Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading!
This one summer, Ben finally talked his dad into asking his mother if he could visit his mom who lives in a primitive cabin deep in the woods. His mother left him when he was three and he seems to be about ten now. The story didn't tell how old he was. He, his father, and this little dog Sunshine have led a loving life, except sometimes Ben has all these "what-ifs?", and I wondered why until I learned about his mother leaving. Marion Dane Bauer lets Ben tells this story, much of it showing deep feelings, anxiety about many things, yet a determination to do the right thing. Sunshine is his imaginary dog and there is pressure from his dad to give him up. This time (the first he's seen his mother since she left) he wants to show his mother what a good person he is so she will want to return to live with him and his dad again. The emotional ups and downs in this brief, poignant book made me a little teary. It's not only for those who have had upheavals in their family, who may find comfort that others do, too but for everyone to try to learn and understand. It is a beautiful story.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for this advanced copy.
It didn't take long for me to fall in love with this book by Elizabeth Acevedo that sat on my stack for far too long. In a novel-in-verse, she tells of Camino Rios from the Dominican Republic and Yahaira Rios from New York City, both in high school, both facing news they did not want to face. Their father has died when his plane went down in the ocean on his way to visit Camino. The strange and mixed-up world of these sisters who did not know their father had another family, that they did not have a sister. Anger, love, grief, yes, all mixed and told with Acevedo's beautiful poetic writing. How it evolves, what each one holds dear, what each one needs as well as those surrounding the two sisters offers loving scenes of patience despite the inner anger, jealousy, also hope. It feels important that the story is read instead of me telling all about it. You may wonder and imagine what you would feel. You might cry with certain scenes, and smile at others. But, as Acevedo has written, you certainly will "clap when you land". I loved it!
It's time to celebrate and learn about many things that grow, like an acorn that splits and roots and "grows" into an oak tree or a caterpillar that sheds its skin and wraps itself into a cocoon, then becomes "a butterfly"! In repetitive text, the description of "something" shares beginnings with "If you", most often the actions like "If you were a tadpole, you'd swish and dart in a mossy pond," all the steps leading to "You'd be a leopard frog..." Delightfully happy pictures by Stephanie Fizer Coleman show children and grandparents filling the pages as each one enjoys nature's wonders. JoAnn Early Macken's text is brief but does not waste one word explaining eight creatures, including a child reading this book! It's a lovely surprise at the end, connecting all of us as we truly are.
I've met JoAnn at a poetry workshop and know her through social media. She is a fierce lover of nature and our environment. This book will be special to use on long nature walks with a class or your own children or grandchildren, perhaps searching for their own "If you were a ..."?
I stopped using straws a long time ago, when needed, using a metal one. But, restaurants, etc. continue to offer them! This book feels like a small encyclopedia of information in poems and beautiful, imaginative illustrations offering a LOT to digest. There are stories of young people doing great things to help control the world of plastic. There is data about plastic, including an ABC double-page spread of many things that one could avoid and one may not know are plastic, like Velcro & non-stick pans. The back matter contains Sources and more! There are suggestions for how to change habits, like using bamboo cutlery instead of plastic and only asking for plastic if really needed. Also, there is a page that describes the poetry forms used. I especially loved the short stories of kids doing something NOW to make changes. After all, this is their future. It's a terrific source to return to in the classroom and for your own personal lives.
Like all of Melissa Stewart's books, one learns and learns. This book about "estivation" explains this short or long time of rest (or sleep) by animals all over the world, from mammals to reptiles, for reasons like heat or too little moisture, animals find places to slow their metabolisms as varied as holes in the ground while wrapping itself in a cocoon (pixie frog in Botswana) to deep into their burrows (Christmas Island red crabs) and curled-up leaf clusters (ladybugs in New Mexico). Each double-page spread designed by illustrator Sarah S. Brannen shows the habitat with the animal estivating with a special "sketchbook page" that includes several sketches of the animal in action and in its true size or a comparison size, like ten percent of the actual size. It's a fascinating look at another behavior for survival. More information is added at the back with the author's and illustrator's notes and more.
If you have a cat or cats and if you've watched them as I know cat lovers do, you will adore the antics of Atticus Caticus, this special cat Sarah Maizes has written about with Kara Kramer's terrific illustrations. He jumps for a box and "SPLAT a-tat-taticus!" His treats are in high favor so "Atticus Caticus SNACK attack-atticus". I imagine you're getting the picture of this cat, doing much of what all cats do, but with hilarious scenes, Atticus-Caticus makes us laugh and begs to be read aloud!
Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy!
If you want to begin a new study of evolution, start with this book, a picture book filled with so much information through the use of a timeline and text by Elizabeth Shreeve and beautifully detailed illustrations created by Frann Preston-Gannon. You will re-read the text, working your own imagination of that time of the Archean Eon (4 to 2.5 billion years ago) and pore over the pictures, watching microbes change until "Gulp! One microbe swallowed another." And they evolved. There's a list of further resources, for older and younger, at the back, along with acknowledgments. It is one wonder of a resource!
Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy.
In what seems a bit of imagination with real science, Graham Baker-Smith tells the story of young girl Cassie who has nursed a swift back to health, readies to let it fly to meet his flock, the swifts on their way, three months in flight to summer in another land. Baker-Smith's illustrations follow those swifts that follow the wind as he also crafts the gorgeous ways wind has created beauty throughout our world. We see it filling sails on the ocean, whipping the waves "into wild white horses", and incredible caves of fiery red rocks. There is more and more and the flight to and back brings us readers to people, too, from Cassie to a young boy on the other side of the world, then back to Cassie. The book is really something to see, to look and look at, wishing we might fly with those swifts!
Thanks to Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, for this copy!
What's Next: I will be reading but am taking a week or so off because of family visitors! Wishing everyone a wonderful end of the school year! (Just started Amari and the Night Brothers, Alston!)
Once again, a great selection of books. I loved Clap When You Land when I read it and I'm looking forward to reading Sunshine. Have a wonderful week with your visiting family. Aren't vaccines great?ReplyDelete
Sunshine surprised me with its deep meanings. I hope you enjoy it, Alex. And yes, all vaccinated, love the idea of getting family together! Thank you!Delete
What a great set of books! I was just reading a recommendation of Sunshine today on another blog I read (childrensbooksheal.wordpress.com), and you make it sound excellent as well! Clap When You Land also sounds extremely good—I'm still waiting to try another book by Elizabeth Acevedo (With the Fire on High), but I should keep this one in mind as well! All of the picture books sound great as well, especially Grow and Atticus Caticus! Enjoy your week off and family visit, and thanks so much for the great post!ReplyDelete
Thanks for coming by to check out all the books! You must be sure to read Sunshine & one of Acevedo's books. Each one is terrific!Delete
I have to check out Summertime Sleepers. Have a great week with your family!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lisa, I am excited to finally have some visitors! Enjoy Summertime Sleepers. It's wonderful!Delete
Atticus Caticus sounds like a fun read! The cover illustration alone is eyecatching! I love Melissa Stewart's nonfiction picture books and Summertime Sleepers would be a great book to share for #classroombookaday before school ends.ReplyDelete
It's perfect for learning what's going to happen in the summer, Laura! Atticus Caticus begs to be read aloud! Thanks!Delete
The Last Straw sounds like an important book in many ways - for the content and poetry! I wish my library had it. I was excited to discover that Out of the Blue: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas is on order! I love it when I am first in line. I'm especially interested in information picture books because my grandson is very keen on them these days.(and his birthday is coming up)ReplyDelete
I forgot to say - enjoy your visitors and time off from blogging!Delete
I am so happy you are able to get Out of the Blue. It is terrific. And thanks for the wishes!Delete
What a great selection of books! Enjoy the time with your family, we all deserve that right now. I am really interested in finding a copy of Sunshine. I have a lot of students right now that would read that one. Thanks for the post!ReplyDelete
Yay for visitors! Enjoy your time :)ReplyDelete
Hope you love Amari. I just book talked her at my end of year book talk.
I really enjoyed Summertime Sleepers and The Last Straw. I use metal straws too, but I would like to work on my plastic water bottle usage when I work out. Need to get some smaller metal bottles to use.
Thank you, Linda, for including Grow in your list! Thanks, also, for the recommendations. I'll definitely be adding onto my list!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the great reviews. I want to get The Last Straw for sure. Have fun with your visitors.ReplyDelete