Summer vacation has begun! Beagles and Books is excited to share another edition of 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:
Lost in the Library by Josh Funk Illustrated by Stevie Lewis
Ever since its announcement, I have been anxiously waiting to read Lost in the Library. I am a huge fan of Josh Funk’s books, but the fact that the setting is the New York Library makes it even more exciting.
Fortitude and Patience are the names of the lions that greet visitors to the New York Public Library. One morning Fortitude awakens to see Patience has left his post. In search of his friend, Fortitude enters the library after hours taking the reader on a tour through Astor Hall, the Rose Reading Room, the Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and the Children’s Center. Will Fortitude ever find his best friend?
Written in rhyme, Josh Funk beautifully tells Fortitude’s quest to find his friend. Illustrator Stevie Lewis captures not only the beauty of the New York Public Library but also the sad and concerned emotions of Fortitude who is missing his beloved friend. After reading the melodic text, I had to reread to savor the illustrations which are simply gorgeous. Lost in the Library is a timeless story that reminds us reading is a shared experience. At the end of the story, Josh Funk and Stevie Lewis pay tribute to such classics as Caps for Sale, Sylvester, and Amelia Bedelia.
A very special thanks to Christian Trimmer of Henry Holt for Young Readers for sending Lost in the Library to my #bookexcursion group. Pre-order like me, for it releases in late August 2018.
Megabat by Anna Humphrey Illustrated by Kass Reich
Daniel is unhappy about moving to a new house but a surprise friendship with a bat makes the transition more bearable. At first, Daniel thinks a ghost is living with him in his attic bedroom but quickly discovers that the ghost is really a fruit bat who can talk! Like Daniel, Bat is homesick. He needs Daniel’s help to get back to the land of Papaya Premium, which Daniel learns from researching is Borneo.
Daniel is determined to help his new friend whose is renamed Megabat due to Daniel’s bat research and his love for Star Wars. Daniel soon meets next door neighbors Talia and her brother Jamie. An animal lover, Talia offers to help Daniel get Megabat home, but the two encounter obstacles with every attempt. And it doesn’t help that Jamie’s blackmailing Talia to be his servant in exchange for keeping talking Megabat a secret from their mom.
For readers transitioning to chapter books, Megabat is a great addition to a classroom library. Young readers will be able to identify with Daniel and enjoy the Star Wars references. Reich’s adorable illustrations of Megabat along with his fun personality will also draw in the reader. Fingers crossed this is the first of many books in an engaging series for early elementary readers.
A very special thanks to NetGalley for providing an e-book for me to read and review. Already pre-ordered, Megabat will be published in August 2018.
Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick 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.
Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor
Mavis, Rose, and Henry’s lives intersect in his tender and heartwarming story about fitting in, finding your voice, and most importantly, the power of friendship.
Mavis Jeeter and her mom never stay in one place for a long time, which makes making friends challenging. At the beginning of the story, Mavis’ mom accepts a job as a housekeeper for the Tully family. Mavis desperately wants a true best friend and hopes she has found one in Rose, the Tully’s daughter. Like Mavis, Rose has never had a real best friend either. She does not like spending time with the other girls who live in Magnolia Estates like Amanda Simm, for Amanda says mean things behind parents’ backs and only cares about going to the mall. Rose would rather spend time with Mr. Duffy, the Magnolia Estates gatekeeper although since his dog’s death, Mr. Duffy is grumpy, forgetful, and very lonely.
After being introduced to Rose, assertive and daring Mavis immediately tells Rose that she is her new best friend. Worrier Rose accepts the friendship but struggles with having the confidence to be as bold as Mavis. Mavis is convinced that Mr. Duffy will be happy again if he get a new dog. So when she and Rose hear about a stray dog named Henry living in the woods, Mavis hatches a plan to catch Henry and give him to Mr. Duffy. Of course, no plan is not without its obstacles and unlike Mavis, Rose is apprehensive about everything from going into the woods to find Henry to riding bikes outside of Magnolia Estates. And every time Mr. Duffy makes a mistake and Rose hears her mother complaining, she worries that he may be fired and leave her forever.
I just loved everything about Wonderland-the setting, characters, plot, the writing, and the message. I identified a lot with Rose because I have always been a worrier and fortunately, with age, I have become more confident and brave. Rose’s friendship with Mavis was the catalyst helping her finding her own voice, and it was amazing to see Rose’s confidence grow. And I just loved Mr. Duffy and couldn’t get enough of Mr. Duffy’s sayings. There are so many but my favorite was “You can’t keep trouble from coming, but you don’t have to give it a chair to sit on.” Told from not only Mavis and Rose’s point of view, but also Henry’s, Wonderland gave me a glimpse into a dog’s perspective which is always a treat. Not to give the story away, but I truly enjoyed reading Henry’s account from beginning to end.
A very special thanks to author Barbara O’Connor for sending Wonderland to my #bookexcursion group and for the beautiful acknowledgement that reminds me of my collaborative role in helping to grow readers.
Pre-order Wonderland now, for it will be released in August 2018.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!