Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Archive | Bookstorms

Bookstorm™: Just Like Rube Goldberg

Just Like Rube Goldberg

Just Like Rube Goldberg

Edu­ca­tors across the coun­try have been inspired by Rube Goldberg’s intri­cate, clever, engi­neer­ing-based, but unlike­ly-to-be-made-in-real-life car­toons. Stu­dents are gath­er­ing to cre­ate their own Rube Gold­berg machines, using every­day objects in fun and inno­v­a­tive ways to accom­plish sim­ple tasks with fun results. Just Like Rube Gold­berg inspires all its read­ers with the details about Rube’s child­hood and his trip into adult­hood. He was deter­mined to become a car­toon­ist for a major news­pa­per but went to engi­neer­ing school at his dad’s insis­tence. When Rube final­ly found his dream job as a car­toon­ist, would his fan­tas­ti­cal draw­ings have become pop­u­lar world­wide if he hadn’t been trained as an engi­neer? So much to dis­cuss with this book!

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests.  

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Sarah Aron­son and Robert Neubeck­er on their web­sites.

BOOKSTORM

About Rube Gold­berg and His Art. We share with you a num­ber of good books, arti­cles, videos, and web­sites where you’ll find infor­ma­tion to cre­ate your own cur­ricu­lum around Just Like Rube Gold­berg.

Alter Egos and Secret Iden­ti­ties. Gold­berg attrib­uted his inven­tions to his alter ego, Pro­fes­sor Lucifer Gor­gonzo­la Butts. We’ve found sev­er­al books that delve into alter egos and secret iden­ti­ties. Author Sarah Aron­son has a delight­ful activ­i­ty she brings to her school vis­its that invite stu­dents to explore their own alter egos.

Car­toon­ing and Draw­ing. For the kinet­ic and visu­al learn­ers in your class­room or book club, here are top-notch books to lead them through try­ing their hand at car­toon­ing and draw­ing.

Crit­i­cal Think­ing. Math puz­zles, cre­ative prob­lem-solv­ing, Albert Ein­stein, brain­storm­ing … a num­ber of books will start you and your stu­dents on the path to think­ing crit­i­cal­ly.

Engi­neer­ing. We rec­om­mend two videos, one from NASA and one from Crash Course Kids, to give inspir­ing intro­duc­tions to the field of engi­neer­ing.

Mak­ing Machines with Mov­ing Parts. There are more books on this top­ic than you might real­ize. From Girls Think of Every­thing to Mon­key with a Tool­belt to Build Your Own Chain Reac­tion Machines to Dump­ster Div­er … and many more … inspi­ra­tion awaits!

San Fran­cis­co Earth­quake, 1906. Yes, Rube Gold­berg lived through that earth­quake and it changed his life. Here are books both fic­tion and non­fic­tion to bring your stu­dents up to speed on one of the largest nat­ur­al dis­as­ters of all time.

Resources for Adults. As always, our Book­storms include books and videos that will give you the back­ground you need to guide stu­dents in both class­room and library set­tings.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: The Stuff of Stars

The Stuff of StarsBefore the uni­verse was formed, before time and space exist­ed, there was … noth­ing. But then … BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they explod­ed, fling­ing star­dust every­where. And the ash of those stars turned into plan­ets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poet­ic text, Mar­i­on Dane Bauer takes read­ers from the tril­lionth of a sec­ond when our uni­verse was born to the sin­gu­lar­i­ties that became each one of us, while vivid illus­tra­tions by Ekua Holmes cap­ture the void before the Big Bang and the ensu­ing life that burst across galax­ies. A seam­less blend of sci­ence and art, this pic­ture book reveals the com­po­si­tion of our world and beyond — and how we are all the stuff of stars.

The Stuff of Stars is an ide­al book for home, read­ing aloud, life cel­e­bra­tions, and as a way to begin dis­cus­sions about sci­ence.

In the class­room and library, The Stuff of Stars is a a poet­ic and breath­tak­ing­ly beau­ti­ful way to open sci­ence units about ani­mals, the earth, out­er space, human beings, and evo­lu­tion. It will ignite imag­i­na­tions when used as a men­tor text for poet­ry units.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests.  

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Mar­i­on Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes on their web­sites.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Ani­mals of the Earth. The author and illus­tra­tor include many ani­mals in The Stuff of Stars, from hip­popota­mus­es to hors­es to larks. Look close­ly for them in Ekua Holmes’ illus­tra­tions. Use The Stuff of Stars to begin your learn­ing about ani­mals every­where.

Babies. Babies and old­er chil­dren (and adults) love books about babies. The Stuff of Stars is a cel­e­bra­tion of birth. You’ll enjoy explor­ing these books.

Human Body. How amaz­ing our bod­ies are! We rec­om­mend books that will help you talk in age-appro­pri­ate ways about the won­ders of human beings.

Mar­bling. Illus­tra­tor Ekua Holmes uses a paper mar­bling techh­nique to begin her art for The Stuff of Stars … and then she lifts that art­form to a new lev­el. Per­haps you’d like to try paper mar­bling in a class­room or after school set­ting?

Our Earth. From Todd Par­r’s The Earth Book to Lisa Bullard’s Earth Day Every Day to Oliv­er Jef­fers’ Here We Are: Notes for Liv­ing on Plan­et Earth, you’ll find inspi­ra­tion for study­ing fas­ci­nat­ing aspects of our home plan­et.

Our Uni­verse is Born / Evo­lu­tion. We offer a num­ber of books that will bring sci­en­tif­ic the­o­ries of evo­lu­tion into sharp­er focus. How was our uni­verse born?

Plan­ets and Stars. A web­site with a star wheel, a video demon­strat­ing how to use a star chart, and sev­er­al excel­lent books will help you along your way to nav­i­gat­ing the plan­ets and the stars.

Poet­ry. Mar­i­on Dane Bauer’s poem can be used as a men­tor text in your class­room, along with books on show­cased sub­jects by Dou­glas Flo­ri­an, Joseph Bruchac, Lau­ra Pur­die Salas, and more.

Resources for Adults. The author was orig­i­nal­ly inspired by Carl Sagan’s “Cos­mos.” That book and sev­er­al oth­ers are rec­om­mend­ed.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Giant Pumpkin Suite

Giant Pumpkin SuiteCom­pe­ti­tion is a part of young peo­ple’s lives: art, sports, music, dance, sci­ence, cup-stack­ing … many chil­dren spend a good part of their day prac­tic­ing, learn­ing, and striv­ing to do their best. Giant Pump­kin Suite is about two types of com­pe­ti­tions, a Bach Cel­lo Suites Com­pe­ti­tion and a giant pump­kin grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Rose and Thomas Bruti­gan are twelve-year-old twins … but their per­son­al­i­ties and inter­ests are quite dif­fer­ent. It’s a book set with­in a neigh­bor­hood that pulls togeth­er when a seri­ous acci­dent changes the tra­jec­to­ry of their sum­mer. We meet so many inter­est­ing peo­ple, chil­dren and adults, in this book. It’s full of hold-your-breath plot turns. 

The book is writ­ten at a lev­el for 5th to 8th grade read­ers (and adults) and it has many ties to pop­u­lar cul­ture, math­e­mat­ics, gar­den­ing, and the nature of com­pe­ti­tion. It’s an excel­lent choice for a book club dis­cus­sion.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests.  

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Melanie Heuis­er Hill on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach. Rose Bruti­gan focus­es on an upcom­ing Bach Suites Com­pe­ti­tion by prac­tic­ing … a lot. Who was Bach and why is his music still with us 260 years after his death? Resources include books and videos of our best cel­lists play­ing the Bach Cel­lo Suites.

The Cel­lo. More about the instru­ment Rose plays, with a num­ber of videos you can share with your class or book club.

Char­lot­te’s Web. This book is a favorite of Rose and her neigh­bor Jane. Char­lot­te’s Web pro­vides a major turn­ing point in Giant Pump­kin Suite. Learn more about the book and its author, E.B. White.

Giant Pump­kins. Thomas and his neigh­bors work togeth­er to grow a giant pump­kin. Today, these pump­kins (not grown for eat­ing) can way over 2,000 pounds — more than one ton. Books, videos, and arti­cles share sto­ries and how-tos for grow­ing giant pump­kins com­pet­i­tive­ly.

Japan­ese Tea Cer­e­mo­ny. Mrs. Kiyo shares this beau­ti­ful cer­e­mo­ny with Rose. The Book­storm sug­gests a video for your stu­dents to watch.

Math­e­mat­ics and Bach. Are you aware that Bach used math and physics when cre­at­ing his com­po­si­tions? Your stu­dents can delve into this fas­ci­nat­ing aspect of the com­pos­er!

Movie Musi­cals. The music from musi­cals of the 1940s and 1950s is very impor­tant to Jane and Mrs. Lukashenko — they sing and tap dance at the least sug­ges­tion. We pro­vide three sug­ges­tions for watch­ing these movies.

Music Com­pe­ti­tion (Fic­tion). There are a num­ber of excel­lent books about young peo­ple prepar­ing for, and play­ing in, music com­pe­ti­tions! 

Music in Mid­dle Grade Books. And more nov­els in which music is an impor­tant part of the plot. 

Neigh­bor­hood Books. We sug­gest books in which the peo­ple and places of a neigh­bor­hood are inte­gral to the plot of a book. Per­haps you’ll find your favorites.

Tap Danc­ing. Who can resist a good tap dance? Anoth­er strong plot point, we sug­gest books and videos to share with your stu­dents.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Creekfinding

Creekfinding Bookstorm

CreekfindingWe were very excit­ed to read Creek­find­ing: a True Sto­ry because it tells the sto­ry of restor­ing a long-ago creek in an Iowa prairie set­ting. Just imag­ine: bring­ing back the bur­bling waters, the fish, the insects, the grass­es … every­thing that makes up the health and char­ac­ter of the land. It took bull­doz­ers and deter­mi­na­tion, part­ners and imag­i­na­tion, but it was a project that brought eco­log­i­cal suc­cess!

Our Book­storm will take you into fur­ther explo­ration, study­ing ecosys­tems, water con­ser­va­tion, com­mu­ni­ty action, fish, and more.

We trust you will find inspi­ra­tion and resources aplen­ty with­in the Book­storm to accom­pa­ny your study of Creek­find­ing: a True Sto­ry. We know you’ll share our appre­ci­a­tion for Dr. Michael Oster­holm, who con­ceived of the project, Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin, the author, Clau­dia McGe­hee, the illus­tra­tor, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Press, which under­stood how much read­ers and inno­v­a­tive thinkers need this book.

Downloadable

Bookol­o­gy inter­viewed the author, Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin, and the illus­tra­tor, Clau­dia McGe­hee, about their work on this book.

