#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/12/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of 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 Reads This Week:

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The Battle of Junk Mountain by Lauren Abbey Greenberg

Shayne lives in Maryland and always spends summers on Thomas Cove with her grandmother Bea and her best friend Poppy.  Nostalgic for summers past, this vacation is different.  Poppy’s free time is limited because she has to work at her father’s grocery store. Bea is not ready to let go of her treasured collectibles as Shayne is organizing  and pricing them for sale at a flea market. Then to her surprise, Shayne develops an unlikely friendship with Civil War obsessed Linc, the grandson of Bea’s neighbor Cranky.

The Battle of Junk Mountain is a definitely a page turner. Lauren tackles not only familiar topics like changing and new friendships but also the serious topic of hoarding.  Although she can tackle new situations like banding lobster claws and driving a boat, it is evident that Shayne like Bea is holding on to the past and apprehensive about change.  Growing up and letting go is hard, but Shayne learns that change can actually surprise you in a good way.

A sincere thank you to fellow Marylander Lauren Abbey Greenberg for sharing an ARC of The Battle of Junk Mountain with my #bookexcursion group.  Look for its release in April 2018.  To read my full review, click here.

Beep and Bob: Too Much Space by Jonathan Roth

Bob attends Astro Elementary, a school near Saturn where only the bravest and smartest students get admitted.  Bob never intended to go to school in space but his plan of failing the admissions test backfired.  Who knew that choosing C for every answer would result in the only perfect score? Each chapter is Bob’s space blog entry or SPLOG with his alien sidekick Beep drawing the illustrations.  In Bob’s first SPLOG,  he explains how he met Beep, a little lost alien who thinks Bob is his new mother.

Bob’s adventures include getting his tongue stuck to ice on Pluto and accidentally having alien brain freeze sprayed in his eyes, which alters Bob’s personality.  His new-found confidence and knowledge propels Professor Zoome to take the class on a trip to a super massive black hole.  Will Bob and his classmates survive this dangerous class trip?

Like Lauren Abbey Greenberg, author/illustrator Jonathan Roth hails from my home state of Maryland.  Beep and Bob is a humorous and “sporky” transitional chapter book series that I look forward to sharing with students.  I was excited to discover that Too Much Space is the first book in the series.

Thank you to fellow #bookexcursion member Allison Stout for sharing her ARC from NCTE.  Beep and Bob: Too Much Space along with Book 2 Party Crashers publishes in March 2018.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

Tiny and the Big Dig by Sherri Duskey Rinker Illustrated by Matt Myers

Tiny smells a bone. A BIG bone. So he starts digging. When a larger dog, a cat, and a bird discount his ability,  Tiny maintains his confidence that he is strong enough to bring that bone home. Tiny isn’t the only one who is optimistic, for his young owner also believes in him.

Written in rhyme, Tiny and the Big Dig is a story that celebrates strength and determination.  This quote sums its theme completely.

Matt Myers’ bold illustrations capture Tiny’s sheer willpower in obtaining his goal-a BIG, BIG bone. Tiny and the Big Dig will be a great addition for #classroombookaday.

Thank you so much for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

#Bookexcursion, #mglit

The Battle of Junk Mountain by Lauren Abbey Greenberg

With all the cold, icy, and rainy Maryland weather this week, The Battle of Junk Mountain was the perfect read.  I was transported to the Maine coast with 12-year-old Shayne on her summer vacation.  Shayne lives in Maryland and always spends summers on Thomas Cove with her grandmother Bea and her best friend Poppy.  Nostalgic for summers past, this vacation is different.   Poppy’s free time is limited because she has to work at her father’s grocery store. Bea is not ready to let go of her treasured collectibles  as Shayne is organizing  and pricing them for sale at a flea market. Then to her surprise, Shayne develops an unlikely friendship with Civil War obsessed Linc, the grandson of Bea’s neighbor Cranky.

The Battle of Junk Mountain is a definitely a page turner. Once I began, it was hard to stop reading. The novel starts with anticipation of a fun-filled summer but as you read each chapter (and by the way, pay close attention to each title),  Lauren begins to tackle not only familiar topics like changing friendships but also the serious topic of hoarding.  Readers will quickly fall in love with Shayne for she shows both maturity and vulnerability.  While she can tackle new situations like banding lobster claws and driving a boat, it is evident that Shayne like Bea is holding on to the past and apprehensive about change.  Growing up and letting go is hard, but Shayne learns that change can actually surprise you in a good way.

A sincere thank you to fellow Marylander Lauren Abbey Greenberg for sharing an ARC of her debut middle grade novel The Battle of Junk Mountain with my #bookexcursion group.  Look for its release in April 2018.

