So it’s the beginning of April and the whole world is in turmoil. I can’t physically work at either of my jobs so I haven’t been able to connect with kids at all. I am however working in an Emergency Operations Center for my county. It isn’t working with kids, but I’m trying to contribute. With publishers and authors relaxing the rules for reading their books on video, my goal is to start reading out loud hopefully this week. As it looks like we could possible not to return to school this year, my focus is on the OBOB titles for 20-21 (are you sick of hearing about OBOB yet?). I’ve read a few and so far I don’t hate anything. I think I’ve written about Front Desk by Kelly Yang previously. Well it is an OBOB selection for the coming year and I’m super happy about that. I’m also amazed by Kelly Yang. She has offered free writing classes on her website (scroll down after you land on the home page) and I hope I can watch the videos soon.
Almost 19 years ago (as of my writing this post), our country, our lives, our view of the world was sent into chaos. We are all in different spaces as far as how much we know about that event, how it affected us and how we pulled through.
Nora Raleigh Baskin has ventured into a very hard day in the past. Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story takes place before and during 9/11. It is told by 4 different middle schoolers who all have a different story about that time. Told with language that kids will understand but without the gore and true violence, it was an impactful read. It does talk about the planes and the crashes but thats about the extent. I say read it with your kids because they may have questions. If you aren’t old enough to have been alive for that day, ask your momma or your daddy or your auntie or uncle or any adult who was alive…..I promise they will know exactly where they were and what they were doing.
This book makes me so mad…I mean REALLY mad…..at myself. Let’s be honest…I’m a white woman of privilege and it has absolutely nothing to do with money. I read this (actually I listened to it which was probably more intense for me) and I realized how truly naive I have been all my life.
This is the story of Mia and her parents who are all immigrants. They have not been in the states for long and mom and dad both try to keep employment but through no fault of their own, they end up getting fired. However Mia’s mom applies for a job at a motel, thinking she would never get it, and guess what??? She gets the job but her husband has to work there too. “Two for the price of one” says the owner. Mia runs the front office…she’s 10….and does her best to make things good for the customers and the weeklies, and safer for her family.
At the end of the audio book, the author notes that the events are based on true life events in her life. Then I was sad because how humans can treat other humans so poorly is beyond what I can understand.
So many more things happen in this book…it would take a very long time to explain it all. Pick the book up or download the audio version. Read it as a family, read it yourself, read it to your class….just read it.
tells the story an ugly dumpling who doesn’t get eaten and just can’t figure out why. Enter the cockroach and the story turns toward acceptance and friendship.
Last, and certainly not least, is Malala’s Magic Pencil. Malala Yousafzai has written a picture book about her childhood. Every night she wished for a magic pencil.. a magic pencil that didn’t arrive. Malala soon learned that using her voice was just as powerful as a magic pencil.
I’ve been blogging for about 3 year now and while I am still certainly a novice, I do feel like I am getting better. I’ve changed this site a bit and am trying really hard to be more creative with it. I’ve also started writing reviews for Children’s Literature out of DC but I think that I cannot use the same reviews so I will have to rewrite some things…Anyways, with the hope that I can get more creative, here is some picture book catch up that hopefully is different enough from my Goodreads that you won’t be bored.
How to Find A Fox by Nilah Magruder is a great new picture book. The illustrations are great and the text will be so much fun to read at storytime. How do you catch a fox? Finding a fox hole, having patience and not falling asleep are great ways to try and catch a fox. Unfortunately for our little girl, it doesn’t seem to fall that way for her right away.
This fun little one is exasperated and you can completely feel her pain as she is waiting waiting waiting.
Dinosaurs in Disguise by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (Of What Grandma/Grandpa/Uncles do best) come together to bring us a fun new picture book about dinosaurs. Dinosaurs aren’t extinct, they are just hiding. Dinosaurs have been hiding so long that we just don’t notice them anymore. This will make a fun storytime book!
I have been on a roll, reading ARCs and Galleys (I’m not sure why there are 2 names for the same thing) and there are some very cute books coming out. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for access to these great titles!
Before I talk about the picture books I read, I just have to say how excited I am to be reading Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull. This is being described as a sequel series to Fablehaven, my 2nd favorite series of all time. Same characters, new adventure!!
First up for today is Littles and How They Grow written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by AG Ford and published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers.
What a great story. A tale about “littles” and how they grow. This book showed diversity in the families and love on every page. I can’t wait to see this as an actual book.
