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Intermediate May 2019 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Intermediate | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | May - (Comments Off on Intermediate May 2019 (2))

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Hale, Shannon. Real Friends. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. First Second, 2017. 211 pages (pbk.  978–1–62672–785–4)

Ages 8-12

The middle child in a family of five children, Shannon is nervous to start kindergarten and to be away from her mother. It’s not long, though, before she meets Adrienne, her first best friend, who shares Shannon’s love of imaginative play. Adrienne is the first in a long succession of friends who are sometimes true, sometimes flaky, and other times downright mean. Mostly, though, they are like Shannon, just learning to navigate the world of elementary school– age friendships. In this graphic memoir, Shannon Hale frankly recounts her struggle to fit in with “the group,” the bullying she suffered from her classmate Jenny, and her desire to find, as her mother says, “one good friend.” She also recalls with at-times uncomfortable honesty the abuse she faced at the hands of her oldest sister, Wendy, whose own loneliness transformed Wendy into a frightening bear in Shannon’s eyes. LeUyen Pham’s bright, clear illustrations are well suited to the large cast of characters, who grow from kindergarteners to sixth-graders in this ultimately hopeful memoir about friendship and sister relationships that will be relatable to many girls today. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Intermediate May 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Intermediate | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | May - (Comments Off on Intermediate May 2019 (1))

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Miller, Darcy. Roll. Harper, 2017. 206 pages (978–0–06–246122–3)

Ages 8-12

Ren’s family recently moved to his late grandmother’s house outside the small Minnesota community where he’s grown up. He misses spending time every day with his best friend, Aiden, who comes over sometimes but also seems to be having a pretty good time in town without him. Ren has made his athletic dad happy by agreeing to go out for track, but a summer spent trying to run has only convinced him of how much he hates it. In the final weeks of summer break, Ren meets Sutton, a new neighbor down the road. She and her family recently moved from the D.C. area, although her dad is currently at Mayo Clinic recovering from an accident. Sutton raises Birmingham Roller pigeons. Ren knows absolutely nothing about the birds when he and Sutton meet, but he’s intrigued. Soon Sutton is teaching him all about them. In some ways, he feels closer to her than to Aiden, whom he’s known since kindergarten. And it hurts. An understated story about new and changing friendships, and families, is written with grace and fine touches of humor as quiet Ren learns how to speak up for himself, and also for friendship. Terrific characterizations are one of the things that make this story stand out. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Primary May 2019 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Primary | Primary (Grades K-2) | May - (Comments Off on Primary May 2019 (2))

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Meisel, Paul.
My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis. Holiday House, 2017. 32  pages (978–0–8234–3671–2)

Ages 5-8

The eventful summer of the spunky P. Mantis begins on the sunny day of May 17 (“I was born today!”). The praying mantis’s sparse but entertaining log continues for the next five months as she records her growth spurts, ravenous appetite—on June 2 she eats two of her brothers—and impressive camouflage skills. As we read about P.’s adventures, we learn interesting tidbits about praying mantises. They can turn their heads to look behind themselves; they can fly (eventually); they shed their skin many times as they mature. In the end, after laying her own eggs on the plant where she was born, P. Mantis lies down for “a long nap.” Notes on the endpapers confirm what readers may have suspected: adult mantises do not survive the winter, but their short lives are indeed “awesome.”  ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Primary May 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Primary | Primary (Grades K-2) | May - (Comments Off on Primary May 2019 (1))

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Cornwall, Gaia. Jabari Jumps. Candlewick Press, 2017. 32 pages (978–0–7636–7838–8)

Ages 3-7

A young African American boy is sure he’s ready to jump off the diving board at the pool … or is he? “‘Looks easy,’ Jabari said. But when his dad squeezed his hand, Jabari squeezed back.” Jabari starts up the ladder, only to come down again to take “a tiny rest” at his dad’s suggestion. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” his dad tells him. “Sometimes if I feel a little scared, I take a deep breath and tell myself I am ready. And you know what? Sometimes it stops feeling scary and feels a little like a surprise.” Intrigued (“Jabari loved surprises”), Jabari decides to try again. Anxiety, anticipation, and accomplishment all take the stage in this sparkling picture book featuring a finely paced text and a warm father–son relationship. The mixed-media illustrations show a range of wonderful perspectives, including an overhead of Jabari’s toes hanging off the board just before he jumps, or, in his mind, flies. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP May 2019 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | May - (Comments Off on BTP May 2019 (2))

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Messner, Kate.
Over and Under the Pond. Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. Chronicle, 2017. 40 pages (978–1–4521–4542–6)

Ages 4-8

The activity above and beneath the water of a pond on which a boy and his mother are paddling a canoe as sunset approaches is distinct yet parallel in this lyrical account. Over the pond a blackbird flies with grass for her nest, a moose eats water lilies, a young goldfish is ready to fly. Under the pond, caddisfly larva makes a home in pebbles and sand, a beaver eats roots, tadpoles begin to transform into frogs. Each over/under pairing emphasizes both what the boy can see and what his mother knows about the natural world. End matter provides more information about pond ecosystems and the behavior of animals mentioned. The mixed-media illustrations on matte paper capture life above and beneath the water in strikingly composed scenes from a variety of perspectives. The boy and his mother are Black. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

BTP May 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | May - (Comments Off on BTP May 2019 (1))

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Lamba, Marie, and Baldev Lamba.
Green Green: A Community Gardening Story. Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017.  32 pages (978–0–374–32797–2)

Ages 3-7

“Green green / fresh and clean. Brown brown / dig the ground,” begins this story as a group of children play in a grassy meadow and tend to a sprawling backyard garden. Soon, though, “brown brown / dig the ground” takes on  a less pleasant meaning, as bulldozers and trucks begin clearing the land to make way for new buildings. Grass and flowers become stone and metal as the city expands. In the midst of the concrete jungle, what was once a grassy lot becomes a makeshift junkyard. Gardens are reduced to planters on balconies. Then one day, a little girl with a shovel turns the book’s familiar refrain into a question. “Brown brown / dig the ground?” An affirming “Brown brown / dig the ground!” sounds as a diverse group of neighbors gathers in a large lot to remove the litter, till the earth, and plant seeds. The garden they create grows into a colorful, verdant, once-again-sprawling place of beauty in the midst of the city. Sánchez’s illustrations are as vibrant as the community garden that blooms in these pages. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

High School May 2019

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 High School | High School | May - (Comments Off on High School May 2019)

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Stevens, Courtney.
Dress Codes for Small Towns. HarperTeen, 2017. 337  pages (978–0–06–239851–2)

Age 13 and older

A YA book set in a small town in which the main character, a preacher’s kid, does not hate either the town or being a preacher’s kid. In which the group of friends at the story’s heart feels both exceptional and ordinary and authentic. At the center of it all is Billie McCaffrey, who may be in love with both of her best friends, Wood and Janie Lee; who dresses in jeans and combat boots and creates large-object art in her garage; who is part of a group of six friends who call themselves the Hexagon and are as adept at creating community as causing havoc. The Hexagon’s efforts to save Otter Falls’ annual Harvest Festival and Corn Dolly competition—both of which are presented with astonishing appreciation through Billie’s eyes—is the storyline around which Billie and her friends make discoveries about themselves and one another in a novel that is funny and poignant and probing by turns as it examines sexuality, gender, friendship, love, and family, all with remarkable little angst in spite of some serious soul searching. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School May 2019

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | May - (Comments Off on Middle School May 2019)

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Cartaya, Pablo.
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. Viking, 2017. 236 pages (978–1–101–99723–9)

Ages 10-13

Arturo lives in an apartment complex in Miami along with most of the rest of his extended, closeknit, sometimes chaotic Cuban American family. At the center of their lives are Abuela and La Cocina de la Isla, the restaurant she began with Arturo’s late grandfather. With Abuela’s health in question, no one wants to tell her about the threat to the proposed expansion of the restaurant into the empty lot next door: a new, buffoonish developer in town has plans for an upscale high-rise. At the heart of this lively story are important questions: How do communities shape and value individuals? How do individuals shape communities? How do differing ideas of what constitutes “progress,” including gentrification, impact community, and the family that community can be? They are explored in a blithe narrative featuring a slightly lovesick middle schooler (Arturo is trying to figure out if visiting Carmen likes him the same way he likes her) trying to help his family convince the city council to vote in favor of their restaurant’s proposal. Arturo finds inspiration for both his ideals and love in the poetry of Jose Martí, the Cuban poet and activist whom, he learns, his late grandfather loved (and Carmen does, too). ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Find out more about this month’s titles by clicking a cover image below!

Bookmarks.

MAY
Lowriders in Space (Lowriders, Book 1) by Cathy Camper. Illustrated by Raul the Third. Chronicle Books, 2014 Lupe Impala, El Read more.
MAY (1)
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super–Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton. Illustrated by Don Tate. Charlesbridge, 2016 Lonnie Johnson once took Read more.
MAY (2)
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea: Unicorn of the Sea. (A Narwhal and Jelly Book) by Ben Clanton. Tundra Books, 2016 Read more.
MAY (1)
Great American Whatever by Tim Federle. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016 Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart Read more.
MAY (2)
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Delacorte, 2016 Over the course of a single day on which Read more.
MAY (1)
Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes. WordSong / Highlights, 2016 Garvey is often teased at school for his weight, while his Read more.
MAY (2)
One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi. HarperCollins, 2016 After Obayda’s family moves from Kabul to the village where Read more.
MAY (1)
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes. Illustrated by Laura Dronzek. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2016 “Before Spring comes, the grass is Read more.
MAY (2)
A Morning with Grandpa by Cynthia Liu. Illustrated by Christina Forshay. Lee & Low, 2016 Mei Mei watches Gong Gong Read more.
MAY (3)
Every Day Birds by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Illustrated by Dylan Metrano. Orchard / Scholastic, 2016 Lovely cut-paper collage illustrations provide Read more.

