It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 9/12/16



If you like comics, dogs, and the end of times, Apocalypse Bow Wow might be for you. It’s one I could imagine would appeal to the very reluctant reader, as there is very little to read on each page, yet the book is fairly thick so you can feel like you’ve really accomplished something by finishing it. The story is thin: the apocalypse has come and gone, leaving all pets, including the two clueless goofs on the cover, to fend for themselves and find their own dinner. But the relatively weak plot didn’t really bother me. The book’s appeal comes through its characters and its humor.


V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic is wonderful–richly imagined and lushly written, with compelling world building and memorable characters. The perfect novel to sink into–made even better by the fact that it’s the first in a series!


A Piece of Home, written by Jeri Watts and illustrated by Hyewon Yum, is a sweet story of a family who moves from Korea to West Virginia, told through the eyes of a young boy who struggles to understand where he fits in now that he must learn a new culture, language, and place. This is a quiet story that seems best suited for more mature readers.


Deborah Hopkinson has another winner in Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig. Part fact and part fiction (the author’s note at the end makes it clear where she used her imagination), this story depicts a young Beatrix Potter as a rather hapless animal lover: she adores animals, but she doesn’t have the best luck keeping them alive, as her poor neighbor discovers after loaning Beatrix a guinea pig. Hopkinson borrows the format of a story letter from Potter herself; for me, the direct address to the reader only intensified this story’s charm. Charlotte Voake’s illustrations are delightful.


A Beetle Is Shy is another eye-poppingly gorgeous nonfiction picture book from author Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrator Sylvia Long. It’s hard to imagine the reader who wouldn’t fall for this series. Aston’s text is both poetic and informative, balancing beauty of language with clarity of information. And Long’s illustrations are stunning: you look at one spread thinking you’re looking at the best illustration in the book, then you turn the page and discover something even more dazzling.


My son would like you all to know that Pink Is for Blobfish is NOT a good book to read at breakfast. Not all the animals are gross, but at least a few of them do have an ick factor that might disturb the squeamish during mealtimes. This is a fun nonfiction picture book featuring photos and lots of interesting information about animals that happen to be pink.


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Every Day Birds is a simple and elegant poem highlighting common North American birds. Each page features a different bird with a very short poem capturing its essence or nature. The entire poem is printed in its entirety at the back, and there is also helpful back matter adding additional information about each bird. Dylan Metrano’s cut paper illustrations are lovely.


Flutter & Hum is a wonderful collection of animal poems written and illustrated by Julie Paschkis. What makes this book extra special is that it’s a dual language title with poems in both English and Spanish. A new favorite poetry collection for me.









17 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 9/12/16”

  1. shaunkellett Avatar

    I’m also reading “A Darker Shade of Magic” and I’m enjoying it a lot. Incredibly well imagined, I was hooked from learning about Kells coat on the first page!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      The coat got me too! Such lush writing. Not sure the plot will be as interesting to me in Book 2, but the writing is just as strong.

  2. Revisiting Childhood Avatar

    The flutter and hum poetry book looks amazing! My grandmother was a poet and published a book of poetry about our small town, the animals, the people and the agriculture surrounding it. I’m very interested in reading “Flutter and Hum”. Thank you for bringing my attention to it!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Definitely a new favorite collection for me! Poetry collections can sometimes be hit or miss for me, but this one was hit all the way.

  3. Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff) Avatar

    I love the poetry books you shared. I will have to look for them.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I want to buy them for my little lending library!

  4. Jane the Raincity Librarian Avatar

    HA good advice about Pink is for Blobfish! 🙂 That ick factor is definitely a strong selling point for many kids, but maybe not at breakfast…I can just imagine some of my kids trying to gross out their siblings at the dinner table! 😉

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I loved that there was ick AND beauty! Just an overall great nonfiction title with something for every reader.

  5. Michele Avatar

    Ha, tell your son good to know about Blobfish!! I read it at school so I was safe there 🙂
    I liked that A Piece of Home showed the character being upset, I think it was good to validate those feelings.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I agree, Michele. My son and I also loved the scene in A Piece of Home where the little sister is biting and screaming and the grandma has to go to the school to help her stay calm. My son looked at me knowingly and said, “Trauma.” You betcha!

  6. Tara Smith Avatar

    I love the way you’ve curated this collection of lovely books, Elisabeth.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Tara! It was a productive reading week!

  7. Myra GB Avatar

    A Darker Shade of Magic caught my eye – I am always on the lookout for fascinating fantasy novels. Hmm.. first in a series. Even more interesting.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think you’d like this one, Myra. I’ve just started Book 2 and I’m enjoying it.

  8. annettepimentel Avatar

    What a lovely selection of books!

  9. cweichel Avatar

    Hi Elisabeth. I am in the middle of listening to A Darker Shade of Magic and completely hooked! I agree completely with you on A Beetle is Shy. I bought my four year old niece a copy for her birthday and she gasped and her eyes lit up as she turned those pages.

  10. mastermindreaders Avatar

    The Flutter and Hum poetry book I believe will be one of my next must-reads. I loved poetry as a child and as an adult, I’ve moved more into the crime fiction area and have gotten away from my “old” loves.
    The fact that it is dual language is awesome. I may add it to my collection in my classroom as well. I find that my ELL learners struggle so much during our English immersed day as it is. Having a little something more for them would make their day. Thanks for posting!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: