• Little i

    Little i
    by Michael Hall
    Greenwillow Books, 2017

    Another winner by Michael Hall!  In this suspenseful tale, Little i loses his dot and sets out to search for it. He searches high and low, until he finds it.  But the dot no longer fits and he leaves it behind to return home.  But on his adventure, Little i had changed.

    Both the text and bright, bold, cut-out graphics personify Little i and his alphabet letter friends inviting children into Little i’s journey. A story to stimulate the ear, eye and heart.

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  • The Water Walker

    The Water Walker
    by Joanne Robertson
    Second Story Press, 2017

    Based on a true story that began in 2003, Nokomis (Ojibwe tribe in Ontario Canada) loved water and one day had a dream telling her that water will one day be more valuable than gold if we didn’t take care of it.  In her dream she was asked what she would do.  She and three friends formed the Mother Earth Water Walkers and set off to walk around the entire great lakes to get the public’s attention on water conservation. During 2015 she put nearly 4,500,000 footsteps on her sneakers.

    Told simply, and using Ojibwe words throughout, I found this story inspiring, that one person in simple ways can bring attention to a public need.

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  • I am a Cat

    I am a Cat
    by Galia Bernstein
    Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2018

    A gray tabby cat, Simon, introduces himself to a roomful of large cats—think lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, etc.—and claims he is just like them. The large cats, of course, find that hilarious and laugh at Simon.  Each large cat introduces himself and what makes him distinctive. Simon challenges them how they can all be the same, when they each are different, and the large cats list off what they have in common and Simon quickly responds, “I have all of those things.  Only smaller.”  Find out how Simon gets them to agree they are all cats.

    A hilarious read that introduces young readers to the world of large and small cats.

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  • Rescue and Jessica, A Life-Changing Friendship











    Rescue and Jessica, A Life-Changing Friendship
    by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon
    Candlewick Press, 2018

    Jessica, the hero in the story, writes of her and her service dog’s journey together.

    In the opening scene, Rescue learns he is not meant to be a Seeing Eye dog, but he would be great as a service dog.  He’s disappointed. Meanwhile Jessica has her left leg amputated, which changes her whole life.  Rescue learns all the commands to be a service dog and Jessica learns to walk with a prosthetic leg. When Jessica decides to get a service dog, Rescue graduates from training and they get each other.  Love at first sight, they do everything together.

    Readers follow both Jessica, as she learns to cope with her new disability, and Rescue, as he learns to help others.

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  • A Movie in My Pillow

    A Movie in My Pillow
    by Jorge Arguenta, illustrations by Elizabeth Gomez
    Children’s Book Press, 2001

    A boy from El Salvador escapes from his country and arrives in San Francisco with his father, leaving the rest of his family behind.  Their story is told in poems, written in both English and Spanish and illustrated with bold, bright colors of El Salvador.  Poems tell of his life in El Salvador, as well as the early days in the States.

    The poems tell of his neighborhood where “you can taste/a soup of languages/in the wind.”  Other poems are about common experiences any boy might have, “Shadow/…you make me mad//because/every time/we race/you always win.”

    The heart-song words and colorful illustrations make this an endearing story that will reach into a child’s heart.

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  • Willow Finds a Way











    Willow Finds a Way

    by Lana Button, illustrated by Tania Howells
    Kids Can Press, 2013

    Kristabelle decided she was the boss and everyone did what she wanted. When her birthday neared she made of list of everyone’s name and said “You can come if you are on my birthday list!”  But then she used the list to coerce the others to do what she wanted. Sometimes Willow didn’t want to do Kristabelle wanted, but did so she could go to the party.  In time Kristabelle removed two names when two kids did not comply. This made everyone mad, and quiet Willow wanted to say, “Kristabelle, you’re mean.” But the words just didn’t come out.  But she did think of something she could do.  In front of everyone, she took the list and crossed out her name!

    A powerful story of standing up for oneself, even when dealing with a bully.

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  • We are Brothers

    We are Brothers
    by Yves Nadon, illustrated by Jean Claverie
    Creative Editions, 2018

    Stirring. Riveting. Heartfelt. We are Brothers tells the tale of how a younger brother is encouraged by his big brother to jump from rocks high above the water.

    Told from the younger brother’s point of view, and in a poetic voice, we see “the wall.”  We feel the fear, “Not now”.  Surprised, the younger brother climbs the wall with the ease of a cat.  At top, he hesitates. Trusting his brother, he finally jumps…and everything is silent as he falls.  He’s thrust into the water, then returns to the surface like a fish.  Big brother celebrates the first jump, then they do it again.  As brothers.

    The illustrations by award-winning French artist are soft, gentle, exquisite. They capture and show the feelings involved with the first jump from a high place. They show the trust the young brother feels from the encouragement of a loving big brother.

    If you like this story, also check out Jabari Jumps, a story about a father supporting a boys first jump into a pool.

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  • Up in the Leaves, The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses










    Up in the Leaves, The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses
    by Shira Boss, illustrated by Jamey Christoph
    Sterling Children’s Books, 2018

    Bob Redman does not like the feel of crowded New York. But he does like climbing lampposts, going up on building roofs and climbing castle walls at the park. And he loves the cool, green, calm park. He soon finds great hiding places up in the trees.  One day he builds a small platform in a tree so he can read his books.  When his treehouse disappeared, he built a bigger one, then a bigger one, inviting up friends.  He built a total of 12 treehouses until, when he became of age, park staff called for him to come down from his treehouse.  As they had followed his adventures for years, they asked if he could like to work for the park and take care of the trees.  Wonderful story inviting readers to follow their dreams, no matter how tall they become!

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  • Mommy’s Khimar










    Mommy’s Khimar
    by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Emony Glenn
    Salaam Reads, 2018

    A perfect book to introduce khimars to young readers.

    A young girl plays dress up with her mommy’s khimar.  We learn they come in many colors and she uses it in many ways.  We even learn the young girl plays with it when mommy isn’t looking! She’s a superhero, flies with her daddy and wraps her brother.  So many ways to use it and places to wear it, that by the end of the story a newcomer to a khimar feels comfortable with one. A loving mother-daughter story and the perfect book for those unfamiliar with khimars.

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  • Am I Yours?












    Am I Yours?
    by Alex Latimer
    Peachtree, 2018

    Two hundred million years ago, in the age of dinosaurs, a great wind pushed an egg out of its nest. It rolled far down the hill until it landed in the valley.  No one stopped to claim the egg, so the dino inside the egg started asking, “Excuse me, please, but am I yours?  One by one each dinosaur asked if it had body parts that matched his or her own body parts, long neck, three horns, a crest, etc.  Until the sun sets…and they see its profile and they know exactly who the egg belongs to.

    This story seems to speak to that part of a child that wants to know it belongs.  A lovely story.

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