Read Your World

Americans by Douglas Wood

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Back of Book:
What makes Americans great?

Americans are different from one another in many ways. And despite these differences, Americans share certain ways of doing and being that hold us all together. From the Fourth of July to the Bill of Rights, Douglas Wood and Elizabeth Sayles share the story of what it is to be American.
My Review:
When I walked by this book at the bookstore and saw the cover, I knew that I wanted to read this book. The text in this book is nothing short of poetic. Each page teaches readers about something that Americans do. They love, create, dream, fight, choose and more. I absolutely love each description of what the American people do. The text tells readers about the historic events that have made America strong, diverse, and different from other places in the world. It talks about the Bill of Rights, The 4th of July, National Parks and more. The illustrations are beautiful and detailed. I love the diversity and history outlined in each picture. This book should be a part of every classroom library.

40 Pages

Ages 5 and up

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math, National Womens Month, Science, STEM

The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

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Back of Book:
After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted―finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.
My Review:
Anytime I pick up a book by Julia Finley Mosca I know that I am going to learn about an important piece history. I love that Julia has a passion to share great female scientists with a new generation of readers. Raye Montague was a true pioneer in the field of submarines. She never let what others thought or said affect her work or her determination to do her best.

The rhyming scheme of the text is honest and powerful! The illustrations are detailed and allow readers to see blueprints of the submarines. They tie the story together beautifully.
The back of the book has fantastic information about Raye. Including facts and tidbits from the authors chat with Raye, a detailed timeline, color photos, and more information about Rayes amazing accomplishments.
This is an excellent book to incorporate into any STEM or STEAM unit. I look forward to seeing what else Julia in mind for her readers.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Skills Children Learn

Marigold Finds the Magic Words by Mike Malbrough

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Back of Book:

Marigold is throwing himself the most amazing birthday party ever! He’s baked himself an enormous birthday cake and planned everything well in advance. Everyone is ready for something extraordinary. Something…magical! But when Marigold tries to make a bouquet of flowers disappear, a pesky finch appears in its place. That’s not right at all! At every turn, Marigold’s magic trick gets derailed until the distractions are too much to bear, and Marigold launches into a full-on feline frenzy, making everything–and everyone– disappear. What magic words can save the day?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Philomel Books Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Marigold is back with more fun antics that are sure to create a fit of giggles with readers. In this book, Marigold is attempting to create fun magic tricks to awe his friends. Instead of creating tricks, Marigold messes everything up until he makes everyone disappear. It is only when he realizes that he has to use polite words will everything be okay.
This story is filled with several important messages that children can learn from. Including not taking yourself too seriously. The book also teaches readers the importance of not losing your temper. The final message that I saw in this story is the importance of showing children how important manners are. Marigold realizes that if he uses the word please, everything returns. I can see this book in a unit to teach social and emotional learning. Mike has created another fantastic story that will keep readers engaged and smiling. My students loved the illustrations and I loved that my students learned so much while enjoying reading. I highly recommend this story!
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Kindergarten stories

The Night Before Kindergarten Graduation by Natasha Wing

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Back of Book:
Get ready for a major milestone: kindergarten graduation! Of course, there’s a lot of preparation the night before as kids prepare for the momentous occasion.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Penguin House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
The Night Before Kindergarten Graduation is a spot on look at the joy, and sometimes craziness that occurs before graduation. As a Kindergarten teacher, each page brought up a memory and made me smile. The text is written with a fun and engaging rhyming scheme that will catch readers attention from the first page, The illustrations are the bright and familiar images that are apart of all of The Night Before Series. My students are going to love hearing this story. A perfect read aloud to end the school year.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Black History Month, Civil Rights

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

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Back of Book:
this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith, and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Versify publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This is a serious and dynamic picture book that is a true ode to the struggles and triumphs of the African American people. The poetry is written with a deep and haunting style that readers will remember long after reading it. The illustrations by Kadir Nelson are sobering and inspiring. I loved the group of men and women that are featured within the pages. It shows readers many different heroes that made s stand for what they believed in.
This is the type of book that can open up conversations about so many important topics. It is the type of book that is rare and needs to be treasured and shared.
The back of the book has a note from the author as well as a list of the historical events and people that are featured in the book. This needs to be in every elementary and classroom library across the country.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

Growth Mindset, Skills Children Learn

Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller

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Back of Book:
Heartfelt and timeless, Remarkably You is an inspirational manifesto about all of the things—little or small, loud or quiet—that make us who we are.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Pat Zietlow Miller in exchange for an honest review.
As a teacher, I am always on the lookout for books that I can use in my classroom to promote self-awareness. It is so important for me to let my students know how unique and special they are. This story is a stunning addition to my collection. The rhyming scheme and strong descriptive words come together to create a moving story that celebrates the importance of individuality. The pictures by illustrator Patricia Barton are filled with detail and color. They showcase a variety of diversity and activities. The message within these pages is one that all students should hear. It shows readers that they all remarkable!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages Back of Book:

