#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. Kathryn hosts the adult version of this meme at Book Date. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers host the kidlit rendition. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.
We are still waiting for those babies to decide it is time to make their entrance into the world.
While waiting, I managed to get the the garden in. I love to watch the seeds sprouting. Next I'll try to get the flower beds under control. Gardening, like housework, never really ends...
While waiting, I completed the top for a baby quilt for a great nephew of mine. I'm hoping to quilt it myself because it isn't too big, but we shall see..
Waiting is hard. And I'm not the one with the large belly.
Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko & Masamitsu Saito (Illustrations)
I am infatuated by the artwork in this book. I think it is done with wax crayon or pastels. I love how Saito captures the joy of the child playing in the snow. However, the simple text alternated from being poetically sublime to sometimes being as stilted as in an old fashioned reader.
Paul & Antoinette by Kerascoët
Paul and Antoinette are two siblings. The two pigs seem to have nothing in common aside from their affection for each other. Where Antoinette is wild and adventurous, Paul precise and reserved. They each have their preferred chores and activities, but Antoinette is patient enough for Paul to finish up what he wants to do before she drags him outside even though he doesn't like it very much.
Their reactions to the outdoors reveals the difference between the two characters perfectly.
Paul sees beautiful golden flowers and is inspired to think about Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. Meanwhile, Antoinette finds a snail that she picks up and licks to see how it tastes.
I am utterly bewitched by these watercolour illustrations and these quirky characters.
No Room for Baby! by Émile Jadoul
This delightful book is translated from French. I haven't read the rest in this series, but I am completely charmed by this one.
Leon, a young penguin, has a new baby in his house. He is very worried about how the new baby will fit into their home and family. His mother only has room for him on her lap. His father's shoulders are much to high for a baby. Leon fits perfectly between his mother and his father, so how can they accommodate a newborn? Then, when baby Marcel cries, Leon figures out where his baby brother fits best.
I adore these simple illustrations. This is a story that will appeal to children facing the same predicament as Leon, and make their parents happy too.
The Cardinal and the Crow by Michael Moniz
I had to pick this book up just because of this glorious cover. The illustrations inside are equally beautiful.
Michael Muniz tells the story of a ragged old crow who is pestered and teased by the other birds, especially a young cardinal. When all the other feathered creatures have gone south for the winter, Crow warns Cardinal to be careful around a bird feeder. Cardinal pays no mind to the advice and is surprised by a cat. After Crow saves him, he realizes the error of his ways.
Nightbird by Alice Hoffman & Jenna Lamia (Narrator)
This coming of age novel is steeped in magic, myth, ancient curses, modern friendships, fear and acceptance. Twig lives in a small farming community with her mother and secret brother. People in the village suspect that there is a monster in the village. Things have gone missing. Strange graffiti is spray painted all over. Newcomers have arrived disrupting their everyday lives. Who is responsible for all this?
Hoffman pulls it all together in a beautiful conclusion.
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
Amina, a young Muslim girl, has the kinds of friendship worries and issues that are common in middle school for many students. Amina's Voice is an important story in part because it is about a young girl coming of age and overcoming her shyness about singing in public. It's also about the addition of her diverse cultural perspective to the world of children's literature.
Through Amina, readers come to understand what it means to grow up Muslim. We see a respectful family with a strong faith who care about each other and humanity. Sure there are the regular sibling and family squabbles, but that shows them to be an ordinary family who just happen to be Muslim.
When something terrible happens at their mosque, it is wonderful to see how the rest of the community comes together.
If you like books about friendship, family, and genuinely nice people who do the right thing by each other, this is the book for you.
The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen & Brittany Pressley (Narrator)
I can see many intermediate students loving this book. I'm happy that it is filled with lots of action, but not the excessive violence of the last couple of books in Nielsen's Ascendance Trilogy.
Ani is a strong, smart character who ends up on an island after being diagnosed with the scourge, a plague that has overtaken their country. I loved the plot twists and turns as well as the bits of romance.
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
Here is a quick synopsis: Boy meets girl. Girl helps boy with a computer game that they enter into a contest. Boy screws up. Their lives are much more complicated than they first seem. They get a chance start over.
Aspects of this book are laudable and other parts cringe worthy. Some of the guy talk with reference to women's and girl's bodies appalled me, especially all the fat jokes. I'm hoping these are not what other readers have considered funny.
Otherwise, I liked these authentic characters a lot. Their relationships are realistic. I appreciated how the friendship between Mary and Will grew over their computer programming work together. I like that Mary is shown to be the stronger programmer. I admire the friendship between Will, Alf and Clark.
The disaster that resulted from the trio's scheme to get a copy of the playboy issue with Vanna White was more or less predictable. Their escapade to the Catholic all girls school so that Will could apologize to Mary, and what ensued, was not. I was completely taken off guard by this part of the plot.
I appreciated the ending that leaves the reader excited for Mary and Will's new business, all the while leaving their personal relationship up in the air.
Preaching to the Chickens by Jabari Asim & E.B. Lewis (Illustrations)
I expected to love this more than I do, but I think that is a consequence of having such high expectations for it from all the rave reviews of others. I enjoyed it a lot and am stunned by the gorgeous illustrations. I love what this book tells us not only about the life of the younger Lewis, but how it captures life growing up on a farm.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese (Foreword) & Sunil Malhotra and Cassandra Campbell (Narrators)
This is the memoir of a brilliant, young neurosurgeon who died of cancer.
Last week I finished Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and then this title became available. They are brilliant companion books.
We are all going to die. For some of us, that won't be for a long time. For others, well, the future is uncertain, and we may find ourselves facing the end much sooner.
Both of these books remind us of the inextricability of life and death. They also remind us, in different ways, how important it is to ensure that we get to live until that final moment.
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
I tried to finish this netgalley title, but just couldn't. It isn't my kind of book to begin with, leaning towards gothic and horror. Everytime I tried to read it, I found other things to do instead. I know that when reading becomes a slog, and I would rather clean the toilet than read, it is time to abandon a book.
If you like this kind of genre you might like it, but it isn't for me.
I started listening to Far Far Away by by Tom McNeal, but it didn't interest me enough to continue. Then I started Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I'm not really loving it either. I've got It All Comes Down to This by Karen English, a netgalley title on the go, as well as At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. I've just started Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded. I really hope it grabs me. Perhaps the problem is that I have too many books on the go.
I just want to finish what I have on the go now, and then I'll dig into the box and see what I come up with.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 13/50
Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51
Goodreads Reading Challenge 190/333