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.
Our Recent Reads:
The Hunger Heroes: Missed Meal Mayhem by Jarrett Lerner
Comprised of Mr. Toots, a bean, Chip Ninja, Tomato Tammy, and Leonard, a nervous chunk of cheese, the Hunger Heroes are a team of food who have one mission-saving kids from a missed meal. When the quartet gets an alert from a nearby elementary school, they quickly jump in their taco hovercraft in hopes of arriving in time before a student, Jason, takes his math test. The Hunger Heroes must not only gain access to the building but also get past his teacher, Mrs. Sternbladder whose classroom is a no-snack zone. Once inside, the team realizes that time is of the essence because Jason is fading fast. Mr. Toots knows that they need to distract Mrs. Sternbladder but how? Will the Hunger Heroes be successful in achieving their objective?
I am a big fan of anything Jarrett Lerner writes and illustrates because his books not only engage and entertain readers but also educate in a non preachy way. In Missed Meal Mayhem, Mrs. Sternbladder appears cranky and then readers learn the backstory behind the teacher’s no snack policy. Prior to reading, Lerner even cautions readers that the chapter may cause them to empathize with an adult. The Hunger Heroes are so adorable and remind me of the Del Monte Country Yumkins; we saved many, many labels to get the whole family (although we did not have the pineapple and plum).
Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for sharing a finished copy. Missed Meal Mayhem celebrates its book birthday next week on November 9, 2021. Already eagerly awaiting the Hunger Heroes’ next adventure, Snack Cabinet Sabotage, due out in August 2022!
In the land of Bailiwick, humans and monsters are at war and the Berzerkers keep the monsters in check. Spunky Barb is the youngest and smallest Berzerker and is always told to stay back because of her age and size. But when the Berzerkers are tricked by the evil Witch Head, Barb is only one able to escape and she doesn’t leave empty handed; she takes the legendary Shadow Blade, a magical sword with her. Befriending a yeti named Porkchop, Barb is on a mission to find the Northern Zerks to help her her Berzerker family.
Character development is on point. Readers will immediately determine from her words and actions that Barb is no pipsqueak; she is determined to not only help her Berzerker family but also others she meets in her quest to find the Northern Zerks. Amid the humor, there is a lot of heart, for Barb is always putting others before herself. Through her relationship with Porkchop, Barb shows that humans and monsters are not that much different and surprisingly, can be friends. This friendship forever changes her, for even when she defeats the monster Grom, she feels compelled to save him from drowning in mud. With an intriguing fast paced plot, dynamic characters, and vivid comic panels, kids will love this graphic novel adventure! Thanks to Simon and Schuster’s Children Publishing for sharing a finished copy. Barb the Last Berzerker recently released on September 28, 2021. And don’t worry. Barb will be back in Barb and the Ghost Blade in May 2022!
A Home Again by Colleen Rowan Kosinski Illustrated by Valeria Docampo
A newly built house eagerly awaits its first family to call their home. As the family grows, their level of activity and noise increases until one day they leave the house with tears in their eyes. Readers see a For Sale but the house is unaware. When people come to look at it, the distraught house makes it shingles shake and steps creak in hopes the family will return.. As times passes, the house’s despair in evident in its roof sagging and brown, weed filled garden until one day two men and their dog see past the squeaks, cracks, and weeds. Will the house be willing to be a home again?
Told from the house’s point of view, Kosinki’s lyrical text and Docampo’s use of light and dark in the illustrations beautifully conveys the house’s range of emotions. A Home Again teaches the important lesson that we can all can heal after a loss and learn to love again. Thanks to Two Lions Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sharing a finished copy. A Home Again celebrates its book birthday today!
Odd Beasts: Meet Nature’s Weirdest Animals by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Gareth Lucas
Toddlers and preschoolers will be captivated by this nonfiction picture book that introduces them to animals with unique characteristics. On each page spread, children learn a fact about an animal and as the concise text is read aloud, the rhyme scheme is revealed. Lucas makes use of the whole page spread for his large and appealing illustrations of each animal. Even as an adult, I learned new information like the immense weight of a sunfish and glass frogs have see through skin. And I especially love that at the end of the book, Gehl has included real photographs of all the animals and an explanation about their unusual trait.
Thanks to Abrams and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sharing a finished copy. Odd Beasts: Meet Nature’s Weirdest Animals celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on November 2, 2021.
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 main character.
Awake by Mags DeRoma
A girl and her pup Oscar are all ready for a good night’s sleep but right before she turns off her light, she spies a spider and its web in her window. Now she is wide awake because she can’t go to sleep knowing a spider in her bedroom! As she ponders her options, Oscar holds the book titled Itsy Bitsy Spider in his mouth but she doesn’t give him credit when she thinks of the nursery rhyme. The girl continues to brainstorm ideas until finally her frustration overtakes her and she captures the spider under a glass. DeRoma’s illustration of the spider under the glass tugs at the heart because the arachnid looks small and harmless to not only the reader but also the girl. This revelation changes the girl’s perspective resulting in her releasing the spider and naming it Harry.
I love DeRoma’s debut picture book because it teaches kids about empathy. The plot conveys the theme and on the back endpapers, DeRoma cleverly provides kids with illustrated step by step directions for how to kindly and carefully relocate a spider. Oscar is a loyal companion never leaving his girl’s side. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Publishing for sharing a finished copy. Awake recently released on October 19, 2021.
Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!