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:
11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic
Megan is going through a lot of adjustments. Her mom recently passed away and her family has moved from Colorado to Arizona. Moving means leaving her best friend Hannah and starting over at a new middle school.
On her very first day, Megan gets zapped, which is a ritual for new students. She must do a dare by the end of the day. Her assignment-do something exciting by 3 p.m. If that isn’t enough on her plate, Megan becomes stuck in the middle of the battle for Spirit Week Captain between fellow seventh graders, Rhena and Ally. Megan’s luck changes when in her history class, she sees a cat clock identical to one her grandmother had in her kitchen. She recalls a rhyme that her grandmother said “Pop. Click. Seconds tick. Wish at eleven-eleven, and watch it stick.” It can’t hurt to wish for something exciting like snow, right? After her wish does comes true, Megan slowly realizes that this newly acquired magical power comes with some adverse consequences.
11:11 Wish is an enchanting story not only trying to fit in but also finding yourself. Readers will be sympathetic of Megan’s dilemma. She wants to have a fresh start at her new school and becomes caught up in Rhena and Ally’s rivalry as soon as she arrives. As the drama unfolds at school, Megan needs to decide whether she wants to keep using magic to get friends or show her true self.
Special thanks to Kim Tomsic for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of 11:11 Wish. Look for its release soon on February 13, 2018.
Walter & Dragon: 100 Friends by Ariel Bernstein
Warren and his family are moving, which means he will need to make new friends. But unlike his twin sister, Ellie, making friends does not come easy to Warren. Besides, Warren already has a best friend, Dragon. To everyone else, Dragon may be a stuffed animal, but to Warren, Dragon is real and he is the only one who sees Dragon in that way.
Making friends is a challenge, but losing a contest to Ellie is worse; therefore, Warren declares that he will make 100 new friends. Accepting Dragon’s advice that friends like compliments, Warren attempts to make friends in school. Warren’s compliments though are not always taken well. By the end of the first day of school, Warren hasn’t made any new friends, and Dragon goes missing! Can Warren find his one and only friend? Will Warren ever make a real friend?
Warren & Dragon is a fun new transitional chapter book series that is sure to be a hit with young readers. Author Ariel Bernstein has created a relatable character in Warren, for he encounters typical kid problems such as sibling rivalry and making friends. Warren’s relationship with Dragon show his imagination, for what child hasn’t pretended his/her favorite animal was alive?
Special thanks to author Ariel Bernstein for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of Walter & Dragon: 100 Friends. Look for its release along with Book 2 Warren & Dragon: Weekends with Chewy in August 2018.
The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About An Accidental Invention (Really!) by Barry Wittenstein Illustrated by Chris Hsu
Did you ever wonder how Band-Aids were invented? If so, you are in luck. Author Barry Wittenstein humorously tells the story of Earle Dickson and how Band-Aids came to be.
It seems Earle’s wife, Josephine was accident prone especially in the kitchen. When preparing meals, it was common for Josephine to cut or burn herself. To make matters worst, bandaging herself with bulky towels caused her to injure herself even more. Earle took pity on his young wife fearing her cuts would become infected. Fortunately, for Josephine, Earle was not only the son of a doctor but also worked for a hospital supply company. Ever hear of Johnson & Johnson?
After some thoughtful pondering, Earle designed the first “band aid” which consisted of adhesive tape, sterile gauze, and crinoline. Josephine’s boo boos were now covered, and they lives happily ever after, right? But..wait! Earle realized that Josephine was not the only person who could benefit from his invention. He shared his bandage with his boss, James Johnson, who agreed to produce and sell them as Band-Aids.
To the readers’ surprise, Band-Aids were not an overnight success. It was not until they were mass produced by a machine and given away to the Boy Scouts and the army during World War II that Band-Aids became a hit not just in the United States but all over the world!
Told in a playful narrative, Wittenstein’s account of Earle’s invention is highly engaging and entertaining. In my district, our third graders just finished a unit, Inventions and Innovations so I cannot wait to share this book with students. In the author’s note, Wittenstein admits he invented Earle and Josephine’s dialogue and shares additional information about Earle. Chris Hsu’s illustrations transport the reader back to that time period and make the story come alive. Also included at the end of the book is a timeline, a list of other medical inventions from the 1920s and 1930s, and websites for further research. The next time I use a Band-Aid, I will think fondly of Earle and thank him for his ingenuity.
Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of The Boo Boos That Changed the World. Look for its release soon in February 2018.
Love, Mama by Jeanette Bradley
Kipling’s mama is off on a trip and he misses her. Although he tries to soothe himself with replacements such as Pillow Mama and Picture Mama, they do not comfort him. When the doorbell rings, Kipling discovers a sad, soggy box outside his home. It’s from Mama! Contained in the package was a paper heart with a special message from Mama who reminds Kipling how immense she loves him. Kipling returns the favor by creating and mailing his own box which professes his mutual love for her. To Kipling’s surprise, Mama returns home with his care package in hand!
Love, Mama is a heartwarming story that affirms love when distance separates us from family. Jeanette Bradley’s illustrations are adorable and tenderly show Kipling’s longing for his mother, his happiness when he receives his Mama’s special delivery, and his excitement when she returns home. In fact, reading Love, Mama takes me back to a time when receiving a card or a package in the mail from a loved one was the best present ever.
Special thanks to author Jeanette Bradley for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of Love, Mama. Love, Mama recently published in January 2018.
Featured Dog Selection of the Week
Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.
Back to Forth and Upside Down by Claire Alexander
It’s Principal Slippers’ birthday! Young pup Stan and his class are making him birthday cards. Stan loves to draw but his teacher Miss Catnip reminds the class that cards include writing too. Uh oh! As Stan begins to copy Happy Birthday from the board, he notices his letters are back to front and upside down. Frustrated Stan is even more discouraged when all his other classmates seems to be writing with ease.
At recess, depressed Stan honestly confides to his classmate Jack that he can’t write. Jack is supportive and tells Stan to ask Miss Catnip for help reminding him we all have to ask for help sometimes. The story ends with Stan bravely asking for help and realizing he is not the only student who struggles with writing letters.
Working with kindergarten and first grade students, I love the message of this book. All students learn at a different pace so Back to Front and Upside Down reinforces that practice is the best way to improve a skill and it’s ok to ask for help. Author illustrator Clare Alexander’s soft and cute drawings of the animal students will appeal to young readers. I especially love the illustrations of Stan’s tongue out while writing, This behavior is quite common when I observe young students putting forth their best effort.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Have a great week! Happy Reading!