#IMWAYR December 23, 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.

It's been three whole weeks since I last posted here. How are you all? I've been busy. REALLY busy. Between working more than I want to, cleaning house, trying to get homemade Christmas projects accomplished, send off cards, finish up shopping and wrapping presents, I have hardly had any time for reading with my eyes. Tomorrow we are babysitting my grandson all day. I still haven't finished one of my husband's socks. He may get it as an unfinished kit. Hope you have your lives under better control.

Titles with a ๐Ÿ 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 December 20th, 2019


4 stars
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus ๐Ÿ & Cale Atkinson ๐Ÿ(Illustrations)

Hilarious, sweet and endearing all at the same time. When Santa stops believing in Harold at the same time as Harold stops believing in Santa, Christmas gets to be a bit dreary. I laughed as Santa used the same rationale to justify his disbelief in Harold as children regularly do when they let go of their own beliefs in him. I'd like to say this book will be good for readers from K on up, but I suspect some parents will not want their children to entertain disbelief as early as 5. Still for sophisticated younger readers and older ones, this will be an entertaining read. It was a hit with the grade 3/4/5 students I read it to.

5 stars
Auntie Claus (Auntie Claus #1) by Elise Primavera

I am a huge fan of this feminist Christmas story. Sophie loves her aunt and wonders where she goes off to on her annual business trip that lasts from Halloween to Valentine's Day. She wonders about the diamond key her aunt always keeps around her neck. This year, Sophie stows away in one of her aunt's trunks to find out.
I started reading this to a group of 3/4/5 students before lunch and we didn't get it finished. Some were ready to have me finish before leaving, but given that we were decorating gingerbread houses after lunch, I thought it best that they get lots of running around time.

4 stars

Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene & Henry Cole (Illustrations)

This is one of my granddaughter's two favourite Christmas picture books. (The other is Carl's Christmas) Santa eats so many delicious treats on his journey that he ends up getting stuck while heading back up the chimney. The dog, the reindeer, the cat and her kittens try their best, but No-o-o-o luck -- Santa's stuck! It takes a clever mouse to come up with an ingenious plan to save Christmas.
Ada loves to shout help along with Santa, and can get carried away chanting No-o-o-o luck -- Santa's stuck!

5 stars
Carl's Christmas (Good Dog, Carl #3) by Alexandra Day

This is one of my favourite Christmas picture books, but I must admit that I am a fan of all the Carl books by Alexandra Day. It's also one of my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter's favourite. We are both happy to read and reread it. (Like all the Carl books, it's nearly wordless)

5 stars

The Cat on the Dovrefell: A Christmas Tale by George Webbe Dasent & Tomie dePaola (Illustrator)
This is absolutely my favourite Christmas tale ever! I have read it numerous times to groups of children and not only is it always a hit, it is never boring to reread. The spare text and Tomie de Paola's art make this book for me.


5 stars
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys & Maite Jรกuregui (Narrator), Richard Ferrone (Narrator), Oliver Wyman (Narrator), Neil Hellegers (Narrator), Joshua Kane (Narrator), Lisa Kaplan (Narrator)

I adored this novel. The best thing about historical novels is how much we learn about the past. I knew a bit about the Spanish civil war, but had no idea what life was like for ordinary people in the years that followed. Ruta Sepetys creates characters readers can't help but become invested in. I'm sure it can't be easy to do this with so many, but I came to care for almost all of them. I loved the ending.


4 stars

Recess in the Dark
by Kalli Dakos,  ๐Ÿ Erin Mercer ๐Ÿ (Illustrator)

This collection of poetry tells of the life of school children who live in the Northwest Territories where the sun doesn't shine for a long part of the winter. Each page of poetry is accompanied by a few sentences telling us more about the particular activity.
Erin Mercer's art is charming and sure to appeal to readers.
This tells the story of indigenous children, but neither of the creators are themselves indigenous. Kalli Dakos spent time as a teacher in the north and returned on author visits and to lead poetry workshops with the children at Alexander Mackenzie School. This book was inspired by one of those visits.

4 stars

African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
by Avis Harley ๐Ÿ & Deborah Noyes (Photographer)

The book pairs photographs of African animals with delightful acrostic poems. The back matter contains information about each animal and where the images were taken. It also includes examples of different kinds of acrostic poems. I had no idea there were so many variations!
This is one of those books writing teachers should have in their collection.

4 stars
Fly with Poetry: An ABC of Poetry by Avis Harley๐Ÿ
This is an alphabetically listed collection of different poetic forms. It begins with an abecdarian. (a poem that uses the letters of the alphabet in their proper order for each new line). Each one is presented in a poem with a description of this format at the bottom of the page. An illustration references the content of the verse.


4 stars
Rocket to the Moon! (Big Ideas That Changed the World #1) by Don Brown

Fifty years ago I was just sixteen when men first walked on the moon. I remember our whole family crowded around our old TV watching in amazement. I had no idea what was involved to get to that point, but this book sure taught me a lot. It spans a length of time from Chinese firecrackers to the second world war, into the space and battle between Russia and America for who would reach the moon first. I appreciated the mention of Katherine G. Johnson and the 'human' computers. The back matter contains rich resources including: a timeline from 1865 to 2018, reference notes, a detailed bibliography, an index and a note from the author.
My only quibble is that the font is very small for my aging eyes.


I'm listening to Frankly in Love by David Yoon. I have nothing else on the go.


I'm hoping to get listening to Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater. As soon as I can get back to reading with my eyes, I'll start Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes and finish up The Dinner Party: A Symbol of our Heritage by Judy Chicago to complete all my reading goals.


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 25/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 98/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 408/333


  1. I learned a lot from The Fountains of Silence. Great storytelling!

  2. I bought a copy of Fountains of Silence and I am reading it in January (I think). I am seeing the author at the Children's Lit Conference. I haven't read enough of her books yet. I agree with you and Lisa that she is a great writer, I was hooked by the first of her's that I read (Salt to the Sea). I loved a lot of your other books this week, many of the Santa books. Thanks for the great post, happy holidays.

  3. I'm really looking forward to Call Down the Hawk.

  4. I'm definitely adding both The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold and Auntie Claus to my list. And I believe The Fountains of Silence will go on my #MustReadin2020 list. Thank you so much for these reviews, Cheriee. I posted so late this week that I missed the link up, but better late than never. I always appreciate your shares. Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas!

  5. Yay for reading challenges and getting them done. Thanks for the reviews.