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 This Week:
The Art of the Swap by Kristine Asselin & Jen Malone
The Art of the Swap is an intriguing and inventive mystery of two 12 year-old girls who switch places in time. Hannah Jordan lives in the present day at The Elms, a mansion-turned-museum with her caretaker father. Margaret Dunlap, known as Maggie, is an American heiress in 1905 who spends time at the Elms as a guest of her aunt and uncle. By way of a mysterious mirror, Hannah and Maggie swap places with each other. Hannah goes back in time to 1905 whereas Maggie lands in the modern world.
At first, Hannah and Maggie are unsure of why the switch occurred. Soon they realize that the swap took place on the very day that Maggie’s portrait painted by the now famous Mary Cassatt was stolen before its unveiling at a grand party at the Elms. Hannah and Maggie must collaborate quickly to solve the legendary art heist in order to return to their proper places.
What I love most about the novel is how the authors depict how the role of girls/women have changed over the last century. Through the swap, Maggie does not want to be known as spoiled and useless, would rather read than sew, and relishes the fact that she can wear trousers, run, and climb trees in 2017. Meanwhile, Hannah realizes that she has been raised to have a very different mindset-she can do and be anything. She admits to Maggie that while women have equal rights on paper, women still have to earn them in people’s hearts. Both girls learn an important lesson about their purposes in life and how they can each make a lasting contribution to society, which to quote Hannah and later Maggie is pretty cool!
Special thanks to Kristine Asselin and Simon & Schuster/Aladdin for sending an ARC of The Art of the Swap to our #bookexcursion group. It will be published in February 2018.
To read my full review, click here.
Max and Bird by Ed Vere
Max, wants to be friends with Bird, but there is a slight problem. Being a cat, Max wants to chase and then perhaps eat Bird. Bird is not pleased with the nature of their friendship and explains to Max that “friends have fun together and help each other out.” Max agrees to help Bird learn how to fly and then they can talk about chasing and the other stuff (like eating, I suppose).
But how does a cat help a bird learn to fly? Go to the library, of course! They learned that there are 3 simple steps to flying. Unfortunately, the steps do not work for Bird or Max. Luckily for Bird, the friends run into Pigeon for some advice. In a short time, Bird is successful. But wait, does that mean Max will now chase and eat Bird?
I absolutely love the Max series. Max is simply adorable with his big eyes and wagging tail. I also love that Max makes a pro and con list of eating Bird. While Bird may be tasty, Max would then be without a friend. Of course, friendship wins ( as it always should) so I hope there are more Max and Bird adventures to come!
Bear and Chicken by Jannie Ho
On a walk, a hungry Bear finds a chicken frozen in the snow. Bear takes Chicken home to a warm fire for defrosting. When Chicken wakes up, Bear says “You are just in time.” “Just in time for what?” thinks Chicken. But when Chicken sees a huge pot of water boiling and Bear chopping herbs and vegetables, she assumes she knows what is up. Quickly. Chicken runs for her life out back into the cold woods. Was Chicken’s suspicion correct or did she misjudge Bear?
At the end of the book, the author includes a recipe for Bear’s Vegetable Soup (Oops! spoiler) as well as facts about black bears. I highly recommend Bear and Chicken to teach children not to judge book by its cover or more specifically, a Bear by his cooking!
Featured Dog Selection of the Week:
Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a new weekly feature by highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.
Antoinette is the follow-up to the beloved picture book, Gaston. In this story, Mrs. Bulldog knows all her puppies are special. Antoinette’s brothers know their strengths, but she isn’t so sure yet. Mrs. Bulldog encourages Antoinette to keep her chin up because she will discover her talent in time.
During their daily trip to the park, Antoinette’s sister, Oh-La-La disappears chasing a butterfly. While her brothers try to use their talents to locate her, they are unsuccessful. Antoinette not does give up her search for Oh-La-La and not only locates and saves her sister, but also finds her special talent.
Like Gaston, Antoinette teaches us that we must celebrate our differences. In addition, it teaches children the power of yet. Finding your talent may take time; therefore, the lesson is never give up! DiPucchio and Robinson are a truly fabulous team! DiPucchio’s story is uplifting and positive, and Robinson’s warm and detailed illustrations make readers want to linger and savor each picture before turning the page.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!