Monday, October 5, 2015

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.
Bear and Duck
Bear and Duck by Katy Hudson

I chuckled all the way through this story of a bear who wants to be a duck. The illustrations are just too cute! Who can resist the illustration on the next to the last page: "And you make a really good bear..."
Coming Home
Coming Home by Greg Ruth
A boy tugs at your heartstrings while he looks desperately through the crowds of soldiers returning home. He sees reunions going on all around him. Finally, he spots his mother! The illustrations and story are so full of emotion. Beautiful!
In a Village by the Sea
In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van, illustrated by April Chu
This is such an interesting picture book. I read through it several times. I'm thinking it would make a great mentor text for writing about looking at things closer or following a pet or baby to see what he/she sees. The dog in this story is just delightful. Love the illustrations! Reminds me a little of Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg.
The Moon is Going to Addy's House
The cut-paper collages in this book are just captivating and steal the story. When I read that Ida Pearle has a background in figurative drawing, it all made sense - the pictures were such a study in movement and form. I read this the week of the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse!
 Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret


Sparkles has a hard time telling Ballet Cat what he really thinks of ALWAYS playing ballet. Fortunately, Ballet Cat values her friend and is willing to compromise. I love how Bob Shea can express such clear emotions through simple changes in characters' eyes.


Like The and Only Ivan, Crenshaw takes you on an emotional journey and exploration of friendship, home, family, and hope. I loved the premise of this book - Crenshaw, Jackson's imaginary friend (a large cat), shows up when Jackson needs him. And boy, does Jackson need him - his family is going through hard times. The short chapters and poignant moments reminded me a lot of The One and Only Ivan. Several books come to mind that could accompany Crenshaw: Beekle, Marilyn's Monster, Yard Sale, and How to Steal a Dog. 
  The Paris Architect
It amazes me that authors can still write about the Holocaust in a completely unique way. This story was fascinating. It was about a gifted architect who was asked to design hiding places for Jews during the Nazi occupation in Paris. Lucien Bernard wrestles with pride, fear, and his conscience throughout the story. I was constantly on edge while listening to the audio - convinced he would be captured and killed! This novel has everything - suspense, love, heroism, tragedy, and heart.

The Marvels
The Running Dream


  1. I would have liked Crenshaw if it hadn't had... Crenshaw in it! The Running Dream is BRILLIANT. My daughter wanted that for Christmas one year. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

  2. Oh, I really want to read The Running Dream! I have it, it's just constantly moved down the pile. Lots of great books on this list!

  3. So funny: I just reviewed a book about a bear and ducks too! Will look for yours. I loved A Village By The Sea, and Crenshaw, too. It's interesting to see different ways that children take care of themselves in crisis, and there are children everywhere who are so in need. Thanks, Holly.

  4. I recently added The Marvels to my wishlist - I really enjoyed Hugo Cabret by the same author.

    Coming Home sounds like no picture book I've seen before. The cover illustrations are really beautiful.

    All Things Bookish – Jade Louise

  5. I really enjoyed "Ballet Cat", I've been sharing it with kids who've devoured all the " Elephant and Piggie" books because its definitely a similar style. Really good for pair reading, as the kids put on the most adorable voices to get in character. :)

  6. Ballet Cat is adorable. Thanks for sharing the video. Kids will love it. I have to read Crenshaw. I've heard so much about it.

  7. Your list today is loaded with books I hope to get to. Crenshaw, Ballet Cat, and The Marvels are not only there, they are now in our school library, but I'm swamped with too many books and not enough time!

  8. The Moon's illustrations sound beautiful!
    Yay Ballet Cat and Crenshaw. I love them both.

    Happy reading this week! :-)

  9. I agree with you about the movement in The Moon is Going to Addy's House. It's amazing how much movement can be displayed in cut paper collage!

  10. Oooh I just finished The Marvels, and Crenshaw! And I absolutely loved Running Dream! You've got some great books going right now.

  11. The Marvels! I am still waiting for my review copy of this one. Crenshaw sounds like a special novel. Katherine Applegate's writing resonates with a lot of readers.