Friday, March 15, 2019

Cavekid BIrthday

Title: Cavekid Birthday                            

Author: Cathy Breisacher
Illustrator: Roland Garrigue
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2019
Intended Ages: 4-8
Themes: Birthdays, Friendship, Humor

Opening Line(s):
"Caveboy and Cavegirl were born on the same day, in side-by-side caves."
 
Synopsis: Two friends, born on the same day, want to give their friend the perfect present - but without money to spend, they come up with a creative heart-warming bartering solution.

What I like about this book: This book may be set in the prehistoric age, but it provides kids with a fun, realistic story line. Kids do want to provide gifts for people they love, and they don't have money. At least my kiddos didn't when they were little - I saved allowance until they were old enough to do something to earn it. So, what can kids do? I loved the bold illustrations, too. I KNOW, cavemen didn't make pets out of most prehistoric creatures, but this isn't meant as a history book, it's FUN.

Resources:
  •  Cathy Bresiacher has a teacher's guide on her website
  • Talk about how to pick a present for someone else (it's a skill to empathize with what others want, and not what you want!)
  • Talk about what kids can give a friend/loved one that doesn't cost money and things or skills they could barter with if they wanted a store bought gift
  • Visit a museum and look at prehistoric creatures. Which one would you like for a pet?
  • Visit a professionally managed cave. (PA and VA have a lot of them) Note: Don't stick your heads into random holes! 
  • Throw a prehistoric/cave themed birthday party. (Google gives lots of ideas!)
This author has a second book, CHIP AND CURLY scheduled for release later this year. Racing potato chips, anyone?!


This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Friday, March 8, 2019

Brave Ballerina - The Story of Janet Collins


Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet CollinsTitle: Brave Ballerina - The Story
of Janet Collins 
Author: Michelle Meadows
Illustrator: Ebony Glenn
Publisher: Henry Holt, 2019
Intended Ages: 4-8
Themes: Dance, Biography, Diversity

Opening Line(s):
"This is the girl who danced in the breeze to the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of towering trees."
 
Synopsis:Born in the 1930's, Janet Collins was a pioneer in the world of ballet. The first African American prima ballerina to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.

What I like about this book: I love learning about extraordinary people I'm not familiar with. I knew about Misty Copeland's rise to fame at the American Ballet Theatre, but I had never heard of the remarkable Janet Collins who broke the same barriers years before at a different ballet company. Author Michelle Meadows tells the story in lyrical verse that never feels forced. The text talks about Janet Collins' ability to convey emotions through her gestures and movements and Ebony Glenn's illustrations capture these emotions beautifully -- disappointment, joy, perseverance. A great book for any child with big dreams.

Resources:
  • Michelle Meadows has a teacher's guide on her website
  • Dance! and ask your audience to guess what emotion you were trying to portray
  • Go to watch a dance performance (ballet if you can find it nearby!)
  • Write a thank you to your family for supporting you in something you like to do


This author/illustrator duo has a book about Simone Biles scheduled for release next year!


Note: I received a copy of this book as a random winner of an online contest. No review was required or expected in return.





This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Friday, February 8, 2019

This Book is Spineless

Title: This Book is Spineless          
       
AuthorLindsay Leslie

Illustrator: Alice Brereton
Publisher: Page Street Kids, Feb. 19, 2019
Intended Ages: 4-8
Themes: Fear, Humor, Books

Opening Line(s):
 "Whew! Thanks for turning on the lights! As I said, I'm afraid of the dark. Actually, I'm afraid of most things, because I'm spineless."

Synopsis:
An anthropomorphized book breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the reader, fearing the possibility of facing a terrifying plot, becoming braver with each page turn.

What I like about this book:
Don't you love this title!! Smart and sassy. The author peppers the text with fun language like zilch, smidge and whodunit, while weaving in the five senses as tools for exploring the book's possible subject. I was one of the shy kids that would have identified with this book's irrational fears! Adam Lehrhaupt's Warning: Do Not Open this Book would be a fun title to pair and compare.

Lindsay has two more books under contract with Page Street Kids (so far!). Keep a look out for this new talent.


This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Friday, January 25, 2019

More-igami - Multicultural Children's Book Day

Title: More-igami                     
Author: Dori Kleber

Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2016
Intended Ages: 4-8
Themes: Multicultural play, Practice/Persistence

Opening Line(s):
Joey loved things that folded. He collected old road maps. He played the accordion. He slept in a foldaway bed.

Synopsis:
When a boy who loves folded things sees origami, he wants to learn how to make a crane. But origami takes practice and patience.

What I like about this book: Origami is fun! I got a set of instructions and a box of paper for Christmas one year. The author uses a quirky main character (the accordion and the bed are quirky!!) to introduce this fun craft. And the restaurant owner that helps Joey warmed my heart in this sweet, straight-forward story. Help in life does come from unexpected places sometimes. The illustrations capture Joey's moments of concentration and surprise. With the awww ending, a student becomes the teacher. Yay, Joey!


Resources and Activities:

Try some origami! The book has two pages of back matter that describe how to fold a ladybug! Other simple instructions (shapes I remember making!) can be found on the Origami for Kids website.


The Spruce crafts website has suggestions for how to throw an entire origami-themed kids party.

More-igami is part of one of Candlewick's story hour kits, including a traceable crane figure. They also suggest a study of the history of origami for older readers. Order the PBS DVD of their show "Behind the Folds" to learn the origin.

I hope you enjoy today's selection! It was one of Kirkus reviews Best Books of 2016, but I missed it when it came out. Never too late to find a great book like this. It's a fantastic book to look for on Multicultural Children's Book Day or any day!!

This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Friday, January 4, 2019

Meet--Honeysmoke!

Title: Honeysmoke

Author: Monique Fields
Illustrator: Yesenia Moises
Publisher: Imprint (Macmillan) , January 8, 2019
Intended Ages: 3-6
Themes: Family, Racial Identity, Language

Opening Line(s):
Simone wants a color.
She asks Mama, "Am I black or white?"

Synopsis:
A young biracial girl doesn't see herself as black or white and explores possible descriptions for herself.

What I like about this book: Without being preachy, this story about a biracial girl’s skin color encourages children to pause and reflect about the words they use and opens the door for lessons on family, heredity, and creative wordplay. The spare language is suitable for all ages. Most things in the world aren't black or white, and this book embraces children's individuality and empowers them to visualize who they are and how they want other people to see them. Arnold Adoff used a similar approach in the 1973 picture book black is brown is tan, told from the adult parents' point of view. Honeysmoke starts and stays with the child. Vibrant illustrations accompany the simple text.

Resources and Activities:

Play with fingerpaints! Mix the colors and make up names for the new combinations.

Brainstorm descriptors. Older readers can do this on their own. For younger readers, perhaps provide a stack of index cards with adjectives, colorful and otherwise, and let children pick and discard from the stack.

Older readers can also discuss the weight of words as descriptions. Are broad categories necessary? Why or why  not?

For educators--Washington State has an 86-page pdf to download on biracial awareness, biases, and counseling biracial children.

I hope you enjoy today's selection!
Another review of this great book is posted by Vivian Kirkfield.

This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF