#IMWAYR January 30, 2017

#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. The adult version of this meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. The kidlit rendition is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.

This was a picture book week. I got in a bit of other reading, but have some kind of respiratory tract infection that leaves me exhausted and makes concentration challenging. I did manage to do a get a few book reviews written, but will post them nearer to the publication date. 

BLOG POSTS THIS WEEK


PICTURE BOOKS

On Monday I went off to one of my favourite book stores to search for a birthday gift for a one year old. While there I spent time reading picture books. Eventually I picked up three classic Maurice Sendak books in board book format: Chicken Soup With Rice, One Was Johnny, and Alligators All Around. They took me back to when my boys were young and spent so much time watching the following video that we knew the words by heart. 



I also had a pile of picture books from the library that I was able to spend a bit more time with.

4 stars
King Baby by Kate Beaton

This hilarious picture book exactly captures the chaotic reality of living with a baby. I am sensitive to gender pronouns and other gendered language these days. It's probably because I have two grandbabies coming and I don't want the first, and most important thing about them to be how their biology classifies them. Anyway, I was leary of this book to start, because of you know, King, but it's by Kate Beaton, author of The Princess and the Pony.  I ended up being so completely enchanted by it, I made my sons and their partners read it.

5 stars
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)

This tale of a young girl attempting to cheer up her unhappy sister is a story for all ages. Arsenault's illustrations and hand lettering of the text facilitate a profound interpretation of Maclear's words. The contrast between the darkness of some pages and the vibrant colours of gardens accentuates the story and pays homage to Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa Bell, the women who inspired Maclear to write this story.


3 stars
Busy-Busy Little Chick by Janice N. Harrington & Brian Pinkney (Illustrations)

I liked the pattern and rhythm of the language in this story of a mother hen and her chicks. In the cold of the night, the mother asserts that tomorrow they will build a new and warmer nest. But when morning comes she is easily distracted by all kinds of delicious food to eat. It's a good thing that her busy busy Little Chick isn't so distracted and as the days go by, is able to work towards a new shelter for them.


Caribou Song Atihko Nikamon by Tomson Highway & Brian Deines 2001, & John Rombaugh 2013

I picked up the original Caribou Song to read for my indigenous author reading goal, and fell in love with it. It's the first of a trilogy, written in both Cree and English, that pay homage to Highway's early years and life in the north. The warm and glorious illustrations by Brian Deines wowed me. Then when I went in search of the others, I discovered that there was a second edition, illustrated by John Rombaugh. Next up for me will be Dragonfly Kites, both the original and the new version, illustrated by Julie Flett.

4 stars
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

This one nearly knocked my socks off. Wow! I appreciated this interpretation of how a cat is viewed differently by the many creatures who see it. The illustrations are drop dead gorgeous. The idea reminded me of The Queen's Shadow by Cybèle Young and would be a delightful companion piece.

4 stars

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

This tribute to road trips honours the reality of spending hours and hours in a car, as well celebrating the power of imagination. It would make the perfect road trip book since Dan Santat's rich illustrations will keep a reader entertained for a good long while.



4 stars
Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim

This is the story of a homeless cat that leaps onto a bus to get out of the cold. An older gentleman befriends him and takes him home. This reminded me of Rich Cat, Poor Cat by Bernard Waber, an older picture book I have around here someplace. 






5 stars
Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems

This utterly charming book about a young girl's first time collecting the family baguette is filled with all the humour and surprise we have come to anticipate from Mo Willems. I had fun reading the text out loud to myself in the far reaches of the book warehouse.

4 stars
Egg by Kevin Henkes

I'm so glad this book was on the shelves at the bookstore. It's the story of a group of eggs hatching. When all but one hatches, the birds fly away, but then return. What happens when they help the remaining egg hatch is unexpected. There is an important message here about revelling in our differences. I read it a couple of times to ensure it really was as good as I thought it was. It is.

4 stars


I Need A Hug by Aaron Blabey

This poor porcupine really needs a hug, but everyone is afraid of him. Readers will enjoy the humor in Blabey's illustrations and find that who he finally gets a hug from is a delightful surprise.





3 stars
Love Is a Truck by Amy Novesky & Sara Gillingham (Illustrations) 

I almost purchased this book as a baby gift, but changed my mind. I appreciated the colour pallet in red and grey and that the characters seem almost genderless. Many young readers will enjoy this book that celebrates love for all kinds of trucks.




