Week seven: We arrived back from our two-week vacation and quickly got mired down in the post-trip piles of unending laundry, and supply repatriation. It often seemed to take forever, but we did finally get it all put away over the weekend. More time for reading? I hope so. Here is the recap for week seven. It was all children’s literature, but I read some real gems.
My Goal: 75 Books in 75 Days
Days so Far: 49
Read, so far: 43
Children’s, picture books
- Raggedy Ann and Rags, written by Johnny Gruelle and illustrated by Jan Palmer. Pulled from the bigger Raggedy Ann stories, this one has contemporary illustrations which are appealing to the eye. Rags is a puppy that the dolls find, but the story doesn’t revolve exclusively around him. The storyline seems a bit disconnected for me and for some reason I dread reading this when the girls ask me to read it aloud. The length seems a bit long given the limited pace of the story.
- Blackout, by John Rocca. Written in a “graphic” format with a mix of panel and full page illustrations. The lights go out in the big city (very New York looking) and everyone’s activities are impacted be it cooking, talking on the phone, or watching tv. The darkness however, allows them time to connect with family and neighbors. Nice message.
- Strega Nona, written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola: Yes, a re-read, but such a great story about the mischievious and misguided Big Anthony who is befuddled by the wise Strega Nona.
- Larry Gets Lost in Seattle, written and illustrated by John Skewes and Robert Schwartz: Part of the greater, “Larry Gets Lost . . . ” line of books for other major metropolitan areas. Cute illustrations highlighting many Seattle landmarks. Includes a rhyming text and a brief description of each landmark.
- Once Upon a Time, The End: Asleep in Sixty Seconds, by written Geoffrey Kloske and illustrated by Barry Blitt: Funny, funny read aloud about a dad who is struggling to get his listener to sleep, but the child wants just “one more” story. The dad begins to take words out of the classic stories and abridging them significantly. Best appreciated by kids with a good grasp of the original fairy tales.
- The Dunderheads, written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by David Roberts: Awesome picture book! So funny and creative . . . a class of supposed misfits gets back at their very mean teacher. Imagine Ocean’s Eleven meets Miss Nelson is Missing.
- Flotsam by David Weisner: Another wordless book from Weisner and it does not disappoint. With a fantastical ocean theme, it is very eye catching. It quickly moved to the top two spot for my favorites from this author, right after Tuesday.
- Should I Share My Ice Cream, by Mo Willems. The latest from the Elephant and Piggie line and of course it induces giggles. Elephant is dealing with the ethical dilemma of whether he should share his treat. The expressions on the character’s faces are priceless and accompanied by just minimal words.
- Shoes For Me, written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Mike Laughead: Cute rhyming text and cheerful illustrations. Our little hippo friend struggles to find the “perfect” pair of shoes. The challenges will surely sound familiar to many kids and their parents. A first book from my good friend, Sue. So excited for her and I can’t wait to see more from her!
- Benny and Penny: Just Pretend by Geoffrey Hayes: My first read from this cute graphic novel series for the youngest readers. Benny and Penny are siblings who reminded me very much of Francis and her little sister Gloria in their love and torture relationship.
Children’s/Young Adult, non-fiction or reference
- The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls, written by Valorie Schaefer and illustrated by Norm Bendell: Published by the American Girl company, this book has been highly recommended by parent friends and by my almost ten year old’s friends. A good guide to all that is changing in your body, and practical tips for taking care and understanding it all. I loved that the tone wasn’t overwhelming or frightening.
- When Life Gives You O.J., by Erica Perl: Twitter kid’s literature folks have been a buzz about this book this summer and I couldn’t agree more with their adoration. An excellent middle grade read (ages 10 and up), that I’d recommend to girls, but I think boys would like it particularly if it was a class read aloud. Zelly, eleven years old, is minding her time over summer vacation. Her family recently moved from Brooklyn to Vermont to be closer to her grandfather, Ace, who is quite the opinionated character. He often drives her crazy with his Yiddish wisdom, story telling, and far fetched plans to improve her life. Laughable, but also bittersweet at times. The book deals with changing tween friendships and the ways our family can embarrass us but also the unconditional love that goes with that. I saw many themes and emotions that kids this age will immediately connect with. Needless to say, I’ve passed this one along to my fourth grader.