Saturday, July 18, 2020

This or That: What Will You Choose at the British Museum

This book will be perfect for any I Spy fanatics and it’s the perfect time for it as many museums doors are closed at the present.  There are virtual tours and exhibits of museum and other cultural spaces but sometimes you just want to hold a book.  The layout of the photos of artifacts is eye catching and engaging for readers young and old.  I enjoyed searching the page for the prompted items and wondering about others as well. Enjoy our trip to the museum!
Title: This or That: What Will You Choose at the British Museum
Author: Pippa Goodhart
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1223-5
Published 2019 by Nosy Crow

Thursday, July 16, 2020

What I Like Most

This feels like an updated (and lovely) version of “The Important Book”.  Each of the items that the characters likes most is representative of what she values.  Like The Important Book and many others before it, this book offers a student writing opportunity to reflect on what they like most – a great community building and getting to know you/beginning of the year book.  My favorite is the book. “It has a story about someone quite like me.” Every child needs to see themselves reflected in literature. And my next favorite is the end (which I won’t give away) but it is beautiful and as a result this would make an excellent gift for the addition of a new baby to a family.

Title: What I Like Most
Author: Mary Murphy
Illustrator: Zhu Cheng - Liang
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0940-2
Published 2019 by Candlewick Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Same But Different Too

Acknowledging that what makes us the same and different is not a new concept. Students have sorted shapes in primary math lessons by attributes and created patterns using those different attributes for as long as I’ve been teaching.  This book acknowledges differences in a very positive light, with admiration for the differences and ways that each of us is special.  Some examples: But I can’t drink the way you do. I can’t climb as high as you. I can’t hide as well as you (with an illustration of a zebra in front of a black and white striped wall). To name a few examples and my favorite: I love stories. So do you. A universal truth.
Title: The Same But Different Too
Author:  Karl Newsom
Illustrator: Kate Hindley
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1201-3
Published 2019 by Nosy Crow

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity

The artwork throughout The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity is stunning.  The color palette transports the reader to another time and place where they can be a part of the story of Ramanujan’s young life. Patterns in nature, city planning, and architecture reveal themselves to return to the root of mathematics and numbers.

Lining up pots (or other objects) and tantrums may reveal themselves to a current day reader as being linked to behaviors indicative of a child on the autism spectrum and Ramanujan’s single minded focus, or perseverance on numbers reinforces that connection further.  His brilliance and opportunity to collaborate at Cambridge are a result of his persistence. Readers can learn the value of grit and persistence demonstrated by Ramanujan as well as the power of following your passion.
Title: The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity
Author: Amy Alznauer
Illustrator: Daniel Miyares
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9048-9
Published 2020 by Candlewick Press

Monday, July 13, 2020

Zero Local Next Stop: Kindness

This mostly wordless picture book is absolutely stunning!  The narrative that persists throughout is that kindness is contagious and has its own ripple effects both in brightening the day of others and in inspiring others to be change makers themselves.  The pops of yellow throughout the otherwise black and white pencil drawings help to highlight the moment when each person is touched by the gift of kindness.
Title: Zero Local Next Stop: Kindness
Author: Ethan and Vita Murrow
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9747-1
Published 2020 by Candlewick Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fergus and Zeke and the Field Day Challenge

A little late to the game, but I had been planning to blog about this in a more timely fashion to align with our school’s field day. Alas, life and work obligations got in the way. But (fingers crossed) we will mark field day again next year and Fergus and Zeke and the Field Day Challenge will make for a perfect read aloud when that time approaches again in 2021.  Fergus and Zeke could also make for a great read aloud with STEM extensions.  For example, students could imagine creating the field day challenges from the book for the mice characters, plan, design, and build models to emulate the activities the students engage in for the mice.

Title: Fergus and Zeke and the Field Day Challenge
Author: Kate Messner
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0202-1
Published 2020 by Candlewick Press

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Houndsley and Catina at the Library

At our school library, we have a program called “Celebration Books”. These books are given in honor of the recipient for any number of reasons – marking a birthday (the perfect non-food gift to have a classroom read aloud in honor of a student’s birthday!), the end of the school year, the birth of a baby, retirement and even in memory of someone who is deceased.  Houndsley and Catina at the Library sparked me as a perfect book to gift someone in marking the time of their retirement (especially a librarian!). So if you find you’re looking for a great retirement gift, consider donating this title to your local public or school library!  It could also be used to mark the beginning of a new career – as…every end is a new beginning.
Title: Houndsley and Catina at the Library
Author: James Howe
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9662-7
Published 2020 by Candlewick Press