It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’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.


I’m back from Tokyo and ready to get back to blogging!!


Title: Pepper & Poe
Author/Illustrator: Frann Preston-Gannon
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s Summary: Maurice Sendak Fellowship Award Winner Frann Preston-Gannon makes her US picture book debut with this hilarious yet touching story about two soon-to-be sibling cats, Pepper & Poe. Pepper is an old cat. He’s set in his ways, and used to his normal routine in the house that he rules–or thinks he rules, anyway! Yup, he’s got everything down to a science, including how to manipulate the house dog. That is until a new kitty named Poe comes along and starts messing up everything! Can Poe get Pepper to accept him as part of the family? This hilarious story reinvents the age-old new sibling topic with a furry twist, taking an emotionally heavy subject and masking it with humor–all while reinforcing the days of the week!

My Two Cents: There’s nothing particularly special about the storyline of Pepper & Poe. Older animal/child meets younger animal/child. Initially, there is tension. There is frustration. There is even animosity. Eventually, though, there is understanding. Pretty standard “dealing with a new sibling is hard” stuff. Still, what makes Pepper & Poe so much fun is its delightful twist ending, in which the two cats are suddenly united by a common goal, one that will ring particularly true to cat lovers. Preston-Gannon’s simple text is complemented by her unique illustrative style, putting a refreshing spin on a familiar story.

Title: Such a Little Mouse
Author: Alice Schertle / Illustrator: Stephanie Yue
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s Summary: Explore the world of such a little mouse–from the bestselling author of LITTLE BLUE TRUCK! With Alice Schertle’s sweet descriptive language and touching illustrations from Stephanie Yue, a little mouse interacts with the world around him. Every season of the year, “such a little mouse” pops out of his hole and goes out to explore the wider world.

My Two Cents: This is a wonderfully sweet book about the simple pleasures of life and the beauty that can be found all around us in the natural world. Nothing really happens in this book – the little mouse goes about his every day life in the forest, changing his routine in harmony with the changing seasons. But it’s this simplicity that creates such a gentle, reassuring story, which serves as a refreshing alternative to some of the more frenetic, hyper-energetic comedic picture books on the market. Such a Little Mouse,  with its calm tone and warm illustrations, would likely make for a lovely bed time story.

Title: One Spotted Giraffe
Author/Illustrator: Petr Horacek
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2012
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher’s Summary: Count from one spotted giraffe to ten darting fish in this perky pop-up book from renowned illustrator Petr Horácek. Very young children can identify animals, count them, and discover numerals in this stand-out selection. Spreads filled with realistic depictions of colorful creatures — everything from pandas to lemurs — entice readers to count the animals, then flip the flap to reveal a corresponding pop-up numeral. And then the surprise: the numeral looks just like the animal — fur, spots, stripes, and all! Toddlers and preschoolers will delight in this bold, innovative concept book, a fantastic tool for making numbers noticeable for little learners

My Two Cents: I just had to include this stunning animal counting book after I shared it to a rapt audience at baby time this week. All little eyes were absolutely glued to the huge, brilliantly-coloured animal illustrations, and lifting each flap to reveal an animal-shaped pop-up letter brought coos of excitement and delight. I like that Horacek has included some more unusual animals in the counting book, which makes a nice departure from the typical cows and dogs and other animals featured in most kids’ counting books. The intended audience on the back of the book is “age 3 and up”, but I would definitely suggest giving this one a try at your next baby time.

So, what have you been reading this week?