#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Lit, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/5/18


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:

24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling

Thirteen year old Gus lives in Nowhere, Arizona, the least livable town in the United States.  No one has it easy in Nowhere including Gus,  Living with his grandma, money is tight and because of his small size, Gus is frequently bullied by Bo Taylor.  Obsessed with words, Gus feels his only hope out of Nowhere is a high score on the SAT.

At the start of the novel, Gus is indebted to Rossi Scott who saves him from Bo’s torment in exchange for her treasured dirt bike.  Feeling responsible, Gus agrees to enter Dead Frenchman’s Mine in search for gold to buy the bike back.  While Gus first embarks on his journey alone,  he is soon joined by Matthew, one of Bo’s sidekicks, an old friend, Jessie and Rossi herself.

In Dead Frenchman’s Mine, the reader discovers that Gus is not only searching for gold, but also for himself.  During their journey, Rossi challenges Gus to think about his identity.  Is he going to let his past define who he is or will he take charge and be defined by what he does in life?  Like Aven in Bowling’s debut novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Rossi is an exceptional role model for kids. She does not dwell on the past and realizes that she alone has the power to save herself.  She also recognizes strength in others like Gus which is a remarkable trait for a young person.   24 Hours in Nowhere is a book that could be a mirror, window or door for readers of all ages.  Gus, Rossi, Jessie, and Matthew’s experiences gave me such perspective about how life can be for some of my students, which will make me a better teacher and individual.

Special thanks to Dusti Bowling for sending an ARC of 24 Hours in Nowhere to my #bookexcursion group. It will be released in September 2018.


Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Berry Illustrated by Charles Santoso

On the very first page, pajama clad Penguin announces “This is not a bedtime book” with night cap wearing Tiny Shrimp chiming in saying “We don’t do bedtime!”  The adorable characters make it clear that there is no room for typical bedtime rituals such as toothbrushing or counting sheep.  On the contrary, readers will be enticed to stay wide awake with fireworks, vine swinging, hot air balloon rides, songs, jokes and even the rare appearance of a Uni-Hippo! Clearly, storytelling is tiring work!

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime is a hilarious and highly entertaining picture book from debut author Cate Berry. Not only did I pre-order this book immediately, I now have the perfect recommendation for a bedtime read aloud (sorry Penguin and Tiny Shrimp!) that parents will take great pleasure in reading again and again to their children.  Santoso’s pictures adorably depict Penguin and Tiny Shrimp’s insistence and excitement in staying awake yet by the end of the book, his illustrations subtly and sweetly transition to show their fading energy.  Even the background color of the pages becomes gray to signify the change.  Like Penguin and Tiny Shrimp, Bella is tuckered too!


A very special thanks to Cate Berry for sending an ARC of Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime to our #bookexcursion group.  Can’t wait for its release May 2018.

When Your…Series by Susanna Leonard Hill Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman

What do you do when your elephant has the sniffles, your llama needs a haircut and your lion need a bath? Check out Susanna Leonard Hill’s When Your..series!  For full review, click here.


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.

Shark Dog! by Ged Adamson

A young girl joins her famous explorer dad on one of his trips.  Sailing home, she hears a noise and then something slobbery wakes her up from her sleep. It’s a shark.  No. It’s a dog. No. It’s Shark Dog! With her father’s permission, the girl takes Shark Dog home. He is quite an unusual pet stalking a cat like a shark and fetching slippers like a dog when underwater.  On a trip to Shark Dog’s favorite place, the beach, he spys what he thinks is another shark dog but it is just a beach toy.  This makes Shark Dog very sad.

Thinking he is homesick, the girl and her dad decide to take Shark Dog back to his home where he is greeted enthusiastically by his fellow shark dogs.   Will this make Shark Dog happy?  Read this heartwarming story about to find out!  Shark Dog is adorably drawn with both dog and shark like features. Young readers will be captivated by the colorful and detailed illustrations.  I especially loved the spread when the characters are traveling on plane to Shark Dog Island.

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


#Bookexcursion, Picture Books

When Your… Series by Susanna Leonard Hill Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman

What do you do when your elephant has the sniffles, your llama needs a haircut and your lion need a bath? Check out When Your…  series!  My #bookexcursion group was sent copies of the series in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles

Your poor elephant has the sniffles.  Taking care of him is a priority because when an elephant sneezes, it is serious business! After putting him to bed, hide anything that can induce sneezing and give him things that provides comfort.  He will get bored so plan fun things such as shadow puppets to keep him occupied.  But when you entertain him, be careful of your props. Because if your elephant sneezes, you may end up with the sniffles too!


When Your Llama Needs a Haircut

It’s Picture Day!  Your llama thinks his hair looks just fine, but you know it’s a mess.  So how can you convince him to get a haircut?   First, you have to catch him.  After washing and brushing, try out some different styles but simple is probably best.  But beware because you may end up with a haircut too!

When Your Lion Needs a Bath

Uh oh!  Your smelly lion needs a bath but cats don’t like water. How can you get him in the tub?  Sneakiness, preparation, and a bag of tricks are the keys to success.  But once you are successful in your task, be sure to close the front door!

While the suggested range is ages 3-5, Leonard Hill’s When Your… entertaining and amusing series would appeal to primary grade students. Here’s hoping an option to buy standard copies of the series will occur in the future. All the board books read like picture books exposing students to tier 2 words (distract, stubborn, and tempt) that enrich children’s oral vocabulary. Wiseman’s colorful and cartoonish illustrations will delight children especially the animals’ antics and facial expressions. Reminiscent of Laura Numeroff’s If You Give series, children would giggle all their way through listening or reading.

If you like the When Your… series, a fourth book, When Your Monkeys Won’t Go to Bed will be published in August 2018.