It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen and Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts (and brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). Two of our blogging friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have inspired us to join this vibrant meme.

Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts

Here are a few of the reviews we have done last week. We are also inviting everyone to join our Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge. We hosted the AWB Challenge last year and we are thrilled to be able to host it again. Do sign up if you are looking for exciting reading challenges with monthly book prizes. Click on the titles/images below to be taken to our blog posts.



winter town


Watch Me Throw the Ball

Photo Journal/ A-Z Photo Challenge: C is for Cemetery

Comment Challenge 2013: A Running Update

Photo Journal/ Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

Book Hunting Expedition (36): Cybils Love and Bargain Books

Our current bimonthly theme in GatheringBooks is Crazy over Cybils where we give love to all the books that have been shortlisted and have won awards in the Cybils since 2006. I have a 2-in-1 Jon Klassen Special for this week’s Monday reading. These two titles have been nominated for the Cybils Fiction Picture Book 2012.


This is Not My HatIMG_4906

Story ByJon Klassen
PublisherCandlewick Press, 2012
Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.

Jon Klassen has been very productive in 2012, and he is rapidly carving a niche of his own in children’s literature with his own distinctive style, color schemes, storyline, and what has been described as a ‘wickedly-charming’ voice/narrative. I have read a lot of mixed reviews about his first book I Want My Hat Back. This book, though, seems to be receiving quite a bit of love. While I would not consider this to be one of my absolute favorites, I enjoyed the predominantly black and brown shades in the pages and the fact that it is so wickedly-simple, children would undoubtedly have a fun time with it.

Unlike in I Want my Hat Back where the story is narrated through the eyes of the long-suffering bear, in This is Not My Hat, there is a shift in perspective as the little thief, this teeny-tiny fish admits to stealing this harmless-looking hat from a ‘big fish.’ The little fish tried to justify his dastardly act by claiming that the hat fits him more than it does the big fish anyway. He is confident that he would get away with this stolen treasure because no one knows where he is going (except for one, and the little fish is pretty sure that he won’t tell).


What happens in the end, I shall leave for you to discover. I like how Klassen tackles topics such as this .. just because. No apologies, no preachy moral lessons, just quick and painless and relatively-expected comeuppance.

House-Held-Up-by-TreesHouse Held Up By Trees

Story By: Ted Kooser
Illustrations By: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012
Book borrowed from the public library.

I knew from the first page that this is a book that would speak to me. I love Ted Kooser’s lyrical voice. It truly is a book that begs to be read aloud, in hushed tones, one ear cocked to the “footfalls of animals” and the shadowed words as they roll off the page, kind of like the winged seeds blowing with resoluteness onto the lawn of the house – one has to catch it like the will-o’-the-wisp or it will be gone.

When the wind blew toward the house in spring, the children who lived in it could smell the tiny, sweet green flowers on the trees. Beneath the trees were bushes so thickly woven together that you had to crawl on your hands and knees to get to the cool and shadowy secret places inside.


This book speaks lovingly about the tiny little details that demonstrates one’s love for home, the meticulous care, the tireless ways through which we make it our own. And it also speaks about holding on for as long as we can, and finally knowing when to let go.

The winds pushed at the house, but the young trees kept it from falling apart, and as they grew bigger and stronger, they held it together as if it was a bird’s nest in the fingers of their branches.


I love how the elements have made this home part of their own as the roots, the timber, the wood and its shingles cry out to be part of the earth once again. Rather than perceiving it as an abandoned, unwanted home – this house called out to its ancestor trees, returning home finally in the end. To be embraced by nature, taken into its fold so seamlessly – the wonder of it all.

Currently Reading…


Yes, it is still my Bradbury-Moers duo for the week. I have made much progress with Rumo. I am now in Book 2 which deals with the Netherworld, and I truly am enamoured with this heroic Wolperting. I am only a few pages into Dandelion Wine and as per usual I get lost in Bradbury’s voice and drown in his imagery.

How about you, dear friends, what have you been reading this week?


H: House Held Up by Trees

A-Z Book Challenge Update: 7 of 26 (H, W, X, V, I, L, T )


11 of 150

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

20 comments on “Monday Reading: A Jon Klassen 2-in-1 (Among Others)

  1. So many of these books sound wonderful! House Held up by Trees, Virginia Wolf, Winter Town and Fox really drew my attention. I will have to look them up! Have a gret week.


  2. Very interesting mailbox! enjoy.


  3. I love John Klassen’s work.

    I plan to make 2013 my year of reading from my own bookshelves. Please come see what I’m currently reading.


    • Hi there, its a hit-or-miss for me when it comes to Jon Klassen’s work, but House held up by trees is indeed gorgeous. That’s a nice reading resolution. Good luck!


  4. I love Elephant & Piggie books, & a long while ago read the House Held Up By Trees-just gorgeous, Myra. Thanks!


  5. I read This is Not My Hat to second grades and they were beside themselves with hilarity. I love the subtle things that kids have to really pay attention to get…. it kept them with me the whole way!


    • Hi Maria, there is a wickedly funny element to it that I’m sure a lot of young kids would truly enjoy. How nice to hear them so riveted!


  6. My 4th graders love Jon Klassen. We have read both “hat” books and will read The House Held up by Trees this week. Great choices!


  7. Great post – you have some fantastic books here! Happy reading 🙂


  8. Love seeing the Jon Klassen books. I am the hugest fan. My husband and I went to see him when he came to Vancouver this fall and I got a signed copy of This is Not My Hat. He also spoke a lot about The House Held up By Trees when I asked – it is one of the most gorgeously illustrated books out there in my opinion!


  9. Virginia Wolf has such an eye catching cover. The Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge looks fascinating. I may join that. Thanks for sharing!


  10. wow! Have seen many of the books and planned to read them. now will definitely add them to my TBR.. House Held up by Trees really looks so good..


  11. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Of Darkness and Shadows – “The Dark” and “The Shadow” |

  12. Pingback: [Hot for Cybils] Chengdu and Sparky! | Gathering Books

  13. Pingback: [Monday Reading] CYBILS 2016 Finalists for Fiction Picturebooks – Gathering Books

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