MAY (3)

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2017-2018 | 2017-2018 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | May - (Comments Off on MAY (3))

Every Day Birds by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Illustrated by Dylan Metrano. Orchard / Scholastic, 2016

Lovely cut-paper collage illustrations provide a close-up rendering of 20 common birds. Brief text describes a trait or two about each bird. Chickadee has a “wee black cap.” Sparrow “hops in brown.” Eagle “soars above the land.” Opening- and closing-page spreads encourage observation of birds, while the end matter provides tips for learning more about birds as well as additional information about each of the 20 birds included. (Ages 3–8)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: As you read, let the child(ren) see if they can guess the name of the bird before you say it.
  • Talk: Adults, pick a bird or two from the back of the book and talk in more detail about those birds.
  • Sing: Listen to birdcalls; try to imitate some of them.
  • Write: Use your finger to trace the birds in the book.
  • Play: What sounds do birds make? Can you make those sounds, too? Can you tap like a woodpecker? Or honk like a goose?
  • Math or Science: Compare and contrast the different types of birds. What do they have in common and what is different? Wings. Beaks. Colors. Nests.

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MAY (2)

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2017-2018 | 2017-2018 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | May - (Comments Off on MAY (2))

A Morning with Grandpa by Cynthia Liu. Illustrated by Christina Forshay. Lee & Low, 2016

Mei Mei watches Gong Gong doing tai chi and wants to learn how it’s done. The little girl’s attempts to emulate her grandpa are enthusiastic, but it’s hard for her to control her abundant energy as she turns every move into a chance to show off. Gong Gong clearly understands his granddaughter’s self-centered behavior is simply part of being a child, and he is both patient and playful as he directs her. “Now that I’m good at tai chi, it’s my turn to teach you something new,” Mei Mei tells him before their roles are reversed: She becomes the encouraging teacher and Gong Gong follows her lead doing yoga. A bright, buoyant story featuring a Chinese grandfather and grandchild giving each other their undivided attention includes information about tai chi and yoga, including illustrated descriptions of Gong Gong and Mei Mei’s tai chi movements and yoga postures, at volume’s end. (Ages 3–7)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: A Morning with Grandpa. Can you find letters or words that you recognize in the book?
  • Talk: About body control. Talk about flexibility, balance, and movement. Are there things that child(ren) are better at and grownups are better at?
  • Sing: Head and Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Write: Draw a picture of what you like to do with one of your favorite grown-ups.
  • Play: Try some of Gong Gong’s tai chi motions and Mei Mei’s yoga poses.
  • Math or Science: Try to balance on one foot or in one of the yoga poses. How long can you stand or stay in pose without falling. What helps you to stay upright and balanced?

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MAY (1)

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2017-2018 | 2017-2018 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | May - (Comments Off on MAY (1))

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes. Illustrated by Laura Dronzek. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2016

“Before Spring comes, the grass is brown. But if you wait, Spring will turn it green and add little flowers.” Page by page, Henkes highlights the small changes that come as winter turns to spring, returning again and again to the phrase “if you wait … ” Rich acrylic paintings feature two young children out in the natural world, experiencing and observing all spring has to offer—the hatching birds, sprouting seeds, rain and puddles, bees, and boots. There’s also a surprise snowfall, because spring “changes its mind a lot.” And when spring finally arrives for good, waiting for summer can begin. This perfectly paced and elegantly illustrated celebration of seasonal changes is right on target for young children, with its sense of wonder at the world outside. (Ages 2–6)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: The poem “Love Song of the Little Bear” & “The Song of the Tiny Cat” in Goodnight Songs
  • Talk: About the senses. What does spring sound, smell, look, taste, or feel like?
  • Sing: A song or read a rhyme about spring.
  • Write: Look at the pictures of the book. Pick your favorite page. Draw a picture of what you like about it. Have a grown-up help you write about that picture.
  • Play: Outside: Blow bubbles. Play in the mud. Jump in puddles.
  • Math or Science: Germinate a bean seed in a paper towel. See how many days it takes to begin to grow. Talk about roots and water. Go outside to look at plants growing.

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