School, Uncategorized

If You Take a Mouse to School By Laura Numeroff


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 Back of Book: If you take a mouse to school, he’ll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he’ll want a sandwich to go in it. Then he’ll need a notebook and some pencils. He’ll probably want to share your backpack, too

My Review:  If you take a mouse to school is a fun quick read aloud that prepares students for the first day of school. It is written with the same pattern as the book if you give a mouse a cookie. Each page discusses a different and fun activity that the mouse becomes involved in. The illustrations are fun, colorful, and very engaging. This is a perfect book for preschoolers and kindergarten students on the first day of school. I will be reading this book to my students on Monday.

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

School, Uncategorized

Kindergarten Rocks! By Katie Davis

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Back of Book: Dexter already knows everything there is to know about kindergarten. His big sister, Jessie, told him all about it. So Dexter is not scared. Not even a little bit. But his stuffed dog, Rufus, is scared. Actually, he’s terrified. But Dexter–er, Rufus–has nothing to fear: As he’ll soon find out, kindergarten rocks!

My Review: I start teaching my second year of Kindergarten on Monday and I’m super excited and tired! One of my favorite books to read in the first week is Kindergarten Rocks. Dexter is preparing for Kindergarten and is just a bit nervous. The story gives examples of what students will learn in Kindergarten as well as what they will do.  I love that the story discusses things like making art writing letters, and looking at books. It gives very specific examples that students can look forward to. The illustrations are unique in that they have word bubbles to show whose talking. I have never seen this in a picture book before.  The ending is fun and shows students and parents how amazing Kindergarten can be.

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

Chinese Culture, Read Your World

Roses Sing on New Snow: a Delicious Tale By Paul Yee



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 Back of Book: Maylin is a young girl who works very hard in her father’s restaurant 7 days a week in China Town.  She loves creating delicious meals that everyone will enjoy. She especially loves cooking for the men who are new to America and may be missing their families back in China. Although Maylin cooks very hard she never gets any of the credit. Her lazy father and brothers take credit even though they have never cooked a day in their lives. Then one  day the governor of South China arrives. Maylin’s father orders her to make a dish that will impress the governor. She creates a delicious dish and names it Roses Sing on New Snow. The governor loved Maylin’s the best out of all the dishes He demanded to know who had created such an amazing dish. He and all the guests at the feast were surprised to see that a woman created the dish. The governor demanded that Maylin come to China and create the dish for the emperor of China!

My Review:  I randomly picked up this book based on the cover and after reading it was immediately glad I had. It is a beautiful story that shows Chinese culture in America. Maylin is a strong female character who is not afraid to work hard and fight for what she believed in. This is a great story to pull out when discussing strong female roles the Chinese New Year.

Ages 8 and up

32 Pages


Made in China: A Story of Adoption By Vanita Oelschlager

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 Back of Book: The girl in this story told by her older sister, in a teasing manner, that she is adopted from China, and marked just like the broom and their toys. Upset, she goes to her father who tells her the story of how she came to be their child but you’re not made like a toy, you were made in China to give us joy. And, he also reminds her that “”you are much more than what people say about you.

My Review:   Adoption is an amazing thing. It can be such a huge blessing for both parents and children alike. Still, it can be a difficult transition for children especially for children who look so different then the family that they are now a part of.  I thought that this story discusses some very common questions that children who are adopted can ask. It also shows tense sibling relationships that can occur between biological children and an adopted child. Overall, this is an excellent story about adoption.

Ages 5 and up

30 Pages

School, Skills Children Learn

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes By Mark Pett

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Back of Book: Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!

My Review: I have learned that even in Kindergarten children can be perfectionists and when they don’t get something right they completely fall apart. I have to remind them that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes. Beatrice is a girl who does everything perfect until one day she doesn’t. Then she realizes that it can be okay to not be perfect all the time. This is an excellent story to read to any child who thinks that they must perform perfectly at all times.

