#IMWAYR November 20, 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. 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.

I'm beginning the ‘making things for Christmas frenzy,’ finishing up quilts, knitting sweaters and working a couple of days a week. Then I'm busy with my granddaughter so her mother can work. My reading life is seriously limited, but I am catching up on my netflix watching. 

The best part of last week was finally sewing the binding on this quilt. It was started by my mother, Evylin Weichel, a number of years before her accident. She continued working on it even after her brain injury. It wasn’t easy. Many friends and family members contributed squares to help her out. My sister and I helped her out near the end. I finished piecing the top just before she died. It was beautifully quilted by my friend Lorna Penner Kelly.


5 stars
I Love Frogs by Amanda Miller & Sandra Mayer

I was excited to find this nonfiction board book while on a visit to my local library with my granddaughter. She seemed to be excited about it too, although she seems to be enthused by any book with bright illustrations these days, especially if there is any kind of face. This book has that in spades. It doesn't show the life cycle, but the beautiful photographs show frogs in all their glory.

4 stars
We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers by Julie Flett

It's written and illustrated by Julie Flett so you know the images will be amazing, and they are. Each two page spread has the numeral and the Cree word for the number. Small print provides a pronunciation guide.

The images portray different aspects of Cree culture. My favourite is the three aunties laughing. There is so much joy in that picture. 

I also love the double meaning for ‘we all count.’


5 stars
Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds & Matt Davies (Illustrations)

I'm so glad that Nerdy Birdy and Vulture are back again. Just like the first in the series, this one sends an important message about friendship and bullying, only this time, in the digital world. Matt Davies' illustrations accent this message with sweet humour. I appreciate that this time Aaron Reynolds shows that silly things that are ok between friends are not necessarily appropriate for a wider audience. He also shows how important it is to get permission from others before posting anything about them. When I was working in schools, and aware of the kinds of social pressure that can be put on students, I took this lesson a step further and said it wasn't appropriate to post any picture that showed someone in any kind of unflattering situation.

5 stars
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak

Drop dead gorgeous illustrations are paired with a call and response kind of text to highlight the changes that happen when autumn gives way to winter.
I loved this so much I went through it a few times just to fully appreciate it.

4 stars
Crow Call by Lois Lowry & Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator)

I'm wowed by Bagram Ibatoulline's gorgeous illustrations in this book. Lois Lowry tells the story of an oversized hunting shirt her father purchased for her before he went to war and their getting to know one another when he returns home. Their day in the woods in late autumn is a celebration of this.
It's a sweet and gentle story for all children whose parents leave and come back from places of conflict.


5 stars                             4 stars
Sunny Side Up (Sunny #1) Swing it, Sunny (Sunny #2) by Jennifer L. Holm Matthew Holm (Illustrations) & Lark Pien (Colorist)

I enjoyed both of these books a lot. The first, when Sunny goes to stay with her Grandfather in a senior home while her parents try to get her older brother under control, has more humour. The second, while still dealing with the now absent brother, focuses more on ordinary life in that era. Having experienced the 70's first hand, I connected to many of the cultural references, but it is Dale's drug issues that resonate most profoundly for me. After graduating from high school in 1971, I lost a number of friends to addiction. I appreciate that the Holms address this with such sensitivity and honesty. While the people I knew were not family, watching them spiral downwards while feeling helpless to support them, was heartbreaking. And while this is set in the 70's, given the current issues with fentanyl and other drugs today, it seems profoundly timely.

5 stars
Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

At first I wasn't sure about this wordless graphic picture book. The monochrome illustrations are interesting, but slightly off putting. Still the story engaged me enough to continue.
A class is invited to bring something old and treasured to show and tell the next day. A young girl brings her stuffed fox. When she is on the playground, a young fox absconds with it. When her best friend realizes what is happening, he goes chasing after it with her.
This is where the story gets really interesting visually since the fox cub is the only other colour in this monochrome world. While the two friends are chasing through the forest, we see a bird in a tree who is notable because it is also in colour. As the two children journey through the forest, this spot of colour identifies places where they stop to ask some kind of animal if they have seen the fox.
Meanwhile, the little fox has his own adventures when a badger tries to steal the stuffie from him.

When the two friends finally enter into the animals wonderland, the world is revealed in a blaze of colour. They go in search of the pilfering fox, and when they finally find it, the ending is delightfully satisfying.


5 stars
The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud & Emily Bevan (Narrator)

As satisfying and wonderful as this book is, I can't bear to think that it is the last in the series. I'm just not ready to say goodbye to these fabulous characters. Since this fictional world isn't really completely cleaned up, I'm not giving up hope that there might be at least one more to come. Please Mr. Jonathan Stroud.
Perhaps the rumoured TV series will take its place.


I'm listening to The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. It is intense. I'm almost finished The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner. I need to get back to The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz, but it isn't due back at the library for a while.


Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones has to go back to the library soon so I will get to that in the next couple of days.


#MUSTREADIN2017 25/36


50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 33/50

Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51

Big Book Challenge 4/6

Goodreads Reading Challenge 384/333


  1. I was skeptical of Little Fox in the Forest at first, but it really grew on me, especially after seeing how much my three year old loved it. I'm curious to see what else the illustrator will do in the future because I really like her style. I also loved the Sunny graphic novels. Have a great reading week!

    1. It really grew on me also. I'm not sure if it should be called a picture book or graphic novel as it seems to be both.

  2. The Fox in the Forest is a new one to me. Your review definitely has peaked my interest. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. I'm glad you are interested. It's a beautiful book.

  3. I am very eager to read Swing it Sunny. I had a family with secrets too, though they weren't exactly the same. I know younger me would have appreciated these two books to know I wasn't alone. I really love We All Count. Flett's illustrations are beautiful.

    1. I think these Sunny books will be relatable to many people for all kinds of reasons.