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:
Incognito, the second book in the series immediately picks up from Book 1. It is the second week of third grade, and Beatrice and her best friend Lenny have officially yet secretly launched Operation Upside. They are ready to give the first UPSIDE award of the week to classmate Wes Carver who thoughtfully holds the door open for everyone daily. Then Beatrice gets the idea that the first award should go to her no shenanigans teacher, Mrs. Tamarak. Receiving an UPSIDE would put a guaranteed smile on Mrs. Tamarack’s face right? After secretly slipping the award into the stack of ungraded homework, Beatrice shares her good news with a very shocked Lenny. Lenny informs Beatrice that Mrs. Tamarack will not consider a most strict award to be a compliment. She is right, for Mrs. Tamarack is not amused. This mishap calls for Beatrice to go incognito for a while so that the identity of Operation Upside remains a secret. But if you know Beatrice, laying low is not one of her strengths.
After reading and loving the first Beatrice novel, I did not think it was possible to love her even more, but I so do! With Operation Upside, Beatrice’s mission is to spread happiness and who can argue with that? Beatrice and Lenny also demonstrate inclusiveness encouraging Chloe to see how Wes’ animal knowledge can benefit the veterinary club and befriending and recruiting new student Sam Diaz for Operation Upside. And of course, Shelley Johannes’ whimsical black felt tipped pen drawings of Beatrice and her friends make the book even more fun to read! Special thanks to author Shelley Johannes for sending an ARC of Beatrice Zinker: Incognito on a #bookexcursion. It will be released on September 19, 2018.
The Remember Balloons by Jesse Oliveros Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
In this heartwarming story, balloons represent memories. The older one is, the more balloons one has; therefore, it is no surprise that James’ grandpa has the most balloons in his family. James loves hearing his grandpa tell him about his balloons, but lately, his grandpa is experiencing some difficulty; his balloons are getting caught in a tree or worse, floating away. Worried, James shares his concerns with his parents who tenderly tell him that this happens as you get older. At the end of the book, James discovers a way for him and his grandpa to hold on to these precious memories.
The Remember Balloons tackles the subject of dementia with tenderness and compassion. Each colorful balloon represents one memory and are the focal point of the beautifully drawn illustrations. I highly recommend this read aloud to help children better understand and cope with loved ones who are experiencing memory loss.
Special thanks to author Jesse Oliveros asnd Simon & Schuster for sending a F & G of The Remember Balloons to our #bookexcursion group. It releases on August 28, 2018.
Good Night, Little Monsters by Kara LaReau Illustrated by Brian Won
Monsters before bedtime? No child will be able to resist this sweet and spooky story about little monsters’ bedtime rituals. Written in rhyme, Kara LaReau sweetly shares that monsters have similar routines such as brushing teeth, snuggling close, reading a story or singing a lullaby. I can see how this board book could be used to introuduce or reinforce bedtime routines. Brian Won’s illustrations are adorable and will bring smiles and laughs. I have no doubt that Good Night, Little Monsters is a story that children will beg to be read again and again, and adults will gladly agree.
Special thanks to Kara LaReau for sending Good Night, Little Monsters to our #bookexcursion group. It released in June 2018.
How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Although I am familiar with Temple Grandin, I never new about her first invention, the hug machine. How to Build a Hug is a narrative picture book biography that introduces Temple as a young child who like other kids, loved to build things but does not like hugs. Temple wondered why hugs calmed others when they made her uncomfortable. At boarding school, she continues to build and watches families hugging hellos and goodbyes still wondering will she ever feel comfortable with a hug? It was until she spent the summer at her aunt’s ranch in Arizona that Temple’s idea took form. Observing how a ranch hand used a squeeze chute to keep a cow calm during a vet exam, Temple planned and built her own hug machine. She used her hug machine to calm her when she felt nervous or scared.
How to Build a Hug is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book that can be a mirror or window to readers. Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville do a wonderful job conveying Temple’s feelings and emotions so that children can understand her dilemma with hugs, and Giselle Potter’s warm, vintage-like watercolor illustrations complement the text well. While the text does not specifically mention that Temple as autistic, the author’s note does and provides more information about Temple Grandin’s life. I am always looking for nonfiction picture books for #classroombookaday and there is no doubt that How to Build a Hug will be read to students in the upcoming school year.
Special thanks to the authors and Kara Ledbetter of Simon & Schuster for sending a F & G of How to Build a Hug to my #bookexcursion group. It releases on August 28, 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.
The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
All dogs have a good sense of smell, but Nell’s is so keen, she is known as Detective Dog Nell. Tuesday through Sunday, Nell solves crime after crime but on Mondays, she goes to school with her person, Peter and listened to stories. And of course, the best smell of all was the smell of books! But one Monday, Nell smelled something wrong only to discover all the books in Peter’s classroom are gone! With her nose leading the way, Nell sets off to find the missing books. Not only is she successful in discovering the book thief but makes sure he never has to “steal” again. If you like dogs and books, you can’t go wrong with The Detective Dog.
Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books! Happy reading!