Early Readers, Graphic Novel, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Nonfiction

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/21/22

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.


Oodles of Doodles by Aletheta Kontis Illustrated by Christopher Jacques 

This humorous Ready to Read book features two oval shaped creatures and a poodle. When the two creatures meet, the larger one sees artwork on easels and asks the smaller one “Do you doodle?”  Not only does the small creature doodle, but also his poodle and they can both doodle oodles of noodles.  The larger creature joins in doodling the poodle doodling noodles in exchange for two doodles from the doodling poodle and his owner.  Whoa! That’s a lot of oo-dles! 

I love how Kantis playfully uses rhyming words (doodle, poodles, oodles, noodles and toodle) and sight words to engage young readers. The repetition will support kids reading the rhyming words in the story and the sight words make the text very accessible. While Jacques’ creatures are simply drawn, they have a wide range of emotions based on their eyes and mouths.  I am though partial to the adorable beret and sweater wearing poodle who doodles a caboodle of doodles one after another. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sharing a copy.  Oodles of Doodles released October 11, 2022.


The Greatest in the World (Tater Tales #1) by Ben Clanton

Picture book mutant potato Rot makes his debut in Tater Tales, a graphic novel series.  In his first adventure, Rot and his brother Spud argue who is the best.  They vie for the title, The Greatest in the World. competing in a potato sack race with their younger sister, Tot, serving as judge.  When Tot rules the race a tie, they face off in a rolling game down Hot Potato Hill.  Since neither brother was able to catch her, the final competition is a laugh off.  Who will be the spud to laugh last and claim victory?  

Where do I even starch?  With carbo-rific characters, an a-peeling plot, and lots of potato puns, The Greatest in the World is a tuberous tale that is tater-ly hilarious!  I love the sibling rivalry between Rot and Snot and how Tot keeps them both in check.  Clanton’s cartoon illustrations are full of action and expression.  Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sharing a copy.  The Greatest in the World published on November 8, 2022.


How Do Meerkats Order Pizza? Wild Facts about Animals and the Scientists Who Study Them by Brooke Barker

Do you know a kid (or adult) who loves learning new and intriguing facts about animals?  This nonfiction text is unique because it introduces readers to real scientists and their animal research. Through the lens of a specific scientist, Barker teaches us about meerkats, deep-sea mussels, seaside sparrows, bees, bonobos, Japanese macaques, crows, gars, birds, dogs, lizards, humpback whales, jaguars, roosters, Antarctic midge (my favorite), white-tailed deer, and endangered marsupials. 

In the text, Barker explains how the scientists are researching the animals to support their survival or to help us better understand big ideas such as communication, emotions, and preservation.  I must be honest that a few of the animals featured were new to me which is fascinating.  Barker’s text reminds me of a sketch notebook with engaging artwork and annotations that will keep kids reading until the very last page. I especially loved the animals’ commentary throughout the text which gave me smiles and giggles. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sharing a copy.  How Do Meerkats Order Pizza? celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on November 22, 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.


New Kids and Underdogs by Margaret Finnegan

Due to her mom’s job as an university professor, Robyn has moved a lot which means she has had plenty of practice being the new kid.  Before moving to San Luis Obispo, their sixth city and beginning fifth grade, Robyn makes a list of ten rules for herself to make the transition smooth.  The rules are especially important because her mom hopes San Luis Obispo to be their permanent home and Robyn knows that means she only has one chance to make a first impression.

Her mom is big on extracurricular activities so when Robyn sees an agility dog training class, she is willing to jump right in, but her mom brings up their rescue Jack Russell terriers’  physical and emotional needs. Fudge is deaf and vision impaired and Sundae has anxiety.  The dog trainer agrees with her mom which angers Robyn.  When she discovers one of her classmates, Nestor, is the dog trainer’s grandson, Robyn asks him to teach her dogs agility.  Nestor’s initial answer is no, but with the support of fellow classmates Jonathan (Nestor’s cousin) and Alejandra (who is a semi new kid since she skipped fourth grade), Nestor agrees.  Robyn’s excitement is quickly deflated when she worries that making their acquaintance may be breaking her rule to lay low and blend in. 

New Kids and Underdogs is a story that pulls the reader right in.  Although Finnegan wrote in the third person, readers really get to know Robyn as a character and given her past experiences, it’s easy to have empathy or sympathy for her. But after spending time with Nestor, Jonathan and Alejandra, you realize that they are kids with whom you would want to be friends. Robyn learns that the rules don’t allow her or others to ever share their whole story which is important in building relationships. As a dog mom, I especially loved Robyn for being such an advocate for her dogs Sundae and Fudge believing they could succeed.  Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and Simon & Schuster for sharing a copy.  New Kids and Underdogs released October 25, 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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