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
Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Rock scientist Badger likes simplicity and predictability living alone in his Aunt Luna’s brownstone. One day, a suitcase carrying Skunk arrives on his doorstep. Apparently, Skunk is acquainted with his aunt and she offered him a room in her large home. Badger was informed; he just never bothered to read his aunt’s letters and now, his once solitary life is disrupted from doing important rock work. While Skunk is a good cook, he makes a mess in the kitchen. Skunk also befriends a lot of chickens inviting them into the brownstone adding more chaos. Tensions rise and Badger’s words and actions not only offend Skunk but also the chickens. After some soul searching, Badger realizes his wrong doing and wants to make amends, but will Skunk (and the chickens) accept his apology?
With themes of compassion, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness, Skunk and Badger is a charming and delightful tale of two opposite characters who eventually become unlikely friends. When Skunk first moved in, I empathize with Badger especially with the rocket potato incident. (Read to find out!) But I also recognized that Badger was lonely and much to his surprise, he did enjoy Skunk’s company. Since Badger narrates the story, readers get the pleasure of truly witnessing his transformation from recluse to friend. Timberlake’s witty dialogue is a joy to read and Klassen’s nostalgic black and white illustrations truly complement the text and bring the characters to life. Stay tuned for more adventures to come in the Skunk and Badger series.
Thanks to Workman Publishing/Algonquin Young Readers for sending an ARC of Skunk and Badger which recently released on September 15, 2020. Stay tuned for more adventures are to come in the Skunk and Badger series.
Geeger the Robot Goes to School (Geeger the Robot Book 1) by Jarrett Lerner
Geeger is a robot who was built by scientists to do one thing-EAT! His job is to eat all the rotten, moldy, mushy food that the people in the town of Amblerville won’t eat. At the end of the day, Geeger plugs himself into the DIGEST-O-TRON which turns the food into electricity and powers the town. While Geeger loves his job, he is lonely so he makes the decision to go to school to make friends. School is challenging for Geeger because some of the things he sees at school look like food. For example, a globe looks like a giant piece of moldy fruit. A jump rope looks like spaghetti. With the support of teacher Mrs. Bork, and classmate Tilly, Geeger learns the rules of school.
Like his first series, Enginerds, Lerner’s Geeger series is robo-tastic. As an author and illustrator, Lerner’s books have massive kid appeal because he creates dynamic characters and an engaging and humorous plot. While kids will immediately enjoy Geeger’s high jinks as he takes things so literally, they will also relate to his anxiety over starting something new. What I love most about the story is Mrs. Bork’s understanding towards Geeger. She acknowledges that he is just learning, everyone gets confused, and mistakes are chances to learn. Mrs. Bork also tells Geeger she believes in him. That is exactly the kind of teacher I strive to be every day.
So excited to read more books in the Geeger the Robot series, which is part of Aladdin’s Quix Fast Fun Reads. As a teacher, I highly recommend Quix for young students just transitioning to chapter books or older kids who need additional supports. Geeger is written in a large font with short chapters. The whole book is less than 70 pages and appealing black and white illustrations frequently accompany the text. Other accessible features include a list of characters with their role as well as the use of bold font for characters’ names when first introduced in the text. Vocabulary words are also in bold and defined with pronunciation in a glossary. Geeger recently published on September 22, 2020.
All Except Axle by Sue Lowell Gallion Illustrated by Lisa Manuzak Wiley
All the new cars roll onto the transport trucks except nervous Axle. After some coaxing, Axle climbs onboard but he feels carsick. When he arrives at the dealership, he quickly gets back on the transport wanting to return to the plant. Sensing his anxiety, Earlene, the transport truck, takes Axle to a truck stop to practice simple commands like turns. Earlene continues to teach Axle how to travel through flatlands, foothills, and mountains. And when Earlene gets a flat tire, Axle uses his new skills to seek help.
Kids can easily relate to Axle’s fears about something new. With the support from Erlene, Axle realizes that he can hold his own and be independent. Gallion has written a sweet story that teaches us all to have courage to step out of our comfort zone and be willing to take risks. Wiley’s adorable illustrations show Axle’s anxiety and how he changes in the story building his confidence.
Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and Aladdin/Simon and Schuster for sending a review copy. All Except Axle recently published on September 22, 2020. Check out the storytime kit, which is chock-full of great ideas for building courage and confidence! One lucky winner will receive a copy of All Except Axle, courtesy of Aladdin/Simon and Schuster (U.S. addresses only). Enter below.
Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.
This Old Dog by Martha Brockenbrough Illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo
Brockenbrough’s soulful, concise text coupled with Alborozo’s warm and charming illustrations will touch your heart. Old dog may have sore bones but his heart and tail still go thump thump. With the arrival of a new baby in the family, the pace of life in his home has sped up which is quite a change for a dog who likes to take things slow. As a result, his leisurely walks are now shorter. As he sleeps, he dreams of long walks with deep sniffs. When he wakes, he wishes he had a friend with whom he could share his walks. Once the baby takes her first steps, old dog’s wish comes true and the two remind us of the importance of slowing down and enjoying the simple things in life. This heartwarming story has made me be less hurried on my own daily walks with Bella and to let her enjoy all the deep sniffs. Thank you to Levine Querido and Edelweiss for sharing an eARC of This Old Dog which published on September 1, 2020.
Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!