The weekly post where I recap some of the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Ocasionally, I’ll also talk about some adult fiction books as well.
Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other Kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR piles.
by Patty Rodriguez & Ariana Stein
Lil’ Libros, 2017
We. loved. this. book. The illustrations are so bright and wonderful. Each page has an emotion in both Spanish and English. In the 3 weeks that I had it home from the library, I bet I read it at least 50 times (I’m not kidding). Now my 20 month old son toddles around the house making all the hand motions to accompany the emotion (hand to the cheek with a shocked expression for surprise/sporendido, scratching his head for confused/confundido). He even walks up and says “amada” while giving us hugs. We will be buying this one for our home.
by Christopher Silas Neal
little bee books, 2018
This was a fantastic read and a very creative color concept book. I love the mash up of both the colors and the wacky animals. What does a blue whale and a yellow lion make? A green whion of course!
by Damian Synadinos
Proving Press, 2018
I haven’t ever seen a book that introduces kids to improv before. It was a fun read that would make for a great rainy day book. I especially like the improv games included as back matter to get the creative juices going. You can read my full review here.
poems by Carol Murray
illustrations by Melissa Sweet
Henry Holt and Co., 2017
This was a wildly fun read. The poems were playful and informative. And the illustrations were fantastic too. My daughter and I both loved the nonfiction tidbits that accompanied each poem.
by Peter Brown
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016
I cannot heap enough praise on this book as a read-aloud. My daughter and I read this together and it is simply wonderful. The chapters are super short, which make bedtime (or classroom) reading perfect because there is always an easy stopping point. The characters are all so lovable. My daughter especially enjoyed Chit Chat, the squirrel, who talks exactly how you’d picture a squirrel to talk. We cannot wait to pick up the sequel.
by Cassie Beasley
Dial Books, 2015
Cassie Beasley is one of my new favorite authors. I read Tumble and Blue earlier in the year and thought it was wonderful. Circus Mirandus is just as good. I love a good circus story and Beasley does such a fantastic job of bringing the magic to life. She also does a magnificent job of taking serious, sorrowful topics (like the death of a loved one or a parent abandoning a child) and wrapping it in a story filled with magical realism and tangible characters so that the topics can be easily digested by a young reader. She doesn’t pander, but delivers real emotions in a way that young readers can understand.
by Angie Thomas
Balzar + Bray, 2017
narrated by Bahni Turpin
I feel like I am late getting to this one, but I am so glad I finally read it. This book needs to be read and anyone and everyone. Sometimes I worry when tons of hype is put into something but the hype is absolutely well deserved. I listened to the audiobook and it was one of the best performed audiobooks that I have ever listened to. So so good and impactful. This book has the power to make change happen. I cannot wait to see the movie.
by Edgar Cantero
I read Cantero’s Meddling Kids last year and really enjoyed it–it’s probably my favorite adult fiction book from the last few years. So I picked up this one and really liked it as well. It is basically a Victorian gothic horror story set in Virginia in the 1990s. Cantero walks the line of giving the reader just enough information to push the story forward while leaving a lot in the dark until the end. All around a fun read. His next book, This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us—a hard boiled mystery where the protagonist detective is a set of twins stuck in one body–comes out in two weeks and I’m really excited to pick it up.
by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin’s Press, 2018
Excellent, excellent book. A lot about this struck home for me, which made it quite personal. I could really relate to Leni’s circumstance. The descriptions of the Alaskan frontier were beautiful and wild. I felt like I was right there with the Allbrights. I especially liked how it is a very satisfying ending , but it’s not wrapped up in a pretty bow and perfect. It felt real. Highly recommend.
Nonfiction – Craft
Writing Irrestistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers
by Mary Kole
Writer’s Digest Books, 2012
One of my writing group members lent me this book and it is fantastic. Because I have such a small amount of time to write, I have been looking for a book that could help me outline my current work-in-progress. This book was helpful during the planning stages of my novel and I believe it will also be very helpful during the revision stages as well. I will be adding this to my bookshelf for future reference.