It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/27/18


black panther

I am really happy that several of these novelizations of superhero comics for middle-grade readers exist, and I think Black Panther: The Young Prince will fly off the shelves of most classroom libraries. But I do wish the book were better written. I read it aloud to my son, and it makes for a very poor read-aloud. Sentences are choppy and repetitive; characters and plot are underdeveloped. It does have a great cover, and it will probably be very welcome in most libraries as a high interest/low level selection.

ordinary extraordinary jane austen

Ordinary Extraordinary Jane Austen was just as delightful as I hoped it would be–a real treat for Jane Austen fans. Hopkinson locates many of the interests and themes of Austen’s novels in her childhood and young adult experiences and interests. As always when I read a biography of Austen, I’m amazed all over again at the actions her father took to try to get her books published. Qin Leng’s illustrations are particularly charming.

mommys khimar

Mommy’s Khimar is a sweet story about a little girl who wants to be just like her mother. Her imagination soars as she plays dress-up in her mother’s headscarf. A book that celebrates the strength and joy that come from tradition.

sam and eva

Sam & Eva is a very funny story about what happens when drawings come to life and battle it out. Sam is happily drawing on the wall until Eva shows up and insists on joining in. Their artistic styles and preferred subject matters clash, and artistic chaos ensues. The crayon art Ohi creates to represent the children’s drawings is just marvelous. A story about imagination and teamwork.

mermaids purse

There are a couple of Patricia Polacco books that I really like (Thunder Cake, Thank You Mr Falker), but I have to admit that she is an author and illustrator I sometimes struggle to appreciate. I know part of it is that her books are so loooooong. I had to read The Mermaid’s Purse in two sittings! (My stamina for picture book text must be very low…) I think part of it is also her style, which often reads like oral storytelling transcribed into print. I tend to get antsy with storytelling about other people’s families–too many tangents, too much repetition, I don’t even know these people! Still, I tried to appreciate what I could in The Mermaid’s Purse, which is about Polacco’s book-loving grandmother who becomes the unofficial librarian in her town, traveling to different farms with a cart of books to lend.

i'm sad

I’m Sad is brilliant stuff: it manages to treat feeling sad with the gravity it deserves while also being quite funny. A book that’s helpful for the person who’s feeling sad and also for the friends who are trying to support them.





12 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/27/18”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    I need to get I’m Sad for my class. I’m Bored is such a favourite! So glad you liked the Austen biography,

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think your students will love I’m Sad! It’s one I want to own now.

  2. cweichel Avatar

    I’m so so happy that you enjoyed Ordinary Extraordinary Jane Austen. I’m happy that my library finally has I’m Sad on order. I can’t help but wonder how it will compare with Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, one of my favourite picture books about grief.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I don’t know that you’ll find much comparison with Michael Rosen’s Sad Book. Maybe? I think they’re very different, and it’s nice to have some different presentations of sadness to share with little readers. I noticed there is another Jane Austen picture book bio, Brave Jane Austen, that I need to read too.

  3. Shaye Miller Avatar

    I adore that cover to Sam & Eva! I just love Ohi’s work. And I hope to get my hands on Mommy’s Khimar and I’m Sad very soon. We’ve had to put ourselves on a book buying freeze for the next 6 months, so our libraries better step up to the plate this year! LOL Thanks for all the shares, Elisabeth!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’m constantly on a book buying freeze, and yet Amazon boxes keep showing up at my house. I don’t know how this happens!! I am trying to do more ILL though. Ohi is one of my favorites. Everything she does is so good!

  4. lindabaie Avatar

    I love Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s work on her blog & on twitter. She shares so much, is so creative. Sam & Eva looks terrific. Thanks for sharing about Black Panther, too. Evidently it’s moving around my granddaughter’s fourth-grade classroom & she & I looked it up online to find out more.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I need to follow her blog again. I did an accidental delete a couple of years ago of an entire folder of blogs I follow and I have never been able to retrace my Internet footsteps and find all of them again! I’m not at all surprised that Black Panther is making the rounds in your granddaughter’s classroom. I love that she notices the reading trends and wants to find out more!

  5. Jane the Raincity Librarian Avatar

    So many great book! And both Qin Leng and Debbie Ridpath Ohi are Canadian, too, which makes them even cooler. 😉

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I didn’t realize Leng and Ohi are Canadian!

  6. Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Avatar

    I’m always pleasantly surprised when I run across an #IMWAYR post that I hadn’t read a single one of the books. Have a great reading week ahead.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      There are several good ones here!

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