Beagles and Books is excited to share our latest reads in 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.
Today marks the second week of schools being closed in Maryland. I thought I would actually get more reading and reviewing done but I must admit it has been harder to sit down and concentrate than I thought. Besides long walks with Bella, I have spent time checking in with family and friends, cleaning, and decluttering. In an effort to support parents and other educators, I write a blog post compiling a list of free digital guided reading resources. I also helped my school community connect by creating a Facebook page and YouTube channel. Here’s hoping this week I have better focus to read and review. I am a glass half full person so I am looking for the silver lining in all of this, which to be thankful for the gift of time in a comfortable home with electricity, water, food, my husband, books, and of course, my sweet girl Bella. Wishing everyone well!
Our Recent Reads:
Write! Write! Write! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater Illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
In my very first #IMWAYR blog post, I reviewed Read! Read! Read!, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater’s inspiring collection of poetry celebrating reading. Imagine my excitement when I discovered she has written a companion book dedicated to writing. Her first poem titled “Our Alphabet” is a perfect beginning reminding young writers that “words are always different but the letters are the same.” Subsequent poems focuses on stages of the writing process (“Ideas (Like Peaches”), genres of writing (“Opinion”) as well as the joys (“Anything Can Grow”) and pitfalls (“Same Feeling”) of writing. As a teacher, not only can Write! Write! Write! be a mentor text for poetry, specific poems can also be a way to introduce types of writing such as a small moment narrative (“My Story”). O’Rourke’s gorgeous and inclusive artwork complements Vanderwater’s lively text which encourages budding writers to persevere. Can’t wait to share this motivating treasury of poems with students and teachers. Thanks to the author Amy Ludwig Vanderwater for sharing an F & G with Beagles and Books. Write! Write! Write! recently published last week on March 17, 2020.
Green on Green by Diana White Illustrated by Felicita Salas
Green on Green is a serene and charming story about a family’s journey through the seasons in their coastal community. While the color green is a thread throughout the entire book, other colors are emphasized in each season. The story begins in spring with the young boy picking yellow flowers, drinking lemonade, and splashing in stomping in puddles in his yellow rain boots. Each subsequent season is introduced on a wordless two page spread. In summer, blue is the prominent color. The boy and his family are enjoying the beach, the sea, and picnics in the field. Fall is depicted in brown and orange with leaves changing, pumpkins growing, and a Thanksgiving meal shared. Not only does winter bring snow but also the arrival of a baby for the family. On the last page spread, spring has returned bringing the story back full circle.
White’s text is succinct and symphonic and coupled with Sala’s tender and vivid illustrations evoke a sense of peace and warmth. Green on Green is a celebration of family, seasons, change, and community which makes it a wonderful read aloud for children. Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and the publisher Beach Lane Books/Simon and Schuster for sharing a copy with Beagles and Books. Green on Green celebrated its book birthday on March 17, 2020.
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.
Blue Daisy by Helen Frost Illustrated by Rob Shepperson
Friends and next door neighbors, Sam and Katie see a stray dog in the neighborhood. Dirty and skinny, they are desperate to befriend it. But when the dog returns to Sam’s backyard, Sam and Katie make a impulsive decision which they later deeply regret. Ironically, their mistake has some positive consequences for now people in their neighborhood begin treating the dog with more kindness. In addition, Sam and Katie learn that the Tracy twins aren’t as mean as they once thought.
Stories about stray or shelter dogs always tug at my heart. Blue Daisy is a uniquely structured novel because it is told in both poetry and prose by Sam and Katie respectively. Even the font is different for each account. Written in under 80 pages with detailed full page black and white illustrations every few pages, Blue Daisy is a heartwarming story with themes of friendship, contrition, forgiveness, and trust. It is a text that would definitely prompt great discussion for students. And the author also includes recipes which is a nice bonus. Thanks to the publisher Holiday House for sharing an ARC at the 2019 NCTE convention. Blue Daisy recently published last week on March 17, 2020.
Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!