In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Wandering around libraries… public libraries… my heaven. I visited numerous public libraries in Washington County while I was in Oregon. It was quite fun to visit the “new” book areas to see what was newly added and I just loved picking and choosing various books to read from their selections.
This past week I celebrated this fabulous perfect middle grade novel:
Here are a few of the books I enjoyed recently:
Joe and Sparky, Superstars! By Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz – Very cute, special friendship with creative interpretation of how to be superstars or at least find a special talent. Quite enjoyed this early reader. Goodreads Summary: “The unlikely duo return in a very funny tale of friendship, derring-do, and the discovery that, bold or shy, anyone can become a superstar. When fun-seeking Joe, a giraffe, takes a reluctant Sparky, a turtle, on a wild ride across the famous cageless zoo to see a mysterious box displaying a talent show, the two decide they must compete to be the next famous pair. But what are their talents? Joe can run fast, wiggle his ears, and touch his nose with his tongue (not to mention drive a car). But Sparky doesn’t know what his special skill is. Can the enthusiastic encouragement of Joe the World’s Best Talent Finder help the retiring Sparky become a star?”
The Favorite Daughter by Allen Say – Lovely story about a little girl who doesn’t quite fit people’s expectations visually of a certain culture and is teased into wanting to changer her name and question her culture. Love the way the father helps her come to peace with all of her worries. Peaceful and lovely story. Goodreads Summary: “A father helps his daughter find pride and inspiration in this masterful picture book.
Yuriko hates her name when the children make fun of it and call her “Eureka!” Though she is half Japanese, the teasing makes her want to hide, to retreat even from the art projects she used to love. Fortunately she has a patient, kind father who finds gentle ways of drawing her out and reminding Yuriko of the traditions they share that have always brought her joy: walks in lovely Golden Gate Park, lunch at their favorite sushi restaurant, watching the fog blow in off the bay. It’s enough… it’s more than enough to face down her challenges with confidence.”
Clara and Davie – The True Story of Young Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross by Patricia Polacco – I enjoyed reading the ending and explanation about how Patricia Polacco had a personal connection with family ties to Clara Barton and has an actual object that belonged to Clara Barton. It is also interesting to read about Clara’s childhood, how she was teased about her lisp and actually left school and protected by her older siblings as she grew up. Love that her power to heal translated into a profession that rescued people (and animals) and inspired many in the future. Goodreads Summary: “Animals and flowers were Clara’s best friends. She had a special way with critters and found joy in the beauty that sprang from the soil. But whenever Clara talked, her words didn’t come out right. As hard as she tried, she could not get over her lisp.
Clara’s older brother Davie understood that his sister was gifted. When folks made fun of Clara’s stilted words, Davie was always at her side reminding her that she had a talent for healing creatures.
Davie told his sister, “Some day you are going to be a very great lady.” And that’s exactly what happened. Clara Barton became one of the most famous medical practitioners of all time, and founded the American Red Cross.”
Found by Salina Yoon – I was so happy finding this book at the store. I’d been keeping an eye out for it as I visited numerous libraries and bookstores and I finally found it at my favorite bookstore, Powells, and ran across the store to read it. Just loved the story which is about a bear who finds a lost stuffed bunny and proceeds to try to find the owner but simultaneously falls in love with the bunny. Touching and special. I think it is a book that should be shared with Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems. They both have that touching message about love and sharing. I think Found would be a lovely class read aloud to share and then have students create their own found posters for writing prompts, etc. Just a wonderful book.
Goodreads Summary: “When Bear finds a lost stuffed toy bunny in the forest, he begins to worry. After all, the stuffed bunny must feel lonely and want to return safely to its owner and home! But as Bear diligently searches for the bunny’s owner, posting notices high and low, he begins to grow attached to his newfound friend. What will happen when the bunny’s owner finally comes forward? Was Bear meant to find Bunny all along? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating love and friendship in many forms, reminding us that nothing is lost that is not meant to be found.”
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? By Rita Gray, pictures by Kenard Pak – This is a great simple book about numerous birds and their calls partnered with an insightful conversation with a bird at the end of the book. Just loved the questions and answers with the nesting bird. Loved how the birds carry the used eggshells away from the nest so predators don’t find them. Goodreads Summary: “Woodpecker calls from a tree, “cuk-cuk-cuk.” Starling sings, “whistle-ee-wee.” But have you heard the nesting bird? In this book, we hear all the different bird calls in counterpoint to the pervasive quiet of a mama bird waiting for her eggs to hatch. Fun and informative back matter takes the shape of an interview so that readers learn more right from the bird’s bill.”
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood, pictures by Claudia Rueda – I’ve never been disappointed with Deborah Underwood. This book was a riot. Loved the personality and conversation to be had between the narrator and the cat. Reminded me of Chester by Melanie Watt and Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel with witty dialogue (or illustrated conversations between character and narrator.) Goodreads Summary: “When Cat tries to replace the Easter Bunny, he soon learns that the job is much harder than he expected-and does not allow time for naps.
A cat with flair to spare, an Easter Bunny with a job to do, and a hilarious break from sticky-sweet Easter fare for fans of Patrick McDonnell and the Pigeon books by Mo Willems.
Why should the Easter Bunny get all the love? That’s what Cat would like to know. So he decides to take over: He dons his sparkly suit, jumps on his Harley, and roars off into the night. But it turns out delivering Easter eggs is hard work. And it doesn’t leave much time for naps (of which Cat has taken five–no, seven). So when a pooped-out Easter Bunny shows up, and with a treat for Cat, what will Cat do? His surprise solution will be stylish, smart, and even–yes–kind.”
Out of The Easy by Ruta Septys – Historical Fiction- High School – Thank goodness I didn’t follow through on throwing my Kindle across the room, this book upset me. Fantastic novel… Enjoyed every second. Upsetting situations and I’ve hated mothers in the books before but this one took the cake. Quite a tumultuous incredible story. One of those books that gets under your skin and makes you feel personal offense every time another trial hits the main character. Goodreads Summary: “It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.”
Thrice Upon a Marigold – A Royal Kidnapping Caper by Jean Ferris – Honestly, I was simultaneously thrilled and annoyed when I realized that there was a third book in this series. Really enjoyed how the book developed, quite predictable throughout but a pleasure to meet characters and read their continued story. So… hope that’s it. It ended in a way that made me think it was complete. Goodreads Summary: “Princess Poppy, the bouncing baby daughter of Queen Marigold and King Christian of Zandelphia-Beaurivage, is in terrible danger. The kingdom’s former torturer-in-chief and poisoner-in-chief have joined forces to kidnap the baby as an act of revenge for their exile! Can a ragtag parade of rescuers—including the king and queen, the evil kidnappers’ mortified children, five dogs, a white elephant, and a washed-up wizard—save Princess Poppy in time?”
Celebrated this past Saturday:
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian 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.
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