Author Archives: admin

What is Given from the Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Given from the Heart
Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2019

An old tale with a new twist. Re-written with a voice of a poor African-American, young boy, his father dies, his mother and him lose the farm and they move. The mother always tries to find the good in every situation. At church they are asked to help a family with a young girl who lost everything in a fire.  The boy wonders what he could possibly give a young girl, for they have nothing. He considered many things, but nothing seemed right, until, when he was reading his favorite, his only, book, he thought to make her a book. He presented the book, “From My Heart to Your Heart”, a story about her, to her personally.  She was overwhelmed and so pleased to have a book about herself.

Beautifully written, illustrated with loose colors of mixed media including art pens.  A touching story.

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Bully

Bully
by Jennifer Sattler
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

This book does an amazing job of showing exactly what bullies get when they bully.

As each loveable, innocent creature comes by to enjoy the water lilies in the pond, Bully declares the lilies are his and sends them away.  Soon he is alone.  Enjoying the lilies all for himself, he makes a crown, eats them (getting a tummy ache) and sleeps on a new pile each night until there is only one lily left.  He declares it “Mine!” and sits on it.  About then, a little bee has an idea.  He shares his idea with all the creatures sent away.  They, too, want the lilies to return, and they return together to chase the bully away.

You’ll have to read the story to see exactly what the bully gets for being a bully.  A delightful read, simply told so even the very youngest readers will get the message and have fun laughing, too.

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Me and My Fear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me and My Fear
by Francesca Sanna
Flying Eye Books, 2018

A young girl who recently moved to a new home discusses her friend “fear.”  Fear has always looked after her and kept her safe, until she moved to a new country.  There fear started to grow and grow and wouldn’t even let her go outside to explore her more neighborhood, even when she wanted to. Fear really didn’t like going to school and wouldn’t let the girl play with others.  When a young boy offer to play, for the second time, the girl does play with the boy and fear begins to shrink.

Cleverly written story that reframes the notion of fear, making it a friend of a young child, something to protect her.  Great introduction to fear and its benefits.

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Quiet Wyatt, Super Shy—or Superhero?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quiet Wyatt, Super Shy—or Superhero?
by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Arthur Howard
Clarion Books, 2018

Wyatt, a quiet boy, is paired with Noreen on a field trip; Noreen is anything but quiet.  Noreen boldly goes where she has never gone before, and Wyatt reluctantly follows, quietly.  He often takes the brunt of Noreen’s antics.  She thinks she’s good at noticing the details, while Wyatt notices many, many more details.  Wyatt doesn’t say much, until something happens where he could not stay quiet. Using his voice and his personal strengths, he saves Noreen, and they become friends. (You’ll have to find out ‘how’.)

Perfect book for quiet children, where they are the hero.

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The Old Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Man
by Sarah V and Claude K Dubois
Gecko Press, 2018

The gray illustrations, with a hint of color, capture the lonely and lost demeanor of an old homeless man, a young girl observes.  Winter cold and too early for stores to open, he climbs aboard a bus, but when people arrive, they cry out, “He stinks.” and he deboards quickly.  He goes to the shelter for food, but can’t remember his name and leaves without eating.  The  girl spots him again and offers him a sandwich.  He returns to the shelter for a meal that night and remembers his name.

A gentle look at what it feels like to be homeless.  Great for discussions.

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Geraldine

Geraldine
by Elizabeth Lilly
A Neal Porter Book, 2018

Geraldine moves to a new school where she is the only giraffe and is soon known as “That Giraffe Girl.”  At her old school she was ‘Geraldine”, but here she is “That Giraffe Girl.”  Feeling left out, she hides behind a tree, sort of.  One day another girl sits in Geraldine’s tree spot. The new girl, Cassie, is defensive as everyone calls her names because she’s smart, likes math and organizes her food.  Soon they start playing together, and like it.  One day Geraldine drags Cassie to the lunch table and introduces her as someone who can stay in a handstand for 167 seconds.  The other kids are impressed.  Cassie introduces Geraldine as the Queen of England. The kids are quiet, until Geraldine gives them her most queenly royal wave, and they all laugh.

A beautifully written book that provides a role model showing the importance of being one’s self even when you move to a new school.  I suspect more Geraldine books will soon turn up.

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Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
by Sean Taylor, Illustrated by Jean Jullien
Candlewick Press, 2015

This humorous mystery book keeps the pages turning!

Hoot Owl disguises himself in costumes to sneak up on his prey.  He is not deterred when the rabbit hops away from his carrot disguise.  He immediately locates his next victim and cleverly creates his next disguise.  But lo, his victims never end up in his tummy, until the last one!  This g rated ending provides a humorous, satisfying conclusion.

With creative descriptions, tension and repetitive phrases, young readers will want to read this clever story again and again.

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The Day You Begin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018

Jacqueline Woodson writes a deeply felt book on diversity as only she can.

Told in second person, the books speaks frankly to its readers about how “no one … is quite like you.”  She shares many ways in which everyone is different from everyone else.  She shows how her summer story of reading books to her sister can be just as wonderful as everyone else’s stories of summer travel.  And it shows how even when you are excluded from teams and play, how you still have “your own brave self”.  It ends with, “every … friend has something a little like you—and something else so fabulously not quite like you…”  A book that speaks to the heart and gently enlightens and empowers the soul and imagination into a world of acceptance of differences.  Beautiful story.

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Winter Dance

Winter Dance
by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017

Written in a poetic voice, a fine red fox introduces young readers to how winter creatures survive winter.

When the first snowflake falls from the sky, fine red fox wonders what he should do.  From the woolly caterpillar soon-to-be butterfly, from turtles who bury themselves in the mud, and from the snowshoe hare who turns white, fox is given solutions.  Each time, fox declares, “That won’t do for me.”   What will he do?  As the snow gently turns the land white, another fox joins him and they dance, what foxes do in nature!  A gentle story about animals and how they adapt to winter.  Illustrated in soft, winter colors and the bold orange for the fox, the artist shows the curious fox study each suggestion to see how he might use it.  Endearing illustrations.

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Hush Hush, Forest

Hush Hush, Forest
by Mary Casanova, woodcuts by Nick Wroblewski
University of Minnesota Press, 2018

Award-winning author, Mary Casanova, brings readers another story that introduces young readers to nature. Hush Hush, Forest introduces late-fall moving into winter where animals prepare for the cold.  Rich with forest animals preparing for winter, parent and child can discuss the season’s changes and how animals adapt.  She also sprinkles in other changes, including lengthening shadows, hummingbirds that fly to warmer breezes, and the colorful Northern lights.  The woodcuts give the story a rustic, down-home ambiance to comfort tired souls. Written in a gentle lyrical voice, it is perfect for bedtime.

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