It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/15/18


Etta, Bella, and I are eager to share our latest reads for 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:

Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies by Jonathan Rosen

Devin is an ordinary 12-year-old boy.  He desperately wants an iPhone and his little sister Abby gets on his nerves with her constant temper tantrums.  When movers carry in a huge pot and giant glass ball to a house across the street from Devin’s family, his cousin Tommy is convinced that the new neighbor is a warlock.  Normally, Devin does not believe in Tommy’s conspiracy theories, but his feelings begin to waver when Herb comes over for dinner and then the next day when he drops off a Cuddle Bunny, the hottest toy of the Christmas season for Abby.   When the Cuddle Bunny comes to life, Devin realizes Herb is responsible; therefore, Tommy’s theory is actually true.  Since his parents do not believe him, Devin and Tommy are left to expose Herb and in the meantime, save their town from being overrun by the evil Cuddle Bunnies.

Reading Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies took me back to my childhood.   In 1983,  I vividly remember going to Toys R Us and writing my name on a wait list for a Cabbage Patch Doll, the most in-demand toy of the year.  In addition, there is a scene in the book where all the Cuddle Bunnies are reeking havoc at the mall; I laughed hysterically recalling the movie Gremlins, one of my brother’s and my favorite movies.

Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies is a fast paced, hilarious story that middle grade readers will devour; adult readers my age will equally enjoy it since it allows us to take that trip down memory lane.  I also loved the book because Devin truly changes and grows in his quest to locate and eliminate the head bunny, Mr. Flopsy-Ears.  And stay tuned because the ending gives me hope for another adventure with Devin and Tommy.

A very special thanks to Jonathan Rosen for fulfilling one of my Christmas wishes and sending me a copy of Night of Living Cuddle Bunnies during #MGBookmas.   I loved this “hare raising” story and excited to share and discuss it with readers at my school!

Zoey and Sassafras: Marshmallows and Dragons by Asia Citro  Illustrated by Marion Lindsay

Zoey is an inquisitive young scientist who is always exploring, observing, and thinking with her trusty kitty Sassafras.  When she needs to think of brilliant ideas. Zoey wears her Thinking Goggles on top of her head because they are closer to her brain.  One day,  she notices a purple frog in a photo on her mom’s desk.  Her mom is amazed that Zoey can see Pip, one of the many magical animals that live in the forest.

While her mom off to conference, Zoey is charged with helping any injured animals that come to their barn. Patiently Zoey waits for the barn bell to sound.  It is not until late in the week that Zoey hears the ring and anxiously runs to find a sick baby dragon.  Using her schema as well as the scientific method, Zoey works diligently to uncover how to help the dragon named Marshmallow get better.  I especially love how Zoey documents all her notes in her science journal (which were written and drawn by Asia’s own daughter).

I am always on the look out for books for my transitional readers.  Look no further than Zoey and Sassafras. Currently, there are 4 books in the series with a fifth book publishing in April 2018. This series hits the mark on so many levels with a curious main character, short chapters, rich vocabulary, adorable illustrations, and of course, magical animals!  Can’t wait to introduce Zoey to readers at my school especially my second grade literacy lunch bunch.

I am Famous by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Told from Kiely’s point of view,  it is no wonder that she consider herself to be famous.  Since the day she was born, the paparazzi (her parents) have been taking and sharing photos of her, and her mailbox is always full of mail from her fan club (her grandma).

Kiely’s biggest show is performing at her Grandpa’s birthday party and when she reaches the stage, she sees the house is packed with her fans.  Of course, no performance is without its glitches, but Kiely knows the show must go on.  Her mantra is just keep smiling!   During the grand finale, Kiely briefly forgets her optimism, but luckily, her audience is right there to pick her up and support her.

I am Famous is a book to which all children can relate.  In this age of social media, children are used to being photographed not only for major milestones but also for performing the most minor tasks.  What I love most about I am Famous is a new definition for fame-having a family who loves you, no matter what!

A very special thanks to Tara Luebbe for sending an advance reading copy of  I Am Famous to Beagles and Books, which I will be sharing with my #bookexcursion group. Preorder now, for I Am Famous will be published in March 2018.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature by highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.


A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko

On the way home, Mini and her mom find a lost dog in the road.  Mini wants to keep the dog for her own, but her mom reminds her, ‘He has shoes.  He belongs to someone.”  Mini and her mom go to the park where the dog with shoes garners a lot of attention  performing tricks.  When she takes him off leash to fetch a bone, the dog runs away leaving one shoe behind, and Mini heartbroken.

The next day, Mini’s mom takes her to the dog shelter in hopes of finding the dog.  Miraculously, the dog wearing only three shoes is there!  Knowing how awful it felt to lose him, Mini puts up fliers realizing that there is probably someone out there missing him too.  After the dog is reunited with his owner, Mini and her mom know just where to go-the animal shelter.

From the beautiful written story, the heartwarming black and white illustrations with a just dab of color to the incredible message, A Dog Wearing Shoes is now one of my all time favorite dog books ever.  At the end of the book, the author includes information on how to adopt a dog with links to websites like

Thank you so much for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

10 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/15/18”

  1. Thank you Laura for your nice review. A beagle in pink sunglasses is the most adorable thing ever! Your dog is famous.


  2. First, I want to say how much I enjoy your beagles! I love dogs, beagles especially, but I know I couldn’t be a good dog mom right now, so I live vicariously through others’ dogs 🙂
    Cuddle Bunnies looks like one I’ll need to get for my classroom!

    Happy reading this week 🙂


  3. Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies sounds hilarious. My sons owned cabbage patch dolls and a mess of clothes for them sewn by my mother. Your post reminded me of how they used to dress up all their stuffed toys in those clothes and have tea parties. Thanks for the memory trigger.


  4. I just read Zoey and Sassafras for CYBILS (borrowed a stack of early reader/early chapter books – the CYBILS finalists for this category) – this is one of the few titles I really enjoyed reading. Happy Monday to your beagles! 🙂


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