Ages 6 and up

32 pages


Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 By Michelle Markel

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 Back of Book: When Clara arrived in America, she couldn’t speak English. She didn’t know that young women had to go to work, that they traded an education for long hours of labor, that she was expected to grow up fast. But that didn’t stop Clara. She went to night school, spent hours studying English, and helped support her family by sewing in a shirtwaist factory. Clara never quit, and she never accepted that girls should be treated poorly and paid little. Fed up with the mistreatment of her fellow laborers, Clara led the largest walkout of women workers the country had seen. From her short time in America, Clara learned that everyone deserved a fair chance. That you had to stand together and fight for what you wanted. And, most importantly, that you could do anything you put your mind to.

My Review:   I have recognized a trend of people looking for books with strong female roles. After I read this story I decided that it was a perfect example of what girls can accomplish. Clara is an immigrant girl who learns to fight for what she believes in. This picture book includes a bibliography and an author’s note on the garment industry. The descriptions in the story transported me to a tough place in America history. The book is well researched and can easily be used to teach a core part of our history.

Ages 8 and up

32 Pages


The Scrambled States of America By Laurie Keller

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Back of Book:  At the first annual “states party,” Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places. In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Will the states ever unscramble themselves and return to their proper places?

My Review: Teaching children about the states names and placement should be fun. However, often going over the states and capitols can be a daunting task how teachers and parents alike. This is a fun picture book that discusses the idea of states switching places and what a mess it would be. The state of Kansas is bored and wants to meet other states so he decides to throw a huge party to meet all the states. During the party the states decide to switch places and see if they like other areas better. They all soon realize that where they are is where they are meant to be.  I think this is a great book to use while discussing difference in the states in the United States of America

Ages 6 and up

40 Pages


Mirette on the High Wire By Emily Arnold McCully

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Back of Book: Mirette was always fascinated by the strange and interesting people who stayed in her mother’s boardinghouse. But no one excited her as much as Bellini, who walks the clothesline with the grace and ease of a bird. When Mirette discovers that fear has kept him from performing for years, she knows she must repay him for the kindness he has shown her — and show him that sometimes a student can be the greatest teacher of all.

My Review: This book is a Caldecott Medal winner and rightfully should be. It is a beautiful story set in France about a dare devil and a little girl who believes in him! Mirette falls in love with the idea of walking a high wire and begs Bellini to teach her how to walk on the wire. He reluctantly begins to show her how to walk on the wire.  This story is a great look at the strength and diligence a person must have if they want to face their fear. The illustrator of this book made the pictures to resemble the beautiful French paintings.  They draw a reader in and keep them there.  For me this is a story that should be on every teacher’s book shelf and be a part of every library.

Ages 8 and up

32 Pages

Books and Library

Librarian on the Roof! A True Story By M. G. King

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Back of Book: When RoseAleta Laurell begins her new job at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, she is surprised that the children of the town think the library is for adults. She vows to raise the money for a children’s section and spends a week living and working on the library roof, even surviving a dangerous storm. With the help of the entire town, RoseAleta raises over $39,000 from within the community and across the country.

My Review:  This is an extremely fun look at how unique librarians can be. RoseAleta is not your normal librarian. She is willing to take risks and try new things in order to help her library grow. This book is based on a true story and is great to use for a unit on influential people or biographies. The illustrations in this story are fun and eye catching. I enjoyed reading this story very much and am looking forward to sharing it with my students.

Ages 7 and up

32 pages


My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother By Patricia Polacco


Back of Book: After losing running, climbing, throwing, and burping competitions to her obnoxious older brother, a young girl makes a wish on a falling star but wishes have a funny way of turning out differently then you plan.

My Review:  Anyone who has a brother will understand this story. Brothers can be the most annoying creatures on earth but, they can also be the protector and caregivers. This story talks about how when Patricia Polacco was a little girl she hated her older brother Richard. She couldn’t understand how anyone could like him. One night she makes a wish on a falling star that she can do something, anything better then Richard. After several tries she finally thinks she can beat him at the fair on the marry-go-round. She rides the marry-go-round until she falls and gets hurt. It is up to her brother to save the day.  This is a very sweet story about sibling rivalry and the love that comes with it. Polacco does an excellent job of showing readers a look into the life she lived as a little girl. As with all her stories the illustrations are beautiful and draw a reader in.

Ages 8 and up

32 Pages