The mouse that roared

roy_little mouse santi

The Little Mouse Santi, with a story by David Eugene Ray and illustrations by Santiago Germano, is a classic-feeling picture book for young readers. In it, the main character, a mouse named Santi, wants to be a cat. He studies the farm cats and copies their activities and attitudes until he has the whole cat […]

Review of Vegetables in Underwear

chapman_vegetables in underwear

Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Abrams Appleseed/Abrams   32 pp. 4/15   978-1-4197-1464-1   $14.95 Vegetables are usually not funny. Underpants often are. Vegetables in underwear? Guaranteed preschool hilarity. A head of broccoli gets things started on the copyright and dedication pages with a striptease down to his red skivvies. A similarly […]

Review of The Case for Loving

alko_case for loving

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko; illus. by 
Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Primary   Levine/Scholastic   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-545-47853-3   $18.99 The 1967 Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage throughout the country is here given a picture-book accounting. Richard Loving was white, Mildred Jeter’s skin was a “creamy caramel”; […]

A sense of place

Maine picture books

“Doesn’t this book make you think of Rockport, of being down at the beach and feeling the waves?” one of my students asks me, holding up our classroom’s copy of Andre by Fran Hodgkins. “It does remind me of that,” I tell my student. “Why don’t you read what is says on the seal’s collar […]

Review of Tad and Dad

stein_tad and dad

Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Paulsen/Penguin   40 pp. 4/15   978-0-399-25671-4   $16.99   g Poor Dad. Poor Tad. Neither frog is getting any sleep in his (lily)pad. Tad loves his dad so much that he can hardly bear to be away from him, even at night. Whether Tad is a […]

Picture books under the sea

Life in the Ocean

With water covering around 70% of the world’s surface and playing home to some of the most fascinating creatures on earth, it is not surprising that it is a perennially popular topic for young children. And, this ongoing popularity means that there are plenty of books available on this topic to encourage students to pursue […]

Hoppy for Poppy

stein_tad and dad

Perfect for Father’s Day read-alouds, these picture books show a variety of dads — from those on lily pads to those in eucalyptus forests, from fantasy kingdoms to suburban parks — raising, teaching, and loving their children. In David Ezra Stein’s Tad and Dad, little frog Tad loves his father so much that he can […]

Review of I Yam a Donkey!

bell_i yam a donkey

I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 6/15   978-0-544-08720-0   $16.99 “I yam a donkey,” declares a self-aware donkey on the title page. Not so fast. The grammar police arrive in the form of a bespectacled yam. “What did you say? ‘I yam a donkey?’ The proper way […]

Learning from mistakes

everyone ride bicycle

My second graders, like most kids, hate making mistakes. Often, when students begin the year with me, they see mistakes as something bad and rarely seem more embarrassed than when they make mistakes in class. Throughout the course of the year, I ask my students to work on honing a growth mindset and try to […]

Review of Float


Float by Daniel Miyares; illus. by the author Primary   Simon   40 pp. 6/15   978-1-4814-1524-8   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1525-5   $12.99 The joys, fears, and frustrations of exploration — as well as the safety, support, and love of home — are examined in this wordless story. Using inspiration from the newspaper, a boy and his caregiver […]