Saturday, October 19, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up: American Royals, Lots of New Nature Books, and Strange the Dreamer, Plus KBR Kids Day



I was delighted to meet author Katharine McGee at our town's annual library league luncheon last week. Of course I had to buy the book and read it and review it as soon as I got home. American Royals is speculative YA fiction, the story of what might have happened if George Washington had agreed to become America's first king. It's a fun read. My complete review is here, and here is my blog post about the event.



I love my work as a Texas Master Naturalist, so I was very happy to have a box of nature-themed children's books arrive this week from a new publisher of kids' books, Greystone Kids, a division of the more established Greystone Books. I was very pleased with the quality of the stories and the illustrations, and I loved reading about the company and its commitment to protecting the environment during the production of its books. 







I'm reading The Essential Rumi and Strange the Dreamer now.




Who couldn't write a board book? They look like they would be a snap to write. But author Sandra Boynton dispells these myths in the article, Sandra Boynton's Dinosnores Wasn't Easy to Write, in The Atlantic.



Here's science I like: Professor Thomas Hills tried to determine the happiest times in the countries of the US, the UK, Italy, and Germany from 1820 to 2009 by analyzing books published during those times and comparing ratios of positive to negative words in the books. Isn't that an odd idea? For the full story, take a look here.



How many Cybils nominees have I read in October so far? I've read 92 picture book and board book nominees, and I've written reviews of 49 of those. I still need to read 61 more books just to read all 153 books that have been nominated to date.

Yes, it's Cybils time!







Our Texas Master Naturalist group had a fabulous time at KBR Kids Day in Houston this year. Here's a flipbook I made with photos from the day. I usually hold the alligators, but this year I worked in the butterfly tent. In the tent, we put sugar water on kids' fingers and helped them hold a butterfly. It was great fun, and there were long lines to get in the tent. We estimate that there were over 7,000 people at the event.






What was your week like?

Did you read any good books? Tell us about them.

What other bookish things did you do? 

What else is going on in your life?

We'd love to have you to link up here and/or at the Sunday Salon page on Facebook each weekend (Saturday-Sunday-Monday) and let us know what you have been doing. I hope you will visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Other places where you may like to link up are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 

44 comments:

  1. Those Greystone Kis books look fabulous! Dinosnores looks adorable too - I loved the article on Boynton.

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    1. I can't wait to share these with my naturalist friends.

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  2. You're rocking the Cybils! You go, girl! :)

    As for the article on happiness...things that you make go hmmmm. I'm not sure if that's positive or negative. Again :) or is that :( ?

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    1. I'm not sure if it is that scientific to analyze the happiness quality of the books of a time and determine the happiness level of the people.

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  3. That happiness graph looks interesting. I have bookmarked the article for further pondering.

    Have a great week!

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  4. American Royals does look like fun.

    I enjoyed The Lying Room this week. Thanks for sharing your great books and your week.

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    1. I've got two good books awaiting me at the library today. One of them is the sequel to Olive Kitteridge.

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  5. The KBR Kids Day looks like a great event, and the children’s books seems like a great fit for your interests.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. Maybe my readaloud time will be nature books under the trees.

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  6. The Greystone Kids books sounds wonderful. I will check those out for the Royals. Speaking of royals, the American Royals speculative sounds interesting too. So cool that you go to meet the author. Hope your week is delightful.

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    1. I had a great reading week, and I wasn't expecting it. That's the best sorts, I think.

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  7. sounds like a great job. thanks for sharing....everything. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  8. American Royals is a bit outside my comfort zone, but it sure sounds like fun. You're doing great with your Cybils reading! Have a good week :)

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    1. American Royals isn't my usual sort of read either, and now I'm reading Laini Taylor. I guess I'm prepping for a month of nonfiction.

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  9. American Royals sounds like a fun read. I'd have to check that one out. And looove the look of those children books.

    Have a great week and happy reading!

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  10. American Royals sounds like fun. I like the look of your Greystone Kids books. They look like books kids would like. And how fun it sounds to help kids get butterflies to land on their hands. I need to go to the happiest times site. It looks really interesting.

    I hope you have a great week!

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  11. You have been so very busy - huge congratulations on your achievement on reading the Cybils:). I've also read a couple of Katherine McGee books - I'll make a note of American Royals. I do hope you enjoy Strange the Dreamer, I thought it a remarkable book. Have a lovely week, Deb.

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    1. I have about a hundred pages to go in Strange the Dreamer. I agree. It's quite different.

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  12. I'm going to have to check that Katharine McGee book out. It sounds super interesting! Those nature themed books sound like something my daughter would love. I'll have to look into them!

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    1. I hope libraries pick up on the new nature publisher for kids.

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  13. I can imagine that writing picture books and board books would be a ton of work. From the literary analysis I've done of them, I can tell you that key themes and tropes are distilled to their core elements to get as much across in as few words and illustrations as possible. They have to be easy to understand and still carry complex ideas.

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    1. Picture books are like poetry, I think. Or little squares of baklava.

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  14. I love that publishers are creating beautiful and good nature books for kids.

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  15. I used to love Sandra Boynton's books. They were always so fun to read aloud.
    The Kids Day looks like it was a lot of fun.

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  16. My husband really liked Strange the Dreamer. :) And how fun to work in the butterfly tent! I took my son to a butterfly release last year, it was really neat. I was sad though to never find ours on the monarch watch list of ones that were found. But maybe that is a good thing?

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  17. Sounds like a great week! I do want to read American Royals since I'm a fan of books about royalty. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  18. Oh, Strange the Dreamer! That's been sitting on my shelf for a year, I really need to get to it. Hope you enjoy it. Have a great week!

    https://wendimlee.blogspot.com/2019/10/its-monday-what-are-you-reading_21.html

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  19. I keep meaning to get back to Strange the Dreamer. I checked it out last year and then had to return it when I ran short on time. Looks so good! Thanks for the shares this week.

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  20. So many fun looking books. I enjoy nature books and often read and share children's stories too. Strange The Dreamer is still on my wish list. My sister loved it and we like the same kinds of stories.

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  21. Oh Dinosnores looks such fun and I bet its not easy to write a board book. I'm off to see what she says.

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  22. What a nice mailbox. I like the Dinosnores. My 4 year old grandson is obsessed by them

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  23. Strange the Dreamer looks good. I have heard great things about this writer, but I keep forgetting to add her books to my tbr list. :) Whoops. Happy reading.
    Nina@Adventurous Reader

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  24. I can't imagine how difficult a really good kids book would be to write. Some just pull you in and kids could have them read and reread to them dozens of times without ever getting tired of them and others are just meh. But I don't really know what makes that difference. Sandra Boynton is a favorite around here. I had the Bedtime Book memorized when my little one was a baby.

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  25. Loved Strange the Dreamer--weird and wonderful!
    I am just now (November) getting into Rumi, but what I have read so far is intriguing.

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