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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Read Your World

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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Read Your World, Uncategorized

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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Read Your World

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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Read Your World

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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Animals, Read Your World

If I Had a Gryphon By Vikki VanSickle

Back of Book:
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are
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Back of Book:
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dog park, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he?
My Review:
It is not often that I find a picture book that discusses mythological creatures in a way that younger audiences can follow along with. I was very excited to find if I Had A Gryphon, It is a cute story about a young girl who is not happy with her simple hamster. Instead she imagines all the fantastic beasts that she could have instead. I loved all the different animals that this book shares. It describes each creature and teaches readers about what makes them unique. I loved the rhyming it allowed the students to follow along with Sam. A great story to read to begin a writing prompt or a compare and contrast assignment. The illustrations are detailed and give readers a clear picture of what the fantastic beasts look like. This is definitely one of my favorite stories that came from the Scholastic magazine’s this year.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World

Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family Carrie Lara PsyD

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Back of Book:
Marvelous Maravilloso is a story from the point of view of a young interracial child about what color means within the dynamics of race, ethnicity, and culture. This sweet, simple story discusses the colors of the world and the colors of the people in a family—all of which make the world beautiful and unique.
My Review:
I was so excited when I heard that this story was coming out. It is so important in today’s society to give our children books that show different family groups. It is a beautiful look at one young girl’s interracial family. I love that the book begins with the girl talking about all the beautiful colors that are all over the earth. She goes on to share her love of her family and their differences in color and culture. I absolutely fell in love with the simple and beautiful way that readers are introduced to different cultures and skin colors. There is a sprinkle of Spanish words throughout the story which allows readers to get a glimpse of the Spanish culture. The authors note in the back of the book discusses the importance of teaching children about culture and about celebrating the different kinds of people and families there are in the world. A must read for all classroom and home libraries.
32 Pages
Ages 5 and up

Read Your World

Love By Matt de la Peña

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Back of Book:
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
My Review:
I was so excited to FINALLY get this book in from my library. I read so many amazing reviews and was excited to read it. I was not disappointed! The beauty of this book is simply incredible. It begins by describing the love that parents have for their child. As the story continues readers see signs of love throughout their towns and communities. I love that the story also discusses grief, like the loss of a loved one, or a trauma that occurs in the world. I love how each page reaches a new depth. It allows readers to feel what the story is talking about. Readers are able to relate to each situation. This book can be used in so many ways for writing assignments, to lessons on empathy. The illustrations are truly remarkable! Each page brings the words to life. I am so glad that a book like this exists in the world.
Ages 6 and up
42 Pages