The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a great story that tells the history behind the twin towers. Louis Petit was a tight roper who walked the ropThe Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a great story that tells the history behind the twin towers. Louis Petit was a tight roper who walked the ropes between the twin towers when they were first constructed. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and the reader gets a vivid picture if they were actually watching him walk the ropes. It ties in 9/11 and would be a great book to bring up the discussion about this tragedy. Overall, this is a great book for any age and people of all ages would appreciate this book. ...more
This is a heartwarming story of the Maasai Tribe and the incredible gift they give to another country. Set in western Kenya, the cow is the way of lifThis is a heartwarming story of the Maasai Tribe and the incredible gift they give to another country. Set in western Kenya, the cow is the way of life for these people and they treat them with great respect and honor. One of the tribe members, Kimeli is studying in New York City when the September 11th Attacks occurred and is decides he must do something to help. He returns to Kenya and informs his tribe of the catastrophe that has occurred in the United States. Kimeli decides he will offer his only cow, the most valuable thing he owns. The elders give him their blessing and the tribe comes together to brainstorm other gifts they can give to the United States. Other members also offer their cows and a total of 14 precious cows will be given as gifts. The tribe has a sacred ritual ceremony dressing in their traditional garments and invites the American ambassador to accept the gift as a symbol to help comfort the country through this difficult time. This book shows the sacrifice other nations made to help our country following the attacks of 9-11. I was required to read this book for a project on the Notable Books for a Global Society. This was my favorite book and absolutely enjoyed every page. I will definitely use this book in my classroom one day and I encourage other teachers to do the same. ...more
This is the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline ending the league in the late 1940’s. From the beginniThis is the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline ending the league in the late 1940’s. From the beginning African American baseball players faced many difficulties trying to establish themselves in the world of professional athletics. This story gives insight about the many obstacles these players overcame in order to carve the way for some of today’s great African American baseball players. Facing racial discrimination, segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay the first negro baseball players, but aside all of these challenges to continue playing the game they loved. When the word’s “play ball” were said it was almost as if all of these issues had magically disappeared and the players were at ease on the diamond. Learning about the Negro Baseball League through We are the Ship provided me with a ton of information about the struggles these men went through all to play a simple game. This book does a phenomenal job of providing in-depth treatment about this cultural issue and the discrimination faced by African American baseball players. Readers are informed about the key players, major turning points, and events that helped to establish the league. Kadir Nelson does not try to sugar coat the harsh realities of life in the Negro Baseball League and puts it all out there providing in-depth details about every event along the way. The beautiful illustrations in combination with the text create a culturally rich story. Nelson’s illustrations are so magnificent that the reader is often bored with the text and the pictures capture their attention. ...more
No matter where you are born, each child born has ten little fingers and ten little toes. This wonderful book is about how every single baby shares thNo matter where you are born, each child born has ten little fingers and ten little toes. This wonderful book is about how every single baby shares the one simple characteristic of having ten little fingers as well as ten little toes. Although we all may come from different parts of the world, and live in different environments it is important to remember the simple commonalities we share with one another. This would be a great book to read to preschool or early elementary age students displaying a simple yet meaningful lesson....more
"Fly free, fly free, in the sky so blue!" This is a beautiful story about paying forward kindness. The message is very clear without hitting you over"Fly free, fly free, in the sky so blue!" This is a beautiful story about paying forward kindness. The message is very clear without hitting you over the head and very easy for children to interpret. I love that it incorporates aspect of another culture, yet still depicts such an important lesson. The illustrations complement the text with simple colored pencil artwork. Overall, this is a simple, yet meaningfully story. ...more
This story would be fabulous to use as part of a history lesson. I remember learning about slavery in school and it was always very overwhelming. ThisThis story would be fabulous to use as part of a history lesson. I remember learning about slavery in school and it was always very overwhelming. This books is a cohesive combination of beautiful illustrations unfolding a story about a families experience with slavery. Students are able to understand the story's message and are engaged by the breathtaking photos. I plan on using this book in my classroom down the road and I recommend it to other teachers as well.
This is the story of Cinderella as seen through the eyes of various countries worldwide. Paul Fleishman blends the many different variations of this sThis is the story of Cinderella as seen through the eyes of various countries worldwide. Paul Fleishman blends the many different variations of this story is this is told by a young mother who is re-telling her version of Cinderella to her young daughter. Each page of the story celebrates and elaborates on the Cinderella story and her daily life. There are small differences in the Cinderella story, yet the message remains the same. Cinderella wears different clothing representing different countries and incorporates other aspects of her daily life that are representative of another culture. The countries of Mexico, Korea, Iraq, Russia, Iran, India, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Germany, Appalachia (U.S.), Laos, Indonesia, Japan, China, France, the West Indies and Poland, are highlighted in the story allowing readers to see that despite our differences all cultures share similar experiences. I cannot decide if I like this book or not, but I do believe it is a quality piece of multicultural literature that would appeal to all students....more
This is a cute fantasy story about the power of children wishing on a story. The story incorporates the children's wishes with math allowing studentsThis is a cute fantasy story about the power of children wishing on a story. The story incorporates the children's wishes with math allowing students to be introduced to math in a literacy lesson. As the children make their wishes and seen what they receive, the illustrations display fractions to explain math concepts, but also how the wishes add together. The children continue receiving portions of what they wish for, until one night they decide they want to wish for a pig, but are hoping they will get a whole pig. They use their math skills to add up each childs fraction to see if they will make a whole. This is a great book for helping students understand fractions, but teaching them in a fun, creative manner. ...more
I love this book! My mom read it to me as a child and this past week I read it again for one of my teaching and learning courses. I still experiencedI love this book! My mom read it to me as a child and this past week I read it again for one of my teaching and learning courses. I still experienced the same emotions and my opinion of this book has not changed, it is fabulous. It is a great book for young readers and definitely a children's classic that all children should be introduced too!...more
Poor Andrew Marcus! The curious second grader is upset that he does not have freckles and is on a quest to acquire a pair of his own. A fellow classmaPoor Andrew Marcus! The curious second grader is upset that he does not have freckles and is on a quest to acquire a pair of his own. A fellow classmate Sharon has a secret family recipe that she says will give Andrew freckles, but it will cost him. Andrew is so eager to have freckles that he pays Sharon fifty cents for her recipe. He returns home to prepare the Freckle Juice which consisted of grape juice, vinegar, mustard, mayonaise, lemon juice, pepper, salt, ketchup, olive oil, and a speak on onion. Andrew is sadly tricked by Sharon's recipe and instead of freckles he gets a horrible stomach ache. The following day Andrew returns to school with blue dots on his face to prove he too could have freckles. ...more
I read Brain Rules for one of my Teaching and Learning Classes about incorporating Health & Fitness into an Elementary Classroom. Medina has 12 RuI read Brain Rules for one of my Teaching and Learning Classes about incorporating Health & Fitness into an Elementary Classroom. Medina has 12 Rules of the Brain and each chapter gives an indepth analysis of each rule. The rules include information on the following topics: exercise, stress, survival, sleep and 8 remaining others. I found the book to be very informative, but a bit of a boring read. A large portion of the information will be applicable to me as a teacher, but I wish the book had been more engaging. ...more
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of eleven year old Delphine and her younger sisters journey to visit their mother who left foOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of eleven year old Delphine and her younger sisters journey to visit their mother who left following the birth of her youngest sister Fern. The girls have lived their entire life in Brooklyn with their father and grandmother and do not think much about their mother, as they are content with their current life. Her father decides to send the three girls to visit their mother in California for a month during the summer in order to get to know her. Delphine does not have high expectations of the trip, but the girls imagine visiting Disneyland, beaches, and all the fabulous attractions in California. Much to their surprise they arrive in California to meet their mother who is not excited about the girls arrival. Cecile is a poet known in the Black Panthers Community and the children’s arrival is a huge inconvenience to her work. Delphine has to step up to the mothering role and take care of her sister and does not experience the summer she had expected. The end of the story is touching as one might expect Cecile will never turn around, but the girls accept their mother and struggle leaving her behind. ...more
My Friend Rabbit written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann has colorful animal illustrations engaging young readers. The story is about the main charactMy Friend Rabbit written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann has colorful animal illustrations engaging young readers. The story is about the main characters friend rabbit who cannot seem to keep himself out of trouble and the stories of his adventures. There are very few words throughout the story so the reader must pay special attention to the illustrations. The use of primary colors gives children a sense of familiarity and in some parts they can guess what will happen next. The reader can look at the illustrations and receive hints of the events of occur or infer understanding based on the pictures. This is not a complex story or one that is meant to teach children a lesson and the illustrations are key to the story. This story demonstrates qualities of a Caldecott winner offering simple, yet beautiful illustrations. ...more
This book was fabulous, all the attention surrounding the book is well worth it! My friends had been telling me to read the book for months and I nowThis book was fabulous, all the attention surrounding the book is well worth it! My friends had been telling me to read the book for months and I now understand why. I am not a huge reader and the Hunger Games captured my attention and I could not stop reading. The action packed scenes and strong characters make this book a must read for anyone. I was sucked in my heart-wrenching plot and was constantly trying to guess what would occur next. I cannot wait to begin the second book in the series and it makes me sad their are only 3 books. It will be interesting to compare the movie to the book, but regardless this is a must read! ...more
With the use of only back and white illustrations in Kitten’s First Full Moon story and pictures by Kevin Henkes it would have been impossible to undeWith the use of only back and white illustrations in Kitten’s First Full Moon story and pictures by Kevin Henkes it would have been impossible to understand the story. The reader can examine the illustrations and identity what the story is trying to portray to readers. The use of colored pencils and gouache is perfect for this story adding minor, yet important details. I enjoyed reading about how the kitten thought the moon was a giant bowl of milk, comparing two objects using simple colors, yet getting the meaning across. This story is a perfect example of a Caldecott winner and great for young readers. I had never read this book before and I absolutely loved it and hope to read it in my classroom one day. ...more
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and pictures by Beth Krommes demonstrates the use of watercolor and scratchboard to capture the reader’sThe House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and pictures by Beth Krommes demonstrates the use of watercolor and scratchboard to capture the reader’s attention. Overall, this is a pretty boring story and without the illustrations many may not have continued reading. It is appropriate for young readers using lots of sight words and three simple colors, black, white, and golden yellow encouraging the reader to continue to the next page. The illustrations progress gradually adding more hints of yellow; in the first couple pages there is minimal use of color and as the story progresses gradually more color is introduced in the illustrations. Overall, I enjoyed the illustrations of this story, but without them I probably would not have continued reading....more
I remember reading Officer Buckle and Gloria as a child and I loved the book. For my teaching and learning class I re-read the story examining the illI remember reading Officer Buckle and Gloria as a child and I loved the book. For my teaching and learning class I re-read the story examining the illustrations and analyzing why the book was deserving of Caldecott medal. This time, I took a different approach and solely examined the illustrations without reading the text and I discovered the beautiful illustrations that embark just as much meaning as the text exemplifying all the necessary qualities of a Caldecott winner. The illustrations in Office Buckle and Gloria display the use of cartoon-like illustrations to produce a wide variety of beautiful pictures. All illustrations encompass the entire page and there is minimal text engaging readers making this a constant page-turner. There is a great variety of primary and bright colored illustrations providing a balance that is not overpowering, but simply the perfect combination of colors. One of the many themes in Office Buckle and Gloria is friendship and the importance of “Sticking with your buddy!” as Officer Buckle says. Officer Buckle is first depicted sad and lonely without a companion to assist him in his safety lessons. Gloria is soon introduced to the story grabbing the attention of the students at his presentations and also engaging students who will read this story. Officer Buckle and Gloria present safety lessons to the children at Napville School. The illustrations with Gloria giving a demonstrations of a safety tips are surreal and the reader truly understands the message which is meant to be portrayed the audience. The companionship Officer Buckle and Gloria share is very special, teaching children the importance of friendships and although there may be bumps along the way, in the end remember to stick together. This is a must read for any elementary school classroom and I highly recommend it!...more
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane Evans is a simple, yet powerful story about the Underground Railroad most appropriate for young rea Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane Evans is a simple, yet powerful story about the Underground Railroad most appropriate for young readers. This story is to complex for young audiences, but the story uses simple sentences such as, “We run.” “We crawl.” “We rest” the perfect combination of sentences encouraging literacy development. Beautiful illustrations of dark blue and blacks portray the story of a family of slaves trying to escape the darkness and seek freedom. Evan’s uses a great contrast darkness to represent slavery and bright yellows to represent freedom as the story ends. This is a great example of how a perfect combination of words and illustrations can come together to create a perfect balance engaging all readers sending an extremely powerful message. The story ends with additional information about the Underground Railroad giving readers a more in-depth analysis of the event and the author/illustrators inspiration behind the book. ...more
The 2012 Caldecott Winner A Ball for Daisy is a perfect example of how illustrations can tell a story. This is a wordless picture book about the fun aThe 2012 Caldecott Winner A Ball for Daisy is a perfect example of how illustrations can tell a story. This is a wordless picture book about the fun a dog can have with her ball. The illustrator, Chris Raschka uses ink, watercolor, and gouache to create simply amazing illustrations. Like many other dogs, Daisy loves her red ball and plays with it on every occasion never leaving her sight. Sadly one day while she is playing with another dog the ball pops and she is left very sad. The days following the loss of her ball Daisy mopes around and is very upset she no longer has her ball to play with. A few days later Daisy and her owner return to the park to find her friend with a brand new blue ball for the pair to play with. After playing with the new ball Daisy returns home with the new ball content and happy. The illustrations in A Ball for Daisy a simply wonderful and words are not necessary to tell the story. ...more
Pink by Lili Wilkinson is an easy read engaging a wide variety of readers. It was defiantly not at all what I expected when I first glanced at the covPink by Lili Wilkinson is an easy read engaging a wide variety of readers. It was defiantly not at all what I expected when I first glanced at the cover, but I enjoyed the book. Ava, the main character is a teenage girl, born to liberal parents who are very accepting of her current lifestyle and relationship with her girlfriend Chloe. Ava is tired wearing the same old clothes and current non-feminine lifestyle that wants a drastic change. She secretly likes the color pink, sort of wants a boyfriend, and most importantly she wants a chance to discover her true self and find out who she really is. Throughout the story the reader is engaged in the story of Ava’s self-discovery and the journey she must go through in order to be happy with herself. She transfers schools, changes her wardrobe, joins new clubs, goes out with boys all to discover what she really wants. Pink embraces the idea that you should not worry about what people think you should be, but just embracing your own individuality and loving yourself. There is a great mix of characters that add a witty sense of humor to the book. The book can be summed up by a quote by Ava’s mother in a deep conversation, “Be strong, believe in freedom, love yourself, understand your sexuality, have a sense of humor, masturbate, don't judge people by their religion, color, or sexual habits, love life and your family." The final chapter of the book ends in a great place for Ava as she is finally beginning to discover her true self.
Charlotte’s Web is a tale of the importance of friendship and unconditional, selfless love. Both children and adults can enjoy this classic piece of cCharlotte’s Web is a tale of the importance of friendship and unconditional, selfless love. Both children and adults can enjoy this classic piece of children’s literature due to its many life lessons that can be beneficial for all ages. I read this book as a child and watched the movie and did not pick up on many of the lessons, but now looking back it is a great book. The main character Wilbur the pig is the runt of his owner had just planned to kill him to feed the family, but is saved by young Fern who plans to look after the pig. Fern cares for Wilbur from his birth until he out grows the house and must live in the barn, but she still visits him outside. Wilbur become lonely in the barn and meets Charlotte the spider. The friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur develops rapidly throughout the story when Wilbur’s life is threatened and he will be slaughtered. Charlotte proves that Wilbur is a not any ordinary pig and sacrifices her own life in order to save Wilbur. Charlotte is a selfless hero and shows readers the importance of friendship and helping one another. Once I began reading I developed and investment in the characters and wanted to continue reading to see what would happen next. The book is summed up by one of White’s quotes, “Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.” Charlotte’s Web is a timeless book that I hope you will take the time to read.
This is a great book for all readers! It was not my favorite book, as I did not like the contrast between personal stories and the narration. I do thiThis is a great book for all readers! It was not my favorite book, as I did not like the contrast between personal stories and the narration. I do think students could take away a great deal from this story and there are many life lessons for students....more
Because of Winn Dixie is a classic piece of children’s literature that should be in any elementary school classroom. I remember reading this book as aBecause of Winn Dixie is a classic piece of children’s literature that should be in any elementary school classroom. I remember reading this book as a story and re-reading it brought back memories of my childhood pets. The main character India Opal has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her father the preacher when on an errand to the grocery store she encounters a large, stray dog that becomes her best friend. Throughout the story the pair embark on many journeys and meet countless friends. Opal is very mature for her age and sometimes displays this through her conversations with others and especially those with her father the preacher. The relationship Opal and Winn Dixie develop can have a great impact on young readers and show them the importance developing friendships and also giving one another second chances. The magical movements throughout Because of Winn Dixie truly engage the reader and can be appropriate for readers of all ages....more