I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët

Kerascoët is a husband and wife team who created this powerful wordless picture book about a topic that can often be hard to discuss with children: bullying. I Walk With Vanessa became a fast favorite in my kindergarten class as soon as we started reading it together. Each illustration is packed with detail. Children notice… Continue reading I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët

Saffron Ice Cream, written and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh

As Rashin experiences her first beach day at her new home, she shares her memories of the Caspian Sea. She tells the mini-story of a chaotic beach day when the Islamic beach guards frantically repaired the curtain dividing the male visitors from the female visitors. That memoir morphs into her real-time experience of riding the… Continue reading Saffron Ice Cream, written and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Just Ask! Be Different! Be Brave! Be You! By Sonia Sotomayor

This is a different kind of review than what I usually write where I share thoughts and reactions from children in my school district. Today, I wanted to share with you what I learned from Sonia Sotomayor while she was traveling around the country promoting her newest picture book: Just Ask! Be Different! Be Brave!… Continue reading Just Ask! Be Different! Be Brave! Be You! By Sonia Sotomayor

Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story

This laugh-out-loud fractured fairy tale will appeal to the young and the young at heart! Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway had kids and teachers laughing out loud! Younger ones loved making connections to the classic Gingerbread Man and older students and teachers enjoyed each and every play on words, rolling their eyes… Continue reading Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story

The Boy Who Grew A Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Sophia Gholz

Only by growing plants, the Earth will survive."--Jadav Payeng There are a variety of reasons why I chose to share this book with my class: I find picture book biographies captivating. Thank you to my friend and coach Susan Kennedy (@readingteachsu) for opening my eyes and heart to them.#MeetSomeoneNewMonday. On Mondays, my students are introduced… Continue reading The Boy Who Grew A Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Sophia Gholz

Please Don't Eat Me, by Liz Climo

Have you ever had an unusual friendship?  One in which it seems like your friendship doesn’t seem to work very well, or at all?  Maybe you felt that your friends wouldn’t approve? These were all questions posed before we began reading Please Don’t Eat Me by author and illustrator Liz Climo.  This book highlights the… Continue reading Please Don't Eat Me, by Liz Climo

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

I loved that the kids grew to love each other and to think they are family" ~ 6th Grade Student The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman is a story that pulls at your heart strings and has you rooting for the characters to triumph at the same time. Set in India, two young girls, Viji… Continue reading The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar

Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar present this narrative nonfiction story of the life of Pura Belpré - an author, puppeteer, and the first Puerto Rican librarian of New York City. Through beautiful prose peppered with Spanish phrases, the author tells the life story of Pura, as she ventures from Puerto Rico to New York… Continue reading Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar

Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist by Christine Evans

As a reader, I love biographies. As a teacher, I see the power life stories have when shared with young readers. I have found that my third graders love reading about real people who pursued their passions to make a difference. Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist tells the life story of Lucy Evelyn Cheesman, whose curiosity… Continue reading Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist by Christine Evans

Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings by Francie Latour and Ken Daley

Ken Daley’s illustrations in this book immediately grabbed my students’ attention.  They wanted to know if Haiti really looked like the pictures. They were captivated further by Francie Latour’s story of a girl who travels from the United States to Haiti to visit her aunt, a painter.  As she experiences the sights, sounds, colors, history,… Continue reading Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings by Francie Latour and Ken Daley

The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner

"It starts with one." This is the opening and closing lines of "The Brilliant Deep" by Kate Messner, and students really noticed that the book has a strong message of how one person can make a difference. Kids talked about how one person could help the planet, and how person could find something they care… Continue reading The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner

Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins

Rowboat Watkins’ Most Marshmallows has been floating around my book collection since February without a permanent home.  Currently living in my love this book but what category bin, on the surface Most Marshmallows is a wonderfully silly tale about marshmallows.  The publisher’s summary includes most marshmallows like to watch television and lead normal lives-but some… Continue reading Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins

Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló

Siblings with superpowers?Magic hoodies?Brain stretching vocabulary?Laugh out loud silliness?What's not to love about this graphic novel by Jarod Roselló? I began reading Red Panda & Moon Bear one day as I waited for my students to arrive back from recess. I found myself laughing out loud right from the beginning, and it didn’t take long… Continue reading Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló

A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese

This story starts with a wish and ends in a crime. The wish isn't granted, and the crime is never punished. Life is like that sometimes. But that isn't always a bad thing... -Keith Calabrese A Drop of Hope is a book that my sixth graders describe as "a very different kind of mystery," with… Continue reading A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese

Room On Our Rock by Kate & Jol Temple

"No room on this rock? Can it be true? Read back to front for another point of view." The first time I saw Room on our Rock on the shelf of a small, local bookstore, I pulled it down, read it and then answered the invitation to read the book again, this time from back… Continue reading Room On Our Rock by Kate & Jol Temple

“An ode to loving who you, exactly as you are.”

 I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown (Author), Jason "Rachel" Brown (Author), Anoosha Syed (Illustrator) is a beautifully illustrated book that highlights the love between a father and a son. When Karamo Brown, from Netflix Queer Eye, discovered that he had a ten-year-old son he adopted him. The love between the two is the focal… Continue reading “An ode to loving who you, exactly as you are.”