Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fiction Picture Books That Knocked My Socks Off

I’ve been a Cybils Award judge for the last ten years. I can’t remember a year when so many wonderful fiction picture books hit the shelves as they did last year. As a panel, we had to agree on our favorite seven (take a look at my blog post here), but there were many others I loved that didn't quite make the cut. Of course, you could always buy these (and thus help lift their authors a nudge up from the poverty-level existences many of them have) but these are widely available at your public library, too.

A Well-Mannered Young Wolf

Before a young wolf can eat his prey, he must honor the prey's last wishes. The prey are not quite as well-mannered.  

The Bear Who Wasn’t There and the Fabulous Forest

 One day The Bear Who Wasn’t There forgets something quite important---himself---and sets off on a journey to find himself. 

A Most Mysterious Mouse 

A cat spends all his days imagining mice, yet there is one he cannot imagine.

We Found a Hat 

Jon Klassen is back with his final story in his hat trilogy, this one taking on relationships.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break 

This cover will tell you all you need to know.

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

A lonely man perpetually uncorks ocean bottles.

The Day I Became a Bird

A boy falls in love. But she is only cares about birds. How can he interest her?

My Baby Crocodile 

A crocodile happens upon a helmeted knight and mistakes him for an abandoned baby croc.

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville 

 Alma’s the quickest kid in Clarksville, just like her hero, Wilma Rudolph, once was. It doesn’t matter that Alma has holes in her shoes; so did Wilma. But what will happen when the new girl with shiny new shoes takes Alma on?

The Water Princess 

 A young girl dreams of finding a way to get clean water to her village.            

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Did I Really Read 41 Books in January?

Who can explain why I've been on a reading roll since the beginning of 2017? It certainly helped that I finished ten books on January 1st, and it was a bonus that I knocked off fourteen children's books on Multicultural Children's Book Day last week. But the forty-one book total for January isn't just books for the wee folk; I also read and reviewed lots of other books, including the 700-page Barkskins. Here are some of my favorites for January, including links to their reviews on Goodreads.

Barkskins       The Annotated Alice       The Battle for Room 314

What are you reading today?
What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Happily, I am a part of this celebration. I received a huge box of books from Capstone +Capstone Publishers with sixteen wonderfully diverse children's stories. 
I'm a primary school librarian and all of these books could happily find a home in my school library. I have had the Katie Woo chapter book series, in both English and Spanish, in my library for several years, and we just acquired some of the Sofia Martinez and the Pedro series. I got the chance to read Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library during the first round of the Cybils this year. The other books are new-to-me.
For Multicultural Children's Book Day, I decided to read and review all the books as if for the first time.

Sofia Martinez written by Jacqueline Jules
and illustrated by Kim Smith

I'm crazy about Sofia Martinez. These books are the perfect blend of Hispanic culture and the broad American culture. The first girl who checked out one of my Sofia books from my primary school library brought it back to me a little while after she had a chance to look at it more closely. "It's in Spanish," she told me sadly. "No," I told her, "it's mostly in English, with a few Spanish words." I showed her the glossary of Spanish words and their meanings and she brightened. "I know a lot of these words anyway," she told me happily. She returned it a few days later and asked for another Sofia. The reading level is ideal for our early chapter book readers in first and second grade.

Katie Woo written by Fran Manushkin
and illustrated by Tammie Lyon

Who is Katie Woo? Katie is a little girl who is Asian-American but is also an integral part of the wide American culture. She spends her time with her friends and family, at home and at school, and her problems are the small problems of children everywhere: she deals with finding her place among her friends and the loss of a beloved pet and waiting and waiting for her tooth to fall out and going on a first camping trip. All the stories are just at the right reading level for children ready to try their first chapter books.

Pedro written by Fran Manushkin 
and illustrated by Tammie Lyon

Pedro is actually a buddy of Katie Woo, and his book series evolved from hers. Like Katie Woo, Pedro lives a middle-class American sort of life that centers around school and his family and friends. Like Katie Woo, his mishaps are the gentle sort that involve having your brother turn loose the bugs Pedro had captured for a school project. Like Katie Woo, it is refreshing to see a child who from a culture different from the one the typical American children's book portrays, and to not only see him, but to see him front and center.

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Andy Elkerton

You probably can imagine from the title where this little tale is going. Yes, lots of problems ensue if you bring a dragon to the library. But it's the delightful rhyme and hilarious pictures that gives this story its zing. Imagine an American subculture and you can be pretty sure it will be represented among the library patrons pictured here. And, of course, the book will have a happy ending. You don't want anyone, not even fire-breathing dragons, to be left out.

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story
by Rebecca Langston-George

It's wonderful, of course, to read stories about ordinary children from diverse cultures. But it's amazing to read stories about extraordinary children from diverse cultures. And who has come to stand out as a hero in our world today more than the young girl, Malala Yousafzai? This is her story, the story of a bright girl in Pakistan who was told she could not attend school. The story has been rendered as a colorful and inviting picture book, and the text and pictures are a beautiful introduction to this amazing girl's life.

Ellie Ultra by Gina Bellisario
The Case of the Missing Museum Archives by Steve Brezenoff
Molly Meets Trouble by Megan Atwood

Ellie Ultra, Museum Mysteries: The Case of the Missing Museum Archives, and Dear Molly, Dear Olive: Molly Meets Trouble are all 125 pages or less, short chapter books aimed at third to fifth grade readers, all published by divisions of Capstone. Ellie Ultra is the first in a series of short chapter books about a third-grade girl who has super powers, but finds she has to suppress them in order to fit into an ordinary school. In The Case of the Missing Museum Archives, Amal and her friends must try to find the missing plans for a prototype of a failed flying machine before Amal's father is blamed for the loss. Molly Meets Trouble is the story of Molly who just can't seem to get along with someone at school. It really makes Molly miss her friend Olive. All three stories feature diverse characters.

We could all use a little more kindness in this world. Why not have your children take the Great Kindness Challenge? #GreatKindnessChallenge

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use the official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

As We Leave the Texas Book Festival...

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Children's Books That Celebrate Diversity I Hope You Won't Miss

In honor of Multicultural Children's Book Day this Friday, January 27, 2017, I list some of my favorite children's books that celebrate American diversity. #ReadYourWorld

My Name is Yoon 

The Moved-Outers

Last Stop on Market Street

Home of the Brave

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio

One-Handed Catch

The Other Side

The Thing About Georgie

Mango, Abuela, and Me

Thunder Boy Jr.

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/
Marisol McDonald no combina

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story


Multicultural Children's Book Day site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.