13 August 2018

13 Books About Japan

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko
written by David Jacobson, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi, images by Toshikado Hajiri

written and illustrated by Allen Say

Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog
written by Pamela S. Turner, images by Yan Nascimbene

How My Parents Learned to Eat
written by Ina R. Friedman, images by Allen Say

Kenta and the Big Wave
written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi

Little Kunoichi, the Ninja Girl
written and illustrated by Sanae Ishida

One Leaf Rides the Wind: Counting In a Japanese Garden
written by Celeste Davidson Mannis, images by Susan Hartung

Suki's Kimono
written by Chieri Uegaki, images by Stephanie Jorisch

Sumo Mouse
written and illustrated by David Wisniewski

Tea With Milk
written and illustrated by Allen Say

The Night of the Fireflies
written by Karen B. Winnick, images by Yoriko Ito

The Peace Tree from Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story
written by Sandra Moore, images by Kazumi Wilds

The Silver Charm: A Folktale from Japan
written by Robert D. San Souci, images by Yoriko Ito

05 August 2018

5 Historical Romance Stories

A Countess Below Stairs
written by Eva Ibbotson

Apple Cake: A Recipe for Love
written and illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Keturah and Lord Death
written by Martine Leavitt

Ella's Big Chance: A Jazz-age Cinderella
written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes

written by Janet Fox

26 July 2018

Recently Read Favorites

A Weird and Wild Beauty: The Story of Yellowstone, the World's First National Park
written by Erin Peabody

Woodpecker Wants a Waffle
written and illustrated by Steve Breen

Don't Blink!
written and illustrated by Tom Booth

Grumpy Monkey
written by Suzanne Lang, images by Max Lang

Crunch the Shy Dinosaur
written by Cirocco Dunlap, images by Greg Pizzoli

A Round of Robins
written by Katie Hesterman, images by Sergio Ruzzier

Hidden Wildlife: How Animals Hide in Plain Sight
written and illustrated by Jim Arnosky

Full of Fall
written and illustrated by April Pulley Sayre

There's Someone Inside Your House
written by Stephanie Perkins

Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War
written by Debbie Levy, images by Gilbert Ford

Creekfinding: A True Story
written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, images by Claudia McGehee

Wolf Island
written by Nicholas Read, images by Ian McAllister

The Quilts of Gee's Bend
written by Susan Goldman Rubin

Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem
written by Patricia Newman

What Milly Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling
written by Elise Moser, images by Scot Ritchie

Truly Devious
written by Maureen Johnson

Flowers for Sarajevo
written by John McCutcheon, images by Kristy Caldwell

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith

The Princess and the Warrior
written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Lighter Than Air: Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot
written by Matthew Clark Smith, images by Matt Tavares

Rainbow Weaver / Tejedora del arcoíris
written by Linda Elovitz Marshall, images by Elisa Chavarri

A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights
written by Kate Hannigan, images by Alison Jay

Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México
written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

My Favorite Pets by Gus W. for Ms. Smolinski's Class
written by Jeanne Birdsall, images by Harry Bliss

I Have a Balloon
written by Ariel Bernstein, images by Scott Magoon

The Lumberjack's Beard
written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie

11 July 2018

Patricia Polacco: An Appreciation

Patricia Polacco is another author I was introduced to as an adult. The first book of hers I read was Thank You, Mr. Falker, which I read in graduate school. It is a beautiful story about a wonderful teacher who recognizes the troubles young Trisha is having in his fifth grade classroom and teaches her to read.

I cried when I read it. I cry when I read almost any Polacco book. The one that makes me cry the most is Pink and Say.

If you haven't read Pink and Say, do yourself a favor. Find a copy of the book, and then find a private space. Bring Kleenex! It takes place during the Civil War, but it's about so much more than that. It's a heartbreaking friendship story, it's another tale about learning to read, and it's a powerful testament to stories and the impacts they have on people's lives.

Many of Polacco's stories are like that. They are stories from her life or ones that have been passed down through her family. Every time I read one I am struck by her life and family and all the stories they have lived. Her books make me think about my own family stories.

How would I write a book about some of the tales I've heard from my family? How would you?