#Bookexcursion, #classroombookaday, #nf10for10

Books Can Teach Us: NonFiction Picture Book 10 for 10

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I’m excited to be participating in Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10  for the first time. In my very first blog post, I shared my #pb10for10.  Thank you Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek for creating #pb10for10 for book bloggers to share our #booklove of amazing picture books.  In 2013, Julie Balen suggested to add a nonfiction picture book event that worked the same.  #nf10for10 provides the opportunity to bring our reading community together to share our favorite nonfiction picture books.  To check out more fabulous lists,  please visit the Google Community site.

This year, I sponsor a second grade class for #classroombookaday.  I strive to find engaging nonfiction picture books to read aloud to students. Being a part of #bookexcursion, I had been blessed with the opportunity to read and review some picture books prior to their publication.

Before reading each story, I ask the students just one question-What do you think the author is trying to teach us?   In my #nf10for10, I have included 10 nonfiction picture books that I have either already read for #classroombookaday or plan to read before the end of the school year.  All these amazing books can teach us information, the power of our actions or to persevere.

BOOKS TEACH US INFORMATION

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Terrific Tongues by Maria Gianferrari  Illustrated by Jia Liu

Terrific Tongues teaches us fascinating facts about how tongues work in unique ways. I absolutely love the format of this fabulous text.  Maria Gianferrari introduces each animal with an if and a might.  For example, if you have a tongue like a mop, you might be a…. (no spoilers).  The text lends itself well to a class read aloud.  Terrific Tongues will be released in April 2018.

Thanks to Maria Gianferrari for providing my #bookexcursion group with a copy of Terrific Tongues to read, share, and review.  For my full review, click here.

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Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari Illustrated by Brian Floca

Maria Gianferrari’s other forthcoming release, Hawk Rising,  is a narrative non-fiction picture book which tells the story of a mother and daughter observing a father hawk hunting for prey for his family. The text is true poetry, for she chooses her words carefully to dramatically describe the family’s actions and feelings as well as the hawk’s pursuit. With Brian Floca’s  gorgeous illustrations, the story takes flight. It teaches us the father hawk’s role in caring for his brood.  Hawk Rising publishes in June 2018.

Thanks to Maria Gianferrari for providing my #bookexcursion group with a copy of Hawk Rising to read, share, and review. To read my full review, click here.

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Ride On Will Cody by Caroline Starr Rose Illustrated by Joe Lillington

Written in lyrical verse, Caroline Starr Rose beautifully tells the legend of young Will Cody who later gained notoriety as folk hero and Wild West showman, Buffalo Bill.    Joe Lillington’s illustrations support the text by dramatically depicting the riders’ arduous journey.  At the end of the book, the author shares historical research about the Pony Express and Will Cody.  It teaches us about an important event in the history of the American West.

Thanks to Caroline Starr Rose who provided my #bookexcursion group with a copy of Ride On Will Cody to read, share, and review.  To read my full review, click here.

Can an Aardvark Bark

Can an Aardvark Bark? By Melissa Stewart Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

This engaging and informative nonfiction picture book asks questions such as Can an aardvark bark?, which is always answered in the negative. Then an alternative is given. No, but it can grunt and lots of other animals grunt too.  Can An Aardvark Bark? is perfect for a class read aloud because students can be highly involved in making the noises presented in the text. It teaches us that animals have different sounds to communicate.

BOOKS TEACH US HOW ACTIONS CAN BE POWERFUL

Waiting on the Biblioburro  by Monica Brown Illustrated by John Parra

Waiting on the Biblioburro is a blend of realistic fiction and nonfiction.  It tells the story of a little girl named Ana whose teacher moved far away. As a result, Ana treasures her one and only book reading it again and again.  One morning Ana and other children in her village are awakened by the sounds of real life teacher and librarian Luis Soriano Bohorquez.  Known as the Biblioburro, Luis carries books with the help of his burros, Alfa and Beto from town to town.  Beautifully written with colorful folk art illustrations, Waiting for Biblioburro teaches us how one’s actions can have extraordinary effects and the power of reading books.

Hachiko: The True Story by Pamela Turner  Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene

Hachiko: The True Story is a narrative nonfiction picture book.  Told by a fictional young boy named Kentaro about a real dog Hachiko, who lived in Tokyo. Hachiko was owned by Dr. Uneno.  Each morning Hachiko walked to the train station with Dr. Uneno and waited there for him to come home.  One day Kentaro discovers that Dr. Uneno has died and worries what will happen to Hachiko.  Readers discover that for almost ten years after his master’s death, Hachiko waited in the train station for Dr. Uneno to return.  Hachiko: A True Story teaches us about the power of friendship and loyalty.

