Holiday reading

With some much needed time spent resting after the whirlwind that was the Wonderful World of Reading, today I decided to load up my virtual bookshelf in anticipation of all the free reading time I’ll have once Thanksgiving and Christmas break approaches (that’s minus the eating and #shoppingsmall and socializing time, mind you.)

NetGalley is such a lifesaver, especially when you:

a) are awake at 4am on a Sunday and can’t sleep
b) want a diverse collection of titles to read for personal and professional purposes
c) realize the bag of books you’ve been meaning to read are in the trunk of your car and it’s 30 degrees out at 4am…and raining (finally, California!)
d) have a cat sleeping by your side that wouldn’t take kindly to your getting out of bed, thank you very much.

See?

See?

Boy oh boy, it was such a nice surprise to see that THIS title, not available until May 2017 was available for request:

YESSS!!!

YESSS!!!

That’s Ben Clanton’s second book in the Narwhal and Jelly series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt. If you’re looking for a fantastically optimistic and fun book to share with young ones, in the vein of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series, you must, must, MUST read this.

If that doesn’t sell it, take a look at how cheery and happy the main character is:

Courtesy of narwhalandjelly.com

Courtesy of narwhalandjelly.com

Sadly, I have to patiently wait for the powers that be to approve my request so that I can infuse my day with a dose of Narwhal cheer. But for the record, I’m such a fan that I *may* be taken as someone who is somewhat, mildly obsessed with the book.

Not a stalker, really

Not a stalker, really

That’s me working to get the first book into the hands of young readers everywhere, and me dressing up as Narwhal for Halloween, and me succumbing to Narwhal and Jelly’s mentioned treat of choice in book #1 (a waffle maker is on the Christmas wish list now, thank you Mr. Clanton).

Can you tell that I really, really like the book?

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Notwithstanding the great news about Narwhal, I did pick out a few other titles that I’m excited about sharing:

NetGalley shelf 11/20/16 #1

NetGalley shelf 11/20/16 #1

NetGalley shelf 11/20/16 #2

NetGalley shelf 11/20/16 #2

The first of which ties into a post I made a while back about my challenge to myself regarding mindsets & salads, and I wish I had this book in my hands to encourage me:

Salad in a jar by Anna Helm Baxter (Jan 2017)

Salad in a jar by Anna Helm Baxter (Jan 17, 2017)

The book is my kind of cookbook: simple and straightforward without a whole lot of storytelling, and the photos by Victoria Wall Harris are gorgeous.

For starters, the table of contents utilizes plenty of white space (thank you, designers) and the book is split into 5 sections: dressings, raw food, small jars, big jars and sweet endings.

A short introduction follows, and it covers the types of jars and other equipment needed (spinners, peelers, mandolin). After that are two pages of what I anticipate will be highly pinned images: page 9 showing how to layer the salads and page 11 with a list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

Then you have the recipes. Take for example, the breakdown of the Southeast Asian salad. The ingredients are spread out in front of you with a photo shot from above so you see everything needed at a glance. Turn the page and the salad is assembled, with notes at top on the health properties of the salad, and notes below on how to assemble: simply genius!

Ingredients

Ingredients! Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Assembled

Assembled! Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press

With 68 recipes included, there’s no shortage of ways to prepare a delicious salad, and there’s even a section for those who are looking for a sweet treat following a salad.

THIS gal will be studying up on the book for the upcoming vegetarian Thanksgiving (2 in the party that are vegetarian, but everybody skips on meat, another story for another day) and I’m hoping…perhaps there will be a follow up on noodle soups in a jar? I also downloaded The Pho Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen, and judging from the photos within (it’s a storytelling cookbook folks), the content looks detailed and intricate and amazingly delicious.

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The next series of books I downloaded come from First Second Press, a publisher that’s been growing in my estimation. I read about the Science Comics series via the Horn Book Guide and flipped through their recommended Coral Reefs title with a smile as I found it was beautifully drawn and informative. This morning, while browsing NetGalley, I found three more to add to the collection: Bats, Plagues, Flying Machines.

Each page is intricately detailed, and the panels contain such great information that I can’t wait until they’re published to share them with students.

Courtesy of First Second Press

Bats: Courtesy of First Second Press (Feb. 28, 2017)

Flying Machines: Courtesy of First Second Press

Flying Machines: Courtesy of First Second Press (May 23, 2017)

Plagues:

Plagues: Courtesy of First Second Press (Aug 29, 2017)