ReFoReMo…Weeks Two and Three Results

I’m sure some of you are thinking…”What do you mean week three results? We’re just beginning week three!”

Well, I’m on vacation this week, so I actually read week three required reading for ReFoReMo this past weekend because I’ll be doing other things during my time off. I will be reading the daily posts, but wanted to go ahead and share my thoughts on this fabulous collection of picture books shown above.

For those of you who don’t know what ReFoReMo stands for, it’s READING FOR RESEARCH MONTH. It’s a month long challenge to read tons of great picture books as mentor texts and really study the different components of what makes up great writing.

I’m going to be reading over 100 books during the month of March for this challenge, and reading the blog posts like this one……to determine how things like tension, character arc, point of view, etc. helps a writer create a stronger story.

My local library still couldn’t get me all the books required for this challenge, but I’m getting enough to understand and appreciate some of the really special books out there just waiting for someone to take them home for a little read time. Here are my favorites from this past week…

GIANT SQUID by Candace Fleming…such a magical integration of fluid, flowing descriptions with innovative, captivating illustrations to pull readers into the dark, underwater world of the giant squid. I’m drawn to the ocean and all the creatures who live there, so of course I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint! I think I may have to add this one to my growing picture book collection…

OUTSIDE IN by Deborah Underwood…on my first read through my friend Deborah’s story, I felt like it was a very quiet story. And I like quiet stories. When I read it the second time, I felt the beautiful watercolor illustrations draw me “outside” where perfectly chosen words reminded me of all the reasons why I love being out in nature. And with a year like we’ve had in 2020, I’m all for the “quiet” books that touch our souls and calms our spirits…

THE UNDEFEATED by Kwame Alexander…I enjoyed reading all of the books this past weekend, but THIS book impressed me the most. It wasn’t the story, although I thought the way each person’s contribution to our collective history was well written, it was the illustrations that stopped me in my tracks!

I opened this picture book and was stunned by the rich textures of layered colors I found on each page. It was like each person was leaping off the page to draw my attention to what they had to offer. Such expressive drawing is beauty in motion that I don’t always get to see in books these days. Kadir Nelson is a true artist and I spent a long time studying each page so I wouldn’t miss out on anything!

My local library can only get five more books from the reading list. A part of me is disappointed I didn’t have access to all the book selections suggested. But I will always be grateful to Carrie Charley Brown and Kristi Call for sharing ReFoReMo with the world each year and exposing me to another world of books I might have otherwise overlooked…

I can’t wait to see what week four will bring!


KidLit Author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

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