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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/12/22

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:


Big Bear and Little Fish by Sandra Nickel  Illustrated by Il Sung Na

When Bear won a small fish instead of a big teddy bear at a carnival, she is disappointed and worried. Measuring nine feet and eight inches tall, Bear is not used to small things especially something that appears to be so unlike her.   After a long walk, Bear concludes that Fish cannot stay with her.  When Bear confronts Fish, Fish points out their parallels such as they both share the same color, have tails and essentially live in a bowl.  Perhaps, Bear and Fish aren’t so different after all. 

Big Bear and Little Fish is a story about the importance of perspective.  Bear dwelled on differences and Fish spotlighted similarities.  Once Bear was aware of some common ground, she saw the opportunity for a friendship to blossom.  What a great lesson for kids!  Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sharing a copy.  Big Bear and Little Fish recently published on September 6, 2022.  


I Cannot Draw a Horse by Carise Mericle Harper

The story begins with a gumdrop shape which thinks it’s nothing. The narrator/illustrator adds some details and the shape is now a cat.  But, the shape wants to be a horse.  Horses are hard to draw so the cat inherits friends in the form of a squirrel, beaver, bunny and a dog.  When the dog chases the cat, it needs help from the narrator/illustrator but once safe, continues to ask for a horse.  It gets a turtle, a house and a bear.  Will the cat ever get its wish? 

I Cannot Draw a Horse is an interactive story that will engage kids upon the first page spread. Harper’s simple and appealing drawings and her humorous plot keep kids entertained.   I love that the cat is persistent in its request and while it does finally get what it wants, the cat does not anticipate that the horse may have a wish of its own.  Could a follow-up be in the works?  If so, I am here for it. Thanks to Jenny Lu of Union Square Kids for sharing a copy.  I Cannot Draw a Horse recently released on September 6, 2022. 


Mary Had a Little Plan by Tammi Sauer Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

In the follow up to Mary Had a Little Glam, Mary sees an empty lot on a walk with her dad and dog.  Quickly, she gets to work devising a plan to spruce it up involving local businesses and her friends to help.  Mary learns that teamwork truly makes the dream work, for collaboration is key to making an impact in the community.  

Sauer’s lively, rhyming text and Brantley-Newton’s colorful and charming illustrations teach young children the importance of not only making a plan but also asking for support in executing the plan. I love the ode to classic nursery rhymes, for Mary’s helpful friends are Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, and Miss Muffet.  And of course, I am happy to see a Little Free Library is part of this renovated community space.  Thanks to Jenny Lu of Union Square Kids for sharing a copy.  Mary Had a Little Plan recently released on September 6, 2022. 


Ice Cream Face by Heidi Woodward Sheffield

A kid loves to eat ice cream in any form, however, he struggles to wait when he visits his local ice cream shop. As he stands in line, he sees happy ice cream faces all over yet each person approaches their dessert differently.  All the enjoyment makes the kid frustrated.  When will he gets his chance? Finally he has ice cream in his hands and his face melts from annoyance to joy.  He tackles the cold, drippy treat with gusto which makes his brain freeze.  When he slows down, the ice cream becomes soupy and falls off his cone.  Oh no! No more ice cream face especially since the shop has closed.  Fortunately, his fellow ice cream fans are willing to share some scoops. 

Kids will easily identify with Sheffield’s ice cream kid.  As they listen to a read aloud, kids could mimic his faces to better understand his range of emotions.  Sheffield’s rhyming text and bold collage artwork catches and captivates the ears and eyes. Observant readers will notice that the ice cream is actual photographs making the tasty treat pop off the page.  Thanks to the author for sharing a copy.  Ice Cream Face published in June 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.


Don’t Eat Bees: Life Lessons from Chip the Dog by Dev Petty Illustrated by Mike Boldt

Listen up! Chip has some wise words.  Eating socks is ok because there is always a spare, but don’t eat bees. You know what else you can eat?  Homework, Thanksgiving turkey, Grandpa’s teeth, cat food, any food your small human gives you, shoes, a couch and of course, an unsupervised sandwich.   But, no lemons, fire or bees. (well maybe, just once).  Petty’s peppy text and Boldt’s animated and expressive illustrations speak directly to the reader which will result in a lot of smiles and chuckles.  But Chip and readers must be wary of the cat, Mittens, who may have a vendetta after Chip ate its food. Thanks to the author and illustrator for sponsoring a giveaway where I was one of the lucky winners!  Don’t Eat Bees released in May 2022. 

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.

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