Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Teach With Poetry

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

            I'm happy to highlight Laura Purdie Salas' new rhyming poetry book, thanks to Laura, NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the ARC. It comes out officially in early September, will be a great start for students to begin learning about animal preparation for winter. Yes, they will begin in September. Autumn arrives on September 23rd in North America.

         Laura's clear and brief poems show her expertise in relaying pertinent and interesting information for young readers. She's divided winter preparation behavior into three parts, and then includes differences within those categories. With a shout-out to all the wonderful things one can do in autumn, a shout to do them because it's time for a change! "The banquet of autumn will soon fade away", it's time to turn the page (and season) to discover those animals that migrate to warmer places. The hummingbird doubles its size to have strength for the long journey, the monarch flies south to mate and ensure future families. I imagine children will love these familiar beginnings, then be eager to learn more. 
        Others do migrate, like the blue whale, swimming many miles to warmer water. We think miles, but another kind of migration only means to 'dig deeper', as worms do. They "Vacuum dead leaves like a super-slow sweeper/Forget going south. Just wiggle down deeper!"  Each spread offers a second bit of prose information about each animal.
         Animals, of course, don't always move; some do other kinds of preparation, eating more and more in order to take naps, short ones in a den with a stash of seeds and nuts like chipmunks or long ones, like bears. These hibernating animals are known more than others, but Laura's choices continue to suprise as she did with the worm above, this time with the Northern Wood Frog who amazes as a "frog icy pop". 
        Much information is given in the poems, the small bits of information adds to them, and  Claudine Gévry's illustrations illuminate in her soft pastels. She places the animals in settings that show the habitat and the action, like a tiny mouse stocking up its pantry, gathering seeds on what looks like a warm autumn day, then tunneling to its cozy den, Laura writes, "Hope that your tunnel doesn't collapse." 
         It's challenging not to tell about every bit of this book that is perfect for autumn learning. It's entertaining with Laura's clever wordplay shown in each poem. Here's one more sample in the final section, animals that stay and change with the colder weather, this time about moose: "Grow a new coat that's cozy and warm./Stay toasty no matter how brutal the storm."
          There is expanded information in the Backmatter. It would aid a plan for further research into these animals' lives or jumpstart wider research about animal behavior prepping for winter. Laura offers a glossary, explains three survival strategies, and a short piece telling more of these amazing survivors. It's terrific!

Monday, July 29, 2019

It's Monday - All About Love

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 

        This week, I seem to have chosen books whose underlying theme is love, even with inanimate objects!

        And there is more to love this week. The winner of my giveaway posted last Monday here is--drum roll, of course--  Casi Wildeman. I've contacted her so I can give her address to the publisher. Thanks to everyone who entered.

And Cathy Mere & Mandy Robek remind here that it's nearly time for #PB10for10! Are you getting ready?

            When I read a book and love it, I want to tell it all. I want to be sure to write enough so that everyone reads it. But I cannot. This is one to experience, to savor the warmth of the family of Mason Buttle, his grandma and Uncle Drum who, though with few words, show how much they cherish their 'best boy'. And, Mason's story is all his, as I imagine Leslie Connor wanted it to be. Come meet him and those in his life this particular time in his life, his seventh-grade year. You will fall in love.
         Crafted by Paris Rosenthal and her father Jason as a companion to Dear Girl, a "dear" book she wrote with her late mother Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It's a book to boost you if you're a boy, a book that gives a hug to all things boys can be. I like the lines later in the book that "whenever you need an encouraging boost, remember you can turn to any page in this book." It's a hug for boys, might just be what is needed sometimes! Holly Hatam also illustrated this book, filled with her signature line drawings and collages. 

           This is what a loving Papi does, comes home after a tough day of work, and takes his daughter for a ride past all her favorite places. They rumble, they nod, they wave and smile. There is Abuelita's church and Joy's Market. There are the murals that tell their history. It's sad that Don Rudy's raspado shop is closed. No flavored shaved ice today. There is more told from Isabel Quintero as she writes a sweet author's note of her town of Corona, poignant and important to read. Zeke Pena's illustrations come alive on the pages. It's almost possible to hear that motorcycle zoom. Quintero and Pena also wrote the beautiful Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Poetry Friday - Swap from Far Away

            Margaret Simon at Reflections on The Teche hosts today's Poetry Friday! She's showing us about theft, and memories, too! Be sure to visit!

           Remember last week when I shared my poem swap for Iphigene Daradar? That next day I did hear from her, that she's in Australia, and will get my swap package when she returns. Then, the very next day, I received a package from.......... Iphigene! You know as well as writing poetry, she is also a marvelous artist, so not only did I receive a special poem, there was a small painting inside, too and a collaged envelope for the poem! Iphigene must know Colorado (maybe Denver, too) well, because she wrote about rain, a childhood memory, but one I hold dear whenever we actually do receive enough to "play"!

Thanks, Iphigene, for the super swap you sent!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Inspire

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

          Perhaps you who are reading this have already seen and read Kwame Alexander's poem, The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. I had not but finally was able to get the book. The poem, first performed for ESPN's 'The Undefeated", includes references to words first said by the people celebrated. Using brief and powerful words for the unforgettable, those who survived, and didn't, the unflappable and those who shone, Kadir Nelson's beautiful art expands those brief words into what feels like a long, long look. Both did not forget the unspeakable, too. Black.Lives.Matter!

                   Here is one special group of words, accompanied by Nelson's image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
                            This is for the unlimited,
                              unstoppable ones,
                              The dreamers
                               and doers
                               who swim
                               across The Big Sea
                               of our imagination
                               and show us
                               the majestic shores
                               of the promised land:

        How wonderful it would be to use this book in classrooms, each student learning about one or more, perhaps writing a poem or prose piece for a performance celebration? If you have it for a class, or for your grandchildren, it is one to read aloud, to savor the pictures and if you don't recognize them, to discover them as new people to know.
         The book ends with a glossary of the figures acknowledged in the book and an afterword by Alexander, who writes that he wrote the poem in 2008, the year his second daughter, Samayah, was born. "Three months later, Barack Obama became the first African American president of the United States." This poem is his tribute to both.

         Throughout the pages, cranes are flying, perhaps showing the "rising" written about by Maya Angelou that Alexander references in his Afterword: "I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose." 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Monday Reading - Books For All Ages

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 

        I have a second post today, a giveaway of a new book about how money works, for young readers!

             I haven't ended a book with tears for a long time, and this time I did. When you read of twelve-year-old Hanako's family, coming from the internment camps, parents giving up their American citizenship to move back to the area around Hiroshima, you realize that war is not always over because the aftermath is also devastating. Hanako is American and now lost with her world broken, finding everything different and so hard to fit in. She's been rejected by her home country, the family's lost their restaurant, and now there is nowhere to turn but to her father's parents, tenant farmers in the countryside. The country, including Jiichan and Baachan, grandparents who shower Hanako and Akira, her young brother, with unconditional love, are starving. Yet they still make room in their small home, welcoming their son and family. They will do everything for family!
          Hanako is growing up and in that process, she questions so many things, including how to help orphans begging on the streets when her brother cries out constantly that he is hungry. In this turmoil, Grandfather Jiichan explains: "This is 'kintsukuroi'. Thing break, you must fix with gold. It is only way to live your life." This is fixing broken objects with gold lacquer, making them stronger and more beautiful than ever. Discovering that 'gold' for fixing is an underlying theme for each family member. 
         I loved another part when Hanako decided "Maybe sometimes you just had to go out into the world and trust what would happen." She has decided that gold can come in many forms, as I found in many parts of this story. Cynthia Kadohata shares the history that will enlighten those who do not know what happened to these Japanese people who were part of our country in this loving novel of hardship, love, and always hope. Julia Kuo has added a few illustrations to the story. It's a 'best book' this year for me.

        This, this book--sometimes hard to read because of the heart-rending scenes, but so hard to stop, too, because there is an underlying tension that pulled me to discover what in this world is really going on, and who is possible to trust. The girls at Raxter, a private camp, have been attacked by some kind of virus. One never knows when, or who, it will hit again. Quarantined, now with a set of rules for it, the three main characters, including the ins and outs of all relationships, stick together. The power of their love and the horrible experiences they must figure out how to survive creates an 'out-of-this-world' story that's a bit close to home when reading news of a new ebola outbreak.

It's A Giveaway - It's All About The Money!

Read about this wonderful book, then Enter to Win a copy!
            A long time ago when I was a little girl, grandparents and other family gave me two-dollar bills for different occasions. I had a special box that held them. One day, my grandpa was on his way to the bank and asked if I wanted to put the money in the bank, explained that it might be safer there. I didn't ask questions, just thought it was exciting to do that important thing. Well, it was only later when I wanted to buy something, we went to get some money. They gave me dollar bills. Where oh where were my two-dollar bills? That's when I discovered how banks and money (saved or spent) worked. 
            It would have been wonderful to have read Okeoma Moronu Schreiner's book, The Missing Money when I was little. Things have changed since then, certainly. There are different things to learn, to figure out! Okeoma says after having children: "Basically, I wanted to create a book that would help children understand the concept of money in a way that reflected the world in which they would be growing up." This time, there is a monster ATM who ate this young child's money. Before we know it, motivated he is. He devises a plan to find that monster and get his money back! As he tells Mom and Dad, he sees they aren't very concerned. It is then they realized that Kai needs to understand a few things.
With colorful, cartoon-themed and kid-friendly illustrations, Sandhya Prabhat enhances Okeoma's story that introduces a diverse family. Both words and pictures help tell Kai, and readers, about ATM machines, how they work, how they are emptied by "super-duper secure" armoured trucks that take the money to the bank. He learns about earning interest and the app that can be checked to see how much his money is growing. Whew! Kai feels lots better about his money!
To help parents and teachers use this book with children, there is an illustrated glossary and a page titled "Conversation Starters". Or, children who can already read can answer the questions in those "Starters" themselves and ask more questions if needed.

Thanks to Okeoma and FinKidLit books for the advanced copy. You can find FinKidLit here on Instagram. Okeoma plans two more books in this new series that will add to financial knowledge for younger kids.

Here's one peek inside at this helpful and fun book.

            If you'd like your own copy of this new book out this month, enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Friday Fun - Poetry Swapping!

                This week, Poetry Friday is hosted by Carol Wilcox at her blog, Carol's Corner.  Just wait until you meet Rooney! Prepare to fall in love!

                  I am celebrating today. It's my 1900th post. What a wonderful journey it's been since I started in 2011, sharing some of the ups and downs of my life and enjoying reading about others. I've made many friends, met some in person, wish often that we could all be in the same neighborhood. But perhaps we are, as Mr. Rogers sings, even here online, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."

          As you can see on the right I am participating in the Summer Swap, the lovely idea created and managed by Tabatha Yeatts (at The Opposite of Indifference) so long ago. It is lots of fun to create for someone else and also to receive a poetic surprise in the mail.
           Today I'm actually sharing a poem I wrote for Iphigene Daradar from the Gathering Books blog. I've sent to her before, but this time our US mail gives no tracking number so I still do not know if she has received my package. I hope so! Considering I was then thinking of the journey that it would take, now I wonder where it might be. It's been a long time!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Rock with Rhythm

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!
           Thanks to Charlesbridge,  Barry Wittenstein, and Keith Mallett I had the pleasure of learning about Sonny Rollins' life!

         I know little about jazz other than I like to listen to it, have fond memories of going to a small club in Kansas City where a jazz duo played some old favorites and swung with some new ideas. That's where I learned about Sonny Rollins, though until now I hadn't known the range of his music. Barry Wittenstein shows his love through taking us along on Sonny's journey, first enticing because we see Keith Mallett's dark starry picture of music floating out from the Williamsburg Bridge. 

          "What the heck is Sonny Rollins doing on the Williamsburg Bridge this time of night? Nobody knows, man. Nobody knows. 'Cept Sonny, and He.Ain't.Sayin'." 

