Tag: Gr. 2-4

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

Lynn: What do you get when you put an award-winning photographer and a Newbery Award-winning author together? When the photographer is Joel Sartore, longtime National Geographic contributor and creator of the Photo Ark project, and the author is the novelist and poet Kwame Alexander, the result is a glorious celebration of our world’s wild creatures. Animal […]

Floyd Cooper and Two Picture Books that Chronicle the Road from Slavery to Freedom

Floyd Cooper and Two Picture Books that Chronicle the Road from Slavery to Freedom

Lynn: Recently, a certain high-level public official seemed to be somewhat uncertain when talking about Frederick Douglass. In the interest of fairness, I should note that, sadly, there are many people who might be hard-pressed to talk about Douglass’s achievements. Lucky for us, helping our students be better-informed about this pivotal figure has been made easier by […]

SAVED BY THE BOATS: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11

Cindy:  Mine is a boating family and, as such, we’ve been rescued by other boaters and rescued others in turn. Even on small rivers and lakes, boaters follow an unwritten code to help other boaters: You don’t leave someone in distress on the water. As citizens fled the twin towers on September 11, 2001, that code benefited over […]

Stars in Their Eyes: Two Space-y Picture Book Biographies

Stars in Their Eyes: Two Space-y Picture Book Biographies

Cindy: True confession: I’m not a Trekker. But everybody knows Spock, even those who’ve never watched the Star Trek television series. I was familiar with Spock’s signature Vulcan salute, but I didn’t know that Leonard Nimoy created it when he rejected the idea, during filming, of using a traditional handshake. The shape originates from Jewish […]

Calpurnia Tate for Younger Readers

Calpurnia Tate for Younger Readers

Cindy: Well, I’ll be skunked! When Lynn shared a copy of the first volume in Jacqueline Kelly’s new Calpurnia Tate: Girl Vet series. I was dubious. While I adore Kelly’s original stories, I fretted this new series, aimed at younger readers, would pale in comparison. I needn’t have worried—Skunked! is delightful. Callie Vee tells the story […]

CLOTH LULLABY: Louise Bourgeois for Kids

CLOTH LULLABY: Louise Bourgeois for Kids

Cindy: Early last year, when I first heard about a forthcoming picture book biography of artist Louise Bourgeois, I wasn’t sure what to think. An abstract expressionist best known for giant spider sculptures and frank sexual themes seemed like an odd choice for a kids’ book; Sarah Hunter noted as much in her starred Booklist review of […]

A POEM FOR PETER Thanks Ezra Jack Keats

A POEM FOR PETER Thanks Ezra Jack Keats

Lynn: This story, my children, begins long ago when I was taking my very first library science class, Introduction to Literature for Children. We were required to read and take notes on a multitude of books during the semester and I was eagerly beginning my work with the picture books list. And there he was, […]

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Lynn: Some kids just don’t like scary or creepy! A physically fearless six-year-old member of our focus group falls into this category; he markedly dislikes scary movies and scary books. So, on a recent visit, I was quite surprised to learn his first choice out of my ever-present book bag was The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo (2016) by Drew […]

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

Here in Chicago, students and teachers are still recovering from the World Series—among other things. Although I loved watching the playoffs this year, historically, I’ve preferred to experience baseball in book form. Growing up, baseball was the family sport. Hence, I’ve read my way through literally hundreds of baseball games, from t-ball to coach pitch to high school […]

How This Book Was Made

How This Book Was Made

Cindy: Metafiction for young children can be hit or miss, but Mac Barnett and Adam Rex have a solid hit with How This Book Was Made. They take a humorous look at the bookmaking process, from the inspiration, which can come at odd times (see the illustration of Barnett arm-wrestling a tiger) to the moment when the book […]