Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/14/2021-6/20/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Powering through the picture books as blog posts slow down for a while. Some new graphic novels this week too. Listening to the new Rick Riordan presents title, which is good, but doesn’t quite live up to my love of Cece Rios. I feel like I am just absorbing as much information as I can while I learn about my new job and how things work in my new library. One more week of book updates before I take a break for a bit!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 45 Books Read This Week
    • 21 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (47%)
    • 11 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (24%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/7/2021-6/13/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: I’m finally into the new job which is very exciting! I’m still wrapping my head around all of the nuances of my new library. It is always so interesting to see how different each library is — even when moving between two systems that serve similar suburbs of the same city.

Reading has held steady, with many picture books and a few chapter books. I absolutely loved Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, and Stamped (For Kids), the newest adaptation of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, is well done for the intended age range, even if I am still partial to Jason Reynold’s version.

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 22 Books Read This Week
    • 11 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (50%)
    • 8 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (36%)
    • 6 Books by Own Voices Authors (27%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/31/2021-6/7/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: It’s a big week! I’m starting my new job today (eek!) as the Youth Manager at Upper Arlington Public Library (still in central Ohio). Between that and my Caldecott appointment starting soon, I will be slowing down on posts in a few weeks. My last program post is coming this week — one more Book Club in a Bag kit, featuring Lumberjanes! And there will be more content to come from my co-bloggers. Make sure to check out Sarah’s Storytime Spotlight post from last week. I read a lot, and there were many new-to-me titles on that list!

For reading this week, I finally made it through most of the backed up graphic novels and first chapter books that have been piling up. Of course, more books continue to be published, and I’m woefully behind on my audiobooks, but I will have a commute again now, so I’m sure those will pick back up.

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 30 Books Read This Week
    • 16 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (53%)
    • 11 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (37%)
    • 11 Books by Own Voices Authors (37%)

Favorites of the Week:

Storytime Spotlight: Favorite Reads

I am always on the hunt for the best upcoming or recently-released storytime books. I love getting suggestions from other librarians or storytime presenters when they have discovered a  winning title. I have been presenting storytime in some form or fashion for ten years, and there is nothing worse than a book that falls flat by either not engaging the kids or being too long. That can lead to unwelcome storytime chaos and having a real Ben Stiller/Bueller moment, where I really lose the crowd.

I’ve certainly learned some lessons while presenting books in storytime. This series will regularly spotlight books that really work for storytime (at least for me). In Storytime Spotlight, I will focus on titles for Baby Storytime (ages 0-2), Toddler Storytime (ages 2-3), and Preschool Storytime (ages 3-6), as well as some titles that may work for kindergarten and first grade audiences. Feel free to comment with your recent favorites as well!

Baby Storytime (ages 0-2)

Step By Step - By Guido Van Genechten (board Book) : Target

Step by Step by Guido Van Genechten

This is a large-format board book (which may not work for a big storytime crowd), but I love it for it’s simplicity. As the title suggests, it focuses on the steps involved in learning to walk. The cute twist is the narrator is coaching adorable animals on the foot and body position needed for walking. The animal element is great, especially because it lends itself to adding puppets to the story. Puppets are an excellent way to extend the story and actions beyond the page.  Babies can really engage with puppets as they are easy to see. Incorporating animal sounds as well supports early literacy because they are often some of baby’s first words. On the final page, we finally meet our baby who has a non-white skin tone. My storytime book choices feature all types of skin tones, ethnicities, abilities, and gender identities.

Applesauce Is Fun To Wear – LD Shoppe

Applesauce is Fun to Wear by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Jane Massey

Another baby title that features a diverse cast of characters; this one is made for baby storytime. It is currently published in hardcover, but I could imagine it will be released as a board book at some point in the future. The title features babies eating, and of course, making a huge mess. The illustrations are relatively delicate and simple, but they work because both the babies and the text are large in relationship to the overall size of the book. And this book incorporates an element that is always baby storytime gold—simple and relatable actions for caregivers to do along with their babies while reading. In Applesauce is Fun to Wear these actions focus on body parts. Being able to name at least two body parts by 12 months is a milestone for neurotypical kiddos. Parents and caregivers will appreciate the extra body part-naming practice.

Toddler Storytime (ages 2-3)

The Sea Knows: McGinty, Alice B., Havis, Alan B., Laberis, Stephanie:  9781534438224: Amazon.com: Books

The Sea Knows by Alice McGinty & Alan B. Havis, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis

Finding books for toddler storytime is always a challenge for me. I feel like it is somewhat of a market deficit to find books that truly suit the 2s and 3s in a storytime setting. The Sea Knows sits comfortably in that age range for several reasons. It deals with both concrete concepts (the ocean and it’s critters) and the more abstract (opposites). I find toddlers (especially 3s) are really able to engage with both as long as the idea is simple and the illustrations are vivid and bold. This book ticks both of those boxes. When read to a large group of toddlers, I would suggest shortening it with the old librarian trick of paperclipping pages together, especially towards the end (“The sea knows crash. The sea knows trouble”). This could be a juncture at which the toddler crowd may be lost as those are difficult concepts for toddlers to grasp.

