#Bookexcursion, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novel, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/21/20

Bella and I are 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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Our Recent Reads

Snazzy Cat Capers: Meow or Never by Deanna Kent Illustrated by Neil Hooson

After successfully stealing a secret cake recipe to make a birthday surprise for Director MEW, Ophelia Von Hairball is still the world’s best cat burglar ahead of her archrival and cousin Pierre.   Director Mew announces a new competition-steal the most valuable treasure, but there is a twist to this challenge.  No solo work; therefore, Ophelia must include her inventor sidekick goldfish Oscar F. Gold.  Teamwork is one area where Ophelia is not number 1 but in order to stay on top, she needs to embrace Oscar as a true partner.  Can Ophelia and Oscar not only steal the greatest treasure, defeat her rotten scoundrel cousin and his cheating frog inventor Norman but also prove they are a legitimate team?  

While I love all the Snazzy Cat Caper adventures, I must admit that Meow or Never might very well be my favorite.   In Book 1, Ophelia wanted no part in working with a “paw-rtner.”  In fact, Oscar was her 17th inventor.  But gradually, she learns his “fin-tastic” value and their “paw-rtnership” evolved in Book 2.  In Book 3, Ophelia and Oscar truly become a team.  When Ophelia is scared about swimming underwater,  Oscar gives the best pep talk telling Ophelia he believes in her and she will conquer this fear with his help.  And when Oscar is feeling low, Ophelia is his cheerleader calling him the smartest, most innovative inventor she knows.   A blend of graphic novel and illustrated chapter book, the unique format is cleverly drawn and appeals to both striving and thriving readers regardless of age.  Thanks to Macmillan and Net Galley for sharing an eARC of Meow or Never which celebrated its book birthday last week on September 15, 2020. 

No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History edited by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley  Illustrated by Jeanette Bradley

This anthology of poems introduces readers to the true stories of fourteen young activists who have used their voices to make positive change. Each young person is introduced on a full page spread with an inspiring poem about his/her advocacy, a gorgeous illustration, a sidebar of facts, and advice on how to emulate his/her actions to make a difference.   

What I love most is that the kids featured, while famous for their activism, will be new to  young readers (and even to adults like me). For example, I learned that Judy Adams created Dimes for Down Syndrome to help grant wishes to others.  Noah Barnes walked over 4,000 miles to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes.  Mari Copeny advocated for clean water in her hometown of Flint, Michigan. Adora Svitak teaches that adults can learn from kids.  In addition, the young advocates demonstrated that their age does not  matter  for “they took the mic-made small voices BIG and did something to change the world.”  Included in the backmatter poems are definitions of various poetry forms and brief biographies of each poet.  Thanks to Charlesbridge for sharing No Voice Too Small with my #bookexcursion group. It releases soon on September 22, 2020.

Mootilda’s Bad Mood by Corey Rosen Swartz and Kristi Call Illustrated by Claudia Ranucci

From the moment she wakes up, nothing goes right for Mootilda which puts her in a bad mood.  Her mom along with other farm animals try to help her out by suggesting outdoor activities such as jumping rope, a swim and a bike ride, but each pursuits ends in disaster. It turns out that Mootilda is not the only animal having bad luck, for the chickens’ projects are all ruined as a result of Mootilda’s actions (unbeknown to the birds or her).  For example, when she dives into the pond, the water splashes destroying the chickens’ sandcastle.  How will Mootilda and her feathery friends end their “fowl mooood?”

With rhyming texts, playful puns, and bright and lively illustrations,  kids will laugh out loud but also learn that by “cow-miserating” with friends, one can turn from “melan-cow-ly” to “moog-nificent.”  Thanks to author Corey Rosen Schwatz and Little Bee Books for sending a copy to my #bookexcursion group.  Mootilda’s Bad Mood recently published on September 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.

Puppy Problems (Peanut, Butter, and Crackers Book 1) by Paige Braddock

All is well in the lives of Crackers, a dog, and Butter, a cat until their human brings home a puppy aptly named Peanut.  Not only does Peanut upsets Crackers’ and Butters’ daily routine but also the dog and cat get scolded for Peanut’s messes such as a toppled trash can and strewn toilet paper. When Peanut finally is caught in the act, his cuteness saves him from a firm reprimand.  Annoyed, Butter takes matters into his own paws deliberately leaving the gate open in the middle of the night resulting in the puppy leaving the yard.  Fortunately, Crackers has a soft spot for Peanut reminding Butter how alone they both felt before they were adopted.  The duo team up to rescue Peanut from the deep, dark night and realize that there is always more room for another in their home, family, and bed.  

Author/illustrator Braddock has created a fun and engaging early graphic novel series full of humor and heart.  Both the illustrations and text are large to support early readers and it is clear that Braddock knows pets well, for their dialogue and actions were on point.  Thanks to Viking/Penguin Random House for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group.  Puppy Problems celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on September 22, 2020. 

Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books! 

“People love dogs. You can never go wrong adding a dog to the story.” Jim Butcher
#IMWAYR is dedicated to dear Etta, my original book beagle. Blessed that Etta is part of my story.

4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/21/20”

  1. No Voice Too Small sounds like a wonderful book! I’m curious about Bella’s thoughts on Snazzy Cat Capers—is she one of the rare dogs that likes cats? Thanks for the great post!


  2. Somehow No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History has flown under my radar until now. So I’m glad to learn about it today! Oh my goodness, Mootilda’s Bad Mood cover art looks hilarious!! I’m going to add this one to my list, too! Hopefully we’ll get a local copy. Thanks for the shares, Laura!


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