T5W: Books I’m Intimidated By

Top 5 Wednesday was created by the lovely Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now headed up by one of my fave booktubers, Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. You can participate too! Here’s the link to the Goodreads Page!

So, when I was thinking about this topic, I thought about REASONS why I’m intimidated by certain books and once I did that….the books just popped.

Reason One: Hyped Books! What if a book is so hyped and sounds SO good…that you pick it up right away. Then, when the hype dies down and you actually pick it up…it’s NOT good??? Ugh!!! My pick: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I picked this book up when the hype was at it’s peak and since then a great friend didn’t like it. Uh oh!! Now I’m so spooked to pick it up. What if I don’t like it and regret my purchase?? 😦

Reason Two: The next book in a beloved series. You know how you read book one and fall madly in love. So halfway through you snatch up the rest of the series?? Ook, maybe only I do that! hehe I have quite a few books under this umbrella and I’m intimidated because…what if they aren’t as good as the first book? What if they let me down? What if something bad happens in….Pick Two: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s preordered. I’m almost done Blue Lily, Lily Blue and if the last book disappoints…I’ll cry for days!

Reason Three: It’s a Classic. I love watching Classics be made into movies lol I just have struggles READING them. They are worded in old English or written like Shakespeare. You know the language is beautiful…but you can’t understand a freakin word of it! lol I have Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I just bought this AMAZING edition of it (The Word Cloud edition *GUSH*!). I want to buy the rest of the collection…Can I count an entire collection as Book 3?? I think I just did. If not, I haven’t read Secret Garden yet and I hope it’s everything I remember, cuz I only watched the movie. teehee

Reason Four: The book is extremely long OR the series is extremely long! Pick Four is Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It’s amazing. I started it, but I put it down in order to do a ReadAlong. I haven’t picked it up again, though I intend too. It’s just SO long and so are the rest of the books. I’ll get there! I know it’s worth it, but it’s long.

Pick 5 is The Mortal Instruments Series. I’ve read books 1-5 (Well, I’m halfway through 5). Yet, I know when I finish….there’s a whole other series to read!!! It took me this long to get to book 5! Ugh. I know I have to finish AND read the others because I need to know how it all goes down. It’s just…intimidating 🙂

Diverse Children’s Literature

Hi everyone! These books are some of my favorite Diverse Children’s Books. Some of them may be older and harder to find. For that I apologize. I’m hoping to be able to give you enough options, that you won’t have that trouble! I will list the books and give you some quick learning activities you can do with your little one! Most of my ideas are Preschool Age (3-5 yrs) ideas, but if you tweet me/DM me, we can work together to make them more age appropriate for your lil one! Also, please note, when I say Diverse books…these were books I used in my classroom to teach children about diversity and acceptance of others. Here we go!

1. Black, White, Just Right! By Marguerite W. Davol and Illustrated by Irene Trivas. I love this book!!! It’s a story about a little girl who’s Mommy is African American and Daddy who is Caucasian. Obviously, she’s biracial. The cheerful lil angel tells the story about how she looks like/acts like both her parents and she is perfect just the way she is. It’s very upbeat and loving. Basically, this tells children that they have traits from both of their parents and they become their own person. They are a perfect and wonderful person, completely unique. To celebrate “Uniqueness”, let your child look in a mirror. Examine his/her eyes. What color are they? What shape are they? Now, how about Mommy’s eyes? Daddy’s? Siblings or Friends? Compare the similarities like 2 eyes, a nose, a mouth, teeth, eyebrows, hair. Then look at differences: eye color, hair color, size/shape of nose or eyes or mouth, freckles? What makes your child unique? The goal of this lesson is to teach your child that we don’t all look the same, but we do have similarities. We want our children to grow up being accepting of others and not judging based on appearance. Lastly, Crayola used to make Multicultural Crayons. Your child can draw friends, family members, or favorite TV characters using these crayons. Hopefully, there will be a rainbow of skin tones and races on their paper. If you can’t find crayons, you can also use paint! Finger painting with skin tone colors will create a wonderful work of art!


