ive Me Back My Book is the story of two friends, Redd and Bloo, who fight over ownership of a green book. Only when the rather smug Bookworm makes off with the book do the two friends find a way to work together. Give Me Back My Book is part celebration ...

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Jen Robinson's Book Page - 5 new articles

 

 

Give Me Back My Book!: Travis Foster and Ethan Long

Book: Give Me Back My Book!
Authors: Travis Foster and Ethan Long
Pages: 56
Age Range: 3-6

GiveMeBackMyBookGive Me Back My Book is the story of two friends, Redd and Bloo, who fight over ownership of a green book. Only when the rather smug Bookworm makes off with the book do the two friends find a way to work together. Give Me Back My Book is part celebration of reading, part illustration of the way kids sometimes bicker, and part introduction to the components that make up books. 

Personally, I found the third element, the instructive bits about what makes up a book, a tiny bit off-putting. But when I read the book aloud to my daughter, the humor outweighed that. Here's an example (Redd is making the case that the book is his book):

"There are letters on each  page
and they are gathered together
to form words that have meaning
when you read them!"

Then on the facing page, Bloo basically has a tantrum, stomping his feet, shaking his fists, and saying: "ALL books do that!" You just have to smile as you read it. 

Bloo's reactions are definitely read-aloud-friendly. My daughter pronounced the book "hilarious" (though, interestingly, she didn't feel that it was necessary for me to write about the book).

The illustration style of the book is unusual. According to the front matter, Travis Foster created Redd and Bookworm digitally, while Ethan Long created Bloo. Mr. Long assembled the images, adding photos for the green book and various art supplies that are used later in the story. So we have cute, cartoon-like characters reading and interacting with real books. 

Give Me Back My Book! is a bit quirky, but I think that librarians will find it useful for preschool storytime. And kids, if they are anything like my daughter, will pronounce it hilarious, even as they are learning about table of contents, spine, and illustrations. Recommended for library purchase. 

Publisher: Chronicle  (@ChronicleKids
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

      

 

Literacy Milestone: "I'm Reading! (And I DON'T want to be interrupted)"

LiteracyMilestoneA

Here's a small milestone for the readers among you. The other day I was driving my daughter home from her child care. We had been having a discussion while walking to the car. Foolishly, I tried to continue the discussion after we were in the car. After a moment or two she responded, in an exasperated tone: "I'm reading!". As in, "please don't bother me, these car rides are my reading time. So what if I'm reading El Deafo for the fourth time - I still don't want to be interrupted." The next day this scenario was repeated, except that she said: "I'm in my book now" when she no longer wished to be disturbed by conversation.

ElDeafoYou reap what you sow, people. That's all I have to say. We've all been there - so engrossed in a book that we respond irritably to any interruption. I can hardly be surprised when my daughter acts like this. 

Mind you, when we got home she still didn't want to talk to me because I had previously promised some device time, and she chose that over continuing the reading. And then friends invited her over, and she was out the door for that. So that's the pecking order, I guess. Friends, device, book, talking to Mommy. Ah well. At least I'm on the list somewhere. And the readers among you all know that I'm actually ok with coming after books, at least some of the time.

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

      

 

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 11: The #Cybils Awards, Diverse #BookLists + #GirlsWhoCode

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GirlsWhoCode, #JoyOfLearning, #Math, #reading, #STEM, bookmobile, coding, gender roles, growing bookworms, learning styles, reading choice, schools, and writing.

