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Showing posts from December, 2019

Best 9 Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2019

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Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
by Rob Sanders, 
illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr
"This book is a standout among the growing number of books for kid's addressing equal rights and human rights. Rather than tell readers what to fight for, Sanders shows them the many ways to protest peacefully. Sanders begins his book with this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means." His dedication, which I found very moving and meaningful, reads, "In honor of those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and those who found their voices." From start to finish, there is a poetic flow to Sanders's words and Schorr's illustrations - and so much to unpack. This is a book you will return to often over time."
Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!
by Marley Dias, with Siobhan McGowan, introduction by Ava Duvernay
"Tired of being assigned literature that was almost exclusively about white b…

Best Picture Books I Read in 2019 (plus two . . .)

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Noodlephant by Jacob Kramer,  illustrated by K-Fai Steele "Kramer's story definitely conveys the oppression of an oligarchical government in a way that all kids can understand - through love of noodles and loss of noodles."
Another by Christian Robinson "Robinson's illustrations, with his mix of collage, drawing and painting, standout for their uniqueness in the world of kid's books, but also his gift for connecting with with his story and characters. It is deeply gratifying to see that, in his debut as author and illustrator, Robinson delivers an unforgettable, imaginative celebration of a book!"
Most of the Better Things in the Natural World by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Angel Chang  "An immersive, enchanting visceral experience, taking readers on a journey through the world that is both expansive and intimate."
The Undefeated  by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson "As Alexander writes in his author's note, 'this poem is . . . …

books4yourkids is taking a break

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I'm taking the week off from reviewing books. See you next week with my favorites of 2019! I'll still be posting on Instagram @books4yourkids and I have created these new Pinterest boards

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill, 135 pp, RL 4

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The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill Published by Oni Press Purchased from Barnes & Noble  In this sequel to to The Tea Dragon Society, we find Erik and his partner Hesekeil traveling to Silverleaf, Erik's childhood home high in the mountains, hoping to find a mysterious creature with a bounty on its head. There, Erik's niece, Rinn is practicing to apprentice to a chef, foraging in the wilds around her for ingredients for her dishes - and those of her fellow villagers. While hunting for goatshorn mushrooms, Rinn comes across a dragon who has been asleep for eighty years. Rinn invites Aedhan, who can take human form or dragon form, back to Silverleaf, where they are preparing for their annual Tea Dragon Festival and, with the help of Erik and Hesekeil, they try to figure out what put Aedhan to sleep. As Erik and Hese hunt for clues, Aedhan helps Rinn find the elusive goatshorn mushroom. Together, Aedhan helps Rinn discover that doing what they love can also be a useful…

Made by Hand: A Craft Sampler by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Becca Stadlander

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Made by Hand: A Craft Sampler byCarole Lexa Schaefer illustrated byBecca Stadlander Review Copy fromCandlewick Press Made by Hand: A Craft Sampler brings twelve one-of-a-kind objects made in the 18th and 19th centuries to the page, with shared stories about the people who created them and the inspiration behind their creation. While most of these stories, are based in fact, Schaefer also invents and embellishes stories that give readers an idea of the historical time and place. Schaefer's welcome invites readers to, "enjoy the usefulness and pleasure these handmade objects brought to people in the past, and to consider what you might try crafting with your hands in your own time."
The story of the terrestrial globe from 1810 is both the first in the book and the one most rooted in fact. A blacksmith by trade, James Wilson's fascination with exploration inspired him to work to earn the $130 needed to purchase an "eighteen-volume set of the 1797 Encyclopedia Britannica…

What Will These Hands Make? by Nikkie McClure

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What Will These Hands Make? by Nikki McClure Review Copy from AbramsKids Nikki McClure's work is always a celebration and an inspiration, whether she is turing her artist's eye to nature, creativity, sustainability, or community. With What Will These Hands Make, the author/illustrator who creates her illustrations using an X-Acto blade knife to cut black paper celebrates all of these things in one poetic tribute to making things by hand and the many ways this connects us with others. From something as small as a hat for a baby's head to something as grand as a bridge or a boat, McClure asks and answers, with every page turn, "What will these hands make?" Beginning with a family preparing for a birthday celebration, a girl (who, on the previous page is seen following a pattering and cutting red fabric into a fish shape) can be seen hugging her creation, McClure leads readers from the home and out into the neighborhood where others can be seen making things with their …

Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island by Jennifer Thermes

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Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island  by Jennifer Thermes Review Copy from Abrams Kids
No matter where you live or if you have even been to Manhattan, Jennifer Thermes' has created a stunningly illustrated, fascinating slice of history in her picture book, Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island, that is sure to entertain and educate. As the title suggests, Thermes tells the story of the centuries of constant change through detailed maps, inspired by historic archives. Beginning with glaciers melting, then moving on to the Lenape, who called the island Manhatta, which means "island of many hills," Thermes builds up to the Commissioners' Grid Plan of 1811. Thermes, who notably includes people of color in almost every illustration (including the sister and brother, seen above, who travel through time in this book), does not shy away from the darker parts of the island's history, especially with sidebars. This includes the Collect Pond, where, in the 1700s, free…

Here and Now by Julia Denos, illustrated by E. B. Goodale

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 Here and Now by Julia Denos Illustrated by E. B. Goodale Review Copy from Houghton Mifflin Two years ago, I reviewed Windows, the first picture book collaboration from Denos and Goodale, calling it a gift of a book. Here and Now is yet another thoughtful gift of a book that grew out of Denos' mediation practice. Beginning with the words, "Right here, right now, you are reading this book," the mostly white page shows hands holding the book, exactly where your own hands would be if you were reading out loud and had someone sitting in your lap. With each page turn, words and pictures bring awareness to the present moment while also expanding out from right where you are to the world beneath and around you, peacefulness radiating from every page. Bringing readers back again to the moment of sitting and reading this book, Denos reminds readers of all the other things that are happening in this moment, all over the world; "Rain is forming in the belly of a cloud. . . An idea…