MONDAY FUNDAY – March 6, 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.

Happy Monday!

If you read my poetry post on Friday, you’ll know that I’m none too fond of snow…

Well, as I sit here typing, there’s a veritable blizzard going on outside my window. It’s March. March. I’m not too pleased…

But, enough about the weather (snow, snow, SNOW!). Here are a few books I’ve read and/or shared this week!

I Can Blink by Frank Asch

My toddlers absolutely adored this simple animal picture book. We all took turns sticking our face through the pages’ large circular cutout, which had the little ones in absolute stitches! Lots of fun, highly recommended, especially for toddlers. Funny faces for the win!

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

I love, love, love Jan Thomas. Simple stories, silly characters, bright colours, bold lines – perfection! There’s also such a wonderfully surreal element to these stories – who else could have imagined a group of colourful dust bunnies who love to rhyme? So fun!

But….this one just did not work in a recent daycare story time. In fact…I think it would be fair to say it went over like a lead balloon. We really struggled with the concept of rhyme, which is a pretty central element in the story. Still, I managed to salvage the situation by encouraging a conversation about where dust bunnies might want to hide out from the scary broom! When in doubt, talk it out! It’s definitely a great book, but…sometimes even the best stories just fall flat!

Grumpy Pants by Claire Messner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love penguins, so of course I had to pick this one up! And having read it, I’m pretty sure it was based on a true story – my own true story! What is a grumpy penguin to do after a crummy, cruddy day? In the case of this little penguin, the answer is simple – a bubble bath, a mug of hot chocolate, favorite pajamas, a bedtime story and a teddy pair wash all the grumpiness away! As a passionate believe in the restorative power of a soak in the tub, this very sweet, simple story is right up my alley. Kids love penguins, so this was a hit with the kids – everyone can relate to having a grumpy day!

So, I hope you all have a warm week, wherever you happen to be!

IMWAYR – October 31, 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 titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Cute Happy Halloween Sign | yvednvrdnscom

Last week I did a Top Ten Tuesday post all about some of my favourite Halloween picture books, so do check that out for some spooktacular seasonal books!

Today I’ve got another set of new-to-me picture books that I’ve been sharing with my toddlers and preschoolers and absolutely loving, as well as a couple of historical fiction novels I’ve devoured. Enjoy!

Dancing Feet

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I love picture books with bouncing, rhythmic texts that get kids bouncing and bopping along, and Dancing Feet is a a perfect example of this kind of fun, energetic book. Lindsey Craig’s rollicking text is sure to get kids tapping and clapping, and it features super fun sound words like “stompity” and “creepity”. Marc Brown’s paper collage illustrations are lively and unique, and really complement the silly text. Lots and lots of storytime fun, perfect for toddlers.

Rhyming Dust Bunnies

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Oh Jan Thomas, what can’t you do? Thomas is a master of doing a lot with a little – the text in this hilarious picture book is extremely limited, yet it’s sure to get kids roaring with laughter once they realise what’s going on. The eye-catching illustrations feature bold lines and vivid, primary colours, perfect for sharing with a large audience. Another fun, fun, fun storybook. Honestly, if my dust bunnies were this cute I might never pick up the vacuum!

Dinosaur Kisses

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Dinosaurs! I just can’t get enough dinosaurs. Dinosaurs!!

While there’s a time and a place for sweet and syrupy picture books, don’t be fooled by the name, because this delightful book is absolutely not syrupy….it is absolutely hilarious, however, and kids will delight in the noisy and destructive antics of this very well-meaning but a bit overenthusiastic little dinosaurs. Who doesn’t like a bit of slapstick destruction now and then, right? So much fun, and still very sweet in its own silly way.

I’m My Own Dog

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A very independent dog decides to adopt a human pet. He takes him for walks, teaches him how to play fetch, and bemoans having to clean up after him (when he spills his ice cream!), but in the end, that’s what being a pet owner is all about! This is a very sweet story that will delight little readers, and the illustrations have a childlike quality about them that’s very endearing. Sweet, simple text and a fun twist on the story of a person and their pet. And I’ve just realised I’ve featured two picture books by David Ezra Stein this week, completely inadvertently. What can I say, he makes great books!

Three Sisters, Three Queens

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I tend to go through reading phases where I binge read specific genres. For the past few weeks I’ve been devouring historical fiction. Philippa Gregory is one of my old standbys – I sometimes take issue with her historical interpretations, but I can’t deny that her books are reliably entertaining! One of the chief complaints I have with most of her books is that they take place over long stretches of time, which means the story typically jumps across decades – we spend a few pages in one year, and then we’re transported forward a year or two to another event. It does make for a bit of a jerky read, and you don’t really get a chance to settle in to any setting, or explore any characters. The forward movement is unrelenting, so you’d better just hold on and go with the flow!

This is the story of three women whose lives were defined by their connection to Henry VIII – Katherine of Aragon (his first wife), and his sisters Mary and Margaret. While Katherine has often been written about, Mary and Margaret are less well known, and it’s interesting to see the events of the era through their eyes.

Reading about English history is always a bit strange for me – as a first-generation Canadian with English roots, it’s a bit jarring to think that this is technically my history, too. I don’t feel English in any way, and I certainly wouldn’t call myself an English-Canadian or anything like that (I’m Canadian through and through, even if I’m first-generation!), but the fact remains that my ancestors lived through all of the English historical events I read about in textbooks and novels. How very strange!

Ashes of London

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Like I said, I read thematically.

Set during the Great Fire of London in 1666, this murder mystery was a bit of a disappointment. It’s not a bad novel, but it’s not what I was expecting at all. The fire in fact is a very minor character in the story, which was a bit of a letdown, considering how transformative the fire was in the history of London. I did appreciate the fact that the two main characters, a young man and a young woman, didn’t end up falling in love – it was a refreshing change. I did find the story’s alternate perspectives a bit jarring, though – the male character’s story is told in the first person, while the female character’s story is told in the third person, which to be honest kind of annoyed me, as it felt as though the male character was given more agency than the female character. As other reviewers have said, some of the female character’s actions felt out of place, and her reactions felt strange and unnatural, but she was still a fierce female, and I did appreciate that. I finished this one, which says something considering how many books I DNF, but it definitely wasn’t one of my favourites.

Hope you all have a safe and spooky Halloween, and have a great week! November, here we come!