Don’t Touch My Hair! written and illustrated by Sharee Miller

Don’t Touch My Hair! written and illustrated by Sharee Miller Aria loves her hair but does not love when everyone tries to touch it. Gorgeous art brings her struggle to life as she tries to escape the reaching hands until she lets everyone know that they should look, but not touch without permission. The author’s note… Continue reading Don’t Touch My Hair! written and illustrated by Sharee Miller

Ibtihaj Muhammad’s “The Proudest Blue”

"I'm just glad to know we're not the only ones." Abdirizak looked at me with his deep, contemplative eyes as he started to walk out of my classroom. The Proudest Blue, A Story of Hijab and Family speaks to the exciting first day of hijab for Asiya told through the eyes of her little sister… Continue reading Ibtihaj Muhammad’s “The Proudest Blue”

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

I am a book hog, are you a book hog?  This was the question posed to students as we began Greg Pizzoli’s new book, The Book Hog.  Students quickly recognized the colors on the cover and the illustrations as being very similar to The Watermelon Seed, also by Pizzoli, and they were excited to dive… Continue reading The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

My Mommy is a Hero and My Daddy is a Hero, Written by Isabel Otter-Barry Ross and Illustrated by Hannah Tolson

Teacher Thoughts: Written in simple rhyme with many full spread illustrations, these are two beautiful books honor our brave and selfless service women and men. Each set of pages focuses on a different post or role in our armed services. The book lends itself to a variety of conversations such as: Who is the narrator?… Continue reading My Mommy is a Hero and My Daddy is a Hero, Written by Isabel Otter-Barry Ross and Illustrated by Hannah Tolson

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

What is the story of your name? What story would you like to tell? These are the questions Juana Martinez-Neal leaves the readers with following her author’s note in her award winning picture book Alma and How She Got Her Name. In this poignant story, Alma’s father teaches his daughter the history behind each and… Continue reading Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

Peter Reynolds’ Say Something!

Children of all colors, sizes and abilities stand together to Say Something! perfectly summing up this book. Every now and then it might be okay to judge a book by its cover. Students couldn’t help but think of things to say. Teachers can use this timely book to help build a culture of shared responsibility… Continue reading Peter Reynolds’ Say Something!

A World of Kindness From the Editors & Illustrators of Pajama Press

A World of Kindness From the Editors & Illustrators of Pajama Press is a beautiful book with simple text that reminds us all how easy it is to be kind. One feature of this picture book is that it is written as a series of questions. "Are you kind? "Do you wait your turn?" "Will… Continue reading A World of Kindness From the Editors & Illustrators of Pajama Press

Towers Falling By Jewell Parker Rhodes

We are all interconnected. Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes brilliantly brings this message of societal interconnectedness to life as main character, Deja Barnes uncovers her  community’s and family’s history.  Fifth grader, Deja, is new to school. Deja’s family of five lives in a one room apartment in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn. As Deja… Continue reading Towers Falling By Jewell Parker Rhodes

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

Teacher Thoughts: When I got my copy of Stella Diaz Has Something to Say, I included it at the last minute to our read aloud vote versus Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan and Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. To my surprise, it won. The themes of having a best friend end up in a… Continue reading Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines by Sarah Aronson

This playful text, brought to life by Sarah Aronson & Robert Neubecker, was introduced in my classroom through what I like to call #MeetSomeoneNewMonday. Fourth graders were immediately reeled in by the cover: "Wow!""Look at how each letter is formed!""I wonder what those arrows and letters are for!" On Mondays, students will be introduced to… Continue reading Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines by Sarah Aronson

When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr., illustrated by Germán Blanco

https://youtu.be/YiMwpCJ8VWc Pencil was an artist who liked to work alone.  When he met Eraser, he was not interested in seeing anything that Eraser had to offer.  Throughout this story, s Eraser continued to change Pencil’s drawings, and each time Pencil grew angrier and angrier.  He thought his art was amazing, and it didn’t need to… Continue reading When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr., illustrated by Germán Blanco

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Every once in a while a book lands in your hands at the exact right moment and you thank the book universe for its delivery. Other Words for Home, Jasmine Warga's first novel for middle grade readers, does just that. Written in verse, this story is a tale of a young girl, Jude, leaving her… Continue reading Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

The Remember Balloons By Jessie Oliveros

Author: Kate Palaces Narita is a fourth grade teacher and the author of 100 Bugs! A Counting Book (FSG spring 2018). When she's not out and about driving, teaching or cheering on her two teenage sons, Kate lives, writes, and hikes on a small mountain in central Massachusetts.  Sometimes holding a book in your hands is a magical experience.… Continue reading The Remember Balloons By Jessie Oliveros

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, Illustrated by Alea Marley

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh has been a favorite read aloud as I’ve visited K-2 classrooms this fall. Harpreet is a school-aged boy who wears a small turban, called a patka, in the tradition of the Sikh religion. Harpreet changes the colors of his patka based on his mood - pink for celebrating, red… Continue reading The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, Illustrated by Alea Marley

Good Rosie! by Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss

Teacher Thoughts… It is impossible not to love Kate DiCamillo and adorable dog characters!  Rosie is lonely, but she is also hesitant to try anything new. Her owner, George, takes her to the dog park, and after a couple of false starts, she makes friends with two other dogs. This delightful book is perfect to… Continue reading Good Rosie! by Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol

A cautionary tale from Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol We are the Little Guys.  Yes, we are small. But there are a lot of us. Together we are strong, and we can get all we need. A new addition to my coaching bag is a sleeper tale, The Little Guys.  This versatile book made the rounds of my… Continue reading The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol

Turtle and Tortoise Are NOT Friends By: Mike Reiss

It didn’t take long for the room to explode into conversation!! Only 2 pages to be exact! “How can they decide not to be friends before they've even gotten to know each other?!” Another responded… “I think they must have been told Turtles and Tortoises can’t be friends!” This was one of those memorable teacher… Continue reading Turtle and Tortoise Are NOT Friends By: Mike Reiss

Dear Girl,

  Empowering. Thoughtful. Inspirational. A book that promotes self-love and self-acceptance while encouraging girls (and boys!) to be unique and true to themselves. From appreciating your appearance and ideas, to coloring outside the lines, to accepting all of your feelings, this book oozes warmth and love. Of course, this should come as no surprise, since… Continue reading Dear Girl,

Brave

by Svetlana Chmakova Teacher Thoughts… This graphic novel is a perfect way to teach older students about the challenges of middle school. Readers learn how being brave and using their voice can help change a negative school culture.  Your students will love how Svetlana Chmakova compares middle school to a video game, mean kids to… Continue reading Brave

Sorry, Grownups, You Can’t Go To School!

Synopsis: Parents, teachers — a little introspection please — How effective is reverse psychology really? Christina Geist and Tim Bowers employ this strategy in their book, Sorry, Grown-ups, You Can’t Go To School! Lady’s and Buddy’s parents, grandparents and pet go to great lengths, with their fancy paraphernalia, to drive home the point that school… Continue reading Sorry, Grownups, You Can’t Go To School!