Favorite Quotes

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
— Emilie Buchwald

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
-- Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Books of Culture

I noticed a theme of "culture" in my library basket this week.  Here are some of the highlights:

Roots and Blues: A Celebration
By Arnold Adoff
Paintings by R. Gregory Christie

I checked this book out from the library because I feel connected to both the author and the illustrator.  I have attended the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Children's Literature for the past two hears.  Arnold Adoff is the husband of the late Virgina Hamilton and attends the conference annually with his son Jamie Adoff.  Last year one of the special guests was R. Gregory Christie and I enjoyed the talk that he gave and have become a fan of his work.  His paintings for this work are astounding.  This is a great book of poetry that celebrates the Blues style of music. 

By Jeannie Baker

This book is very unusual.  When you open the book there are two separate stories, one on the right side of the book and another on the left.  These are the stories of two young boys, one in Australia and the other in North Africa.  The stories are wordless and are told through wonderfully creative collage style illustrations.  It almost reminds me of claymation.  Though the two boys lives are very different and in very different settings, something connects them.  Be sure to check this one out to find out.

How the Sphinx Got to the Museum
By Jessie Hartland

I was drawn to this book because I recently took a workshop about Museum Collections and learned a bit about the inner workings of a museum.  This is a cumulative tale told in a fun and creative way.  The reader learns how a museum obtains an item for exhibit.  We also learn the names of some of the museum workers and a bit of Egyptian history at the same time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Inspired Books

Well I think Spring has finally sprung here in northeastern Ohio.  That put me in the mood for some Spring themed picture books.  Check out the following, they would all make great read alouds and would make great additions to a Spring themed storytime:

Bedtime for Bear
By Brett Helquist

Although this story is about a bear getting ready for hibernation, there is great talk about seeing him again in the Spring.  His friends want him to play with him lots before he goes to sleep for the winter.  They are looking forward to playing with him again in the Spring!

Brownie Groundhog & February Fox
By Susan Blackaby
Illustrated by Carmen Segovia

So I think I am a couple months behind with this picture book, but it would be a great story to read on Groundhogs Day.  It talks about winter ending and fabulous Spring beginning soon.  The groundhog and the fox have lots of fun together looking for signs of Spring!

Snow Rabbit , Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons
By Il Sung Na

It's the year of the Rabbit!  And there are a plethora of rabbit books being published this year.  This is one of my favorite new rabbit stories.  I love this illustration style and the simple text  used to describe the seasons.  The story ends with the excitement of Spring beginning!

Little White Rabbit
By Kevin Henkes

I am a big fan of Kevin Henkes and just adore his illustration style.  This is another of his picture books that does not disappoint.  It is also another of my favorite new rabbit stories.  The little white rabbit in the story sets off for a wonderful Spring adventure where he wonders what it would be like to be some of the other animals of Spring.  The one thing he doesn't have to wonder about is how much his mother loves him.

By Stephen Gammell

I don't know about where you live, but here in Ohio with the Spring weather comes another thing....lots of Mud!!  This picture book is mostly wordless with a few simple pages of text.  The reader sees a little girl playing outside when she imagines a new friend called Mudkin.  Mudkin thinks the little girl is a queen and they set off on a lively adventure.  You must check out this book and admire the fascinating illustrations!

Ugh!  Eggs!
By Sarah Arnold
Review copy from: Child'd Play Publisher

Eggs are another popular Spring topic.  Pip does not like eggs!  He is very displeased to find out that his Dad has made eggs for breakfast.  He spends the whole day avoiding foods made with eggs.  He gets a great surprise when he is enjoying his Chocolate Sponge Cake.  It has eggs in it!   The book includes several recipes using the incredible, edible egg!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Award Winning Books

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing
by Ann Angel
2011 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Winner

Here is a link to a great review of this book:  Abby the Librarian

And to put you in the mood for this book, check out this video:

Seeds of Change
By Jen Cullerton Johnson
Coretta Scott King/Steptoe Illustrator Award 2011

The vividly colorful illustrations will draw you in to the this story.  I love the illustrator's use of white lines to highlight the illustrations.  This is the story of a young girl named Wangari who grew up in Kenya.  Although unusual, Wangari was allowed to attend school and she used this education to later promote the rights of women in Kenya and to help save the Kenyan land.  Wangari was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Links:  Author's website

     Illustrator's website

    The Green Belt Movement (founded by Wangari)

The Pirate of Kindergarten
By George Ella Lyon
Illustrated by Lynne Avril
Schneider Family Book Award Winner 2011: Childrens

This is the story of young Ginny who is having some trouble with her vision.  We see how Ginny struggles with the activities of Kindergarten.  We see that Ginny sees the world differently than most  people.  After a vision screening at school, it is determined that Ginny has double vision.  She gets to wear a patch to help train her eyes to see only one of everything.  This is how she becomes the Pirate of Kindergarten who can do everything that the other children can do!!

Here is a more in depth review and information about Amblyopia (double vision) at:  Amblyopia Kids

Printz Honor Winner: Stolen

By Lucy Christopher
Printz Honor 2011

This novel is one that will stick with the reader for a long time after the final words are read.  It is written as a letter from Gemma to her kidnapper, Ty.  While deep down the reader knows that Ty is doing something wrong and that Gemma may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, you just can't help but root for a romance between the two.  How does this fascinating story end?  This is a must read to find out!  Do you like the ending or do you feel it should have ended differently?  Are you hoping for a sequel?  I'm not sure if that is possible, but I know I was left wanting more of Gemma and Ty.

Links:  Author's Site 

          Scholastic's Interview with the Author 

Be sure to watch this video preview: