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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Summer

Sea Glass Summer by Michelle Houts

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Back of Book:
One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea’s secrets.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.
Summer is right around the corner and with it comes the promise of adventure. Sea Glass Summer follows a young boy named Thomas as he explores the amazing aspects of the beach at his grandmother’s house. He realizes that each piece of sea glass has a story attached to it. This story is almost magical. The whimsical text whisks readers into a world that combines past and present. Every aspect of the story is delicately tied to how the sea glass connected people of various time periods. The watercolor illustrations are vibrant and gorgeous! I loved that the dream sequences were drawn in grayscale. It adds a different aspect to the historical aspect of the story. This is the kind of story that is perfect to use with an object lesson on how the ocean recycles items to create something new. Overall a stunning ode to a tradition that hasn’t been forgotten and treasures that continue to connect us to the sea.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Dinosaurs, National Womens Month

When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex By Toni Buzzeo

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Back of Book:
From a very young age, Sue Hendrickson was meant to find things: lost coins, perfume bottles, even hidden treasure. Her endless curiosity eventually led to her career in diving and paleontology, where she would continue to find things big and small. In 1990, at a dig in South Dakota, Sue made her biggest discovery to date: Sue the T. rex, the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever unearthed. Named in Sue’s honor, Sue the T. rex would be placed on permanent exhibition at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Abrams book publishers in exchange for an honest review.
This is a terrific nonfiction picture book biography about the life and research of Sue Hendrickson. The text follows Sue from her childhood as a curious finder to her job as an archeologist. She went to search the hills of South Dakota for dinosaur fossils where she felt lead to a particular cliff. In that cliff, she discovered the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. I love that the text has quotes from Sue about finding the T-Rex. It adds a layer of depth to the story and shows readers Sues perspective about finding such a miraculous set of bones. The illustrations by Diana Sudyka are filled with soft and airy colors. She captured the mountains of South Dakota beautifully. The back of the book has more informing about Sue Hendrickson as well as a photo of the T-Rex that she discovered. I love this story because I feel like it is very relevant to today’s audiences. It is a great reminder to readers to never give up on being curious human beings. Also a perfect addition to any dinosaur unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Science, Space

The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney By Alice B. McGinty

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Back of Book:
When Venetia Burney’s grandfather reads aloud from the newspaper about a new discovery–a “ninth major planet” that has yet to be named–her eleven-year-old mind starts whirring. She is studying the planets in school and loves Roman mythology. “It might be called Pluto,” she says, thinking of the dark underworld. Grandfather loves the idea and contacts his friend at London’s Royal Astronomical Society, who writes to scientists at the Lowell Observatory in Massachusetts, where Pluto was discovered. After a vote, the scientists agree unanimously: Pluto is the perfect name for the dark, cold planet.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Schwartz & Wade Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I have always been intrigued by the planet, Pluto and was so excited that a book had been written about the young girl who named the far away planet. The story begins with Venetia going on a star walk with her class. Even as a young girl, Venetia was fascinated by the concepts of space and planets. When she heard from her grandfather that a newly discovered planet needed a name she looked into history for inspiration. Venetia would go on to become a math teacher and inspire young girls to dream big. Near the end of her life, Venetia would be able to view the planet through a telescope that she had named. The illustrations by Elizabeth Haidle are skillfully created. The expressions on Venetia’s face as she is waiting to hear if they like her name choice are my favorite!
The back of the book has more information about Venetia and the planet Pluto. This is a brilliant nonfiction biography that focuses on the importance of women in the world of math and science. A great book for any STEM unit.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Birds

Hummingbird by Nicola Davies

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Back of Book:
A buzz of wings, a flash of color . . . There’s a very special visitor in Granny’s garden. It’s a hummingbird! And it’s just about to begin its long migration, heading north to its nesting ground. Watch as it spreads joy to all who encounter it along its two-thousand-mile trek. In an engaging text sprinkled with facts, zoologist Nicola Davies introduces readers to this valiant bird, lighter than a nickel
My review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.
Hummingbird is a stunning blend of fiction and nonfiction. Readers will be caught up in the impact that hummingbirds can have around the world. The text begins and ends with a young girls journey to a new land. She shares a love of hummingbirds with her grandma and that common thread ties them together. As the story progresses, readers see how the hummingbird touch lives and evoke a sense of awe wherever they go. The text is also filled with facts about the life and journey of a hummingbird. I didn’t know that hummingbirds migrate each year I was as intrigued as my students. The illustrations are breathtaking and show the intricate detail of the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. The back of the book has more information about hummingbirds as well as an index so readers can find information quickly. I love this book and highly recommend for the classroom or home use.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Science, Space

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon by Joyce Lapin

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Back of Book:
Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn’t want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon’s atmosphere; and see why the “moon angels” they make in the thick carpet of lunar dust will last for thousands of years. With each discovery, kids learn the science behind the surprise, explained in terms they’ll understand.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I am so excited that the kidlit world is publishing so many well-written books about the moon. “If you Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon” is a perfect blend of nonfiction information and fun imagination.
Readers get a glimpse into what it would be like to spend time in space. Joyce Lapin weaved in all of the birthday activities that children love to do. Including bouncing, playing games, and exploring. Readers will relate to the experiences that the children in the story are having. I loved that there are text boxes scattered throughout the story that have neat scientific facts and tidbits about the moon. It gives readers a deeper understanding of the unique aspects that make the moon so fascinating.
The illustrations by Simona Ceccarelli are filled with bright images that allow readers to feel like they are in space with the children in the story. The back of the book has a terrific glossary as well as suggestions for further reading. I loved sharing this book in my classroom. It was a perfect read aloud for my science unit. I also used the topic for a writing workshop afterward. I highly recommend this story for the classroom and school libraries.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Science, Space

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon By Joyce Lapin

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Back of Book:
Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn’t want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon’s atmosphere; and see why the “moon angels” they make in the thick carpet of lunar dust will last for thousands of years. With each discovery, kids learn the science behind the surprise, explained in terms they’ll understand.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I am so excited that the kidlit world is publishing so many well-written books about the moon. “If you Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon” is a perfect blend of nonfiction information and fun imagination.
Readers get a glimpse into what it would be like to spend time in space. Joyce Lapin weaved in all of the birthday activities that children love to do. Including bouncing, playing games, and exploring. Readers will relate to the experiences that the children in the story are having. I loved that there are text boxes scattered throughout the story that have neat scientific facts and tidbits about the moon. It gives readers a deeper understanding of the unique aspects that make the moon so fascinating.
The illustrations by Simona Ceccarelli are filled with bright images that allow readers to feel like they are in space with the children in the story. The back of the book has a terrific glossary as well as suggestions for further reading. I loved sharing this book in my classroom. It was a perfect read aloud for my science unit. I also used the topic for a writing workshop afterward. I highly recommend this story for the classroom and school libraries.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Growth Mindset, Read Your World

There’s Only One You By Kathryn Heling & Deborah Hembrook

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Back of Book:
This feel-good book reassures kids that, whoever and whatever they are, it’s awesome being YOU! Expertly written to include all kinds of children and families, it embraces the beauty in a range of physical types, personalities, and abilities. Kids will love discovering and recognizing themselves in these pages—and they’ll feel proud to see their special qualities acknowledged.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
This is a delightful story that focuses on the importance of teaching children how important it is to be themselves! As a teacher, it is imperative for me to find books that show children that it is special for them to be different. Kathryn and Deborah have weaved together a beautiful tale that provides a mirror in which children can see themselves. The rhyming scheme is engaging and allows readers to realize all the aspects that make them unique. The illustrations by Rosie are nothing short of breathtaking! I loved the wide variety of diverse people groups and cultures that are showcased within the pages. This is a perfect read aloud to use as a part of any mindfulness
Ages 5 and up
32 Page