  1. One of my other favorite books is The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf and Illustrated by Michael Letzig. Now, you may question…how is THAT diverse? In my opinion, this book opens the door for the discussion of diverse reading. Here’s how! The story focuses on a box of crayons that don’t like each other. They are arguing and think they are better than the crayon next to them. Eventually, they learn to work together and as the book ends, “We are a box of crayons, Each one of us unique. But when we get together…The picture is complete.” I find this to be a great a life lesson for children. Whether it’s working together with your big brother/sister to complete a task or befriending children of many races (colors). America (for example) wouldn’t be what it is without many different cultures and religions coming together. We learn and grow from each other, or we SHOULD. So that’s what I always taught my students. Sketch out (or trace) crayons from the book. Have your child color one crayon. Then you and your husband/wife/partner each color your own crayon. Ask friends. Ask family members. Hehe Even your pet! (You would have to color it for your pet lol) Everyone color a different color. Then place those crayons together in a “box”. Next, you and your child each take a crayon and color a picture TOGETHER. For example, I am yellow. My child is blue. To put the sun in the sky, we need a blue sky, right? Even little children can color from a coloring book with their parent.(Lil One TIP: Use Twistable Crayons with a smaller child. They are actually PLASTIC with a  crayon tip. Chewers can’t chew the wax anymore! HA!) 2 colors are better than 1! For an added art history lesson, pull up pieces of art from online. Show your child how many colors create a beautiful work of art. It’s not necessarily a Diverse book, but I always opened my theme with this book. Children learned that taking note of our differences and using them together as a group, really created a great end result!


  1. Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel and Illustrated by Blair Lent. This is a really fun read!! As the reader, be prepared for a tongue twister!!! This story tells of a long standing Chinese custom where parents would name their first born son, a very long name. This child’s name is Tikki Tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. Yep! So, in the story Tikki falls down a well and his poor little brother has to go for help. Tikki’s name is SO LONG that the poor boy can’t get all the “words” out! In the end, the custom was ended haha It’s a cute little story and children LOVE watching you try to say that name 100 times!! (Make sure you practice before attempting to read this one aloud! Hehe) For this lesson, I would first discuss your child’s name. What does it mean? Why did you name your child that name? Give them a little history lesson. Hehe Next, I always made Paper Lanterns, because they are fun! Take a long rectangular piece of paper. Have your child watercolor anything they want on it. You can use blues and yellows to mimic the art in the book, if you choose. Let dry. Then have your child glue streamers (the cheap ones used for parties!) to the bottom of the paper. (ONLY THE BOTTOM). The streamers should hang off the paper. Then, when dry, take the short ends of the paper and bring them together (to form a circle on the top & bottom). Staple at the top, bottom and middle. Lastly, tape string/yarn to the top, in order to hang it. Hope that all make sense without pics. Sorry about that! These look beautiful when you hang them! The boys in this story were playing with flags. You can play with flags or create a flag if you would like a different activity!


  1. There are 3 incredible African American books I’d like to recommend.

First is, “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale” by John Steptoe. This book is gorgeous!! It’s also a Caldecott Honor Book. So, I’ve heard this book called an African Cinderella Retelling. I definitely see the merit in that. The story is about a man named Mufaro. He has 2 daughters named Manyara and Nyasha. Nyasha is the “Cinderella” of this story. She’s beautiful and kind. Manyara is the “Evil Stepsister” personality. She’s jealous and unkind. One day, a prince asks for the Most Worthy and the Most Beautiful girl in the land. Despite Manyara’s objections, Mufaro says he couldn’t choose between his two girls. So Manyara decides to sneak off, in order to reach the Prince first. Without telling the entire story, Manyara ends up making some poor choices on her journey. She is tested 3 times and fails. So in the end, things don’t work out so well for her. Nyasha on the other hand, is kind and sweet. She passes all 3 tests when she makes the journey. She ends up with the happily ever after ending. Now, I believe this book is for an older child. It has quite a few words on a page and needs some explaining for a younger child. If you’d like to pick it up, you could still show your younger child the beautiful illustrations and tell the story in a simpler language. Example, “this is Manyara. She wasn’t nice to her sister. This is Nyasha she was kind to everyone, even this little snake”. For this lesson, I would focus on being kind. Do something kind for someone else. Have your child help bag up some old toys or clothes and donate them. Or have your child help a neighbor/family member carry “heavy” things from one place to another. Maybe they can clean up their room and “help” you out! 😉 Discuss what it means to be kind to one another and draw/paint/etc a picture for a loved one or person in need. They could also help “cook” a meal for a loved one! For an art project, get yourself a paper plate (cheapest kind you can find). Have your child paint (green glitter paint looks awesome!!) all over the plate. When dry, cut the plate in a spiral all the way to the center. This is super hard to explain, but if you google “Paper Plate Snake” I’m sure you can find great tutorials. In the end, when you grab the “top” of your plate, it will hang down into a spiraling snake. Kinda cool!!

