#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.
It's been a long hard month or so. I was sick with a cold. I thought I was getting better so I went away for a few days and got sicker. I came home, went to work, and it got worse. Eventually I dragged myself into the doctors and left with a list of assorted miracles of modern medicine to deal with a secondary respiratory tract infection. I am very thankful for our Canadian healthcare system and my union negotiated extended health benefits. It cost me nothing.
I think the following lists are what I have been reading in the past while. I was hardly capable of reading anything, never mind always recording it. I couldn't concentrate because of my illness, and now I can't concentrate because of the stupid prednisone that leaves me feeling like I have ADHD. (They also make me very irritable) I know I am now on the mend though because I was able to catch up on my picture book reading on Sunday, and that evening, as the drugs wore off, was actually able to read some of my novel.
Aside from all that, I am happy to proclaim that we managed to find a bit of winter here. It was beautiful, but I was in no condition to go out and take any pictures.
Entertaining, engaging, quality literature for beginning readers isn't easy to find. This is definitely one of them. Make sure to get it for your school or classroom library.
It has patterned language, humour, a message of accepting who you are, and a surprise ending! In dressing up and becoming the tiger that he so admired, Fox reminded me of those days when my own children and their friends became lions, dinosaurs, and super heroes. I'm looking forward to test driving this one with groups of kindergarten and grade ones this week.
Corey R Tabors whimsical illustrations are full of heart. I can't wait to read more of his Fox stories.
I love the message in this brightly illustrated picture book. Thank you Oge Mora for showing us the power and importance of sharing what we have.
This brilliant book captures the perspective of two children at Great Uncle Frank's funeral. The book highlights the cycle of life. At the same time as adults are grieving the end of life, these two cousins are finding life and joy in the world around them.
I agree with Norma that Uncle Frank would have liked his funeral.
I adore the illustrations in the book about two diverse acquaintances who spend time together walking through a winter wonderland. Even though Bear and Wolf eventually go their own way, this message of acceptance and communion by two different species has much to teach us humans about getting along with one another and the rest of the world.
|3 1/2 stars|
Mine. Yours. by Marsha Diane Arnold & Qin Leng (Illustrations)
I read this through Netgalley and will write more about it just before it's publication in April. It's a thoughtful, almost wordless book that looks at ownership and sharing. I picked it to read because Qin Leng is the illustrator. I'm proud to claim that she is a fellow Canadian.
I read this beautifully illustrated book to groups of kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2 for Valentine's week. It's one of those books that brings a smile to your face and leaves you sighing with contentment. I prefaced the book by asking the children to think about how we show that we love someone and how others show that they love us. Then we read the book and they told me what they thought the book missed. The only answer that wasn't already there was 'give hugs.' (It's there, but not in those words)
NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS
Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker by Mara Rockliff & Simona Ciraolo (Illustrations)
None of the filmmakers I know had ever heard of Alice Guy-Blaché before I showed them this book and asked them about her. These are people who know about the history of film. It breaks my heart a little bit, but also makes me so happy that this book is here.
Alice Guy-Blaché was not only the first female filmmaker, she was also one of the first people to create movies that told a story. What you learn as you read the book, and particularly in the back matter, is that in early films, women had many roles and jobs. Women were presented as adventurous, daring heroes. It isn't until the industry grew and men dominated it that women became damsels in distress.
|3 1/2 stars|
Some of these poetic vignettes are factual and others are historical fiction. It's obvious that substantial research underpins all of it. Each part tells the story of some hand made artifact. I think that those of us who still engage in making things by hand are connected across time and space to all these other artisans. I sometimes longed for more details here, but see that this book might be a springboard to a deeper investigation into one of these arts.
Children are braver, stronger, and much smarter than adults give them credit for. This is a book that unpacks racism and puts the onus on white people to do what they can to stop it. It's our problem too.
This picture book belongs in every school library for every age group.
Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock & Katherine Roy (Illustrations)
What a fascinating story! From endpaper to endpaper this book is a visual delight. It's the perfect accompaniment to Barb Rosenstock's lyrical text about the first people to travel deep into the ocean just to explore its depths. I had never heard of Otis Barton or Will Beebe prior to reading this. I'm certain students will be at least as engaged as I was.
I enjoyed the additional information in the back matter. Barb Rosenstock answered many of the questions I had while reading the book. I especially appreciated reading about Katherine Roy's artistic process for creating the illustrations. I wish this kind of information was available in all picture books!
Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7) by Ben Aaronovitch (Adult and YA)
As much as I enjoyed this recent instalment in the adventures of Peter Grant, I really missed listening to it as an audiobook. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's voice is the voice of Peter Grant. He is what makes these novels jump out for me. I am as much in love with him as I am with the stories themselves. If you haven't read any of them so far, I encourage you to start with Rivers of London, the first in the series. Peter Grant is a young police officer and Wizard in training in London, England. The stories are populated with all kinds of ghosts and mythological beings. They are funny and sexy - the perfect antidote to the troubles of the real world, all the while poking fun at it.
This is the story of a young man who was taken from his home and family during the 'sixties scoop.' It is estimated that between the 1950's through to the 1980's, at least 20,000 indigenous Canadian children were removed from their families and either put in white foster homes or given up for adoption to white middle class families.
Garnet Raven was only three when he was taken from his home on an Ojibway Indian reserve. He spent time in numerous foster homes before ending up living on the streets. Eventually he ended up in prison. It was there that his lost family contacted him. Upon his release he returned to the reserve and with the help of an elder, Keeper, began to understand his identity as Anishinabe.
The book is poignant, spiritual, and at times, screamingly hilarious.
Richard Wagamese is an Indigenous Canadian. This is his first novel published novel.
Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech & Kirby Heyborne Narrator
This is a heartwarming middle grade novel about Louie, a young boy who, against the odds, rescues and raises a newborn donkey. There are some remarkable characters here in this book that examines how different people deal with death and loss.
Zenobia by Morten Dürr & Lars Horneman (Illustrations)
This is a dark, hard, look at what it means to be a refugee. It's not an easy read and the ending will tear your heart apart a bit.
I'm listening to There There by Tommy Orange. I'm reading My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Frederik Backman. I made no progress on Colville by Andrew Hunter, one of my MustRead nonfiction titles.
I need to start reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi for my book club get together in a couple of weeks. Cold Skies by Thomas King, is next on my list but I am desperate to binge on some really good middle grade fiction. There are also a few graphic novels in a pile here somewhere. I have Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny ready to listen to next.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MustReadIn2018 3/25 1 in progress
#MustReadNFIn2018 3/12 1 in progress
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 3/25
25 books by Canadian Authors 13/25
Goodreads Reading Challenge 62/333