Dog stories, Read Your World

Operation Rescue Dog By Maria Gianferrari

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Back of Book:
This sweet story about a girl named Alma and a stray dog named Lulu shows how a girl and a dog can rescue each other. Lulu sleeps under the moon, drinking from mud puddles and is covered in ticks until she is rescued. She waits for the Operation Rescue Dog truck, scared and uncertain. Alma misses her Mami, who is far away in Iraq. Alma wears Mami’s scarf around her like a hug. She wonders: Can a dog feel like a hug?

My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Maria Gianferrari in exchange for an honest review.
Operation Rescue Dog is a touching tale about a young girl and her search for something special in her new home. Alma misses her Mami and her home in Iraq. She hopes that having a dog can make her feel like she is home. Lulu is a dog who is scared and alone. She hopes that finding a home will help her find a friend. I love this touching story that shares two perspectives throughout the story. Readers will love watching as Alma and Lulu find their way to one another. The text is lyrical and filled with figurative language. The illustrations are beautiful and show readers the story from both Alma and Lulu views. I can see Maria’s passion for rescue dogs and the people who choose to love them. She wrote an author note and shares how people can rescue dogs and give them a forever home. I am looking forward to sharing this story with my class this year.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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If You’re Going to a Marchby Martha Freeman

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If You’re Going to A march.
As more and more children attend the growing number of marches across the country, this cheerful guide serves as a great reference tool and conversation starter for youthful participants. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, this picture book addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where will I be able to go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (Yes, it is!). All the while the text stays focused on the fact that the right to assemble is a Constitutional part of our life as Americans.

My Review:
I was excited when I won this book in a giveaway from Here We Read I was very intrigued by how the author was going to write this story. Over the years Marches of all kinds have become more of a family affair. Because of this children have questions as to what a march is. I found this to be an informational story as to what can be expected at a march. The story follows several children of all ethnicities as they explain to readers what can happen during a march. I like that this story shares aspects of a march in a way that children can understand. The illustrations are detailed and fun. I love that any child reading this story can see themselves in this book. There is a short afterword in the back of the book that discusses more information about protests in America. A great resource to share with families.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World, School

All Are Welcome By Alexandra Penfold

Back of Book:
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Back of Book:
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
My Review:
This is a remarkable and beautifully executed picture book about the importance of diversity and inclusion in classrooms. The story follows several children as they enjoy all aspects of class together. This story shows readers that all students coming to school with different cultures, traditions, and experiences. The illustrations are simply memorizing! Each page of the book ends with the sentence you are welcome here. I also love that the dust jacket turns into a beautiful poster that can be hung on the wall. A great addition to any diversity unit.
Ages 5 and up
44 Pages

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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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The Dress and the Girl By Camille Andros

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Back of Book:
A little girl and her favorite dress dream of an extraordinary life. They enjoy simple pleasures together on a beautiful Greek island. They watch the sunset, do chores, and pick wildflowers on the way home. One day, the dress and the girl must leave the island and immigrate to the United States. Upon arrival, the girl is separated from the trunk carrying her favorite dress, and she fears her dress is lost forever. Many years later, the girl—now all grown up—spots the dress in a thrift store window. As the two are finally reunited, the memories of their times together come flooding back. While the girl can no longer wear the dress, it’s now perfect for her own daughter—and the new journey of a girl and her dress begins.
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this book by Camille Andros in exchange for an honest review.
I love the concept of this simple, yet powerful story about a young girl’s immigration journey. The story follows the girl as she enjoys life on her island, until one day when she has to leave for America. The message of this story is poetic. Its shows how the simple love of a dress can turn into something extraordinary. Readers will be able to relate to the girl as her life changes forever. The ending is serendipitous and allows readers to believe in new beginnings. The illustrations are soft and show readers a sampler time where life was not so hectic. This is a perfect example of how tender, and empowering diverse children’s literature can be written.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Food, Read Your World

Food Fight Fiesta: A Tale About La Tomatina by Tracey Kyle

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Back of Book:
Every year, the town of Bu?ol in Spain holds La Tomatina, a grand fiesta featuring the world?s BIGGEST food fight! Join in the fun!
My Review:
I received this book from author Tracey Kyle in exchange for an honest review.
This picture book is an adorable look at a cultural event that has become an annual tradition. I had no idea that Spain held a giant food fight every year. The rhyming text makes this a perfect read aloud. The text also has Spanish words woven throughout which give a creative and diverse twist on the story. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and show readers the fun of the food fight. The back of the book has information about La Tomatina as well as a glossary of all the Spanish words. This is a truly adorable picture book and one that I know my students will want to hear over and over.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Biography, Read Your World

Grandad Mandela Ambassador Zindzi Mandela,Zazi and Ziwelene Mandela, & Zondwa Mandela

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Back of Book:
Nelson Mandela’s two great-grandchildren ask their grandmother, Mandela’s youngest daughter, 15 questions about their grandad – the global icon of peace and forgiveness who spent 27 years in prison. They learn that he was a freedom fighter who put down his weapons for the sake of peace, and who then became the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner and realize that they can continue his legacy in the world today. Seen through a child’s perspective, and authored jointly by Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren and daughter, this amazing story is told as never before to celebrate what would have been Nelson’s Mandela 100th birthday.
My Review:
I think the beauty of this book is that it was written by Nelson Mandela’s own family. Their personal story about his life flows on each page. As a teacher, I felt like I learned several new things about Mandela’s life and legacy. I think this is an excellent nonfiction picture book about a very important man who changed South Africa for the better. It is perfect for elementary book reports. And research projects. Sean Qualls is an incredibly talented illustrator and this book is no exception. The pictures jump off the page and capture the depth of the story. This is a story that should be a part of every children’s library.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

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Ten Cents a Pound By Nhung Tran-Davies

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Back of Book:
Back of Book: A young girl and her mother have a loving, passionate conversation with each other. The girl is torn between her desire to stay home with her family and the familiarity of their village, and her desire to go to school and discover the world beyond the mountains that surround them. Every time the girl insists that she will stay, her mother repeats that she must go, that there is more to life than the labor in the coffee trees.
My Review:
I was very excited to receive a copy of this book from Second Story Press in exchange for an honest review. I found this picture book to be a stunning example of the importance of literacy. The conversation between the daughter and mother has a haunting quality to it. Each page shares the conversation that the mother and daughter have. The daughter feels like she must stay, but the mother assures her that its okay to go. The message of this story is simple and profound. It shows readers the gift of education and the sacrifices that people give in order to obtain it. The illustrations are stunning and capture the feelings and strength of both the mother and daughter. A truly remarkable story that I highly recommend!
Ages 5 and up
24 Pages

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Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

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Back of Book:

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.
My Review:
Oh my goodness I love this incredibly well written and thought out picture book. It touches on the importance of treating all people with kindness and respect. The tone of the story is gentle and loving. It shows children that they should always be kind to one another always. The illustrations are enduring and allow readers to fall in love with the story. The text is simple yet powerful and makes it a terrific read aloud for the classroom. A must have for all school libraries and classrooms.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

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Back of Book:
Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.
Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.
My Review:
I found this gem of a story tucked on a shelf in a thrift store this weekend. I was absolutely ecstatic! This is a stunning and diverse picture book that shares with readers the beauty of many different types of skin color. I love that the book is written in a simple, yet meaningful format. The illustrations are beautiful and show readers many different types of skin colors. I am looking forward to sharing this story with my students. It is so important that children see themselves in picture books. This story allows all readers to see an image of their skin color in the story. An excellent and very needed story.

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