Career Day

Astronaut Annie by Suzanne Slade

Astronaut Annie

Back of Book:
Annie’s joyful exuberance and her family’s whole-hearted support leave no doubt that her dream is within her grasp. This delightful story―with backmatter about women astronauts―encourages young readers to pursue their dreams and reach for the stars.

Career Day is approaching, and Annie can’t wait to show her family what she’s planning to be when she grows up. But, she must keep it a secret until Friday! So curious family members each ask Annie for a clue. Convinced that she’ll be a news reporter like he once was, Grandpop gives her his old camera to use for her presentation. Grandma is sure Annie wants to be a champion baker like her, so she offers a mixing bowl and oven mitts to Annie. Hopeful she’ll become the mountain climber he aspired to be, Dad gives Annie an old backpack. Mom presents Annie with a pair of high-top sneakers to pursue Mom’s favorite sport in high school — basketball.

Grateful for each gift, Annie cleverly finds a way to use them all to create her Career Day costume. When the big day arrives, Annie finally reveals her out-of-this-world dream to everyone.

My Review:
I was so excited when I won a signed copy of this book from the author. I immediately fell in love with the concept of this story. Annie is the type of character that should be in every picture book. I loved how Annie involved every member of her family in her mystery. The illustrations in this story are soft and beautiful. The back of the book has information about women in space as well as information about the moon. This is a perfect story to share during a career day or community helper unit.

36 Pages
Ages 5 and up

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Earth Day

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

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Back of Book:
Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.
My Review:

Oliver Jeffers is an incredibly talented author and illustrator who crafted a perfect read aloud for Earth Day. I love that the book describes the different terrain that can found around earth. I also love that this book shows the many types of people groups that can be found on earth. The text is rich in figurate language as well as humor. The illustrations are colorful and draw readers into the text. A perfect addition to any Earth Day unit study. I am looking forward to sharing this book with my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

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Books and Library

The Magician’s Hat By Malcolm Mitchell

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Back of Book:
Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell presents the story of a magician who reveals an awe-inspiring treasure from his bag of tricks — books that make every kid’s dream come true!

This is not your typical afternoon at the library — a magician invites kids to reach into his hat to pull out whatever they find when they dig down deep. Soon — poof! — each child comes away with something better than they could’ve imagined — a book that helps them become whatever they want to be, and makes their dreams come true through pages and words, and the adventures that follow. But each child can’t help but wonder, What’s really making the magic happen?

My Review:
I absolutely love that Malcolm Mitchell is so passionate about literacy and bringing the joy of reading to others. His book The Magician’s Hat is a truly fantastic story about the love of books. The message to readers about how important literacy can be. My favorite part of this book is when the magician shows each child a book about what they want to be when they grow up. This in an amazing addition to any unit about careers or community helpers. Th illustrations are beautifully detailed and show readers the magic of reading if they are willing to open a book. I cannot wait to share this book with my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Uncategorized

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

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Back of Book:
This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo. We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.
My Review:
This is the type of book that we need more of it Kid Literature! It is a truly beautiful look a what it means to be kind and caring to one another. The entire book is uplifting and shows illustrations of children being kind and loving. I believe this is one of those stories that should be in every classroom and library. It shows readers a beautiful blend of the diversity in the world and how they can embrace and love and diversity. An excellent resource for all young girls. I hope that Grace and Keturah do another collaboration together soon.
32 Pages
Ages 5 and up

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Farm

Old MacDonald Had a Dragon by Ken Baker

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Back of Book:
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! And on that farm he had…a dragon? The animals aren’t happy that there’s a dragon on the farm. But Old MacDonald likes his dragon…until it starts swallowing up the animals! Can Old MacDonald save his farm before it’s too late? Find out in this silly adaptation of the popular song.
My Review:
If you are looking for a fun read aloud about dragons then “Old MacDonald had a Dragon” is a must read! Famer MacDonald loves having a dragon with his farm. Until that dragon begins causing trouble. The rhyming text allows readers to follow along and stay engaged. My students loved singing and laughing along with this story. The illustrations are fun and silliness of the story. A perfect classroom addition to our farm unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Uncategorized

Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert

 

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Back of Book:

This beautiful picture book tells the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and an inspiration to Misty Copeland..

Raven Wilkinson was born on February 2, 1935, in New York City. From the time she was a little girl, all she wanted to do was dance. On Raven’s ninth birthday, her uncle gifted her with ballet lessons, and she completely fell in love with dance. While she was a student at Columbia University, Raven auditioned for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and was finally accepted on her third try, even after being told she couldn’t dance with them because of her skin color.

