It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). 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.
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.
Congratulations to our September winner for the AWB Reading Challenge: Mama Bear Musings for her review of The Dark by Lemony Snicket.
I was pleased to find these two books about peculiar monster girls who seem to be undergoing an existential crisis, as we gather books that relate to our current bimonthly theme until the first week of November. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
The Monster Princess
Story By: D. J. Machale
Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger
Published by: Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Children’s Publishing Division, 2010. Borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
Quite reminiscent of the animated movie Shrek, this picture book talks about Lala, a little monster girl who lives in a cave down below “where krinkle nuts grow.” She is a Rugabee star, and the fastest, bravest krinkle-digger by far.
Yet, while her mother calls her “My Star Who Shines Bright” Lala feels that she does not belong in a cave. She wanted to be a princess, out in the sun, wearing laces and pearls.
And so she went into an adventure of her own and found her way into the beautiful castle of three princesses. She did not really mean to stay for far too long, but she was having so much fun trying on their gorgeous gowns and sparkling jewels. When the Princesses found her, they were horrified by how she looked like and they decided to do a very mean and cruel thing.
The three princesses pretended to be her friend and gave her a makeover for a Ball that was happening in the castle that very same evening. How the princesses betrayed Lala and how this monster girl repaid their cruelty, I shall leave for you to discover. While I did not take too well with the rhyming text as well as the borderline-didactic ending with a crystal clear moral lesson about being true to one’s self, I still think that this is a book that would be enjoyed by a lot of children. It does teach a good story about kindness and acceptance.
Story By: Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by: Scott Magoon
Published by: A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010. Borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
Bernadette is a little girl monster who seemed just about ‘monsterly’ – at least on the outside. She does what all other little monsters like to do: lurching, growling, causing mayhem. Yet, she is a a teeny-weeny bit peculiar as she also enjoys baking cupcakes (with sprinkles and frosting on top) and picking flowers and feeding wide-eyed unsuspecting kittens.
She was a little apprehensive when she attended Monster School, and with good reason since everyone else seemed intent on being just like everybody else. While most everyone is sharpening their growling skills, Bernadette prefers singing love songs. They don’t even want to do a ‘group hug.’
This made Bernadette realize that “They’re acting like total monsters.” When her secret weapon (luscious cupcakes with sprinkles) failed to work on her new monster friends, she created something else that she feels would make them reconsider a group hug, at the very least. Whether or not she succeeded in this bright artistic idea of hers, I shall leave for you to discover.
I enjoyed how Bernadette expressed her sparkling individuality in this book: her ingenious ability to strike a balance between being monstrous and being unusually thoughtful, cuddly, and sweet – very domestic, actually; and that while she struggled to fit in, she never experienced any kind of self-loathing and seemed very much aware of who she is.
I am literally living and breathing books this month which is a good thing. I read and prepare for a new course until 5 pm then I start reading a few novels that we still wish to include for our current bimonthly theme, then I go for a 35-40 minute run, then we have dinner as a family, husband and I watch a bit of Breaking Bad, then I escape to The Wall, The Free Cities, Slaver’s Bay and get to know the Children of the Forest more through George RR Martin’s epic fantasy novel before I go to sleep. Nothing quite like it, really. I just wish I have more time to read it.
* 2010 Scholastic Parent & Child Best Book of the Year
* 2011 Winner of the Oklahoma Book Award
* 2011 Winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
* Scholastic “Time to Read with Just-Right Books for K-2″ Editor’s Pick
* 2012 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories selection
* Scholastic Book Clubs Selection
AWB Reading Challenge Update: 42 (35)
Read-a-Latte Challenge Update: 203/204 (150)