#IMWAYR – May 31, 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.


Have you seen Finding Nemo? Do you remember Bruce the shark and his “fish are friends, not food” motto? This darkly hilarious story from Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat is reminiscent of that reluctant carnivore – three apex predators are secretly hurt by their reputations as mindless eating machines, and seek to change their ways and their relationships with their fellow animals. This story will likely appeal to a certain sort of sense of humour, it’s a little  bit twisted, but in a very funny way. And Dan Santat’s illustrations steal the show, as usual.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

Teachers/librarians looking to inspire budding writers really ought to have a copy of this elegant and evocative picture book in their arsenal. It truly is fantastic. The premise is ingenious – a mysterious man named Harris Burdick visited a publisher to show him samples of his work. He claimed to have written 14 stories, and brought with him a single illustration and quotation from each story. The publisher was impressed, but when he tried to contact Harris Burdick, he discovered that the man had vanished without a trace, leaving only the mysterious images behind.

This collection of illustrations and quotations, rendered in Van Allsburg’s signature shades of grey, would be an inspiring writing prompt for writers young and old.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love cats. The only thing standing between me and full-blown cat lady status is my ridiculous cat allergy. So, a picture book about a kitten already is already right up my alley.

This picture book is adorable. I am pretty picky when it comes to rhymes, and I really enjoyed Linda Newbery’s bouncing, joyful text. The earth-toned illustrations are unique and completely enchanting, and anyone who has ever had a kitten will be able to relate to Posy’s charming exploits. A very sweet and endearing rhyming picture book.

The Song of Achilles

I picked up this book on a whim, drawn to its striking cover, and I am so very glad I did. This beautiful retelling of Homer’s classic epic poem, The Odyssey is stunning. I devoured it in record time, reluctant to put it down and be parted from it. Madeline Miller is a master storyteller. The text is lush, lyrical, and completely absorbing, and the tragic, all-consuming love story she has created is one for the ages. There is some adult content, including some scenes of violence (this is the story of the destruction of Troy after all), so do bear that in mind, but I cannot recommend this novel enough.

Have a great reading week, everybody!

36 thoughts on “#IMWAYR – May 31, 2016

  1. Haha, I would also be a cat lady if I had the energy to take care of cats. But there are a bunch of strays and neighborhood cats that live downstairs because the woman who lives down there feeds them, so sometimes I just go pet and play with the one or two friendly ones. It works out perfectly for me! The cat book does look adorable though, and the Carnivores one sounds interesting!


  2. What a nice variety of books. I’ll have to look for Carnivores. I also enjoy The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


  3. Posy looks cute and The Song of Achilles looks good- is that a retelling in more modern language? Just curious about it- will have to look it up on Goodreads.


    • That sounds like such a great writing activity, would be so interesting to see how different kids interpret the same illustrations. I’m thinking of using the illustrations with my adult students, too! A fun break from textbooks. 🙂


    • Thank you!!! I hadn’t seen the trailer before, and this totally cracked me up. I love grown-ups who haven’t forgotten the silly joys of childhood, and keep their inner child close to the surface. 😀


  4. I use Mysteries of Harris Burdick for writing prompts for my students all the time and they absolutely love it. The pictures and settings give them so much to work with and it’s amazing where their imaginations can take them.


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