Albert wasn’t like other children. He didn’t speak; he thought. He didn’t play with others; he was fascinated with everything around him. But it is all of this curiosity that led to his revolutionary ideas.
I love how this book focuses on how Albert’s creativity is one of the keys to what made him the amazing scientist that he is. Also, as a teacher of struggling and gifted students, I love the focus on how he didn’t do well in school. It shows how just because a student is different or a disturbance or thinks differently doesn’t mean that they aren’t intelligent. The book definitely promotes wonderings, thinking, and imagination!
I also loved learning about the fun side of Einstein and how he likes to not wear socks, he liked to eat ice cream cones, and overall he just did what he want to have time to think.
Finally, the Author’s Note puts all of Einstein’s theories together so that the reader also gets this information.(less)
Clara and her family immigrated to New York. They were searching for the American dream. When her father could not find a job, Clara quit school and became a garment worker to support her family. The conditions at her factory were appalling: low wages, unfair rules, and locks on the door. After discussions between the workers, Clara helps urge the girls to fight for their rights.
I am sucker for this biographical picture book for two reasons: 1) I had not known about the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 before and I love learning about new historical moments. I know that it interested me (as I know it would for kids), because after I read the additional information about the garment industry I was on the internet searching for more information. 2) Clara is such a great example of girl power! AND she is a historical figure that shows girls (and boys) that girls can stand up for themselves when they are not being treated well (in real life). I love that she overcame so much to not only stand up for her rights, but also to get an education and take care of her family. What an amazing person to learn about.(less)
Imogene is awesome! Her whole life she has loved history and has promoted history. History is her passion. When she finds out that the Liddleville Historical Center is up for demolition, she does everything in her power to save the history center. This, in a nutshell, is what makes her awesome: she is intelligent, passionate, and willing to stand up for her passion. Because of this, and the history allusions throughout the book, make this such an excellent book to use in classrooms. Imogene is such a great role model for any child.
The history aspects of this book were done so cleverly. Throughout Imogene’s story, she uses famous historical quotes to express how she feels at certain points. For example, when she was trying to get others to stop the bulldozing of the historical center dressed in her Paul Revere costume, she rode around Main Street (on her stick horse) yelling, “The bulldozers are coming! The bulldozers are coming!” These clever quotes are throughout the book. Then in the back and front end sheets Imogene’s historical tidbits are shared explaining all of the quotes.(less)
This book is a great book for both science and reading. Students can not only study the different animal bones, but also compare/contrast the skeleton...moreThis book is a great book for both science and reading. Students can not only study the different animal bones, but also compare/contrast the skeletons. This book is set up in a way that will entertain readers and will also teach them something.(less)
Based on Jonathan Bean’s childhood experience, Building Our House follows a family who moves to a piece of land and builds their own home over the course of many years.
What an amazing story! It is even more amazing because it is based off of the author’s true childhood events. In the book, we follow the family from living in a trailer surrounded by bare land to living in their dream home. Though the summary seems so simple, it is much more than just watching a family build a home. It is about being determined, resilient, hardworking, a strong family, and patient. I also see it drawing in readers who are curious by building and tools. Finally, to make this story even better, the illustrations are so intricate and colorful which will also draw in readers (and has gotten it on Mock Caldecott lists).(less)
Jack Prelutsky combines inanimate objects with animals to give us a new collection of fun poetry that is accompanied by Carin Berger’s amazing fine artwork.
I love the concept behind this book. It is set up like an informational nonfiction book with each poem being presented like a specimen. Carin Berger’s artwork is full of found objects that were photographed to add to the nonfiction feeling of each poem. And, of course, Prelutsky adds a sense of humor to each poem as that is what he does.
The creatures that Prelutsky came up with are so clever – SOBCATS who are sad cats, JOLLYFISH who are happy jellyfish, TATTLESNAKE are snakes that won’t stop tattling, and GLOOSE are a bird that keep sticking to everything. And these are just four examples of sixteen in the book.
I cannot review this book without talking about the artwork. I originally chose this book because I saw it on a Mock Caldecott list and I can definitely see why. Carin Berger illustrates this novel with beautiful pieces of artwork. As stated on the copyright page: “The miniature dioramas in this book are assemblages created using a combination of cut paper, found ephemera, vintage engravings (which were scanned, manipulated in Photoshop, and then printed out), beeswax, wire, thread, and wood. Once each piece was made, it was then photographed digitally to prepare the full-color art.” What a fantastic process to discuss with students and it definitely added an essential aspect to the book.(less)