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin on her web­site. And read about illus­tra­tor Clau­dia McGe­hee on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

  • Dr. Michael Oster­holm (who con­ceived of the Creek­find­ing project)
  • drift­less region
  • ecosys­tems
  • fic­tion
  • fish
  • prairies
  • pre­serv­ing and restor­ing our nat­ur­al world
  • think glob­al­ly, act local­ly
  • urban farm­ing, restor­ing green­ery and growth to the city
  • water

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Giant Squid

Giant Squid Bookstorm

Giant SquidGiant Squid pro­vides an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach about one of the most myth­i­cal, unknown, and yet real crea­tures on earth, the Giant Squid. The incred­i­ble illus­tra­tions by Eric Rohmann help the read­er’s per­cep­tion of how large this deep sea crea­ture is and how mys­te­ri­ous. Found so deep with­in the sea, there is very lit­tle light. How did Eric Rohmann cre­ate the sense of this water dark­ness and the release of ink, a defense mech­a­nism? How did Can­dace Flem­ing write with spare text and yet tell us so many fas­ci­nat­ing details about the Giant Squid?

Our Book­storm will take you into fur­ther explo­ration, study­ing bio­lu­mi­nes­cence, oth­er deep sea crea­tures, ocean ecol­o­gy, oceanog­ra­phers, and more.

There are excel­lent resources in the back mat­ter of the book as well. We trust you will find inspi­ra­tion and resources aplen­ty with­in the Book­storm to accom­pa­ny your study of Giant Squid. 

Downloadable

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Can­dace Flem­ing on her web­site. And read about illus­tra­tor Eric Rohmann on his web­site.

There’s a Teach­ing Guide avail­able for Giant Squid, writ­ten by nat­u­ral­ist Lee Ann Land­strom.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

  • Bio­lu­mi­nes­cence
  • Deep Sea Crea­tures
  • Fic­tion
  • Giant Squid, in par­tic­u­lar
  • Oceans
  • Rel­a­tive Size
  • Sci­en­tif­ic Explo­ration

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Presenting Buffalo Bill

Bookmap Presenting Buffalo Bill

Presenting Buffalo BillPre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill pro­vides an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion between fic­tion and non­fic­tion, mythol­o­gy and fact, as well as the dis­cern­ment, research, and dis­cus­sion skills that are nat­u­ral­ly born out of this type of close read­ing. Buf­fa­lo Bill’s life and Wild West Show are excit­ing and the author makes them all the more vivid and engag­ing with her writ­ing. In her sec­tions on “Pan­ning for the Truth,” the dif­fer­ences between myth (or sto­ry­telling or mar­ket­ing) are called out for fur­ther exam­i­na­tion.

Our per­cep­tions of the Wild West have changed as we have lis­tened to voic­es from many cul­tures, shar­ing their expe­ri­ences, open­ing our eyes, com­mu­ni­cat­ing in ways those who immi­grat­ed to Amer­i­ca didn’t have avail­able. West­erns, movies and books set in the “Old West” can now be looked at with dif­fer­ent eyes and more under­stand­ing minds. Thought­ful papers on then and now can encour­age height­ened aware­ness. A Tall Tale Con­test might point out how exag­ger­a­tion and decep­tion work in mar­ket­ing and inter­net arti­cles.

We’ve includ­ed books on truth and lies, mythol­o­gy ver­sus authen­tic­i­ty, as well as fic­tion and non­fic­tion writ­ten at var­i­ous points in our his­to­ry. There are excel­lent resources in the back mat­ter of Can­dace Fleming’s book as well. We trust you will find inspi­ra­tion and resources aplen­ty to accom­pa­ny your study of Pre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Can­dace Flem­ing on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Buf­fa­lo Bill. He was once one of the most famous men in the world. Hun­dreds of dime nov­els were writ­ten about him. Sev­er­al ver­sions of his auto­bi­og­ra­phy are avail­able. Many authors have cho­sen to chron­i­cle his life and his Wild West Show. We’ve cho­sen a few that will pro­vide a means for stu­dents to con­trast and com­pare. Online resources will add depth to research.

Art of the 19th Cen­tu­ry. Buf­fa­lo Bil­l’s most famous por­trait was paint­ed by the French artist Rosa Bon­heur. Hun­dreds of posters from the Wild West Show can be stud­ied to reveal how they tell a per­sua­sive sto­ry or influ­ence the audi­ence to attend the shows.

Exag­ger­a­tion, Lies, and Sto­ry­telling. One of the most thought-pro­vok­ing aspects of Pre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill is the atten­tion Can­dace Flem­ing pays to the verac­i­ty of the sto­ries Will Cody told and oth­ers told about him. We’ve includ­ed cur­rent books about truth, lying, decep­tion, and mar­ket­ing. An in-depth study that car­oms off Can­dace’s book will fas­ci­nate your stu­dents.

Mythol­o­gy ver­sus Authen­tic­i­ty. Com­par­ing oth­er myths to that of the Wild West, includ­ing folk heroes of the same era such as Davy Crock­ett, and mod­ern-day myths such as Star Wars and Star Trek, will help with com­par­a­tive analy­sis.

Native Amer­i­cans. Buf­fa­lo Bill employed hun­dreds of Amer­i­can Indi­ans in his Wild West shows. He inter­act­ed with famous chiefs and brought entire fam­i­lies into his show encamp­ments. We’ve includ­ed biogra­phies of heroes such as Sit­ting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Red Cloud, as well as con­tem­po­rary nov­els and non­fic­tion.

The West Dur­ing Bill Cody’s Life­time. Flem­ing sets the Wild West Show and Bil­l’s life with­in the con­text of geog­ra­phy, his­to­ry, and pol­i­tics. The Book­storm includes books about the chil­dren, women, men, and pol­i­tics of Bil­l’s life, those who lived in the authen­tic West.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Bookmap Let Your Voice Be Heard

Let Your Voice Be HeardWhether you include social jus­tice, com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice, activism, or social action in your cur­ricu­lum or at your library, this is the ide­al book for you. A biog­ra­phy of Pete Seeger, recip­i­ent of our Nation­al Medal for the Arts, and cham­pi­on of the peo­ple for his 94 years, our Book­storm this month, Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, cel­e­brates his life while it inspires each read­er to car­ry on his work. At once infor­ma­tive and enter­tain­ing, Ani­ta Sil­vey has writ­ten a book that looks at Seeger’s child­hood, his evo­lu­tion from singer to world­wide change leader to deeply admired man. Emi­nent­ly read­able, this would be a good book to share with stu­dents as  you lead into deep­er dis­cus­sions about involve­ment and ser­vice in your own com­mu­ni­ty.

The book is writ­ten at a lev­el for 4th to 6th grade read­ers, so you can use this with these stu­dents, but we also encour­age you to use the book in mid­dle school, high school, and with adult groups. It’s an excel­lent choice for a book club dis­cus­sion.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about the ways in which Pete Seeger influ­enced our world. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Ani­ta Sil­vey on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

About Pete Seeger. To sup­ple­ment the infor­ma­tion Ani­ta Sil­vey has includ­ed in her biog­ra­phy, we’ve sug­gest­ed a few oth­er books that offer anoth­er per­spec­tive.

Writ­ten by Pete Seeger. He was remark­ably pro­lif­ic in writ­ing books, or intro­duc­tions, or col­lab­o­rat­ing on quite a few books. You’ll cer­tain­ly rec­og­nize Abiy­oyo but there are more books for study, enjoy­ment, and for singing!

Pete Seeger’s Music. He’s so well-known for his music and he record­ed a great num­ber of folk songs for chil­dren and all ages. We’ve point­ed you in the direc­tion of some of the best that you can share in your class­room or library. 

Civ­il Rights. Well-known for his efforts on behalf of the Civ­il Rights Move­ment, for over  70 years, we offer rec­om­men­da­tions so you can gath­er a shelf full of paired books includ­ing fic­tion, true sto­ries, and poet­ry.

Labor Move­ment. Sep­tem­ber is the month when we hon­or the hard work of those who have fought for work­ers’ rights, out­law­ing child labor, ensur­ing health and vaca­tion and sick leave ben­e­fits. Pete Seeger was a tire­less pro­po­nent of this work. You’ll find a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions to sup­port this aspect of his biog­ra­phy, cer­tain­ly engen­der­ing dis­cus­sion. We’ve includ­ed rec­om­men­da­tions for songs to accom­pa­ny this study.

Folk Music, Col­lect­ing, Play­ing, Singing. Do you know the work of Alan and John Lomax, Woody Guthrie, Charles and Ruth Seeger, Smith­son­ian Folk­ways, and oth­er musi­col­o­gists? This is a fas­ci­nat­ing aspect of Pete Seeger’s life that can lead to dis­cus­sions of pre­serv­ing cul­ture, the intrin­sic place of music with­in a cul­ture … and more singing! Sug­ges­tions are made for fur­ther study of many indi­vid­u­als impor­tant to the preser­va­tion of folk music.

Pol­i­tics: Under Sus­pi­cion and Black­list­ed (Cen­sor­ship). Dur­ing those times of the year when your class­room or library is focus­ing on cen­sor­ship, Ani­ta Sil­vey focus­es on the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee of the 1950s, Com­mu­nism, and black­list­ing. All of these can be com­pared to the polit­i­cal cli­mate in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­ca. We have includ­ed a vari­ety of fic­tion and non­fic­tion rec­om­men­da­tions.

Protest­ing War (Viet­nam). The protests of the 1960s and 1970s in Amer­i­ca left an indeli­ble change on the coun­try that a num­ber of anthro­pol­o­gists argue con­tin­ues to affect Amer­i­ca today. Pete Seeger was active in this protest move­ment. Books on the war, its after­math, and songs of protest are a part of this Book­storm.

Think Glob­al­ly, Act Local­ly. Pete Seeger’s social action with The Clear­wa­ter Project, gath­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties to clean up The Hud­son Riv­er in New York, was accom­plished through song, com­mu­ni­ty gath­er­ings, fundrais­ing, and hard work. We pro­vide quotes, videos, web­sites, and a lot of books for stu­dents to use for learn­ing more and mak­ing their own plans for involve­ment.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: No Monkeys, No Chocolate

No Monkeys Bookmap

 

No Monkeys, No ChocolateWe are pleased to fea­ture No Mon­keys, No Choco­late as our August book selec­tion, in which author and sci­ence writer Melis­sa Stew­art, along with Allen Young and illus­tra­tor Nicole Wong share the inter­de­pen­dent ecosys­tem that cre­ates the right con­di­tions for cacao beans to be grown and har­vest­ed so we can pro­duce choco­late.

