MONDAY FUNDAY: October 30, 2017


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.

Exciting news, friends! We’re less than ONE WEEK from the launch of my first picture book, Wild One! If you’re in the Vancouver area next week, come by the Book Warehouse store on Main Street between 1 and 3pm next Saturday and say hi! There will be treats, a prize draw, tasty goodies, and of course, copies of Wild One to take home!


With that exciting news out of the way, here’s what I’ve been reading this week!


Join one little pigeon as she sets out on a journey to spread a message of tolerance around the world. Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song and illustrations by the award-winning artist Jean Jullien, this poignant and timely picture book dares to imagine a world at peace.  Imagine will be published in partnership with human rights organization Amnesty International.

This is an interesting little book – it’s an illustrated version of the famous John Lennon song of the same name, and it follows a pigeon as it spreads peace and happiness throughout its bird community. I love the illustrations, with their bold lines and bright colours and endearing little figures.

Image result for john lennon imagine picture book

I’d definitely recommend Imagine for individual or classroom use on the strength of the bold, colourful imagery, and I sincerely appreciate Lennon’s sentiments and his fervent wish for world peace, which remains deeply relevant today. As my friend and fellow book-blogger Nafiza explains in her review, however, there are aspects of Imagine that can be problematic, and the song is very much a product of both its time and its creator. That’s not to say that this is a bad book, or that Imagine is a bad song, simply that there is more to the story than the colourful illustrations might initially suggest. I’d strongly recommend using this sweetly illustrated wish for peace as a starting point for conversations with children – talk about Lennon’s lyrics, look at them in context, discuss the world then and the world now, and really engage as you read it together. I think that’s what Lennon would’ve wanted – anyone can sing a song about how much they want peace, but that isn’t going to change the world. Really digging deep and encouraging children to ask difficult questions and have meaningful discussions together really can help make the world a better place.

Review copy provided by Raincoast Books


Piggy loves books so much that he never has time for friends. But his favorite story has always been about two friends and the special times they share together.

One day, Piggy sees a girl reading alone. And he wonders, perhaps, if they could be best friends? Try as Piggy might–in increasingly spectacular ways–the girl just doesn’t notice him. Will Piggy ever be able to tell her how he truly feels?

From the mind of Trevor Lai, an internationally renowned creator and animation entrepreneur, comes the lovable Piggy in an incredibly cute story about the wonder of new friendship that is sure to win your heart!

Bookish Piggy goes to all sorts of lengths to impress a little cat, only to discover that the best way to make a friend is to be yourself.


A well-meaning story about preschool friendship with cute illustrations and a sweet if sometimes disjointed text.

Review copy provided by Raincoast Books

Henry’s Awful Mistake

Image result for henry's awful mistake

Henry the Duck sure gets himself into some sticky situations! Just when he thinks dinner is almost ready, he spots an ant in the house. 

A mystery patron recently donated a stack of books to the library, and among them was hidden this incredible gem of a book (along with the title shared below). Oh. my. word. How have I never heard of Robert Quackenbush before? His stories about Henry the Duck are ridiculously, terribly, horribly over the top disastrous (for Henry), and yet so very hilarious for readers! It’s reminiscent of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie in the way that the events in he story cascade, but unfortunately for Henry, things just get worse and worse and worse. 


Poor old Henry!

Henry Goes West

Henry the Duck sure gets himself into some sticky situations! When he finally goes out West to visit his friend Clara, he finds out that he has another surprise waiting for him back home. 

Honestly I feel kind of bad for finding this book so hilarious – I mean, oh my goodness, poor Henry! But Henry’s run of disastrous luck really is so ridiculously, completely and utterly over the top that I just couldn’t help but laugh. We don’t have any copies of this in the library, which is a bit of a shame – I have a feeling a number of kids might just find this absolutely hilarious. Poor old Henry!

And there you have it – another week wrapped! Have a great one, friends!

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  • Reply Kathryn

    All the best for the book launch, the cover certainly looks great. How wonderful to have been in NZ for 2 weeks visiting family. The retirement town I mentioned was Waikanae, which is north of Wellington. Not sure if you were in that part of the country.

