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.
This week is my launch into this new world of remote learning. Our district’s first goal is to virtually connect with students through class meetings. So far, I have participated in a Google Meets with my #classroombookaday Grade 2 students as well as a Grade 4 class. My heart was so full seeing their faces and hearing their voices! Having these virtual meetings will never replace actually being at school but it does make me feel more connected to not only the kids but also the teachers with whom I work. Looking forward to more class meetings this week and collaborating with other resource teachers how to provide support to our striving learners.
Reading a novel has been challenging so I have leaned on picture books which have provided me such comfort which author/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi mentions in her blog post, Why Picture Books Are Important. I am also used to reading and discussing a picture book daily with my #classroombookaday second grade class which gave me such a sense of community. I plan to read aloud a book at our next Google Meets which will make my heart happy!
Our Recent Reads:
An Ordinary Day by Elana Arnold Illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
I have been hearing a lot about An Ordinary Day and now I know why. While a woman waters her flowers and two children play together in a neighborhood, two families across the street are experiencing life changing events in their homes. One family is having to say goodbye to their beloved dog while another family is saying hello to a new baby. Arnold and Vukovic masterfully and tenderly connects these two milestones with text and illustrations. Of course, An Ordinary Day hit me hard because it has only been six weeks since we lost our sweet Etta. Although the story brought me to tears, the tears were of joy and sadness, for both the words and art conveyed the immense love the family had for their precious pet. And one can’t stay sad seeing the utter joy of a family welcoming their new baby into the world.
For the past 3 weeks, every day has seemed pretty ordinary. I have been doing the same tasks daily that it has even been hard to remember the day of the week. But I know others in the world are experiencing endings and beginnings just like the two families in An Ordinary Day. Such an important message for us all.
Bo the Brave by Bethan Woolvin
Bo’s brothers embark on a quest to catch a monster but won’t let her join them because she is too little. Bo disagrees proudly stating that she is “smart and brave and strong” and sets off on her own. During her travels, Bo encounters creatures that at first appear to be monsters but she soon realizes that the Griffen, Kraken, Dragon are helpful, nice, and caring. When Dragon informs her that her baby has been kidnapped, Bo is pretty sure she knows exactly where to find him- back home at the castle with her monstrous brothers. Bo saves the the day with her smarts, bravery, and strength and teaches her brothers (and readers) that actions speak much louder than appearances. And pay close attention to the end pages, for I love how Bo revises her map of Alpine Kingdom based on her new knowledge after her adventure. Thanks to Peachtree Publishing for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group. Bo the Brave recently published on April 1, 2020.
Two Bicycles in Beijing by Teresa Robeson Illustrated by Junyi Wu
Two bicycles, one yellow and one red, sit in a Beijing shop. They have been inseparable since they came out of the factory But this all changes when a girl buys the yellow bike named Huangche. Suddenly, Lunzi, the red bike, tips over and is all alone. Not long after, a boy spies Lunzi and purchases her to help him make his deliveries. Lunzi though only has one thing on her mind-to find Huangche. As the boy travels through the city, Lunzi gets her hopes up when she sees anything yellow. Sadly, the boy’s deliveries are complete and it is time to head home. Will Lunzi and Huangche ever be reunited? Not only did I enjoy the friendship story but also the opportunity to tour the city of Beijing and see sights such as Nanaguan Park, Beihai Park, and Tiananmen Square. and learn some Madarin Chinese words. Back matter includes a glossary of terms as well as descriptions of some of the city sights. Thanks to Albert Whitman for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group. Two Bicycles in Beijing recently published on April 1, 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.
Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis and Giselle Potter
Written in walks rather than chapters, Olive and Pekoe tells the story of two canine friends. Olive is small, old, and more reserved. Pekoe is big, young, and full of energy. As they take their walk, readers see the contrast between calm Olive and the lively Pekoe. Pekoe is on “four paw drive” enthralled by sticks, chipmunks, and other dogs; Olive would rather watch than be a participant. The last vignette is particularly touching, for at the dog park, Pekoe is scared by a bigger dog. Olive though is quick to act and joins Pekoe for support. Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks is a sweet story that reminds us friendship isn’t about being the same; it is about being there for each other.
Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading! Stay safe and well!