Saturday, September 24, 2022

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

What Is Bridget Reading? is 14 years old today! 

September 24, 2008 was a Wednesday. I was in my fourth semester of graduate school. This blog began with the booktalks I was writing during my Programming for Children and Young Adults course. 

Since then I've added reviews, reading projects (Harry Potter, Ramona, and Beatrix Potter), library program reflections, and Flannel Friday posts. I also became involved with the Cybils Awards for the first time in 2013. 2022 marks my fifth year serving as a category chair. 

I'm looking forward to blogging for many more years to come. And hoping as always that I can blog more regularly than sporadically in the future.

Older Blogiversary Posts for a Walk Down Memory Lane: 





Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cybils 2022: Call for Judges


It's time for the 2022 Cybils!!! I am honored to be the Poetry Category Chair once again. 

The official Call for Judges has been announced and you have until Friday, September 9 at 11:59pm EDT to apply to be a panelist or judge. Read the Call for Judges here. Anyone who reads and reviews children's and young adult books via a social media platform (a blog, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, GoodReads, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) is eligible to apply. If you can't volunteer to be a judge, help spread the word about Cybils on social media and nominate your favorite books. Nominations open to the public on October 1.

I've served as a panelist 6 times...4 times in Poetry and 2 times in Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction. It's a fun process. You get to read lots of great books and discuss them with like minded people. I'm not going to lie: It's also a lot of work, but so rewarding. The beauty of Cybils is that nominations come from the public and the judges are a mix of teachers, librarians, parents, and book bloggers. I like the emphasis that is placed on kid appeal. Often I read major award winning books and I wonder about the amount of kid appeal (or lack thereof) that they have.

I'm going to list all the categories below, but forgive me for recommending my own category. Poetry is fun to read and discuss. It also usually has fewer nominations than the other categories. In 2021 Poetry had 40 nominations. 

I've been rounding up titles eligible in the Poetry category for 2022 (October 16, 2021-October 15, 2022). So far there are about 60 if they all get nominated. 

Cybils Awards Categories
  • Fiction Picture Books & Board Books 
  • Easy Reader & Early Chapter Books
  • Elementary/Middle Nonfiction 
  • Middle Grade Fiction 
  • Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction 
  • Graphic Novels 
  • High School Nonfiction 
  • Poetry 
  • Young Adult Speculative Fiction 
  • Young Adult Fiction 
Find Cybils on Social Media

Friday, July 1, 2022

Julia's House Goes Home by Ben Hatke

Julia's house is still looking for the perfect place. Julia thinks she's finally found it when a treacherous path separates Julia from her house and drops pieces of the house and creatures as it careens away. Will Julia, her house, and the creatures ever be reunited? 

Thoughts: So happy that there's another Julia book, but also a little sad as I think it might be the last. Definitely getting Howl's Moving Castle the movie vibes from this book. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. I love that Julia's so welcoming even in dire situations. I also love how the creatures rally around her when she's despondent. Now that there are three books, I'd love to do a library program with the Julia books. I think they would pair well with Journey, Quest, and Return all by Aaron Becker. I did stumble upon a "Julia's House Series Activity Kit" from the publisher through a Google search, but couldn't find the page with the link on their website. 

Other Books about Julia and Her House 

  1. Julia's House for Lost Creatures
  2. Julia's House Moves On

 (First Second, 2021.) 

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Tide Pool Waits by Candace Fleming

A day in the life of a tide pool. Waiting is the name of the game. 

Thoughts: A fun, informative book with colorful, detailed illustrations suitable for the youngest children. Librarians will find this book especially timely as the Collaborative Summer Library Program's theme this year is oceanography. I'll be using this book for my beach themed event for kids ages 7-12. I learned about  many ocean animals that I'd never heard of before reading this book. The acrylic paint and pencil illustrations are perfection. The lack of outlines makes them have almost a dream like quality. The sections at the end of book (An Illustrated Guide to This Tide Pool, Let's Explore, and Where Do They Live?) offer more information for interested readers. Find a lesson plan with fun writing activities on the publisher's website here

Themes: Ocean, Beach, Ocean Animals 

(Illustrated by Amy Hevron. Neal Porter Books, 2022.)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

Owl wants to be a knight. Though owls aren't normally knights, the disappearance of many of the knights from the castle leads to Owl's career as knight. Not only does he excel as a knight, he solves the mystery of the disappearances and makes many friends. 

Thoughts: What a fun book! Owls are one of my favorite animals and I love the character Christopher Denise created in Owl. The illustrations are detailed and the color palette perfectly suits the story. I love all the yellow tones through the book's illustrations. The pizza was a great surprise. 

For an owls, dragons, and food themed storytime, pair Knight Owl with Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin, and Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor

Themes: Owls, Knights, Dragons, Pizza

(Christy Ottaviano Books, 2022.)

Monday, June 20, 2022

This Is (Not) Enough by Anna Kang

Giving gifts to friends isn't easy. You want them to know how much you value you them. When is a gift enough? 

Thoughts: I get it, I do, Anyone who's ever tried to find the perfect gift for a friend can relate to This Is (Not) Enough. The lengths the characters go to in their searches for the prefect gifts are hilarious. I especially like the knitting (although as a crocheter I must again state the need for more crocheting in children's books). The illustrations are bright and colorful with good use of white space. All the characters are endearing. Now that there's six books in this series, I'd love to plan a book party or special storytime. I only wish more activity kits or pages were available. 

As a librarian, this is my PSA to authors, illustrators, and publishers: We want activities to go along eith your books. Thank you! 

Themes: Gifts, Friends 

Other Books by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant

(Illustrated by Christopher Weyant. Two Lions, 2022.)

Friday, June 17, 2022

No Nibbling! by Beth Ferry

Derwood is planting a garden. He's vigilant about protecting it. When a young bunny starts visiting him and his garden, Derwood often has to remind Tabitha "No nibbling." Can a goat who wants to protect his garden ever be friends with a bunny who just wants a little nibble? 

Thoughts: Too funny! I love the wordplay and the misunderstanding that ensues. This will be a great book to share in storytime as well as with slightly older kids. Would pair well with Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming. The illustrations are soft colored yet detailed. I like the mixture of illustration styles as well as the speech bubbles. 

Themes: Goats, Rabbits, Gardens, Vegetables 

(Illustrated by A. N. Kang. Roaring Brook Press, 2022.)