Thank you, Edelweiss+ and the publisher, for an eARC of this book.
Every time I read a new Julie Flett book, I have a deeper appreciation for her as an author and an illustrator. We All Play is quietly beautiful if there can be such a thing.
Using two-page spreads, we see a variety of North American animals playing. Using natural muted colours, readers will see rabbits, seals and geese along with animals not as common, buffalos, bats and lynxes playing. After each set of three animals, Ms. Flett shares children playing similarly to the group of animals just showcased. Not only are land, water, and air animals depicted, but so are the seasons represented and animals active during the night.
As much that I adore the artwork in this book, it is the careful consideration of Julie Flett’s words that make this book stand out for me. There are only four words on each page, which means they have to stand out and stand out they do! The use of alliteration and vocabulary word building is one that educators will love to use as a mentor text. Ms. Flett delicately balances using familiar words (hide and hop) to ones not used as frequently (nudge and nuzzle). Again ending the set of three with children and the line “We play too!” until we are all tuckered out and need to rest.
The final copy of the book will include a glossary with all the animals in Cree and English. Another spectacular picture book, reinforcing that we are all connected and more the same than we are different. Classrooms and libraries need more books by Indigenous Peoples, sharing their perspectives on everyday life and events. Preorder this one that comes out in May.
The last week of a very bizarre year with hopes of something better on the horizon. Since November, I have found comfort revisiting friends from books already read. I am listening to John Flanagan’s Ranger Apprentice books and the series spinoffs Brotherband Chronicles and the Royal Rangers. I am happy to be on waitlists from my local library. I am pleased that despite it being an older series, it is still extremely popular. I now have finished the recently released Royal Ranger The Missing Prince that left readers with a cliff-hanger so I will be watching for the publication of the next book in that series.
Patiently Waiting Library Holds
Ranger Apprentice Book 6/11: The Seige of Macindaw by John Flanagan, narrated by John Keating
Brotherband Chronicles Book 4/8: The Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan, narrated by John Keating.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, narrated by Avi Roque
Currently, I am finishing up The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray and will then dive into some 2021 debuts. I hope to finish three debuts before the end of the year to meet my December reading goal. While I wait for my audiobook holds, I began a series new to me, but many of you will have already read The Magisterium series. I am now listening to the second book The Copper Gauntlet. I like the struggle that Callum is battling and see similarities to the other popular fantasy series.
I want to acknowledge the two that started this all. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? has changed from becoming a meme for adults to the sharing of children’s lit. This idea to include #kidlit came from Unleashing Reader blogger Kellee Moye and Jen Vincent, from the Teach Mentor Texts, blog. They thought there should be a children’s lit focus too, and hence a version for #kidlit began! So join in on the fun every Monday by sharing what you just finished reading, currently are reading, or are anticipating reading. Use the hashtag #IMWAYR on your social media sites to share, follow what others are reading, and show support for #kidlit bloggers by reading and commenting.
I scored a pile of picture books, some graphic novels and chapter books I have been waiting for or discovered as I checked out various lists and blogs to read the ones I missed and look forward to reading those in between breaks of walking Kaizer and being with my family. I hope you all have had time to spend time with your loved ones.
Instead of my usual #IMWAYR post, I thought I would let you know what I will spend a good part of December sharing. I did have a good reading week, and some of those books will undoubtedly show up in later posts. For now, they will remain a mystery.
Late November, early December, those “Best Lists” roll in, and yes, I will admit to looking at them, but it is more to see what I may have missed rather than see what others have deemed “Best.” I am always on the lookout for new books to read, enjoy and share with others and seek out a variety of places to add to my TBR/Options pile. In the next few posts, I will share with you some books that perhaps you may have missed and can add to your reading stack. I hope to include 12 – one for each month of the year, but as of this post, it has been hard to narrow it down.
So here is the list and the dates, and I hope YOU will add books Maybe I Missed to my TBR/Options pile in the comments.
CANADIAN picture books! I went through a lot of Canadian picture books to begin the selection for the Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Awards which I will blog about at a later time to highlight some of my favourites.
Audiobook: The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes #1) by Nancy Springer narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Enola Holmes is the younger sister of famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Enola (Alone backwards) was unconventionally raised by her mother. On her fourteenth birthday she awakens to discover that her mother has disappeared, but has left her some clues to find her in the form of a special birthday present. I missed this series, but when Netflix made it into a movie special – I knew I had to read it. The first book followed the Netflix movie fairly closely and look forward to reading the other five in the series.
Audiobook: The Inheritance Game (Inheritance Games #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes narrated by Christie Moreau. Avery is a teen with some smarts, spunk and empathy. Living with her sister and her less than desirable boyfriend, her plan is to get through high school, get a scholarship and get out. Suddenly she is summoned to a will reading of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne where she discovers he has left her his entire fortune with one condition – she must live in the Hawthone estate with the family he has just denied his fortune. Obviously the family is upset and want to get Avery out of the house and Avery wonders why a man she never met has left his entire fortune to her. I enjoyed the strong character of Avery and her love of chess and things related to puzzles. There are puzzles that fans of Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Book Scavenger and the older Chasing Vermeer will enjoy. It is great to see a more books like this for these readers as they grow into YA.
Audiobook: Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Guy Lockard. Told in verse from his son ZJ, we learn about his father, a professional football player – the legend and the hero. To ZJ, he is just dad, as proud as he is of his father, football is not his jam – it’s music. His father appreciates this and encourages ZJ to do his thing. We read/hear about the time “before the ever after,” the time they spent together singing songs, spending time together as a family and how his dad was so calm and “there”. Now is the ever after – his father is having trouble remembering, has mood swings and debilitating headaches and having trouble with day to day tasks. No one is quite sure what is happening until the doctor diagnoses him with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). There is much to be learned, shared and perhaps revaluated about the games we play and watch.
I didn’t quite finish Amy Timberlake’s Skunk and Badger last week with illustrations by Jon Klassen but oh my this is going to be a wonderful series.
Another pile of Canadian picture books that I have not read and missed or been recommend by friends.
I have two days to read Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s Sky of Bombs Sky of Stars so I am ready for the MG Lit Online Book Club this Wednesday.
Down the Road…
Still trying to find time to read Sarah Allen’s Breathing Underwater and know Tuesday I will be getting more picture books for the Shining Willows
I want to acknowledge the two that started this all. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? has changed from becoming a meme for adults to the sharing of children’s’ lit. This idea to include #kidlit came from Unleashing Reader blogger Kellee Moye and Jen Vincent, from the Teach Mentor Texts, blog. They thought there should be a children’s lit focus too and hence a version for #kidlit began! So every Monday, join in on the fun by sharing what you just finished reading, currently are reading, or are anticipating reading. Use the hashtag #IMWAYR on your social media sites to share, follow what others are reading and to show support for #kidlit bloggers by reading and commenting.
Perhaps I will see some of you this evening at #MGBookChat to discuss Historical Fiction or Wednesday to chat about Sky of Bombs Sky of Stars, if not Happy Reading.