This ecosys­tem is set in the rain­for­est of the Ama­zon, but there are inter­de­pen­dent ecosys­tems all over the world, vital ani­mals, rep­tiles, birds, insects, humans, and plants that are nec­es­sary for our lives to con­tin­ue on this earth. We all rely on each oth­er. We all have a part to play in pre­serv­ing a healthy Earth. We are grate­ful to authors and illus­tra­tors like Melis­sa, Allen, and Nicole who bring these con­nec­tions to our atten­tion so we can share them with chil­dren who will become the stew­ards of this plan­et.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about Amer­i­can light­hous­es, light­house keep­ers, and biogra­phies of female heroes. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Melis­sa Stew­art on her web­site. Illus­tra­tor Nicole Wong’s web­site will show you more of her port­fo­lio.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Choco­late. I know there are peo­ple who don’t like choco­late, but sure­ly they are a small per­cent­age of peo­ple in the world! As we move between descrip­tions of deca­dent choco­late plea­sures to news that it’s healthy for us to foun­tains and per­son­al­ized choco­late … these books share facts, sto­ries, and tan­ta­liz­ing pho­tographs.

Ecosys­tems. Our fea­tured book is an excel­lent descrip­tion of an ecosys­tem in which plants, ani­mals, and insects work togeth­er to cre­ate the bean that cre­ates choco­late. There are a num­ber of good exam­ples of ecosys­tems through­out the world in the books we’ve includ­ed.

Grow­ing Food. We appre­ci­ate and thank the peo­ple who work so hard to grow our food. From urban farms to rur­al ranch­es to rain­forests, the foods we tend and grow and har­vest are essen­tial to all life on earth. We hope that teach­ing chil­dren about the sources of their food, the peo­ple who grow it, and the care giv­en to the stuff of life will encour­age a healthy lifestyle.

Mon­keys. Mon­keys, chim­panzees, goril­las, apes … pri­mates have been fas­ci­nat­ing peo­ple, espe­cial­ly chil­dren, since time began. And now we now they’re essen­tial for choco­late! We’ve includ­ed books that will start dis­cus­sions, answer ques­tions, and enter­tain young read­ers.

Pol­li­na­tion. The process of pol­li­na­tion, and all the ways it hap­pens, is incred­i­ble. These books are guar­an­teed to inter­est young read­ers.

Rain For­est Preser­va­tion. It’s vital for all the peo­ple of the earth to sup­port efforts to keep the rain forests of our world healthy. The more we know and under­stand about their role in our cli­mate, our air, our abil­i­ty to breathe, the more we can com­mit to doing our part as indi­vid­u­als. 

Author’s Web­site Resources. Author Melis­sa Stew­art cre­at­ed a writ­ing time­line that is use­ful in teach­ing writ­ing, espe­cial­ly expos­i­to­ry writ­ing, to your stu­dents. She has a read­er’s the­ater, teach­ing guide, and sev­er­al more teach­ing aids to offer. We’ve pro­vid­ed links.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Jazz Day

Bookmap for Jazz Day

 

Jazz DayThis month we’re fea­tur­ing Jazz Day, a book that’s all about jazz and a pho­to­graph that record­ed a moment in time, peo­ple at the top of their musi­cal careers and peo­ple who were just get­ting start­ed. Author Rox­ane Orgill is famil­iar with the jazz cul­ture; she’s writ­ten sev­er­al books about the music and the peo­ple. Illus­tra­tor Fran­cis Valle­jo took ele­ments of pho­tog­ra­phy, graph­ic design, acrylic, and pas­tels to illus­trate his first book. This pow­er­ful team has received no few­er than six starred reviews for the pic­ture book biog­ra­phy they’ve cre­at­ed togeth­er.

In Jazz Day, each sto­ry is told with a poem, among them free verse, a pan­toum, and a list poem. There are poems about the pho­tog­ra­ph­er, the musi­cians, the young neigh­bor­hood boys who showed up for the pho­to­graph out of curios­i­ty, the jazz life, and the process of tak­ing the pho­to, Harlem 1958, which is famous for cap­tur­ing a large num­ber of musi­cians in their time, their cloth­ing, their com­mu­ni­ty, but with­out their instru­ments (except for one guy, Rex Stew­art, but it earned him a poem).

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about jazz, music, singers, and pho­tog­ra­phy. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Rox­ane Orgill on her web­site. The illus­tra­tor’s web­site will show you more of Fran­cis Valle­jo’s port­fo­lio.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Jazz Musi­cians in Pic­ture Books. Here you’ll find excel­lent pic­ture books about jazz musi­cians includ­ing Trom­bone Shorty, John Coltrane, Thelo­nius Monk, Louis Arm­strong, Dizzy Gille­spie, Mary Louise Williams, Mel­ba Lis­ton, Duke Elling­ton, and Ben­ny Good­man. Many of these books help us under­stand how the child­hood of these renowned musi­cians launched them into their careers.

Jazz Singers. Ella Fitzger­ald? Scat. Josephine Bak­er? Show­man­ship. Civ­il rights. The Sweet­hearts of Rhythm? Swing musi­cians who rose to promi­nence dur­ing the war. Excep­tion­al books about excep­tion­al singers.

Jazz for Old­er Read­ers. From Rox­ane Orgill’s own book, Dream Lucky, one of the best books about jazz musi­cians, to high­ly respect­ed books like Jazz 101, and The His­to­ry of Jazz, and Marsalis on Music, there’s a lot of infor­ma­tion here to get you talk­ing pro­fi­cient­ly about, and teach­ing, jazz.

Pho­tog­ra­phy. Art Kane was­n’t a pho­tog­ra­ph­er but he took one of the most famous pho­tographs, Harlem 1958. But there are chil­dren’s books about famous pho­tog­ra­phers such as Gor­don Parks and Snowflake Bent­ley. You’ll find more sug­ges­tions in the Book­storm.

The Music. Your stu­dents who are already inter­est­ed in rap or jazz rap or hip-hop or pop music, will be fas­ci­nat­ed to lis­ten to the dif­fer­ent gen­res of jazz music that came before … and we’ve includ­ed URLs where you can find excel­lent exam­ples. Or per­haps you’re a jazz afi­ciona­do and you have your own music to share.

Web­sites. There are help­ful web­sites such as the Jazz Edu­ca­tion Net­work and Smith­son­ian Jazz that will help you put togeth­er a mul­ti­me­dia set of les­son plans for explor­ing jazz, our most Amer­i­can form of music.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Miss Colfax’s Light

Bookmap Miss Colfax's Light

 

Miss Colfax's LightWe are pleased to fea­ture Miss Col­fax’s Light as our June book selec­tion, in which author Aimée Bis­sonette and illus­tra­tor Eileen Ryan Ewen tell the fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry of a woman who served as the Michi­gan City Light­house keep­er from 1861 to 1904. Cap­tains and nav­i­ga­tors on Lake Michi­gan relied on her light­house to keep them from founder­ing on the rocks or crash­ing onto the shore in rough weath­er.

Every day heroes. That’s how author Aimée Bis­sonette refers to the peo­ple in his­to­ry who intrigue her. She trav­eled to research her cho­sen sub­ject, Har­ri­et Col­fax, talk­ing with peo­ple in Indi­ana who could proud­ly pro­vide infor­ma­tion. Miss Col­fax faith­ful­ly kept a log, so Aimée was able to read about Har­ri­et’s work and her dai­ly life in Har­ri­et’s own words. Illus­tra­tor Eileen Ryan Ewen paint­ed a wealth of accu­rate, time-appro­pri­ate details into the pages of the book, help­ing read­ers visu­al­ly under­stand the time in which Miss Col­fax lived. We think you’ll be inspired by Miss Col­fax’s sto­ry as much as we are.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about Amer­i­can light­hous­es, light­house keep­ers, and biogra­phies of female heroes. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Aimée Bis­sonette on her web­site. The illus­tra­tor’s web­site will show you more of Eileen Ryan Ewen’s port­fo­lio.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

About Light­hous­es. For back­ground infor­ma­tion as you pre­pare to excite stu­dents, library patrons, or your fam­i­ly mem­bers about Amer­i­can light­hous­es, these books will help you locate these bea­cons of safe­ty, learn more about their oper­a­tion, and under­stand the sci­ence and math that are an inher­ent part of the work­ings of light­hous­es around the coun­try.

Brave and Extra­or­di­nary Women. From pic­ture book biogra­phies to short-arti­cle antholo­gies, you’ll find a vari­ety of inspir­ing sto­ries from oceanog­ra­ph­er Sylvia Ear­le to edu­ca­tion­al activist Malala Yousafzai.

How Light­hous­es Work. From the Fres­nel lens to the Chance Broth­ers engi­neer­ing to the improve­ments in fuel, increas­es in the range of light, and Edis­on’s inven­tion of the light­bulb, you’ll find books to inform your pre­sen­ta­tions and dis­cus­sions about Miss Col­fax’s Light.

Light­house Books. There are a num­ber of good books to pair with our fea­tured Book­storm. Com­pare the true sto­ry of Miss Col­fax with that of Abbie Burgess, who took her light­house keep­er father’s place dur­ing an ice storm, or the Maine Fly­ing San­ta pro­gram, or the Lit­tle Red Light­house near the George Wash­ing­ton Bridge in New York City, among many oth­ers.

Pro­tect­ing Our Water­ways. In addi­tion to our light­house keep­ers, the U.S. Coast Guard is on duty pro­tect­ing water trav­el­ers and ship­ping ves­sels dur­ing all types of weath­er and in haz­ardous sit­u­a­tions. These books will extend read­ers’ under­stand­ing of the work done by high­ly skilled patrols.

Water. Before and after read­ing Miss Col­fax’s Light, it’s a good time to have a dis­cus­sion about the impor­tance of water in our lives. From our Great Lakes, to our coastal waters, to the rivers and lakes through­out our coun­try, to the water that falls from the sky, to the water that is pumped up from under­ground aquifers, water and water con­ser­va­tion are essen­tial to our every­day lives. 

Whether you choose to focus on every day heroes, water, sci­ence, Great Lakes com­merce, or inspi­ra­tion women, there are many direc­tions you can go and many sub­jects you can sup­port with Miss Col­fax’s Light.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Turn Left at the Cow

 

Turn Left at the Cow

Turn Left at the CowWho does­n’t love a mys­tery? Whether your find them intrigu­ing puz­zles or can’t-wait-to-know-the-solu­tion page-turn­ers, a good mys­tery is engross­ing and a lit­tle tense. Throw in a lit­tle humor, a detailed set­ting, and well-drawn char­ac­ters and you have a book you can con­fi­dent­ly hand to young read­ers who are already hooked on the genre and those who have yet to become fans.

We are pleased to fea­ture Turn Left at the Cow as our May book selec­tion, writ­ten by the expert plot­ter Lisa Bullard, replete with her char­ac­ter­is­tic humor.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for mid­dle grade read­ers with mys­ter­ies, humor, and bank heists. 

Downloadables

 

 

Don’t miss the excep­tion­al resources on the author’s web­site. Try your hand at but­ter carv­ing with “But­ter Head Beau­ties,” engag­ing sci­ence, art, and lan­guage arts skills. Re-cre­ate the book’s chick­en poop bin­go with “Chances Are,” call­ing on math and lan­guage arts. Lisa Bullard’s Pin­ter­est page has more great ideas that you’ll find use­ful as you incor­po­rate this book into your plan­ning.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Mid­dle Grade Mys­ter­ies. There are amaz­ing books writ­ten for this age group. We’ve includ­ed a list that would help you select read-alikes or com­pan­ion books, draw­ing on titles first print­ed in 1929 (yes, real­ly) to 2015.

But­ter Heads and Oth­er State Fair Strange­ness. A but­ter head is one of the atten­tion-wor­thy objects in the book. Begin an online research assign­ment with a few arti­cles about but­ter heads around the coun­try.

Fish Out of Water. Travis lives in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia. When he runs away to his grand­moth­er’s cab­in in north­ern Min­neso­ta, it walks and talks like a dif­fer­ent world, one that Travis has to learn to nav­i­gate if he’s going to solve the mys­tery.

Miss­ing Par­ent. Even though Travis left his moth­er behind with her new hus­band, Travis is most inter­est­ed in find­ing out about his dad, who died before he was born. Books for this age group often revolve around a par­ent or par­ents who are not present. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed a few of them. 

Rob­beries and Heists. Travis has trou­ble believ­ing his father could have robbed a bank but the towns­peo­ple seem to think so. We’ve includ­ed books that delin­eate bank or train rob­beries, some of them true.

Small Town Fes­ti­vals. One of the most excit­ing scenes in Turn Left at the Cow takes place in Green Lake, Min­neso­ta’s annu­al sum­mer fes­ti­val where chick­en poop bin­go is a tra­di­tion. We’ve found arti­cles about oth­er small town fes­ti­vals that would make good writ­ing prompts, research projects, or Pow­er­Point projects.

Mys­ter­ies offer a spe­cial plea­sure to many read­ers, both chil­dren and adults. They pro­vide an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk about plot and how that plot is rein­forced by intrigu­ing char­ac­ters (and good writ­ing!).

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: A River of Words

 

Bookmap for A River of Words

A River of WordsAuthor Jen Bryant and illus­tra­tor Melis­sa Sweet have teamed up on a num­ber of pic­ture book biogra­phies about cre­ative artists. We’ve cho­sen to fea­ture their very first col­lab­o­ra­tion dur­ing this month in which poet­ry takes the spot­light. By telling us the true sto­ry about poet William Car­los Williams’ child­hood and grow­ing up, with his clear poet­ry sur­round­ing the pages, they awak­en inter­est in young peo­ple who may think this no-longer-liv­ing, ancient (he was born in 1883 and died in 1963) poet is not with­in reach. They’ll be sur­prised by how his poet­ry will touch them. And he made a career for him­self as a poet while he was being a coun­try doc­tor! What an inter­est­ing fel­low.

We trust you will find this mon­th’s Book­storm use­ful for teach­ing poet­ry, teach­ing writ­ing, units on nature, talk­ing about non­fic­tion and biog­ra­phy … and enjoy­ing the qui­eter moments when read­ing poet­ry is one of life’s plea­sures.

For more infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion guides, vis­it Jen Bryant’ web­site.

You can learn more about Melis­sa Sweet, the illus­tra­tor

Downloadables

 

 

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Pic­ture Book Biogra­phies of Poets. From Shake­speare to Woody Guthrie, from Dave the Pot­ter to Pablo Neru­da, you’ll find top-notch biogra­phies of poets with whom kids find con­nec­tion. Sev­er­al of these are excel­lent men­tor texts as well.

Biogra­phies of Poets for Old­er Read­ers. If you’d like to use A Riv­er of Words with old­er grades, we’ve includ­ed a few biogra­phies that pair well. For instance, you’ll find Pablo Neru­da: Poet of the Peo­ple (Mon­i­ca Brown and Julie Paschkis) on the pic­ture book side and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Dream­er, also about the Chilean poet Pablo Neru­da, for the more com­fort­able read­ers.

Revolv­ing Around William Car­los Williams. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed a biog­ra­phy writ­ten for adults, a col­lec­tion of Mr. Williams’ poems for chil­dren, and a book that was inspired by his poem, “This is Just to Say.”

Kids and Nature. Nature-deficit dis­or­der is on many edu­ca­tors’ minds. William Car­los Williams had a sig­nif­i­cant con­nec­tion to nature. He wrote about it often. We’ve includ­ed books with ter­rif­ic ideas for enthus­ing chil­dren about going out­doors, both unplugged and plugged-in.

Col­lage and Mixed-Media Illus­tra­tions. Do the types of illus­tra­tion con­fuse you? We’ll have an inter­view with Melis­sa Sweet this month that we hope will make you feel more com­fort­able dis­cussing the art in A Riv­er of Words. We’ve sug­gest­ed a few books that also use a mixed media style.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Little Cat’s Luck

 

Little Cat's Luck

Little Cat's LuckMany peo­ple love cats. You might be one of them. Many chil­dren con­sid­er their cat or their dog to be one of the fam­i­ly. Mar­i­on Dane Bauer under­stands that. She wrote Lit­tle Cat’s Luck, the sto­ry of Patch­es, a cat, and Gus, the mean­est dog in town, out of her deep affin­i­ty for both cats and dogs. You can tell. These are real ani­mals who have adven­tures, chal­lenges, and feel­ings that read­ers will avid­ly fol­low … and under­stand. Writ­ten as a nov­el-in-verse with charm­ing use of con­crete poet­ry, Lit­tle Cat’s Luck is a book that will inter­est both avid read­ers and those still gain­ing con­fi­dence.

We are pleased to fea­ture Lit­tle Cat’s Luck as our March book selec­tion, writ­ten by the per­cep­tive Mar­i­on Dane Bauer and illus­trat­ed by the play­ful Jen­nifer A. Bell, sto­ry­tellers both.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for pri­ma­ry grade read­ers. We’ve includ­ed some books for adults with back­ground infor­ma­tion about cats, infor­ma­tion texts, nar­ra­tive non­fic­tion, and plen­ty of mem­o­rable cat char­ac­ters. 

Downloadables

 

 

Don’t miss the excep­tion­al resources on the author’s web­site. There’s a book trail­er, a social-emo­tion­al learn­ing guide, and a teach­ing guide that you’ll find use­ful as you incor­po­rate this book into your plan­ning.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Mem­o­rable Cat Char­ac­ters. You may know and love these books but have your read­ers been intro­duced to Macav­i­ty, Pete the Cat, the Cat in the Hat, Atti­cus McClaw? From pic­ture books to ear­ly read­ers to mid­dle grade nov­els, there’s a wide range of books here for every taste.

Friend­ship. There have been excel­lent books pub­lished about ani­mals who are friends, many you would­n’t expect, both as fic­tion­al sto­ries and true sto­ries.

Smart Ani­mals. Do you know the true sto­ry of Alex the Par­rot? Or how smart an octo­pus is? Do you know what ani­mals think and feel? There are books here that will amaze you and deep­en your appre­ci­a­tion for ani­mals and birds.

Car­ing for Ani­mals. These fic­tion­al books are good dis­cus­sion starters for the respon­si­bil­i­ty of hav­ing an ani­mal pet, espe­cial­ly a cat. 

Spir­it of Adven­ture. Ani­mal adven­tures have been favorites ever since Jack Lon­don pub­lished Call of the Wild. These are some of the best sto­ries, just like Lit­tle Cat’s Luck and Lit­tle Dog, Lost.

Ani­mal Moth­ers and Their Off­spring. How do ani­mals care for their young? We’ve includ­ed a cou­ple of books that will fas­ci­nate young read­ers.

The Truth about Cats. From The Cat Ency­clo­pe­dia to How to Speak Cat, these are infor­ma­tion texts filled with facts. Good choic­es for your stu­dents’ book bins.

Best of all? There are so many good books about cats!

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Chasing Secrets

 

Bookmap for Chasing Secrets Bookstorm

Chasing SecretsDon’t you love a good mys­tery? Set it in an exot­ic but famil­iar city like San Fran­cis­co at the turn of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Cre­ate a main char­ac­ter who’s a smart and adven­tur­ous young girl with inter­ests frowned upon dur­ing that time: sci­ence, math­e­mat­ics, and pur­su­ing a col­lege edu­ca­tion. Pro­vide a fam­i­ly and friends who are immense­ly inter­est­ing because they’re so vivid that you’d like to know each one of them. Research the his­to­ry of the times so that these peo­ple are believ­ably liv­ing in the midst of impend­ing dis­ease, short tem­pers over immi­gra­tion, and the clash between the very wealthy and the very poor … and you have this excit­ing sto­ry. When our Bookol­o­gists read it, we could­n’t put it down!

We are pleased to fea­ture Chas­ing Secrets as our Feb­ru­ary book selec­tion, writ­ten by the tal­ent­ed Gen­nifer Chold­enko.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for mid­dle grade read­ers. We’ve includ­ed some books for adults with good pho­tographs of the era and more infor­ma­tion to help you set con­text for your stu­dents. 

Downloadables

 

 

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Women in Sci­ence. There are excep­tion­al fic­tion and non­fic­tion books about the women in many fields such as botany, astron­o­my, chem­istry, and zool­o­gy who have applied their inter­ests, hard work, and cre­ativ­i­ty to change the world. 

Ear­ly Women in Med­i­cine. Female med­ical prac­ti­tion­ers were frowned upon until recent­ly. Some of them found ways to tend to their com­mu­ni­ties with­out degrees, by being mid­wives and herbal­ists. Oth­ers fought their way into med­ical school and set out to estab­lish them­selves as val­ued doc­tors and sci­en­tists. We’ve sug­gest­ed a mix­ture of fic­tion and non­fic­tion you and your stu­dents will find enlight­en­ing and engross­ing.

Infec­tious Dis­eases. Plagues, fevers, influen­za … they’ve wreaked hav­oc with var­i­ous pop­u­la­tions up to the present day. The authors of these books have writ­ten com­pelling nar­ra­tives to inspire future sci­en­tists and doc­tors, nurs­es and aid work­ers.

Chi­nese Immi­gra­tion. San Fran­cis­co was the major port for Chi­nese immi­grants com­ing to “Gold Moun­tain” in the 1800s and ear­ly 1900s. As with so many eth­nic groups arriv­ing in Amer­i­ca, they were not wel­comed with cour­tesy and kind­ness, but with sus­pi­cion and resent­ment. There are a num­ber of books for both chil­dren and adult read­ers includ­ed.

Chi­na­town. Along with a fine book by Lau­rence Yep, we rec­om­mend two books for adults to give you back­ground and pho­tographs as you pre­pare to dis­cuss Chas­ing Secrets in your class­room or book group.

Detec­tive Fic­tion. Our Bookol­o­gists put their heads togeth­er to rec­om­mend their favorite books in this genre, some of them clas­sic and some of them brand new. Mys­tery read­ers will set­tle in for sev­er­al weeks of page-turn­ing!

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Princess Posey

 

Princess Posey Bookmap

Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy VacationThere have been many papers writ­ten about why chil­dren, teens, and adults like to read books that are pub­lished as part of a series. From The Bobb­sey Twins to Nan­cy Drew to the Box­car Chil­dren to Ency­lo­pe­dia Brown to Goose­bumps to The Babysit­ters Club to Red­wall to War­riors (draw­ing in a long breath) … okay, you get the idea. These books are pop­u­lar. We like read­ing about char­ac­ters who are famil­iar to us in set­tings that we feel we could walk through. Some­times they’re involved in sto­ries that we might feel are pre­dictable, but that’s been found to be part of the charm.

This month, we are pleased to fea­ture Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy Vaca­tion, writ­ten by Stephanie Greene and illus­trat­ed by Stephanie Roth Sis­son. The tenth book in their series, this one fol­lows our favorite first-grad­er, she who wears a pink tutu for con­fi­dence, through spring vaca­tion, a stay­ca­tion replete with unan­tic­i­pat­ed adven­ture. Full of gen­tle humor and sit­u­a­tions your own kids this age will find famil­iar, Posey has good friends, help­ful adults, and a devel­op­ing sense of self to rely on for a sat­is­fy­ing sto­ry in each vol­ume.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy Vaca­tion, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for this par­tic­u­lar age group, a lit­tle younger, a lit­tle old­er, but pri­mar­i­ly pic­ture books, easy read­ers, and ear­ly chap­ter books. 

Downloadables

 

 

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Bicy­cles. Learn­ing to ride a bicy­cle, being afraid of it, and then over­com­ing that fear, is one of the sto­ry­lines for Posey this time around. We’ve sug­gest­ed oth­er books about bicy­cles.

Courage. Try­ing unfa­mil­iar activ­i­ties and foods, meet­ing new peo­ple, all of these take courage. Talk about these books with your fam­i­ly or class­room or sto­ry­time group. Start the con­ver­sa­tion about step­ping out­side our com­fort zones.

Doing Noth­ing. Some­times vaca­tions — and life — are ful­ly pro­grammed. No chance to be bored. We’ve list­ed a few books that rev­el in kick­ing back and let­ting imag­i­na­tion take over.

Ear­ly Read­ers for and About First and Sec­ond Grade. Long sub­ti­tle, but books that are fun to read. We’ve even includ­ed a joke book!

Frogs. Yes, there’s a frog among the char­ac­ters in Posey’s vaca­tion so you’ll find a few more frog books to read out loud.

Miss­ing Mom. Because the series takes place dur­ing first grade, Posey fre­quent­ly exam­ines her feel­ings about miss­ing her moth­er while she’s at school. She has a younger broth­er and a car­ing grand­fa­ther, but it’s that mom con­nec­tion that the Stepha­nies han­dle so well. 

Sleep-Overs. Has your child been on their first sleep-over yet? There’s almost as much anx­i­ety as there is in going to school! An unfa­mil­iar house and stay­ing up past bed­time … here are a few more books to read.

Teeth. How much can hap­pen dur­ing one spring vaca­tion? Well, Posey has a loose tooth. Here are some books about that tooth-los­ing expe­ri­ence, includ­ing one of our favorites, Throw Your Tooth On the Roof.

Tutus. Posey’s pink tutu is one of her trade­marks. When she first sets off for school, she won’t leave home with­out it.

Vaca­tions. What will we do on vaca­tion? Kids can be simul­ta­ne­ous­ly excit­ed and fear­ful about leav­ing home for this length of time, ven­tur­ing to an unknown place. A lit­tle read­ing about oth­er kids’ vaca­tions will help.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Firekeeper’s Son

Bookmap Firekeeper's SonFirekeeper's SonThis month, we are pleased to fea­ture Fire­keep­er’s Son, writ­ten by Lin­da Sue Park and illus­trat­ed by Julie Down­ing. Set in Korea in the 19th cen­tu­ry, it’s a book about an his­toric sys­tem of sig­nal fires that served as nation­al secu­ri­ty … and one fam­i­ly who is respon­si­ble for light­ing a bon­fire each and every night. 

The young boy at the cen­ter of the book dreams of see­ing sol­diers, but it’s his father’s job to advise the king that all is clear. Sol­diers are not need­ed. What hap­pens when the boy must fill in for his father? Will he call the sol­diers to sat­is­fy his dreams? With lumi­nous, com­pelling illus­tra­tions, this is a mem­o­rable book about hon­or, loy­al­ty, and dis­ci­pline.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Fire­keep­er’s Son, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read to or by ages 4 through adult. We’ve includ­ed fic­tion and non­fic­tion, pic­ture books, poet­ry, mid­dle grade books, and books adults will find inter­est­ing. 

Kore­an Cul­ture. The peo­ple and places of Korea, the alpha­bet and lan­guage, proverbs and folk­tales … there are books to famil­iar­ize your class­room with the ancient and fas­ci­nat­ing cul­ture of the Land of Morn­ing Calm.

Fic­tion: Books Set in Korea. From pic­ture books to mid­dle grade nov­els, many books have been set in Korea, both his­tor­i­cal nov­els like Kite Fight­ers and pic­ture books about Amer­i­can immi­grants like The Name Jar. Lin­da Sue Park’s New­bery Medal nov­el A Sin­gle Shard fits with­in this cat­e­go­ry and so does Year of Impos­si­ble Good­byes by Sook Nyul Choi. Good sto­ries!

Fire and Light. Sang-hee’s fam­i­ly works with fire. Hav­ing a reli­able way to light the sig­nal fire each evening is vital. How does fire work? We’ve select­ed inter­est­ing web­sites and a DK Eye­wit­ness book for “spark­ing” an inter­est. 

Poet­ry. Are you famil­iar with the Kore­an sijo form of poet­ry? Tap Danc­ing on the Roof is filled with this pre­cise poet­ry with a twist.

Web­sites, Videos, and Films About Korea. We’ve select­ed web­sites from the Kore­an Art Asso­ci­a­tion, the BBC, The New York Times and more to fill in answers for some of the ques­tions you will have about Korea when you read all of these books.

Codes and Sig­nals. From storm codes to sig­nal fires to secret writ­ing and ciphers, codes have fas­ci­nat­ed peo­ple for thou­sands of years.

Korea – Books for Adult Read­ers. You’ll want to fill in the gaps in your knowl­edge about Korea. We’ve found some high­ly rec­om­mend­ed books, includ­ing one of the books Lin­da Sue Park used for her research for Fire­keep­er’s Son.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Downloadables

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Untamed Bookstorm

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallThis month, we are pleased to fea­ture Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, writ­ten by Ani­ta Sil­vey, with pho­tographs and book designed by the incred­i­ble team at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. This book is not only fas­ci­nat­ing to read, it’s a beau­ti­ful read­ing expe­ri­ence as well.

It’s not often that a book offers us a glimpse into the child­hood of a woman who has fol­lowed a brave, and car­ing, career path, but also fol­lows her through more than 50 years in that cho­sen pro­fes­sion, describ­ing her work, dis­cov­er­ies, and her pas­sion for the mam­mals with whom she works. I learned so much I did­n’t know about Dr. Goodall and her chim­panzees, Africa, field work, and how one moves peo­ple to sup­port one’s cause.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Untamed, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read by ages 9 through adult. We’ve includ­ed fic­tion and non­fic­tion, pic­ture books, mid­dle grade books, and books adults will find inter­est­ing. A num­ber of the books are by Dr. Jane Goodall her­self — she’s a pro­lif­ic writer. We’ve also includ­ed books about teach­ing sci­ence, as well as videos, and arti­cles acces­si­ble on the inter­net.

Jane Goodall and Her Research. From Me … Jane, the pic­ture by Patrick McDon­nell about Jane Goodal­l’s child­hood, to Jane Goodall: the Woman Who Rede­fined Man by Dale Peter­son, there are a num­ber of acces­si­ble books for every type of read­er.

Pri­mate Research. We’ve includ­ed non­fic­tion books such as Pamela S. Turn­er’s Goril­la Doc­tors and Jim Otta­viani and Maris Wick­’s Pri­mates, a graph­ic nov­el about the three women who devot­ed so much of their loves to study­ing pri­mates: Jane Goodall, Dian Fos­sey, and Biruté Galdikas.

Chim­panzees. Dr. Goodal­l’s research is specif­i­cal­ly about chim­panzees so com­pan­ion books such as Michele Colon’s Ter­mites on a Stick and Dr. Goodal­l’s Chim­panzees I Love: Sav­ing Their World and Ours are sug­gest­ed.

Fic­tion. Many excel­lent nov­els have been writ­ten about pri­mates and Africa and con­ser­va­tion, rang­ing from real­ism to sci­ence fic­tion and a nov­el based on a true sto­ry. Among our list, you’ll find Lin­da Sue Park’s A Long to Water and Eva by Peter Dick­in­son and The One and Only Ivan by Kather­ine Apple­gate.

World-Chang­ing Women and Women Sci­en­tists. Here you’ll find pic­ture book biogra­phies, longer non­fic­tion books, and col­lec­tions of short biogra­phies such as Girls Think of Every­thing by Cather­ine Thimmesh, Silk & Ven­om by Kathryn Lasky, and Rad Amer­i­can Women: A to Z by Kate Schatz.

Africa. The titles about, or set on, this con­ti­nent are numer­ous. Learn­ing About Africa by Robin Koontz pro­vides a use­ful and cur­rent intro­duc­tion to the con­ti­nent. We also looked for books by authors who were born in or lived for a while in an African coun­try; Next Stop — Zanz­ibar! by Niki Daly and Mag­ic Gourd by Coret­ta Scott King Hon­oree Baba Wague Diakiteare are includ­ed in this sec­tion.

Ani­mal Friend­ships. Chil­dren and adults alike crave these sto­ries about unlike­ly friend­ships between ani­mals who don’t nor­mal­ly hang around togeth­er. From Cather­ine Thimmesh’s Friends: True Sto­ries of Extra­or­di­nary Ani­mal Friend­ships to Mar­i­on Dane Bauer’s A Mama for Owen, you’ll be charmed by these books.

Ani­mals In Dan­ger of Extinc­tion. We’ve includ­ed only two books in this cat­e­go­ry but both of them should be stars in your book­talks. Count­ing Lions by Katie Cot­ton, illus­trat­ed by Stephen Wal­ton, is a stun­ning book — do find it! Dr. Goodall con­tributes a mov­ing book, Hope for Ani­mals and Their World: How Endan­gered Species Are Being Res­cued from the Brink.

Teach­ing Sci­ence. If you’re work­ing with young chil­dren in grades K through 2, you’ll want Per­fect Pairs by Melis­sa Stew­art and Nan­cy Ches­ley. For old­er stu­dents in grades 3 through 6, Pic­ture-Per­fect Sci­ence Lessons will inspire you.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Downloadables

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Bulldozer’s Big Day

Bookstorm-Bulldozer-Visual_655

written by Candace Fleming  illustrated by Eric Rohmann  Atheneum, 2015

writ­ten by Can­dace Flem­ing 
illus­trat­ed by Eric Rohmann 
Atheneum, 2015

It’s Bulldozer’s big day — his birth­day! But around the con­struc­tion site, it seems like every­one is too busy to remem­ber. Bull­doz­er wheels around ask­ing his truck friends if they know what day it is, but they each only say it’s a work day. They go on scoop­ing, sift­ing, stir­ring, fill­ing, and lift­ing, and lit­tle Bull­doz­er grows more and more glum. But when the whis­tle blows at the end of the busy day, Bull­doz­er dis­cov­ers a con­struc­tion site sur­prise, espe­cial­ly for him!

An ide­al book for a read-aloud to that child sit­ting by you or to a class­room full of chil­dren or to a sto­ry­time group gath­ered togeth­er, Bull­doz­er’s Big Day is fun to read because of all the ono­matopoeia and the won­der­ful sur­prise end­ing.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Bull­doz­er’s Big Day, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read to ages 3 through 7. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, non­fic­tion, videos, web­sites, and des­ti­na­tions that com­ple­ment the book, all encour­ag­ing ear­ly lit­er­a­cy.

Build­ing Projects. There have been many fine books pub­lished about design­ing and con­struct­ing hous­es, cities, and dreams. We share a few books to encour­age and inspire your young dream­ers.

Con­struc­tion Equip­ment. Who can resist lis­ten­ing to and watch­ing the large vari­ety of vehi­cles used on a con­struc­tion project? You’ll find both books and links to videos.

Birth­day Par­ties. This is the oth­er large theme in Bull­doz­er’s Big Day and we sug­gest books such as Xan­der’s Pan­da Par­ty that offer oth­er approach­es to talk­ing about birth­days.

Dirt, Soil, Earth. STEM dis­cus­sions can be a part of ear­ly lit­er­a­cy, too. Get ready to dish the dirt! 

Lone­li­ness. Much like Bull­doz­er, chil­dren (and adults) can feel let down, ignored, left out … and books are a good way to start the dis­cus­sion about resilien­cy and cop­ing with these feel­ings.

Sur­pris­es. If you work with chil­dren, or have chil­dren of your own, you know how tricky sur­pris­es and expec­ta­tions can be. We’ve includ­ed books such as Wait­ing by Kevin Henkes and Han­da’s Sur­prise by Eileen Browne.

Friend­ship. An ever-pop­u­lar theme in chil­dren’s books, we’ve select­ed a few of the very best, includ­ing A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by the Steads.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Downloadables

Read more...

Bookstorm™: Chasing Freedom

Bookstorm Chasing FreedomIn this Bookstorm™:

Chasing FreedomChasing Freedom

The Life Jour­neys of Har­ri­et Tub­man and Susan B. Antho­ny, Inspired by His­tor­i­cal Facts
writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
illus­trat­ed by Michele Wood
Orchard Books, 2015

As Nik­ki Grimes writes in her author’s note for this book, “His­to­ry is often taught in bits and pieces, and stu­dents rarely get the notion that these bits and pieces are con­nect­ed.” Bookol­o­gy want­ed to look at this book for a num­ber of rea­sons. We hope that you will con­sid­er the remark­able sto­ries of free­dom fight­ers Har­ri­et Tub­man and Susan B. Antho­ny and the moments in his­to­ry that the author reveals. We hope that you will study the illus­tra­tions by Michele Wood and dis­cuss how each spread in the book makes you feel, how African motifs and quilt pat­terns are made an inte­gral part of the book’s design, and how the col­or palette brings strength to the con­ver­sa­tion between these two women. 

This con­ver­sa­tion between these two women nev­er took place. The sub­ti­tle reads “inspired by his­tor­i­cal facts.” Nik­ki Grimes imag­ines a con­ver­sa­tion that could have tak­en place between these two women, solid­ly drawn from the facts of their lives. Is this a new form of fic­tion? Non­fic­tion? You’ll have a mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion about the dif­fer­ences between fact, fic­tion, infor­ma­tion text, non­fic­tion, and sto­ry­telling when you dis­cuss this with your class­room or book club.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Chas­ing Free­dom, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties. The book will be com­fort­ably read by ages 7 through 12. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, non­fic­tion, videos, web­sites, and des­ti­na­tions for the pletho­ra of pur­pos­es you might have. There are many fine books that fall out­side of these para­me­ters, but we chose to nar­row the selec­tion of books this time to those that fol­lowed the fight for wom­en’s right to vote from the 1840s to 1920 and those that fol­lowed slav­ery in Amer­i­ca until the Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion and a few years beyond. These are the major con­cerns behind the work of Har­ri­et Tub­man and Susan B. Antho­ny.

AFRICAN AMERICANS’ RIGHT TO BE FREE

Cel­e­brat­ing Free­dom. Two recent books are includ­ed, one deal­ing with the Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion and the oth­er with how freed peo­ple lived in New York City in Seneca Vil­lage, which would even­tu­al­ly become Cen­tral Park.

Har­ri­et Tub­man. We’ve cho­sen a few of the many good books about this free­dom fight­er, trail blaz­er, and spir­i­tu­al­ly moti­vat­ed woman.

His­to­ry. From Book­er T. Wash­ing­ton’s auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal Up from Slav­ery to Julius Lester’s To Be a Slave through to Kadir Nel­son’s Heart and Soul: the Sto­ry of Amer­i­ca and African Amer­i­cans, you’ll find a num­ber of books that will fas­ci­nate your stu­dents and make fine choic­es for book club dis­cus­sions.

Under­ground Rail­road. One of our tru­ly hero­ic move­ments in Amer­i­can his­to­ry, we’ve select­ed books that chron­i­cle the work, the dan­ger, and the vic­to­ries of these free­dom fight­ers, of which Har­ri­et Tub­man was a strong, ded­i­cat­ed mem­ber. 

WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE

Susan B. Antho­ny. Often writ­ten about, we’ve select­ed just a few of the many books about this woman who under­stood the hard­ships women faced and the neces­si­ty for them to be able to vote, to have a voice in gov­ern­ment.

More Suf­frag­ists. Many women around the globe fought for their right to vote and the fight con­tin­ues in many coun­tries. We’ve select­ed sev­er­al books that fall with­in our time frame.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your dis­cus­sions, class­room inclu­sion, or send us a pho­to of your library dis­play.

(Thanks to Mar­sha Qua­ley and Claire Rudolf Mur­phy for shar­ing their con­sid­er­able knowl­edge and insight about books for this Book­storm™.)

Downloadables

Read more...

Bookstorm: Catch You Later, Traitor

Catch You Later Traitor Bookstorm

In this Bookstorm™:

Catch You Later, TraitorCatch You Later, Traitor

writ­ten by Avi
Algo­nquin Books for Young Read­ers, 2015

The ear­ly 1950s in the Unit­ed States was a time when sol­diers and med­ical per­son­nel had returned home from the two the­aters of World War II, Com­mu­nism was talked about as some­thing to be feared, and col­leagues and neigh­bors were asked to tes­ti­fy against peo­ple who were sus­pect­ed to be Com­mu­nists in Amer­i­ca. The nation was caught up in reports from the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee and Sen­a­tor Joseph McCarthy. The Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tions was con­cerned about cit­i­zens who were dis­loy­al to Amer­i­ca. The air was heavy with sus­pi­cion and peo­ple were encour­aged to fear intel­lec­tu­als, immi­grants, and Hol­ly­wood.

It was a time when base­ball soared. The Brook­lyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, and the New York Yan­kees were the most famous teams of the day. Radio was the pri­ma­ry source for news and enter­tain­ment. Tele­vi­sions weren’t yet a part of every house­hold. 

In Avi’s nov­el, 12-year-old Pete Col­li­son is a reg­u­lar kid who loves Sam Spade detec­tive books and radio crime dra­mas, but when an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep accus­ing his father of being a Com­mu­nist, Pete finds him­self caught in a real-life mys­tery. Could there real­ly be Com­mies in Pete’s fam­i­ly? This look at what it felt like to be an aver­age fam­i­ly caught in the wide net of the Red Scare has pow­er­ful rel­e­vance to con­tem­po­rary ques­tions of democ­ra­cy and indi­vid­ual free­dom.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties. Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor will be com­fort­ably read by ages 10 through adult. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, nov­els, and non­fic­tion for the pletho­ra of pur­pos­es you might have. This Book­storm™ has a few more books for adults than usu­al, believ­ing that a back­ground in the era will be help­ful for edu­ca­tors who weren’t alive dur­ing, or wish to brush up on, the time in which this book takes place.

McCarthy Era, also known as the Red Scare. Sur­pris­ing­ly, there aren’t very many books writ­ten for young read­ers about this intense time in his­to­ry, but we’ve select­ed a few that will align well with Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor.

Non­fic­tion. There are a greater num­ber of non­fic­tion books avail­able about the ear­ly 1950s, includ­ing lifestyle books, the Cold War, fash­ion, the Hol­ly­wood Ten, and spies.

Com­mu­nism, Social­ism in the Unit­ed States. Were you aware that a group of Finnish-Amer­i­cans moved to Rus­sia to set up a Utopi­an com­mu­ni­ty based on promis­es from Russ­ian leader Joseph Stal­in?

Witch Hunts. A clas­sic book, a clas­sic play, and a fas­ci­nat­ing look at an inci­dent of the “Red Scare” in chil­dren’s books.

Mid-Cen­tu­ry Unit­ed States. Superb rec­om­men­da­tions for books, both fic­tion and non­fic­tion, set in the 1950s. Read­ing sev­er­al of these along with Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor will give stu­dents an excel­lent fla­vor of the time, which offers a mir­ror for oth­er peri­ods in his­to­ry as well as the present.

