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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Christmas

If You Ever Want to Bring a Pirate to Meet Santa, Don’t! (Magnolia Says DON’T!) By Elise Parsley

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Back of Book:
If your dad says you’re going to meet a bearded guy with a red suit and a bag full of treasures…he is not talking about meeting a pirate! But Magnolia has already invited the misbehaving swashbuckler to jump in line to meet Santa. So what if pirates are on the Naughty List? She’ll just teach this one to change his scurvy ways–no plundering or sword-fighting or plank-walking allowed! Plus, Santa is happy to hear everyone’s wish list. Right?
I received a copy of this book from author Elise Parsley in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited to see that Elise wrote a Christmas addition to her very fun DONT series. The ever-entertaining Magnolia is back to share her experience of meeting Santa with a pirate in tow. As usual, what Magnolia means for good, turns into a complicated and entertaining escapade. Magnolia tries her best to teach the naughty pirate manners and the harder she tries the more problems occur! Readers will laugh out loud with the different things that Magnolia and the pirate get involved in. Adults reading this will be able to relate to the challenge of waiting in line and attempting to get children to smile for a photo with Santa. The illustrations are the familiar whimsical images that are apart of Magnolias story. This is a fantastically fun read aloud and perfect for the Christmas season.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Black History Month, Cyblis Awards 2018, History

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present

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Back of Book:
Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers. Jamia Wilson has carefully curated this range of black icons and the book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colorful and celebratory illustrations.. All children deserve to see themselves represented positively in the books they read. Highlighting the talent and contributions of black leaders and changemakers from around the world, readers of all backgrounds will be empowered to discover what they too can achieve. Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream… whatever it may be.
My Review:
I was excited to read this book as a part of the Cybils Awards. It is a fantastic look at 52 African Americans who have made an impact on the world around them. It is an excellent resource to teach children about some of the bold, brave, and gifted men and women who have stood for equality and honor. I loved that the text covers heroes from our past like Harriet Tubman, but also discusses people who are making an impact now like Simone Biles. I appreciated the welcome note from the author and illustrator in the front of the book. I can tell that they put a great deal of thought and research into the men and women in this book. I can see using this book in class as an opening to many discussions involving, race, equality, history, and activism. The illustrations are appealing and vibrant. A great addition to any school library or classroom. I also see it as a great book for Black History Month.
Ages 8 and up
64 Pages

Hanukkah

Meet the Latkes By Alan Silberberg

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Lucy Latke’s family is just like yours or mine. Except that they’re potato pancakes. And also, they are completely clueless. After lighting the menorah and gobbling the gelt, Grandpa Latke tells everyone the Hanukkah story, complete with mighty Mega Bees who use a giant dreidel to fight against the evil alien potatoes from Planet Chhh. It’s up to the Latke family dog to set the record straight.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Alan Silberberg in exchange for an honest review.
I love the idea of a family of latkes telling readers the story of Hanukkah. This book is a completely fun, and very informational picture book about the reason Hanukkah is celebrated. I love the details that are in this book like the difference between Chanukah and Hanukkah. I also loved the amusing way that Grandpa tells the story of the Maccabee’s. The illustrations show the latkas as a fun family grumpy teenager and all The story of the Macca-bees is a humorous twist that will make readers laugh out loud. The back of the book has a very helpful glossary that allows readers to understand the different aspects of Hunakkah. A perfect addition to any holiday unit.
Ages 5 and up
36 Pages

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Biography, History

Have You Heard About Lady Bird?: Poems About Our First Ladies By Marilyn Singer

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Back of Book:
The role of First Lady has been defined differently by each woman who’s held it, but all of them left an impact on our nation as a partner of the commander in chief.

Incisive poetry by Marilyn Singer and energetic art by Nancy Carpenter provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of women from Martha Washington to Eleanor Roosevelt to Lady Bird Johnson-who variously embraced the position and shied away from it, craved the spotlight and fiercely guarded their privacy, took controversial stands and championed for the status quo. Detailed back matter includes short biographies, quotations, and more.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Marilyn Singer in exchange for an honest review.
I was so thrilled when I saw an updated picture book that covers all the First Ladies from Wahington to present day. Each First Lady is showcased with a short poem about their life in the White House. I loved learning so many tidbits of information about the women who helped shape our nation. Each poem is written in a slightly different form. I loved seeing the different ways that Marilyn told each woman’s tale. The illustrations from Nancy Carpenter are beautiful! each picture transports readers to the different time periods and shows them a part of history. The colors are soft and enhance the story. The back of the book has a great timeline with more background information.

I believe that this book should be in every elementary library and classroom. It is a great nonfiction read for any history unit or Presidential unit.
Ages 7 and up
48 Pages

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Read Your World

We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Handsby Rafael Lopez

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Back of Book:
Award-winning illustrator Rafael López brings new life with his adaptation of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” saluting the lives of all young people. The rhythmic verse and repetitive emphasis on “we” and “our” encourages inclusive communities and the celebration of unity and diverse friendships all around the world.
My Review:
I was so excited to see this book in the Scholastic catalog. I quickly ordered it with my bonus points and I am so glad that I did. Rafael has taken a simple concept and turned it into a beautiful story. He took the song lyrics that we all know an created a challenge for the next generation. The story follows a lively group of children as they follow a ball of yarn around the world. Each page represents a different aspect of our earth. Be it the sun, mountains, animals, and friends. The illustrations are vibrant in color and absolutely stunning. They show children with a variety of cultures and abilities! Any child who reads this story will be able to see themselves in the illustrations. The back of the book has a piano score as well as notes about the original spiritual song, and a note from the illustrator. This is a diverse picture book that should be in every classroom.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Biography, Science, Space

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson by Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer

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Young Neil deGrasse Tyson was starstruck when he first visited the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He couldn’t believe the crowded, glittering night sky at the planetarium was real–until a visit to the country years later revealed the impossible.

