Tag Archives: community

#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!


#blogbookaday: Windows

27 Jan

34002082Summary:  “Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.

Before your city goes to sleep, you might head out for a walk, your dog at your side as you go out the door and into the almost-night. Anything can happen on such a walk: you might pass a cat, or a friend, or even an early raccoon. And as you go down your street and around the corner, the windows around you light up one by one until you are walking through a maze of paper lanterns, each one granting you a brief, glowing snapshot of your neighbors as families come together and folks settle in for the night. With a setting that feels both specific and universal and a story full of homages to The Snowy Day, Julia Denos and E. B. Goodale have created a singular book — at once about the idea of home and the magic of curiosity, but also about how a sense of safety and belonging is something to which every child is entitled.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Windows is a beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations filled with colors of the sunset and glowing windows that pair perfectly with Julia Denos’s descriptive and lyrical text. Although E.B. Goodale uses her own city of Somerville, MA as the backdrop to this story, this story could be any neighborhood as every day activities are similar across the globe. A sense of community and belonging lingers as the little boy navigates his way home.

Personal Reaction: I love this quietly, poetic story about a seemingly simple walk through the neighborhood turning into something beautiful. Glancing into windows around the neighborhood shows snippets of everyday life and invokes feelings of warmth, safety and love as the main character finds himself back in front of his own window with his mom in the window waiting for him. I walk my dog at dusk every night and I love seeing neighbors arriving home from work, walking their own dogs, seeing kids playing before dinner and arriving back at home knowing it will be warm, cozy and that my partner is waiting for me inside.

Title: Windows
Author: Julia Denos
Illustrator: E.B. Goodale
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: October 17, 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!

#blogbookaday: Come With Me

8 Jan

33506796Summary:  “When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. “Come with me,” he says. Hand-in-hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet. The next day, the girl asks her mama what she can do–her mama says, “Come with me,” and together they set out for the grocery, because one person doesn’t represent an entire race or the people of a land. After dinner that night, the little girl asks if she can do something of her own–walk the dog . . . and her parents let her go. “Come with me,” the girl tells the boy across the hall. Walking together, one step at a time, the girl and the boy begin to see that as small and insignificant as their part may seem, it matters to the world.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: I found this book to be a perfect book for the world we live in today. I don’t have children of my own, but I know that kids hear a lot more news that adults realize and I think this story could go a long way in creating a discussion with families about how you feel when listening to the news and the small part you play in your own community and how it affects everyone – like a ripple in a pond. I loved the diversity in this book, both by having a biracial child as the main character, but also in the supporting characters within the little girl’s community. As she finds out, it doesn’t have to be a HUGE thing, but in your own way, you can make a difference.

Personal Reaction: I’d love to promote this book to teachers and parents looking for a way to talk to their kids about the scary news that you hear every time you turn on the television or go online. This would make a great discussion for both younger children and older children alike and a discussion I think that would so helpful to have in a world where you feel like it can’t really get any worse and then the news often proves you wrong. This is definitely a powerful story and one that needs to be shared.

Title: Come With Me
Author: Holly M. McGhee
Illustrator: Pascal Lemaître
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 5, 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!

Today Is… Books with Barbers Day!

25 Oct

15253383_1250095665042921_7785180883599152827_n.jpgIf you haven’t heard about this awesome way to share literacy with kids, check it out! Books with Barbers works “works with barber shops to close the literacy gap for young African American males. Our goal is to fully equip local barbershops with reading libraries that attract the interest of school-aged boys and to positively impact local neighborhoods and the families who live there.”

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20 Titles to Create a Classroom Community

11 Aug

school community

There’s a lot of talk about reading a book a day during the school year, the importance of reading aloud to students and the need to teach and show kids empathy and kindness in today’s world. This is a wonderful list of titles that you can share at any time of year, but would make a great way to start the school year – expecting kindness from every student in the classroom and using picture books to show that expectation.

  1. You’re Finally Here! by Mélanie Watt
  2. One by Kathryn Otoshi
  3. I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  4. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
  5. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  6. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  7. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
  8. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  9. Be A Friend by Salina Yoon
  10. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
  11. Zen Ties by Jon Muth
  12. Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose and Hannah Hoose, illustrated by Debbie Tilley
  13. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
  14. Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
  15. Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
  16. It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
  17. Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  18. The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds
  19. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea
  20. We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
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