It’s Monday and Here’s What I’m Reading #IMWAYR: Picture books and a give away!

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and Sheila at BookJourney.

I have three lovely picture books to share today:

Paul Janeczko has collected poems from around the world and from each era in history to give us a fabulous new anthology:  The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects.


Many of these poems were new to me, and I have had a wonderful time reading through and enjoying the many different voices and perspectives of these poets. The gorgeous illustrations by Chris Raschka make the whole experience even more delightful:


This is definitely a book I need to purchase for my classroom next year.

finding the music

Jennifer Torres’ Finding the Music, beautifully illustrated by Renato Alarcao, is a lovely story about Reyna, whose family’s restaurant is always abuzz with the sound of lively customers, and awash in the delicious aromas of her mother’s cooking.  But the one thing that has always captured Reyna’s imagination is her grandfather’s old guitar, which hangs from the wall and calls to Reyna every day. She never knew her grandfather, but she has heard stories about his musical career in a mariachi band.  One day, Reyna accidentally knocks the guitar down and damages it. Heartbroken, she goes from one person to the next, trying to find someone in the neighborhood who can repair the guitar before her mother discovers what has happened.  No one can help her, but each person is able to share memories of Reyna’s abuelito, and help her learn what a special man he was.

This gentle story is told in both English and Spanish, and the layout, I imagine will make it a wonderful book to share in an ESL or language class:


Sally Derby’s Sunday Shopping was such a joyful read:

sunday shopping

Every Sunday night, Evie and her grandma snuggle into bed.  Grandma wears her blue hat, Evie holds her big black purse, and they go shopping in their nightgowns…through the newspaper sales.  Limited only by their imagination, and what’s displayed in the advertisements, Evie and grandma shop to their hearts content – merrily picking up items they see and love, and sometimes even have use for.

I found myself getting lost in Shadra Strickland’s glorious illustrations – which are great fun to examine carefully for their whimsical details.  This would make a wonderful read aloud in younger classrooms.

I have a copy of each book to give away.  Please leave a comment about this post by Friday, May 22nd. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners.  Please be sure to leave a valid email address when you post your comment, so I can contact you for your mailing address. NOTE:Your email address will not be published online if you leave it in the email field only.

11 thoughts on “It’s Monday and Here’s What I’m Reading #IMWAYR: Picture books and a give away!

  1. The Death of the Hat looks like a must-have poetry book! I’ve loved the other collections Paul Janeczko and Chris Raschka have done. Sunday Shopping sounds like a lot of fun, and I love the idea of Reyna learning more about her grandfather through people’s memories of him in Finding the Music. Thanks for sharing, Tara!

  2. All three of these picture books look delightful. I’m on a poetry kick right now, so I’m especially intrigued with Janezcko’s collection. Finding the Music would be perfect for my daughter as she is studying Spanish.

  3. I have no business entering your give away, but I can’t resist. You make all three sound great. I am packing and moving my classroom to another hall, so I know that I have too many books. But who can resist?

  4. I have Death of A Hat, still haven’t touched it, but the other two look fabulous, Tara, both about community and love, aren’t they? Thanks for the possibility of winning one!

  5. Death of a Hat is a title I just suggested to my Teacher Librarian for our poetry collection! Sunday Shopping looks so sweet. I so love books that celebrate time shared between generations.

  6. Like Margaret, I feel guilty entering your giveaway but had to comment. Books that celebrate relationships between generations always get to me! I hadn’t heard of Death of the Hat and I love all of Paul Janeczko’s anthologies.

  7. Sunday shopping just strikes a chord with me. I love this idea of never leaving home and bonding with a grandparent over shopping. I’ve put the death of the hat on hold at the library. I’m really looking forward to reading it!

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