It’s Monday! What Are You Reading #imwayr 12/6/15

IMWAYR

Visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to participate in the kidlit version of this weekly meme.

On the blog:

In reading:

bear ate your sandwich

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a week where I only read one picture book, but that’s what happened this week. Just one! But it was a fine one. The illustrations were the real draw for me in Julia Sarconne-Roach’s The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, though the twist at the end will appeal to many readers. An excellent writing mentor text and an engaging tall tale.

bird & squirrel on ice

James Burks’s second graphic novel about the adventures of Bird & Squirrel does not disappoint. In Bird & Squirrel on Ice, our somewhat hapless friends crash land in the South Pole only to discover that their arrival has been foretold by the local penguin fortune-teller. Bird, in fact, is The Chosen One, a legendary hero who will free the penguins from the Killer Whale who demands regular sacrifices. Bird basks in the attention, but Squirrel suspects a plot twist. And he’s right! Poor Bird is going to be the next sacrifice! Of course things work out for the pair in the end, thanks to Squirrel’s suspicions and the clever plotting of a penguin named Sakari. Basically everything is to love about this series–huge kid appeal and I laughed out loud numerous times too.
fortune smiles

And then there is Adam Johnson’s National Book Award winning collection of short stories, Fortune Smiles. This is a book I’m going to be mulling over for awhile. There are six longish stories in the collection. I thought that two were absolutely brilliant, two were very good, and two didn’t entirely work for me though I still admired both. Johnson tackles some disturbing, even brutal material–my favorite story, “Dark Meadow,” is about child pornography–yet somehow even though the stories disturb, there is still something light about Johnson’s writing. He reminds me of Raymond Carver in that way–such bleak stories and such effortless sentences. There is quite a bit of humor here as well, but it’s a dark humor. A good collection for fans of George Saunders. I still haven’t read Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, but will certainly pick it up now.

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10 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading #imwayr 12/6/15

  1. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is on our #MockCaldecott list Such a fun read aloud – in fact we had to go back and read it again! I need to read this Bird and Squirrel – loved the first one! Happy reading this week! I am enjoying all of your blog posts.

  2. I’ve read The Orphan Master’s Son, and it was both bleak and inspiring. I’m interested in the secrecy of North Korea, wonder how the citizens survive in such an atmosphere. So, thanks for this new book of stories. I think I will like them! Loved The Bear Ate Your Sandwich!

  3. Oh, I know… The week of NCTE, I didn’t read any picture books! I’m hoping to get more reading done the rest of this month – still have a lot on my #mustreadin2015 list. Yikes!

  4. Loved loved loved the bear ate your sandwhich. I just picked up the most recent Bird and Squirrel book, Bird & Squirrel on the Edge! I know the little ones will be so excited by it, but honestly, shhh I haven’t read even one of them!

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