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Lubaya’s Quiet Roar, written by Marilyn Nelson, paintings by Philemona Williamson

A quiet roar? Yes! This oxymoron captures the entire book! Lubaya hardly every raises her hand, even when she knows the right answer. She watches the hand-waving picked kids stand in the light of classroom admiration. We learn that introverted Lubaya is a day dreamer, an observer, an artist. She prefers solitude to joining in… Continue reading Lubaya’s Quiet Roar, written by Marilyn Nelson, paintings by Philemona Williamson

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The Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

This is a “must have”, five star book, newly released in February 2021. Carole Boston Weatherford presents the historic tragedy of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 in a picture book appropriate to young readers. The book details how Greenwood, Oklahoma, was a community where the train tracks divided the Black and white communities. The Black… Continue reading The Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

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An Evolving “Wall of Fame” – Our Very Own #OwnVoices

As a 4th grade classroom teacher this year, I learned very quickly that building our classroom culture and community was more critical than ever. Our class meets in person, five days a week, which is amazing. However, the reality is that students are often absent, and when they are, it is for stretches of time… Continue reading An Evolving “Wall of Fame” – Our Very Own #OwnVoices

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Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy, written by Tara Dairman and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

Inspired by the Rabari people of northwestern India, Dairman tells the survival tale of two characters who live in two different environments. Facing the challenges of sandstorms and monsoons, both the nomadic female character and village dwelling male character make decisions and take action to survive the harsh weather conditions. Their efforts include protecting their… Continue reading Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy, written by Tara Dairman and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

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Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Readers join Jabari as he challenges himself with another quest -- to make a flying machine that will fly across his yard! His independent ingenuity leads to failed attempt after failed attempt, despite marvelous creativity and concentration. Reflecting on the process followed by famous inventors like Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson and Roy Allela, Jabari leans… Continue reading Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

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Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away, written by Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away invites readers to experience a range of relatable, bittersweet emotions. Evelyn’s best friend, Daniela, narrates the happenings on the day before her best friend moves away. Sweetness is illustrated as the girls play together one last time, doing all their favorite and familiar activities. Bitterness and grief is shown… Continue reading Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away, written by Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

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You Are a Beautiful Beginning, written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley

A newly published literary treasure! Released just days ago, You Are a Beautiful Beginning is a charming book that shares the message of optimism, self-acceptance and hope. Laden’s predictable pattern of using sentence pairs is accompanied with Garrity-Riley’s highly engaging and busy illustrations. Together, the words and pictures tell the journey of a young child… Continue reading You Are a Beautiful Beginning, written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley

Blog Posts, Read Aloud

Rose’s Garden, written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds

This precious fable features Rose, a character who uses imagination, purpose and patience to build a community that is beautiful in every sense of the word. The plot involves Rose traveling in her teapot to a new land, a barren urban setting. She makes a plan to transform her new home. This eventually involves the… Continue reading Rose’s Garden, written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds

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Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, by Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen's beloved characters of Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee win the heart of every reader! In Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, Van Dusen has this duo head off for a day's adventure of fun on the water. Their day of boating takes an unexpected turn when one playful whale… Continue reading Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, by Chris Van Dusen

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What’s Cooking at 10 Garden Street? by Felicita Sala

Sala’s book dedication reads, “For my mother, whose door is always open, whose table is always full.” This serves as the prelude to a beautiful book about bringing people together to share a meal. Lead by the smells of cooking wafting from the windows, the text offers a peek inside each inhabitant's unit of a… Continue reading What’s Cooking at 10 Garden Street? by Felicita Sala

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Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border, written by Mitali Perkins and illustrated by Sara Palacios

Mitali Perkins’ words and Sara Palacios’ illustrations weave together seamlessly to tell the emotional story of a family’s trip to see Abuela during the holiday season. Maria, her little brother, Juan, and their mother travel by bus from San Diego to the U.S-Mexico border. Having not seen Abuela in five years, their experience is fueled… Continue reading Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border, written by Mitali Perkins and illustrated by Sara Palacios

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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

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Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson

How could someone look so real and so magical at the same time? Who is she? In that moment, Parker saw more than just a portrait -- she saw a road before her with endless possibilities. What begins as an ordinary day for young Parker Curry turns into an extraordinary moment as young Parker becomes… Continue reading Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson

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Leila in Saffron, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz and illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

Tonight I am on the lookout for parts of me that I like... Leila’s weekly family dinner at her grandmother’s house leads to self-discovery and identity. Through gorgeous and vibrant illustrations and text, Leila in Saffron, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz and illustrated by Dinara Mirtralipova, invites readers to: Note and notice the use of senses… Continue reading Leila in Saffron, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz and illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

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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