It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Februrary Fun!


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

I have discovered some wonderful new picture books this week that I’m excited to share!


Red: A Crayon’s Story – Michael Hall

I love books that have different layers of interpretation and I can see Red as having the potential to stimulate some deep discussions with older children. Red is a crayon who doesn’t fit in – he has a bright red label, but never quite feels as if he belongs and is miserable. The reason is – he’s actually a blue crayon with a red label. Readers know this, but Red doesn’t realize until a new friend offers him some insight on his true color. This story is simple, clever celebration of inner diversity. Simple prose, colorful illustrations – this book is a gem! 



I Don’t Want to Be A Frog! – Dave Petty

I absolutely LOVED this book!  It’s hilarious and carries a great message about self esteem and self acceptance.  Little Frog does NOT want to be a frog – in fact he would rather be ANY other animal than a slimy, wet, bug eating frog!  Beautiful illustrations, funny and I am already thinking it would be a great writing anchor for “What Animal Would You Rather Be?”   Fantastic book!


Click Clack Peep! – Doreen Cronin

Here’s another “Click, Clack” book to add to my collection, and while it doesn’t quite live up to the original “Click, Clack, Moo!” – I enjoyed it very much!  The story centers around a little duck who is not going to sleep.  The cows, and all the animals provide amusing suggestions on how to get this little duck to sleep, while Farmer Brown has no clue what is going on.  This book would make a great gift for new parents! 


The Bear Ate Your Sandwich – Julia Sarcone-Roach

This is a VERY clever book with a surprise ending that your students will love but likely not suspect!    You left your sandwich on a park bench while you left to play with your friends and when you come back – it’s gone.  What happened to it?  And so begins the detailed recounting of what happened to your sandwich – a bear at it!  Or did it?  Hilarious and fun – this book is a perfect read-aloud and would make an excellent anchor for re-telling an event in sequence with lots of examples of transition words. 


One Big Pair of Underwear – Laura Gehl

Fun, rhyming text and hilarious illustrations – this is an excellent book for teaching counting and the importance of sharing!  Silly and fun – and we all know how much kids love listening to us read the word “underwear”!


Sick Simon – Dan Krall

Simon is sick but he still goes to school… and spreads his germs to everyone!  Hmmm…I was not quite sure about this one because the illustrations were pretty disgusting – graphic illustrations of phlegm and mucus – Blech!  But I believe that was intentional!  This is a must book for the classroom during cold and flu season as it is an effective way to talk about germs and how illness is spread.   


Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons – Sara Levine

“Have you ever wondered what we would look like if we didn’t have any bones? It wouldn’t be pretty.” These are the first lines from this interesting, interactive Nonfiction book. A conversational, question-answer format, this book introduces young readers to different skeletons – from humans to animals. Great for introducing comparing and a perfect read-aloud in a primary classroom. Engaging, interesting and fun!  Thank you, Carrie Gelson, for introducing me to this book!


Lulu’s Mysterious Mission – Judith Viorst

I first learned of this book from our amazing teacher-librarian at my school.  She told me how much her own two girls had loved this beginning chapter series and now it was a very popular book in our library.  I also noticed on Alyson Beecher’s blog post Kid Lit Frenzy  that it had recently won a Cybil award (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards) for best early chapter book 2014.  And who doesn’t love anything written by Judith Viorst?  So… I knew I had to read it!  This is actually the third installment in the Lulu series – and begins with Lulu’s parents going out of town and leaving her with a babysitter – Ms. Sonia Sofia Solinsky!  Lulu is NOT pleased and concocts many different plans to bring her parents home, until Ms. Solinsky reveals a secret!  This book has simple enough text for beginning readers but is chocker-block full of fun!  I loved it and am now going to put my name on the wait list in our library for the other two!

 The Crossover – Kwame Alexander

Josh Bell
is my name.
But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame
Folks call me that
’cause my game’s acclaimed,
so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame.
My hair is long, my height’s tall.
See, I’m the next Kevin Durant,
LeBron, and Chris Paul.

WOW! Oh Wow! From the second you start reading this book, you will not be able to stop! Basketball loving, dread-locked Josh Bell stole my heart and he will steal yours. This book was recently awarded the Newberry for 2015 and has been getting a lot of buzz. I was reluctant because I don’t really like basketball and am not a huge fan of books in verse. But this book is nothing like anything I’ve ever read: dazzling characters with amazing voices; rollicking, rhyming, bouncing rhythm; extraordinary writing; a powerful ending; themes of sportsmanship, family, siblings, coming of age, diversity, death, courage… This book is brilliant, funny, poignant, entertaining. And in case you haven’t inferred – I LOVED this book! YOU MUST READ IT! And if you teach grades 6-9 (I’d go as low as grade 5) YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK TO YOUR CLASS! Okay, I’ll stop.

Extended book trailer:

Funny clip by the author:


Thanks for stopping by!  What book(s) caught your eye?  I’d love to know!


Filed under Award Winner, Beginning Chapter Book, Book in Verse, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Sports

17 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Februrary Fun!

  1. I loved Lulu as well, but was surprised at how high the reading level was. Crossover does well in my library, even though we normally don’t circulate many novels in verse. This one was unique! And yeah! A sports book winning the Newbery!

  2. I read Click Clack Peep this week too and completely agree with your assessment. It’s not as good as the original but still very cute!

  3. I have heard such high praise for Crossover. I am on the holds list, eagerly awaiting my turn. I could have read this book at any time over the past months, but now that it is the belle of the awards balls it’s in high demand! Kudos to Kwame Alexander!

    • You will love Crossover! It’s such a unique book! Yes, it’s funny how we are drawn to the books that have the buzz! I always feel that I don’t want to miss out! But this one is well worth the wait! Enjoy!

  4. Ah, Crossover. That’s in my TBR pile and I can’t wait.

    • Tara – you will LOVE Crossover! It is so unique! I think your students will love it. This is one of those rare Newberry winners that really targets the young readers. I’m looking forward to your review!

  5. Beautiful collection of books I want, Adrienne, especially those first two about being satisfied with who one is. And I loved The Crossover, so happy it won the Newbery!

  6. So pleased you loved The Crossover – my entire house loved it! I love the look of I Don’t Want to be a Frog. Looks like it would be an incredible read aloud.

    • I Don’t Want to Be a Frog – it’s a winner! Your students will laugh and so will you! LOVED the Crossover so much. It’s a Newberry winner that really targeted young readers. So unique!

  7. Can’t wait to read Lulu’s Mysterious Mission! 🙂

  8. Oh Adrienne, I must go out and get Red: A Crayon’s Story. I’m always looking for books to build critical literacy and this one sounds perfect! Isn’t it sad that this is the last Lulu book. I’m waiting, ever so impatiently, for The Crossover.

  9. You will LOVE Red! It’s an amazing book with many layers. Yes, sad about the last Lulu – but I think it was the best one! Crossover – it will take your breath away! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Hi there Adrienne, very excited to read your reviews about The Crossover – my book club for young readers picked this one for our novel-in-verse read this June, and can’t wait to get my hands on it. We’re also going to have a mystery reading theme end of this year, so I shall try to find the Lulu book then. 🙂

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