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'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.
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!
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!)