Biography, Horses

Wild Horse Annie: Friend of the Mustangs by Tracey Fern

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Back of Book:
Wild Horse Annie was the nickname of Velma Bronn Johnston (1912–77), loved mustangs all her life. When she saw mustangs being rounded up and killed to make room for ranchers’ livestock, she knew she had to speak up. In 1950, she began writing letters to local newspapers and politicians, defending the horses’ right to raom free.
Many people told Annie to hush up, but they couldn’t stop her. She soon became a voice for mustangs throughout the state of Nevada, speaking on their behalf at town halls and meetings.
But Annie was only one person, and she wanted to do more. So she got children to speak up, too, by having them write letters to Washington, D.C., officials to ask them to save the Mustangs. Finally, with the help of her young “pencil brigade,” Annie persuaded Congress to pass nationwide laws protecting wild horses and burros on public land nationwide.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Tracey Fern in exchange for an honest review.
I have never studied much about Wild Horse Annie and was amazed by this well-written biography about one woman’s fight to protect the animals she loved! The story follows Tracey from her childhood love of horses to her struggles with polio. Her love of horses gave her a passion to see them protected and safe. I was fascinated to learn about the many avenues that Velma wrote and spoke to throughout the country. The inspiring ending will make readers want to stand up and fight for a cause of their own! The illustrations are stunning and showcase the beauty of Mustangs. The back of the book has detailed authors note that shares more about Wild Horse Annie. This is a perfect story for horse lovers of all ages. It is also a perfect addition to a National Women’s Unit.
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

Books and Library

This Book Is Spineless By Lindsay Leslie

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Back of Book:
With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Lindsay Leslie in exchange for an honest review.

This is such a creative story that discusses the five senses in a unique way. The text is written in a first-person narrative and invites the reader to be apart of the experience. The book explains to readers that it is spineless and scared of everything. As the story progresses the book shares different aspects of the five senses with readers. I love the way the text is written. The five sense words stand out in the paragraph and immediately draw years to the story. Readers will laugh at the books struggle to face its fears and decide what genre of story it is. The illustrations are well drawn and match the narrative beautifully. This is an amazing book to use for an introduction to first-person writing and the different aspects of the five senses. I think this book should be in every elementary and classroom library.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Science, STEM

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge Rachel Dougherty

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Back of Book:
It was the first trip across an engineering marvel that had taken nearly fourteen years to construct. The woman’s husband was the chief engineer, and he knew all about the dangerous new technique involved. The woman insisted she learns as well.
When he fell ill mid-construction, her knowledge came in handy. She supervised every aspect of the project while he was bedridden, and she continued to learn about things only men were supposed to know:
math, science, engineering.
Women weren’t supposed to be engineers.
But this woman insisted she could do it all, and her hard work helped to create one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Rachel Dougherty in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited when I saw that this book was being published. I was unfamiliar with the story that the Brooklyn Bridge was finished by a woman. I loved that Rachel described the many steps of building the bridge. I was fascinated to learn the process of how they built The Brooklyn Bridge. The story begins with Emily’s childhood and shows readers how her love for learning math and science allowed her to play such an important part in history. The text explains how unknown to everyone, Emily took over the building of the bridge. She was never given the recognition she deserved. This amazing book shows readers how strong and courageous women can be. The illustrations are detailed and show readers close up examples of the building of the bridge. The back of the book has more information about Emily Roebling as well as a glossary and pictures of the completed Brooklyn Bridge. This is an amazing story to add to any STEM or National Women’s unit. A must-have for elementary and school libraries.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

Animals, Farm

Peeping Beauty by Brenda Maier

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Back of Book:

Peep peep! Mama and Papa can’t wait for their new little chicks to arrive.
With a quiver, A shiver, A crackle, and a peep! Two of the chicks hatch!
But the third egg? It’s in no hurry to get cracking. With the help of his siblings and his mama’s love, will this little chick find its way out into his big, new world?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Brenda Maier in exchange for an honest review. The story follows Mama and Papa chickens are they wait for their baby chicks hatch. As they wait for the third egg to hatch mama chicken tells fun stories like Peeping Beauty to pass the time. The ending has a surprise twist thats sure to make readers giggle with joy. The illustrations are full of bright and engaging colors. The details on each page bring this fun story to life. This is a great story to read at bedtime or anytime.
32 Pages
Ages 5 and up

Biography, Presidents Day

The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock

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Back of Book:
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.
My Review:
I will be sharing this book with my class on Tuesday for Presidents Day. I love finding books about Presidents that are not as widely shared about. When I read the description of “The Camping Trip That Changed America” I knew I needed it in my classroom. It tells readers the fantastic story of how Theodore Roosevelt went on a camping trip and decided to protect the natural environment of the United States. This is a great story to share about the importance of land conservation and protecting the national beauty of this land. I live near a national monument and am very grateful that John Muir played such an important role in history. The illustrations are soft watercolors and truly beautiful. The authors note in the back shares more with readers about the incredible journey that the two men had together. This is a must read for Presidents Day.
32 Pages
Ages 6 and up

Art, Biography

Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington By Michelle Markel

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Back of Book:
Ever since she was a little girl, Leonora Carrington loved to draw on walls, in books, on paper—and she loved the fantastic tales her grandmother told that took her to worlds that shimmered beyond this one, where legends became real.
Leonora’s parents wanted her to become a proper English lady, but there was only one thing she wanted, even if it was unsuitable: to be an artist. In London, she discovered a group of artists called surrealists, who were stunning the world with their mysterious creations. This was the kind of art she had to make. This was the kind of person she had to be.
From life in Paris creating art alongside Max Ernst, to Mexico where she met Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Leonora’s life became intertwined with powerful events and people that shaped the twentieth century.

I received a copy of this picture book from author Michelle Markel in exchange for an honest review.

Michelle has created a stunning and eye-opening picture book biography about Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. The story follows her life from childhood to an adult. When she discovers the art of Surrealism, Leonora also discovers her passion and her calling. I love that the text refers to other prominent female artists like Remedios Varo. It allows readers to learn about the Surrealist time period. The illustrations by Amanda Hall beautifully capture the art and colors of the Surrealist Movement. The back of the book has author and illustrator notes sharing with readers more about the process of capturing Leonora’s life. This is an excellent book to share with anyone with a true appreciation of art.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

Geography, Read Your World

Maria the Matador By Anne Lambelet

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Back of Book:
Maria loves tea parties and dancing and wearing her hair in pigtails, but more than anything in the world…Maria loves churros.
She’ll do anything to get her hands on more of them, even enter a bullfight. To win, she must outsmart the other matadors who don’t think she’s big enough, fast enough, or strong enough. With determination and creativity, spunky Maria will dance her way to victory―and into readers’ hearts.
I received a copy of this picture book from author Anne Lambelet in exchange for an honest review.
My Review:
This is a beautiful diverse picture book that shares an important message with readers about how to approach difficult situations. Maria chooses to focus on her positive qualities instead of all the things she isn’t great at. In doing this, she succeeds in completing her goal. The illustrations are colorful and whimsical. I love that the end of the book teaches readers that some challenges can be faced and conquered using different approaches than normal responses. This is a fantastic book to use in any growth mindset unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Black History Month, Civil Rights

Carter Reads the Newspaper By Deborah Hopkinson

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Carter G. Woodson didn’t just read history. He changed it.” As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people.
Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day. When he was still a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines. There he met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history.
My Review:
I was so excited to read a story about the man who created Black History Month. I am sad to say that before reading this story I had never heard of Carter Woodson. This biography tells the story from Cater’s childhood to adulthood. I love that Deborah weaved so many other prominent figures within the pages. The illustrations by Don Tate are vivid and exquisitely portray the life of Carter Woodson. The back of the book has notes from the author and illustrator, as well as a timeline of Woodson’s life. A perfect story to share with children to introduce Black History Month.
Ages 5 and up
36 Pages

Chinese Culture

Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee

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Back of Book:
Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother’s house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey.
My Review:
This is a unique picture book that teaches readers about the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The book is written similar to the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Ruby goes on a journey to see her grandmother for the Chinese New Year. As she goes Ruby meets the animals in the Chinese zodiac. The animals help her collect different items to help celebrate the New Year. Ruby and the animals share a lot of Chinese New Years traditions like food, dancing, etc. The end of the story shows everyone celebrating together. The illustrations are colorful and adorable. The back of the book has more information about the legend of the Chinese Zodiac as well as ways to celebrate the new year. This is a perfect book to share in elementary libraries and classrooms.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

GroundHog Day, Valentines Day

Groundhug Day by Anne Marie Pace

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Back of Book:
Moose is having a Valentine’s Day party, and all his friends are so excited! Everyone except Groundhog, that is. If Groundhog sees his shadow outside, he’ll hide in his hole for six more weeks and miss the party!

Determined to help their friend join them, Moose, Squirrel, Bunny, and Porcupine put their heads together and come up with a plan. But will it be enough to get Groundhog out to play?
My Review:
I love that Groundhug Day combines Groundhog and Valentines Day into one book. The story is enduring and follows a group of friends as they work together to ensure that Groundhog does not feel left out of the Valentines party. The story also does a beautiful job of showing readers how they can overcome their fears. Each of Groundhogs friends comes up with a different way to show him that shadows are nothing to fear. The illustrations are a blend of bright colors and darker landscapes. The contrast creates a beautiful story. This is a perfect book for Groundhog Day or Valentines Day.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages