It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 7/6/15


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

On the blog:

In reading:

Um, nothing? Seriously, we finished 5 picture books, and that’s IT. I did NO reading of my own all week, and we had a couple of nights with too much trauma for story time and then we started a chapter book, Liesl Shurtliff’s Jack, which is wonderful so far but will take us a couple of weeks to finish. But at least there are those 5 picture books!

bunny roo i love you

There’s a particular category this book belongs to. The ones you buy new parents and then parents read over and over to their child. Goodnight Moon. Guess How Much I Love You. Love You Forever, for reasons I find utterly mystifying. It’s a difficult genre—easy to go treacly instead of touching, sentimental instead of sweet. And it’s also a difficult type of book for the adoptive family. There are plenty of adoption-specific titles in this category, but I find most of them problematic because they underplay the trauma experienced by the adopted child. From the parent’s perspective, it’s wonderful to adopt. From the child’s? Not so much. Melissa Marr manages quite a feat in Bunny Roo, I Love You—the perfect title for both birth and adoptive families, real and also adorably sweet. This book spoke deeply and powerfully to me because it is really a story about special needs parenting, inspired by Melissa Marr’s experience adopting an infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Marr compares her new baby to different animals, normalizing some of the behaviors special needs parents experience with their children and showing how a parent’s commitment, patience, and love can overcome some of those behaviors. It’s one I wish I could read to my son again and again. Since it also works beautifully for biological parents, it’s one I’ll definitely give as a gift too. Teagan White’s illustrations are timeless and lovely.


I absolutely loved Alicia Potter’s Fritz Danced the Fandango, illustrated by Ethan Long. It’s quirky and funny and a wonderful story of a bunch of outsiders finding their people. And as a read aloud? Brilliant! Fandango is a super fun word to say, AND there is yodeling!


I was expecting a bit more from the illustrations in Slobcat after reading Paul Geraghty’s The Hunter, which had magnificent landscapes of Africa, but found the pictures a bit dull. Lots of white space for no very good reason. But lluckily, this story of a cat’s secret life was clever. Slobcat is fat and lazy—or so his family thinks. In reality, during many of those hours they think he’s lazing around sleeping, he’s actually out rescuing kittens and performing other heroic acts. The juxtaposition of Slobcat’s adventures, which are depicted through the illustrations, with his family’s dismissive though affectionate words is quite funny.

i will take a nap

Mo Willems can do no wrong. This may be one of the sillier entries in the Elephant & Piggie series. All the snoring and snurking and mmming make it a fun read-aloud, and Elephant’s dream sequence in which Piggie becomes a turnip head is quite memorable. Bonus points for the Knuffle Bunny appearance.

billy's booger

What a wonderful memoir mentor text from William Joyce—and a perfect story for inclusion in a writing workshop. Billy loves to write and illustrate stories, and he’s pretty sure he’s cooked up a contest winner in “Billy’s Booger.” He’s disappointed when he doesn’t win the prize, but in the end, he wins something even better—actual readers who love his book. Of course Joyce’s illustrations are gorgeous, but the writing really shines here as well.





12 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 7/6/15”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    I hope when you can get into this book that you will enjoy Jack – it was an engaging read aloud for my class. I must get I Will Take a Nap!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      We’re really enjoying Jack. I think it’s better written than Rump, which my son really enjoyed and I didn’t so much. Elephant & Piggie titles are must-buys for me: my college students go WILD for them!

  2. Lisa Robles Avatar

    Love the title: I will take a nap. Think I’ll do that right now…


    BTW Love the title of your blog!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Lisa! I love all the Elephant & Piggie books.

  3. Andrea Payan (@payanar) Avatar

    It sounds like I will need to look for a copy of Billy’s Booger for my classroom. I also need to look for Bunny Roo, I Love You. It sounds like that one is very special. Have a great reading week!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Hope you can find these titles and enjoy them!

  4. Cheriee Weichel Avatar

    What I love most about summer is naps, so I am just going to have to find a copy of I Will Take a Nap. It’s so hot here at our holiday house in Oliver, BC, that to get anything done, I have to get up early, and that means naps are mandatory. Thank goodness for air conditioning since it is after 10:00 and still 85 outside. Hope you find time for some reading for yourself this week.
    PS I used to read Love You Forever to my boys and it would make me cry every time.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Sometimes I attempt to take a nap but it pretty much never works. I am a non-napper. And on the rare like once a year occasion when I do take a nap, I wake up HOURS later feeling like I got hit by a truck and then I remember why I don’t nap, LOL. I had a hard time keeping dry eyes during Bunny Roo. And I Wish You More…. That one does it for me too. Stay cool!

  5. Myra GB Avatar

    Billy’s Booger sounds delightful – will have to look for that one. I just pinned Bunny Roo – would be perfect for my multicultural picture book course module. 🙂

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Billy’s Booger has some very serious boy appeal! My one complaint with Bunny Roo is that when the animals turn back to people in the end, they’re white people. SIGH.

  6. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    All reading counts, even reading where you haven’t yet finished. (I have to remind myself that even with the #bookaday push.) I love your rec’d for Bunny Roo – such a good point about how classic family books can isolate adopted or blended families.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Katie. I’ve been feeling a little frustrated about the lack of reading time, but so much good and difficult parenting work is happening that I know I just need to go with it. There will be time enough to read… someday or other!

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