It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? 09/11/2015

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.


This week is a bit of a special edition of IMWAYR – today I’ll be sharing a few upcoming picture books that I’m really excited about. I had the opportunity to attend a preview of 2016 picture books and get my hands on a couple of ARCs, and I am so inspired by all the amazing picture books that will be gracing our shelves in the new year. Before working in a library I had no idea just how many new books are published every year – it really just boggles the mind!! These are just a couple of the many books that were previewed at the event, and the only ones I was able to get ARCs of.

Goose Goes to the Zoo

Title: Goose Goes to the Zoo
Author/Illustrator: Laura Wall
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2016
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s Summary: Sophie and Goose are best friends, but Sophie thinks Goose might be lonely while she is at school. So the pair set off for the zoo to find another friend for Goose to play with… A charming story about an unusual and heart-warming friendship. Laura’s often laugh-out-loud illustrations make Goose an instant favourite with readers young and old! One of a series of 4 published together: Goose, Goose Goes to School and Happy Birthday, Goose

My Two Cents: This new addition to the Goose series by British picture book author/illustrator Laura Wall is already available in Britain, and will be arriving in North America in 2016. I love Laura Wall’s colourful illustrations, with their vivid colours and simple lines. This is a sweet story about friendship, in which a little girl named Sophie helps her friend Goose make new friends. Like a true friend Sophie puts Goose’s happiness first, even if it means she could lose her best friend. Children will be gently reassured that they can make new friends without having to sacrifice their existing friendships. These books are just a riot of colour, with simple text popping against the bold, eye-catching, brilliantly-coloured backgrounds, making it a really fun series for young readers.


Title: Silly Wonderful You
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrator: Patrick McDonnell
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2016
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s Summary: From the bestselling author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Sherri Duskey Rinker, and the award-winning creator of Me . . . Jane and The Skunk, Patrick McDonnell, comes this funny and tender love letter from a parent to her child. Before YOU came along, so many things were different! But now there’s a giggly baby, a house full of adventures and toys, a million little surprises. . . . And so much love.

My Two Cents: I really enjoyed Patrick McDonnell’s Me….Jane and The Skunk, as well as his Mutts newspaper comic, so I was definitely excited to get my hands on this picture book. Silly Wonderful You is a lovely story for baby time, and a gentle celebration of the silly, messy, noisy, tiring yet wonderful world of parenthood. This would be a beautiful gift for a new parent or caregiver, as it’s really written more for parents than for children. As usual McDonnell’s illustrations really shine, managing to be cute without being saccharine, and keeping a bit of that old-fashioned newspaper cartoon feel. I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a sap, but the final few pages of this story did get me a bit misty eyed. It’s loving and genuine without being cloying or tooth-achingly syrupy-sweet, which is a something I find plagues too many picturebooks aimed at parents. I really enjoyed Silly Wonderful You, and would definitely recommend having a look!


Title: Worm Loves Worm
Author: J. J. Austrian

Illustrator: Mike Curator
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 2016
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s SummaryPerfect for fans of And Tango Makes Three and The Sissy Duckling, this irresistible picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms from debut author J. J. Austrian and the acclaimed author-illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, Mike Curato.

You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm.

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux?

The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves worm.

My Two Cents: YES! I was really happy to get my hands on this book, which  joyously celebrates the all-encompassing power of love. When worm and worm decide to get married, all of their friends have an opinion as to how things should be done (anyone who’s ever been engaged can tell you a thing or two about that…..). Worm and worm just want to get married, but things have always been done a certain way, and not everyone is comfortable doing things differently. In the end, though, love triumphs over doubt, and worm and worm celebrate their special day the way it should be celebrated – their own way.

Worm loves worm is a story about love conquering all, and about staying true to yourself, even in the face of opposition. It can be interpreted as a story about gay marriage or interracial or intercultural marriage, but it’s also a story about standing up for yourself when everyone around you has an opinion, and not losing your sense of self. It’s a story about accepting change, and about being gracious when other people have different opinions. The story of Worm loves worm is a simple one, but one that has a very positive spirit. Lots of fun and highly recommended.

So, what have you been reading this week?


PJ Story time….zzzzz….

It’s PJ story time night tonight at a new-to-me branch, so I’m expecting the unexpected. I’ve delivered a few PJ story times before, so I’m going to follow a tried-and-true formula and get ready to think on my feet and adapt when necessary. Wish me luck!

A PJ story time is essentially a bedtime-themed family story time that’s offered in the evenings. One of the exciting (read: potentially disastrous) features of an PJ story time is its all-ages nature – you never know if you’ll be sitting in front of a room full of crawling babies or vocal preschoolers. For an on-call librarian, the challenge is even greater, as you don’t often have the luxury of knowing the regulars at your branch.

While we’re on the subject of PJ story times, here are a few bedtime-themed picture books that might just rock at your next jam session (ha ha…)

Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime

Dinosaur VS. Bedtime

Bob Shea

Simplicity at its best. Get ready to roar as a confident little dinosaur defeats all who dare challenge him (including a pile of leaves), before facing off against his greatest challenge yet – bedtime!

Everyone Sleeps

Everyone Sleeps

Marcellus Hall

A little dog who can’t sleep wanders his neighborhood, wondering if he is the only one still awake. Beautifully illustrated, this is a gentle bedtime story with an endearing little hero.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Goodnight, goodnight, construction site

Sherri Duskey Rinker

And now for something a little bit different – a bedtime book about heavy duty industrial machinery! This is a slightly longer story, but the rhyming text is fun, the illustrations are lovely (even construction machines bring their teddy bears to bed!), and the quirky subject matter is likely to intrigue young listeners.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Jane Yolen

How does a dinosaur say goodnight? Perhaps not the way you might think! Repetitive, rhyming text, lush, detailed illustrations, and the added joy of dinosaurs make for an engaging twist on the traditional bedtime story.

Llama, Llama Red Pajama

Llama llama red pajama

Anna Dewdney

Drama, suspense, hilarious illustrations and a repetitive, rhyming story combine in this storytime favourite about a melodramatic baby llama’s bedtime antics.