Dog stories, History

The Eternal Soldier: The True Story of How a Dog Became a Civil War Hero By Allison Crotzer Kimmel

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Back of Book:
During the Civil War, Sallie came to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry as a gift from a townsperson, but she quickly became a favorite among her men. She marched with them from battle to battle, always guarding the unit’s colors, and even met President Lincoln. And over three long days at the battle of Gettysburg, Sallie stayed with the dead, guarded their bodies, and nearly died herself from hunger and thirst as the conflict raged on. Though she fell in battle, her loyalty was rewarded years later when her men met again on the battlefield at Gettysburg to erect her likeness in bronze so that she might eternally guard them. This beautiful story about a dog’s dedication and loyalty shows that bravery comes in all shapes and forms!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Little Bee Books in exchange for an honest review.
I loved reading this touching story about how a little dog fought in the Civil War. Sallie quickly stole the hearts of everyone she met. I loved that the text is written in a first-person narrative. It allows readers to see how connected Sallie was to the soldiers she protected. The illustrations by Rotem Templow are a beautiful blend of soft colors that draw readers into the pages. The back of the book has more information about Sallie as well as a photo of the troops who marched with her.
This is a perfect book to share with any Civil War or history unit. It shows students the untold look at how a little dog impacted a group of men forever!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Black History Month, STEM

Sweet Dreams, Sarah by Vivian Kirkfield

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Back of Book:
Sarah E. Goode was one of the first African-American women to get a US patent. Working in her furniture store, she recognized a need for a multi-use bed and through hard work, ingenuity, and determination, invented her unique cupboard bed. She built more than a piece of furniture. She built a life far away from slavery, a life where her sweet dreams could come true.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Vivian Kirkfield in exchange for an honest review.
I love finding books that share stories about unknown people in history. I had never heard of Sarah E. Goode and was amazed to read this book and learn about her story.
Sarah was a strong woman in history who had dreams and grit. After the Civil War, she worked hard in her furniture store to meet the needs of her customers. She came up with the idea of making a multiuse bed that could be tucked away to save room. In a time where women were not investors, Sarah did the unthinkable and applied for the patent. Her determination paid off and changed the way the furniture was created.
Vivian has a beautifully crafted Sarahs journey to get the credit that she deserved. The text is poetic and rich in figurative language. I loved the way the words are placed along with the page. It flows with the story. The illustrations by Chris Ewald are rich and detailed.
The back of the book has more information about what a patent is, as well as a timeline of black women patent holders. It also has a note from the author and a timeline of Sarah E Goode’s life.
This is a fantastic book to use in any unit celebrating women. A must-have for any classroom library.
32 Pages
Ages 5 and up

Biography, Earth Day

Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses by Shira Boss

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Back of Book:
This charming picture book tells the true story of Bob Redman, a child growing up in New York City. Tired of the noise, the people, and the rushing around, Bob took shelter in the natural beauty of Central Park—where he covertly built a series of amazing treehouses, starting with a simple platform and growing more and more elaborate over time. He played cat-and-mouse with the park workers, who kept tearing down his houses until he was finally caught. But his story ends with a happy surprise
My Review:
I shared this fun nonfiction biography with my class on Arbor Day. It shares the life of Bob Redman and his love of the trees in Central Park. Readers are swept away into the passion that Bob had for nature. every tree house he built got bigger and more elaborate! The text is written in a strong lyrical format that has stunning figurative language. Including metaphors, similes, and personification. Shira made sure that her book was not just a story but an experience. The illustrations by Jamey Christoph are whimsical and have an almost airy feel to them. Readers are able to feel like they are up in the treehouse with Bob. The back of the book has an epilogue that shares more about Bob Redman with readers. Overall, this is a truly stunning story and should b shared with readers in all classrooms.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages