It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.

Last week I read:


The Crane Wife by Sumiko Yagawa (fairy tale)

Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman by Esmé Raji Codell (children’s non-fiction)

Seven Fathers by Ashley Ramsden (fairy tale)

Little White Duck: A childhood in China by Na Liu and Andrés Vera Martinez (children’s non-fiction)

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel (middle grade graphic novel)

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas (children’s fiction)

The Three Bully Goats by Leslie Kimmelman (fairy tale retelling)

Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale (children’s fiction)

Zora!: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Dennis Brindell (middle grade/YA non-fiction)

Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim (children’s non-fiction)

The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson (non-fiction)

Usborne the Children’s Book of Art by Rosie Dickins (children’s non-fiction)


Favorite Book(s) of the Week:


I was trying to narrow this down to just one book but I couldn’t. Little White Duck, The Crane Wife, and Seed by Seed were my favorite reads of the week.

Since one of my current reads, Far From the Tree, is a tome (900+ pages), last week I decided to read other books at the same time. The next thing I knew, I’m reading four books at a time and that doesn’t include all the children’s books.

I’m currently reading:


Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon (non-fiction)

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Mysterious Tales of Japan by Rafe Martin (folklore)


Listening to:


The Little Red Guard: A Family Memoir by Wenguang Huang (non-fiction)

What’s next:


It’ll probably be Howling’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I plan on reading it with my daughter soon. After seeing the movie trailers for Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, I think I’m going to add that to this week’s reading pile too.

What are you reading this week? 

What My Children Are Reading

What My Children Are Reading

This week my children had some hits and misses with a lot of the books we checked out from the library. Or should I say books that I checked out from the library? As any mother knows, some days it’s just easier to go to the library without the kids. I had a ton of books on hold for them and picked up a few. This week the kids read:


Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly (2007)
Written by Alan Madison.
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
40 pages

Don’t you just love the cover? Velma is the youngest Gratch. While her sisters, Frieda and Fiona, are remembered by their former teachers and the school principal, no one remembers Velma. She just doesn’t stand out. But when her first grade teacher introduces Velma’s class to the world of science and particularly butterflies, Velma finds her place and shines.

Sleeping Ugly (1975)
Written by Jane Yolen
67 pages

Jane Yolen is one of my favorite authors! In the story, Plain Jane is Sleeping Ugly, a girl who is patient and kind. Sleeping Beauty is the spoiled princess, Princess Miserella, who gets lost in the woods, kicks a fairy godmother, and demands that Plain Jane takes her home to the castle. What Princess Miserella doesn’t count on is the fairy godmother having a temper. The result is a funny tale about how kindness is so important.

Beware of Boys (1991)
Tony Blundell
32 pages

When the big bad wolf catches a little boy in the woods, the wolf just knows that he’s about to have dinner. But when the little boy helps the wolf by giving his the recipe for boy soup, the wolf travels everywhere to get the ingredients. Will the wolf ever get a chance to make boy soup?

I Need my Monster (2009)
Written by Amanda Noll
Illustrated by Howard McWilliam

When Ethan decides to go to bed one night, he finds the monster that lives under his bed, Gabe, has gone fishing for a week. Substitute monsters come and try to fill Gabe’s spot but none of them are like Gabe. Ethan wonders if he’ll ever get to sleep without his monster.This book was a great twist to the typical “monster under the bed” story.

So that’s just a few of the books we’ve read this week. What are your children reading this week?

What My Children Are Reading, October 22, 2009

What My Children Are Reading, October 22, 2009

For the past couple of days my oldest son has been home sick because of multiple asthma attacks and a fever that won’t completely go away. Thankfully his attacks have been mild. One of the ways I’ve been entertaining him has been by reading to him. Luckily for me that before my son became sick, I went to our library and picked up some of this year’s Cybils nominees.


The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Couseteau (2009) – Dan Yaccarino. This book reminded me of another Cybils-nominated biography from last year, A River of Words by Jen Bryant. I really enjoyed reading about Cousteau’s life and all the obstacles he overcame because the sea and its inhabitants were his passion.


Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation (2009) Written by Jacqueline Jules. Illustrated by Jef Czekaj. Unite or Die is so unique. The book shows kids how the Constitution came into being. Everything from the illustrations to the text kept the kids interested in the story.


Abigail Spells (2009) by Anna Alter. Out of all three books this one was my son’s favorite. Abigail is a bird who loves to spell. So when she finds out her school is hosting a spelling bee, she signs up expecting to win. But when she doesn’t her best friend George tries to show her winning is not everything.

What great books did you read to your kids this week?

What My Children Are Reading – July 16th

What My Children Are Reading – July 16th

This is a meme started by Jill over at Well-Read Child. For some reason this week has been really laid back. I don’t think any of us over here has read as much as we wanted to except for my youngest Oli. Oli’s asthma has been acting up again, so he’s spent most of the week at home with me. Here are a few books the kids and I have been reading this week.


My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life (2009). Written by Kate Feiffer. Illustrated by Diane Goode. The girls in my house love this book and I have to admit I do too. The main character, a little girl, swears her mother is trying to ruin her life by doing a number of embarrassing things like giving her a kiss in public and talking too loud. The main character then thinks of a plan to get rid of both of her parents. The ending is such a nice lesson for kids about how great our parents can be.

Gone with the Wand by Margie Palatini (2009). Written by Margie Palatini. Illustrated by Brain Ajhar. After Bernice, a fairy godmother, loses her magical powers, her best friend Edith the tooth fairy comes to the rescue. What ensues is a hilarious journey to help Bernice get her powers back. The first time I read this I laughed so hard, I had to stop reading for a second.



Dog’s ABC: A Silly Story about the Alphabet (2000) by Emma Dodd
Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story about Colors and Counting (2000) by Emma Dodd
Dog’s Noisy Day: A Story to Read Aloud (2002)by Emma Dodd

The Dog series by Emma Dodd is the series right now in our family. All the kids, ages 4-9, have read and re-read these three books. In Dog’s ABC, Dog goes through his neighborhood noticing the different creatures. It’s a great ABC book and my family loved the illustrations by Dodd. Dog’s Colorful Day is a story about colors and counting that’s easy and fun for kids to learn. Dog goes through his neighborhood getting dirty by adding a new color spot with each adventure he has.  Then Dog takes a tour of a farm in Dog’s Noisy Day, listening to all the sounds that different creatures make. My youngest enjoyed making the sounds along with each creature.


Frogs (2008) by Nic Bishop. The title is pretty self-explanatory. This book is all about frogs, telling readers how they reproduce, live, and the different species. I just this as a read aloud for the older kids and though most aren’t into reading about animals, they really enjoyed reading the book and looking at the great photos that the author took.

Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months (1996) by Maurice Sendak. Oli has read this book several times a day this week. A little boy loves chicken soup with rice so much that every month he does something different with it. Told in rhyme, readesr will love seeing what happens with every month.

What books are you and your children reading together this week?

Sunday Salon: Mother’s Day Giveaway

Sunday Salon: Mother’s Day Giveaway

wilson mamaMama Always Comes Home
Karma Wilson(2005)
Illustrated by Brooke Dyer

Mama Always Comes Home is the story of Mama Cat, Mama Mole, and other mamas who have to briefly leave their little ones to take care of home but promises their children they will always be back soon. I had to pry a copy of this book out of my mother’s hands, she loved it that much. It’s a great book for mothers and mothers-to-be and perfect to help reassure children with separation anxiety that at the end of the day, Mama always come back.

wilson animalsAnimal Strike at the Zoo. It’s True! (2006)
Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Margaret Spengler

The animals at the zoo go on strike. They’re tired of working for peanuts and make all sorts of demands to the zookeeper. He tries to keep them happy by meeting them but it’s little Sue on her very first trip to the zoo who show the animals how great their job really is. My children loved this book and we all laughed as we read it aloud.

There’s an animal strike at the zoo. It’s true!
The headlines are telling it all.
The animals quit. “That’s it!” “We’re through!”
Say all critters from biggest to small.

karmawilson headshot

The author, Karma Wilson, kindly sent me a signed copy of both books to give away to my readers. To enter, leave me a comment including your email address. One winner will be randomly chosen this Thursday, May 14th. Good luck.

More on the author

Karma Wilson is the author of more than 30 books including Bear Snores On, How to Bake an American Pie, and Moose Tracks. You can visit her on her website,