Biography, National Womens Month

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee

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Kathrine Switzer changed the world of running. This narrative biography follows Kathrine from running laps as a girl in her backyard to becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with official race numbers in 1967. Her inspirational true story is for anyone willing to challenge the rules.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Her Fearless Run is an inspiring nonfiction picture book about one woman’s journey to challenge the rules and run in the Boston Marathon. The story follows Katherine from a young girl who loved to run to a young woman who had a dream. Katherine was told repeatedly that women were not strong enough to run in a marathon. Instead of believing them, she practiced until she was ready to compete. In a world where women were considered fragile, Katherine proved that they were strong. The illustrations by Ellen Rooney are absolutely fabulous! The images jump off the page and allow the readers to feel like they are apart of the story. The back of the book has detailed authors note that shares more about women and the Boston Marathon. For her debut picture book, Kim has created a story that will allow all readers to stand up and cheer with Katherine. I cannot wait to see what Kim writes next.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Skills Children Learn

The Good Egg by Jory John

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Back of Book:
Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed.
But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten.
As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect.
So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change…
My Review:
In the four years, I have been teaching I have seen several children who at the young age of five are already perfectionists. The constant testing and standards that students must achieve can make them feel like they will crack under pressure. The Good Egg is a fantastic story to teach children that it is okay if they are not always perfect. Today’s society has become focused on how to do everything and never stop going. This story allows readers to realize how to take a step back and enjoy their lives. The illustrations by Pete Oswald are colorful and full of detail. They bring egg to life in a fun and engaging way. This story can be used in the classroom in a multitude of ways. It is a perfect addition to any social and emotional learning unit.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Easter

How to Track an Easter Bunny by Sue Fliess

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Back of Book:
Legend has it that the only way to find all the hidden Easter eggs is to track an Easter Bunny’s every move. . . . But be careful: Easter Bunnies hop fast! To find one, you’ll need to be clever in crafting a tricky nest. So, grab some nest supplies, glitter, and glue, and get prepared for your sly holiday visitor!

On the night before Easter, the Easter Bunny will show up to hide her eggs and then disappear as quickly as she came. However, if you’re careful and clever and quick, you can set up a bunny nest that will let you track the Easter Bunny, and then you’ll be sure to find all her hidden treasures, no matter where they might be!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Sky Pony Press in exchange for an honest review.
The Easter season s upon us and with that comes enjoying fantastic read alouds with my students. I am already a fan of Sue Fliess and was thrilled to see that she had written another book. The story follows a group of children as they set a trap for the Easter Bunny. The rhyming scheme is engaging and creative Each action or descriptive word is bolded and written in another color. I loved that the book teaches readers about the original creation of making a bunny nest. The illustrations by Simona Sanfilippo are bright, vibrant, and filled with detail. The back of the book has a history of the Easter nest and instructions on how readers can create their own. It adds another layer to the story and creates a great activity to do in the classroom. This is a book that can be enjoyed over and over again.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Gardens and plants, Grandparents, spring

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan

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Back of Book:
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised (and disappointed) to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Press in exchange for an honest review.
I was thrilled to read such a touching and beautiful story from debut author Jamie L. B. Deeniham. The story follows a little girl who receives a unique gift of a lemon tree from her grandma. Instead of being disappointed, the girl turns lemons into lemonade and finds a way to bring her neighborhood together. This story ties in so many messages including respect for elders, hard work, patience, and placing others before yourself. I loved how the end of the story shows the young girl buying something that everyone can enjoy. The text is written in a second person narrative which keeps readers engaged throughout the story. The illustrations by Lorraine Rocha are whimsical and warm. The details within the pages are amazing and include a diverse group of children playing and learning together. The special note from the author about the cancer ribbons in the pages especially touched my heart. My favorite illustration is the one with all the children placing their toys and gadgets down to work in the garden.
This is a beautiful story that is perfect for any garden or spring unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Parents, Read Your World, Skills Children Learn

Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color by Monique Fields

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Back of Book:
A young biracial girl looks around her world for her color. She finally chooses her own, and creates a new word for herself―honeysmoke.
My Review:
Once in a while, I come across a book that stops me in my tracks and amazes me at the depth of today’s kidlit. HoneySmoke is one of those books. The story follows a young girl named Simone as she tries to find her place in the world. She asks her parents is she is black or white? Her parents tell her that she is a bit of both. Simone wants a color of her very own and sets off to find it. She asks her friends and compares the colors around her. Finally, she realizes that her special color is a mixture of her two parents.
I loved the positive message that all humans have different skin tones and that is what makes them unique. It encourages biracial children to explore their colors and label it with a special name. There is even a place in the back of the book for children to write in their special name. Readers of all ages will fall in love with Simone and her creative look at how she is. The illustrations by Yesenia Moises are soft and warm. They create a type of magic within the pages. A must have for all elementary and school libraries.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages