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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Stories about dance

Lena’s Slippers By Ioana Hobai

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Back of Book:
Lena can’t wait to twirl and leap onstage at her school dance recital, but her family does not have the money to pay for new ballet slippers. As the day of the recital draws closer, Lena struggles to come up with a creative solution to reach her shining moment on stage, learning along the way that what you do is more important than what you wear.
Lena’s passion for performing will inspire readers and aspiring ballerinas everywhere to never give up.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this warm and inspiring story about the resilience of one little girl and her determination to dance. Lena wants to dance in her upcoming recital more than anything. She and her family do not have a lot of money and they have to find creative ways to get what they need. When Lena cannot find white slippers she becomes resourceful and figures out a solution that allows her to perform in her recital. Readers will be awed by Lena’s determination and strength. I loved that this story is loosely based on the author’s true experiences as a child in Romania. It allowed me to connect with the story on a deeper level. The illustrations are done with mostly muted colors, which allow a readers eye to focus on Lena.
This is a perfect story for any inspiring ballerinas.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Dog stories

Dogs and their People By Anne Lambelet

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Back of Book:
As one girl walks home from school, she loves nothing more than to look at all the people and dogs she passes on the way. There are small people with tall dogs, people, and dogs who share ice cream, and even pairs with matching mustachios. Some people are just like their dogs and some are very different, but no matter what, it’s clear that they’re the best of friends. When the girl finally makes it home, she has her own best friend waiting for her.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Page Street Kids Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This is a perfect story for all dog lovers! It follows a young girl as she walks around her neighborhood and observes many dogs and the owners who love them. The text is written in a first-person narrative which allows readers to connect with what the girl is saying. The illustrations are whimsical and showcase a variety of different breeds and colors. My students were able to find dogs that resembled their own. This is a perfect book to use for any comparing and contrasting unit. I plan on using it as apart of my Writers Workshop this next school year. A lovely story in every way.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Skills Children Learn

Buster, the Delicate Doodle by Jennifer Beland

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Back of Book:
Buster is a delicate Goldendoodle pup! After Buster’s mom gets fed up with his rigid tendencies, he begins to take walks with a supportive and encouraging dog walker named Kim, who encourages him to dig deeper into his quirkiness and pull out all his strengths and talents. Can Buster find what he has to offer the world?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Mascot Books Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this well written and deeply moving picture book that opens up the topic of learning differences and disabilities in a new light. The story follows Buster the Goldendoodle. Buster knows that he is special, but he also knows that he is different. He worried all the time and sometimes loud noises scared him. It isn’t until Buster meets with a special dog walker named Kim that his anxiety turns around. I love that this story discusses a variety of learning disabilities without adding labels. Jennifer wrote this story in a way that all readers can relate too. The illustrations are bright and colorful. Ana has skillfully brought Buster to life. The back of the book has a note from Jennifer as well as color photos of the real Buster. This is a perfect story for social and emotional learning or opening up any conversations with children about learning disabilities.
Ages 5 and up
38 Pages

Family, Read Your World

Sumo Joe By Mia Wenjen

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Back of Book:
On Saturday mornings, Sumo Joe is a gentle big brother to his little sister. But on Saturday afternoons, he and his friends are sumo wrestlers! They tie on makeshift mawashi belts, practice drills like teppo, and compete in their homemade dohyo ring. They even observe sumo’s ultimate rule: no girls allowed! But when Sumo Joe’s little sister wants to join in the fun, Sumo Joe is torn between the two things he’s best at: sumo, and being a big brother.
I received a copy of this picture copy of this picture book from Lee and Low books in exchange for an honest review.
I have been following Mia on her blog Pragmatic Mom for several years and am thrilled that she has entered the world of writing kidlit.
I loved this fun informational story that blends together knowledge of Sumo wrestling, with the importance of family. Joe loves practicing Sumo with his friends. He is, however, relucent when his sister asks to join in. By the end of the story, Joe realizes that everyone can enjoy practicing the art of Sumo. The text is written is a simple scheme that allows readers to follow along easily. The back of the book has a note from the author that shares more about Sumo with readers. The back of the book also has a glossary of definitions along with pictures of the different moves described. The illustrations by Nat Iwata are bright and detailed. They bring the Sumo moves to life.
This is a fantastic diverse picture book to share in the classroom or at home.
Ages 5

Biography, History

Hector: A Boy, A Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid By Adrienne Wright

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back of Book:
On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story’s events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Once in a while, I find a picture book that completely opens my eyes to a certain part of history. Hector is a tragic and beautiful tribute to the lives that were lost during the student march in Soweto. The story follows three separate individuals Hector, Antoinette, and Sam. Hector, a young boy who loves school, soccer, and his family. Antoinette, who is passionate about standing up for what she believed in, and Sam, the photographer who captured it all. I love the difference in each perspective. It brings a different layer of depth to the story. The narrative is broken up in chunks similar to a comic strip. It allows readers to focus on the details in the text.
The illustrations are soft and all done in earthy tones. This allows readers to completely focus on the story. The photo in the back of the book is haunting and allows readers to see the innocent blood that is spilled over war. This story beautifully teaches readers about the importance of standing up for what you believe in. I believe this is the type of book that inspires readers to go and fight for what they believe in.
Ages 8 and up
48 Pges

Science, STEM, Uncategorized

Cece Loves Science and Adventure by Kimberly Derting & Shelli R. Johannes

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Back of Book:
Cece loves being an Adventure Girl almost as much as she loves science, which is why she can’t wait for her troop’s camping trip. Nature is full of science for Cece to explore!
Along with her friends, her mom, and her dog, Einstein, Cece learns how to pitch a tent, set up a campsite, and document landmarks on the trail. Then thunder booms in the distance! Working together, the girls use meteorology and math to determine the location of the storm; engineering to build a shelter, and technology and math to calculate the length of the trek back to the campsite. After all that teamwork, Cece’s mom gives them an Adventure Girl surprise!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Greenwillow books publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I was thrilled when I found out that Cece was going to be in another story. I loved the balance of science and fun that the first story had.
This is a fantastic continuation story about Cece. It follows her and her friends as they travel to the woods for a camping adventure. The story teaches readers about several outdoor scientific things such as the different types of clouds, and how to navigate without a map. The end of the story shows the importance of teamwork and friendship. The illustrations by Vashti Harrison are bright and detailed. I love the scientific details l that she placed in each illustration. The back of the book has a glossary of Cece’s scientific facts and illustrations. This is a terrific diverse picture book that showcases girls learning and enjoying science.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Uncategorized

Beyoncé: Shine Your Light by Sarah Warren

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Back of Book:
Beyoncé is bold, talented, confident, and an inspiring voice and power to millions of people all around the world. This captivating picture book biography celebrates the icon’s rise from a shy little girl to a world-famous superstar. Discover the story of Beyoncé as she finds her voice, through trials and triumphs, and understand that you, too, can shine your light like Beyoncé.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from HMH publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Beyoncé is a powerhouse in every aspect of her life. “Shine Your Light” follows her life from a young shy girl to the strong woman that she is today.
Beyoncé was quiet and kept to herself. It wasn’t until a teacher saw the potential she had that Beyoncé opened up. I love that this story allows readers to see that it takes hard work, and dedication to follow your dreams. Beyoncé did not become famous overnight, it took many years for her to accomplish her dream. The illustrations by Geneva Bowers are bright and almost lifelike. They bring depth and light to the story. This is a great book for National Women’s month because it showcases a true influence in our current society.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Science, Space

Moon’s First Friend Susanna Leonard Hill

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Back of Book:
From high up in the sky, the Moon has spent her whole life watching Earth and hoping for someone to visit. Dinosaurs roam, pyramids are built, and boats are made, but still, no one comes. Will friends ever come to visit her?
Commemorate the extraordinary Apollo 11 spaceflight mission with this heartwarming story of the Moon who just wants a friend.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Source Books Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This book is out just in time for the Apollo 11 moon landing and is a perfect addition to any space unit.
I love that this picture book is unique in that it is written from the perspective of the moon. The moon is the queen of the night sky, but it doesn’t stop her from being extremely lonely. She looks down on earth and wishes that someone would come and visit her. The book goes through a progression of time that showcases popular periods and eras. Finally, man makes it to the moon. This story is the perfect blend of history and fun. It teaches readers about the moon landing in a whimsical and engaging way. The illustrations by Elisa Paganelli are bright and cheerful. They perfectly capture the friendly moon. The back of the book is filled with interesting facts about the moon, the Apollo 11 Voyage, and the rocket that took them there. The book also includes a QR code that can be scanned so readers can hear Neil Armstrong’s voice.
This is a great story and one that will be enjoyed over and over again.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Uncategorized

Welcome to Morningtown By Blake Liliane Hellman

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Back of Book:
Welcome to Morningtown!
In Morningtown, animal families of all shapes and sizes are waking up to a shiny new day. They get up out of fluffy beds, hard beds, and secret beds. They hop, splash, and flutter through their morning routines, getting ready for whatever the day holds.
One thing is certain–every day is a beautiful day in Morningtown!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Bloomsbury Press in exchange for an honest review.
This is a light and fun story that follows several animals as they go through their morning routine. The text is written with descriptive words that bring the story to life! I loved the variety of animals that are showcased within the pages. The illustrations are bright and sweet. This is a fantastic story to read with young audiences about beginning a new day.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pagees

Animals, Earth Day

Don’t Let Them Disappear By by Chelsea Clinton

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Back of Book:

Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction.

In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more.
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this picture book from Philomel Books in exchange for an honest review.
Chelsea Clinton has written a captivating picture book with a strong and important message about protecting our animals. The beginning of the book has a world map listing where the animals are, and a key explaining the terms used throughout the story.
Each page features a different animal and an explanation as to why they are endangered. The text is straight forward and easy to comprehend. I love that readers learn so many interesting facts about each animal. Each page ends with the phrase “don’t let them disappear” Readers can also look at the key and see why each animal is in danger. The illustrations by Gianna Marino are simply stunning. They bring life and depth to this book. The back of the book has information for readers on what they can do to help save endangered animals from going extinct.
This is a beautiful story and should be in every teacher’s library. I plan on incorporating several writing workshop assignments after we read it. A perfect book for Earth Day or any unit about protecting our planet earth.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages