It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? Ocean, Baseball and some Lullabies!


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: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

This week, I’m happy to be sharing some recent releases from KidsCan Press.

There Was an Old Sailor

There Was an Old Sailor – Claire Saxby

There was an old sailor who swallowed a krill

I don’t know why he swallowed a krill –

It’ll make him ill!

Ahoy mates!  This lively nautical version of the classic and familiar song “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” would be a perfect book to read during a unit of study about the ocean.  It is filled with many sea creatures – some familiar and others not so much  and the delightful illustrations by Cassandra Allen are the perfect touch!  I was also thinking it would be a fun book to use for visualizing!

The Mermaid and the Shoe

The Mermaid and the Shoe – K. G. Campbell

Oh my – there are so many things I loved about this book!  The story, the character, the illustrations… a definite must read!  This book was inspired by classic fairy tales but takes on its own style.  Minnow is the 50th daughter of King Neptune.  While the other 49 daughters are remarkable, dearest Minnow is not. The only thing that makes her remarkable is the fact that she asks so many questions.  (LOVE her!)  Where do bubbles go?  Why don’t crabs have fins?   One day she discovers a mysterious object and her curiosity about it leads her on a journey of discovery.   I won’t give it away – you must read it!  This would make a wonderful book to promote the power of questioning. 

A Fish Named Glub

 A Fish Named Glub – Dan Bar-el

Here is another book that celebrates the power of questions!  Glub is a fish who lives in a fishbowl and asks deep questions:  Who am I? Where did I come from? Where do I belong?   We meet many different patrons from the diner  where he lives and they interact with Glub and try to help answer his questions.  Each person we meet is either lonely or missing something in their lives and with the help of Glub (and a little magic)  find  answers to their own questions.  This book is more suited for older students but would be a great one for questioning and inferring.  I loved the illustrations and the voice of Glub. 

The Most Magnificent Thing

The Most Magnificent Thing – Ashley Spires

A great connect book for all you inventors and perfectionists!  This is the story of a little girl who wants to make the most magnificent thing. She knows exactly what its supposed to do and what it should look like. The only problem is, try as she might, she just can’t get it right.  Eventually, she is overwhelmed with frustration – “I quit!”  She goes for a walk, cools off, then goes back with a fresh outlook and new determination.  I love how this book promotes many important issues – creativity, patience and determination – not to mention a positive model for how to deal with frustration!  Great illustrations and a very cute doggie assistant!

Baseball Is… Louise Borden

Spring means many things to many people – but to my 15 yr. old son it is not about the chirping birds, bursting blossoms or budding tulips.   To him, spring only means one thing – BASEBALL!  So when I saw this book on display at the book store – I knew it was a must have for our house.  But the good news is that you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate or enjoy this fantastic book!   This book is a sensory delight – filled with details of baseball facts, stats, rituals and players. The excitement and joy of the game spill out onto every page.  The writing is amazing and I’m definitely going to add it to my collection of anchor books that model word choice.  Take me out to the ball game – or just read this book!

The Wild Book – Margarita Engle

This book is based on the life of Margarita Engle’s grandmother, who suffered from dyslexia, or word blindness” as it was referred to in Cuba in the early 1900’s.  Her mother gives her a notebook – or “wild book”  and tells her to “think of this book as a garden – scatter your seeds all over the page”.  The girl (Elfa) begins to write.  The book is told in verse and I really enjoyed learning about life and war in Cuba during this time period.  This book celebrates words, reading and writing and an inspiration to any child or adult who may experience literacy challenges.

Goodnight Songs

Goodnight Songs – Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon was one of my favorite books to read to my children when they were younger so I was thrilled to learn of this new collection of unpublished lullabies by the late Margaret Wise Brown.   They are illustrated by many a range of award winning illustrators and accompanied with music and a CD.  Quiet songs and poems to play in your primary classroom or a lovely gift for a new baby.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to know which book has caught your eye this week!

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Baseball Is… is being talked about so much recently. I’ll have to read it. All the ocean books you featured sound interesting as well- and Goodnight Songs! Have a great reading week! -Earl!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Baseball Is – it’s worth of all the talk! It’s amazing! So much more than just a book about baseball – amazing writing and illustrations. Glad you like the ocean books – an unintended theme! Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  2. Julee Murphy

    The Sailor book looks so cute. In fact, they all do. I just received a copy of Magnificent Thing and really enjoyed it and am looking forward to incorporating it into a library lesson.

