his language and quickly adjusted to native life. Interesting discussion opportunities connect to this book. Why do people insist that their life is better than others? Should people interfere and take a native person away from home? Goodreads Summary: “The book illustrates Jemmy’s adventures in England, his extraordinary encounters, his homesickness and experiences as an outsider in a strange land, and his return home.”
Oliver and his alligator by Paul Schmid – What do you do when you’re scared of going to school for the first time? Do you bring an alligator along and have it eat the teacher and all of your classmates? Unexpected story with an amusing ending. Goodreads Summary: “Oliver is nervous about the first day of school, so he picks up an alligator at the swamp, just in case. And boy, does it come in handy! Whenever anything scares Oliver–be it a teacher, a classmate, or the prospect of learning “everything”–the alligator makes the problem go away. Quickly, school becomes much simpler . . . and a little lonely. But Oliver knows just what to do!”
Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise by Susan Blackaby, illustrated by Carmen Segovia – I really appreciate Susan Blackaby’s books. It has been a while since I was able to read one. This is the sequel to another book called Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox. Enjoyed reading about how the groundhog is ready to hibernate but two friends think that they should create a wonderful surprise instead. Goodreads Summary: “Brownie is ready for a long winter’s nap. “Just don’t wake me up,” she warns. But her friends miss her so much that they can’t bear to obey her orders—and they turn Brownie’s “do not disturb” into a comic commotion, complete with a stunningly beautiful nighttime surprise.”
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh – A Migrant’s Tale – Coyote has two meanings- 1- the animal, 2- a person who smuggles people from Mexico to the US. Really fascinating introduction to migrants, survival, experiences of those in poverty… approachable for young children and also perfect for beginning a discussion with older children. There are so many undocumented people here in the US that work hard to survive. So many people who have a fear of being discovered and not having security either at home or where they migrated to… good book to share. Plus it is a cute little story about a rabbit who isn’t tricked by a coyote and is able to help rescue his father. Goodreads Summary: “In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return. Papa Rabbit traveled north two years ago to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return, Pancho sets out to find him. He packs Papa’s favorite meal—mole, rice and beans, a heap of warm tortillas, and a jug of aguamiel—and heads north. He meets a coyote, who offers to help Pancho in exchange for some of Papa’s food. They travel together until the food is gone and the coyote decides he is still hungry . . . for Pancho!”
Robot Burp Head Smartypants! By Annette Simon – sequel to Robot Zombie Frankenstein! – Just love the collage art style of the illustrations in this book, unexpected and crisp. So many burps in one book! Hilarious. Instead of the alphabet, the alphabelch… Goodreads Summary: “Robot and Robot are thirsty. How about a big gulp of engine oil? Ga-lugg! Guzzle! Mmm, mmm — BurrRRRP! Oops! Pardon me! Of cour —Burrrrrp! — ourse! Oh, pardon me! On your mark, get set, belch! The green and purple robots from Robot Zombie Frankenstein! are back for a second round of “Top This” games! Burp to ten? Easy! Burp the alphabet? No sweat! Burp by tens while blindfolded, juggling, and skateboarding? Yikes!”


Stick! By Andy Pritchett – How many words need to be in a book to convey hope, loneliness, despair, and enthusiasm? Andy Pritchett uses only a few and entertains an incredible amount. Loved this book about a little dog who finds a stick and hopes to get others to play with him… Goodreads Summary: “Puppy is thrilled when he discovers a stick just waiting to be tossed and chased. But Cow is more interested in grass, and Chicken is more interested in a worm. In fact, all of Puppy’s friends are busy doing something besides playing with a stick. Poor Puppy! Finally, another equally enthusiastic canine comes along, and the rousing game of fetch that ensues is enough to inspire the entire barnyard to give the stick a chance.”


Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish by Kate Messner, illustrated by Andy Rash – First off, I’m quite fond of Andy Rash’s creation, Are you a horse? – one of my favorite read alouds of all time. I’ve never failed to get every listener to laugh as I read it aloud. Hilarious. So, when Kate Messner partnered with Andy Rash, I was so excited. I love this book. Sure, it has an issue- how to deal with bossiness, be your own… fish, speak up for others, and still be special. Kate created a beautiful book that really celebrates individuality, caring, and more. Just loved how the book worked out. Goodreads Summary: “Being kind is a big job, but nothing’s too big for a sea monster. Not even taking on the new fish in school, who’s great…except when he’s pushing people around.”


Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos – 2011 – Biography –  Beautiful picture book introducing Audrey as a young girl with the passion for ballet and the hope to become famous. What an amazing life she led. Excellent book for introducing Audrey Hepburn. Goodreads Summary: “From Roman Holiday to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, when Audrey Hepburn starred in a movie, she lit up the screen. Her unique sense of fashion, her grace, and, most important, her spirit made her beloved by generations. But her life offscreen was even more luminous. As a little girl growing up in Nazi-occupied Europe, she learned early on that true kindness is the greatest measure of a person—and it was a lesson she embodied as she became one of the first actresses to use her celebrity to shine a light on the impoverished children of the world through her work with UNICEF.
This is Audrey Hepburn as a little girl, an actress, an icon, an inspiration; this is Audrey just being Audrey.”


Plastic Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman, photographs by Annie Crawley – Non-Fiction – 4/5th grade and up: I was lost reading this book for a while. Fascinating scientific research about the great pacific garbage patch. Amazing people are doing some powerful research that is fascinating. Some of the outcomes of the research are quite disconcerting and I know it can be intimidating to students who think about their future… so it was reassuring to read actions students can take realistically to help the earth. Goodreads Summary: “These scientists are on a mission. As part of a research expedition known as SEAPLEX, theyre studying the massive accumulation of plastic in the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As they use the scientific method to conduct their investigation, their adventures will introduce readers to the basics of ocean science and the hazards of plastics.”

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.


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

  1. Angie aka Ms. o
    August 4, 2014

    Went to SeaWorld with my nieces and nephew last week. They had several sculptures around the park made from recycled plastic. I meant to get pics but it was hot. 😛 Anyway. Now I really want to find a copy of Plastic, Ahoy! Along with several others you mentioned. But especially that as it’s fresh on the mind.

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 4, 2014

      There were some really interesting recycled plastic art pieces recently at a place in Hong Kong, I love finding those kind of things… Happy reading to you!

  2. Lots of great books. I think Susan Blackaby is coming back to our store to do a signing for her new book. Or maybe I’m just imagining that. There are so many months we’re planning for!

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 4, 2014

      I love Susan Blackaby’s work! She was a fantastic visitor at my school a number of years ago! Shall look forward to your active posts in the coming months! 🙂

  3. Michele Knott
    August 4, 2014

    I really liked the way Plastic Ahoy showed the scientific process, especially starting with a question!
    So many great books this week. I love having to take trips out of the library! We have quite a few checked out right now, my daughter and I are trying to load up before school starts up!

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 4, 2014

      🙂 Enjoy those books before school… agreed, Plastic Ahoy is that perfect scientific process book…

  4. linda Baie (@LBaie)
    August 4, 2014

    I know some of these, Debbie, & am putting the others on my ever-growing list, like Oddrey & Stick. There is a poetry book titled A Stick Is An Excellent Thing that would pair nicely with that book. Love also the idea of Jemmy Button-I still haven’t read it, a must! Thank you!

  5. Emily Lim-Leh
    August 4, 2014

    Will need to check out Robot burphead!

  6. thelogonauts
    August 4, 2014

    Wow, what a list, you weren’t kidding! 🙂 Lots of great suggestions. I must say, I felt a little let down by the ending of Bully – I felt like the others accepted him back too quickly and it was almost as if his early actions didn’t really have consequences. Could have used another page or two.

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 4, 2014

      Yes, ending of Bully was rushed, expected more from the author to be honest, love her other work…

  7. carriegelson
    August 5, 2014

    Hey! New look to your blog – yes? I am so excited by all of these books. I don’t even know where to start – I see many of my favourites here. So . . going to just comment on 2 books. I too finally read Parrots Over Puerto Rico this last week and wow, just stunning and such an important story. I shared Jemmy Button with my class and you are right, lots to talk about. So happy that you had such an amazing reading week!

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 5, 2014

      Thanks for noticing! 🙂 Just changed it yesterday. There were too many special books this time… 🙂

  8. Ryan M. Hanna (@rantryan)
    August 5, 2014

    I love this font and blog format. Gorgeous! I want to read the plastic garbage book. Looks fascinating.

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 5, 2014

      Thanks so much for noticing! 🙂 Love reading nonfiction books, especially about the environment!

  9. Ricki Ginsberg
    August 5, 2014

    I really enjoyed Plastic, Ahoy! I learned so much from it, too! I am adding Oh no, George to my list. Your review that it is hilarious made me want to run out and find it! Thanks for sharing this amazing list of books this week!

  10. Bryn
    August 6, 2014

    Holy that’s a lot of books! Really looking forward to checking some of them out…too many to mention that caught my eye. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Styling Librarian
      August 6, 2014

      🙂 Shall try to not be too overwhelming with the books next week… have so many I read… 🙂

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