It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/7/14 #imwayr


Visit Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts to participate in the kidlit version of this weekly meme.

This week on my blog:

I had a very strange reading week. I didn’t read. Well, that’s not strictly true. I read to my son every day. But there were four days last week when I did not actually pick up a book to read by myself. I don’t know what I was doing with my time–it wasn’t parenting or gardening or writing or exercising or working. This week, I am determined to get my reading mojo back. I’ve started the next book from my #MustReading2014 list, The Raven Boys, and so far it’s very good.

My son and I read:

rain dragon rescue

We continue to enjoy Suzanne Selfors’s Imaginary Veterinary series, though I thought The Rain Dragon Rescue was a bit weaker than the other two books. My son is very excited about the publication of the fourth book in the series at the end of July. I would have pre-ordered it on Amazon, but this series is published by Hachette, and so Amazon is not carrying it as a pre-order. Such incredibly poor customer service…. So I will be purchasing from Powell’s. Which will make our cat, Abby, very happy. Because Powell’s book boxes are her favorites. I don’t know what makes them so much better than other boxes, but she shows a very clear preference.

big red lollipop

My favorite picture book of the week was probably Rukhsana Khan’s Big Red Lollipop, exquisitely illustrated by the always amazing Sophie Blackall. We have a lot of sibling issues at our house, and so my son (the older sibling) was riveted to this story of an older sister who is forced to share with and to include her little sister when she doesn’t want to. Rubina is invited to a friend’s birthday party, but her mother insists that she can only go if she brings her little sister along. Sana doesn’t behave well, and Rubina knows that she won’t be invited to any more birthday parties for awhile. The conclusion is especially nuanced and rich. Cultural identity and difference also play an important role in this story, as Rubina’s family comes from Pakistan, and Rubina’s understanding of Canadian cultural norms differs from her mother’s beliefs.

MR PUTTER and tabby run the race mr putter and tabby make a wish

More Mr Putter and Tabby! Make a Wish was especially lovely.

rules of summer

I read Shaun Tan’s Rules of Summer three times this week: once to myself, once with my husband, and once with my son. I love Shaun Tan’s work, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Rules of Summer. I will say this: it passed the kid test with flying colors. My son was confused, mystified, intrigued, and fully engaged as we read it. When he saw the last spread, his face lit up. “Oh! This is a book about imagination!” Okay then. I also think this story makes a very different kind of sense when you read the book flap, which I usually don’t.

mister bud wears the cone


I was so excited to find a new Carter Goodrich book at the library. Zorro Gets an Outfit is one of my all-time favorite picture books. Mister Bud Wears the Cone was really funny and had some interesting friendship dynamics to explore, as Zorro teases Mister Bud but gets his comeuppance at the end.

We also read several interesting nonfiction picture books this week, which I will write about in more detail on Wednesday:

alice ramsays far behond the garden gate mermaid queen thank you sarahReading Goal Update:

Nerdbery Challenge: 0/12 books

#MustReadin2014: 8/15 books

YA Shelf of Shame Challenge: 5/12 books

Professional Development Reading Goal: 3/12 books

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 61/100 books

Picture Book Reading Goal: 360/350 books

Chapter Book & Middle-Grade Reading Goal: 42/100 books

YA Lit Reading Goal: 27/60 books

Latin@s in Kidlit Challenge: 20/12 books

Number of Books Total (not counting picture books): 98/200


18 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/7/14 #imwayr”

  1. I buy way too many books, but I am also lucky that my library has nearly all that I request, except may not the very newest. I think Powell’s is a good choice. I’ve gone to Indies almost always, but just limit the buying because it’s more of course. I don’t like that Amazon is limiting what I’d like; it’s censorship! Thanks for telling about this Khan book, too. It looks good & as you know, I enjoyed the kite story as well. I loved The Raven Boys & yikes, still haven’t gotten to the 2nd one. She is a good writer. My favorite of Stiefvater is still The Scorpio Races-magical! Hope you do get your reading ‘mojo’ back!