Expected sale date June 13, 2017
Next up: Freckleface Strawberry: Monster Time! written by Julianne Moore and illustrated by LeUyen (pronounced Le Win) Pham. Freckleface Strawberry books are very fun and sweet. I am not sure if this is the first beginning reader for Moore but she does a great job, tackling a friendship situation with text that kids can understand. Great illustrations.
Expected sale date July 11, 2017
Next: Naptastrophe written and illustrated by Jarrett Krosoczka. If you are a parent of anyone over the age of 2, you can relate to this book. It is a tale of our little Lucy, who isn’t tired. She isn’t tired when she is put down for a nap, she isn’t tired when she goes shopping with her dad, she isn’t tired at dinner and she is not tired when she falls face first into her food. Fun illustrations and text.
OH.MY.GOODNESS. What a wonderful book. I saw this somewhere other than Goodreads (shocker) and liked the idea I read about. I do not think I had read any Leslie Connor’s books before this, but I know kids at school had read Waiting for Normal. Perry lives in Suprise, Nebraska…just a small blip of a town. He has the nickname Morning Son. He also lives at Blue River Co-Ed Correctional Facility. No, Perry is not a criminal. He is a kid who just happens to be the son of someone housed at the correctional facility. He has known no other home for his whole life. He goes to school outside of the facility, where of course he is bullied. He brings stories back to his mom and the others inside everyday. He helps cook, greet new residents and wakes everyone up in the morning. Until, that is, a newish District Attorney catches wind of this and makes it his mission to correct this wrong.
Princess Cupcake Jones does not want to go to school and she tries everything she can to not have to go. Once she arrives, however, she quickly makes a friend. Told in rhyming text with great illustrations, it was a lot of fun to read!
So these titles are both on the 2015-16 OBOB list for the 3-5th graders. I always feel that non-fiction is hard to review and these are no different.
In What Was the March on Washington by Kathleen Krull there were things I learned and things that truly shocked me, but that is maybe the point of historical non-fiction…to get you to feel something. I applaud Kathleen Krull for tackling such emotional and intense subjects. I will encourage kids to read this even after OBOB is finished.
In What Was Ellis Island by Patricia Brennan Demuth,kids will be exposed to another historical time…a time when people fled to the United States in search of a better life….something I can’t imagine. It serves as a reminder for me that our ancestors worked hard for their families.
and all through the town, people were scurrying and running around.
Well, not this person. I opted to work today so that I didn’t have to use vacation time for my traditional “Black Friday” mayhem. The library is slow and quite calm at the moment…which lends me a grand opportunity to get some reading done (now I’m questioning my choice as I could have been reading at home all day, in the comfort of the love seat:-)
Here are a few I happened upon:
Told in an almost graphic novel format, this happened to be out of order on the shelf and, well, since I had it in my hand I may as well read it. A shoe shine boy in the big apple finds a piece of red fabric and he sets out to find the owner. While no one will give him the time of day when he asks if they need their shoes shined, when he starts to ask the neighbors if the lovely red fabric belongs to them, he finds people to be kind and welcoming. The best part of the book??? The glossary in the back that defines some words that we may not know from other cultures.
Anytime you have the chance to give a kid a book dealing with history, jump on it! This book about Betsy Ross talks about what she is most known for…making the American flag. In the back are instructions for making a Betsy Ross star. In this day and age of technology, I find it so refreshing to go back in time through a book.
While the story itself didn’t grab my attention, what did was the use of simple shapes to create a “matrix” of robots (I didn’t know what a group of robots was called so I cha-cha’d it. Other terms include gestalt, borg and drove). Recently I read a blog that when doing storytime, you should send something home with the kiddos to help them reinforce what you did…seeing as that I have run out of time to do crafts, this pre-made package of robot shapes might be the answer!
Told in rhyming text, this crazy story by Margaret Mahy may just make it to my story time shelf. The illustrations by Polly Dunbar are quite fun and sometimes you just need something silly.
Benjamin aka Benji, Benj, Baby, was born a preemie. He is always at the hospital and by always I mean he goes so often he his favorite nurse created a punch card for him. Benji has trouble making friends, doesn’t play sports and has twin older brothers who are always picking on him. When Benj has a seizure at school his doctor says he either has to wear a protective helmet or get a service dog. Considering he has allergies to dogs, his parents opt for the helmet even though Benji begs them not to. When life becomes unbearable with the helmet, the parents finally agree to the service dog. However, the dog that arrives is much, MUCH larger than they expected. Not only that, the dog is grumpy…at least that’s what Benji thinks.
A story about friendship, diversity and love this story is one I am definitely adding to the collection at school! I’ve already read book 2 (I actually read it first:-) and am so hopeful that Jenny Lee will continue with the series.