Tag Archives: picture book

#blogbookaday: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

22 Jan

36442217Summary:  “The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: In a world where picture books featuring black boys’s experiences is severely lacking, this is a book that everyone library, school and barbershop should have available. This is a time-honored experience that many young black and brown boys have and to be able to see themselves in a picture book is a powerful opportunity to show that they matter. As the author states in the Note from the Author, “Deep down inside, they wish that everyone could see what they see: a real life, breathing, compassionate, thoughtful, brilliant, limitless soul that matters – that desperately matters. We’ve always mattered.” Check out Books with Barbers for a literary goal to provide barbershops with books for boys. Access to books is one of the most important aspects to creating lifelong readers and by providing books where boys are, you remove the barrier to access.

Personal Reaction: This is one of those powerful books about an experience that I will never have, but is so important to be available to the kids who experience a barbershop just like the one in the story. I gave the book to my partner to read as he had the experience of going to the barbershop with his dad and when he turned to the page with the apple green alcohol, he said to me, “I remember the smell of that!” Considering he’s had locs for over ten years and hasn’t been to the barbershop during that time, I found it so interesting that he could so clearly remember that scent.

Title: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Author: Derrick Barnes
Illustrator: Gordon C. James
Publisher: Agate Bolden
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: Escargot

21 Jan

29102801.jpgSummary:  “Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things:

1. To be your favorite animal.
2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book.

But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there’s a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one—with a little help from you!—he discovers that it’s not so bad after all” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: With his distinct voice, adorable French outfit and his staunch stand on no carrots, kids will love Escargot! All Escargot wants is a nice salad, with croutons and a light vinaigrette and absolutely no carrots – it’s a long way across the table to the salad bowl, but there’s just enough time to really get to know Escargot and have a little fun. This is a great story for kids who are having trouble trying new food on their plate, or a little shy about new experiences. And if you have a particularly horrible French accent – all the better!

Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed this story with a unexpected star – a snail! Escargot is sassy, knows what he wants, but is also willing to try something new (which is a great lesson for all kids)! I really loved Escargot’s very French outfit, his French words and how the author breaks down the fourth wall to interact with the readers. The illustrations are absolutely adorable with watercolor washes of reds, blues, yellows and greens – perfect for a summer picnic. This is the perfect story to talk with kids about new experiences and be brave enough to try something new!

Title: Escargot
Author: Dashka Slater
Illustrator: Sydney Hanson
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 11, 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: Blue Sky White Stars

20 Jan

31626023.jpgSummary:  “Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off. This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A beautiful tribute to the American Flag, our history, people and landscapes that make America uniquely beautiful. Regardless of where you stand in this charged political environment, this book filled with sparse, yet strong text and images that are absolutely breathtaking is a book that needs to find its way into everyone’s home, school and library. This book celebrates where America has come from, since the 1700s to the rich tapestry that has been woven together as immigrants have traveled across thousands of miles to make this country their home bringing their own unique cultures, religions, and beliefs, sharing them with the others who call America home. This was my co-worker’s top choice for our Mock Caldecott and I can see why. But what’s even more surprising is that with a bunch of 1st-4th graders who sifted through 20+ titles, they chose this as their choice as well. And for that, I can say I have faith in the next generation.

Personal Reaction: It’s amazing the kind of power words hold. Sarvinder Naberhaus evokes such strong feelings in so few words – a talent so few people have. This book is sparse in text, but so full of meaning and the images do an amazing job comparing the text on each spread. I’m a huge fan of Kadir Nelson’s artwork, he is an extremely talented artist and his oil paintings are just so rich and realistic. I can’t imagine this text paired with any other art – it was the perfect choice. A mini-history lesson about our country and our flag, this would be the perfect picture book to share in a social studies or history class with older children and a perfect read aloud for younger children.

Title: Blue Sky White Stars
Author: Sarvinder Naberhaus
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: June 13, 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: Dough Knights and Dragons

18 Jan

34525408.jpgSummary:  “In a mythical kingdom, a knight and a dragon cook up a delicious plan to save their friendship!

In Dough Knights and Dragons, a curious knight and an amiable dragon meet serendipitously, and instantly bond over their shared love of baking. But the friends are filled with sadness when, according to the law, the two must duel one another. Can the unlikely pair find a way to evade the law, save their friendship, and spread good throughout the land? Kids will devour this scrumptiously clever tale!” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Two best friends get creative to save themselves and their friendship in this baking story of knights and dragons. I enjoyed this story, specifically how the knight and dragon chose not to fight and instead thought of way to still follow the rules, but change them at the same time! Plus, as a reader who loves to spend time in the kitchen, all I want to do now is bake some delicious desserts! This is also a rhyming story and does a great job of keeping the rhythm throughout the story, making it an easy story to read aloud. This would be a great start to a storytime before decorating sugar cookies or baking in your own home.

Personal Reaction: Our library hosts an Edible Book Contest each year as kids (or adults) can create something completely edible inspired by a book and I think this would be the perfect story to use – a unicorn cake, knight and dragon cookies, what could be better! I loved that these characters had something in common and that it shows people in the “kitchen” as I feel many people are unsure in the kitchen or feel they aren’t good cooks. Kids love to experiment and explore and this book would be a great introduction to helping in the kitchen with meals or just decorating some yummy sugar cookies too!

Title: Dough Knights and Dragons
Author: Dee Leone
Illustrator: George Ermos
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Publication Date: October 3, 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: Goodnight, Little Bot

17 Jan

34525426.jpgSummary:  “Little Bot, it’s time for bed. Let’s get ready, sleepyhead.” 

A sweet goodnight story with a unique hero.
Even little robots need their rest—and their parents tuck them in just like human mommies and daddies do. It doesn’t matter if young bots slip on their pjs over power packs and enjoy batteries for their pre-sleep snack; just like children, they love bedtime stories, hugs, a cuddly toy, and lullabies. This charming picture book is perfect for winding kids (and robots) down for the night.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: An adorable goodnight, getting ready for bed book that will sure to make your little one’s eyes droop. This little robot must get ready for bed and he does everything a human child does, just with a robot twist. The rhyming text is simple enough for toddlers, but preschoolers will enjoy this robot story as well. With bright, digitally created illustrations filled with colors, your kids will pour over these pictures as they recognize their own bedtime routines in the storyline.

Personal Reaction: I’m a sucker for good rhyming text – text that doesn’t make you stumble or pronounce a word a specific way to make it work. And Karen is able to pull it off with a great rhythm, but also very simple for an easy read with little ones. And the Little Bot is just adorable as he gets ready for bed with his mama (and his pet – a robot cat). There are more bedtime books than I can count, but this one is definitely one I’d read as kids power down for the night.

Title: Goodnight, Little Bot
Author: Karen Kaufman Orloff
Illustrator: Kim Smith
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Publication Date: October 3, 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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