Biography, Friendship, History

Doctor Esperanto and the Language of Hope By Mara Rockliff

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Back of Book:
Once there was a town of many languages but few kind words. Growing up Jewish in Bialystok, Poland, in the late 1800s, young Leyzer Zamenhof was surrounded by languages: Russian, Yiddish, German, Polish, and many others. But the multiethnic Bialystok was full of mistrust and suspicion, and Leyzer couldn’t help but wonder: If everyone could understand each other, wouldn’t they be able to live in peace? So Zamenhof set out to create a new language, one that would be easy to learn and could connect people around the world. He published a book of his new language and signed it Dr. Esperanto — “one who hopes.”
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.
Mara has created a fantastic picture book biography about one man’s journey to unite the world. Leyzer didn’t look at the world for what it was, instead, he looked at how it could be. He spent this life creating a language that would be simple yet effective. His hard work and dedication showed people that invention is not limited to science. The illustrations created by Zosia Dzierzawska are eye-opening and beautifully capture the strength and determination of Leyzers vision. The back of the book has more information about Esperanto as well as selected sources on the topic. Mara always captures moments in history and creates beautiful stories about the human spirit. A must have for all elementary and school libraries.
40 Pages
Ages 7 and up

Friendship, Sharks

Misunderstood Shark: Friends Don’t Eat Friends by Ame Dyckman

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Back of Book:
This hilarious follow-up to Misunderstood Shark by New York Times bestselling duo Ame Dyckman and Scott Magoon tackles what it really means to be a good friend. Bob is already irate that Shark has eaten him, but when Shark doesn’t admit to eating him, Bob is so mad he declares that the ocean isn’t big enough for both of them! Friends Don’t Eat Friends is exploding with over-the-top humor and awesome marine facts! For example, when Shark overdoses on Finilla Ice Cream after fighting with Bob, we learn that shark teeth are coated with fluoride. Lucky for Shark, he can’t get cavities! Join Shark and the gang for another story and find out if Shark learns his lesson about friendship, or if he really is just misunderstood — again!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Amy Dyckman in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the first book in the Misunderstood Shark Series and the second book does not disappoint. Bob and Shark are back with a new story that gives fun facts about sharks while also giving readers a positive message about friendship. The text is written with a mix of speech bubbles and regular text. I loved that Amy continued her tongue in cheek humor that made her first book so fun. Readers will laugh as sharks misguided actions cause him to accidentally eat his friend. The end of the story shows readers a positive conflict resolution and how important apologies are in friendship. The illustrations are bright and colorful. This is a must-have for elementary classrooms.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

Career Day, Friendship

Dress Like a Girl by Patricia Toht

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Back of Book:
In these beautifully illustrated pages, a diverse cast of slumber party participants considers the most time-honored traditions for how to dress. If a lady should wear white in summertime, then how about donning a spacesuit? If team colors are apropos at sporting events, why not wear helmets and play ball?
Instilling the idea that the best way to dress like a girl is the way that makes you feel most like YOU!
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this book from author Patricia Toht in exchange for an honest review.
This is such a beautiful and relevant story for today’s generation of little girls. It encourages girls to be whoever they would like to be. I love that the beginning of the story mentions that the world will try to tell girls that there are rules that must be addressed as to what you should wear. From the beginning, this book shows readers that it is okay to be an individual in what they wear and what they want to do. The rhyming scheme is fun and keeps readers engaged. The illustrations showcase a diverse group of girls all learning and playing together. The colors are bright and show the girls in a variety of areas dressing up as doctors, adventures, scientists and more. This is a perfect book to read in classrooms or at home. It allows readers to see that girls can be strong and fierce in everything they do.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Friendship, Skills Children Learn

How Do You Do? by Larissa Theule

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Back of Book:
Water Buffalo and Crane’s field is dry, empty, and hot–so hot that they can barely think of anything else. Every day is the same . . .
Until one day, they hear something new.
“How do you do?”
When Goat dances into their lives, Water Buffalo and Crane can’t help but join in. Suddenly their field doesn’t seem dry, empty, and hot at all. Even after Goat dances away, their world is no longer so small.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury publishing in exchange for an honest review.
The story follows Water Buffalo and a Crane as they as they go through life bored and hot. Until one day everything changes. When Goat enters their lives, their perspective changes. Goat brings fun and spontaneity to their days. Suddenly Water Buffalo and Crane are no longer hot or bored because they are to busy having fun. The story has a beautiful message of how life can change if you are willing to broaden your horizons and say hi to someone new. The illustrations are bright and show all the animals in an animated light. I think this is a great book to share in classrooms for social and emotional learning. It teaches readers that they should not be afraid to meet new people.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Friendship, Skills Children Learn

Polar Bear Island By Lindsay Bonilla

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Back of Book:
“Welcome to Polar Bear Island. NO OTHERS ALLOWED!” Parker is the mayor of this peaceful, predictable island, and he wants to keep it just the way it is. But Kirby, a penguin, thinks the place is paradise, and she wants to stay. Parker says no, but the other polar bears love Kirby —and soon they’re begging Parker to let Kirby (and her family) move in. Will Parker agree . . . and make the island fun for EVERYONE?
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from publisher Sterling Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.
This is a terrific story for children with an important message that everyone brings something new and different to our world. Parker loves the predictability of his world. When Kirby comes to town, it throws his entire perspective off. I love the way that this story discusses inclusion and diversity in a way that children will understand and appreciate. A perfect way to open up discussions in classrooms on accepting students from other countries and cultures. The end of the story shows all the animals enjoying time together. The illustrations are colorful and fun. I love this story and look forward to sharing it in my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Friendship, Skills Children Learn

Goat’s Coat By Tom Percival

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Back of Book:
Alfonzo couldn’t be happier. He just got an amazing new coat, and he feels like a million dollars. But when he discovers some creatures in need of help, will Alfonzo be able to give up his treasured possession to save the day?
This great big hug of a book shows that kindness is definitely the best recipe.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury Children’s books in exchange for an honest review. This is a touching story about Alfonzo the goat and his kindness to his friends. As Alfonzo wants through the woods he encounters many of his friends with troubles in the woods. He gives each of his friends a piece of the coat to help them. At the end of the story, his friends come together and repay his kindness. The book is told with a fun and upbeat rhyming scheme that will keep readers engaged throughout the book. The themes of kindness and friendship are perfectly tied into the story. The illustrations are bright and full of color. This is a fantastic book to share in the classroom about the importance of always being kind to others.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Friendship

Zola’s Elephant By Randall de Sève

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Back of Book:

When Zola moves into the neighborhood, her new next-door neighbor is too shy to go over and introduce herself. Plus, Zola already has a friend to play with—an elephant!
What we imagine is not always true, as the little girl discovers. Luckily, she also discovers that being brave can lead to new friendships—and even richer imaginary worlds—in this heartwarming book about friendship, moving, and the power of imagination.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Randall de Seve in exchange for an honest review.
Zola’s Elephant is a wonderful story that shows readers the beauty of imagination and the importance of having the courage to meet new people. The story follows a young girl as she shares her apprehension about meeting her new neighbor Zola. The girl convinces herself that Zola has a has a much more exciting life then she does that includes an elephant. In reality, Zola is lonely and needs a new friend. The illustrations are whimsical and nothing short of stunning! The end of the book has a sweet ending that encourages readers to get to know new friends. This is a perfect tale to share in the classroom when a new student joins the class.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Friendship, School, Skills Children Learn

Eraser By Anna Kang

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Back of Book:
Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else’s mistakes. Except for Ruler and Pencil Sharpener, none of the other school supplies seem to appreciate her. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it’s not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this story in exchange from author Anna Kang in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely love that this story teaches readers several different lessons about character. It touches on teamwork, kindness, friendship, self-esteem, growth mindset, and more. It is an excellent story to read at the beginning of the school year. It follows a little eraser who is tired of being overlooked, and under apricated. As the story progresses Eraser realizes how important her role truly is. I loved that all writing tools are in this book and that they all play a unique role in the story line. The illustrations are terrific, and bring the cast of character’s to life. I highly recommend this book to all educators, and school librarians.
40 Pages
Ages 5 and up

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Friendship

Luigi and the Barefoot Racesby Dan Paley

Luigi

Back of Book:
They say Luigi always ran barefoot. And they speak of his greatest challenge―the race nobody thought he could win, not even Luigi himself.

Maybe it’s urban legend, or maybe the true events have acquired added luster in Dan Paley’s memory. After all, a story this amazing couldn’t possibly be true, could it?
My Review:
I received a copy of this from author Dan Paley in exchange for an honest review.
Teaching students about Tall Tales can be fun, and exciting. When I read Luigi and the barefoot races I fell in love with the concept of a modern Tall Tale. The story follows Luigi a young boy who is the fastest barefoot runner on the block. That is, until Mean Max almost takes the title away from him. The twist at the end surprised me and made me smile. The text is well written and makes a perfect book for a unit study of figurative language, or adjectives. The illustrations are soft and show the excitement of the neighborhood races. The back of the book has information about Tall Tales, as well as facts about the state of Philadelphia. I look forward to sharing this book in my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Food, Friendship

Rubio and Julienne: A Sweet and Cheesy Tale by Dan Paley

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Back of Book:
Rubio Fromage sat in his father’s cheese shop and longed to taste the beautiful fruits in the window of the fruit shop across the street. Julienne Chéri sat in her mother’s fruit shop and longed to taste the delectable wheels and savory wedges in the window of the cheese shop across the street. But Rubio’s father hated fruit and Julienne’s mother hated cheese, and the children were forbidden to speak to each other. But one day while making deliveries, they collided on a street corner. Rubio’s cheeses and Julienne’s fruits flew skyward and fell on their heads, creating spontaneous juicy pairings that they couldn’t help but taste. The forbidden combinations were out of this world. Nothing could ever be the same.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from the author Dan Paley in exchange for an honest review.
I am simply in love with this adorable spin on the Romeo and Juliet story with a wonderful food twist. The story follows Rubio a cheese makers son and Julienne a fruit sellers daughter. Their parents are at war with one another still, the two children become friends and find that cheese and fruit taste better together. I love the message of the story that trying new food can be a delicious and exciting experience. The back of the story has a list of fruit and cheese combinations for readers to try out. The illustrations in this story are simply charming! Filled with beautiful and vibrant colors that will engage readers to keep turning the page. Lauren Gallegos is truly talented. I am looking forward to sharing with story with my classroom. The book also is a perfect into to a writing prompt about different food combinations. I highly recommend this story!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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