The weather has been warming up in the Boston area which means it’s finally time to enjoy lots of reading time out on my porch. It’s my favorite spot to cozy up with a book–add an iced coffee and you’ve got the best way to spend nap time.
Here are a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately…
by Camille Pagán
I have to thank Laura Vanderkam (author of Juliet’s School of Possibilities) for this recommendation. I know a book is good when this nervous flyer is completely absorbed at the airport and all through the flight. Fans of What Alice Forgot will enjoy reading about Jenny’s journey as she tries to make some big changes in her life and marriage.
“Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.
What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?”
by Mary Giuliani
Sometimes you’re just in the mood to sink into a good memoir. If you’re lucky, you have one on hand that’s equal doses funny and inspiring. (Bonus points if food is involved). That’s certainly the case with Tiny Hot Dogs and I’m really looking forward to getting to chat with Mary Giuliani soon for an episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast.
“From awkward schoolgirl to Caterer to the Stars, Mary Giuliani weaves together a collection of hilarious memories, from professional growing pains to her long journey to motherhood, never losing her sense of humor and her love for everyone’s favorite party food, pigs in a blanket.
Mary’s utterly unremarkable childhood was everything she didn’t want: hailing from a deeply loving yet overprotective Italian family in an all-Jewish enclave on Long Island. All she wanted was to fit in (be Jewish) and become famous (specifically a cast member on Saturday Night Live). With an easy, natural storytelling sensibility, Mary shares her journey from a cosseted childhood home to the stage and finally to the party, accidentally landing what she now refers to as “the breakthrough role of a lifetime” catering to a glittery list of stars she once hoped to be part of herself.
Fresh, personal, and full of Mary’s humorous, self-deprecating, and can-do attitude against all odds, you’ll want to see where each shiny silver tray of hors d’oeuvres takes her next. You never know when the humble hot dog will be a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success, in building a business or simply making life more delicious.”
by Jerry Craft
I’m always looking for great graphic novels to add to my TBR list. I know in my school library we could hardly shelve a graphic novel before it was eagerly picked up by another student. This school story will hook kids that don’t normally gravitate toward graphic novels as well, but who love engaging, funny realistic fiction. A thought-provoking book that would lead to great discussions in classrooms or book clubs–New Kid is also a must-read for parents and teachers. Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with author Jerry Craft.
“Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?”
written by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
In this perfect book for spring, a young girl shares her love of poetry with a tree. Poetree (love this title!) would make a wonderful classroom read aloud during a poetry unit or a sweet bedtime story to share with your little one. The soft pastel illustrations will make you want to slow down and savor this one.
“A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry.
The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn’t count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence…as well as an unexpected new friendship.
Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.”
based on Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham
Do you have a young Dr. Seuss fan in your home? My toddler can’t get enough Seuss–we even had a Dr. Seuss themed party recently for her 2nd birthday. In particular, Green Eggs and Ham is a favorite. This board book (which tells the story from Sam perspective) was one of her gifts and it’s a hit. We’re hearing a lot of “More Sam-I-Am please!” around our house.
In this sweet, sturdy board book, Sam-I-Am shares the story of how he persuades his friend to try green eggs and ham. (What’s Sam’s secret? He never stops trying, of course!) Written in rhymed verse, this funny board book is an ideal introduction to the story for toddlers and preschoolers too young for the classic Beginner Book. Now everyone in the family–even pre-readers–can share in the fun and learn a valuable life lesson about trying new things!
Anne’s Alphabet and Anne’s Feelings Board Books
by Kelly Hill
I’m in love with this series and was excited to see two new additions! The embroidered illustrations are so beautiful and detailed and how can Anne of Green Gables fans not love pages like “P is for puffed sleeves” and “Anne is in the depths of despair”? Perfect for little kindred spirits–my toddler asks to read them over and over again.
I’m looking forward to having Kelly Hill on the podcast to chat about these lovely board books. Stay tuned for that episode.
What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.
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Laura Szaro Kopinski
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