Early Chapter Books, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/20/23

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.


Bravo, Little Bird! by Annie Silvestro Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

An old man’s piano notes drift down to the valley enthralling Little Bird.  She decides to venture to his house on the top of the hill, make a nest, and join him in song.  Little Bird and the old man become a duo making music together to the delight of their families.  The old man teaches his grandson to play the piano while Little Bird teaches her babies to sing.  One day the old man is too tired to play so he asks his grandson.  Not long after, all is quiet.  Readers can infer from the text and the illustrations that the old man has died.  The silence remains until a cardinal approaches Little Bird inquiring about the music.  Little Bird visits the valley and sees the impact her and the old man’s music as children and animals play familiar tunes.  She leads them up the hill so that the old man’s family can hear too.

Silvestro’s touching text and Kaulitzki’s expressive illustrations will help adults support children with the loss of a loved one.  What I love about the story is Little Bird did not realize the power of her and the old man’s music.  She and the old man played for themselves and their families but it was only after the music stopped, Little Bird witnessed the positive effect it had on others.  While the old man was no longer with them, his legacy lives on every time they play their music.  Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing a copy.  Bravo, Little Bird! celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on February 21, 2023. 


In Every Life by Marla Frazee

Inspired by a call and response version of a Jewish baby-naming blessing, In Every Life honors the events and emotions that connects us as humans.  On each page spread, the text follows the same pattern: “In every _____, blessed is the _______.”  Accompanying her words, Frazee shares ten affecting illustrations in which one, a few, many or all will appeal to the reader’s emotions.  Directly following is breathtakingly beautiful full page spread artwork that complements or reinforces the theme.  

What I love about In Every Life is that some of the experiences depicted are big life events while others are small.  Some experiences are with people or pets and others occur alone.  Frazee reminds me to cherish every moment of my life because life is indeed the greatest gift.  Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing a copy.  In Every Life published on February 7, 2023. 

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.


Finn and the Feline Frenemy (Life in the Doghouse #4) written by Danny Robertson, Ron Danta & Crystal Velasquez Illustrated by Laura Catrinella

In the fourth book in the Life in the Doghouse series, Finn, a redbone hound mix, has been recently adopted by the Figueroa family.  Finn is unique in that he only has three legs, but imagine his surprise when he discovers the family cat, Rusty, is also a tripod! Rusty though is not happy about sharing daughter Alyssa with Finn just like Alyssa isn’t thrilled about the arrival of her new baby brother.  Will Rusty warm up to Finn and realize it is not a competition?  Will Alyssa understand that there is room in their house and her parents’ hearts for her and her brother? 

At only 138 pages with short chapters and black and white illustrations, Finn and the Feline Frenemy (along with the other books in the series), is a great chapter book for children transitioning to middle grade.  I love how the story shares how Alyssa and her family supports Finn by taking him on short walks, giving him  raised dog bowls, and a life jacket so Finn can engage in water therapy in their pool.  Alyssa also learns a valuable lesson from watching Finn and Rusty which many kids can relate to.  Kids will also enjoy learning about the true story of Finn which comes after the fictionalized story.  Of course, being a rescue dog mom, I love that this series features a rescue dedicating to finding furever homes for dogs and the text shows how three legged animals such as Finn and Rusty can live happy lives with a supportive family. Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and Simon and Schuster Publishing for sharing for a copy. Finn and the Feline Frenemy released on February 7, 2023.   To learn more about this engaging and informative series, click here

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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