It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/27/15


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

On the blog:

In reading:

I read nothing last week. Literally. I did not read. The chaos of my parenting life disrupted, well, pretty much everything routine and normal last week. But this week, I am going to prioritize reading because it is one thing that makes me feel like myself. I did continue to read quite a few picture books because bedtime picture book reading continues! Hooray! Still, I don’t have many books to share this week. My son wants 4 or 5 picture books every night, and even though we skipped four nights of reading last week due to aforementioned chaos, we still read 17 books together. More than enough to share! But because we’ve already read so many picture books together (thousands!) and because my libraries are limited, I’m struggling to find more new-to-us books that we really enjoy. We’re reading a lot of two-star and three-star books these days. These are the ones we enjoyed most this week:

winnie the pooh

A few weeks ago on my blog, I was bemoaning the fact that I missed out on reading Winnie the Pooh to my son. Kellee suggested the Disney version of the story, and when I saw it at the library, I couldn’t resist. The edition we read is a 96-page picture book bringing together numerous familiar Pooh stories–Pooh running out of honey and eating all of Rabbit’s supply before getting stuck in the door to Rabbit’s warren; Pooh meeting Tigger for the first time; Rabbit’s frustration at Tigger’s extreme bounce. It’s brightly illustrated and quite enjoyable. In fact, as I was reading it, it seemed so familiar to me and I began to realize that the much-beloved Pooh of my childhood is actually the Disney version, not Milne’s books at all, which I only read as an adult.

pinocchio the boy

Pinocchio the Boy, a fractured fairy tale written and illustrated by Lane Smith, answers the question of what happens to Pinocchio after he gets his wish to become a real boy. Needless to say, it doesn’t turn out quite the way Pinocchio hoped, but everything does work out well in the end. I have never actually liked Lane Smith’s books, and I finally figured out why: the font changes! They make me CRAZY. This book was fairly tame in font variety compared to some of Smith’s books, but still, visually it’s such an unpleasant assault.

sophie's squash


I loved Sophie’s Squash, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. Sophie’s mother believes she’s buying a butternut squash for dinner, but when they get home from the market, Sophie draws a face on the squash and christens her Bernice. The two become fast friends, doing everything together, even as Bernice slowly gets squishy and begins to rot. Sophie’s solution to Bernice’s aging problem is quite clever and sweet.

veronica's smile

My son and I both enjoy older picture books, especially from the 60s, and since my campus library’s collection is never weeded, we have a lot to choose from there. We are currently working our way through Roger Duvoisin’s series about a hippopotamus named Veronica. In Veronica’s Smile, Veronica finds a way to make herself useful on the farm–by hiding farm animals in her giant mouth. Duvoisin is fast becoming one of my favorite illustrators.

look what the cat dragged in

My son’s favorite book this week was probably Look What the Cat Dragged In!, written by Gary Hogg and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. This is a fairly extreme story of a lazy family who bully the cat into providing for all of their needs by threatening to turn him into kitty-fur slippers, cream-of-cat soup, or play a game of pin the tail on the cat with him. They are never grateful for the things he brings them, and finally he gets fed up and drags in a police officer who arrests the family for stealing all the items the cat has dragged in over the course of the story. My son was so incensed that the cat received only threats and no gratitude, and he found it entirely appropriate that the whole family ends up in jail while the cat gets to nap happily by the fire. “They got what they deserve! They should have said thank you!”


My favorite book this week was Leo Lionni’s Pezzettino. I read the first page to my son:

His name was Pezzettino. All the others were big and did daring and wonderful things. He was small and surely must be a little piece of somebody else, he thought. He often wondered whose little piece he could be, and one day he decided to find out.

My son leaned over and whispered, “I’m your little piece.”

Happy mama sigh.






21 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/27/15”

  1. Tara Smith Avatar

    Lionni has a way with the smallest number of words and the biggest ideas – your son saw that.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Now I want to reread all of his books, Tara. I think I haven’t appreciated them quite as much as I should!

  2. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    What an awesome acknowledgement from your son!

    I loved hearing how Sophie’s Squash was inspired by the author’s daughter who really did befriend a squash in the shopping cart one day – although as the author admitted, she was not nearly so understanding at the time as Sophie’s parents!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      How wonderful that Sophie’s Squash was inspired by a real squash baby, LOL.

  3. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!! Love love love!
    Sometimes working and parenting push reading to the wayside. Just parts of the ebbs and flows of being a reader.

    Happy reading this week! πŸ™‚

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Ebbs and flows….I like that! Hoping I get into a flow again soon.

  4. Cheriee Weichel Avatar

    My favourite of your links from this week is the Speed Dating with a book. I’m going to try it out with my book club members on Wednesday. Leo Lionni can just about do no wrong! I have to find this title. Love your little man’s response to it! Duvoisin and Lionni are two of the authors I find it most difficult to weed. There are a few titles I take with me when I retire since they don’t circulate anymore, but I can’t bear to part with them.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am glad to find another Duvoisin fan! We’ve just about read our way through what my library has at this point. I might have to order a few via ILL. I think I would really struggle with weeding. It’s easy to recognize that outdated nonfiction titles need to be weeded, but I always feel like somewhere there must be a reader for all other books!

  5. Michele Avatar

    I liked Sophie’s Squash, but I like her new one, Wherever You Go, even better!
    I understand reading weeks that just get interrupted. They certainly happen!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I was just reading some reviews this week of Wherever You Go. Will probably cave and purchase soon!

  6. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum) Avatar

    I have to admit, I just didn’t get Sophie’s Squash.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I thought the illustrations of Bernice getting kind of rotty were hilarious. I mean, how often do you find rotten squash in a picture book?!

  7. carriegelson Avatar

    Sophie’s Squash is so very charming. And so is that comment from your son. Swoon.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I needed that comment! That comment alone got me through the whole week, LOL.

  8. Linda Baie Avatar

    Oh, so sweet to hear those words from your son, Elisabeth. That’s worth all the picture book reading right there! Thanks for the reviews of some books I know, some old ones I should find.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      You’re right, Linda. The power of the picture book! I’m really enjoying our tour through some older PBs. Though this week I got a big pile of brand-new PBs and we enjoyed that too!

  9. Myra GB Avatar

    I just realized that I get unbearably cranky if I am unable to read in a week (or in a day at that!). There is a quiet peace when I am surrounded by picture books and I just slowly savour and go over them page by page – same with my novels. I hope you find more reading time this week. Love your son’s perfectly-timed words – Leo Lionni would have been proud. πŸ™‚

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am realizing this about myself too, Myra. It feels like something is really missing in my world right now–and it’s reading. It’s not so much about time right now as about focus and mental energy. I know this will pass, but maybe I need to be a little more proactive!

  10. Doug McKee Avatar

    I think we have every single book Lionni ever wrote in our house and there are only one or two that I don’t love. So glad Pezzetino could reach your son last week!

    Also, I’ve been meaning to suggest Keiko Kasza’s A Mother for Choco in case you hadn’t read it. My favorite book on adoption and I still get teary when I read it.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      A Mother for Choco is wonderful! I almost checked it out from the library last week to reread to my son but then lost my nerve, LOL. I probably couldn’t get through it right now without sobbing myself! I think there are still a lot of Lionni books that we haven’t read, so I’m on a new mission. I do love to be a reading completist!

  11. bluestockingthinking Avatar

    Best part of this post: the last line πŸ™‚ sigh

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