Last weekend I was away at our house in Oliver, B.C., canning tomatoes and peaches, and making and canning juice and salsa. I didn't have time to do a blog post. I did get some reading in, although mostly I was listening to audiobooks while I worked.
September is birthday month around our house so now I'm busy trying to sew shirts for my partner and son. It's a good thing I have lots of audiobooks ready to go!
I've got a pile of new board books to share with you, but for today I'm just letting you know about this one that I am almost getting tired of rereading over and over.
Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon
This is Ada’s favourite book these days. It’s a bit bigger than most of her books and has flaps to lift. She even gives me time to read the rhymes if I go really really fast. The last pages where they fold out to show all the animals is a big hit!
The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall & Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrations)
I'm fascinated by all things bee, and this charming book delivers basic information on how pollen and nectar are turned into honey. It could even be considered a nonfiction picture book. The beautiful text reflects the busy life of bees. It rhymes in sections and is loaded with alliteration and other poetic devices. It sure worked for me.
Then there are Isabelle Arsenault's gorgeous illustrations. Her work is breathtaking. Her bees are whimsical, but it's her landscapes and fields of flowers that are just glorious.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
This book is just bloody brilliant! It reaffirms why picture books are so important for people of all ages. I've been thinking a lot recently about how we can best support friends and family who are going through hard times. In charming illustrations and simple text the profound solution is laid out here for everyone to read and understand. It's really pretty simple. All you have to do is listen.
What Can You Do with a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla & Amy Córdova (Illustrator)
You can do a whole lot more with a rebozo than you can imagine! This beautifully illustrated book takes us inside Mexican culture through the many ways this traditional shawl is used.
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Bina's best friend, Austin, is headed off to soccer camp, leaving her alone for the summer. At first Bina spends her time reading and practicing her electric guitar. Then she connects with Austin's older sister, Charlie, who invites her to hang out. Ultimately that doesn't really work out. When Austin returns home, the two of them have a lot of sorting out to do.
This is a book about family and friendship. I loved Bina, who is on her way to being a rock and roll star. Parents are realistically supportive. I like the bit about Bina's older brother and partner adopting a baby. I especially appreciate that these characters manage to deal with their conflicts in healthy ways.
I hope there is a sequel!
The Perfect Score by Rob Buyea
This book looks at a group of children who are in a classroom together. They are forced to deal with the disruption of their regular school days because of high stakes testing. What they end up doing because of this ends up getting them in trouble, but also points out the absurdity of the tests in the first place.
Rob Buyea has a created an appealing, complicated group of students and adults. I sure hope change comes soon for all their counterparts in the real world.
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth, (432 pages) is my fifth and last big book this summer. I struggled with it because I couldn't connect to these characters like I did in his first book, If I Ever Get Out of Here. I liked this well enough to not give up on it, and I was happy to see that the characters seemed to evolve by the end of the novel.
Is it possible to get to old to read YA?
Neverwhere (London Below, The World of Neverwhere #1) by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman has, as usual, spun a tale that sucked me completely into it. Richard Mayhew, an ordinary young businessman, aids a young woman and ends up trapped in a fantastical, dangerous world underneath London. I was caught up in his world and am hoping that there will be a sequel. However, since this book was first published in 1996, and one isn't available yet, it's highly unlikely. While reading it I was reminded of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovich, which, if you haven't read yet, you should definitely treat yourself to.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Hillary Huber (narrator) & Ann Goldstein (Translator)
I loved this book and have the next in the series cued up to start soon. It's the story of a friendship between two women. This first book in the series shows them as children and teens. I especially love the honesty and complexity of their relationship, but I'm also fascinated by this look into a community in Italy during the 50's and 60's.
I'm reading No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen and listening to Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. I'm also reading (in bits and pieces) Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts by Jacquie Gering & Katie Pedersen.
I hope to get to The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, a pile of picture books and hopefully, Front Desk by Kelly Yang.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#BigBookSummer 5/4 1 in progress
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 17/25
Goodreads Reading Challenge 301/333