Family, Grandparents, Read Your World

The Bar Mitzvah Boys By Myron Uhlberg

51Mnlez+UTL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:
Grandpa was never bar mitzvahed; it was wartime, and life was difficult. It’s been a regret his whole life. Many years later, it’s his grandson’s time to go through the Jewish ritual of coming of age. The father suggests that they be bar mitzvahed together. They study together, recite together, and celebrate together.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Albert Whitman Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Myron Uhlberg weaved a stunning tale based on a true story about a grandfather and grandson who went through the bar mitzvah process together.  The text tells the story of the grandfather who was apart of the Holocaust and unable to properly become a man. When his grandson comes of age, the two of them go through the process together. The illustrations by  Carolyn Arcabascio have a dreamlike quality. They are breathtaking and draw readers into the story. This story is such a touching tribute to the importance of honoring tradition and culture.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

 

Adoption, Family

A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake

51V7NMqmrCL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:
How MUCH is the crazy-much love?” This simple question is answered as two parents recount the journey of adopting their daughter and the many milestone moments that follow. From the child’s first bath and first time riding a tricycle, all the way to her boarding that big yellow bus, the crazy-much love grows SO MUCH that it spills out the windows and busts down the doors. A warm, lyrical celebration of the deep love parents hold for their children and a comforting message for kids about how there can be only one special YOU.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Two Lions Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This is a stunning book that celebrates the beauty and joy of international adoption. Joy drew from her own experiences of adopting her daughter from China and created a love letter from parents to their new child. The text discusses all the important details of adoption like getting the room ready, getting on a plane to pick up the child and having a party when they get home. The text focuses on the repetition of the statement A Crazy Much Love throughout the child’s milestones.
The illustrations by Sonia Sanchez are vibrant and full of bursts of color.
She captured the tender love between parents and children in a truly moving way.
This is a gift to give to anyone adopting a child. I hope to adopt myself one day, and this story showed me how beautiful international adoption can be.
Ages 3 and up
32 Pages

Family

Five Minutes: (That ‘s a Lot of Time) (No, It’s Not) (Yes, It Is) By by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon

51RroJAqCsL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:
Families everywhere will recognize themselves in this clever, hilarious, and completely irresistible picture book. Five minutes is a lot of time… or is it? Well, it depends on what you’re doing, of course! Follow one little boy and his family on a very busy day, as he discovers that sometimes five minutes feels like forever–like when you’re finishing up at the dentist’s office or waiting in line for the bathroom or in the backseat on a long car ride–and sometimes five minutes feels like no time at all–like when you’re playing your favorite game or at the tippy top of a roller coaster or snuggling up with a book before bedtime.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Penguin Kids Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This is a fun story that focuses on the extension of five minutes and how it can pass quickly or slowly depending on the circumstances. When the young boy in the story is having fun then the five minutes goes by so quickly, if it is something that he isn’t enjoying them time goes by slow. Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick created a fantastic story that both children and adults can relate to. Every parent and teacher has had children ask them if they are done yet? and how much longer? The illustrations by Olivier Tallec are spot on and hysterical. He perfectly captured how children can react when they are bored with a situation. This is a fabulous book and one that will be enjoyed by readers over and over.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Family

Around the Table That Grandad Built By Melanie Heuiser Hill

61gEWqs4qHL._SY481_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:

In a unique take on the cumulative classic “This Is the House That Jack Built,” a family gathers with friends and neighbors to share a meal around a table that brims with associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad’s wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandma long ago. Not to mention the squash from the garden, the bread baked by Gran, and the pies made by the young narrator (with a little help). Serving up a diverse array of dishes and faces, this warm and welcoming story is poised to become a savored part of Thanksgiving traditions to come.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.  

“This is the House That Jack Built” is a classic and well-known rhyme Melanie Heuiser Hill has created a beautiful story of tradition, and culture. The text is cumulative and sharing with readers all the objects that go around Grandads table. I loved how each page discussed something added to the table that was important to the family. The text also includes a variety of different and diverse foods that the family shares. 

The illustrations by Jamie Kim are done in colorful acrylics and showcase a diverse group of family coming together to celebrate a meal together. The colors are bright and draw readers to the details on each page. 

This is a beautiful story and would make a fantastic addition to any unit on family and different traditions. It would also make a great read-aloud for the Thanksgiving season. 