BOOKS TEACH US TO PERSEVERE 

Shark Lady: The True Story of  How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating  Illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens

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Shark Lady is a picture book biography about the life of Eugenie Clark.  Jess Keating eloquently shares how Eugenie’s love for sharks began at an early age after a visit to an aquarium and how despite the obstacles she faced, Eugenie held on to her dream of becoming a scientist.  Shark Lady teaches us not only that sharks should be admired rather than feared but also women can be anything that want to be.

The Books Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really)! by Barry Wittenstein Illustrated by Chris Hsu

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In The Boo-Boos That Changed the Word, Author Barry Wittenstein humorously tells the story of Earle Dickson and how Band-Aids came to be.  It teaches us accidents can actually be helpful. Because Earle Dickson’s wife was accident prone, Band-Aids were invented.  This picture book biography will be released on February 13, 2018.

Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for providing my #bookexcursion group with a copy of The Boo-Boos That Changed the World to read, share and review.  To read my full review, click here.

Me..Jane by  Patrick McDonnell

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Me…Jane is a inspiring and gorgeous picture book biography about the life of Jane Goodall.  The story begins with a young Jane receiving a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee.  Told with minimal text and sweet illustrations, Patrick McDonnell beautifully shares how Jane’s childhood experiences ultimately shaped the person she is today.  It teaches us about curiosity, passion, and pursuing your dream.

A Very Young Skater by Jill Krementz

A Very Young Skater is a biography about 10-year-old skater, Katherine Healy.  I absolutely LOVED this biography as a young reader and as soon as #nf10for10 was announced, I knew I had to include A Very Young Skater in my top ten list.  When I think back to my childhood, this series and especially Katherine’s story was the first nonfiction book I can truly remember reading OVER and OVER.  I distinctly remember returning it to the public library and renewing it hopeful no one had requested it.  While the photographs may look dated to my second grade readers, I hope reading and sharing the book will teach them the same lessons that it taught me, which is to work hard and never give up on your dreams.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my #nf10for10 selections.  I can’t wait to read other bloggers’ lists.  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

#Bookexcursion

The Boo Boos That Changed the World by Barry Wittenstein Illustrated by Chris Hsu

Did you ever wonder how Band-Aids were invented?  If so, you are in luck.  Author Barry Wittenstein humorously tells the story of Earle Dickson and how Band-Aids came to be.

It seems Earle’s wife, Josephine was accident prone especially in the kitchen. When preparing meals, it was common for Josephine to cut or burn herself. To make matters worst, bandaging herself with bulky towels caused her to injure herself even more.  Earle took pity on his young wife fearing her cuts would become infected.  Fortunately, for Josephine, Earle was not only the son of a doctor but also worked for a hospital supply company.  Ever hear of Johnson & Johnson?

After some thoughtful pondering, Earle designed the first “band aid” which consisted of adhesive tape, sterile gauze, and crinoline.  Josephine’s boo boos were now covered, and they lived happily ever after, right?  But..wait!  Earle realized that Josephine was not the only person who could benefit from his invention. He shared his bandage with his boss, James Johnson, who agreed to produce and sell them as Band-Aids.

To the readers’ surprise, Band-Aids were not an overnight success.  It was not until they were mass produced by a machine and given away to the Boy Scouts and the army during World War II that Band-Aids became a hit not just in the United States but all over the world!

Told in a playful narrative, Wittenstein’s account of Earle’s invention is highly engaging and entertaining.  In my district, our third graders just finished a unit, Inventions and Innovations so I cannot wait to share this book with students.  In the author’s note, Wittenstein admits he invented Earle and Josephine’s dialogue and shares additional information about Earle.  Chris Hsu’s illustrations transport the reader back to that time period and make the story come alive.  Also included at the end of the book is a timeline, a list of other medical inventions from the 1920s and 1930s, and websites for further research.  The next time I use a Band-Aid, I will think fondly of Earle and thank him for his ingenuity.

Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of The Boo Boos That Changed the World.  Look for its release soon in February 2018.

#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/5/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are eager to share our latest reads for 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 Reads This Week:

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Wee lass Drest and her family are attacked by knights from Faintree Castle.  Drest desperately wants to join her father, Mad Wolf of the North and her five brothers in this battle, but Mad Wolf orders her to hide. She witnesses her family bound, captured, and sailing away from her.  Her only hope of finding her family is a young knight named Emerick who Drest witnessed being attacked by one of his own men.  She strikes a deal with Emerick to take him to Faintree Castle and in return, he will release one of her brothers, although Drest plans to rescue her entire family.