         However, that's not really the beginning, more like the re-birth. At the start (the "First Set"), Wittenstein's poetic rhythm (needs to be read aloud to feel that beat)  fills life with Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, "Big band swing will never die." He then shows Sonny's love so strong when he got his first horn, he practiced in his closet as a young boy.
        World War II takes up some time and Sonny returns home to "end Jim Crow now" and BEBOP, with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie "Bird" Parker.  This double-page powerful spread, like others by Keith Mallett, shows that time of change. People started to notice, but here's an amazing fact told; he was only 19 in 1949! 

          By 29, Sonny "throws up his hands, lays down his horn." It was a time of reflection of re-finding his way back to his music. He played alone in his small apartment when a neighbor begged him to stop. It was too much noise. Then he found that Williamsburg Bridge and the rest of his story (the "Second Set") shows more magic. He records "The Bridge"
At the back: an Author's Note, Liner Notes: about The Bridge album, a timeline, Sonny quotes, added information links, and a bibliography.

           Here's a jazz profile from NPR on Sonny's seventieth birthday, including links from various sources and one where you can hear this great man play. He is eighty-eight years old today.

  I was fortunate to win this wonderful book from Margie Culver at Librarian's Quest

        I remember listening to some of Les Paul's music when I was young but did not know until now how amazing he was. He didn't stop figuring things out and inventing new things all of his life. His main invention was perfecting the sounds of the "solid-body electric guitar", but that certainly was not all he did in his lifetime. He took piano lessons and loved the music, but despite a note from his teacher saying he would never be musical, his mother tore up the note and told him "You can do anything you put your mind to." The story starts with Les building a crystal radio set (something many did), and then, with his first guitar, practicing and practicing until he could play it, the banjo, and the harmonica! He became popular, appeared to never be satisfied when he thought of an idea. People loved his music, wished he would make some recordings, but he didn't have a recording studio, so with the family's phonograph, the player piano, the telephone, AND the radio, he tinkered and tested, tested and tinkered, and he made his first recordings.
            This is Les Paul, musician, and inventor, persistent all his life. Kim Tomsic shares his story with excitement, showing how time after time, Les made what he wanted work. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but perhaps more exciting was his induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame at age eighty-nine. Brett Helquist's illustrations show the details of Les Paul's enthusiasm beautifully. Added information can be found in an author's note, works cited, and acknowledgments.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Reading - Where Books Are Found

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 

       There are many ways to find books to read. Here are a few. One I've left out today, but am also grateful for is recommended books loaned by friends.

from the library

        I adore every book by Kevin Henkes and was happy when I learned about his new chapter book, and even happier that I was able to get it from my wonderful library!
        Amelia, just beginning the adolescent thoughts of "BORING", a seventh-grader dear to my heart because I taught middle-schoolers for a long time, know they're shaky about growing up, mostly wishing that life would be exciting all the time. This girl whose story spans only a week, her spring break, a week where she is sure that she's the only one staying home. Her widowed, quiet professor father does not like to travel, thus the dream of Florida flies right out the window. Poor Amelia, a theme she doesn't like much, but Henkes repeats, perhaps seriously, but sometimes reflecting the feelings of a twelve-year-old. This is repeated in kind sympathy by the neighbor Mrs. O'Brien, a woman who cares for Amelia while her father works. In fact, she cares for them both with love and support.
        Amelia also misses her best friend Natalie in France, feeling quite adrift, but the feeling doesn't stay. She creates ceramic animals, this time rabbits, in a nearby studio and there meets Casey, visiting while his parents are on a retreat to save their marriage. Casey is trying to convince them to stick together, but it isn't going well and Amelia understands. Her mother died when she was two and her father, while she knows he cares, is gone a lot and distant, too. When a game begins with Casey, the two have fun creating stories about those who pass by a window. Amelia's thoughts explode when Casey sees a woman and imagines she could be Amelia's mother because of similarities. How Amelia responds, internally and outwardly makes much of the tale, showing her growth and yearning for something, anything to happen. The title echoes the emotions shown in the Emily Dickinson poem from which it came.
        It's a quiet book, certainly one showing Amelia yearning and wondering about life as she imagines it could (should?) be. I especially loved that this "tween" still used a beloved stuffed lamb, Dr. Cotton, to talk to: "She went on to tell him about Casey and Lindy, the remembered moments making their way into the catalog of her life."

           Kwame Alexander's poem about reading is lovely: "Next, dig your thumb at the bottom of each juicy section/and Pop the words out". Melissa Sweet's illustrations illuminate: see that toaster 'popping words'. Both make for slow reading, just the way to read poetry and to savor art. You have to get the book itself. I won't try to describe this special celebration of reading further. Might be a marvelous one for the first days of school? Early on, look for a quote by Nikki Grimes.

from winning a book

         Of course, "Home is a Window" and oh, Chris Sasaki shows joyous glimpses through a young girl's windows, accompanying Stephanie Parsley Ledyard's text. This young girl shares all that she knows about her home, "a table with something good and the people gathered there", "one more hide-and-seek before bath," and "what feels the same each day." Soon, however, readers realize that this is a goodbye and a move to "new". In the journey, she tells "Home is the shirt that smells like your old room." The story shows that no matter the change, everything about home will go with you and offers comfort to those who have worries about leaving the home they know. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Poetry Friday - Celebrating

                This week, Poetry Friday is hosted by Jone MacCulloch at her blog, DeoWriter.  Be sure to visit to see what Tabatha  at The Opposite of Indifference sent her for the Poetry Swap. You may want to stay a while!
        This past Monday, I shared I Am Someone Else, Poems About Pretending, created with poems by many poets you know by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu. It's another recent book of poetry you will love.           
         Celebrating anything gives a lovely feeling, but celebrating winning the Women's World Cup has to be extraordinary, right? What an exciting time on Sunday morning (US time) and since then, too. In the midst of this celebration, I'd like to add one more, celebrating Elizabeth Steinglass' poetry book, recently out, Soccerverse

         My grandchildren have not chosen to be soccer players and have chosen other sports. However, I've spent many hours at soccer practice and games watching my son learn, then improve in the game, celebrating his first goal, watching the team itself get better and better. I enjoyed the poems Liz has written about things I remember during those years as a 'soccer mom'!

         I cannot share the whole book, but I want to. It's no surprise that it begins with "The Ball", a marvel we know is not always available to kids in need around the world, though coveted in its ability for "trapping, tapping, and spinning. Perfect for kicking, bending, and winning." as Liz writes. She manages to bring the field to life in "Instructions For The Field"  which ends with a nice reminder to "catch us when we fall". Other poems include topics like shin guards talking, one of its use and one left behind takes us to memorable goals in our minds, as "A shark,/slipping/through/ the sea,/until/she smells/opportunity." Poems fill up the book with SOCCER and I've filled this ball with a few favorite lines! 

          Twenty-two poems in thirteen forms delight in images, further enhanced by Edson Ikê's innovative illustrations, each one focusing on the poem's topic both realistically and creatively. Every player, boy or girl, knows the feeling that Liz shows in this poem's beginning: "I got too mad./I tried too hard." Edson's art of an angry bull on a pointing finger is perfect for the poem "Apology" ending with "I crossed the line./I got a card." I liked this for its brevity and remember well seeing the anger, then often the embarrassment, of getting carded. Every poem will touch soccer players' hearts. They will KNOW what Liz has written about. It's a terrific addition to poetry for kids.

          Liz writes a note at the back explaining each of the poem forms she used and adds the key to which poem is in which form. Thanks, Liz, for a beautiful book.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Re-tell The News

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

            I watched with the world, fascinated during this time of high emotions wondering what would happen with twelve boys and their soccer (football) coach missing inside a cave in Thailand, blocked by flooding during the monsoon. A map on the inside covers shows the perilous journey for rescue.
            Susan Hood bases her story on the reporting of Pathana Sornhiran and together, with clear writing becoming more and more tense as the truth of the team's peril becomes real. She has centered the story on one boy, Titan, one of the youngest on the team. Dow Phumiruk fills the pages with gorgeous double-page spreads, many in darkness, showing the cave's vastness along with the boys' worry and the rescuers' movements. As you may remember, they were off on a lark to explore this cave after practice. There was a sign warning not to enter during the time of the monsoon which began in July. It was June 23rd. Unknowingly, heavy rain began while they were in the cave and when they returned to the entrance, they could not get out. 
           The text uses a countdown from the beginning, counting out the days. For ten days they went without food, drinking from drips from the stalactites. They were very hungry, spent time meditating led by their coach who had been trained as a monk. Imagine ten days on a ledge in the dark! At the same time we read of their plight, we also learn of the divers' challenge in their search. It was cold and they had no idea where the group could be. Among many, here is one page showing that moment when two divers appeared; they had found the team!

            You may know how the story ends, with part tragedy, but also many triumphs. The story takes us step by step, day by day until the boys' are safe in the hospital, not even able to see their families until checked for physical problems. They are saved and the world celebrated! 
            Susan Hood adds extra information in the backmatter, including more about the rescue, fascinating facts, how the Wild Boars got their name, a timeline, an interview with two British divers and source notes. The final page shows a special drawing of Saman Kunan, the diver who died during the rescue with the boys surrounding it. I'm glad that this story was told for those who want to know about it or to know more. 


Monday, July 8, 2019

It's Monday! Books For Everyone

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 

          Thanks to Charlesbridge for the following books, out in recent months.! 

            Here is a marvelous and heart-rending debut by Karol Silverstein, the story of Ricky (Erica, Roo or Ricky Raccoon), newly struggling from a chronic illness and newly starting a 'junior high' as a ninth-grader after a move because of her parent's divorce, thus all new kids. According to Ricky, she is definitely CURSED! 
             It's hard for me, an older adult, to understand that every movement can be excruciating for a young teen and perhaps even harder for classmates to 'get it'. That's what makes this story so important to have in the classroom. With juvenile arthritis, Ricky's in constant pain, has to move to her father's "batch-pad" to avoid stairs at her mother's home. She's tired of too many unkind looks at her new school and, sad and frustrated, she cuts school for six straight weeks! Yes, she's found out and now must make up the work or end up in this horrible school another year. Slowly one friendship happens with a boy also teased, named Oliver, one who wears a Captain America hoodie and clips a small teddy bear to his backpack. Why he does is one thing Ricky needs to discover and until then, she ignores him, too, but slowly warms to his quirky and upbeat attitude. One other punishment that turns out to be a blessing is a demand from her strict speech teacher that she spend three after-school sessions a week with him if she is serious about passing his class. 
         Silverstein brings Ricky's real world to the reader with sympathy, showing the times that are so hard one can understand when this teen erupts into cursing, wanting only to huddle under the covers. However, she also allows Ricky to see in time that she's in charge of her life, not the disease. I enjoyed Ricky telling her story very much!

              I love Tony Johnston's books and this is one that warms the heart. In few words on a page, he offers us readers a story of a young boy who discovers a shivering dog with scars hiding under the shrub on his lawn. Using patience and growing love, the boy gains its trust until, well, see that cover! He begins with a frisbee of water, later adding a piece of sandwich, finally telling his mom who helps him. They buy regular dog food, but the mom insists that the boy makes "Found" signs in case the owner is looking. I met Jonathan Nelson at a book-signing with him and Nancy Bo Flood and we spoke of his next book coming, this one!  Jonathan's simple pictures depict the emotions beautifully, on faces and in body language, even on the dog peeking from the bush. 

       For younger readers, an introduction to the history of women and athletics, those who broke barriers that may surprise children, like women are not supposed to ride bicycles or wear pants when horse-back riding. It is fun to learn some early history like women were not allowed in the ancient Olympic Games, but they defied the rules and ran footraces in private festivals for Hera, queen of the gods. It covers some history of the equal rights movement that challenged educational, athletic, and financial discrimination with federal funds, leading at last to the Title IX law mandating equal treatment. Further examples of equality continued to occur, like the challenge to allow girls to play Little League baseball. Unfortunately, it does not include recent conflicts still occurring within the athletic world for women. Rebecca Gibbon's illustrations fill the pages with all kinds of girls doing what they love, from bloomers expected in the early women's basketball games to the final wonderful double-page spread celebrating "amazing girls" in all kinds of activities, with today's expected clothing. There is a timeline that offers more information for further research. One fun thing is that it adds a few quotations from the athletes in their special moments.