Books It's Monday What Are You Reading Meta-Reading Picture Books Reading Themes When Words are Not Enough

[Monday Reading] Launch of September-October Reading Theme: Meta-Reading


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Today is an extra special Monday reading, as we are officially launching our new reading theme for September-October: Meta-Reading – Bibliophilia and All Things Books. Back in 2013, we did have a Books about Books reading theme, but since we are such avid bibliophiles and there are so many recent titles celebrating books, we thought we’d revisit it this year.

Essentially, we are looking for the following titles:

  1. Books about books.
  2. Books about reading and/or libraries, or readers and librarians, book stores.
  3. Books on words or loving words.
  4. Books about book sellers, bibliophiles, people who live and breathe books.

For our launch, I am sharing two titles that celebrate the art of creation and the value of making mistakes in books – very postmodern.

The White Book: A Minibombo Book

Written and illustrated by:  Silvia Borando and Elisabetta Pica and Lorenzo Clerici
Published by: Walker Books, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4063-6317-3
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Reminiscent of Aaron Becker’s Journey trilogy (see my review of Journey and Quest), this is a minimalist version of creating something out of nothing in the pages of a book…

… with a slight twist as this young boy discovers:

For some reason, every thing that he creates, either flies out, eases him out of the page, threatens to eat him, or swims away:

I think what makes this book ultimately work for me is how deceptively simple it is with the ingenious use of white space, the absence of words (hooray for wordless books) and how the young boy persisted until he made the perfect artwork that made him smile in the end. For teachers who wish to use this in the classroom, here are games and activities created by Minibombo (along with instructions on how to create a hand-crafted painter’s hat) that you may want to check out.

The Book Of Mistakes

Written and Illustrated by: Corinna Luyken
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017
ISBN-10: 0735227926
ISBN-13: 9780735227927
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Imagine a book that starts off with a mistake. I remember a time when books are regarded as semi-precious objects, to be revered, or placed in a safe corner away from grubby hands. To claim that there are mistakes in books is unthinkable. Then you see a brilliant picturebook like this one:

Similar to the first book, I rejoice in the white spaces allowing my eyes to rest, and allowing me to focus more clearly on the “mistakes” – reminding the reader that you don’t necessarily have to be absolutely perfect to create a book, and that mistakes do have a place in the larger scheme of things as the artist ingeniously uses it to her advantage:

For teachers and parents, I am sure you have come across children who get frustrated and angry for every small blot, smudge, careless colouring out of the lines – this is a book to hand to them to show them how they can practice perspective-taking, and how they can see multiple things from a single mistake…

… as it is ultimately transformed into something beautiful and otherworldly. This is a book that teachers can use to teach persistence, creativity, and the transformative quality of making art as it evolves from one thing to the next. So much beauty in this book.

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).

14 comments on “[Monday Reading] Launch of September-October Reading Theme: Meta-Reading

  1. I love Aaron Becker’s trilogy so I’m thinking I’ll have to check out The White Book. The Book of Mistakes is a gorgeous picture book.


  2. The White Book looks great, Myra. What a wonderful new theme! I just read and shared today The Book of Mistakes. The grand girls and I adored it, re-read it, decided it is one we must own! Thanks!


  3. The Book of Mistakes looks fantastic. I’ll have to check it out.


  4. I’m a fan of books about books. I adore all of Mélanie Watt’s Chester books because they are books that feature conflict between the author and the character. (and Mélanie Watt is Canadian, so there is that too)


  5. What a fun theme! I’m sure I’ll discover new titles from your reviews.


  6. Pussreboots

    I’m adding both books to my wishlist. The book of mistakes I like so much, I’ve already put it on hold at my library. I’m going to make a list of books about books for you. Come see what I’m reading


  7. I’m sharing Book of Mistakes with readers next week! Love it.
    The White Book reminds me of another book where things come off the page and I cannot think of what it is… starting to drive me crazy!


  8. Book of Mistakes looks awesome.

    I love your new theme! Meta narratives are some of my favorites.


  9. Pussreboots

    I’ve put together a list for you: Books on Books. Have fun! Hope it helps. 🙂


  10. Ooooh, I love this theme!! The Book of Mistakes looks and sounds just perfect.


  11. Wow, these are great 🙂 genuinely!


  12. Pingback: [BHE 300] Picturebook Finds from the Library (Part One of Two) – Gathering Books

  13. I feel Maybe by Kobi has same promise as this book. It will be great if you review that too.


  14. I am sorry. It was for My Heart book. I will comment there.


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