Second, “Come On, Rain” by Karen Hesse and Pictures by Jon J Muth. This is an adorable story about a cute little African American girl who just KNOWS it’s gonna rain! She and her mother clearly don’t have a lot of money and its sweltering hot outside. The little girl knows it will rain soon and she gathers up her friends so they can play in the rain. It’s got a rhythm or poetry to the writing. The illustrations are simple and sweet. It’s short and perfect for warm weather! For this story, I would make little umbrellas. Just print some off from online or free-hand it. Then let little one color it! Have your child watercolor a blank white sheet of paper. Cut raindrop shapes from that paper, after it’s dried. Attach string from the umbrella to the raindrop. (One at a time) You now have raindrops dripping off an umbrella! Water play is perfect for this lesson!

Lastly, Sam and the Tigers by Julius Lester and Pictures by Jerry Pinkney. This book is imaginative fun! It’s silly and makes no sense at the same time, but kids love it! Basically, there is a place where everyone is named Sam. This particular Sam gets all these fancy clothes, only have them stolen by tigers! He finds a way to get his clothes back and it’s full of humor/nonsense. There ARE quite a few words to a page. A child with a shorter attention span may not love this book just yet. The pictures are colorful and fun though! For this activity, I usually had children make family portraits. Create little frames out of construction paper and glue them to a larger piece of white paper. Inside each frame, have the child draw their family members. Then, label each one. If the child is old enough, have them trace/write the names!


  1. Here’s a quick list of Diverse books and a brief lesson idea. These aren’t as in depth as my others, but if you have questions…PLEASE ask!

Luka’s Quilt by Georgia Guback is a Hawaiian story. It’s about a grandmother and a little girl. The grandmother is creating a quilt and the little girl doesn’t like it because it’s only made of 2 colors. In the end, the little girl learns the importance of the quilts tradition. For this lesson, you could either create a quilt or use paper squares to create a large quilt to hang on the wall. Each family member can decorate a square!

Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher by Becky Ray McCain and Illustrated by Stacey Schuett. Honestly, it’s been awhile since I read this book, so it may be hard to find. It’s a lovely story about the Native American people and the Dreamcatcher. In the back of the book, they teach you how to make your own dreamcatcher, though it is a little more difficult. My way of creating one: use a paper plate and punch holes all the way around the outside. Then have your child weave some yarn in and out of the holes. You want to create a spider web effect (to catch the bad dreams). Then tape some extra yarn to the bottom of the plate and put 3-5 beads on each strand. Tie at the end of each string, so the beads don’t fall off! Hehe. Hang over your child’s bed. Great story, but lots of text.

A Hearing Instrument for Philip by Alfred Tremmel was a yard sale find for me. Even that was ages ago, so this could be hard to find. It’s obviously a story about a little boy who has a disability and cannot ear as well as his friends. For this story, we practiced whispering (like whisper down the lane) and discuss how hard it can be to hear someone else. Then, we’d discuss Philips’ condition. Usually, I focused on the 5 senses and how each sense worked. If you want ideas for that, please let me know!


Final Thoughts:

These are other books that I enjoy, but I will not be giving lesson ideas for because this post is already incredibly long, and I have a little one of my own to go educate! 🙂

Family by Isabell Monk is a story about a creative and fun loving biracial family.

Colors Come from God…Just like me! By Carolyn A. Forche is a story about a beautiful African American girl who uses Bible verses to explain how we are all wonderful in God’s eyes.

How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac is a Native American story discussing bragging and teasing.

Two Eyes A Nose and A Mouth by Roberta Grobel Intrater is a book with HUGE pictures of children. Each page is full of beautiful children of many races. It mentions countries of origin and how we are all the same, but very different as well. Older, but fabulous book.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell is NOT technically a diverse book. I have used it because it discussing children bullying other children based on their physical differences. I think that children should be kind to everyone no matter if those differences are buck teeth, a wheelchair or a skin color. So, I use it in my diverse unit.

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold is an oldie but a goodie. It’s amazing and very unique. It’s about a African American young girl, living in the city, who lays on her “Tar Beach” (roof of a city building) and imagines herself floating above everyone. You feel like the little girl really is telling the story, because her voice is captured so well. Minimal writing on a page. Fabulous book!

Wings by Christopher Myers is an Honored Book. I will just “read” you the insert to sum up this amazing book. “Are you brave enough to be your true self? Ikarus Jackson is. Stretch your wings with him and discover how it feels to follow your own heart. In this powerful and thought-provoking story, Christopher Myers challenges us to embrace our differences and celebrate our individuality. Only then we can truly fly.” Oh yeah!

That’s all I have for now, folks! I hope this has provided you with some great books for Diverse Learning. Again, these lesson were designed for a Preschool (3-5yrs) child, break them down as you see fit. If you want/need any help, please Tweet or DM me and I’ll be glad to help. If you enjoyed this post PLEASE spread the word and LET ME KNOW!! If this goes well…..next time, I will focus on a different theme, most likely Spring/Flowers/Insects!

