Tag Archives: poetry

#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!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/15/18

15 Jan

This week I finished four titles (plus the picture books for #BlogBookADay), so I’m feeling pretty good!

I read:

  • The Wonderling by Mira Bartok
  • The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
  • The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
  • Enginerds by Jarrett Lerner

I realized although I have about 20 or so picture books sitting on my desk at home, I don’t have many middle grade or YA titles coming up, so I grabbed a few at the library on Sunday and I think I’ll try to pull a few more ARCs off my pile as well!

This week’s reading plan includes:

  • A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins
  • The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
  • The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko
  • The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente



Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR

Bea Learns to Be Herself in THE WAY TO BEA

12 Jan

Synopsis: Bea had an amazing summer visiting family in Taiwan, but now she’s back to seventh grade… and it’s not going well at all. She lost her best friend, her mom’s having a baby and she’s not really sure where she fits into the equation. Anytime something embarrassing or frightening happens, Bea has a tendency to run away (literally). But, with the help of an amazing librarian and a new peer group to get to know, Bea soon realizes that being herself is more important than trying to be someone you’re not.

Continue reading

2017 Nerdies Awards

4 Jan

cropped-nerdy-bannerIf you’re looking for some wonderful suggestions for what to read next, check out the results of the 2017 Nerdies Book Awards, hosted by The Nerdy Book Club. What I love about booklists such as these, is that I rediscover the titles I loved during the past year and get a chance to pick up a few more titles that I know will be amazing reads. Plus, I get to stretch my literary wings and try out some of those genres I don’t normally get to during the year – this year it was nonfiction and poetry/novels in verse.

I’m planning on using the fiction picture book list as jumping off point for my #blogbookaday posts each day, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing some familiar titles!


Winter Solstice: 16 Pictures Books About Snow

21 Dec


Happy Winter Solstice today (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere). I’m one of those people who love the idea of snow, but if it makes it difficult for me to do anything, than I get cranky. I think it’s beautiful to look at and it’s so quiet when it’s snowing – but the reality of shoveling, clearing off the car and driving in it, makes it much less fun! Regardless, because it’s winter, I’m sharing some picture books all about snow! Enjoy!


  1. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
  2. The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
  3. Red Sled by Lita Judge
  4. No Two Alike by Keith Baker
  5. The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel

  6. Mouse’s First Snow by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan
  7. The Mitten by Jan Brett
  8. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

  9. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
  10. Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
  11. Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer
  12. Snow by Manya Stojic
  13. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson
  14. Blizzard by John Rocco
  15. Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones
  16. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
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