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Quirky Book Lists

Rare & Blue

Picture Book Salute to Blue

Blue is beloved for the awe­some beau­ty of its var­i­ous shades on dis­play in the nat­ur­al world, and for the feel­ings of calm­ness, secu­ri­ty, loy­al­ty, and friend­li­ness, it evokes. So, with­out fur­ther ado: a col­lec­tion of ten love­ly and com­pelling books, plus one, that cel­e­brate blue.

Bookwanderers

Books Set in Bookstores

 For many of us, wan­der­ing around inside a book­store is our Hap­py Place. It can also be a place of mys­tery, sur­prise, romance, adven­ture, how-tos, and an oppor­tu­ni­ty to tap into the knowl­edge of the uni­verse. Here then are fif­teen books for chil­dren that are set in book­stores.   Archie Greene and the Magi­cian’s Secret
writ­ten by D.D.
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Ramadan

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Ramadan is observed dur­ing the ninth month of the Islam­ic cal­en­dar, based on the cycles of the moon. When a reli­gious leader sees the first sliv­er of a cres­cent moon, the begin­ning of Ramadan is pro­claimed. Indi­vid­u­als reflect on their spir­i­tu­al growth, make sac­ri­fices, and feel a sense of uni­ty in know­ing that Mus­lims around the world are respect­ing the Five Pil­lars of Islam: Sha­ha­da, hav­ing faith in the Islam reli­gion, Salat, pray­ing five times per day fac­ing the direc­tion of Mec­ca, Zakat, giv­ing sup­port to the needy, Sawm, fast­ing from sunup to sun­down dur­ing Ramadan, and Hajj: mak­ing the pil­grim­age to Mec­ca at least once dur­ing one’s life­time.
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Fabulous Fair Alphabet

Ferris Wheels

These are books about Mr. Fer­ris or his Fer­ris wheel, which debuted at the 1893 World Colom­bian Expo­si­tion. Grand in scale, ris­ing up into the sky, the Fer­ris wheel is a focal point wher­ev­er it appears.

Noisy Clock Shop

Quirky Book Lists: Time

Mar­garet Wise Brown once wrote that chil­dren won­dered about “mys­te­ri­ous clock time.” I cer­tain­ly did as a child. I sim­ply could not learn to tell time. This was back in the dark ages of ana­log clocks that seemed to hold secrets oth­ers could deci­pher but elud­ed me. I could have used any of the books on this list, but one in par­tic­u­lar is per­fect.
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New Year at the Pier

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah

The Jew­ish High Hol­i­days begin with the fes­tiv­i­ties of the New Year on Rosh Hashanah and end ten days lat­er with the obser­vance of the Day of Atone­ment, Yom Kip­pur. It’s a time of reflec­tion and a renew­al of inten­tions to do bet­ter in the com­ing year. Here are a num­ber of books that will help chil­dren under­stand the tra­di­tions of the hol­i­day and expe­ri­ence the joy of the cel­e­bra­tion.
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Thunder Rose

Back-to-School Favorites

This list was con­tributed by Deb Andries and Mau­r­na Rome, friends, edu­ca­tors, and col­leagues! Favorites from Deb Andries: Alma and How She Got her Name by Jua­na Mar­tinez-Neal Dream­ers by Yuyi Morales A Qui­et Place by Doug Wood and Dan Andreasen The Day You Begin by Jacque­line Wood­son and Rafael López Tru­man by Jean Rei­di and Lucy Ruth Cum­mins Drum Dream Girl by Mar­gari­ta Engle and Rafael López How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexan­der and Melis­sa Sweet Why by Lau­ra Vac­caro Seeger Each Kind­ness by Jacque­line Wood­son and E.B.… more

Library Lion

Libraries and Librarians

We’re post­ing this when it’s Nation­al Library Week, but we believe every week should be Library Week. If you love pub­lic, school, and spe­cial libraries as much as we do, add these books to your read­ing list and share them with your favorite read­ers. As always, if you have a book you believe should be on this list, let us know in the com­ments or send us an e‑mail.
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Stay Close to Mama

The Animals in The Stuff of Stars

When I first read The Stuff of Stars by Mar­i­on Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes, I was cap­ti­vat­ed by the beau­ty of the book and its lyri­cal thoughts about the earth and our envi­ron­ment. Ms. Holmes’ illus­tra­tions invite us to look clos­er, to dis­cern the crea­tures she’s so art­ful­ly includ­ed. Ms. Bauer’s text includes a list of ani­mals that roam the earth, bring­ing to mind all of the sto­ries and facts about these spe­cif­ic ani­mals, birds, insects, and rep­tiles.
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Drawn Together

The BEARdecotts

The ALA/ALSC recent­ly announced their Youth Media Awards, result­ing in much excite­ment. The teacher librar­i­ans at a Min­neso­ta pri­vate school with three cam­pus­es help their stu­dents look for excel­lence in children’s books by hold­ing their own award process each year. Called The BEARde­cotts, after their school mas­cot, the edu­ca­tors select books for a short list that they then share with their stu­dents over sev­er­al months, read­ing aloud, read­ing indi­vid­u­al­ly, mak­ing crit­i­cal analy­ses, and final­ly vot­ing on the most wor­thy books.
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Poetry Books That Celebrate
African American History and Culture

Poet­ry and the spo­ken word have promi­nent places in African Amer­i­can cul­ture, due at least in part to a strong oral tra­di­tion that has been passed down through gen­er­a­tions. Con­sid­er includ­ing poems from the books below in your read-alouds this month, and the year ahead, as a way to high­light the con­tri­bu­tions of African Amer­i­cans to our nation’s his­to­ry and cul­ture.
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The Ogress and the Snake

Books about Somali Immigrants/Refugees

In an effort to help my chil­dren under­stand more about their own her­itage, I have searched far and wide for books by or about Soma­li immi­grants or refugees. Here are some of the best ones we have found. Though a num­ber of these titles have not been writ­ten by Soma­lis, they have at least been informed by input from mem­bers of this com­mu­ni­ty.
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Earth Day

Whether you are cel­e­brat­ing Earth Day this week or next week or every week, there are books here that will enchant your stu­dents or your fam­i­ly, open­ing up pos­si­bil­i­ties for good dis­cus­sions.
  Earth: My First 4.54 Bil­lion Years
Sta­cy McAn­ul­ty, author
James Litch­field, illus­tra­tor
Hen­ry Holt, 2017
pri­ma­ry and ele­men­tary grades Told from the view­point of the anthro­po­mor­phic Earth itself, this book tells the life sto­ry of our home plan­et, intro­duc­ing it to “alien vis­i­tors.”
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In Memoriam: Wendy Watson

Wendy Wat­son was a third gen­er­a­tion author and artist. Her grand­par­ents, Ernest W. Wat­son and Eva Auld Wat­son, were painters and pio­neer col­or block print­ers.  Ernest was also founder and edi­tor of the mag­a­zine Amer­i­can Artist, co-founder of Wat­­son-Gup­till Pub­li­ca­tions, and co-founder of one of the first sum­mer art schools, the Berk­shire Sum­mer School of Art. Wendy’s
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Capers and Cons The Player King

Capers and Cons

When you (or your stu­dents) want a book that keeps you turn­ing the pages for your week­night and week­end read­ing, here are some sug­ges­tions for books with that nim­ble pac­ing and what-are-they-up-to plots. Many of them are just right for mid­dle grade or avid younger-than-that read­ers, with a cou­ple of teen titles added. (And, of course, all are suit­able for read­ing by adults.)
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