Note: If you have read this post and you feel the need to be combative or unkind, please be respectful enough to move on. I know when it comes to Diverse reading, people can become very passionate. I respect that passion, but we each have our own interpretations and opinions. If you don’t like my book choices or lesson ideas, you aren’t obligated to read/use them. Also, please keep in mind that these books and lessons were my way of opening up lines of discussion with VERY YOUNG readers. Readers who were not my own children, and therefore you walk a finer line. More detailed explanations and discussions can be held at home, under a parent’s personal guidance. Thank you for your respect on this matter! 🙂

The Original Raven Cycle Tag

This is the Original Raven Cycle Tag created by Michelle from MichEllisLife and LetsBookAboutit at letsbookaboutit.wordpress.com. Whether you participated in the Raven Cycle ReadAlong (with Michelle and Jody at thatonegirlwhoreads.wordpress.com) or you’ve only picked up The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, we welcome you to try out our fun Tag. There are 5 Bookish Questions and 5 Personal Questions. I hope you enjoy our take on a great series!

1. In the books, Maura is the relaxed mom that is more Blue’s friend than an actual mothering presence. Who is your favorite mom character?

Well, haha it’s Maura! Most moms, in the books I read, tend to be kidnapped or oblivious. Maura is powerful and strong. She’s a main character and I think that’s pretty awesome!


  1. Adam wanted to go to Aglionby so he could one day escape where he came from. Have you ever dreamt of living somewhere else? Where?

Yes, I visited New Hampshire once and completely fell in love. I’d also love to move to Ireland, because its GORGEOUS there!!


  1. In the second book we meet the Gray Man. He is a hit man who loves poetry. Name a book that you thought was going to be one thing but turned out to be something else.

This has happened to me a few times, actually. I’d have to say Outlander was my biggest surprise. I wasn’t sure I would like it, because it’s not my favorite genre. Yet, I couldn’t put it down. I thought the historical facts would bore me to tears, but it was anything but boring. Diana Galbadon has a way of writing that just immerses you into her world so quietly and sneaky like. You don’t even know you’re lost in the pages until reality hits and you have to acknowledge that real flesh and blood person talking to you…who you’ve been ignoring for the past 5 minutes. Lol


  1. Gansey has searched most of his life for a buried king who is promised to grant one wish. What is one wish you would ask Glendower?

The power to POOF!! Lol I wanna POOF to BEA and SEYA fest and YALL fest and anything else I can POOF too. I wanna POOF to Michelle’s town and go shopping at a bookstore….I wanna POOF money so I can shop LMAO I wanna POOF to Jody’s town and anyone else I wanna meet. Yep…I wanna POOF 🙂


  1. Greenmantle is the villain in the story. In this series you get to see him as human but also corrupt. Name your favorite villain.

My favorite villain isn’t actually a book villain, but shhh don’t tell. It’s Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7. You get pulled in emotionally by his story and you want to feel for him, yet he’s freakin EVIL. That end fight is insane! INNNSAAANNEE! That’s why he’s my fave!


  1. Blue’s got her Raven Boys. Who makes up your bookish team?

It’s kinda hard to narrow down. Since joining Booktube I’ve been a lil social butterfly…talking to everyone I can. I love you all! My book besties are definitely Michelle and Jody though. I talk to Michelle everyday and Jody like…every other. Haha They are the best and have changed my life for the better in ways I can’t begin to describe! So they are my team. My “Crew” is the SpaceSquad crew, cuz I’m finally part of a squad *eyes welling up* lol!!!


  1. Ronan is a bad ass with a sensitive side. What book have you read that was action packed but had beautiful emotional scenes as well?

I think I’m going to go with Six of Crows. It was a heist story and was packed full of strategy and action. Yet, it had these sweet moments between characters that I really enjoyed.


  1. Noah is my favorite Raven Boy because he has a heart of gold. Who has touched your heart recently?

I love my Noah. Gush!  I hate to sound like a broken record lol but Michelle and Jody have really touched my heart recently. Being a stay at home Mom is a lot of work and a lot of stress. I love my Lil One and I’m thankful for being home everyday with them, but it gets exhausting. Michelle and Jody have both been there with the kindest of words when I needed some Mommy advice. When I need a pick me up, they are quick to respond and put a smile on my face. I’m extremely thankful for them! Meeting them was the best part of Booktube!


  1. Calla is a woman who speaks her mind and puts her foot down when necessary. Who is your favorite strong female character?

