It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. 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.
Title: Mother Bruce
Author/Illustrator: Ryan T. Higgins
Publication Date: 2015
So, I’m a bit tardy to the party with this title, as I’ve seen it featured on a lot of blogs recently, but boy, was it worth the wait! Bruce is an adorably curmudgeonly bear who loves nothing more than to whip up delicious egg dishes. When a batch of eggs hatches in to a gaggle of goslings, Bruce unwittingly becomes Mother Goose, with delightful results. Sweet, fun, utterly charming and definitely worth a look if you are in the mood for a smile.
Title: Freckle juice
Author/Illustrator: Judy Blume / Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2014
This childhood classic gets a fresh new look with illustrations by children’s illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Andrew desperately wishes he could have freckles like his classmate Nicky. When Bossy Sharon offers to sell Andrew her top-secret recipe for Freckle juice Andrew is thrilled, but Freckle juice might not be everything Sharon claims it is….A charming, silly story about learning to love yourself just the way the you are, and a good choice for children who are beginning to graduate into chapter books. Personally, while I know Sharon is the “villain” of this story, I have to admire her pluck – she not only cons her classmate in to drinking an absolutely disgusting concoction, she makes a bit of cash while doing it. You go, girl. 😉
Title: The Cruelest Month
Author: Louise Penny
Publication Date: 2011
Genre/Format: Mystery / Novel
My Two Cents: I’ve lived in Canada for all of my 32 years, and you know how many provinces/territories I’ve visited? Four. Ontario, where I was born, British Columbia, where I live, Alberta, where my family used to go camping when I was a child, and Quebec, which I visited for a week several years ago.
You know how many American states I’ve been to? Thirteen. Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alaska, New York and Hawaii.
Suffice it to say, I haven’t seen much of my own home country. This is one of the reasons I enjoy Louise Penny’s novels so much – this series of mysteries is set in Quebec, both in Montreal and in a small village in the Quebec countryside. Penny describes the locations in great detail, which makes it feel like you’re actually there, and provides some insight into what it’s like to live in la belle province.
One of the things I don’t like so much about the series is the office intrigue that Penny includes in many of her novels. Without revealing too much, Gamache, the lead character, stands up against a group of crooked cops, and makes some powerful enemies in the process. To me, these machinations just seem to distract from each book’s murder mystery, and make everything feel overly complicated. Why does every police officer hero have to be at odds with authority? Why can’t they ever have supportive supervisors and bosses and get along with their coworkers? The “lone wolf” police detective who attracts a small, loyal band of misfit followers and faces off against corrupt or ineffective superiors has just started to feel like a frustrating trope.
Now tell me, what have you been reading this week?