Throughout their journey, Drest hears tales of her family’s brutality from Emerick, which she does not believe to be true.  In addition, a bandit by the name of Jupp shares his own story of her father’s cruelty.  Drest begins to realizes that words are strong weapons because not only is she beginning to doubt her family but also she is struggling to figure out her own identity. Can a warrior be brave and kind?

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is an adventure that has action and heart.  With each chapter, Diane Magras kept me on the edge both excited and afraid to read on.  I absolutely love Drest who learns that you can’t always control our own legend, and sometimes words not swords can save lives.

A very special thanks to Diane Magras for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter.  Pre-order NOW so you have it in your hands on March 6, 2018.

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen

Abby Hunter is a student at Smith School for Children.  But it turns out that the boarding school is not what it appears to be.  The school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring named the Center.  And Abby’s mother, Jennifer, is the Center’s most talented agent.  At first, Abby cannot believe her mother hid her occupation from her, but as Abby looks back on her childhood, she begins to connect the dots.

For the past decade, Jennifer has been chasing the Ghost, a threatening criminal.  Mrs. Smith informs Abby that her mother is missing; therefore, they need Abby’s help in finding her.  During Spy Training 101, Abby does find a friend in Toby, a fellow student who is a whiz with technology.  His iPhone apps are amazing! But frenemy Veronica is less than enthused with teaching Abby.  After a failed attempt to locate her mom, Abby decides to take matters in her own hands and show everyone that she is indeed her mother’s daughter.

Beth McMullan’s new series is definitely one I will recommend to students.  In fact, after reading the synopsis, I have a student waiting for me to bring this book to school tomorrow. Taking place in present day, young readers will be able to relate to the characters even though the setting and plot is far different from their own lives.  Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls published in July 2017 but readers only have to wait until July 2018 for the second installment-Power Play. Can’t wait to read and share on Beagles and Books!

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

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The Pillow Keeps Moving by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Christopher Weyant

A dog and cat are shivering outside of a pillow store.  While the cat stands guard, the dog enters the pillow store, curls up in the warmth, and is bought by a man.  When the man complains that his “pillow” is broken, the salesman asks him a series of questions which are all answered in the affirmative.  The story continues with the dog posing as a footstool and coat.  Finally, the man who lives alone realizes that the dog has other talents, as all dogs do!

Told with relatively few words, The Pillow Keeps Moving is a story that begs to be read again and again.  Readers must pay close attention to the illustrations because they are crucial to the plot.

The Pillow Keeps Moving was released in January 2018.  I can’t wait to read it as a pick for #classroombookaday with students.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

#Bookexcursion

Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos Illustrated by T.L. McBeth

Once upon a time, there were three dinosaurs. A stegosaurus, another stegosaurus and a stegothesaurus!  While the first two brothers use simple words like big to describe a mountain, their brother Stegothesaurus uses robust words like gargantuan, gigantic, and Goliath.

The three brothers’ tranquil day comes to a halt when an allosaurus suddenly startles them.  Because Stegothesaurus was thinking of rich vocabulary like frightening and formidable to describe their predator, he was unable to escape with his brothers.  Stegothesaurus though soon learns that she isn’t an allosaurus, but rather an allothesaurus.  But wait, how did she learn all these so many rich and powerful words?  Read to find out!

 

Stegothesaurus is truly a teacher’s dream picture book. T.L. McBeth’s endearing and adorable drawings of the dinosaur brothers warmly show their range of emotions.   Not only will students love the story, but also I cannot think of a better way to teach the power of using synonyms in our oral and written language. What I love about Bridget Heos’ creative story is that Stegothesaurus uses multiple synonyms to describe things so teachers can also introduces shades of meaning.  Which word is stronger?  Gargantuan, gigantic or Goliath?

Special thanks to Christian Trimmer of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers for sending my #bookexcursion group an advance reader’s copy.  Stegothesaurus has a release date of June 2018.

#Bookexcursion

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City by Jodi Kendall

Being one of five kids living in a cramped city house, Josie Shilling feels invisible.  Except for gymnastics, Josie does not have anything that is truly her own.

So when Josie’s college age brother Tom brings home a piglet named Hamlet on Thanksgiving, Josie instantly clicks with the little runt.  She convinces her parents to let her keep Hamlet with the stipulation she must find the piglet a home by New Year’s Day.

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in a City will warm both your heart and soul.  As the New Year approaches, Josie discovers that her love for Hamlet opens her eyes and mind to her other talents besides gymnastics.  As a dog mom, I can totally relate to how my love for my pups changed my life. Josie also comes to realize that her family truly does see her and has and will always be her biggest cheerleader.  What powerful messages for readers for all ages!