One of These Is Not Like the Others: Saltzberg, Barney: 9780823445608:  Amazon.com: Books

One of These Is Not Like the Others by Barney Saltzberg

Barney Saltzberg is a favorite author, and this title is perfect for large crowd sharing. The background is entirely white, which allows the Sandra Boynton-esque animals to be easily seen from far away.  Older toddlers will  be able to identify the outlier on each page, and if there are preschool siblings in the toddler-preschool crowd, they will likely get the relationships between the creatures (i.e. sheep and a wolf, dogs and a cat). It moves quickly through the story, and the theme repeats throughout, which adds to the predictability of the story. Being able to predict what happens next in the story is an important early literacy skill that is important to highlight during storytime.

Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5)

Mel Fell: Tabor, Corey R., Tabor, Corey R.: 9780062878014: Amazon.com: Books

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor 

As a snail owner, I am always seeking out snail stories like Tabor’s Snail Crossing (another terrific preschool storytime read), and I was anxious to read Tabor’s latest critter adventure. Mel Fell did not disappoint with its sense of humor and charming illustrative style. The concepts of book handling and print orientation are turned on their heads with this title. Preschoolers are just beginning to understand the significance of text and its placement in a book, so sharing Mel Fell will invite a conversation where they can “correct” your orientation of the book. What is even cooler about this idea is that it is flipped—literally—when our  protagonist Mel begins to fly instead of fall. Mel meets all kinds of critters that add potential for asides while reading (for example, Mel meeting the hive of bees gives an opportunity to encourage the kids to buzz like a bee). And of course, all preschoolers love a story of overcoming adversity and learning new skills. 

Amazon.com: Pigeon Math (9781943147625): Citro, Asia, Watson, Richard: Books

Pigeon Math by Asia Citro and illustrated by Richard Watson

Asia Citro’s first foray into the picture book world is a charmer. Unless you have a crowd of extremely precocious preschoolers, the math concepts will fly (pun intended) well above their heads. Nonetheless, the pigeons are silly and engaging enough to entertain preschool-aged kiddos.  The action of the birds can be extended easily by having the participants join in with what the pigeons do on their wire throughout the book.  And when reading to an older group of kindergarteners or early school-agers, the kids can shout out the answers to the math problems. All around, this one appealed to me for many reasons, and I’m always going to gravitate towards books about pigeons, the true underdog (underbird?) of birds.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/24/2021-5/30/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Well, I did some reading! I read a book just for me over my much-needed vacation, but I still got plenty of reading done around the trip too. If you are an adult historical romance fan, Sarah MacLean’s Bombshell was a ton of fun (read as an eARC). My vacation broke my audiobook habit, and I’m still trying to get back into that groove. Also, I’m finally chipping away at that stack of graphic novels on my nightstand!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 26 Books Read This Week
    • 14 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (54%)
    • 9 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (35%)
    • 8 Books by Own Voices Authors (31%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/17/2021-5/23/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: I finished some really great audiobooks this week! I’m taking a mini-vacation for a few days next week, which could mean that next Monday’s update has very few titles — or it could mean that it has a ton of books, since my vacations typically involve some reading.

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 16 Books Read This Week
    • 13 Books with Main Characters of Marginalized Backgrounds (81%)
    • 12 Books by Authors of Marginalized Backgrounds (75%)
    • 12 Books by Own Voices Authors (75%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/10/2021-5/16/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Mostly picture books this week as I wrap up things at my current library, plus one absolutely fantastic chapter book–Firekeeper’s Daughter. Lots of things to wrap up as I leave Westerville Public Library a little over five years to the day after starting my practicum there. I’ve got a short vacation planned in the upcoming weeks, so I may miss a week or two of posts (and generally have less reading to report). The rest of the world keeps turning at what feels like breakneck speed–sending best wishes to all of my fellow librarians who are figuring out what new mask rules mean for you and your patrons. I’ll be right back into that soon, but I am happy for a short break from it all. Keep an eye out for a few more Book Club in a Bag posts in the next few weeks!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 14 Books Read This Week
    • 5 Books with Main Characters of Diverse Backgrounds (36%)
    • 5 Books by Authors of Diverse Backgrounds (36%)
    • 5 Books by Own Voices Authors (36%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (5/3/2021-5/9/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books, Picture Books, and Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Thoughts & Updates: Big news this week–well, this month! A few weeks ago I was elected as a member of the 2023 Caldecott Committee–a huge honor that I still can’t quite wrap my head around. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me! This is the reason for the slow down and eventual stopping of these book posts (for a while anyway!) as I adjust to this new opportunity and abide by the social media rules attached to this commitment.

There is more news too–I’m going to be leaving the amazing Westerville Public Library for a new job! In just a few weeks, I will be the new Youth Manager at Upper Arlington Public Library (not too far away from my current workplace). I’m thrilled for the opportunity, though I am sad to be leaving behind such a great team at WPL. This may also mean that program posts will be slowing down in the immediate future, as I adjust to all of these new changes. There are still five more Book Club in a Bag posts to come (since those kits are already made!) as well as some amazing contributions from my co-bloggers.

Lots of changes and, of course, lots of great books too! A particular shout out to Ana on the Edge — this is a wonderful, wonderful own voices book about a nonbinary main character that needs to be at the top of your to-read stack. See more of this week’s favorites below!

Reading by the Numbers:

  • 29 Books Read This Week
    • 16 Books with Main Characters of Diverse Backgrounds (55%)
    • 12 Books by Authors of Diverse Backgrounds (41%)
    • 11 Books by Own Voices Authors (38%)

Favorites of the Week:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We participate in the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (4/26/2021-5/2/2021).

Annamarie’s Reading

Board Books:

Picture Books: