It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/18/21

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:

Thanks to Jenny Lu of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing these Halloween picture books with Beagles and Books.  All published on July 20, 2021. 


Vampenguin by Lucy Ann Cummins

What happens when the Dracula family visits the zoo? When the door to the penguin habitat is ajar, the youngest vampire seizes the opportunity to visit the birds. With his black and white clothing, his yellow pacifier mimicking a beak and yellow shoes matching webbed feet, the resemblance is spot on and the two swap places with the penguin climbing into the stroller. Unaware, the Dracula family travels through the zoo yet the animals are wise to the switch.

A soft color palette and charming illustration make Vampenguin spookingly sweet. What I love most is Cummins makes the story fun for both children and adults. Young children will adore the plot and the illustrations and adults and older readers will chuckle at the discrepancy between the text and the illustrations. For example, the text says “after a short wait in line…” but the illustrations shows many people in front of the Dracula family. The last illustration is simply fabulous, for it is a copy of the souvenir photo with the penguin in the stroller and the youngest vampire peeking through the window of the penguin enclosure.


How to Hide a Ghost: A Lift the Flap Book by MacKenzie Haley

Where can a ghost hide?  This Halloween board book is a perfect interactive read aloud for toddlers.  On each page spread, children will encounter a lively, rhyming text, sweet (not scary) illustrations, and a sturdy flap that can be lifted easily by small hands to reveal the ghost’s hiding place.  Under the flap, the ghosts’ expressions are simply adorable and will put a smile onto a child’s face.  

I love that the cover also includes a flap and the durability of the board book. It is actually one of the most well-made board books I have ever seen.  How to Hide a Ghost is an engaging (not eerie) story that kids will want to read again and again. 

Bella’s Dog Cat Pick of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog cat love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine feline main character.

Warning: A cat pounced on the opportunity to take over Bella’s Pick of the Week. Rest assured that dogs WILL be back next week. 


Hardly Haunted by Jessie Sima 

A vacant house feels lonely and worries people won’t move in because she is haunted.  A curious black cat enters the residence and takes the reader on a tour of each room as the house attempts to suppress her creaks, squeaks, and rattles but is unsuccessful.   The quivering cat leaps out of the house but remains close by.  Holding her breath, the house tries again, but this time, the wind is the culprit rustling leave and scratching branches against her side causing her lights to flicker and base to groan. Finally, the rush of air makes a howling sound through her roof.  Instead of feeling depressed, the house feels invigorated.  Perhaps being haunted is her thing!  Now all she needs is to find a family who will embrace her spookiness.  Don’t worry readers! A happy ending awaits for this haunted house as well as the cat. 

I love how Sima’s illustrations make the house come alive. The third story windows serve as her eyes which convey her range of feelings from apprehension to contentment. The black cat also helps set the tone for the story, for its expression and disposition changes once the house accepts herself unconditionally.  

Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is etta-beagles-and-books-e1624813174378.jpg
“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.

5 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/18/21”

  1. Awww, I have Vampenguin and Hardly Haunted in my reading pile for this week. I’ll have to see if we have a copy of How to Hide a Ghost nearby. Thanks for the great post, Laura!


  2. They all sound great, Laura. My granddaughters have five cats (& a dog) so I will look for Hardly Haunted for sure! Vampenguin is such a clever idea & sounds hilarious. Thanks!


  3. Laura, these books look like so much fun! Vampenguin looks like a ton of fun, as does How to Hide a Ghost! And Hardly Haunted looks so sweet that I felt a weirdly strong emotional reaction—accept yourself, house! You’re great as you are! If only my library had it—I’ll have to check again at some point. Thanks so much for the great reviews!


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