Base­ball in the 1950s. It was the most talked-about sport in the coun­try, claim­ing head­lines and tun­ing radios in to lis­ten to “the game.” We’ve gath­ered a wide-rang­ing set of books that will include some­thing for every read­er, from pic­ture books to books for adults.

Noir Detec­tive Fic­tion. We men­tioned Sam Spade, but what exact­ly does “noir” mean? Here are good exam­ples, span­ning ear­ly chap­ter books such as Chet Gecko to a graph­ic nov­el like City of Spies to Dashiell Ham­met­t’s Mal­tese Fal­con.

Old-Time Radio. There are whole radio pro­grams online to be shared with your class­room, along with a series on YouTube that depicts the work­ings of a radio stu­dio, and Avi’s own nov­el about the hey­day of radio seri­als.

Tech­niques for using each book:

Downloadables

Read more...

Bookstorm: The Shadow Hero

Bookstorm-Shadow-Hero-Diagram-655px

In this Bookstorm™:

Shadow HeroShadow Hero

writ­ten by Gene Luen Yang
illus­trat­ed by Son­ny Liew
First Sec­ond, 2014

As we become a cul­ture adapt­ed to screens, visu­als, and mov­ing pic­tures, we grow more accus­tomed to the sto­ry­telling form of the graph­ic nov­el. For some, their com­fort with this com­bi­na­tion of visu­als and text telling a sto­ry sat­is­fies a crav­ing to “see” the sto­ry while they’re read­ing. For oth­ers, the lack of descrip­tive detail and mea­sured, lin­ear momen­tum through the sto­ry feels like a bar­ri­er to under­stand­ing. With the vari­ety of graph­ic nov­els avail­able and the inven­tive ways in which they’re assem­bled, we encour­age you to keep try­ing. Find a sto­ry that intrigues you and per­se­vere … we believe you’ll grow accus­tomed to this form. In time, you’ll add graph­ic nov­els to the depth of offer­ings you eager­ly rec­om­mend to stu­dents, patrons, and friends.

We select­ed Shad­ow Hero for our fea­tured book this month because the super­hero has been present in comics since the ear­ly 1900s and cur­rent films and tele­vi­sion have reawak­ened an inter­est among chil­dren that we believe can eas­i­ly trans­port them into read­ing. Yang and Liew have giv­en a back sto­ry to a super­hero, The Green Tur­tle, orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed by tal­ent­ed com­ic book artist (and fine artist) Chu Fook Hing in the 1940s. There’s plen­ty of action, humor, mys­tery, and sus­pense in this new book … all the right ingre­di­ents for the best read­ing.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Shad­ow Hero, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties. Shad­ow Hero will be com­fort­ably read by ages 10 through adult. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, nov­els, and non­fic­tion for the pletho­ra of pur­pos­es you might have.

Graph­ic Nov­els About Super­heroes. With the pop­u­lar­i­ty of The Avengers and X‑Men, Iron Man and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there are a num­ber of graph­ic nov­els about super­heroes avail­able for dif­fer­ent ages. Some have mature con­tent. Many are acces­si­ble for younger read­ers. Whether or not they’re wear­ing capes, super­heroes are appeal­ing because of the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Graph­ic Nov­els About Mythol­o­gy. The Green Tur­tle is a part of Chi­nese mythol­o­gy. We hear a lot about Greek and Roman mythol­o­gy, but there are com­pelling myths around the world. Graph­ic nov­els make those tra­di­tions and sto­ries avail­able to read­ers who might have trou­ble with straight text.

Fic­tion about Super­heroes. Longer texts, with­out illus­tra­tions, often hold as much attrac­tion for com­ic book read­ers if the sto­ries are engag­ing. And there are pic­ture books that are just right for the read­ers who are too young for graph­ic nov­els but have the inter­est.

Com­ic Books, Non­fic­tion. Whether it’s learn­ing how two boys came to invent Super­man, the super­hero from Kryp­ton, or exam­in­ing info­graph­ics and sta­tis­tics, or lis­ten­ing to a pod­cast with Gene Luen Yang on pub­lic radio about his inspi­ra­tion, The Green Tur­tle, there’s a lot of research and learn­ing to be done with super­heroes.

Draw­ing. For those kinet­ic and visu­al learn­ers, telling a sto­ry through draw­ing, pop­u­lat­ing a page with char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and set­ting and voice is a way to use com­ic book art for devel­op­ing writ­ing skills.

Chi­nese His­to­ry. There are many, many books, some of them quite schol­ar­ly, about Chi­nese his­to­ry. We’ve select­ed just two, both of which are also visu­al his­to­ries.

Chi­nese Art. Chi­na is such a large coun­try, with a civ­i­liza­tion that is thou­sands of years old, that these books orga­nize the infor­ma­tion in order to present the diver­si­ty of arts in a way that makes sense.

Chi­nese Immi­gra­tion. There are fine books about the immi­gra­tion of Chi­nese and Asian Pacif­ic peo­ple to Amer­i­ca, the Gold­en Moun­tain. We’ve select­ed a few, from pic­ture books to nov­els to mem­oir. 

Chi­nese Food. Read­ers learn a great deal about dif­fer­ent cul­tures from the food they eat, their tra­di­tions for prepar­ing food, and the ways they share it with their com­mu­ni­ty. We’ve found cook­books for both learn­ing and eat­ing, for adults and for chil­dren.

Chi­nese Geog­ra­phy. It always helps to have a good map to rein­force the visu­al knowl­edge of a coun­try. You’ll find sug­ges­tions for maps, down­loads, pho­tos, and facts about this large coun­try in Asia.

Tech­niques for using each book:

Downloadables

Read more...

Bookstorm: Scaly Spotted …

In this Bookstorm™:

Scaly Spotted Feathered FrilledScaly Spotted
Feathered Frilled:
how do we know what dinosaurs really looked like?

writ­ten by Cather­ine Thimmesh
HMH Books for Young Read­ers, 2013

No human being has ever seen a tricer­atops or veloci­rap­tor or even the mighty Tyran­nosaurus rex. They left behind only their impres­sive bones. So how can sci­en­tists know what col­or dinosaurs were? Or if their flesh was scaly or feath­ered? Could that fierce T. rex have been born with spots?

In a first for young read­ers, Thimmesh intro­duces the incred­i­ble tal­ents of the pale­oartist, whose work rean­i­mates gone-but-nev­er-for­got­ten dinosaurs in giant full-col­or paint­ings that are as strik­ing­ly beau­ti­ful as they aim to be sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly accu­rate, down to the small­est detail. Fol­low a pale­oartist through the sci­en­tif­ic process of ascer­tain­ing the appear­ance of var­i­ous dinosaurs from mil­lions of years ago to learn how sci­ence, art, and imag­i­na­tion com­bine to bring us face-to-face with the past.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book, Scaly Spot­ted Feath­ered Frilled. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties.

Dinosaur Digs. There are some very cool dinosaur digs through­out the Unit­ed States in which you and your chil­dren can take part.

Dinosaur Non­fic­tion. It’s dif­fi­cult to assign a read­er’s age to these books. High inter­est lev­els can raise pro­fi­cien­cy and the graph­ics can be read even when the words can’t be. You may need to give these books a try to see if they’re with­in the skills of your read­er. Enjoy Gild­ed Dinosaur to read about two com­pet­ing pale­on­tol­o­gists who tried to out­wit each oth­er. Pre­his­toric Life from DK Pub­lish­ing looks at all ele­ments of the earth at the time of the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs: a Con­cise Nat­ur­al His­to­ry man­ages to be fun­ny and infor­ma­tive.

Draw­ing. From Audubon to Charles R. Knight on ani­mal anato­my to step-by-step instruc­tions for draw­ing dinosaurs, there are books here that will inspire artists-in-the-mak­ing to learn more about dinosaurs while they draw them as par­tic­u­lar­ly as the pale­oartists do.

Fic­tion. From pic­ture books to nov­els, from the youngest chil­dren to adults, dinosaurs are favorite sub­jects for writ­ers because they’re much loved by read­ers. You’ll enjoy books such as Dan­ny and the Dinosaur, Juras­sic Park, and Okay for Now.

Fos­sil Hunters. We rec­om­mend books that range from Mary Anning’s dis­cov­ery of the first com­plete ichthyosaurus fos­sil to Bob Barn­er exam­in­ing dinosaur bones to deter­mine what they ate to Ani­ta Sil­vey’s dar­ing plant hunters.

Graph­ic Nov­els. Dinosaurs are a favorite top­ic for car­toon­ists. Some of their graph­ic nov­els, such as Bar­ry Son­nen­feld’s Dinosaurs vs Aliens are epics.

Pale­oartists. In addi­tion to the work of the pale­oartists fea­tured in Scaly Spot­ted Feath­ered Frilled, you’ll read about Charles R. Knight, Water­house Hawkins, Julius Csotonyi, and oth­ers. These sci­en­tist-artists are larg­er than life!

Pale­on­tol­ogy. Ladies and gen­tle­men! Step right up! You’ll be amazed by the feats and dis­cov­er­ies of the pale­on­tol­o­gists in these books. Whether it’s Mr. Bones, Bar­num Brown, or The His­to­ry of Life in 100 Fos­sils or Jessie Hart­land’s How the Dinosaur Got to the Muse­um or Joyce Sid­man’s Ubiq­ui­tous: Cel­e­brat­ing Nature’s Sur­vivors, there are books here that will enthrall you.

Tech­niques for using each book:

Downloadables


Read more...

Bookstorm: Lowriders in Space

Bookstorm: Lowriders in Space

In this Bookstorm™:

Lowriders in SpaceLowriders in Space

writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Raul the Third
pub­lished by Chron­i­cle Books, 2014

Lupe Impala, El Cha­vo Flap­jack, and Elirio Malar­ia love work­ing with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team’s favorite cars of all are lowrid­ers — cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, baji­to y suavecito. The stars align when a con­test for the best car around offers a prize of a trunk­ful of cash — just what the team needs to open their own shop! ¡Ay chi­huahua! What will it take to trans­form a junker into the best car in the uni­verse? Strik­ing, unpar­al­leled art from debut illus­tra­tor Raul the Third recalls ball­point-pen-and-Sharpie desk-drawn doo­dles, while the sto­ry is sketched with Span­ish, inked with sci­ence facts, and col­ored with true friend­ship. With a glos­sary at the back to pro­vide def­i­n­i­tions for Span­ish and sci­ence terms, this delight­ful book will edu­cate and enter­tain in equal mea­sure.”

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book, Lowrid­ers in Space. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties.