Ohhh this is sooo easy!!! It’s Mac. Of course it’s Mac from the Fever Series!! She’s the pretty pink girlie girl who morphs into this Fae ass kicking bad ass! Plus, she gets to come home to Barrons 😉 😉  The BEST!


  1. Chainsaw is an awesome Raven boy pet. If you could have one “exotic” pet…what would it be? What would you name it?

Ok…this is a stretch and it’s my question sooo I can do whatever I want lol I want a Moogle from Final Fantasy. I’d probably name it Mog, even though it’s been done in the games. The fact that it says KUPO makes hubby nuts. So, I’d keep it near him at all times LMAO

Here’s the Link to Michelle’s Answers!!! Please go check out her Booktube video!!  I tag anyone who’s read these books!

That’s all folks!!! Please join us and play along!!!


Literary Laughs Tag

Hey everyone!! This is my very first tag creation!!! I’m going to be doing a kick ass one with Michelle at MichellisLife, later on this week, but this one is all mine. lol

I just wanted to make a short, fun tag. I wanted to laugh a little. I think we all need a giggle every now and again. So, I created this tag as a way to be silly and fun. No seriousness required! Now, onto my questions!!

  1. Think back to one of your favorite book series (or just one book is totally fine!) and name the character that made you laugh the most? My Answer: I have 2! Janet Evanovich’s Grandma Mazur from her Stephanie Plum books and Laurien Berenson’s Aunt Peg from her Melanie Travis series. Grandma Mazur is a teenager stuck inside and grandma’s body. She’s hysterical and says the most shocking things! Aunt Peg is sassy and such a busy body. She gets Mel into so much trouble and you can’t be mad at her because you’re too busy laughing!
  2. Name a book setting/storyline that you found down right laughable. Just plain old ridiculous. Maybe you DNF’d this book or never even picked it up. My Answer: The Heist by Janet Evanovich. I made the mistake of picking this bad boy up, because it was by one of my fave authors. What a joke. The plot was unbelievably predictable. Elements were so unrealistic. I managed to finish it, but would never recommend it. Sorry! So Harsh!!! lol
  3. Name an author who makes you laugh!! Whether that be on Social Media or in person. Have a short story to tell? My Answer: Patrick Rothfuss. Whenever he tweets out some completely random comment, I am sure to read it. I laugh every time at  his random ramblings. Fantastic! I also enjoy Michelle’s Beth Revis interview. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. I had no idea how funny she was! Lots of giggles!
  4. That leads me to…Who do you share your bookish laughs with? This can be a list or just one person. My Answer: It’s obviously my Booktube Bestie, Michelle!! I also share many laughs with my Blogging Buddy, Jody! I find MANY booktubers/bloggers to be quite funny, but when I need to share a funny fact or story, these are the ladies I turn to! Michelle’s rants are my favorite videos of all time! LMAO! Jody calling me out on Blue Lily, Lily Blue….I’m still laughing at that Castle gif!!!
  5. Lastly, what is your (or a friends) funniest reaction to a book or book-turned-film? It can be a positive reaction or a very negative one! lol My Answer: I think I have 2. When I finished this one book, so traumatized I can’t even remember which book, I remember literally throwing the book across the room! I was soooo angry at the ending! I am always so overprotective of my books, but this one had me so angry that it went sailing across the room and smacked into a dresser. My hubby heard the bang and came into the room thinkin something was wrong. Ohhh I’ll tell you whats wrong, THE ENDING!!! Grrrrr!! lol The second one is when I’m alone and watching a movie that’s based on a book I love. I get sooo angry at all of the changes they make. Who doesn’t, right??? So I yell at the screen…”Noooooo you left out the whole part where….” “NOOOO that’s NOT what happened!!!!” At least I do it when I’m alone, right??? lol

Ok! Hope you had some giggles!! Please boost my self-esteem and pass this on to as many people as you can! I wanna read lots of funny blogs and see lots of funny videos!!! I know you can do it!!

I tag…. Michelle @michellislife, Jody @onegirlwhoreads, Kristin @WhatsKappening, Jen @combustible_rev, Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes, Samantha @novelsandnonsen, Trina @bwtnchapters, Aly @alyjoshaver, Meagan @MeaganPrecourt, Marines @mynameismarines, Sarah Jane from @booklifeSJ and last but not least Heather from @pinkzebrareads. Ok, I need to stop myself now…hehe

As I said, this is my first tag creation. So please excuse my Tag if you are very busy or I skipped some little Tag protocol. lol I know you are all wonderful people who make me laugh on a daily basis. So I picked YOU!! Spread the giggles everyone!!