Bit About Books Winter Reading Challenge, Giveaway, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/8/21


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:


A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Living in London during World War II,  Edmund, William and Anna Pearce are orphans again.  Their parents died years ago and now their grandmother has died.  While they do not grieve the loss of their cold, distant grandmother, her death does impact them because she did not name a guardian in her will.  Other considerations are the Pearce children want to stay together and with the war, finding a family to adopt them all poses a challenge.  The solicitor recommends that the siblings join other children who are evacuating the city for the country.  And while the trio are heirs to a comfortable inheritance, this information must be kept a secret until a forever, loving home is found.  

From the very first page, this book had my heart.   The writing is exquisite and has a classic, timeless feel.  While I read, I truly could hear the narrator telling the story.  Each sibling has a distinctive personality which made them endearing.  The children encounter bullying, prejudice, and sheer indifference in their first two placements or billets, but they persevere because of their love for each other and for books.  In fact, books are truly their refuge because books give them warmth on a cold night and hope for someone who thinks they hang the moon, like their mother.  When they find the village lending library and befriend Mrs. Muller, the kindhearted librarian, your heart leaps because you feel a happy ending is looming but patience is required.  And when it does happen, tears of joy occur because a new story is about to begin full with love, promise and of course, lots of books!  Thanks to Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House for sharing an eARC.  A Place to Hang the Moon recently published last week on February 2, 2021.


Bunbun and Bonbon: Hoppy Go Lucky by Jess Keating

Bunbun and Bonbon are back in the second book of this early graphic novel series.  In the first book, Fancy Friends, Bunbun and Bonbon meet and become fast friends and members  of Team Fancy.  In Hoppy Go Lucky, when a couple of bad things happen,  Bunbun is convinced their luck has run away.   They seek the advice of their wise fox friend, Scout Von Fluffington, who suggest they set a trap to catch their good luck.  Bunbun and Bonbon are optimistic their plan will work using a donut as bait.  While the spunky pair do not trap their luck, they do catch a duck who offers his own tip, but that leads to more bad luck or maybe not because meeting a unicorn named Rosie Stardrop Sparklepants seems pretty fabulous to me.  She gives the duo the best advice of all-as long as you can smile, you will never lose your luck!

With bright and eye-catching illustrations, easy to read dialogue and themes of friendship, problem solving, and positivity, this fun series will be in high demand.  I am so happy that graphic novels are being written with young readers in mind, but I believe readers of all ages will be charmed by Bunbun and Bonbon. Hoping there are more adventures to come in the series.  Hoppy Go Lucky recently published on February 2, 2021.



Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

Told in playful quatrains, Fliess has written an inspirational story encouraging us all to chase our dreams.  What I love most is Sadie teaches us that dreams come true with planning, research, teamwork, determination, and problem solving.  And once a goal is accomplished, another idea can take its place.  Tempest’s bright and exuberant illustrations reinforce the positive themes. At the end of the book, Sadie’s notebook is included which shares facts about Mars as well as women in space.  Sadie motivates us all to be dreamers AND doers!  To read my full review and enter a giveaway, 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.


First Friend: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends by Kersten Hamilton Illustrated by Jaime Kim

How did dogs become our best friends?   This picture book uses a nonfiction narrative format to explain to kids how wolves evolved into dogs.  The story begins in the Stone Age.  A young girl and wolf pup meet and play but once they both grow up, their friendship must end, for humans and wolves are rivals hunting the same prey.  Many, many years pass and a young boy living in a hut meets a wolf pup.  They interact more closely with the boy scratching the pup and sharing his food, but like the girl, the relationship does not last although the pair watch each other from afar.   Over time, more children and wolf pups befriend each other.  Their relationship is more intimate trading items, drinking from the same water hole, sleeping side by side, and finally, traveling together to a new home.  On the last page spread, it is now present day and a beagle (yes, a beagle!) and a girl run toward one another full of excitement and love.  

Hamilton’s concise, melodic text and Kim’s warm and radiant illustrations are in perfect harmony.  Words were chosen and art was drawn thoughtfully and with purpose to show how wolves evolved into dogs.  At the end of the book, back matter includes more facts about their progression from competitor to companion as well as a bibliography.  And pay special attention to the gorgeous endpapers, for the front depicts their rival relationship in hieroglyphics and the child-like illustrations of a girl and her dog grace the back endsheets.  Thanks to author Kersten Hamilton and Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for sharing an eARC.  First Friends celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on February 9, 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.

6 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/8/21”

  1. Bella’s Pick sure grabbed my attention this week. Thanks for sharing — I’m adding this to my list, for sure. And I’m still waiting on A Place to Hang the Moon. Hopefully it’ll be soon. Thanks for these shares, Laura!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A Place to Hang the Moon sounds wonderful, Laura, & my library will soon have it! I put it on hold! Also, Bella’s pick, First Friend sounds special, too. My class studied the evolution of dogs one year & it was so interesting. Each student took one breed and researched its history and evolution. Thanks for all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Place to Hang the Moon and First Friend both sound wonderful! Also, I’m shocked that I’m just now noticing that the quote at the end of your post is from Jim Butcher—I have family members who love his books! Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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