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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/27/23

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.


Welcome to Monsterville by Laura Shovan Illustrations by Michael Rotherberg

A collection of 16 poems, Welcome to Monsterville  joins zany monsters illustrated by Michael Rothenberg with whimsical poetry by Laura Shovan. The first poem, “Invitation,” readers are  welcomed to meet creatures who are friendly, thoughtful, shy, scary and very unique.  For example, a monster who blows green bubbles, a monster with a bubblegum head,  a monster with 14 eyes, and a monster with feathers and hissing snakes around their necks.

Amid the humor, the poems, “Green Cave,” “When I Cry,” and “Dream” hit on emotions.  In the author’s note, Shovan shares the backstory behind her and Michael’s collaboration.  With this knowledge, Welcome to Monsterville could serve as a mentor text inspiring students to draw their own monsters and to create an accompanying poem for a social emotional learning exercise.  Thanks to the author for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group.  Welcome to Monsterville publishes soon on April 25, 2023. 


The Rainbow Snail by Karin Akesson

A snail sees a colorful rainbow in the sky and wonders what it would feel like to be each color.  As the snail ponders, what it visualizes is illustrated.  For instance, violet is a spring flower,  green is soft grass, and red is a ladybug.  As each color is introduced, the black snail’s shell collects the color and by the end of the story, its shell mirrors the beautiful rainbow seen in the sky.  

The Rainbow Snail not only teaches young children about colors, but also how colors can elicit an item and/or a feeling.  Adults can engage kids in a discussion about what they visualize and how colors make them feel. I especially love the page spread when the snail’s shell is a rainbow because readers can see the gastropod’s excitement in its eyes and mouth.  Thanks to Jenny Lu of Union Square Kids for sharing a copy.  The Rainbow Snail released on February 21, 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.


Fenway and the Loud Mouth Bird (Make Way for Fenway #3) by Victoria Coe Illustrated by
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

In this third adventure in the Make Way for Fenway chapter book series,  Fenway is excited about a trip to visit Nana with his human Hattie. Why? Because Nana plays his favorite game, abracadabra, which always ends with a yummy treat!  But not long after Fenway walks in the door, he smells trouble.  Nana now has a bird named Merlin who not only talks but also stole his treat game.  And to make matters worst, Hattie wants him to be friends with Merlin.  That’s like being friends with a squirrel.  Will Merlin make Fenway change his mind?  

Written from Fenway’s perspective, Coe captures the Jack Russell’s voice perfectly.  While Fenway is very frustrated with Merlin, he learns that befriending a bird who can talk can be valuable.  As a reading specialist, I appreciate all the support for readers transitioning to chapter books such as length, short chapters, and Lew-Vriethoff’s adorable black and illustrations which show Fenway’s exuberant personality. Thanks to the publisher for sharing an eARC.  Fenway and Loud Mouth Bird releases soon on April 4,, 2023. 

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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