It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share some of the titles you’ve been enjoying, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.
I had a chance to review a new title from Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato, called All the Way to Havana. Be sure to check out the post if you haven’t already, I’m sure this one’s going to be a hit with young car enthusiasts in particular!
I tend to post a lot of picture book reviews largely because they’re what I read in my professional life as a librarian. Outside of work I tend to read quite a bit of nonfiction, and some of my favourite titles are the ones that tell the weird and wonderful stories of eccentric individuals. I’m currently reading a fascinating account of the art and science that is taxidermy.
Still Life is a celebration of taxidermy from its earliest beginnings to its current interpretations. Melissa Milgrom spends time with professional taxidermists, attends conferences and conventions, and even tries her hand at taxidermy (an experience not for the squeamish), while also investigating and exploring the roots and development of taxidermy as both an art and a science. Colourful characters, famous institutions and quirky settings round out this sensitive look at a profession and passion that has not always been treated with much respect.
I have long been fascinated by taxidermy. In the days before film, taxidermy allowed people to explore and experience far-away places and witness the incredible diversity and majesty of the natural world. Imagine exploring the Museum of Natural History as a young child and coming face to face with snarling tigers, trumpeting elephants or cheeky monkeys, all brought to life in highly-detailed, carefully researched and lovingly staged dioramas. It must’ve just been breathtaking, and the amount of passion and care that went into creating those mounts is staggering.
Still Life really is a delightfully engaging and at times downright hilarious exploration of a very unique industry, and a celebration of eccentrics from past and present. Definitely worth a read.
Now, this picture book contains within its sweetly illustrated pages several examples of very, very naughty behaviour, including car theft, speeding and reckless driving, destruction of police property, lying to a police officer, lying to an authority figure, and making false accusations.
If you have a sense of humour, though, this ridiculously adorable picture book may very well be right up your alley!
In Moo!, a very sneaky cow steals a farmer’s car and takes it on an ill-fated joy ride, with very comical results. I don’t want to spoil the ending, because it really is quite clever, but I’ll just say that our dear cow friend is as quick-witted as she is naughty!
What makes Moo! so much fun is that the text is limited to a single word – Moo! The word is printed in different fonts using different punctuation to express different emotions, which makes it a real hoot to real aloud!
I’ve used this one with school groups, and they find it absolutely hilarious, and often join in with me in my moo-ing! I recently tried it with a preschool group, and it was a blast, and we had a very nice discussion afterwards about giving the cow a time out in the thinking corner for her behaviour. 😉 Really, though, how could you be angry at that cow – just look at the joy on her face when she’s motoring around the in the car!
Have a great week everybody, and here’s hoping you don’t park your cars near any joyriding cows!