Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.11.17

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.

Now that school has started, I have been binge reading on the weekends.  While I tried to do that as much as possible this weekend, it was with one eye on the television, getting the updates on Hurricane Irma.  I consider southeast Florida my second home, as we live there for many months at a time.  We have friends and ties to the area, and it's hard to see the damage that this horrible storm has left.  My heart and head were definitely in Florida this weekend.  Hoping for safety and peace after this one.  Thinking of you, Kellee!

Last Week's Adventures

Candlewick Publishers has some amazing transitional chapter books releasing.  Check these out!

Amazing compilation of this history of POISON in this fantastic new nonfiction book by Sarah Albee.

Time to update the #mustreadin2017 list!

Two wonderful and upcoming books from Random House.

Have you met Cat?  He's one of my favorite dubious characters!  He's back in Here Comes Teacher Cat!

Picture Books

Come with Me
Come With Me
written by Holly M. McGhee
illustrator by Pascal Lemaitre
If you haven't heard of this picture book, it needs to be on your find immediately list.
If you have heard of this picture book, then there is not much more to be said.  
This book needs to be read to every child.  But don't stop there.  Talk about it.  Discussions need to take place.  Give kids a voice.

Where Oliver Fits
Where Oliver Fits
by Cale Atkinson
I'm beginning to look at Cale's books as perfect warm hugs.  Oliver is a book that needs to be read to kids everywhere.  Between this book and Come With Me, you've got two books that are must-reads for the start of the school year.
This book should be shared with older students, as well.  Because sometimes it's good to be reminded that sometimes it takes time to find your place.

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way)
The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABCs (the Hard Way)
by Patrick McDonnell
This is a very clever book.  It's an ABC book that gets moved along in the illustrations by something that starts with that letter.  The cause and effect illustrations that happen over a layout, or two, are very amusing and smart.  I laughed out loud more than once.  Or twice!

La Princesa and the Pea
La Princesa and the Pea
written by Susan Middleton Elya
illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
I love the decision to put the glossary in the front of the book - you'll want to take the time and read the words and become familiar with them.  This is a rhyming book and if you stumble over some of the Spanish words, you'll lose the rhythm of the rhyme and understanding of the story.
But when you can read it smoothly, what a fun and clever story!
Really enjoyed the illustrations and the illustrator's note at the end.  Hmmmm, Mock Caldecott?

Samson: The Piranha Who Went to Dinner
Samson the Piranha Who Went to Dinner
by Tadgh Bentley
Cute story about finding your place, especially when there are stereotypes.  However, I'm not sure if the illustrations are clear enough for young readers to fully understand the ending.

Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World: A Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Companion
Sam the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World
by Mo Willems
Didn't quite reach the laugh out loud level of Leonardo, but kids will still enjoy listening to this next one.

Graphic Novels

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King (Mighty Jack, #2)
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
by Ben Hatke
Last November I had the pleasure of sitting next to author Ben Hatke at the NCTE Children's Book Luncheon.  As I finished reading Goblin King I couldn't help but try to remember everything we talked about.  Did he leave some clue about this book?  Did I miss something key that was dropped?  Because all I can tell you is jaw dropped with this book!!  I loved the story line, I loved the characters (can I say that Lilly needs her own story after this book??) and I will continue, to forever more, be a Ben Hatke fan.

Transitional Chapter Books

The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate
The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate
written by Shannon and Dean Hale
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Another fun Princess in Black mission, this time featuring Princess Sneezewort, who is one of my favorite reoccurring characters.  Fans of this story will enjoy their latest adventure!

Middle Grade

The Jumbies (The Jumbies #1)
The Jumbies
by Tracey Baptiste
I'm a bit late to the Jumbies party, but I'm glad I finally got here!  I've owned this book for awhile and now I know what I've been missing!
Wonderful, creepy book (best not to read it before bed if you're wimpy like me) and a refreshing and needed look at cultural folk tales.  Baptiste explains in her author's note that while she changed some things around, the tales of jumbies from her native Trinidad have been told for a long time.  I really liked exploring a new setting in this book and I think this diverse story, featuring people of color and folk tales from different countries are needed in libraries everywhere.  
Looking forward to starting the next book - review will be posted on Thursday!

Currently Reading

Rise of the Jumbies (The Jumbies #2)
Rise of the Jumbies
by Tracey Baptiste
It is as deliciously scary as the first one!  Reviewing this one on Thursday!

Hoping Mother Nature decides to calm down for awhile.  Would like a nice, easy rest of the month!  Happy reading!


  1. I also have Come with Me and Mighty Jack and the Goblin King on my lists this week. Both are great for their own reasons. My students have been eager for the second Mighty Jack and after reading it they are going to be eager for the third!

  2. I definitely need to look for Come with Me. Thanks for sharing it.

    It's the last day to apply to be a Cybils judge. I hope anyone interested in kidlit will apply. The link is in my post today:

  3. I just read Come With Me in a visit to a bookstore with a friend yesterday, Michele. It is so special as you've said. I don't know about the Jumbies, imagine they would be fun for an October read aloud. And I wondered about your connections to Florida, am so sad to see all the damage, but glad it was not worse. Thanks for your "binge reading"!

  4. I have been seeing Come With Me just everywhere - I can't wait to finally read it myself, and share it with others.

  5. So glad I was able to read COME WITH ME to my 4th and 5th graders. I thought that maybe they would think it was too sappy but they ended up really liking it and it seemed to be a book they really needed.

  6. I loved reading an F&G of Come With Me to my class last year. Such an important message.

  7. So excited to learn about La Princesa and the Pea - We are always on the lookout for other versions of traditional tales. Thanks for telling us about Ben Hatke's new books - We are big fans too!

  8. Come With Me is one that I'm anxious to read! I check for it's availability daily on my library's website. I've heard lots of great things about it. Hope that you're friends & neighborhood in Florida didn't receive too much damage. It's very stressful to see these storms and their impact on so many people!

  9. Come with Me is just beautiful-the story, the illustrations and the message! I absolutely love Where Oliver Fits and can't wait to share it with students. I also included it in my #IMWAYR

  10. I love The Jumbies and the sequel. I need to catch up on the Princess in Black series. Jack looks great!

  11. The Jumbies is on my list for sure! I need to read it before the next one comes out.

  12. I agree with you about Cale Atkinson. Also, I will read anything he illustrates. I love love love how Lily became so much her own person in this Jack book. I can hardly wait to see where Hatke takes us next in this series.

  13. Come With Me is such a quiet, beautiful book. I loved it so much.

  14. I have The Jumbies next on my to-read list & its sequel.

    I cannot wait for Come With Me. Love that cover!!

    I hope your family & friends in FL are safe!!

  15. La Princesa and the Pea sounds like a must-read. Hopefully, we have it in our libraries here in Singapore.

  16. I can't wait to get the new Mighty Jack book. The first one was a favorite. I love Ben Hatke's work, and I think he's getting better with every book. And everything else I had to add to my TBR list of course.