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Ojiichan’s Gift by Chieri Uegaki and Genevieve Simms

I had to have this book as soon as I saw the cover. I am a big gardener and have always been fascinated by Japanese gardens, even though my gardening style is a bit different. But this book is about so much more than gardening – it is a book about saying good-bye, accepting the… Continue reading Ojiichan’s Gift by Chieri Uegaki and Genevieve Simms

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Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jaime Kim

"Jason speaks such good English!" my son's first grade teacher said more than twenty years ago. "Um, we are from the United States, " I answered, "it's the only language he speaks." "Oh, he told us he was from The Netherlands," his befuddled teacher shrugged. "Ah, well he is. He was born in Amsterdam," I clarified.… Continue reading Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jaime Kim

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Under My Hijab by Hena Khan

“It’s her, it’s her!” the twins exclaim upon seeing the cover of Under My Hijab by Hena Khan. The girls make an instant connection to our helping buddy who wears a hijab. A seemingly simple moment, a real-life connection; but in reality, it was so much more.  Later, after the twins had the book read… Continue reading Under My Hijab by Hena Khan

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Endling, The Last

As the summer winds down and a new year begins, I think back to how the summer of 2019 began with a virtual book club!  After meeting author, Katherine Applegate,at An Unlikely Story bookstore and hearing her speak about all of her books, including her new fantasy series Endling, students were excited to get their… Continue reading Endling, The Last

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A Piglet Named Mercy

Have your favorite readers ever wondered how Mercy came to live with the Watsons on Deckawoo Drive? They don’t need to wonder any more because Kate DiCamillo has shared her vision with us in the endearing picture book, A Piglet Named Mercy. In this prequel to the Mercy Watson series, the “porcine wonder” accidentally finds… Continue reading A Piglet Named Mercy

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The Day You Begin, Jacqueline Woodson

As teachers, we are always looking for the very best books to help our students grow both as learners and as kind people in the world. The Day You Begin written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez is one of those books. Jacqueline Woodson has beautifully expressed what many of us want to say to… Continue reading The Day You Begin, Jacqueline Woodson

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Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

Teacher Thoughts:Author Jessica Kensky says, “Kids have been so fascinated by us. When they see three metal legs and a dog in a red cape in a grocery store they are just so overwhelmed with new sights. They literally have walked into walls.” Rescue and Jessica is the story of Jessica and her husband Patrick… Continue reading Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

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Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights happens to share its book birthday with the anniversary of Malala’s life changing event-- October 9th. In fact, Malala immediately hooks her audience by flashing back to that particular day, which haunts her memory.  “When I close my eyes, I can see my bedroom. The bed… Continue reading Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

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The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems

The back to school aisle is stocked, August is here, and educators and children everywhere begin the countdown to the first day of school. Some of us are full of hope and others, nervous anticipation about the beginning of the school year. What will it be like? Will I fit in? Who will my teacher… Continue reading The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems

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All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

Teacher Thoughts… This book is a must-have for every elementary classroom because it captures the excitement of the first day of school and the upcoming school year, it helps create an inclusive environment because every child can find someone who looks like themselves in the book and it can be used as a mentor text… Continue reading All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

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The Very Impatient Caterpillar, Ross Burach

I chose to read The Very Impatient Caterpillar to third graders because it tied beautifully with their pollinator science unit and this book is “laugh out loud” funny – a perfect combination.  I also loved the way Ross Burach wove information about butterflies into this narrative story in ways that kids could emulate in their… Continue reading The Very Impatient Caterpillar, Ross Burach

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Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube

There’s a quiet to Kate Berube’s books that holds young listeners in a state of wonder. Mae is not going to school today, no matter what her mother, father, or other parents on the playground say to persuade her. But when she scurries into a tree to hide from the opening bell, she learns that… Continue reading Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube

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Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Teacher Thoughts… You will fall in love with Louie and his family and friends as they come together to save Winslow, a sick, newborn donkey.  Winslow connects all of the characters and caring for him helps them to work through difficult situations in their own lives. Once again, Sharon Creech creates vivid characters.  Her descriptions… Continue reading Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

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The King of Kindergarten

The King of Kindergarten “It’s time to start kindergarten, and you know what, kid? You got this! It’s your time to shine and be the King of Kindergarten!”  The King of Kindergarten joyfully written by Derrick Barnes and artfully illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton should be every kindergarten teacher's read during the sparkling-with-opportunity first few minutes… Continue reading The King of Kindergarten

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The Word Collector

Ask a baseball fan about his card collection, or a teacher about her library, and it will open up a world of conversation. Whether it be seashells or stamps, bugs or books, collections bring comfort to people of all ages. Jerome’s collection is one that he could add to throughout each and every day... because… Continue reading The Word Collector

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There Are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Teacher Thoughts... Dip into this story to experience a powerful punch of rich, descriptive language. You’ll quickly tuck it into your “go-to” stack of mentor texts to love throughout the elementary grades. Kids who need models for how to weave description and figurative language into their writing will be inspired by phrases such as:  “I slipped… Continue reading There Are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach

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Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin, illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Not Quite Snow White, written by Ashley Franklin and Illustrated by Ebony Glenn is a delightful picture book about Tameika, a confident and creative little girl destined for the stage. Unfortunately, her confidence falters when her classmates decide that based on her height, weight and skin color she isn’t quite right to play Snow White… Continue reading Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin, illustrated by Ebony Glenn