Book Lists + Awards

The 2017 Are Coming Soon! | | Bloggers select kid-friendly + well-written titles

MadreGooseRT @NCTE: Colorful Poetry: 22 Diverse Poetry Picture Books for Kids via

10 to Promote a | from

on + from + more

If You Like This Classic Children's Book You'll Love This Book from

Diversity

What Color Is the Past? History, + Books for Kids — examples + musings from  

Seeding Book Deserts with | on  https://t.co/BtP7bBQkqp

Events + Programs

DearDragonRT @JoshFunkBooks: The theme for 's 9th Annual Be-a-Famous Writer Contest: ! Your K-4 Class Can Submit On 10/15! http://ow.ly/kBKb30ehxDk

Authors, Illustrators Share Talents, Pass On Love of , Then Pass Out Their Books

Falling in Love w/ (nonprofit + tutoring ctr for kids):

Love it! School Bus-Turned-Bookmobile Rolls Across Georgia | Jan L. Wilson  https://t.co/Ar76uYm65h 

It's never too late! Some ideas for celebrating National Book Lovers Day by Jess Butterworth

Growing Bookworms

AllSeeingEyeGiving "freedom of choice, guidance from librarians ... comics + engaging visuals"  

calls out who assign to kids but don't read themselves

Kidlitosphere

Happy 14th blogiversary to at Waking Brain Cells | that's a LOT of reviews + news over the years https://t.co/UPmtu56i22 

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

BedtimeForFrancesThe Grown-Up Joys of Children’s Books: Saturday essay in  

Exploring Story Elements with Kids | Tips from |

Parenting

How Dads Can Engage in Their Child's In the New School Year - guest post  https://t.co/xMwmY4x0WG

Schools and Libraries

What Parents Wish Would Ask Them About Their Child | "What are they passionate about?" +more  

A Tale of Two Puzzle Workers, a reminder for + readers that kids are different + learn differently

How a Ditched Awards + Assemblies to Refocus on Kids and |  https://t.co/y8KRCf6Lk6

STEM

FriendshipCodeSome thoughts (MAJOR RANT) from on how teach + reviews of some books

is Universal: Interview with Education Leaders +  

Reshma Saujani On Closing the Gender Gap in Tech |

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

      

 

The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match: Elizabeth Eulberg

Book: The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Pages: 240
Age Range: 8-12

ShelbyHolmesMeetsThe Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match is the second book in Elizabeth Eulberg's series about Shelby Holmes, pint-sized but brilliant detective, following The Great Shelby Holmes: Girl Detective. The narrator of the books is 11-year-old John Watson, who moved recently to Harlem, and lives in the same apartment building as Shelby (where the building manager is named Mrs. Hudson, of course, and Police Inspector Lestrade is Shelby's nemesis). Shelby, as any astute reader would expect, solves mysteries large and small through her powers of deductive reasoning. Sometimes, however, her rather oversized ego does get in the way.

As The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match begins, Watson and Shelby are starting a new semester, Watson first, at the Harlem Academy of the Arts. Watson has balance making new friends with his growing loyalty to Shelby. Shelby, for her part, is showing increasing reliance on and loyalty to Watson, even as she tries to teach him to be more observant. Shelby finds a new teacher's behavior suspicious, and soon teases out a mystery to be solved. This reveals a new and unexpected rival, and real danger for Watson and Shelby.

I'm not sure how many middle grade readers will be familiar enough with the Sherlock Holmes stories to appreciate the Holmes-related details in The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match (Shelby's use of a disguises and a school called Miss Adler's, for example). I'm sure there were other details that went over my head, too, as I am far from from an expert. But I think that the Shelby Holmes books will hold up for middle grade readers anyway. 

Shelby is annoying, but her deductive reasoning is spot and, as she tries to teach Watson, informative. Watson is wholly likable, with multiple dimensions of realistic but not overdone diversity (he's black, his parents have recently divorced and he misses his dad, he's Type 1 diabetic, and he loves to write). Watson humanizes Shelby, and provides an accessible entry point into her world of mystery-solving for young readers.  Here they are, talking together:

"Shelby pointed a finget at me. "There's something off about him. He looks at me in a weird way."

WHO DOESN'T? I wanted to ask, but I bit my tongue. But seriously? I'd seen nothing but weird looks for Shelby from kids and teachers today.

"Hold on." I narrowed my eyes at her. "What exactly were you doing after school?"

Her eyes darted sideways.

Oh, she was so busted.