When she started touring with her troupe in the United States in 1955, Raven encountered much racism in the South, but the applause, alongside the opportunity to dance, made all the hardship worth it. Several years later she would dance for royalty with the Dutch National Ballet and regularly performed with the New York City Opera until she was fifty.

My Review:

This book is a true gem in every way! I had never heard of Raven before reading this story and I am so glad that it was written. This book leaves an impact on all who read it. The strength and determination that Raven had to chase her dreams is truly inspiring. The shows her trials and triumphs in a way that all readers can understand and appreciate.  The photo in the front of the book of Raven and Misty Copeland is emotional and shows the impact that Raven had on ballet. I also loved that both famous ballerinas left a letter to the readers.  The illustrations in this story are beautify drawn and made me want to go see more ballet. I highly recommend this book for all libraries and classrooms.

Ages 6 and up

40 Pages

 

 

spring

A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox Wendy Pfeffer

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Back of Book:

 

The spring equinox signals the time of year when the days are getting longer, the growing season has begun, and animals give birth to their young. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this book explains the science behind spring and shows how the annual rebirth of Earth has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the ages and the world.

 

My Review:

 

I love reading this beautifully written and illustrated story that shares the changes that occur springtime. I love that readers get to learn about the science behind the changes in spring. The story explains to readers how the Spring Equinox happens.  This story also discusses culture and holidays that occur in spring like Chinse New Year, the Indian holiday of Holi, or Pancake Week in Russia. Each page is illustrated with lovely details to show how each holiday is celebrated in spring. This story is an excellent recourse to teach children about diverse holidays in the springtime. The back of the book has several hands on activities that can be shared in classrooms or at home.

 

Ages 5 and up

 

40 Pages

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Gardens and plants

Jody’s Beans Malachy Doyle

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Back of Book:
When Jody’s grandfather comes to visit, he brings along a packet of seeds for them to plant. Through spring, summer, and fall, Jody watches her plants sprout, flower, and grow lots of beans. Soon, as Jody’s parents await a new baby, Grandpa and Jody are picking the beans – and waiting for next spring.

My Review:
This is one of my most favorite stories to read when discussing seeds and plants. We are getting ready to plant our own seeds in my class so I will be sharing this book before we plant them. I love that this story breaks down the growing process. The index in the back of the book allows readers to look for specific areas of planting. The illustrations are soft and capture Jody’s excitement as she watches the plants grow. A perfect read aloud for classrooms or home.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Uncategorized

Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History! by Shana Corey

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Back of Book:
A fun, feel-good, “underdog” story about a little-known female athlete whose derring-do transformed girls’ sports.

Are you brave enough to make a wave? If you love sports and people who aren’t afraid to swim against the tide, Annette Kellerman and her freestyle approach to life will make your heart swell.

With strokes of genius, Shana Corey and Edwin Fotheringham pool their talents to create a winning portrait of a little-known athlete, performer, and fashion revolutionary who broke records (and rules!) and dazzled the world with her splashy pluck and courage.
My Review:
Until reading this picture book, I had never realized that I took wearing a bathing suit for granted. When I read the description of this story I knew I had to add it to my National Women’s Month unit. I love that the book follows Annette from her childhood on. Annette was the first woman to ever swim the English Channel! She broke records and shocked the world with her talent. The illustrations are beautiful and show readers the beauty of water ballet. The back of the book has an extensive note from the author that shares more about the ways that Annette changed swim forever!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Passover

The Matzah Man: A Passover Story by Naomi Howland

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Back of Book:

 

In this lively adaptation of “The Gingerbread Boy,” a bold little man made of matzah jumps out of the baker’s oven and leads him and everyone in the neighborhood—all of whom are preparing for Passover—on a merry chase. With colossal chutzpah, the Matzah Man taunts Cousin Tillie as she is cooking brisket, Auntie Bertha trying on her new spring shoes, and Grandpapa Solly making gefilte fish. He at last arrives on the doorstep of clever Mendel Fox, who offers him a hiding place under the Passover matzah cover—and when the seder meal begins, that’s the end of the Matzah Man!

 

My Review:

 

Anytime I can combine cultural lessons with stories that my students are already familiar with I do. I enjoy reading The Matzah Man near the end of Passover. It is a fun story that still captures the traditions of Passover. The text in this story is easy to follow and tells the story of the Matzah Man running away. The illustrations are well drawn and show the details of a Passover dinner. I love that there is a glossary in the back that has the definitions of the terms used in the story. In my opinion this story is a needed addition to any Passover Unit.

 

Ages 5 and up

 

32 Pages

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