It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? November 2, 2015

t’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.


November?! What happened to October?!? There are already Christmas decorations going up in the shops, but I’m not ready for the year to end just yet!

There’s no particular theme to this week’s post, just a couple of books I’ve been enjoying lately, and that I hope you’ll enjoy too!

Title: Wait
Author/Illustrator: Antoinette Portis
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction / Picturebook
Publisher’s Summary: As a boy and his mother move quickly through the city, they’re drawn to different things. The boy sees a dog, a butterfly, and a hungry duck while his mother rushes them toward the departing train. It’s push and pull, but in the end, they both find something to stop for.

Acclaimed author/illustrator Antoinette Portis’ signature style conveys feelings of warmth, curiosity, humor and tenderness in this simple, evocative story.

My Two Cents: It’s amazing how much a talented author/illustrated can do with just two simple words. This wonderful book  captures the maddening yet delightful reality of walking down a city block with a small child – everything is a source of wonder and amazement to young eyes, an attitude that is unfortunately largely lost in adulthood. This is actually a lovely book to share at baby times – the text is sparse, but caregivers will appreciate the gentle, evocative illustrations. I can also see using this book as part of a writing exercise, encouraging children to fill in the blanks and explain what is happening in each scene. While I will always love exuberant picture books and action-packed story times, I also appreciate calm, gentle story lines that rely on beautiful illustrations, rather than gimmicks or gags.  A simple, lovely picture book, and highly recommended.

Title: Small Elephant’s Bathtime
Author/Illustrator: Tatyana Feeney
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction / Picturebook
Publisher’s Summary: Small Elephant loves water. Except, that is, when the water is in a bath. Mummy uses various incentives to entice him into a bath. But nothing works and Small Elephant goes into toddler meltdown before “hiding” behind the curtain. Luckily, Mummy has one more strategy up her sleeve to get him over his sulk and into the suds. It’s to use diversion tactics and laughter – and it’s all down to the comedy value of Daddy in some rather fetching trunks! Told with Tatyana Feeney’s trademark understated wit and highly individual artwork style, this story captures perfectly the trigger, experience, and dispersal of a toddler tantrum, with humour and a lightness of touch.

My Two Cents: Tatyana Feeney understands toddlers. Anyone who’s worked with little ones know how suddenly an interaction can escalate into a full-blown tantrum, how completely it can engulf a child, and how quickly it can evaporate.  We have all seen toddlers get “crosser and crosser and crosser”, as Small Elephant does when asked to take a bath. I enjoyed having both parents depicted in the story – sometimes Daddys get left out of picture books, and it was nice to see a father figure involved in parenting. Of course, the English terminology is utterly charming – Small Elephant doesn’t get mad, he gets cross, which is a million times more adorable!

Title: Hug me
Author/Illustrator: Simona Ciraolo
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
Publication Date: 201
Genre/Format: Fiction / Picturebook
Publisher’s Summary: Ever feel like you need a hug, a really big hug from someone? That’s how Felipe the young cactus feels, but his family just isn’t the touchy-feely kind. Cactuses can be quite prickly sometimes you know . . . and so can Felipe. But he’ll be darned if this one pointy issue will hold him back, so one day Felipe sets off on his own to find a friend and just maybe, that long awaited hug. In her debut picture book, Simona Ciraola creates an endearing tale of friendship, beautifully illustrated with buoyant wit and the perfect story to share.

My Two Cents: Cute!! Poor little Felipe the Cactus just wants to be hugged, but hugs don’t come easily to cacti. Felipe nearly gives up hope of every being hugged until he realizes that giving a hug to someone in need is even more satisfying than getting a hug. I really loved  Ciraolo’s illustrations – she’s an award-winner in her native Italy, and designs are charming in their simplicity and expressiveness. Felipe is just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, without being sickly-sweet – I just want to scoop him up in a hug. The final illustrations, showing Felipe and his new friend, are hilarious. A lovely story about how much we stand to get back when he put the needs of other first.

It’s been a good week for reading! What have you been reading this week?


12 thoughts on “It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? November 2, 2015

  1. It’s fun to rediscover hidden gems, isn’t it? While I love it when people share brand new books, it’s also fun when they share older titles that I might’ve missed when they first came out, or maybe forgot about. It’s like rediscovering your shelves! 🙂 Thanks for visiting!


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