On the blog:
- A round-up of a few articles and blog posts from around the web that I really enjoyed
- A slice about my love for oddball roadside attractions
An odd little book that I really liked. Bob is a green creature dressed in a chicken suit who has been hiding out in a closet for five years, waiting for his friend Livy to return and help him find his way home. Livy feels like there was something she forgot when she last visited her grandmother’s house in Australia, but she just can’t remember. Of course it was Bob she’d forgotten. A satisfying story of friendship, with some magic and bookish love thrown in.
Hope Larson’s All Summer Long is a perfect middle-grade graphic novel that I can’t wait to put in the hands of my many students who are obsessed with Roller Girl, This One Summer, Sunny Side Up, and everything Raina Telgemeier. Bina and her best friend, Austin, have always spent their summers together having fun, but this summer, Austin is off to soccer camp and besides, he’s been acting distant. All Summer Long is the story of how Bina fills that long summer without Austin. It’s one of those books where not much happens, and yet everything happens. Perfectly paced, with a very satisfying ending.
Backyard Fairies is one of those rare rhyming books that absolutely worked for me. A young girl is certain fairies exist and she keeps finding little bits of evidence, and yet…. she can’t find the elusive creatures when she goes to look. The fun for the reader is that we can spot the fairies, who are busy in every illustration doing their little fairy things.
I Got It! was not as memorable for me as Wiesner’s other magical books, but still, the art is magnificent and the whole concept really strong. Baseball is the only sport I don’t really like, but Wiesner’s imaginative depiction of what might happen as a child tries to catch a ball makes me think baseball might almost be interesting.
Alma and How She Got Her Name is just as wonderful as I was hoping for it to be. A book I really want to own and use as a mentor text in my writing classes.
I appreciated Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten for introducing me to a musician I’d never heard of before (the back matter is especially informative). The illustrations are also lovely.
Maurice the Unbeastly is the sweet story of a dainty beast whose preference for soft speaking, vegetables and good manners makes it hard for him to fit in with other beasts. Of course it turns out that being different is good and that Maurice has his own special gifts that help the other beasts. Not a surprising message, but there is some very funny writing and some very funny illustrations to go along with the lesson.