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:
Something Good by Marcy Campbell Illustrated by Corinna Luyken
When the custodian discovers something bad written on the girls’ bathroom wall, Principal Martinez questions all the girls to investigate. Since they do not know what was written, a few girls sneak into the bathroom to see it for themselves. While readers never find out “the bad-something,” the page spread of the girls’ faces is compelling; eyes wide, eyes closed, hands over mouth and mouth open all shocked by what they see. The “bad-something” makes everyone suspicious of each other and feeling a range of emotions from worry, confusion, anger, sadness. These emotions somehow fuel a meanness. How are they ever going to heal? With the help of Principal Martinez and their teachers, the kids are reminded they were special and kind. They work together to make something good and paint a mural over the something bad. Poems were also composed that focused on the positive.
Inspired by real life events at her children’s school, Campbell’s story is an authentic account of how a community can not only mend but also grow stronger. As I read, I felt as if I was one of the students which demonstrates the amazing union of Campbell’s powerful words and Luyken’s moving artwork. Something Good will encourage a healthy conversation for kids about hate speech, a tough but important topic to discuss with elementary students. Thanks to Wunderkind PR for sharing a copy. Something Good released on October 19, 2021.
It Fell From the Sky by The Fan Brothers
When a yellow green marble falls from the sky, all the animals agree it is the most amazing thing they have ever seen but they differ on what the object is. Is a gumdrop, a fallen star or a magic chrysalis? Spider claims it as his, for it fell in his web. Astute readers will know from the illustrations, the arachnid is being deceptive but no one challenges him. In fact, they help him build Wonderville to display the mysterious treasure. But Spider gets greedy. When demand to view the “Wonder from the Sky” is high, he increases the admission price more and more as well as rushes visitors through the exhibit. Animals leave and customers dwindle but then the worse happens. A hand reaches down and steals Spider’s Wonder! Now Spider is alone. How will he redeem himself?
As in their other books, The Fan Brothers’ artwork is stunning. With the exception of the marble, leaves that represent money, and the last two page spreads, the majority of illustrations are black and white. This decision shows how incredible the marble was to the animals. The page spread where Spider has piles of green leaves in front of him reveals his selfishness. It Fell From the Sky will promote a great discussion, for readers will observe how Spider changes and makes amends. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing a copy. It Fell From the Sky published on September 28, 2021.
Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion by Stephen Martin Iliustrated by Dan Tavis
Why would adorable Fluffy McWhiskers be sad and lonely? The cat is so unbelievably cute that once anyone lay eyes on her, they explode which makes having and keeping friends extremely difficult. She attempts to solve her problem by making herself less cute, but it seems everything Fluffy does increases her cuteness. Even traveling to outer space does not help her situation; aliens blow up too! Finally, Fluffy boats to a deserted island to solve her problem once and for all until one day Fluffy discovers she is no longer alone. Having no place to hide, she comes nose to nose with a pug and miraculously, the dog doesn’t explode. In fact, the pug is shocked Fluffy didn’t; now the puppy and cat can become BFFs.
A note of caution-Martin’s ridiculously hilarious plot and Tavis’ adorable and lively illustrations will cause kids and adults to erupt with laughter. Amid the giggles, Fluffy teaches persistence because she makes every effort to solve the problem. Seeing her ideas fail was heartbreaking but my heart truly burst with happiness when she and the pug became friends. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing a copy. Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion released on November 2, 2021.
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.
Tag and the Magic Squeaker by Sam Hundley
A pup named Tag loves playing with his squeaker ball. When it rolls under the couch, the cat is happy but Tag is upset. A mouse hears Tag’s whimpering, sees a hole in the squeaker, and decides to take advantage of an opportunity. When the squeaker rolls back out, Tag is surprised and the cat is stunned. Then the squeaker not only begins talking to Tag but also helps him get a treat from the kitchen. His toy must be magical! But the cat is skeptical and attempts to uncover the mystery behind the “magic” squeaker. Will the mouse get sniffed out?
Kids will be engaged by Hundley’s fun plot and captivated by his amazing artwork. All the characters were created of scrap art. In the author’s note, Hundley shares that almost all of the objects he used are dug relics dating back to the 1800s. Readers also find out the his own beagle Theo inspired the story. Thanks to Capstone and NetGalley for sharing an eARC. Tag and the Magic Squeaker publishes on February 1, 2022.
Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!