Books Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Otherworldly Realms - Fantasia Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Pets as Portals to Fantasia in 2019 Picturebooks (Part 2)

"Max And Marla Are Flying Together" by Alexandra Boiger | "Truman" by Jean Reidy and Lucy Ruth Cummins.


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. 

Just a few days ago, I shared a post on pets as portals to fantasia – consider this the second part of that post. It does look like 2019 was a good year for pets in picturebooks – and bravery and going beyond one’s self.

Max And Marla Are Flying Together [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Published by Philomel Books (2019)
ISBN: 0525515666 (ISBN13: 9780525515661) Borrowed through Singapore NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

I did not realize that this was part of a series, this being the third and latest. I am a fan of Boiger’s art, and this is a great addition to her growing bibliography: a sweet tale of a young boy named Max and his pet owl who refuses to fly.

I like how the story only focused on these two characters; adults are totally absent in the narrative. While Max and Marla are portrayed to be the best of friends, they have very different ideas of what it means to do something exciting. Max was determined for them to ‘fly’ together, while Marla was perfectly fine staying indoors.

A sudden wind, however, forced Marla to cling tight to the windblown kite – with Max excitedly waving from the ground. This is a lovely story about warm friendship, courage, patience, and taking flight.

Truman [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Jean Reidy Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2019)
ISBN: 153441665X (ISBN13: 9781534416659). Borrowed through Singapore NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

Truman’s Sarah is devoted, kind, and quiet. They usually spend hours together – just doing things that a girl and her tortoise usually do.

That is, until Sarah packed a huge backpack, wore her new sweater, gave Truman two extra beans, and boarded the number 11 bus going south. As Truman waited patiently for his human, it seemed like Sarah would never ever return.

Truman gathered all of his courage, and decided to remove himself from the safe confines of his glassy home to find his Sarah. Very reminiscent of Toy Story, this story stands apart with Truman’s devotion and Sarah’s affection shining through. A lovely story that would be great for a read-aloud.

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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).

9 comments on “[Monday Reading] Pets as Portals to Fantasia in 2019 Picturebooks (Part 2)

  1. Ah those books look so good and I love the Max and the owl one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love both these books. I believe there is a new Max and Marla book coming out this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know the ‘Max and Marla” books at all, Myra, but loved Truman. Thanks for the sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved Truman so much and my students did too. It got a fair amount of votes in our school’s Mock Caldecott.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved Truman! After going to my library in search of Max And Marla Are Flying Together, I discovered that it is on order but they have the previous tales. I might have to settle for them while I wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sarah Sammis

    Your books look good. My weekly update

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vidya Tiru

    Max and Marla looks so good, and well, so does Truman!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Truman looks so CUTE! I just know my 5-year-old is going to love it. Thanks for the shares, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

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