#blogbookaday: Draw the Line

24 Feb

33376255.jpgSummary:  “When two boys draw their own lines and realize they can connect them together–magic happens! 

But a misstep causes their lines to get crossed.

Push! Pull! Tug! Yank!
Soon their line unravels into an angry tug-of-war.

With a growing rift between them, will the boys ever find a way to come together again?” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Kathryn Otoshi’s work is always so powerful, she’s the author of One and Zero and is able to have such a strong story with few words and powerful images. In this story two boys are having fun playing until there is an accident and miscommunication and soon the rift between the boys grows larger and larger. I love that, without any words, Kathryn is able to make a powerful statement about forgiveness and friendship. I really loved how she used the binding of the book to be the space that separates the boys on the spread – a masterful of creating a strong image to relay strong emotions.

Personal Reaction: This would be the perfect book to open a conversation about differing viewpoints and how once something is said or done, it can be difficult to come back from it. Easily accessible for elementary through high school kids, you can easily relate this to any number of current events and use this wordless picture book as a jumping off point.

Title: Draw the Line
Author: Kathryn Otoshi
Illustrator: Kathryn Otoshi
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: October 10, 2017


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

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#blogbookaday: Love

23 Feb

35356379.jpgSummary:  “‘In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.

A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life.’

In this heartfelt celebration of love, Matt de la Peña and illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A story that depicts love in so many ways and in so many instances that children will relate to – there is diversity in living circumstances, race, religion, culture and more. The poetic verse is just absolutely beautiful to read and hear and I want to just rip the pictures out of the book and paste them on my walls – they are creative, all -encompassing and such beautiful snippets of every day life.

Personal Reaction: This is a book of absolute beauty, both in words and pictures. I heard about this book for at least a month before it came out and then once it did, social media blew up with all the praise for this book and honestly, it held up to the praise. The words are beautiful and diverse and become mirrors for so many children in the best way and the illustrations encompass that diversity where so many kids can see themselves in the descriptions of love. There was some pushback about one specific spread showing a child cowering under a piano, with upturned furniture and a rocks glass filled with liquid. Although this doesn’t show every child’s experience, I’m betting it shows more experiences than people expect and to be given a chance to see that although it’s not acceptable in any way, shape or form, that it does happen, gives kids a sense of community and feeling of not being alone, which is amazingly powerful.

Title: Love
Author: Matt de la Peña
Illustrator: Loren Long
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 9, 2018


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

28 Social Justice Titles in YA Lit

23 Feb

It doesn’t seem like teens these days need any inspiration to fight to protect their rights as they’re demanding their voices be heard over gun control laws in America. But, it never hurts to read about people who may be different than you, so grab a title from this list to explore social justice themes like class, race, gender, sexuality, and more!

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  1. 101 Changemakers – Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History by Michele Bollinger and Dao X. Tran
  2. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
  3. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  5. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  6. Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
  7. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  9. Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen
  10. How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
  11. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai (Author),‎ Patricia McCormick
  12. If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth
  13. The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne
  14. The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson
  15. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  16. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Peréz
  17. March Trilogy by Congressman John Lewis
  18. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  19. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  20. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
  21. Refugee by Alan Gratz
  22. Saints and Misfits by SK Ali
  23. Sold by Patricia McCormick
  24. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  25. This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne
  26. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights by Elspeth Leacock (Adapter),‎ Susan Buckley (Adapter),‎ Lynda Blackmon Lowery
  27. Tyrell by Coe Booth
  28. X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

#blogbookaday: Elmore

22 Feb

35805847Summary:  “Elmore is a porcupine desperate to make friends. But it is hard to seek closeness with others when you’re covered with spikes that shoot off your back every so often. Elmore suffers rejection and heartbreak, but the goodness of his forest community ultimately shines through as the animals find a way to connect with this prickly bundle of love.

Holly Hobbie is the creator of the beloved Toot & Puddle series and now brings us a character for the next generation. Just as charming, funny, and good-hearted as her little pigs, Elmore the porcupine will snuggle and prickle his way securely into the picture-book canon.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Elmore lives a solitary life, but he gets lonely! When an ingenious idea takes hold, Elmore knows that he now has a way to make some friends. This adorable little porcupine will have you rooting for him throughout the story. Hobbie’s soft illustrations make you just want to give Elmore a great big cuddle (except of course for those quills!). This would work equally well with toddlers and preschoolers as well as elementary school kids – perfect for a unit on introducing pen pals!

Personal Reaction: I loved Holly’s choice of words in this story – such great vocabulary to share with kids. And although this story has been told before (prickly porcupine wants to make friends) I adored Elmore’s ingenuity in creating an opportunity for pen pals. This sweet little porcupine is too adorable to pass up!

Title: Elmore
Author: Holly Hobbie
Illustrator: Holly Hobbie
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 30, 2018


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

Your only problem with The Problim Children will be that you want to read the sequel right away

22 Feb

333.jpgSynopsis: When the seven Problim’s Swamptastic house explodes, they’re forced to move into their deceased grandfather’s mansion in the middle of town. The rumor mill is swiftly churning as the children realize their grandfather may have left them a treasure hunt. Meanwhile, Desdemona O’Pinion, the next door neighbor hasn’t forgotten the feud from many years ago and wants to find the treasure before those meddlesome kids do. And she’ll do it at any cost, even if that means separating the children to go live with seven different sets of parents, because the kids really shouldn’t be on their own.

This is a first in the series that I’m sure will be full of adventure, action and attitude!

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