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Picture book love and community

These new picture books model self-love, strength in community, and pride in identity for very young children of color. Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, is an affirmation of self-love for children of color. An exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo, […]

Celebrating Black History 2019

February is Black History Month. The following nonfiction titles present informative, inspirational, and moving stories about notable African American people and events, to be shared with readers all year long. See also our Five Questions interview with Claire Hartfield, winner of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award for A Few Red Drops: The Chicago […]

Review of See Pip Flap

See Pip Flap [Ready-to-Read: Adventures of Otto] by David Milgrim; illus. by the author Primary    Simon Spotlight    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5344-1636-9    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-5344-1635-2    $4.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1637-6    $4.99 The latest in Milgrim’s early reader series about robot Otto, mouse Pip, and their creature friends begins with an exit: “See Tweet flap. / See […]

Winter break: The Aftermath

We are going through a Diary of a Wimpy Kid phase at my house, big-time (and thank you to the Cambridge Public Library for carrying a bajillion copies of many of the titles). Reading and re-reading those books was one of the things that kept us occupied over the winter break. And then came the […]

“Love Your Neighbor” booklist series from the Association of Jewish Libraries

Following the October 2018 gun murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in response to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries began compiling a series of themed booklists for children, families, and communities. The “Love Your Neighbor” series includes four lists: List #1 Standing Up for Each […]

Eye-opening history

The following works of narrative nonfiction for middle schoolers and high schoolers focus on events that may be overlooked by school curricula but can help make history come alive. In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black “freedmen” in the town of Colfax in central Louisiana. In his book […]

Editorial: Technicolor Dreams

The January/February Magazine is a good metaphor for the new year, with its ruminations on What Came Before and an eye toward the future. In October we celebrated the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, where Elizabeth Acevedo performed a powerful original poem; Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña shared their origin story as collaborators; Celia C. Pérez […]

Undocumented

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh follows a fictional man named Juan who emigrates from Mexico to the United States. As an undocumented restaurant worker, he is terribly exploited; a waitress, herself an immigrant from China, recruits Juan to help organize their colleagues, and they courageously file a legal complaint. The story ends with […]

Francie at Frugal

On Saturday, I went to Frugal Bookstore for Francie Latour‘s “Auntie Luce Holiday Book Event.” Francie is the author of Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley (Groundwood), inspired by Haitian artist Luce Turnier (1924-1994). She’s also one half of Wee The People (with Tanya Nixon-Silberg): Wee The People (WTP) is a Boston-based social […]

Noticing nature’s cycles

These picture books invite readers to reflect upon the cycles of our environment (i.e., weather patterns, seasons) and to pay close attention to marvels of the natural world. In They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki, a girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. The […]