Special thanks to Jodi Kendall who provided our #bookexcursion group with an ARC prior to The Unlikely Story of a Pig in a City’s October 2017 publication.

#Bookexcursion

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

Happy Book Birthday to Angela Dominguez and Stella Diaz Has Something to Say!

Stella Diaz is a third grade student who loves to write stories, draw, and read about marine animals. While she is a very good student, Stella is not confident in her language abilities; as a Mexican American, she accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and turns roja in embarrassment.   This year, school is also more challenging because her best friend Jenny is in another class, which makes Stella feel lonely.

Stella is excited about researching fish for her animal project, but she is nervous about having to present in front of her whole class including the new student Stanley. And it doesn’t help that one of her fellow classmates always picks on her for being quiet.  Fortunately, Stella has the support of her mom, older brother Nick, and best friend Jenny to make her realize her strength.  As her mom told her, “That’s why your full name is Estrella.  You’re my star.  You can light up the dark.”  Can Stella live up to her name?

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say is such a delightful novel.  Children can identify with Stella with a variety of reasons.  Her parents are divorced and she has a strained relationship with her father.  She is shy and finds it difficult to make friends.  I fell in immediately fell in love with Stella and was rooting for her to find her strength.  I appreciate the author’s note where Angela Dominquez shares that Stella’s story is 82.9% based on her own childhood and how like Stella, we all must discover our inner starfish. In addition, Dominguez’s black and white illustrations appear throughout the novel and visually enhance Stella’s story.

Special thanks to Angela Dominguez for sharing an ARC of Stella Diaz Has Something to Say with our #bookexcursion group.  It will be released on January 16, 2018.

This review was originally published on December 11, 2017. Please click here.

#Bookexcursion

Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari

Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari  Illustrated by Brian Floca

Hawk Rising is a narrative non-fiction picture book which tells the story of mother and daughter observing a father hawk hunting for prey for his family.

At the beginning, the mood is calm with both the family and the hawk waking up to begin their day.  Father Hawk perches at the top of a pole to survey the land for his family’s next meal.  The mother and daughter notice the hawk from their suburban backyard.

The mood quickly turns tense as Father Hawk swoops down to catch a chipmunk. To the hawk’s dismay, the rodent escapes running under a porch.  However, Father Hawk is not deterred and continues his search for food even as the sun is setting for the night.  The story has a thrilling ending with Father Hawk victorious in his quest to feed his brood.

I am a such fan of Maria Gianferari’s writing.  The text is true poetry, for she chooses her words carefully to dramatically describe the family’s actions and feelings as well as the hawk’s pursuit.  Coupling Maria Gianferrari’s words with Brian Floca’s illustrations, the story takes flight.  Floca’s illustration vividly convey not only Father Hawk’s determination, but also the young daughter’s apprehension of seeing the hawk succeed in his mission.

Special thanks to Maria Gianferrari for sharing an ARC of Hawk Rising with my #bookexcursion group.  It will be published in May 2018.

#Bookexcursion

Fenway & Hattie Up to New Tricks by Victoria Coe

Happy Book Birthday to Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks!

In the third book in the series, Fenway has definitely adjusted to his new suburban home. Told from his point of view, Fenway shares his excitement playing with Hattie in the Dog Park (backyard) and hanging out with his canine neighbors, Goldie and Patches.  But Fenway does not like the chipmunk that is invading his territory and spreading its horrible odor everywhere!

While enjoying a game of keep away, Fenway spies that menacing chipmunk. In his quest to catch the chipmunk, Fenway gets stung on his paw by bees. Ouch! The story continues with Fenway’s account of visiting the vet (aka Spicy Breath and Table of Panic) and enduring the Cone of Doom. Hattie is supposed to his best buddy but she keeps giving him baths in a wading pool and applying yucky cream on his paw. Being a dog is tough!

Etta can emphasize with Fenway. She has first hand experience with the Cone of Doom.  She did not like it either Fenway!

img_1401Each time I read Fenway & Hattie, I know that I am blessed to have Etta (and now Bella) in my life. Having the unconditional love of a dog is a precious gift. Thank you Victoria for that beautiful reminder.

After reading Fenway & Hattie for the Global Read Aloud, a second grade class at my school continued and read Fenway & Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang. I can’t wait to share Up to New Tricks with the class tomorrow!

Special thanks to Victoria for providing our #bookexcursion group with an advance reader copy of Fenway & Hattie Up to New Tricks, which was published today on January 2, 2018.