NOVELS

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern & Jim Dale (Narrator)

4 stars
That was some read.  Although I finished it a few days ago, I'm still in a kind of fog. It took me a bit to figure out what was going on, and then when I got into this book, I really got into it. I sure wish I had read it with a book club. I still haven't figured out who one of these characters is and I'm sure there are layers of meaning I have completely missed. This quote from the end resonates deeply for me. 
"You're not destined or chosen, I wish I could tell you that you were if that would make it easier, but it's not true. You're in the right place at the right time and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough."

CURRENTLY

I'm about halfway through Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. Music is such an integral part of this story, that sometimes after reading a description of a specific piece, I have to go and listen to it. This can be time consuming when Thien is talking about the different movements of a symphony. Seriously, this is a book to savour. I'm nearly finished listening to Gifts by Ursula K Le Guin. I really need to make more progress on Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head. I promise myself I'll focus on this when I'm done these other books.

UP NEXT

I have no idea. I've got a monstrous pile of books that I am going to have to take back to the library unread.

PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS

#MUSTREADIN2017 2/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 1 in progress

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 4/50

Goodreads Reading Challenge 33/333

23 comments:

  1. Isn't They All Saw a Cat just incredible? My students were blown away by it!

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    1. It was the best of all I saw at the book store!

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  2. Oh! Cat on a Bus is new to me - and being a devoted cat lady, it absolutely looks like a book that will speak to my heart!

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    1. The illustrations are adorable Jane. Have you seen the Bernard Waber one?

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  3. King Baby sounds very funny. Cat on the Bus and a few others are new to me. Mo Willems is just genius - love all his books. I still have to read Egg. It sounds great.

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    1. King Baby is great! It reminded me a bit of Boss Baby by Marla Frazee.

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  4. Weren't the Sendak books available in a very tiny format-- The Nutshell Library? I don't think it's something I owned as a child, but I seem to remember it for some reason! I still can recite most of the words from Your New Potty, and a lot of Sandra Boyton, so I understand how things stick with us!

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    1. Yes they were! I don't remember what format my boys had since they wore these books out. The characters are called the Nutshell Gang.

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  5. Really Rosie! I loved that music as a kid. It still takes me back. I haven't read the Night Circus but it definitely sounds interesting. And anything by Kevin Henkes is an automatic purchase for us and so are Mo Willems books. I haven't read many of them yet but they sound wonderful.

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    1. I found that video to send to the one year old's mother. The music is kind of stuck in my head for now. Night Circus is beautifully written.

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  6. I loved that early Caribou Song, will look for the second one. You read a lot of beautiful stories this week. Sorry about the illness and hope you're better soon. I liked Virginia Wolf, too!

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    1. Thanks Linda. The good thing about being under the weather is that I got to spend time reading picture books.

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  7. Lots of great picture books this week, I added a few to my list! Night Circus is a book that needs to be discussed! I remember having that same thought when I read it.

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I always get ideas from you.

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  8. The Night Circus sounds really interesting. I love books that stick with you that way. I have They All Saw a Cat on hold at the library. I'm hoping to check that one out soon.

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    1. I wish I had had more time to relish the illustrations in They All Saw a Cat!

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  9. Lots of great picture books! Loved Nanette's Baguette, even though it made crave carbs! Have a great week!

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  10. I have been meaning to read The Night Circus for awhile now - I even bought Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - because those two are said to be companion texts, but I still haven't gotten around to it. Soon, I hope. I have a feeling it would just find me at the perfect time. :) - Myra from GatheringBooks

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    1. I love that books sometimes do find us at the right time. I got tired of waiting for this one and put it on my must read list for this year.

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  11. Just ordered They All Saw a Cat (finally) so I can read it to students for many years to come!
    Nanette's Baguette struck me as odd...odder than normal from Mo. I was lucky enough to hear him read it aloud for my first encounter of the book. I'm sure many young readers will love the rhyming, but it was overkill for me!

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    1. Rhyming can be tricky I think. It either really works, or it turns you off.

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  12. They All Saw a Cat is such a wonderful, beautiful book! I am so glad you enjoyed it :) Also throw in some Santat and Willems, and you have a perfect week :)

    Happy reading this week and hope you feel better!

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