Read Your World, Biography

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist By Margarita Engle

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Back of Book:
Louis loves to watch birds. He takes care of injured birds and studies how they look and how they move. His father wants him to become an engineer, but Louis dreams of being a bird artist. To achieve this dream, he must practice, practice, practice. He learns from the art of John James Audubon. But as Louis grows up, he begins to draw and paint living, flying birds in their natural habitats.
Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927) is now known as the father of modern bird art. He traveled with many scientific expeditions all over the world. His best-known works—paintings for habitat exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York—are still beloved by visitors today. His art helped to encourage wildlife conservation, inspiring people to celebrate and protect the world of wings.
My Review:
This is a fantastic nonfiction picture book. Readers follow the life of Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Each page of this text is written as a poem. The unique aspect of this book is that it is written in a first-person narrative. This book is well researched and captures readers attention. There is a great historical note in the back that tells readers more about the great artist. The illustrations are stunning and allow readers to see the beauty of the birds that Louis was so in love with. This book is meant for older audiences and is a great addition to any diverse picture book list. I recommend this book for all libraries and classrooms.
Ages 7 and up
40 Pages

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Read Your World

Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt

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Back of Book:

 

Presented as a thoughtful, poetic exchange between two characters — who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions — this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

 

My Review:

 

Scholastic has managed to publish one of the most beautiful diverse picture books of the year.  It is a profound truth in a simple and easy to read format. Why am I me? Each page of this story shows the subtle differences that make a person unique.  The story follows a boy and a girl as they realize that everyone around them are unique and different.  The story is not text heavy, but rich in symbolism. This is an excellent story to teach cultural differences in a positive light. The illustrations make this book. They are detailed and truly stunning. This is the kind of story that should be in every school and library.  It is a book that opens up conversations to culture, race, and identity.  This is a beautiful addition to any diverse reading list.

 

Ages 5 and up

 

40 Pages

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Read Your World, Uncategorized

Jabari Jumps By Gaia Cornwall

jabari Jumps

Back of Book:
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
My Review:
This is the type of story that makes a reader cheer along with Jabari as he jumps off the diving board. This book does a beautiful job of showing children what bravery look likes. The story begins with Jabari being slightly scared to jump. As the story progresses, Jabari gets more and more courage. The story is a great read to introduce growth mindset to children. Jabari also shows readers that sometimes a challenge can end in a surprise. I love that the entire family is involved in watching Jabari jump. This is a great addition to any diverse booklist. I am looking forward to sharing it with my students.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World

Malala’s Magic Pencil By Malala Yousafzai

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Back of book:

 

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

 

My Review:

 

I have always been a huge fan of Malala. I think she is an incredibly brave and strong young woman.  Her inspiration to the world is told in this beautifully written story.  It follows the journey of Malala as she grows up loving to learn. She soon realizes that not everyone is willing to let women have access to education. The story briefly discusses the war zone of Pakistan and the men who tried to silence Malala for good.  This story is incredibly moving and allows readers to see how one young girl, made a difference to the world. I thought the illustrations were well drawn. They depict the war and danger, without being to overpowering. I would say this book is better suited for slightly older readers who can fully understand the impact that Malala had. An excellent book to add to any diverse book collection.

 

Ages 7 and up

 

42 Pages

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Read Your World, Uncategorized

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach By Carmen Agra Deedy

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Back of Book:
Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn’t know coffee beans about love and marriage. That’s where her Cuban family comes in. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increíble, some shocking advice.
“You want me to do what?” Martina gasps.
At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela’s unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love.
My Review:
Folk Tales can be excellent teaching tools in classrooms. They not only discuss tradition and culture, they also teach children morals. I love the story of Martina because it teaches readers to look beyond original appearance’s. I think that the idea that people should really know their mates before they marry them. It is an interesting and important concept that children should learn. I can see this book being used beautifully in middle school as an example of fables in other countries. I would definitely recommend this story.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World, Uncategorized

Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding By Lenore Look

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Back of Book: Jenny’s favorite uncle, Peter, is getting married, and everyone is happy happy — everyone, that is, except Jenny. While her family runs about getting ready for the traditional Chinese wedding — preparing for the tea ceremony, exchanging good-luck money called hungbau, helping the bride with her many dresses — Jenny is crying on the inside. How is she supposed to still be Uncle Peter’s number-one girl, with her new aunt Stella around? Maybe if she can stop the day’s events from happening, he won’t get married at all
My Review: I have never read a story like this. It is a beautiful look at the unique traditions of a Chinese Wedding. It teaches readers the importance of traditions and history. I learned several new things about a Chinese Wedding. Such as the barging and paying of the bride, the tea ceremony, and why the children go jump on the bed. I loved that there is so much culture that is taught in the story. The book also discusses change, and how it can be difficult for children to adjust to new family dynamics. I highly recommend this book for all classrooms, as well as home libraries.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

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Read Your World

Most People by Michael Leannah

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Back of Book: Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris’s emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah’s words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the Goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well intended. Most People is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media.
My Review:
This is a much needed and refreshing story. It is a beautiful look at how most people behave. The story shows readers that people are kind and good. This book talks about the negative images that children see in the news, be it tv, magazines, or on the internet. The story focuses on sharing with children that not all people are rude or unkind. Most People have good hearts, and want to help each other. The illustrations are beautifully drawn, and portray people of all race, color, and religion. This is a must read for any diverse book collection.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages.

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Dog stories, Read Your World

Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari

hello goodbye dog

Back of Book:

For Zara’s dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with her favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side.
Hello, Moose!
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed at school and Moose has to go back home.
Goodbye, Moose.
But Moose can’t be held back for long. Through a series of escalating escapes, this loyal dog always finds her way back to Zara, and with a little bit of training and one great idea, the two friends find a way to be together all day long.

My Review:

I love that there is a picture book about the amazing things that therapy dogs can help with. Zara has a wonderful dog who hates hearing the word no.  Moose just wants to stay in the classroom and listen to stories.  The ending of this story is sweet and refreshing.  I love that although the main character of this story is in a wheelchair it is never mentioned. Zara represents a good percentage of students within the school system. Sadly, children in wheelchairs are not often seen in literature.  Hello Goodbye Dog is a wonderful look into a world that children may never have heard about. I love that it teaches children about therapy dogs, and how they can help people.  The illustrations in this book are beautiful! They bring this story to life.  The back of the book This is a perfect book to add to any diverse reading list.

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages

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Friendship, Read Your World

Beautiful By Stacy McAnulty

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Back of Book: This picture book is filled with wit and musings on what it means for a young girl to be beautiful. The illustrations evoke a feeling of uniqueness, independence, and strength, defining beauty through diversity, talents, and passions. Girls are playing football, eating messy oranges, digging in the mud, laughing at themselves, and flying like birds on swings.

 My Review:

This book is truly a unique look at what it means to be beautiful. I was very excited when this book was at the May book fair. The librarian made sure that this was on my wish list. My favorite part of this book was how simple the text is. It shows little girls of all culture, and color. Each page shows these young girls enjoying the same activities. I love that this story shows real girls who are getting messy, leaning, dancing, and enjoying life. Joanne brought the story to life with her fun, and engaging illustrations. Every mother, grandmother, aunt and friend should add this to their girls bookshelf.

Ages 5 and up

32 pages

 

Read Your World

The Water Princess By Susan Verde

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Back of Book:

 With its wide sky and warm earth, Princess Gie Gie’s kingdom is a beautiful land. But clean drinking water is scarce in her small African village. And try as she might, Gie Gie cannot bring the water closer; she cannot make it run clearer. Every morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own.

My Review: I read this book in class on March 22nd for #wordwaterday It is a perfect story to read to kids about the importance of conserving water. My students were amazing that the book is based on a true story. It created a great conversation in my classroom about what we can do as a class to save water. I loved the way this book is set up. I loved the unique illustrations and so did my students. There is also a great note in the back of the book that talks about the Woman the book is based on.

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages

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