Car Mechan­ics. An assort­ment of books offer­ing details and info­graph­ics about how cars work and how to build a car, suit­able from pri­ma­ry to mid­dle school.

Draw­ing Cars. A lot of learn­ing takes place when you draw a car. A read­er thinks deeply about how the car works, how the parts inter-relate, and you are tempt­ed to look up the details to ver­i­fy that you’re get­ting it right.  

Graph­ic Nov­els. There’s a rich his­to­ry of space explo­ration and sci­ence fic­tion in graph­ic nov­els. We include a few stel­lar (ahem) exam­ples that are sure to intrigue your read­ers. 

Lowrid­ers. The lowrid­er cul­ture and the artis­tic, mechan­i­cal­ly-inven­tive cars are an intrin­sic part of life in some parts of the US. You’ll find web­sites and books that explain more.  

Nov­els. Sci­ence fic­tion for young read­ers isn’t plen­ti­ful, but there are excel­lent books in this genre. Our rec­om­men­da­tions include a clas­sic and sev­er­al new books. 

Out­er Space. For some read­ers, the facts about out­er space are para­mount. Books with an overview, stick­er books, up-to-date books about what we cur­rent­ly under­stand … these will inter­est those truth-seek­ers.

Pic­ture Books. Cars and stars are favorite sub­jects for pic­ture book authors and illus­tra­tors. You’ll want to dis­cuss some of these in your class­room and offer sug­ges­tions for oth­ers as books for inde­pen­dent read­ing.

Sci­ence. Study­ing the skies is a life­time of work for many sci­en­tists, and their fields of endeav­or are broad and touch upon oth­er areas of sci­ence. Their dis­cov­er­ies change lives. From books look­ing at the con­stel­la­tions to those answer­ing sci­ence ques­tions, we rec­om­mend a few gems to get you think­ing.

Women Chang­ing the World. Dolores Huer­ta, Sonia Sotomay­or, Rad Amer­i­can Women A‑Z … Lupe Impala is inspi­ra­tional. She will nat­u­ral­ly lead to ques­tions about oth­er women who have set their sites on the stars.

Tech­niques for using each book:

Downloadables


Read more...

Bookstorm: Catherine, Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy Bookstorm

In this Bookstorm™:

Catherine, Called BirdyCatherine, Called Birdy

writ­ten by Karen Cush­man
pub­lished by Clar­i­on Books, 1994
New­bery Hon­or book

Cor­pus Bones! I utter­ly loathe my life.”

Cather­ine feels trapped. Her father is deter­mined to mar­ry her off to a rich man – any rich man, no mat­ter how awful. But by wit, trick­ery, and luck, Cather­ine man­ages to send sev­er­al would-be hus­bands pack­ing. Then a shag­gy-beard­ed suit­or from the north comes to call – by far the old­est, ugli­est, most revolt­ing suit­or of them all. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, he is also the rich­est. Can a sharp-tongued, high-spir­it­ed, clever young maid­en with a mind of her own actu­al­ly lose the bat­tle against an ill-man­nered, pig-like lord and an unimag­i­na­tive, greedy toad of a father? Deus! Not if Cather­ine has any­thing to say about it!” 

Arranged Mar­riages. From the begin­ning of Cather­ine, Called Birdy, our hero­ine is aware that she will be mar­ried off to a man who can bring her father more land and more world­ly goods, an alliance, some­thing of mon­e­tary val­ue. She is par­tic­u­lar­ly deter­mined not to let this hap­pen. We rec­om­mend oth­er books writ­ten for teens about arranged mar­riages. 

Birds. Cather­ine has many bird­cages filled with winged friends in her bed­room. They bring her peace of mind and she trea­sures them. From true sto­ries about birds, field guides, to alarm over the dis­ap­pear­ance of song­birds, there are bird books to intro­duce to your read­ers. 

Cru­sades. With many eyes focused on the Mid­dle East, it is like­ly that you’re find­ing inter­est in the his­to­ry of the con­flicts there. Cather­ine, Called Birdy is set at a time when reli­gious and mil­i­tary war­riors are return­ing to Eng­land from the Cru­sades. We rec­om­mend sev­er­al excel­lent nobels and biogra­phies set dur­ing this time. 

Embroi­dery. The women in Birdy’s home embroi­der. They couldn’t go out and buy ready-made clothes so the only way to make clothes pret­ti­er was to dec­o­rate them with pat­terns of thread. Does some­one in your class already embroi­der? Will you sched­ule an embroi­dery demon­stra­tion for your class­room? You’ll find some books with pat­terns that will appeal to the crafters among your stu­dents. 

Fleas. Hygiene wasn’t as well-known in Birdy’s day. House were not as pro­tect­ed from the ele­ments. Fleas were a fact of life. They caused per­son­al dis­com­fort but they also caused plagues and changed pol­i­tics. Cer­tain­ly there will be those stu­dents in your class­room who will be intrigued. 

Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts. Birdy’s broth­er works at a monastery where they are illu­mi­nat­ing man­u­scripts. We rec­om­mend sev­er­al web­sites that will help you demon­strate this fore­run­ner of the print­ing press. 

Journals/Diaries. Catherine’s sto­ry is told in first per­son in the form of a diary she’s keep­ing. Many stu­dents are asked to keep jour­nals. Here are sev­er­al favorite books told in this for­mat. 

Judaism: the Edict of Expul­sion. Few peo­ple real­ize that Edward I ordered all Jews to leave Eng­land for­ev­er on July 18, 1290. Birdy meets a group of Jews who are depart­ing and finds it hard to under­stand how they are any dif­fer­ent than she and her fam­i­ly. We ref­er­ence arti­cles that will give more back­ground on this top­ic. 

Medieval Life. Nov­els, pic­ture books, and true sto­ries for young read­ers have often been set in the medieval world. We offer sug­ges­tions for a num­ber of them, rang­ing from Adam of the Road, pub­lished in 1943, to Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sec­tions Cas­tle from 2013. 

Peer­age and Nobil­i­ty. Whether you’re fas­ci­nat­ed by the titles used in Eng­land or you find them con­fus­ing, here are a few guides to enhance your stu­dents’ under­stand­ing. 

Saints Days. Birdy pref­aces each of her jour­nal entries with the reflec­tion of a saint whose day was cel­e­brat­ed on that day. We’ve found a few ref­er­ences that will explain who these peo­ple were and why they became saints from an his­tor­i­cal view­point. 

Women’s History/Coming of Age. At the heart of Birdy’s sto­ry is the fact that she is leav­ing child­hood behind and becom­ing a young woman. We’ve includ­ed rec­om­men­da­tions for books on this theme that include fic­tion­al and true sto­ries over a wide span of years..

Tech­niques for using each book:

Downloadables


Read more...

Bookstorm: Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

 

In this Bookstorm:

Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up. Tales from Deck­a­woo Dri­ve, Book 1.

Kate DiCamil­lo, illus­trat­ed by Chris Van Dusen.
Can­dlewick Press, 2014

Leroy Ninker has a hat, a las­so, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse — until he meets May­belline, that is, and then it’s love at first sight. May­belline loves spaghet­ti and sweet noth­ings, and she loves Leroy, too. But when Leroy for­gets the third and final rule of car­ing for May­belline, dis­as­ter ensues. Can Leroy wres­tle fate to the ground, res­cue the horse of his heart, and las­so lone­li­ness for good? Join Leroy, May­belline, and a cast of famil­iar char­ac­ters — Stel­la, Frank, Mrs. Wat­son, and everyone’s favorite porcine won­der, Mer­cy — for some hilar­i­ous and heart­felt hors­ing around on Deck­a­woo Dri­ve.”

Ear­ly Chap­ter Books. Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up is writ­ten in a way that begin­ning read­ers will find approach­able and sat­is­fy­ing. There are chap­ters, each one a short tale. The vocab­u­lary is acces­si­ble. In begin­ning read­ers, there are illus­tra­tions for chil­dren who are most famil­iar with pic­ture books but the empha­sis shifts toward read­ing. You’ll find a num­ber of com­ple­men­tary titles in the Book­storm, some of which focus on hors­es.

Friend­ship. Whether it’s unlike­ly friend­ships between ani­mals, good friends old and young, or com­fort­ing a fear­ful friend, we rec­om­mend books that will pair well with Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up, in which insep­a­ra­ble friends Leroy and May­belline find joy.

Cow­boys. Leroy Ninker aban­dons his life of crime to work in a dri­ve-in the­ater, but being a cow­boy appeals to him. You’ll find true sto­ries about cow­boys in this sec­tion of the Book­storm™, includ­ing Cow­boy Up! Ride the Nava­jo Rodeo, about fam­i­lies who work hard to be their best on the rodeo cir­cuit.

Hors­es. Leroy Ninker loves May­belline, his horse unlike any oth­er. You’ll find rec­om­mend­ed pic­ture books and chap­ter books about hors­es, fic­tion and non­fic­tion, includ­ing Mar­guerite Henry’s clas­sic, Misty of Chin­coteague.

Dri­ve-In The­aters. There are very few left in the coun­try, but Leroy works at one and many adults remem­ber the fun of watch­ing a movie in your PJs, tucked inside your par­ents’ car, slap­ping at the mos­qui­toes, and eat­ing food from the con­ces­sions stand. We rec­om­mend a web­site that brings the expe­ri­ence to life.

Spaghet­ti. It’s Maybelline’s favorite food and a won­der­ful way to engage your stu­dents in dis­cus­sions about sci­ence and math. We rec­om­mend cook­books for those who enjoy non­fic­tion best.

Size. Leroy is on the short side and May­belline is on the tall side. Books such as Actu­al Size by Steve Jenk­ins will have your stu­dents com­par­ing and con­trast­ing with ease.

Kind­ness. The book inspires dis­cus­sions about being kind and accept­ing oth­ers. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed books that will add to the dis­cus­sion, includ­ing The Name Jar by Yang­sook Choi.

Weath­er. A storm is an impor­tant plot ele­ment in Leroy and Maybelline’s sto­ry. Sev­er­al books about weath­er, rang­ing from pic­ture books to begin­ning read­ers, from fic­tion to non­fic­tion, are includ­ed for your inspi­ra­tion.

Tech­niques for using each book:

Downloadables


Read more...
FEATURES COLUMNS RESOURCES ADVERTISE
Articles Knock-Knock Authors Emeritus Advertising Portal
Cookology Page Break Bullet Booktalks
Bookstorms Reading Ahead Chapter & Verse
Interviews Red Reading Boots Timelines
Literary Madeleines Skinny Dip
Middle Kingdom Teach it Forward
Quirky Book Lists Two for the Show
Small Press Medley
Writing Road Trip
© Copyright Winding Oak. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota • working throughout the USA

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes