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:
Party Animals (Cranky Chicken #2) by Katherine Battersby
Chicken & Speedy are back to keep kids smiling and giggling. Chicken hasn’t lost her crankiness; however, her friendship with Speedy definitely keeps it in check. In the first chapter, Chicken is hangry and Speedy does everything he can do to help her (except ask her what she wants to eat). In the next chapter, Speedy plans Chicken an unsurprising birthday party because Chicken loves parties but not surprises. In the final chapter, Speedy takes Chicken on a bus trip to the beach and of course, beaches and buses make Chicken cranky.
Battersby’s Cranky Chicken series is pure delight. As in the first book, Speedy accepts Chicken’s peevish personality and it is through their friendship that Chicken mellows reevaluating at times what makes her cranky. Speedy’s energy and positive attitude shine through in Battersby’s artwork and while Chicken’s facial expressions remain consistent for most of the novel, readers can see the genuine love for her adventurous friend. I adore their playful exchanges with one another because while Chicken’s dialogue is somewhat predictable, one never knows where Speedy is going to go. Their relationship is a reminder to kids that friends do not have to agree on everything; being together and supporting each other is what counts. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sending me a copy. Party Animals celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on June 28, 2022.
The Big Scream by Kirsti Call Illustrated by Denis Angelov
What happens when a child wants more and mom says no? First, come tears. Next, comes temper tantrum, and finally, a big scream. As a result, the boy gets a time out. His disposition starts out pouty and angry but it is clear that he has been taught calming strategies. He breathes in and out and as he slowly counts to ten, his scowl turns into a smile. While he did not get another cookie, he does get a big hug from mom!
Call’s concise, rhyming text and Angelov’s nostalgic and expressive illustrations perfectly complement the plot of a child who experiences the full range of emotions when he doesn’t get his way. What I love is this board board can be a great parent tool to teach kids how to handle big feelings. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sending me a copy. The Big Scream celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on June 28, 2022.
I Want to Be a Vase by Julio Torres Illustrated by Julian Glander
Tired of unclogging toilets, a plunger makes an announcement. It wants to be a vase. The sink, bathtub, toilet, and vacuum cleaner immediately scoff at its declaration. The plunger is not deterred stating it can switch jobs. It leaves the bathroom, enters the kitchen, and resourcefully tapes some flowers onto its handle. A pot remarks “Oh, yay, look! It’s a vase” to the plunger’s delight. Then the pot proclaims it wants to be a trash can. Soon other household items follow suit wanting to be something different which does not sit well with the vacuum. When the hair dryer decides it wants to be a vacuum, the vacuum has hit its breaking point and as a result, expel its contents all over the house. Who can help clean up this mess? Hmmm…perhaps, a dryer?
When I read aloud I Want to Be a Vase to kids, they could not contain their laughter. Torres’ playful conversational text gave life to a peppy plunger who dared to think differently as well as all the other household items in the story. Glander’s unique 3-D art is so visually appealing that the kids wanted to closely examine the illustrations after I read. Amid the humor, themes of identity, acceptance, and speaking one’s mind are explored which promotes a great discussion. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sending me a copy. I Want to Be a Vase recently published on June 7, 2022.
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 character.
Hot Dog by Doug Salati
Summer in the city is no fun for a dachshund doing errands with his human. It’s too
hot to sit or sniff and the streets are so crowded. Putting his paws down, the pup lays in the street until his human gets the message. On the next few page spreads, readers see the pair in a taxi, a train, and a boat which takes them to an island where the dog can let loose literally and figuratively. Once off leash, he runs on the beach, splashes in the water, and collects rocks. As the sun sets, the pup and his human travel back to their city home to eat supper and snooze.
As I read, I was aware of how both Salati’s text and artwork elicit emotions. I could feel the stickiness and loudness of the city as well as the dog’s frustration. The moment his human got down on her knees to rub under his chin, I knew she understood his needs and a smile never left his face. I love his use of alliteration (crowds close in, welcome whiff, skyline shimmers) and at times, Salati let his artwork alone tell the story. The format had a graphic novel feel with some pages having multiple panels of varying sizes. The heart of the story was the relationship between the dog and its human; the immense love they have for each other poured out from the illustrations. Hot Dog recently published on May 24, 2022.
Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!