"Please tell me you weren't stalking our new teacher."

"It's called tailing a person of interest," she replied with a sniff." (Page 28-29, ARC)

I did find Watson's ability to make friends right away a bit unrealistic, in light of his friendship with known weird girl Shelby. But of course his much nicer personality is part of the whole point of the Watson/Holmes dynamic, so I'm prepared to let that go.

I enjoyed The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match (as I did the first book). I appreciated the characters, I didn't see all of the twists coming, and I thought that the stakes of the mystery were aimed just right for middle grade readers. I also liked Watson's relationship with his busy but concerned single mother, and I liked Watson's identify as someone who wants/needs to write. I certainly recommend this series for middle grade mystery fans, and I think that adult Holmes fans will enjoy it, too. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books 
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Source of Book: Advance review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

      

 

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: August 9: Self-Entertainment, Play-Based Camp + Toys that Spy

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have four book reviews (picture books through middle school) and one post about my wish to strengthen my daughter's self-entertainment muscle. I also have a re-post of an article I wrote about play-based vs. activity-bases summer camp, two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and one post with more detailed notes / responses to some recent joy of learning-related articles

Reading Update: In the last two weeks I finished four middle grade and three adult novels.  I read/listened to: 

  • Ellen Raskin: The Westing Game. Puffin Modern Classics. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed July 31, 2017, on MP3. This was my first re-read of this title in many years, though I did remember a few plot points. 
  • Rick Riordan: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 1, The Sword of Summer. Disney Hyperion. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed August 5, 2017, on Kindle. I liked the characters in this one, and appreciate Riordan's efforts to include various types of diversity. Magnus Chase has spent two years homeless at the start of the book, another character is deaf and uses sign language, another is Middle Eastern, etc. 
  • SpyToysMark Powers (ill. Tim Wesson): Spy Toys. Bloomsbury USA Children's Books. Chapter Book. Completed August 6, 2017, print ARC. Review to come. 
  • Jackson Pearce: Ellie, Engineer. Chapter Book. Completed August 6, 2017, print ARC. Review to come. 
  • Michael Connelly: The Late Show (Renee Ballard #1). Little, Brown and Company. Adult Mystery. Completed July 25, 2017, on MP3. This book introduces a new character for Connelly (who, interestingly, is also at least somewhat homeless, despite being a detective). 
  • Joy Ellis: Crime on the Fens (Nikki Galena, Book 4). Joffe Books. Adult Mystery. Completed July 27, 2017, on MP3. This one was fun. In addition to my continued enjoyment of the characters, I liked the plot better than I did the previous book. 
  • Michael Hambling: Dark Crimes (D.I. Sophie Allen, Book 1). Joffe Books. Adult Mystery. Completed August 4, 2017, on MP3. This is my first read of a new British cop series. I found the story compelling, and liked the main character, but was occasionally irked by the author being didactic. For example, an expert comes in and lectures the cops at a couple of points about domestic violence, thus also lecturing the audience. I'm going to give this series another try (because I am always needing new audio series), but if that aspect gets worse instead of better, I will stop. 

HungryMindI'm currently reading The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood by Susan Engel and listening to Not Alone by Craig Falconer. My daughter and I are still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire together. We are finally at Hogwarts, and learning about how the newest Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher works.

You can find my daughter's 2017 reading list here. For her own reading, she's  still reading and re-reading El Deafo by Cece Bell. She recommends it to everyone. She's also re-reading the Babysitters Club Graphic Novels (and I've pre-ordered the next one). She read the last third of book three to me aloud in bed last night. She pronounced Spy Toys and Ellie, Engineer (above) to be at her reading level, but she wishes that they were graphic novels, and has not actually picked either of them up (though I would expect Ellie, Engineer to be exactly her cup of tea). She is counting down the days until school starts (2 weeks from today), though getting her out of bed that early is going to be a challenge. I can't believe that summer is passing so quickly. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. Here's to a bit more time for summer reading!

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

      

  

 

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