Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week. I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books. 


May the Stars Drip Down

May the Stars Drip Down by Jeremy Chatelain, illustrated by Nikki McClure

This is a beautiful lullaby with dreamy illustrations.

Little Roja Riding Hood


This is a laugh-out-loud fractured tale of "Little Red Riding Hood." I loved the illustrations, the trickster elves, the three blind mice, Roja's cowboy boots, the birds singing in Spanish, the spunky and technology savvy grandmother with her Jesus figurine, and the Spanish words sprinkled throughout the rhymes of the tale. Fun!

Dinner with the Highbrows

Dinner with the Highbrows by Kimberly Willis Holt, illustrated by Krysten Brooker

Bernard is formally invited to the Highbrows' house for dinner. His mother coaches him all week on table manners. However, after the butler answers the door, nothing turns out as expected. Funny!

Have You Seen My Dragon?

I love the drawings and pops of color in this counting book about a boy looking for his dragon.

Following Papa's Song

I thought the colors of Marino's illustrations were gorgeous. This lyrical story is about a father and son whale's journey/migration through the ocean. At the point when Little Blue feels lost and starts to listen for Papa's song, it seemed to speak of a spiritual lesson, too, about trust and listening for guidance. This is a very peaceful, joyful, and beautiful book.

Science Verse

Science Verse by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

I love this pairing of author and illustrator!

I love Lane Smith's illustrations that accompany Scieszka's crazy science poems. This would be fun to use for allusion since Scieszka plays around with some well-known poems. Kids will get a kick out of the humor.

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish

Jarrett is one of my favorite people in the children's lit world!  I just think he's so funny and kind.

Don't you just love the title? This is a really cute story, perfect for a primary classroom to talk about bullying and friendship. Love the expressions on the characters' faces!


The Riverman

I wish I had someone to talk to about this book - how strange and confusing. I really have no idea what happened. Ha. It took me a while to get into, but the last half was really compelling. I just wish I could make more sense of it.

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie

I read Sonnenblick's Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip and loved it. I loved this one, too, so I'm obviously a fan of his! He creates such a real and lovable teenage protagonist - full of honesty, sarcasm, angst, and heart. Sonnenblick takes on such a serious topic, cancer, and manages to capture its devastation while hanging on to hope and humor. I loved Steven and his little brother, Jeffrey, and because of my perspective, felt for the parents, with all their imperfections and short-comings. This is the perfect book for tweens and teens. I have some 6th graders who are reading A Fault in Our Stars, which I think is too old for them (but they love it). I'd much rather steer them toward this title!


The History of Us


My family loves to read, too!
My mom:
I can't wait to read this!  I just bought it...
My dad:
Cowboy | [Frank Roderus]
My husband:
Transfer of Power (Mitch Rapp #3)
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The Longest Ride
What are YOU reading this week?


  1. You have got to try Zen and the Art of Faking It. Heck, read everything Sonnenblick has written. Such good stuff. You made good progress this week!

  2. I hope you like The Mark of the Dragonfly as much as I did, Holly. I just received my copy of The Port Chicago 50. Of course I love so many of the picture books you have listed here. I'll be looking for that version of Red Riding Hood. I have not started The Riverman yet. Have a great week.

  3. Drums, Girls is a class favorite, as is its sequel Ever After. Sonnenblick has a unique voice which my kids fond authentic - I think that it's a wonderful book through which to teach about compassion, selflessness, and family bonds. The scene in which Steven shaves his head is one that my lids LOVED - it was the heart of the story, the moment Steven comes out of his adolescent self centeredness to begin to imagine what his brother is going through. As you can tell, Holly, I love this book! The cover of "The History of Us' looks intriguing - will have to check it out.

  4. Gabrielle Zevin is coming to Michigan this week to talk about The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and I can't wait!

  5. I always save my visit to your blog for last, Holly - because it has so many treats in store! I need time to watch all the clips you include - thank you! So many great books this week on your list... I love Niki McClure so excited to see this one. Peanut Butter and Jelly Fish looks adorable as well as Dinner with the Highbrows. Drums, Girls and the Riverman look very interesting. I loved (and blogged about) Following Papa's Song and Have You Seen My Dragon? Thanks, Holly!

  6. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish is the book I would love to hook. It's bound to be adorable.

  7. Science Verse sounds like Math Curse-same people-must be fun, Holly. You're the third or fourth to highlight the dragon book. Guess I'd better try to find it! I think May The Stars Drip Down sounds so lovely, & I also loved Following Papa's Song. And-Little Roja Riding Hood does sound delightful. What a bunch of great books!

  8. Transfer of Power is one of my brother's favourite books (I haven't read it yet) but he says its amazing so I hope your husband enjoys it.
    Here's my It's Monday! Post
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  9. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish was my surprise book of the season. I didn't have high expectations but then I loved the message. I loved that the crab apologized!!! I have The Riverman and The Mark of the Dragonfly, can't wait to get to them! You'll have to let me know what you think of The History of Us! I've seen it, but haven't picked it up yet. Have a great reading week!

  10. The reviews of The Riverman make it sound like quite a doozy. People don't say much for fear of spoiling. I want to get my hands on it someday soon.

  11. Following Papa's Song does look amazing. Thanks for the recommendation. I have requested The RiverMan from the library and I am very curious about it. I loved Drums, Girls and Ever After. Cried in both of them. I think you are right - this title is more appropriate for younger readers than TFIOS

  12. The Riverman sounds really intriguing, it does sound like the kind of book I would really enjoy. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie too - so many great books, I love it! Some of the picturebooks are quite familiar - particularly Science Verse - love Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith - it was their Stinky Cheese Man which made fall in love with kidlit. May the Stars Drip Down looks mighty poignant. I am hoping to receive AJ Fikry for Mother's Day! :)

  13. I read The Riverman and had a hard time with it. I enjoyed it, but I'm not quite sure what really happened. It was strange!