It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? 10/12/15

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? was initiated by Sheila at Book Journey, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus – perfect for a children’s librarian like me. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share recommended (or not so recommended….) titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

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Title: My Rules for Being a Pretty Princess
Author/Illustrator: Heath McKenzie
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s Summary: Rules are meant to be broken in this laugh-out-loud picture book about staying true to yourself. One little girl gets her greatest wish of becoming a princess – only to discover that the rules of royalty are no fun. She has to have perfect hair and eat daintily and dance gracefully ― boring! So, she decides to make up her own rules… A delightfully subversive picture book that teaches girls to be themselves ― clumsy dancing, crazy scribbling and all.

My Two Cents: Cute, cute, cute! A little girl wants nothing more than to be a pretty princess, only to realize that being a traditional princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What I like about this book is that it doesn’t criticize little girls for wanting to be princesses, or wear pretty dresses – rather, it encourages them to interpret these roles in their own ways. Encouraging healthy self-expression doesn’t mean punishing girls for playing with dolls, or boys for playing with trucks. It doesn’t mean that princess books or books with trucks should be taken off the shelves. What it does mean is that both boys and girls should be able to read princess books or play with trucks. if that’s what they want, and that both should feel comfortable expressing themselves in whatever ways come naturally. So, the little girl in the story still wants to be a princess and wear dresses, but she does so in her own unique way. She wears makeup and boots, and plays with unicorns, trucks and dinosaurs. This is what healthy gender-expression is all about – being true to yourself, whatever that means to you!

Title: Little Miss, Big Sis
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
Publisher’s Summary: The big news is this—Little Miss becomes a big sis! In the perfect follow-up to Plant a Kiss, Little Miss learns the wonders of becoming a big sister as she and her family celebrate the momentous arrival of a new baby. New York Times bestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and award-winning illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have teamed up once again to create a charming story about Little Miss. Little Miss, Big Sis is the perfect gift for any child becoming a big brother or sister and any expecting families!

My Two Cents If only all children could adapt to being a big sibling as easily and as quickly as Little Miss! This is a very sweet picture book celebrating the bonds of love between siblings, but it’s just a bit too sweet for my liking. Rosenthal briefly mentions the less delightful aspects of having a sibling, (“Sure sometimes takes toys. And sometimes annoys.”), but the rest of the text is pure sunshine and lollipops. This could be inspiring for some families, but just depressing for the ones who are struggling with sibling relationships. A little more balance and perhaps a bit more honesty (Little Miss never once wishes she could package up her little brother and send him to Timbuktu like Garfield does with Nermal?) could make this a more enjoyable picture book. Still, it’s not a bad choice for parents preparing children for the arrival of a new brother or sister.

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Title: This is Sadie
Author: Sara O’Leary
Illustrator: Julie Morstad
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
Publisher’s Summary:Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things — boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities … This is Sadie, and this is her story.

My Two Cents Love love love! This is a brilliant celebration of childhood featuring a creative, imaginative, bold young girl named Sadie. When reading this wonderful picture book, I immediately thought of all the brilliant little children I’ve known, brimming with imagination and life. I regularly come across young patrons sitting in the children’s area of the library reading stories and singing to the stuffed animals, or quietly talking to themselves as they bring various toys to life. Children have no innate concept of gender norms or barriers, until these expectations are imposed upon them – Sadie happily pretends to be a boy raised by wolves or the Mad Hatter, and I often see little girls at the library pretending to be astronauts or other traditionally “male” professions. Author Sara O’Leary truly seems to understand the beautiful strangeness of the child mind, and Julie Morstad is one of my favourite illustrators. I really love this book, and I hope you will too!

OK, not a huge reading list this week, but definitely some winners! What have you been reading this week?

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6 thoughts on “It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? 10/12/15

  1. I have This is Sadie in a new book display this week. After reading your review I just had to go and take it out and read it. Holy Moley, what a stunner! My Rules for Being a Pretty Princess reminded me of The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp. i just wish the prince didn’t come off so bad in that one.

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