Monday, May 3, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.03.21

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.

Last Week's Adventures

A new animal conservation story that is quick to read and big on fun!  Don't miss Rescue at Lake Wild!  Giveaway open until tomorrow, May 4th.

Be a Tree is a gorgeous book that explores how we connect with trees and nature.  Giveaway open until Wednesday, May 5th.

Hudson and Tallulah Takes Sides is a fun, new picture book that explores looking at each other with a new perspective.  Giveaway open until Friday, May 7th!

Picture Books

Is Was
is, was
by Deborah Freedman
Another beautiful book by Freedman!  One that explores how things change, yet how some things stay the same.  It also encourages us to slow down appreciate the now before the next happens.  Gorgeous illustrations rendered in watercolor and pencil evoke such peace as you read this story.
This one publishes tomorrow, be sure to pick up a copy!
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the early copy.

by Stephen Michael King
Three is a dog who names other living things by the amount of legs they have.  Which makes sense since Three is a three legged dog.  But this story is about Three as he rambles through the city he loves until he finds a new place, with new living things, that might just be a forever home.  
I love how this book makes disability a part of the character, but has nothing to do with the story.

We Are a Garden: A Story of How Diversity Took Root in America
We Are a Garden: A Story of How Diversity Took Root in America
written by Lisa Westberg Peters
illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov
I think I really like this one - I say that because I would like to have more input from Indigenous People about some of the historical accuracy.  
A story of how we migrated to America, starting at what seems to be the very beginning.  Included are Native tribes and Africans who were kidnapped and brought here against their will to be sold.  Ending with people who are coming more recently to escape war-torn lands and horrible living conditions.
In the backmatter is additional information about each layout with more historical background.

Regina Is Not a Little Dinosaur
Regina is NOT a little Dinosaur
by Andrea Zuill
Regina is ready to hunt on her own, but her mom is not ready for her to go off on her own just yet.  So Regina decides to take things into her own t-rex hands and go find some prey.  Things don't work out quite the way she wants, and when her mom finds her, helps her set more appropriate goals.  Young readers will enjoy and relate to Regina!

Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn
Itty-Bitty Kitty Corn
written by Shannon Hale
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Everyone wants to be seen as their authentic self.  For Kitty, that's to be seen as who she sees, a Kitty Corn (Kitty Unicorn).  Unfortunately she is surrounded by two nay-sayers.  But when a Unicorn comes who also identifies as a Kitty Corn, the two feel seen.

Fatima's Great Outdoors
Fatima's Great Outdoors
written by Ambreen Tariq
illustrated by Stevie Lewis
Fatima's family is going camping for the first time, which is a welcome relief from the troubles of school.  While following this American past time, Fatima's family still brings their Hindu traditions and culture with them, showing how people can blend their own family traditions with new experiences.

My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World
My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World
written by Rebecca Bond
pictures by Salley Mavor
My friend, Aliza Werner, posted about this book and it looked so unique, I had to find it!  Each layout shows how children from other countries around the world sleep.  Some in a hammock, some outside, some above places designed to keep you warm.  What was so special about each picture was the layout was all embroidered pieces.  It really made for a unique read!

Dusk Explorers
Dusk Explorers
written by Lindsay Leslie
illustrated by Ellen Rooney
I bet everyone remembers when they were young and that magical time in the summer when you play outside - it's light enough to see, but dark enough that makes you feel you're outside in a time when you're not supposed to be!  Perfect beginning of summer read.

Middle Grade

The Elephant in the Room
The Elephant in the Room
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
I LOVED this middle grade novel!  Siva is trying to manage through school, but it's hard right now.  Her mom has immigration issues and is back in Turkey trying to resolve them.  What was supposed to be resolved quickly, has turned into months of being gone.  Siva's school tries to help by enrolling her in a program that fosters friendships.  Mateo is autistic and doesn't communicate much.  Meanwhile, a chance encounter with an older gentleman and a surprising connection has left Siva with a new friendship with Gio.  More connections happen when Gio ends up adopting an elephant.  Siva falls in love with the elephant and finds a way for her and Mateo to work all summer at Gio's to help him with his growing animal enclosure.
This middle grade novel quickly found a place in my heart.  I had a hard time putting it down.  This book will be well-loved by readers who love heartprint novels.

The Adventure Is Now
The Adventure is Now
by Jess Redman
A book about adventure and friendship and one quirky main character!  Milton is having a rough-go at things.  His parents are on the brink of divorce, there has been a horrible incident at school that has left him friendless, and all he wants to do is get lost in his hand held video game.  There he can be like his hero, Sea Hawk, an adventurer and naturalist explorer, who is not afraid to conquer the great outdoors.  When Milton finds out he is being shipped to his Uncle Evan's, who lives on a small and still unexplored island, while it should make Milton excited for his own adventure, just makes Milton want to disappear farther into his game.  Once he gets there and his game loses all power since there is no electricity, Milton has to go outdoors.  Maybe this summer, he might find some of his own adventure, and some unexpected friends.  
Redman has built her own world for readers to explore on this island.  Included at the end is the field guide that explains all the flora and fauna Milton and friends explore.
Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced e-galley.
Be sure to find this book tomorrow!

Currently Reading

Firekeeper's Daughter
The Firekeeper's Daughter
by Angeline Boulley
Yup, still reading this one.  Although I did make a dent in it this weekend.  It's one I wish I could read in one big gulp, instead of all these little moments.  There is so much going on in the story, it takes some time to fall back into it each time I come back to it.  

While I am so excited it's May, have you seen the releases that come out this month?  I have so much to read!  All of those downloads I have from Edelweiss apparently publish this month.  So I guess I'll be doing a lot of digital reading.  I remember thinking I had so much time to get to them... whoops.  Happy May reading!


  1. Dusk Explorers definitely made me think about when I was a child playing outside. I haven't read any of the other picture books, but they all sound great.

  2. I have 'Is, Was' coming from the library from your sharing! Will look for 'Three' and the "Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep'. The chapter books sound good, too, Michele. There goes the list again, out of control! Have a great week!

  3. I liked The Elephant in the Room more than I thought I would as well. I'm so tempted to read Three, since I love dog books, and did enjoy Fatima's Great Outdoors. Sounds like you had a great week!

  4. What a fabulous collection of picture books you have shared. Some were already on my list but you reminded me to check and see if my library had any on order. I am especially looking forward to The Elephant in the Room and Be A Tree!

  5. Rescue at Lake Wild is so good! I loved it! :)
    And FireKeeper's Daughter is one that Ricki keeps recommending--I'm going to have to pick it up.

    Happy reading :)

  6. Will check out Is Was tomorrow. Thanks for sharing these!

  7. What a great set of books! Three sounds like a delight, and The Elephant in the Room sounds great as well—a long time, I read another book by Sloan called Counting by 7s and finished it in a day! Itty-Bitty Kitty Corn sounds fun as well (obviously—how could it not?), and I'm also very intrigued by Firekeeper's Daughter! Thanks so much for the great post!

  8. We have so many reviews in common. I enjoyed Rescue at Lake Wild, Be a Tree, and am sharing my thoughts on Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides tomorrow. I adored Three and its message. Is/Was sounds intriguing.