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Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas By Natasha Yim

Back of Book:

 In this Chinese American retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

My Review: This year I wanted to take time to teach my students about what a Chinese New Year looks like. I searched for stories that were fun and engaging. In doing so I found Goldy Luck and the three Pandas. My students already love the story of Goldy Locks and the three bears. I was excited when they loved this story just as much. I liked that there are traditional Chinese words sprinkled throughout the storyline. It was just enough to help me create conversations with my students. I also liked that in this story Goldy goes back and takes responsibility for her actions. The illustrations are beautiful and my students loved that the three bears were Panda Bears.

Ages 4 and up

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Baseball, Civil Rights, Read Your World

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story By Audrey Vernick

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Back of Book:

 Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.

My Review:

I did not  grow up around baseball in the same way that other people did. My family is a football family. When I started teaching, I began to realize how many amazing picture books are centered around the game of baseball. I had never heard of Effa Manley until I picked up this story. I feel in love with her strength and pride. This book really tells the story of how one African American woman broke all the stereotypes that were put in her path. This is an excellent story that is perfect for baseball lovers. It also fits into Black History month or National Woman’s month. I truly enjoyed reading it.

Ages 6 and up

32 Pages  

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4th of July

Lady Liberty’s Holiday By Jen Arena

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Back of Book:

 The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

With some encouragement from her friend Moe the pigeon, Lady Liberty takes off to see the rest of America! She explores the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, the waving wheat fields of Kansas, the breathtaking grandeur of the Grand Canyon, and the cozy sunshine of the California coastline. But will Lady Liberty make it back to New York City for the Fourth of July? And will she even want to?

My Review:

This is a fun story to read around the 4th of July. The Statue of Liberty decides she has been in one place for too long. She decides to go visit the United States. I loved that each place the statue visited was a famous landmark. This book shows children small snapshots of the famous and beautiful places around the United States. The ending I sweet and creates a no place like home feel.

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages 

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100th Day of School

Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit Sue Ganz-Schmitt

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Back of Book:

Star Log: Day 100. Base camp is lively. I greet my crewmates and admire their work. We have mastered many skills on our journey, but today brings a new milestone. There have been: 100 roll calls. 100 songs. 100 pledges. 100 challenging days full of exploration and triumph!

My Review.

I have been teaching Kindergarten for two years now and I truly believe that my students get more excited about the 100th day of school then Christmas. I had 16 boys this this year so I spent time making sure that I found fun boy books to share with my class. When I found Planet Kindergarten I knew my boys would adore it.  It is a fun story that lists all fun things that a Kindergarten class learns in the first 100 days. From safety and pledges, songs, and everything in between. This is a fun, quick read to help celebrate the 100th Day of school. 

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Ages 4 and up

36 pages

Art, Read Your World

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Back of Book:

 Somewhere in Brooklyn, a little boy dreams of being a famous artist, not knowing that one day he would make himself a king.

My Review:

When I heard that this book was a winner of a Caldecott Medal and a winner of a Coretta Scott Illustrator Award I knew I had to read it.  I did not know much about the great artist Jean Michel Basquiat and this story opened my eyes to his fight and challenges he faced to become the great artist he was. Jean was famous for his collage-style painting and the illustrations in this story mirror the authors work. I am so glad that this book received an award for its unique and breathtaking images. This is a perfect story to add to any collection. I would keep it for an older audience because some of it is a bit heavy for younger audiences to read and understand. Overall, I say a true winner and worth reading.

Ages 9 and up

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40 Pages

 

History

Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud By Suzanne Tripp Jurmain

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Back of Book:

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were good friends with very different personalities. But their differing views on how to run the newly created United States turned them into the worst of friends. They each became leaders of opposing political parties, and their rivalry followed them to the White House. Full of both history and humor, this is the story of two of America’s most well-known presidents and how they learned to put their political differences aside for the sake of friendship.

My Review: I consider myself to be an enthusiast when it comes to reading about early American history. When I saw this book at the library I knew I had to add it to my to be read pile. (which is growing rapidly) This picture book shows a beautiful glimpse into the lives of Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. It discusses the issues they had and the problems that came from it. Illustrator Larry Day did an excellent job of bringing these two men to life. I truly enjoyed reading the story.

Ages 8 and up

32 pages

Click Here to find on Amazon