What a hero! It is always so amazing to learn about the surprising heroes during war and other tough times. Stubby is an amazing animal. He overcomes more than most humans will ever encounter. This story is inspiring and also informative about how animals can really change the game....more
I was blown away by how much this book impacted me as I read it. I want to do something right now, so I know that this book will impact young readers. Like Ricki, I was fond of how it was organized. It is ultimately a step-by-step book for leadership, planning, and making a difference in the world.
What I liked the most about the book, though, was the “Profile” sections where actual groups started by kids were highlighted. This really connected it to real life and showed the reader that being a changemaker is definitely something that anyone can do....more
When I finished this book, I was so excited to share the title with my friend whose daughter loves dinosaurs. How Big Were Dinosaurs? introduces the reader to a wide variety of dinosaurs and shares a comparison to a modern object. Very entertaining and informative....more
Jacques Cousteau may be one of the most brilliant, interesting, overlooked men in history. The more I read about him, the more I realize what amazing things he did that were so innovating. This bio of him was just as good as The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau....more
First, if you have never seen a Jason Chin book, you need to get one now just to see the illustrations. Beautiful! Gravity explains gravity in a simple way yet is very scientifically accurate. Great introduction to the natural phenomenon of gravity....more
I knew about the fighting in Beirut, but as it happened when I was very young and is not often discussed, I didn’t know much about it. This graphic novel memoir is an inside look at what it was like to live in Beirut during the fighting. The black and white illustrations are so unique and very much capture the tone of the book....more
What a fun and different way to look at animals. The photographs are very well done, and I loved seeing the close ups of their feet. It also is interactive because it starts with the foot close up and inquiry, then gives the answer. Will keep kids engaged....more
Mama Miti is the first of three amazing ladies that I read about that I did not know about before I read these picture books. I think the stand out of this book is the illustrations as Kadir Nelson is brilliant. I also truly enjoyed learning about Wangari Muta Maathai and her impact on not just the women in her community, but the country itself and how woman are looked upon in her country....more
Peter Spier’s illustrations bring our national anthem to life. Spier carefully researched all lines of them poem as well as other facts about the War of 1812 when the anthem was written and used all of this knowledge to help show the meaning behind Key’s words. In the afterword, Spier shares much of the research to help tie it all together.
In the past, as a school, we actually had students do something very similar. They each received a line from the first verse, and they had to research what it meant and then draw an illustration to share with their classmates the meaning. These were then put together as a book, so that the entire national anthem could be read with illustrations showing the meaning. Students loved the activity, and I really think it helped make history mean more to them than just dates....more
I thought that this book was such a great way to talk about the start of our country. It has fun infographics and illustrations that hold the attention that goes along with chronological information....more
This book isn’t completely nonfiction as it is told from the point of view of the puffin, but I love that it includes some very important information about puffins vs. penguins. As someone who loves penguins (and puffins), I love that someone is finally addressing the confusion between the two. This would be a very fun book to pair with Neversink....more
Wow. I often worry about reading a book that has a lot of hype around it because I fear that I will not love it as much as others do. I should not have been worried about this book. It is beautiful. As Ricki said, I found myself rereading portions of the text just because of how well the verse flowed. By the end of this book, you will wish that you were Woodson’s friend and that you you could write as well as her. The stories she tells are so true and heartfelt that you live her life along with her through the pages. You experience with her the hardship of growing up in the 1960s and 70s during the Civil Rights movement; the challenge of religion and finding the truth in it; the loss, addition, and conflict of family and everything that comes with these changes; and trying to find an identity as a person, sister, daughter, student and a writer. It is only a truly powerful, well-written book that can make you feel all of these elements....more
Alice was an original reality star! She was followed all across the world doing things she wasn’t suppose to do, and the public loved her! I did not know about Alice Roosevelt, so it was so much fun to learn about her shenanigans and true independent spirit....more
My Review: I knew of Emerson’s work, but I didn’t know much about him. This picture book is a perfect introduction into learning about Emerson as a man. And you know what? If this picture paints his personality correctly, he was a wonderful man. He was an intellectual, but also cared about everyone around him. He wanted to listen and learn and be the best neighbor, friend, husband, father, writer, thinker, etc. he could be. Kerley does a great job of showing and sharing with us Emerson’s life.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Since the book is about Emerson, my first thought would be to look at some of Emerson’s work and discuss his life and work including the quotes that are shared throughout the book. Journaling is also a theme throughout the book. Have students start a journal which they think about the world and other thoughts they have throughout the day. Finally, using Barbara Kerley’s website, students could look at how to write a extraordinary biography then pick their own historic person to write about.
However, the author’s afterword gives another suggestion. Use Emerson’s love of life to make your life the best it can be! Have students exam their lives (using the questions in the afterword), and talk about how to live a fulfilling life....more
This is a humorous look at the myth (truth?) that President Taft got stuck in a bathtub when he was president. I will say that I never think making fun of someone’s weight is funny, but I don’t think that is really what the author is poking fun at (though some of the illustrations are very revealing of his overweightness). Throughout the book, he is trying to figure out how to get out and comes up with some crazy ideas calling in his vice president, secretary of state, secretary of war, etc. Each time, they cannot get him out of the bath. In the end, it is his wife that comes up with the idea that removes him....more