MONDAY FUNDAY – June 6, 2016

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 recommended (or not so recommended….) titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.


The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk

It’s no secret that I love singable picture books, so I’m always on the lookout for new stories to add to my collection and use in my story times. This lively picture books puts a fun new spin on the classic children’s song The Wheels on the Bus by placing it in a colourful, bustling Indian setting. The text is rousing and bouncing, though perhaps a little long for my story times. Still, it’s easy enough to skip a page or two to shorten the text without losing any of the fun. Definitely worth taking a look at, especially for the joyous illustrations – check out the impressive size of the moo-moo cow!


Baa-Baa Smart Sheep

This dryly funny little picture book features a clever sheep who relieves its boredom by playing mind games with a slightly dim-witted turkey. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the exchanges between the two characters would make for an effective elementary school read-aloud, but ewwwww….. just …..ewwwww…..this is certainly not a title for those with an aversion to potty humour or bodily functions, I’ll just leave it at that!


Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise

“I am Hoot Owl!

I am very, very hungry.

And here I come!

The shadowy night stretches away forever, as black as burnt toast.”

A charming protagonist with unshakeable optimism and endless persistence, wonderfully striking illustrations with bold lines and an eye-catching palette, and a perfect amount of repetition make this a fantastic picture book for young readers. Sweet, silly, endearing, and lots of fun.


Two is Enough

Families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and this rhyming picture book is dedicated to families of two – whether it’s a parent and a child, or a grandparent and a grandchild, these small families have just as much love in them as a family of any other size. Cheerful illustrations and a gentle, reassuring text celebrate the loving everyday experiences of families of two.

Where Things Come Back

I’ll be honest, I don’t read a lot of young adult fiction. It wasn’t my jam when I was a young adult, and it’s just not my jam now. Being a teenager wasn’t the best or easiest time in my life, so I’m not really in any hurry to relive it! But every once in a while I come across a young adult novel that knocks my socks right off, and makes me rethink my assumptions about what teen fiction is capable of. Where Things Come Back is one of those novels. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely has elements of a coming-of-age, where-do-I-fit-in story line. But in John Corey Whaley’s hands, these potentially tired tropes become something much more. There are two major story lines that run along side each other before finally intersecting in a dramatic and surreal conclusion – one features teenager Cullen, whose younger brother has suddenly disappeared, while the other follows a young missionary and his shattering crisis of faith.  This is a strange, complex, weird and wonderful novel that challenges any preconceived notions you might have about teen fiction, and argues that fiction written for and about young people can be as thought-provoking, meaningful, and nuanced as any adult novel.

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No comments

  • Reply Greg

    Nice reads this week. I like Hoot Owl, that one looks cute, and I like that little warning tag on Baa Baa Smart Sheep. “Contains mischief” lol that cracked me up. 🙂

    June 6, 2016 at 6:39 am
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      Oh yes, it certainly contains mischief! That little sheep is quite the rascal! 🙂

      June 7, 2016 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply eviepea48

    Great books! Two is Enough sounds like a great read.

    June 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      Definitely! It’s so nice to see all sorts of families being celebrated in picture books.

      June 7, 2016 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply Jana Eschner (@JanaTheTeacher)

    I’ve ordered Baa Baa Smart Sheep & Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise from my local library. I’m basking in summertime reading now, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on these two books. Have a great week.

    June 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply Ms. Yingling Reads (@MsYingling)

    I’m not a huge fan of YA fiction, and I don’t know that I do well with things like Baa Baa Smart Sheep, either. Middle Grade is what I love best! If you’re interested in the 48 Hour Book Challenge for next year, let me know!

    June 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

    I enjoyed Tuk Tuk and I remember seeing Two is Enough. I should read it.

    June 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Tara Smith

    I’m putting Where Things Come Back on my reading list now – thanks for the lovely review!

    June 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm
  • Reply Silver's Reviews

    They all look adorable.

    Baa Baa Smart Sheep looks good.

    Have a great week.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

    June 6, 2016 at 7:16 pm
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      It’s definitely not for those afraid of potty humour, but kids will definitely be in stitches!

      June 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm
  • Reply Melinda

    I’m definitely going to check out “Where Things Come Back”! Oh, and it definitely has a “John Green” cover!

    June 6, 2016 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about Where Things Come Back and I hadn’t ever planned to read it, but your review is making me rethink that plan. 🙂

    June 6, 2016 at 9:14 pm
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      It’s definitely not your typical YA novel, so I can see why a lot of people might have been disappointed, and the storyline is definitely pretty weird. but I like weird stories. 🙂

      June 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm
  • Reply Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione)

    Baa Baa Smart Sheep sounds like a book my students would love. That kind of humor is right up their alley!

    June 7, 2016 at 12:30 am
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      Oh yes, I can see kids just cracking up over the potty humour! 🙂

      June 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Doodles 'n Scribbles

    I love seeing people post children’s books. I have two young ones (2 and under) and am always looking for new books to add to our piles.

    June 7, 2016 at 2:15 am
  • Reply Melissa Lee

    Its so nice so see so many diverse children’s books that are on the market now. Such a change from when I was a child. I think it is great that you are promoting them here on your blog.

    June 7, 2016 at 4:06 am
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      Thanks so much! Yes, the publishing world has changed quite a bit from when I was a kid, and so has being a librarian – today we worry less about promoting “Literature” with a capital L, and focus more on finding books that kids will actually want to read and will enjoy!

      June 10, 2016 at 10:15 pm
  • Reply laurelrainsnow

    Love the look and sound of Where Things Come Back. I, too, hate the tired tropes of some YA…this one sounds unique.

    June 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      Yeah, I’ve never been a fan of love triangles in any literary genre, and YA seems to get more than its fair share of them…..

      June 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Michele

    Lots of new ones on this list! The only one I’ve read is Hoot Owl, which is quite adorable!

    June 7, 2016 at 9:45 pm
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      It’s so sweet! I love the owl’s spirit, definitely a good example for us all.

      June 10, 2016 at 10:15 pm
  • Reply annettepimentel

    We lived in Africa with a one year old and a two year old who both loved traveling to market in a tuk tuk. I’m definitely going to dig up that one to read!

    June 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Myra GB

    Where Things Come Back sounds like my kind of read. Thank you for also sharing Two Is Enough – I am adding it to my multicultural text-set. 🙂

    June 9, 2016 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Yvonne

    Lots of interesting books here for younger readers. Baa Baa Smart Sheep looks like it will be a fun read!

    June 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm
    • Reply Jane Whittingham

      Thanks! I love kids books, definitely my area of expertise at the moment. 🙂

      June 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm

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