At once ridiculous and sublime, If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur is magnetic. Which dinosaur will be featured in whose painting? Quick, turn the page! Amy Newbold, author, and Greg Newbold, illustrator, follow up If Picasso Painted a Snowman with this volume combining a herd of historic and imaginary dinosaurs included in 19 famous artists’ familiar paintings: Degas’ ballerinas
That irresistible urge to jump into a cushioned pile of waist-high leaves, sinking into the vivid colors, the smell of earth and sky, the sounds of nature embracing you? Don’t miss Storm by Sam Usher (Templar Books). The glowing reds and golds of fall jump off the cover, inviting you to open the book and settle in
You pick up the brightly colored book lying on the table and open it near the middle. What’s this book about? In 1848, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror set out to find the link between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean by sailing into the Arctic waters. The ships and the crews
A World of Cities text by Lily Murray illustrated by James Brown Candlewick Studio, 2018 ISBN 978−0−7636−9879−9 Those kids in your life, your schoolroom, your library who are Fact Hunters? They collect facts to savor, share with others, and build their knowledge of the world around them. This is a book for them. Not every child can travel to
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret Trudi Truett illustrated by Scott Plumbe (with a blend of photos) National Geographic Partners, 2018 ISBN 978−1−4263−3159−6 Done with the Harry Potter series, maybe not quite ready for the Alex Rider series, what do you suggest? Explorer Academy. Emphatically. The book opens in Hawaii, where Cruz Coronado (not quite 13) is getting
There are times when I open a new book that my pulse quickens and times when I need to be convinced. Sometimes I can sense myself sliding comfortably into the surroundings of a picture book, feeling welcomed, understanding everything about the book because it is so well crafted. That’s this book. First off, this is an autobiography … so as a mentor text
Anna and Johanna: a Children’s Book Inspired by Vermeer Geraldine Elschner illustrated by Florence Koenig Prestel Publishing, 2018 published in French in 2016 ISBN 978−3−7913−7345−4 Delft. Delft blue. The book begins with blue and yellow. 1666. Two friends born on the same day. This day, their birthday. They are each making gifts for the other. Lace and chocolate. One the daughter
When I say “summer reading,” you think about … a good novel, right? I have a couple of suggestions. Every kid should have these two books tucked in their beach bags, ready for a car trip, or packed for summer camp. Seriously. In between the reading out loud of those novels you’ve been saving up all year, or the listening
We celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23rd (or thereabouts). Consider reading excerpts of this book to your classes. In What’s So Special about Shakespeare?, the author, Michael Rosen, walks into a house with us, peeking into rooms where Shakespeare’s plays are being enacted. Such variety! It’s an inspired way to place young readers among the
Whenever anyone asks the title of my favorite book, it’s a toss-up between two: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. A Wrinkle in Time because it opened the whole wide universe to my young mind and The Dark is Rising because I understood for the first time what a perfect story
Sometimes, a book comes across my desk that sparkles like a gem, attracting my attention, insisting that I stop what I’m doing and read it. This happened when With My Hands: Poems about Making Things arrived last week. I thought I’d take a peek. Next thing you know, I was closing the last page of the book, sighing with contentment. And then
I’m one of those people that often reads a celebrity-written book because I’d like to find one that defies the odds. How about you? Did you get over the wondering at a certain point? Or do you still give a new star-powered book a try? Sadly, I don’t often find a celebrity book I can recommend. This time, though, I’m practically shouting:
This book is irresistible. For all kinds of reasons. Remember when you were a kid, or maybe you do this now, how you’d take whatever was at hand and create a house, a camp, an entire setting for you to play in? Where you could act out your stories? Did you do this with found items from nature?
We are thrust into the midst of the action, which never stops until the epilogue. This is how Ben Hatke tells a story. We don’t know what’s going on. There’s no setup. Instead, we quickly learn that Jack is climbing some vegetative matter to find the ogre who kidnapped his sister Maddy and take her home.
The theme of being yourself is familiar. Many books, movies, and plays are devoted to this idea. When it’s done well, we all sit up a little straighter, laugh more confidently, and dream about all the things we’d like to do to be true to who we are. Children need to hear this message often so