  3. Adrienne Gear

    I really enjoyed the Magnificent Thing and certainly some important themes for discussion that comes from the story. I liked that she gets so mad and walks away but then goes back to it when she has cooled off! An important reminder for me as well as my students!

  4. carriegelson

    I want want want The Mermaid and the Shoe – I have been waiting for the release date – I think it needs to be at the top of my Spring shopping list! Glad you loved it. Glub. How adorable. Looks good! Dan Bar-el seems to be publishing lots of books lately! The Wild Book looks really incredible – love the quote you shared. Wow. Happy Baseball Season! Does this mean hockey is done?

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Yes, the Mermaid Shoe is definitely a “Carrie” book! Minnow is a girl after my own heart because she asks questions all the time! The Wild Book is beautiful – perhaps for an older class or with some building of background knowledge for your younger ones. Beautiful writing! Hockey is replaced by baseball for my older… spring hockey for my younger! Baseball book is AMAZING!

  5. K. Lirenman

    Adrienne, I bravely went into Vancouver Kids Books today (I say bravely because it ALWAYS costs me money when I’m in there) and I am pleased to see that I left with one of the books on your list this week – The Most Magnificent Thing. As I read it I could see how some of my students might connect to it – perhaps by getting frustrated when things are harder the need for break before trying again. I can’t wait to share it with my students to see how they react to it. I need to check back here more often, or maybe I don’t. I’m not sure I can afford to. As always thanks for sharing your love of literature. Karen 🙂

    1. Adrienne Gear

      How wonderful to have you reading my post and happy that we “connected” on a book. Yes, stopping by kidsbooks is always an expensive trip! But I’d rather spend my money on books rather than shoes – because books don’t wear out as fast! The Most Magnificent Thing really is a great book for all the issues that can be discussed. I’d love to know how your students respond! Thanks for visiting and hope you stop by again soon! Have a great week!

  6. The Styling Librarian

    A Fish Named Glub… shall add to growing TBR, LOVED The Mermaid and the Shoe as well! Happy reading week to you…

    1. Adrienne Gear

      I think you will really like Glub. The writing style is definitely for older students but always good to have picture books for older kids. Mermaid and the Shoe is certainly one I will recommend to many teachers! It’s a keeper!

  7. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    I absolutely LOVED The Most Magnificent Thing. Such a great message for students about giving a project time to simmer.

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Yes, I totally agree! An excellent message to kids about how to deal with frustration. Sometimes books with intended messages feel contrived and forced but this one came out so naturally which is why it works so well!

  8. Linda Baie

    I have an advance copy of Mermaid and The Shoe, but still haven’t read it. Your review certainly made me want to get to it, Adrienne. And those picture books, like A Fish Named Glub, so cute, & sounds like a good book for good conversations. We do so much support of questioning at school. I think it would be a good fit. I really want the Margaret Wish Brown book-sounds beautiful! Thanks for all!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      You must read Mermaid and the Shoe – it’s delightful! I am always on the look out for books which support either the concept of asking deep questions or books that invite those great questions. Minnow (from Mermaid and the Shoe) is certainly a character who exemplifies curiosity and deep thinking without feeling contrived. Have a great week!

  9. Myra GB

    Hi there Adrienne, I received a copy of Goodnight Songs from Pepper Roxas, a good friend of mine, and our featured Illustrator in GatheringBooks a few months back. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but I am sure I would fall in love with it. Great picture books you have here, as always dear Adrienne. The Most Magnificent Thing reminded me a little bit of Rosie Revere, Engineer. And The Wild Book, I love that one! I received an ARC from Margarita’s publisher for that lovely book, and enjoyed it so much. When I invited Margarita for a Skype interview with my higher-degree class last month, she read aloud a poem from The Wild Book – that was so precious.

  10. Adrienne Gear

    Would have LOVED to have been there for the Skype session with Margarita! What an experience that would have been! Yes, Most Magnificent was similar to Rosie Revere in that they both explore inventions and creative thinking. I did like the added theme in Magnificent Thing that deals with how to handle frustration and strategies for “cooling off” when things get too much – a great one for sharing with kids! Goodnight Songs – the illustrations are so wonderful – you will love it! Have a wonderful week, Myra!

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