That discovery was like rocket fuel for Neil’s passion for space. His quest for knowledge took him from the roof of his apartment building to a scientific expedition in northwest Africa, to a summer astronomy camp beneath a desert sky, and finally back home to become the director of the Hayden Planetarium, where it all began. Before long, Neil became America’s favorite guide to the cosmos.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Kathleen Krull in exchange for an honest review.
Before reading this story I had never heard of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I was thrilled to read such a well-researched biography about a man who has spent his life learning about the stars and planets. The story begins with Neils childhood and continues throughout his entire career. I loved learning about his passion and excitement for all things science related! No matter what obstacles Neil encountered he met them head-on. He grew up to be a world-renowned speaker and researcher. I loved finding out that he was the scientist who realized that Pluto was not a planet. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. I enjoyed reading the authors note at the back of the book. A perfect addition to any science or space unit. Neil truly is a man who made the world think differently about stars.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

Growth Mindset, Skills Children Learn

Pearl By Molly Idle

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Back of Book:
Sometimes the tiniest light can shine the brightest! Like the other mermaids of the deep, Pearl longs to care for the endless beaches, coral reefs, and towering kelp forests of her vast ocean world. So when her mother asks her to tend to a mere grain of sand, Pearl is heartbroken. It takes all her patience and determination to discover how even the littlest mermaid can transform the world.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Molly Idle in exchange for an honest review.
Pearl is a truly whimsical story that follows a small mermaid on her quest to do something truly important. I love the lesson that is within the pages. It shows readers that even the smallest act and create something beautiful! So often, my students complain to me that they are too small and cannot do anything important. When I shared this book with my class it held their attention the entire time. They were very curious as to what the grain of sand would turn into. I tied the tale into a growth mindset lesson and told my students that it sometimes takes patience and responsibility to go great things! The illustrations in this story are nothing short of magical. This is a truly stunning story with a valuable lesson.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

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Biography, History

Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton By Margaret McNamara

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Back of Book:
” Best Of Women” is how Alexander Hamilton described his wife, Eliza. Born during the reign of King George II and died shortly before the Civil War. Eliza had a front row seat to the early history of the United States and her mark on this country is felt today.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Margaret McNamara in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited when I learned that a picture book biography had been written about the amazing Eliza Hamilton. She is not recognized nearly enough for the work that she did in the early life of the United States. Margaret has written a beautiful story that follows Eliza from a young girl playing with her sisters, to the strong woman who stood by Alexander through thick and thin. I love that the text is written in the first person from Eliza. It allows readers to connect with her story. The illustrations are detailed and show the beauty and strength of Eliza’s legacy. I loved the note in the back of the book from actress Phillipa Soo. It shows readers the impact that Eliza still has on us today. This is a stunning biography that can be enjoyed by upper elementary as well as Middle School students. A perfect addition to any history or women’s unit. A must-have for the classroom.
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

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Click Here to go to Margarets website

Click Here to go to Esm’e website

Biography, Christmas, History

The Queen and the First Christmas Tree: Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England by Nancy Churnin

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Back of Book:
Queen Charlotte brought her family’s festive holiday yule bough from Germany to England. While planning a Christmas Day party in 1800 at Windsor Castle for over 100 children, she realized a single bough isn’t enough. So she brought in the whole tree instead, making it the first known Christmas Tree in England. This story tells a little-known fact about a favorite holiday tradition.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Nancy Churmin in exchange for an honest review.
Nancy has a true talent for writing nonfiction stories that bring history to life. This story shares with readers how Queen Charlotte created the beautiful tradition that we now have. The story follows Charlotte as a young girl in Germany to a grown Queen in England. Nancy highlighted the queen’s compassion and kindness throughout the story. I also loved that Nancy shared with readers that the queen didn’t like fancy balls, and often smudged her dresses. It allowed Queen Charlotte to become a real person in readers eyes and not simply a historical figure. The watercolor illustrations tie in the time period with the story beautifully! The back of the book has a two-page biography that shares more about Queen Charlotte. Nancy and Luisa have weaved together a beautiful story about one of the worlds most recognized Christmas traditions.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Click Here to visit Luisa’s Website

Books and Library

Building Books by Megan Wagner Lloyd

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Back of Book:
Katie loves to build. She loves the way the blocks click together, the way they crash when they topple to the floor. But most of all, she loves to build something brand-new. Unlike her brother, she hates reading.

Owen loves to read. He loves the way the pages rustle when he turns them, the way the paper smells. But most of all, he loves to read something brand-new. But, unlike his sister, he has no interest in building.

When their rivalry finally comes to a head, a librarian suggests a solution. Books for Katie to read and books for Owen to shelve. Can they learn to appreciate their siblings’ hobbies and build something together?
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Megan Wagner Lloyd in exchange for an honest review. Love reading
I absolutely love reading stories about the beauty of books. This story is no exception. The story follows two siblings and their rivalry as to what is better building with books? or reading books? I love that the wise librarian creates a perfect compromise. She sends a stack of books to build with Owen and a stack of books to read with Katie. The two children realize that they can go against their normal routine and try something different. The ending shows the two siblings compromising and enjoying stories together. The illustrations in this story are beautiful and show diverse people. My students enjoyed hearing this story and asked to look at it during the independent reading time.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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