It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/23/17

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 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.

Our Reads for the Week


Escape from Aleppo by Naheed Hanshat Senzai

In 2010, Nadia is overjoyed to be starring in a local commercial, loves watching her favorite singers on Arab Idol, and is meticulous about her polished nails. But on the day of her twelfth birthday party, Nadia’s world changes due to the start of Arab Spring,  a wave of pro-democracy protests and uprisings that take place in the Middle East and North Africa.

Flash forward to 2013.  In the middle of the night, Nadia is awoken by her older cousin Razan and told they are leaving their home in Syria.  As her family is leaving their apartment building, Nadia hears the sound of helicopters. The force of an explosion sends Nadia tumbling down steps causing her to hit her forehead against a Jeep bumper.  Fortunately, Nadia is able to crawl under the Jeep for safety but due to the ongoing bombing, her family cannot locate her and must make the painful decision to leave Nadia behind.

Once Nadia regains consciousness, she is faced with the realization that she is alone.  A mix of trepidation and determination, Nadia begins her journey to find her family.  Not long into her journey, Nadia meets Ammo Mazen, a former bookbinder who offers to help Nadia locate her family.  Unsure of whether to trust him, Nadia makes the bold decision to accept the old man’s offer and becomes his travel companion.

Escape from Aleppo is Nadia’s story of courage, resolve, and faith to be safely reunited with her family. Like her teacher Ms. Darwish once told her, Nadia learns that she can accomplish great things if she puts her mind to it.

Special thanks to Naheed Hasnat Senzai for providing our #bookexcursion group with an advance reader copy of this amazing novel which is a window for me to better understand the traumatic experiences of Syrian families like Nadia’s who were forced to leave their homes in order to survive.  Pre-order now, for Escape from Aleppo will be released in January 2018.


Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos Illustrated by T.L. McBeth

Once upon a time, there were three dinosaurs. A stegosaurus, another stegosaurus and a stegothesaurus!  While the first two brothers use simple words like big to describe a mountain, their brother Stegothesaurus uses robust words like gargantuan, gigantic, and Goliath.  The three brothers’  tranquil day comes to a halt when an allosaurus suddenly startles them.  Because Stegothesaurus was thinking of rich vocabulary like frightening and formidable to describe their predator, he was unable to escape with his brothers.   Stegothesaurus though soon learns that she isn’t an allosaurus, but rather an allothesaurus.  But wait, how did she learn all these so many rich and powerful words?  Read to find out!

Stegothesaurus is truly a teacher’s dream picture book. T.L. McBeth’s endearing and adorable drawings of the dinosaur brothers warmly show their range of emotions.   Not only will students love the story, but also I cannot think of a better way to teach the power of using synonyms in our oral and written language. What I love about Bridget Heos’ creative story is that Stegothesaurus uses multiple synonyms to describe things so teachers can also introduces shades of meaning.  Which word is stronger?  Gargantuan, gigantic or Goliath?

Special thanks to Christian Trimmer of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers for sending my #bookexcursion group an advance reader’s copy.  Stegothesaurus has a release date of June 2018.  Plan for Stegothesaurus Book 2 in Summer 2019.

The Great Puppy Invasion by Alastair Heim Illustrated by Kim Smith


In Strictville, fun is forbidden, play is prohibited, and cuteness is downright criminal.   So when hundreds of puppies show up, the town is in turmoil.  How can they get rid of all these adorable animals?  When their solutions fail, all the townspeople run and lock themselves safely in the houses except for little Teddy.   Teddy wonders “How could these cute puppies be scary?”  With one simple gesture, Teddy teaches the townspeople that fun, play, and cuteness make Strictville a happier place to live.

Being a proud dog mom, I loved turning each page to see piles and piles of puppies. I am amazed that each puppy is unique in its own way!  Kim Smith has included so many details in every illustration; therefore, rereading is required! No doubt children will fall in love with this picture book and want it to be read aloud over and over.  Adults need not worry for Alastair Heim has included plenty of humor to keep all ages entertained!

Special thanks to Alastair Heim for a copy of The Great Puppy Invasion through a Twitter giveaway.

Charlie & Mouse and Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy by Laurel Snyder Illustrated by Emily Hughes.

I am always on the lookout for books for my transitional readers.  So happy to find another great series to support my students who are just beginning to read chapter books!

In the first book Charlie & Mouse, the brothers have a close relationship. Charlie and Mouse are excited about going to neighborhood party,  moving rocks to make money, and extending the evening bedtime ritual with a banana (and apparently popsicles tomorrow).

In the second book, Charlie & Mouse and Grumpy, are overjoyed to have their grandfather, Grumpy, visiting them.  In the first story, Medium, Mouse states that he is not getting big, but rather getting medium.  I love Mouse’s perspective because medium means “you can read some books, but people can read books to you.”  And of course, medium means you can have 3 hot dogs.

Reading Charlie and Mouse is reminiscent of reading Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series-short chapters with a humorous twist.  I can’t express how much I love Emily Hughes’ realistic illustrations of Charlie, Mouse, and especially their parents waking up in the morning with bed hair and in need of coffee.  In addition, the love between Grumpy and his grandchildren is evident with Hughes’ illustrations and Snyder’s dialogue.

Charlie and Mouse reminds us of the importance of having simple, everyday adventures with your sibling. Hope there are more stories to come.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Happy Reading!


12 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/23/17”

    1. Stegothesaurus is fabulous! I love the unique way the author introduces the power of synonyms. I want to share it with a class before I send it to the next member of my book group!


    1. Lol. I take a lot of pictures and hope I get one that is worth posting. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Escape from Aleppo; it definitely is a story that will stay with me forever.


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