Actual Size

Actual Size

We are reading four information books for our next class, all picture books but for various ages. Steve Jenkins’s Actual Size could be read with very young children or with older ones depending on how you choose to  share it. There is basic information in large type and details for older children in smaller type. The […]

Me…Jane

me jane

As picture book biographies go, this is one of the more irreverent ones. What did you make of it? What about the visual mix: McDonnell’s cartoon-style art, vintage stamps, Goodall’s childhood drawings, and photos? The year this was published, we had lots of discussion pro and con about the final photograph and the book’s editor […]

Look Up!

cate_look up

Here’s an information book created by an enthusiast rather than an expert. Cate doesn’t claim to know everything about birds, but she does hope that her enthusiasm is catching. In fact, she uses every last bit of space in this book, endpaper to endpaper, to give advice in a lighthearted and nonthreatening way. What do […]

Dave the Potter

Dave the Potter

Here’s a biography of someone we really know very little about. What do you make of Hill’s poem? Do you want to learn more? Do Collier’s illustrations fill in some gaps? The information at the end tells us more, but in fact we are still left with a mystery. Do Collier’s collages match the tone […]

Review of Beyond Magenta

kuklin_beyond magenta

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin High School    Candlewick    182 pp. 2/14    978-0-7636-5611-9    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7035-1    $22.99 Rather than attempting to convey the spectrum of transgender experience through a multitude of voices, Kuklin tries something different here, focusing on just six young people whose gender identity is something other than what […]

Lives lived large

cline-ransome_benny goodman

Picture book biographies provide young children with glimpses into the lives of notable men and women. The following books highlight people whose accomplishments in the arts, on the seven seas, and on the world stage are inspirations to us all. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, tells of visiting Sevagram, India, as a child in […]

Review of The Scraps Book

ehlert_scraps book

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert; illus. by the author Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    72 pp. 3/14    978-1-4424-3571-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-3572-8    $10.99 In a generously illustrated picture book memoir, Ehlert speaks directly to her audience, particularly readers who like collecting objects and making things. Aptly titled, the book is jam-packed […]

Happy Valentine’s Day

tunnell_candybomber

Some years ago, my optimistic neighbor told me that he considers Valentine’s Day to be the unofficial start of spring. Given the ridiculous winter we are having in the northeast, this year I am holding him to it! So, in desperate hope for the start of spring, I am dedicating this post to Valentine’s Day. […]

Fascinating animal facts

roth_parrots over puerto rico

Learning about animals from an early age helps children understand their own relationship with the larger world. The following four books present fascinating facts and figures about extinct, endangered, and/or just extremely interesting animals. Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore’s 2014 Sibert Award–winning Parrots over Puerto Rico is a gorgeously illustrated history of the critically […]

Snow day

Loeb_Movin and Shakin

Baggetta, Marla Pastel Step by Step Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Fisher, Diana The Art of Rock Painting Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Franks, Gene Pencil Drawing Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Goldman, Ken Charcoal Drawing Middle school, high school   64 pp. Walter Foster Powell, William […]