#Bookexcursion, Debut Author, Early Readers, Graphic Novel, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Picture Books, Poetry

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/23/20

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.

Our Recent Reads:

Fox & Rabbit by Beth Ferry Illustrated Gergely Dudas

Kids of all ages love graphic novels which is why I am excited to find Fox & Rabbit, a new series for early readers.  In the first book of the series, best friends Fox and Rabbit go to a fair, the beach, Surprise Island, plant a garden, and sell lemonade.  In each chapter, Fox is pretty much always up for an adventure and especially loves all things that begins with the letter F.  Rabbit is a worry wart because surprises are not always good. Sometimes a surprise turns out to be a zinger. 

What I love about this series is how both Fox and Rabbit support each other.  Adventurous Fox is not a fan of heights so Rabbit calls a mountain a high hill.  Rabbit hates swimming but encouraging Fox is as sure as sand (and snakes) that Rabbit will be ok in the ocean or a swamp.  What is also heartwarming is the duo realizes that life’s best surprise is having a fun day with your best friend.  Ferry’s character development of two unlikely friends and witty dialogue coupled with Dudas’ playful and expressive illustrations make reading Fox and Rabbit a true delight!  So happy to know the second book in the series, Fox & Rabbit Make Believe, recently published in September 2020.   

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Some Days by Maria Wernicke  Translated by Lawrence Schimel

Some Days is a tender and gentle story of heart, hurt, but most importantly hope.  I must admit that the page spread of the girl hugging the man really tugged at my heart.  After my husband and I said goodbye to our first beagle, Beaglie, we both remarked that the house was so cold without him.  I can empathize with the girl for feeling cold in her loss.  Wernicke’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and show not only the mother’s and daughter’s grief but also their love for each other.  Her choice of using red sparingly conveys to me that red means love. In translating to English from Spanish, Schimel chooses words carefully to allow the illustrations to deliver the story’s message.  Losing a loved one is extremely difficult no matter one’s age.  Some Days reminds us that we can still look for that person in our daily lives. To read my full review, click here.

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The Rescue Rabbits by Eric Seltzer Illustrated by Roland Garrigue

If you are animal in trouble, there is no need to fear.  Ace, Chip, Dot, and Spot (also known as the Rescue Rabbits) are here!  Equipped with nifty gadgets such as a Super–Excavator to lift large animals and Rash–Away Lotion to soothe an itchy kangaroo, the Rescue Rabbits are always ready and prepared to help an animal in need. As a reading specialist, I have the pleasure of reading to a class daily.  Before reading, I asked the children to think about what the Rescue Rabbits can teach us.  Here are some of the lessons the students shared.

  • Help people.
  • Say you are sorry.
  • Work together.
  • Don’t give up. 

After the students shared their thoughts, we briefly discussed how the characters’ words and actions show positive traits such as responsibility, forgiveness, cooperation, collaboration, resourcefulness, creativity, and perseverance.  With an engaging and fun plot that champions positive virtues and bold and playful cartoon–like illustrations, the students (and this teacher) give The Rescue Rabbits two thumbs up!  To read my full review, click here.

Bella’s 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.

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Maddie and her two best friends secretly plan a sleepover at her grandparents’ empty apartment. At the last minute, both friends cancel. Since Maddie has already lied to her divorced parents, she decides to stay there alone binging on old black and white movies and junk food.  When she wake up the next morning, she had no idea how truly alone she would be.  Her whole town, including her family, have been evacuated overnight. Because of her lie, her mom and dad each think Maddie is safe with the other leaving text messages that they will reconnect at the embarkation point.  With no cell phone connection, Maddie returns home but it isn’t long before she realizes not only is she on her own but also she will have to survive without electricity and running water. On her search for supplies in her neighborhood, Maddie rescues George, her neighbor’s rottweiler who becomes her most precious and loyal companion. 

Narrated by 12 year old Maddie, Alone is a riveting novel in verse by debut author Megan Freeman.   I was completely in awe of Maddie’s resourcefulness and resilience.   She takes turns living at both parent’s houses depending on weather, recalls her dad’s advice of staying put and how to flush  a toilet that won’t refill, scours the neighborhood for food and solar lights, gets lake water to wash clothes, and drives her mom’s minivan with her bike helmet (better safe than sorry). She survives looters, a tornado, and a wildfire. My heart also hurt for Maddie because her loneliness is acute.  As I read, I was so grateful she had George for company as well as books.  I love the verses when Maddie went to the Millersville Public Library to get books to teach her things as well as provide an escape. And when she discovers poetry, something awakens in Maddie’s soul.  Realizing that while her situation seems bleak, Maddie realizes she has to do something with her one wild and precious life which is to live as completely and fully as she can.   Alone teaches us great lessons about the power not only to survive but also to believe in the power of new beginnings.  Thanks to the author for sharing an ARC of Alone with my #bookexcursion group.  Alone publishes on January 21, 2021. 

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.

3 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/23/20”

  1. Some Days was such a heavy picture book. I wanted to send a copy to my mom, immediately, after having lost my dad. Every time I looked back, I seemed to notice something else meaningful in the pictures – color, symbols, etc. And I am excited to read Alone just as soon as it’s available. Thanks for sharing these wonderful reviews, Laura!

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