It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are You Reading? 8/28/17

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading.  Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Here are Etta’s and my reads of the week-


Dear Dragon by Josh Funk Illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo

Josh Funk has written an engaging and hilarious story about a boy, George Slair, and a dragon, Blaise Dragonmir, who are assigned pen pals.  Because their correspondence must rhyme, reading aloud each letter is a lot of fun! What is equally entertaining is the illustrations, for both George and Blaise visualize the contents of the letter they receive but the true account is also revealed on the opposing page.

At first, George and Blaise admit that they do not like writing, but by the end of the story, they have changed their minds.  In fact, they want to continue writing letters once the school year ends.  George, Blaise, and their classmates get the opportunity to meet at the Pen Pal Picnic.  Read the book to find out their reactions and whether their visualizations were correct.  Students will love this humorous read aloud which could be used to launch a mini-lesson on writing.


A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E.B. White by Barbara Herkert  Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

As I stated in one of my previous post, I am working hard to close one of my book gaps which is finding more nonfiction picture books.  You can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this beautiful biography of author E.B. White.

Although I have read Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web, I never knew the inspiration behind each of these classic novels. Barbara Herkert’s writing is melodic; she uses rich and precise language to tell the story of E.B. White’s life.  Lauren Castillo’s warm illustrations tenderly convey E.B. White’s emotions at pivotal moments in his life from his loving relationship with his pet mouse to his trepidation with attending school.

At the end of the book is an author’s note which provides more details about E.B. White’s life.  It explains why he feared going to school and reaffirmed how writing even st an early age gave him a “sense of achievement.”

Thank you to Mary Van Akin for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of A Boy, a Mouse and a Spider. It will be released on October 22, 2017.


Sam and Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Sam is not pleased that Eva wants to join him in drawing.  It does not take long for a clash to ensue with both Sam and Eva drawing pictures to outwit the other’s imaginative artwork. Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s vivid and lively illustrations will captivate readers.  In fact, the illustrations literally POP off the page!  I especially love how the Sam’s and Eva’s drawn characters on the wall express emotions as the story unfolds.

When Eva decides that the story they created is not fun anymore, Sam is left with an artistic crisis that he cannot handle alone.  Will Eva return to help Sam?  Read to find out how the story ends.  Sam and Eva is a great addition to any classroom, which it teaches students the value of teamwork and collaboration.

Thank you to Debbie Ridpath Ohi for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of Sam and Eva. It releases on October 17, 2017.

The Half True Lies of Cricket Cohen by Catherine Lloyd Burns

Eleven year old Cricket Cohen is known for stretching the truth.  When her teacher calls her out on the far fetched memoir she wrote, creative Cricket is deflated and must rewrite it.  The difficulty is Cricket’s imagination is far more interesting than her real life.  Fortunately, Cricket’s spirited grandmother, Dodo comes to the rescue with an invitation to go on an adventure together.  Cricket and Dodo take New York City by storm starting with a stroll through Central Park and a near death collision with a roller skater. After an overnight stay at Dodo’s favorite hotel, they head to Barney’s to do some shopping where their adventure goes awry and ends with a escorted trip to the police station.

Throughout their travels, Cricket and Dodo both lean on each other.   As Cricket struggles with being labeled as an unreliable make-upper of stories,”  Dodo reminds Cricket that she should be proud of her imagination because it belongs to her.  When Dodo experiences confusion, Cricket tenderly handles each situation and calmly reorients her. Cricket and Dodo’s mutual respect and love for one another is truly the heart and soul of the novel.  I can’t wait to share this book with my intermediate readers.

Thank you to Catherine Lloyd Burns for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of The Half True Lies of Cricket Cohen.  Etta and I now can’t wait to read The Good, the Bad & the Beagle! 


Daisy Dawson is on Her Way! by Steve Voake Illustrated by Jessica Meserve

On one particular morning on her way to school, Daisy saves a yellow butterfly from a spider’s web.  Not long after this heroic act, Daisy feels different.  It seems that her kind gesture has provided her with a unique gift; Daisy can talk and understand animals! Her magical power becomes apparent when she meets and converses with a bloodhound named Boom who loves honey-roasted ham.  Once in school, Daisy’s power continues to work, for she is able to hear and communicate with two escaped class gerbils as well as a lost ant.

On Daisy’s walk back home, Boom is nowhere to be found.  Through a conversation with a temperamental cat named Trixie McDixie, she discovers that Boom may have been picked up by the new dogcatcher.  With the help of a loving horse and an energetic squirrel,  Daisy decides to set out to find Boom and rescue him.

Published by Candlewick Press, there are 5 books total in the Daisy Dawson series. Daisy Dawson is a great series for transitional readers who are just beginning to read chapter books.  Students will love reading about kind-hearted Daisy and her extraordinary gift!

Thank you so much for reading!  Etta and I hope you have a fabulous week!

4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are You Reading? 8/28/17”

  1. I have never read a Daisy Dawson book. I have a few at school so I should pick one up some day. I’m looking forward to A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider. Some Writer was also a fascinating look at E.B. White’s life. The farm where he lived in Maine and was depicted in Charlotte’s Web is actually for sale. It looks beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlotte’s Web is one of my all time favourite books so I will be keeping my eyes open for A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider.
    I’m sorry to read about Annie, and at the same time, thankful that there are people like you to foster these aging animals.

    Liked by 1 person

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