    • I agree, Linda–very frustrating that Amazon shows so little respect to its customers and to books. I love coming to Denver to shop at The Tattered Cover (all of the branches, LOL). My mother used to live in Denver and I certainly enjoyed having regular access to the library collections there. I have started using my college’s interlibrary loan services more this year. Hate using it for a PB since it seems like an awful lot of work to get a book that may take me three minutes to read. But PBs are so expensive; I can’t purchase nearly as many as I want to! And yes, love The Scorpio Races.

  2. The Big Red Lollipop looks great. Thank you Sarah is one of my faves for sharing at Thanksgiving. Ah, the power of the pen! I don’t normally read book flaps either. 🙂

    • Thank You Sarah has such a strong, engaging voice. I finished it wanting to know much more about Sarah Hale. She must have had some incredible time management skills to accomplish so much.

  3. This is a great collection of books. I’m especially intrigued by The Big Red Lollipop and Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure.

    • You’re so right, Andrea, there really is a natural ebb and flow to our reading lives. Hadn’t thought about that before–but think it’s an insight I need to share with my students. Thanks!

  4. Elisabeth – I LOVED Raven Boys. I hope you get into it and that you become transported – the perfect book to swoop you fully into reading! I also really loved The Scorpio Races – have you read that? Glad to hear that Rules of Summer passed the kid test! I just read it and celebrated the quirky and the wonder of the illustrations. Letting go of what had to make sense just allowed me to love it. Some books are like that.

    • I am really enjoying Raven Boys. So glad I put it on my #MustRead list! I loved Scorpio Races–one of my favorites from a couple of years ago. I’d actually like to reread Scorpio Races–might try it on audio this fall. My two-hour roundtrip commute gives me lots of time to listen to stories!

  5. Glad to hear RULES OF SUMMER passed the kid test. Was thinking of using it as a writing prompt at the beginning of the school year to have students think beyond “What I did on my summer vacation.”

    • I’m thinking about using it as a writing prompt too in my freshman comp course. Something about unspoken childhood rules maybe? Not sure yet. I need to get my collection of PBs put together for that class! So many good ones to share…

    • My son and I are rereading the whole series, and there are a few that aren’t as strong, much as it pains me to say. Still, even a mediocre Mr Putter and Tabby is better than most other books! Not sure what my favorite is. Probably Pour the Tea, Write the Book, and Feed the Fish. Rules of Summer is tremendous. Will probably have to purchase so I can use in my classroom. Also planning to buy Three Bears in a Boat.

  6. Wow, amazing reading goals you have! I have big red Lollilop autographed by Rukhsana Khan when she came to Singapore to speak at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. She’s an amazing storyteller in person too and had us in stitches relating her sister’s version of this same story 🙂

    • I think it was in Myra’s Monday reading post that I came across Big Red Lollipop and knew I had to get it (I’m a huge Sophie Blackall fan.) Can’t wait to read Khan’s other books! Love that this is based on a true story and that her sister tells a different version of it!

  7. Hi there Elisabeth, as Emily noted, we did have Rukhsana come here at AFCC in 2010 and 2012, she is such a powerful speaker. You have to find King for a Day, one of her latest picturebooks – just gorgeous. Loved Rules of Summer – I like that it’s obscure and that people can have varying interpretations of what the images mean, because it’s only the reader who can truly make sense of what they see in the pages – that in itself is telling. And I love how Shaun evokes that kind of response in the reader, making one stop and think. Plus the artwork. Oh the artwork. Just amazing.

    • One thing I do miss living out in the middle of nowhere is getting to attend lectures and author events. I think it was on your blog that I discovered Big Red Lollipop, and it’s definitely one I’ll be sharing in my Children’s Lit class. I loved how the cultural themes were woven into a story of sibling rivalry. Such rich work. Rules of Summer has really grown on me. I was a bit meh the first time I read, but after going through it a few times, I appreciate more what he’s doing and of course the artwork is beyond amazing. Love Shaun Tan’s work so much. I just keep thinking about some of those images. I think it’s a book I’m going to have to purchase.

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