This meme was started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers. As I am a grandmother, who loves to read to her grandchildren, a mother who loved to read to and with her children, and a retired teacher librarian, this meme really attracted me.

Before school started, I have my last sleepover with my grandkids. We love to read together, so here are a few of the ones we shared. All of the books featured were provided to me from the publishers upon request, through Netgalley. I have included their comments, reactions and interactions where appropriate. All ratings and opinions are our own.

Room On Top by Bruno Hächler, Laura D’Arcangelo (Illustrations)

Expected Publication October 18th 2022 by NorthSouth Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Room on Top features an anteater mom and her offspring. Little anteater is lonely riding alone atop his mama’s back, so invites a friend to join him. One friend leads to another, until there are so many animals clinging on that they can’t hang on any longer. I read this to two of my grandchildren and they thought it was wonderful. They loved seeing the animals climb aboard and hang onto one another. The illustrations are whimsical and we loved them. I like the theme of acceptance, friendship and welcoming, although I did feel bad for mama anteater carrying the load. When I was young one of my favourite stories was Thidwick, The Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss and this book reminded me a bit of that one. This is one we would read again.

Tayra’s Not Talking by Lana Button, Christine Battuz (Illustrations)

Published June 7th 2022 by Kids Can Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tayra is starting school and she is extremely shy. She doesn’t talk to anyone, but wants to fit in. Originally the children thought she was being mean and ignoring them, but it doesn’t take long for the other children to learn that there are other ways to communicate besides talking, such as gestures, expressions, drawings, and with our hands. They make Tayra feel welcome and they are all friends. This story teaches children about emotions, compassion, friendship and belonging. The story is told in rhyme and had a great cadence to read. My grandchildren kept wanting to know why Tayra wouldn’t talk, and it wasn’t really told in the story, so I just said she was afraid and shy. Children want to know why, which is normal at that age. Everyone has different reactions to strange situations and nervousness, so we talked a little about that. This is a good story to open those discussions, and would be good to use in a classroom.

When the Wind Came by Jan Andrews, Dorothy Leung (Illustrations)

Published June 7th 2022 by Kids Can Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When the Wind Came is a beautifully told and illustrated story about a natural disaster that destroys a family’s home. When the wind came, father took care of the animals, mother made a meal all of the family, including the child narrating this story, waited safely in the root cellar. In child friendly language we hear how the girl feels and see the family pull together and be thankful that they are all okay. In this day and age, there are so many disasters that destroy homes, this book puts a child’s spin on it, showing what they can do to help and move forward. My granddaughter was upset when we read this book, as she was worried about the family, so we talked about what her family could do it this happened to them. It is a dark story, but also uplifting. I can see reading this book to children after a disaster occurs so they can understand what the people might be dealing with.

Mary Had a Little Plan by Tammi Sauer, Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrations)

Published September 6th 2022 by Union Square Kids

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really like books that encourage children to get out and do something for the world. In Mary Had a Little Plan, Mary sees an empty lot that is full of garbage and abandoned things, she has a great idea. She wants to clean it and spruce it up. She gets her friends and neighbours to help and even gets stores to donate things. Soon it is a wonderful place to play, sit and think. I love that this was a neighbourhood effort, but it took Mary to get it going. I also liked that her father didn’t discourage her, but actually helped. The text is told in a rhyming pattern, mimicking the well known nursery rhyme, Mary had a little lamb. The illustrations were wonderful and added a lot to this tale. My grandchildren loved it and talked about picking up garbage at school, why people litter and how we can help educate people. This is a great book for families and especially schools. If kids can get their parents on board, anything can happen. This is one we read a couple of times (I think because they know the nursery rhyme) as they were able to “read along”.