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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/15/23

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.


B is for Bananas by Carrie Tillotson Illustrated by Estrela Lourenco

A banana thinks bedtime is boring so it hijacks the alphabet book in this hilarious companion picture book to Counting to Bananas: A Mostly Rhyming Book. At first, Banana banters with the narrator as each letter is shared. But about halfway through the ABCs, Banana takes over with red crayon in hand crossing out the word on the page and writing a new one along with some doodles to match. Will Banana triumph or will sleep prevail?

The kindergarten class I read to for #classroombookaday laughed out loud from beginning to end. Through text and illustrations, Banana comes alive full of energy and opinions.  Thanks to the author for sharing a copy.  B is for Bananas published on April 11, 2023. 


Love Makes a Garden Grow by Taeeun Yoo

When she was little, a girl thought her grandfather’s garden seemed so big. At times, she felt her grandfather gave more attention to his plants than to her. On her birthday, he gives her peonies of her own which grow tall along with her. Time goes by and her grandfather moves into an apartment bringing a few plants with him. The girl moves away missing home. When her grandfather sends her a pot of peonies, home does not seem as far. Years later, she brings her own daughter to visit her grandfather and he passes his love for plants to another generation.

Yoo’s concise, gentle text and warm, expressive illustrations tell a heartwarming story that while change isn’t easy, the love of family knows no distance. An author’s note explains her inspiration for this story. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing a copy.  Love Makes a Garden Grow released on march 28, 2023. 


The Glow Show: A Picture Book About Knowing When to Share the Spotlight by Susi Schaefer

Glow is a squid who likes the spotlight. He relishes twirling and glowing in front of a crowd. When his friends want to join him in exchange for teaching him their talents. Glow declines swimming away from The Deep to The Shallows in hopes of finding more admirers. The Shallows is closer to the surface which makes Glow’s glow not as bright; as a result, he blends in rather than stands out. To make matters worst, Glow is lost. How can he get his glow back and find his way home?

With his large eyes and playful deposition, Schaefer’s Glow is indeed charming.  Fortunately, his friends don’t hold a grudge and help Glow using their skill sets to return to The Deep. Glow teaches kids a big lesson that having friends is more important than having fans.  At the end of the book, back matter includes INKredible Squid Facts and discussion questions comparing fans and friends. Thanks to Sourcebooks for sharing a copy.  The Glow Show recently published on May 2, 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.


Arfy and the Stinky Smell by Troy Cummings

Fans of Arfy from Cummings’ picture book series will love this early comic reader.
Arfy smells a stinky smell in the neighborhood and is on a mission to find out the source. When Arfy discovers he is the stinky smell, he knows how to fix the problem with his human’s help.

The story is perfect for kids just learning to read. The text all written in speech bubbles includes lots of sight words, repetition, and mostly decodable words. The illustrations fill up the entire page and show Arfy’s range of feelings throughout the story. Arfy and the Stinky Smell recently released on May 9, 2023.  

“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.

4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/15/23”

  1. These books look so delightful, Laura! B is for Bananas looks like a hilarious read kids will adore, and Love Makes a Garden Grow looks like such a beautiful story as well. Thank you for the wonderful, thoughtful reviews!


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