#IMWAYR – March 21, 2016

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
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Picturebook

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.

freckle juice

Title: Freckle juice
Author/Illustrator: Judy Blume / Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2014
Genre/Format: Chapterbooks

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
Publisher: Sphere
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?

29 thoughts on “#IMWAYR – March 21, 2016

  1. I loved Mother Bruce also. Freckle Juice has been around for ages. I just haven’t bother to purchase any copies I’ve seen so far because the font was always too small for the age group the story will appeal to. I hope this new edition is better laid out.
    Have you been reading any of the Canada Reads titles?


    • I am ashamed to say I haven’t read any of them!! I am indeed a pretty dreadful Canadian. I have been keeping up on my Red Cedar Award reading, though, so I can take some solace in that! 🙂 Have you come across any stunning titles through Canada Reads?


  2. Mother Bruce looks cute! A bunch of goslings following a bear around… 🙂 And freckle Juice sounds fun too. I liked your LEGO post this week too, there is so much amazing LEGO stuff out now.


    • Mother Bruce is pretty fun book, it’s got some very funny illustrations. And LEGO is so awesome, it’s such a simple product but kids just make the craziest and most imaginative things with it. It was funny too, I had a little boy in my group who couldn’t make a sentence in English, but he immediately identified the Batman LEGO minifigure, and excitedly cried out “Batman, Batman!” Some things just cross all cultural barriers! 🙂


  3. I liked Mother Bruce, too, another favorite ‘bear’ book! I didn’t know that there were new editions of the Blume books. Maybe time to see about one for the granddaughters? Thanks Jane, and for sharing about those mysteries too.


  4. I’ve only read the first of Penny’s mysteries, but I have the second one (A Fatal Grace) waiting on Pippa, my Kindle.

    My experience with positions within the government (including police), are that the job breeds conflict within the ranks; the bureaucratic nonsense seems to set everyone up for frustration. Some just take it, while others fight against it. My two cents. LOL.

    Still…it’s not fun to read about.

    Enjoy your delightful picture books…and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES


    • Oh, I have no doubt that there is heaps of simmering resentment running through most official departments, but you’re right, it’s not fun to read about. Having worked in more than a few toxic workplaces, I’d rather read about nice imaginary ones! 😉


  5. Great gems here, Jane! Mother Bruce sounds right up my alley. Would you believe I’ve never read Freckly Juice? I’d love to check out this revamped edition. And I’ve always wanted to visit CA, lucky you for living in an awesome city! I feel like I’m a Canadian at heart. 😀


    • You can be an honorary Canadian 😀 It is an awesome city, even when it won’t stop raining….sigh….sometimes Arizona or New Mexico sound like a magical, wonderful dreamlands, where it’s actually sunny for more than a day at a time… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m from Texas but I always wanted to be a writer living in Santa Fe when I was younger. It’s a beautiful state! I know less sun would definitely be an adjustment, but I long for it. Funny how that works!


  6. Mother Bruce is a lot of fun! I definitely want to buy my own copy to have in my classroom library. I loved Freckle Juice as a kid, so I’m glad to see a fresh version. The Cruellest Month looks like a great read! Spring Break starts for me in 3 days, so I’m really looking forward to relaxing and reading! Have a great week!


  7. Oh, I’d head they were releasing them with new covers but don’t remember seeing them. I LIKE! Of course Mother Bruce is awesome. My mom collects bears so I gave it to her for Christmas so that she can read it to my nieces and nephews.
    If it helps I’ve only ever been to BC. Lovely, there. I lived in WA for a couple years before moving to TX. I love a good mystery, though. Will have to look in to that author!


  8. I haven’t read Mother Bruce yet, and I really look forward to finding it in our library here. The Cruellest Month sounds like a great read – I stayed in British Columbia for a week back in 2009 and really enjoyed it. Climbed the Grouse Mountain too! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s