MONDAY FUNDAY: December 4, 2017

Monday

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.

My goodness, it’s been about a month since my last Monday post! In my defence I have been doing an awful lot of travel recently, which you can read a bit about in my recent Poetry Friday posts.

And I have fantastic news! In case you missed my recent celebratory post, Wild One was selected for this year’s Toronto Public Library First and Best list! The list celebrates Toronto Public Library staff’s “top picks of the best Canadian children’s books for building reading readiness in kids under five. Because the first books you share with your child should also be the best!” As you might imagine, I’m pretty thrilled!

And now, without further ado, on to the books!

Unraveling Rose

rose

Rose is a stuffed bunny who loves the little boy she lives with and all the fun they have together. They play in the park, paint pictures, and read stories. Everything is perfect, until she discovers a loose thread dangling from her arm. Rose tries to ignore the little string, but it is no use. No matter how hard she tries, Rose can’t stop pulling at it. Before long, the thread is all she can think about. Slowly, her arm unravels, its stuffing falls out, and Rose can no longer do the things she loves doing. Can Rose find a way to forget about the little loose thread? The story offers a great way for parents and teachers to talk to children about what happens when impulsive and obsessive thoughts get in the way of enjoying everyday life, and what to do about it.

I really do appreciate that more and more publishers are creating sweet, beautifully-illustrated stories that tackle tough topics in gentle ways.

Unraveling Rose is absolutely ADORABLE – just look at that sweet, charming little bunny!

rose3.jpg

While the story does effectively capture the all-consuming nature of obsessive thoughts, I did feel that the resolution just felt a bit too neat and tidy. As anyone who has experienced or encountered anxiety or obsessed behaviour will tell you, these conditions are rarely this easy to tackle. Rose the rabbit simply decides one day that she needs to make a big change, and with unspecified “practice” she manages to overcome her anxiety in a single spread. Oh, if it were only that easy! Many of us with anxiety spend our entire lives working with and through our condition, which is typically managed, rather than fully eradicated.

While I appreciate the story’s spirit of positivity and hope, young readers might need to be reassured that they aren’t failures if they aren’t able to manage their obsessive thoughts or behaviours as easy and effectively as Rose. While some people are perhaps able to simply turn off their anxiety, others struggle with these conditions for decades, and no experience is more valid than any other.

I feel that the text could have been more effective if it had offered examples of the different coping mechanisms and tools that allowed Rose to manage her obsessive thoughts so effectively. I also wish Rose had reached out for help – again, many people with mental health challenges feel too ashamed, embarrassed or frightened to reach out and tell others about their conditions, depriving them of much needed and meaningful help and support. It could have been so inspiring for young readers to see a character with a similar condition reaching out to someone and receiving help, support and love in return.

Unraveling Rose is sweet, positive and beautifully illustrated, but I can’t help but feel that with a few tweaks it really could have been so much more.

Source: Raincoast Books

I Love Snow!

snow1.jpg

I love snow! spinning, swirling, swooshing snow crunch beneath my boots snow tickling my tongue snow I love snow! This short poem uses rhythm and repetition to describe the fun activities a fresh snowfall permits. Too much snow can sometimes cause problems, and in time it turns to dirty gray slush. But in the end, nothing can diminish a child’s love of snow!

OK, so, let’s just get this out of the way first. I hate snow. Like, really, really hate snow. Sure it’s pretty on postcards and in movies and when seen from a distance, but other than that? Nope, nope, nope.

snow1.png

BUT I certainly don’t hate I Love Snow! This very sweet rhyming picture celebrates all the reasons why (some) kids (apparently) love snow (for reasons I cannot understand). All teasing aside, this is a lot of fun to read aloud, and of course, as you would expect from Zetta Elliott and Purple Wong, the illustrations are just wonderful. Here’s the thing – some of the most diverse cities in the world, like New York, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto, are snowy, which means that children from all backgrounds experience snow each winter!

I Love Snow! would be a great addition to your wintery story times this season!

Source: Rosetta Press

OK, only two books this week, but be sure to check back later in the week for more book reviews! Sign up for Raincity Librarian and you’ll never miss a post, plus you’ll be making this hobby book blogger very happy indeed. 🙂

Have a great week, book friends!

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15 Comments

  • Reply Myra GB

    While we have the sun the whole year round here in Singapore – I do envy you the snow during this season. Love the look of those picturebooks, thanks for sharing!

    December 4, 2017 at 8:38 am
  • Reply Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione)

    Congratulations on the news about your book. That is wonderful. I Love Snow! looks adorable, but I totally agree with you. I could happily live the rest of my life without ever seeing a snowflake!

    December 4, 2017 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    I ordered a copy of Wild One for my school library. I can’t wait to read it.

    December 4, 2017 at 11:39 am
  • Reply msyingling

    Feel the same way about snow. It’s not fun to walk through on my way to school when no one shovels sidewalks! But it does look like a cute book. And anxiety picture books… my goodness. What a world, what a world!

    December 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm
  • Reply Tammy and Clare

    Congratulations! So nice to hear that Wild One is on the Toronto Public Library First and Best List.

    December 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    Congratulations on your book being acknowledged as one of Toronto’s ‘best’! That’s wonderful, Jane! As for the first book. The illustrations look cute, but I agree with your points of a ‘too quick solution’ and not seeking help. I love the look of ‘I love Snow’, understand about your own feelings, but it looks fun! Thanks, glad to see you back!

    December 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Greg Hill

    A BIG congratulations on your book being selected! That’s awesome!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2017 at 7:27 pm
  • Reply Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Congratulations on Wild One! That’s amazing! And I love the two books you managed to review here. The bunny is super cute and unlike the topics that it touched on. I remember going through a phase as a kid that could have really turned into something more with OCD, and as you say,I like that children’s books are tackling tougher and relevant subjects gently. It could have been more, but it could also be just enough for many.

    Hope you have an amazing week and some more excellent books this week!

    December 4, 2017 at 7:32 pm
  • Reply Jana Eschner

    Congratulations on the success of your book! I can’t wait to read it! Unraveling Rose and I Love Snow! Are both on my To Read list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these books. Have a terrific week!

    December 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm
  • Reply lauramossa

    Yay! Congrats on Wild One! Unraveling Rose is a new book to me. Thanks for the review!

    December 5, 2017 at 1:52 am
  • Reply crbrunelle

    Congrats on the book and making the Toronto list. 🙂 I too enjoyed I Love Snow. Zetta Elliott has some great books.

    December 5, 2017 at 3:50 am
  • Reply Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

    Congrats on Wild One. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    December 5, 2017 at 7:10 pm
  • Reply Michele

    Congrats on Wild One, how exciting. I have the US release date written down.
    Completely agree with you about snow…..

    December 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm
  • Reply Drangonfly

    it’s great when I hope you had fun with all that travel! I have to check all your Poetry Friday posts!
    it’s indeed fantastic when a fellow early literacy champion is recognized!

    December 6, 2017 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Wattle

    Congratulations on Wild One, that’s great news!

    Unraveling Rose sounds adorable but it’s a pity it was wrapped up too neatly 🙁 it’s great books are tackling issues like this but it does bother me when they’re not as real as they could be (she is a totally adorable bunny though!)

    December 10, 2017 at 5:39 am
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