    October 30, 2017 at 6:54 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Yes, I spent several days in Wellington! Our trip was – Auckland, Hamilton, Te Aroha (Grandma’s town), Rotorua, Napier/Hastings, Wellington. 🙂

      October 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione)

    Congratulations on your book! Have fun at your book launch! So exciting!

    October 30, 2017 at 10:17 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you, it does feel a bit surreal!! 🙂

      October 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm
  • Reply Karen Yingling

    My children LOVED Henry the Duck. I think I still have all of the books around! The illustrations on Imagine aren’t what I would have pictured. I would have thought some element of Lennon’s doodles would have been used. There was even a line of baby clothing at Kohls 20 years ago that had some of the images on them– my daughter had a navy romper with a little elephant on it! That’s what I had in mind!

    October 30, 2017 at 10:25 am
  • Reply readerbuzz

    Wow! Congratulations on publishing your first book! What a happy feeling!

    October 30, 2017 at 10:49 am
  • Reply readerbuzz

    Update: I was able to add your new book to my book order from my library supplier. Hurray!

    October 30, 2017 at 10:51 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Oh, how exciting!!!!! 😀

      October 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    I just got Imagine from the library & will look for Henry’s Awful Mistake. My youngest granddaughter adores funny books! Enjoy this week and your book launch party. What a wonderful time you’ll have, Jane!

    October 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply carriegelson

    Exciting? Exciting!!! This is amazing news. And that Book Warehouse just happens to be in my neighbourhood! Hmm. . . .

    October 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Well, if you’re around any time between 1 and 3pm! 😀 I’m very lucky to be hosting the event with them, it’s such a cool area, I love Main Street!

      October 30, 2017 at 5:43 pm
  • Reply cweichel

    Darn Jane! I will be out of town next weekend or I would be at the book launch. Congratulations!

    October 30, 2017 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Jana Eschner

    I’m so excited for you and your new book! Congratulations! I’m totally looking forward to reading it!

    October 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm
  • Reply Kris

    Congrats on your book launch! You must be so over the moon!

    I really like the idea of Imagine and how it follows a song; it’s a retelling in its own right. And all I can say is poor Henry as well. Is it possible for you to petition the library to have it added? I feel like books like this one, which really draw in children, are the type of books we need to make easily accessible during their formative years.

    October 30, 2017 at 7:17 pm
  • Reply Donna (@Girl_Who_Reads)

    To have little ones again just so I could read these fun looking books. Girl Who Reads

    October 30, 2017 at 8:06 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I’m lucky to be able to share all these great books with the kids I work with, and with all my friends sweet little ones. 🙂

      November 6, 2017 at 5:59 am
  • Reply Tammy and Clare

    Jane – You won a copy of The Writing Teacher’s Companion – Can you send your address to us? Congratulations!

    October 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply Michele

    Jane! I’m so excited for you! I hope you come back and tell us how it goes and all the excitement you have with such an event!

    October 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you!! I’ll be sure to write up a post about it this week, while I’m still buzzing with excitement. It was such a lovely event, filled with so many kind and wonderful people. I’m so lucky!!

      November 6, 2017 at 5:58 am
  • Reply crbrunelle

    I too took issue with some of the lyrics in imagine. Seeing them spread out like this and in small amounts made me think about them more closely and I decided it doesn’t give a message that I can totally support. It could inspire some good discussion though.

    October 30, 2017 at 10:38 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      My thoughts exactly! And that’s really what we need to do as much as we can with kids – encourage them to think critically, discuss and converse.

      November 6, 2017 at 5:57 am
  • Reply Pussreboots

    I remember the Henry books. Come see what I’m reading

    October 31, 2017 at 1:44 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Aren’t they fun?! 🙂

      November 6, 2017 at 5:56 am
  • Reply Marie

    Ahhh this is so exciting, congratulations on your book, I hope that the book launch will be a lot of fun! 🙂 xx

    October 31, 2017 at 5:17 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Thank you! It was such a delight, I’ll be sure to write more about it sometime this week, while I’m still floating on a cloud. ^_^

      November 6, 2017 at 5:58 am

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