#IMWAYR November 24, 2019

#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.

Last weekend my partner and I took one of my sons and our two grandkids away for a few days. I discovered that when you put three adults and two two year olds together for four days, the toddlers win. I got no reading done whatsoever except for the audiobook I listened to while travelling.

Before we left I attended the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable's Illustrator’s Breakfast. It was a tribute to Sheila Barry, a beloved publisher and editor at Groundwood Books. I enjoyed all the different speakers. I also bid on a number of book collections and art work in the silent auction. I came home to discover that I had purchased three of those collections. I still haven't had a chance to go through them to see what I ended up with.

Titles with a 🍁 indicate this is a Canadian Author and or Illustrator.

Clicking on the title of the book will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.


Poetry Friday November 22, 2019 - A poem for my father. 


5 stars
Mustafa by Marie-Louise Gay 🍁

Right from the dedication, For Sheila Barry, I knew this book would be an emotional read. It is the story of a young boy, Mustafa, whose family have travelled a long way to come to a new country. He has nightmares about the smoke and fire and loud noises of the country they left. His mother wakes him to look at the same moon that they saw there. Then he can sleep.
In his new country Mustafa explores the park beside where he lives. So much of it reminds him of his old life. He watches the world around him but feels invisible as no one seems to acknowledge his presence. Eventually a young girl and her cat befriend him and Mustafa begins to learn a new language.
It is a beautiful story, but the art is absolutely stunning. The autumn image is my absolute favourite. Mustafa wonders if this is magic, and if the old lady talking to the birds is the magician. I too wish I could speak bird language.

5 stars
How to Give Your Cat a Bath: In Five Easy Steps by Nicola Winstanley πŸ& John Martz (Illustrator)  πŸ

I've been reading this with my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter over and over this week. I'm not sure she gets the humour since we don't have a cat, but she likes it. So do I.

I've started sharing some of my vintage picture books with the grandkids. Aside from cautioning them to be very careful with them, they and I have been enjoying reading these two wordless picture books. I was nervous that the fox in the first book, and the wolf in the second, would cause nightmares, but it seems to bother me more than them.

5 stars
What Whiskers Did by Ruth Carroll (1965)

This was first published in in 1932. This illustrations in the 1965 edition are much different from the earlier version. These are in colour and the original were in black and white. I love this wordless picture book. So do my grandkids. We've been 'reading' it over and over and over. Whiskers is Scottish Terrier. He and his girl are out for a walk in the snow when Whiskers' leash breaks and he takes off following some rabbit tracks. He has quite the adventures before finally making his way home again. If you can find a copy to read, It is delightful. Don't you love the expression on these little bunnies faces?

5 stars
The Adventures of Paddy Pork by John S. Goodall (1968)

Paddy is a young pig who takes off from his mother to follow the circus. He has some dangerous misadventures before finding his way home again. The interesting thing about this book is that each double spread has a half page to turn that reveals more of the story. I hope you can find a copy of this one to read. I'm sharing a couple of pages below so you can see the detail in the art.


4 stars
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks πŸ (Illustrator)

I was hooked by the first chapter of this novel after I read it from Netgalley. As much as I loved it, I wasn't prepared to rate it based on only one peek. At last, I've read the whole thing. It is delightful. It's full of humor, charm, references to delicious food, and two fabulous characters.
The setting of the Pumpkin Patch is fun. Such brilliant colours. The search for the idolized love interest is loaded with mishaps. That goat, well that goat almost stole the show.

4 stars
Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge

Two boys are switched at birth. The fae child keeps his powers secret from his human family. The human child is raised as a kind of plaything in the fae court. When the fae court is destroyed, he goes in search of his counterpart in the human world.
I loved the examination of what family means that is at the heart of this fantasy adventure. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

5 stars
Just Jaime (Emmie & Friends) by Terri Libenson

There are many fabulous graphic novels available today that deal with friendship. All of them highlight what it looks like to be in a healthy relationship. This is another stellar addition to the group.
I love that this shows the perspective of two girls caught up in a toxic clique. It’s as authentic as it gets.

4 stars

Invisible Emmie (Emmie & Friends) by Terri Libenson

I read these out of order, but after I read the the most recent, I had to go back and learn more about the other characters. The story is told in two parts. The text based one tells the story of Emmie, a quiet reserved young girl. The graphic section tells of an outgoing popular girl named Kate. What these two girls have in common is a delightful surprise.


4 stars
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy & Thérèse Plummer (Narrator)

I really enjoyed these characters. Authentic and realistic are words that come to mind regarding their personalities, their interactions and their situations.
I kind of wish Ramona had identified as bi at the end, but I’m OK with the acknowledgement that sexuality is fluid and complex.

3.5 stars
Death Bringer by Derek Landy & Stephen Hogan (Narrator)

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy this book. I did eventually. Perhaps it was too long since I read the previous books, and it took a while to reconnect. I did eventually get caught up in the characters and the plot. Readers who like fantastical tales full of action, battles, and a smidgeon of romance should try out the series.

3 stars
The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch

The problem with this book is that the main character, Tobias Winter, is boring. He has no pizazz. Compared to Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series, it's a letdown. I didn't mind the rehash of this magical world. I might even have appreciated it if only I could have connected to and believed in Tobias Winter and his side kick, Vanessa Sommer. If there are more in the series, perhaps they will become more real and endearing.


I'm listening to Over the Moon by Natalie Lloyd. I'm in the middle of Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. I just started A Boy Is Not a Bird by Edeet Ravel.


I hope to get to Wilder Girls by Rory Power, My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder, and Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin.


How exciting is this? I have reached nearly all my reading goals!

#MustReadIn2018 25/25

#MustReadNFIn2018 11/12 - one in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 24/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 85/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 377/333


  1. Oh, I loved Pumpkinheads too. It was such a sweet, lovely graphic novel. I'll have to find a copy of How to Give Your Cat a Bath for my daughter, I think she will enjoy it!

  2. I want to read Jasper June, but again, there are so many I want to read! You've convinced to find Pumpkin Heads fast, Cheriee. It sounds very fun! I enjoyed reading about those two older books. I noted them & the Paddy Pork book is at my library! I know about the Libenson graphic novels, imagine they are good, & Ramona Blue is new to me. Thanks for all. Funny about those two toddlers! : )

  3. I should request the audiobook of Over the Moon.

  4. I hope you’re enjoying Over the Moon by Natalie Lloyd and I’ve heard such good things about Wilder Girls. I hope to squeeze that one in during 2020. And I must read Mustafa — sounds great! I hope you’ll share with us what you won in the book collections and art work in the silent auction. I'm excited to hear more about it, Cheriee!