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages 

Family, Read Your World

Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border By Mitali Perkins

51V0fCfr0CL._SY384_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:
It’s almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico.
For the few minutes they can share together with along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. But when Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea.
Here is a heartwarming tale of families and the miracle of love.
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this picture book from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in exchange for an honest review.
Mitali Perkins has written an emotional heartwarming fictional tale of two grandchildren who meet their Abuela at the border.  Maria and her brother Juan are eager to see their beloved Abuela and exchange Christmas gifts.  When Juan’s gift won’t make it to Abuela, Maria has an idea to send the gift over the border.
This is a beautiful story of family, culture, and tradition. I have never heard of the  La Posada Sin Fronteras and was excited to learn about this beautiful tradition. I loved the overall message of being respectful of all people no matter where they live. The illustrations by Sara Palacios are beautifully drawn and filled with promise. The back of the book has more information about the Las Posadas festival. This is a book that should be in every elementary library.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Family, Friendship, Siblings, Uncategorized

Twins: A Picture Book By Mike Ciccotello

41a-wQtO79L._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:
Being a twin is great! Sometimes our friends can’t tell us apart.
A boy and his twin do everything together―leapfrog and piggyback rides, dancing and disagreeing, and everything in between! Their relationship has its ups and downs, but in the end, it’s great knowing there’s someone in their world who is just like them. This charming picture book is a sweet and silly celebration of twinhood―whether you look-alike or not!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in exchange for an honest review.
As a teacher, I have taught several sets of twins. They always have there own individual personalities, but the ties that bind them are strong.
This adorable story by Mike Ciccontello focuses on all the things that make twins special. The text gives several examples of all the ways that twins are similar as well as how they are different.  Mike also stresses the point that even though twins might not always get along, they will always love one another.  Mike was inspired to write this story for his twin boys. The story allows children who do not have a twin see what it is like.  The illustrations are bright and detailed they draw readers into the story.  This is a terrific story to share with twins of all ages. It is also a great read-aloud if you have twins in your classroom.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pages

Family, Read Your World

Pepe and the Parade: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage By Tracey Kyle

518L51uBVUL._SY385_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book:

Pepe wakes up energized to attend his first Hispanic Day parade. With new food to taste, music to dance to, and a parade to watch, Pepe couldn’t be more excited to celebrate and share his Hispanic heritage. Many of Pepe’s friends also attend the festival, celebrating their own Hispanic ties. Mexican, Dominican, Panamanian, Colombian, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Chilean, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Cuban cultures are all represented in the parade. A day filled with joy and pride, Pepe and the Parade is a jubilant celebration of culture and identity.

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Little Bee Books in exchange for an honest review.

Tracy Kyle has a true talent for weaving together beautiful stories of culture, tradition, and community.  I have never seen a book that discusses Hispanic Heritage in the depth and fun that this story does. I love that Tracy touches of every country and culture that makes up Latin America. The text focuses on the sights, and sounds of the parade and draws readers into the experience. The Spanish words that are sprinkled throughout the text add another layer of depth to the story.  The illustrations by  Mirelle Ortega are rich in color and allow readers to experience what a parade could look like. The back of the book has a wonderful glossary of the Spanish words and definitions. There is also well-written authors note that explains more about National Hispanic Heritage Month as well as details about the differences between Latino and Hispanic heritage. This is a perfect picture book to start conversations about the differences in other peoples cultures and traditions. This is a must-have in all classrooms and libraries.

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

Family, Read Your World

Hair Love By Matthew A. Cherry

51ROsnkVyCL._SX474_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Back of Book:
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.
My Review:
The first time I saw the cover of this book I knew I would love it. The text is charming and follows a dad attempting to navigate his little girl’s wild locks. The story is humorous and shows Zuri’s daddy trying unsuccessfully to style her hair. Finally, they come up with a plan to create the perfect hairstyle. I love that the text is written in a first-person narrative. It allows the readers to connect with Zuri and her story. The illustrations by Vashti Harrison are colorful and bright. They beautifully capture the love between Zuri and her father. I look forward to sharing this book in my classroom during the school year. This story shows readers that everyone’s hair is special and unique. A must-have for any classroom or school library.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Family, Read Your World

Sumo Joe By Mia Wenjen

51rV9uRCSXL._SX496_BO1,204,203,200_

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

Family

When the Cousins Came By Katie Yamasaki

61MiPfWcT3L._SX496_BO1,204,203,200_

Back of Book: Lila is excited for her cousins Takeo and Rosie to visit. They’re going to ride bikes, paint, and camp together! But when the cousins arrive, everything’s wrong: Rosie and Takeo are better painters than Lila, have skateboards instead of bikes, and don’t want to camp outside. Lila is terribly disappointed until the cousins make her a surprise: a big banner for their “best cousin” Lila! This sensitive story about insecurity, hosting, and friendship reminds children that negative thoughts and anxiety over exclusion don’t always translate to reality.
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this story from the author Katie Yamasaki in exchange for an honest review. I have several cousins that are still apart of my life. This book brought back many memories of having fun with my cousins. While today’s kid lit has many stories about family, there are not many stories that center around cousins. I was thrilled to see this book about such an important family bond. Katie did a wonderful job of weaving together a story with a beautiful message about love and family. I love that the story shows readers that it is okay to have different likes and interests than their family members. The end of the is sweet and enduring. The illustrations are sweet and full of color. I highly recommend this story.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Click Here to Buy on Amazon