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! Enjoying books week by week… I decided to spread out what I’m reading recently over a few weeks… so this isn’t everything but I’ve enjoyed them all!

Special Saturday Book Share Review:

Merlin (Shelter Pet Squad #2) by Cynthia Lord

Other wonderful books I’ve enjoyed recently:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud – This book is ridiculous. Hilarious. A riot. Quite the excuses on why a little boy is late for school. Hadn’t ever imagined reading about some of these excuses. Made me laugh aloud on many pages. Fun for a read aloud! Goodreads Summary: “First, some giant ants steal breakfast.
Then there are the evil ninjas, massive ape, mysterious mole people, giant blob, and countless other daunting (and astonishing) detours along the way to school. Are these excuses really why this student is late? Or is there another explanation that is even more outrageous than the rest?”

Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram, illustrated by Chuck Groenink – Oh, this was one special book with a little boy who decides to start up a business stand outside. He’ll take offers of objects and in exchange write a story for someone. Loved the stories he came up with. Love the creativity celebration and imaginative nature throughout. Wonderful story. Goodreads Summary: “Why have a lemonade stand when you can have a story stand? That’s what Rufus, a boy with a big imagination, decides. And once he’s in business, he starts creating little gems for his friends and family. Millie and Walter trade a shell for his story called “Why Orange Is the Best Color.” Rufus writes little sister Annie a story for her birthday about a girl who shrinks to the size of a teacup. Sara trades flowers for a story about a family of buttons. And then they all sit down and read the wonderful stories together.”

Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo – Awww. Never expected to love a cactus so much. Sweet little cactus with all the adult cacti around her not wanting to have anything complicated nor are they good at displaying affection. Loved how this little cactus keeps trying to find someone to connect with and get a hug…. until she gives up. Simple and beautiful. Made me laugh when my son saw the cover and announced, “I don’t want to hug a cactus, are you kidding me?” but he ended up saying “Awwww.” to the story as well. Goodreads Summary: “Ever feel like you need a hug, a really big hug from someone? That’s how Felipe the young cactus feels, but his family just isn’t the touchy-feely kind. Cactuses can be quite prickly sometimes you know . . . and so can Felipe. But he’ll be darned if this one pointy issue will hold him back, so one day Felipe sets off on his own to find a friend and just maybe, that long awaited hug.”

A Handful of Quiet – Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh – 1st grade and up through adult – this is a great book for practicing mindfulness activities and meditation with children. I also see the opportunity for adults to benefit. This is an interesting way to focus the mind. Appreciated the simplicity and flexibility of it. Goodreads Summary: “Pebble meditation is a groundbreaking and completely unique technique to introduce children to the calming practice of meditation. Developed by Zen master, best selling author, and peace Nobel Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh A Handful of Quiet contains complete instructions for pebble meditation designed to involve children in a hands-on and creative way that touches on their interconnection with nature. Whether practiced alone or with the whole family, pebble meditation can help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and can help children deal with difficult emotions.”

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Geoff Stevenson – My wise friend reminded me about this beautiful book. So grateful I borrowed it and reread it. Very very good book to read with children, both at school and home. Goodreads Summary: “When Liza and Jeremy run to their mother during a scary storm, she comforts them by telling them about the Invisible String, which connects people who love each other no matter where they are and means that they are never alone.”

The Founding Fathers! Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Barry Blitt – Incredible non-fiction, fascinating fact-packed book. Goodreads Summary: “Tall! Short! A scientist! A dancer! A farmer! A soldier!
The founding fathers had no idea they would ever be called the “founding Fathers,” and furthermore they could not even agree exactly on what they were founding!
Should America declare independence from Britain? “Yes!” shouted some. “No!” shouted others.
“Could you repeat the question?” shouted the ones who either hadn’t been listening or else were off in France having fun, dancin’ the night away.
Slave owners, abolitionists, soldiers, doctors, philosophers, bankers, angry letter-writers; the men we now call America’s Founding Fathers were a motley bunch of characters who fought a lot and made mistakes and just happened to invent a whole new kind of nation.
And now here they are, together again, in an exclusive engagement!”

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead – Lovely book to read and reread over and over. So special. Such good example of reciprocal friendships. Goodreads Summary: “Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl.
But one day—”Ah-choo!”—he woke up with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn’t make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.”

Bear has a story to tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead – Beautiful lesson in patience and creativity. I just loved revisiting this book! Goodreads Summary: “Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?”

If you want to see a whale by Julie Fogliano, pictures by Erin E. Stead – Wonderful pacing and imaginative and at the same time the book helps you think about how to focus in on what you really want to do, to accomplish. Goodreads Summary: “If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.
Pink roses, pelicans, possible pirates . . .
If you want to see a whale, you have to keep your eyes on the sea, and wait . . .
and wait . . . and wait . . .”

And then it’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead – Another favorite patient book, love seeing underground and celebrating life outside… and of course hooray for a beautiful season book. Goodreads Summary: “Following a snow-filled winter, a young boy and his dog decide that they’ve had enough of all that brown and resolve to plant a garden. They dig, they plant, they play, they wait . . . and wait . . . until at last, the brown becomes a more hopeful shade of brown, a sign that spring may finally be on its way.”

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. Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)
    September 7, 2015

    I love the imagination int hese books. I’m tempted to start my own story stand now! I haven’t read The Invisible Thread, but your description reminds me of the middle grade book, The Red Thread, that draws on Chinese tradition of a red thread connecting people who are meant to be together.

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 7, 2015

      Also can connect with the red thread that Grace Lin mentions in a few of her books… 🙂

  2. Linda Baie
    September 7, 2015

    Bear Has A Story To Tell, and the too Julie Fogliano books are among my recent favorites, Debbie. Thanks also for sharing about A Handful of Quiet. . . I will certainly look for that one. The Invisible String also sounds wonderful! Thanks for all!

  3. Someone was just looking for Hug Me yesterday. It is a super sweet book. I really liked Rufus and the Whale books.

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 7, 2015

      Thanks for recommending Rufus to me when I visited! 🙂 Happily reread at home recently…

  4. carriegelson
    September 7, 2015

    Oh I love all of these titles illustrated by Erin Stead. I MUST find A Handful of Quiet – love the look of this one!

  5. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye)
    September 8, 2015

    I didn’t know about the Pet Squad series by Lord. I’m a big fan of her writing, so I’ll have to check it out!
    I haven’t read any of the PB, but they all, and especially Hug Me and Amos, look like ones I’d enjoy.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  6. Jane Whittingham
    September 8, 2015

    So many wonderful books! I love Hug Me, and A Sick Day for Amos McGee is such a beautiful story – so often I find that picture books work just as well for adults as they do for kids, just in different ways 🙂

    • The Styling Librarian
      September 12, 2015

      I agree, they’re different approaches but still special in their own way for adults… 🙂

  7. April
    September 8, 2015

    This looks like a great list. I always love Amos Magee. Thanks for sharing the video links too.

  8. Myra GB
    September 9, 2015

    Lots of picturebook love here – so many that I love and so many that I have yet to find. Hug Me is just gorgeous isn’t it – I think I did a dedicated post on just hugging and picturebooks at one point and featured this one. I haven’t even read Amos Gee yet and the new Benjamin Chaud picturebook – lots to look forward to!

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