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.

While we did have a books-about-books reading theme a few years back, these titles escaped my reading radar, I am glad to know of them now and have this opportunity to feature them for our Meta-Reading theme.

Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don’t)

Written by: Barbara Bottner Illustrated by: Michael Emberley
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010 Literary Award: Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee for Grades K-3 (2013)
ISBN: 0375846824 (ISBN13: 9780375846823)
Borrowed through inter-library loan and from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

As a teacher, I often encounter adult learners who tell me in no uncertain terms that they don’t like reading, and that while they like books “in theory” – they do not particularly enjoy reading. I often tell them that they just haven’t found the right book yet.

This story is about such a young girl who is both perplexed and amazed by Miss Brooks who clearly, evidently, obviously LOVES books that she even dresses up for story time! Then came an announcement, a homework, that made this young girl’s hair stand on end:

For someone who seems pretty determined to not like books, this is going to be a tough one – so tough that she even asked her mother whether they can move houses – to which her mother replied that there’s bound to be a librarian in that town as well:

This is a story that managed to surprise my picturebook jaded heart. I loved how atypical the young girl is and her pathway to her own reading journey. I loved how eccentric and voluble and unabashedly enthusiastic Miss Brooks is, and I also liked how matter-of-fact and supportive the young girl’s mother is, when young Missy finally found something that brought that sparkle in her eyes as she flips through the pages of a book:

What she eventually ended up sharing during Book Week, I shall leave for you to discover. Definitely a lovely story to share with the occasional book-hater in your class or in your household.

Miss Brooks’ Story Nook (Where Tales Are Told And Ogres Are Welcome)

Written by: Barbara Bottner Illustrated by: Michael Emberley
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014 Literary Award: Vermont’s Picture Book Awards: Red Clover Nominee (2016)
ISBN: 0449813282 (ISBN13: 9780449813287)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Published four years after the first book, Bottner and Emberley take us back again to well-loved characters, this time introducing a slightly different twist to the tale.

Unlike in the first story where Missy used to be a reluctant reader, here she looks forward to going to school first thing every morning because of Miss Brooks’ Story Nook. However, she walks the long way to school, because of Billy Toomey who makes it his life’s mission to annoy her:

To make things worse, the lights went out during Story Time! But Miss Brooks had a fabulous idea – the children are to make up their own tales. When Missy once again stated that she does not like telling stories, but reading them, Miss Brooks declared: “Good readers make wonderful storytellers.”

This is one of the things that most teachers and parents don’t seem to understand – reading and writing go together seamlessly. It is difficult to be one without the other. Reading is fodder for writing, in the same way that the latter provides even more nuance to the reading.

While this book is longer than usual, it is filled with vibrant art, lovely characters with their distinct voices, and a strange ogre-loving young girl that readers simply can not help but love.

9 comments on “[Monday Reading] Miss Brooks And Her Love For Books and Stories

  1. I love Miss Brooks Loves Books. A staple early in the year read for me in the library! I don’t’ have the second one, I might have to look for it. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Miss Brooks Loves Books sounds so cool! And I love the illustrations. I hope you enjoy reading this week.

    My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Miss Brooks Loves Books is a great book. I haven’t ever read the second, but it looks good, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Miss Brooks sounds a bit like Madeline Finn and the Library Dog. It’s good for children to know that not everyone loves reading. Except, of course, their librarian, who should!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think I’ve read about Miss Brooks before, Myra. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Although I think I’ve seen the first Miss Brooks book here, I’ve never read any of them. I think I need to remedy this ASAP!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pussreboots

    I recognize the book that the young girl is reading at the end of the first Miss Brooks book. 🙂 Come see what I’m reading

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Miss Brooks! I had no idea there was a series though–I only read the first one!!


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