It’s my turn this week to join It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Jen and Kellee from Teacher Mentor Texts (and brainchild of Shella at BookJourney). Because I barely have time to read lately (for reasons even I cannot understand), I get my kick out of reading mostly through picture books. It was only recently that I picked up on buying YA books again.

Picture Books

I bought a lot of picture books a couple of weeks ago, and found some good titles I haven’t seen before. I begin with Max Lucado’s You Are Special. While I have seen a bunch of his books, I’ve never really read any of them. I was delighted to discover this picture book that he has written. This particular story appeared in the children’s inspirational collection Tell Me the Secrets. The cover reminded me of Pinocchio; the story does, too, but only slightly. Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones—those with smooth wood and fine paint—always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots. This is a good resource to teach kids that being special does not have specific requirements.

I fell in love with the style of Oliver Jeffers ever since I read The Heart and the Bottle. How to Catch a Star was shortlisted in the 2004 Booktrust Early Years Award. I adore the sparse text with vivid cartoonish illustrations. It’s always nice to teach kids about the importance of perseverance and never giving up. This book is a great read-aloud for story time in class, and can be followed by an art activity on “star making.”

Another recommendation for a read-aloud picture book is Ed Vere‘s Bedtime for Monsters. And, yes, it’s also a nice bedtime story for kids. I was just flipping through its pages when I found this at the bookstore and the monster was so adorable. The story is told in verses with bold and bright cartoon illustrations. It wasn’t until after three spreads in the book that I realized that this book is a good resource for introducing the little ones to onomatopoeia.

As he bicycles bumpily
through a
dark and terrible forest

do you think
he’s smiling because
he remembered to pack
his knife and fork?

And as he crosses
the gloopy, schloopy swamp

do you think
he’s imagining just
how good
you’ll taste
all covered in ketchup?

Chloe by Peter McCarty is a recent discovery of mine. Something about the cover makes me think along the lines of Japanese animated films. Chloe, it seems to me, is like the bunny version of Olivia the pig. Children take delight in reading about animal characters. Chloe is another character that readers will grow to love. She is spunky, creative, and imaginative. This is the first Chloe PB that I’ve read. I’m not sure if there is a “Chloe series.” It’ll be nice to follow her future adventures. This book has a somewhat “adult” feel to it, and is timely for today’s technology- and media-heavy society. With the release of televisions, computers, and video game consoles, the idea of “fun” is being redefined. But Chloe reminds us that, through imagination, one can have fun even with just a simple box. The illustrations in this book are totally adorable!

How about you? What are you reading this week?

You are Special by Max Lucado: Arizona Young Reader’s Award, Christian Book Awards, Great Lakes’ Great Books Award

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers: Bisto Prize (Ireland) merit award; Booktrust Early Years Award (Best New Illustrator) shortlist

AWB Reading Challenge Update: 77 – 78 (35)

Picture Book Challenge Update: 81 – 84 of 120

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

10 comments on “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading: Picture Books That Rock

  1. Great to read, Fats. I don’t know any of these, & am especially in love with the monster one. It looks as if it has a very friendly monster! The others looks good, too. I’ll put them on my list, see if I can find them at the library. Thanks!


  2. Thanks for all the shares here. I’m a picture book nut and now I’m off to add all of these to my request list at the public library (in hopes that I might add them to my school library buy list).

    Here’s my It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?!I hope you will stop by!


  3. Great books for back to school time, thanks for sharing them.


  4. Bedtime for Monsters looks SO cute.


  5. oh, I loved Chloe. So, so cute!


  6. These look like lovely, intriguing titles…thanks for sharing, Fats!


  7. Those books look so cute! Especially Monsters, Stars and Chloe- I’ll have to remember them so I can get them on my next library trip.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂


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