19 June 2018

19 Books about Slavery #resist

Because it's Juneteenth, I thought it appropriate to list some books about slavery so we remember the horrors of that practice.

My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
written by Ann Turner, images by James Ransome

Night Boat to Freedom
written by Margot Theis Raven, images by E.B. Lewis

Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom
written by Steven Sellers Lapham & Eugene Walton, images by R. Gregory Christie

Phillis's Big Test
written by Catherine Clinton, images by Sean Qualls

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
written and illustrated by Don Tate

Slaves Who Dared: The Stories of Ten African-American Heroes
written by Mary Garrison

Stolen Into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northrup, Free Black Man
written by Judith & Dennis Fradin

The Daring Escape of Ellen Craft
written by Cathy Moore, images by Mary O'Keefe Young

The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington's Slave Finds Freedom
written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

Brick by Brick
written by Charles R. Smith, Jr., images by Floyd Cooper

Alec's Primer
written by Mildren Pitts Walter, images by Larry Johnson

American Slave, American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
written by Laurence Pringle, images by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu

Frederick's Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass
written by Doreen Rappaport, images by London Ladd

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery
written by Cynthia Grady, images by Michele Wood

I Want To Be Free
written by Joseph Slate, images by E.B. Lewis

Lift Your Light Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer
written by Heather Henson, images by Bryan Collier

Light In the Darkness: A Story About How Slaves Learned in Secret
written by Lesa Cline-Ransome, images by James E. Ransome

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
written by Angela Johnson, images by E.B. Lewis

16 June 2018

6 Books about Alaska

written and illustrated by Robert J. Blake

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights
written by Debbie S. Miller, images by Jon Van Zyle

Arctic Thaw: The People of the Whale in a Changing Climate
written by Peter Lourie

I Would Tuck You In
written by Sarah Asper-Smith, images by Mitchell Watley

Kumak's House: A Tale of the Far North
written and illustrated by Michael Bania

My Coyote Nose and Ptarmigan Toes: An Almost-True Alaskan Adventure
written by Erin McKittrick, images by Valisa Higman

06 June 2018

Cynthia Rylant: An Appreciation

I was first introduced to Cynthia Rylant by a dear friend of mine. She was an elementary teacher and lent me a number of her personal children's books to read, basically re-introducing me to a world of literature that I had missed during my teen and college years.

She placed Missing May in my hands and told me to read it. It was a paperback with that familiar gold Newbery medal on the cover, and it was thin. I probably read it during one lunch break at my summer job.

What a stunning little book! In so few pages, Rylant describes a girl who has lost many people in her life but doesn't let that stop her from forming a new family and learning to live with those losses. It is the perfect book for a child to read who has lost a loved one. It reassures children that it is okay to miss someone but also encourages them not to wallow in that grief. It's one of the most realistic depictions of a child recovering from a loved one's death that I've ever read.

I've since read many other books by Rylant, and each one is a gem. I'm especially fond of her poetry book God Went to Beauty School. It's full of poems about God celebrating what we would consider mundane pleasures in life and finding the absolute beauty, the true awesomeness of life. Take this segment from the title poem:
He got into nails, of course,
because He'd always loved
hands were some of the best things
He'd ever done
and this way He could just
hold one in His
and admire those delicate
bones just above the knuckles,
delicate as birds' wings,
and after He'd done that
He could paint all the nails
any color He wanted,
then say,
and mean it.
Isn't that wonderful? I adore Cynthia Rylant's work. Take some time and enjoy her work for yourself.

15 May 2018

15 Books about Being Muslim #resist

Deep In the Sahara
written by Kelly Cunnane, images by Hoda Hadadi

Going to Mecca
written by Na'ima B. Robert, images by Valentina Cavallini

Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story
written by Reem Faruqi, images by Lea Lyon

written and illustrated by Demi

My Name Is Bilal
written by Asma Mobin-Uddin, images by Barbara Kiwak

My Name Was Hussein
written by Hristo Kyuchukov, images by Allan Eitzen

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story
written by Hena Khan, images by Julie Paschkis

Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam
written and illustrated by Diane Stanley

The Most Magnificent Mosque
written by Ann Jungman, images by Shelley Fowles

One Green Apple
written by Eve Bunting, images by Ted Lewin

Mommy's Khimar
written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, images by Ebony Glenn

The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Saved Jews During the Holocaust
written by Karen Gray Ruelle, images by Deborah Durland DeSaix

Amina's Voice
written by Hena Khan

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister
written by Amélie Sarn

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His Daughter
written by Mark Gonzales, images by Mehrdokt Amini

12 May 2018

12 Books about Mothers

Hooray for Fish!
written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins

Her Mother's Face
written by Roddy Doyle, images by Freya Blackwood

Horse In the Pigpen
written by Linda Williams, images by Megan Lloyd

How Do You Know?
written by Deborah W. Trotter, images by Julie Downing

Hula Lullaby
written and illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono

I Am a Witch's Cat
written and illustrated by Harriet Muncaster

I Wanna Iguana
written by Karen Kaufman Orloff, images by David Catrow

I Want My Mommy!
written by Tracey Corderoy, images by Alison Edgson

I Would Tuck You In
written by Sarah Asper-Smith, images by Mitchell Watley

Jungle Song
written by Miriam Moss, images by Adrienne Kennaway

Just Right
written and illustrated by Miriam Monnier

Just What Mama Needs
written by Sharlee Glenn, images by Amiko Hirao

05 May 2018

5 Books about Kentucky

Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer
written by Heather Henson, images by Bryan Collier

The Keeper of the Doves
written by Betsy Byars

Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song
written by George Ella Lyon, images by Christopher Cardinale

That Book Woman
written by Heather Henson, images by David Small

D Is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet
written by Helen L. Wilbur, images by Jaime Corum

01 May 2018

30 Books about Asian Pacific American Heritage

Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood
written by Varsha Bajaj

 How Maui Slowed the Sun
written by Suelyn Ching Tune, images by Robin Yoko Burningham

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
written by Paula Yoo, images by Lin Wang

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow / Sabaku Ni Saita Himawari
written by Amy Lee-Tai, images by Felicia Hoshino

The Firekeeper's Son
written by Linda Sue Park, images by Julie Downing

The Biggest Soap
written by Carole Lexa Schaefer, images by Stacey Dressen-McQueen

In a Village By the Sea
written by Muon Van, images by April Chu

My Night In the Planetarium: A True Story About a Child, a Play, and the Art of Resistance
written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara

Punia and the King of Sharks: A Hawaiian Folktale
written by Lee Wardlaw, images by Felipe Dvalos

The Lost Lake
written and illustrated by Allen Say

The Closet Ghosts
written by Uma Krishnaswami, images by Shiraaz Bhabha

A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales
written by Ying Chang Compestine, images by Coleman Polhemus

Sumi's First Day of School Ever
written by Soyung Pak, images by Joung Un Kim

Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain
written by Russell Freedman

The Man and the Fox
written by Idries Shah, images by Sally Mallam

Apple Pie 4th of July
written by Janet S. Wong, images by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek
written by Minfong Ho, images by Holly Meade

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
written by Natasha Yim, images by Grace Zong

Tam and Cam
written by Minh Quoc, images by Mai Long

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
written by Chieri Uegaki, images by Qin Leng

Bindi Babes
written by Narinder Dhami

written and illustrated by Jason Chin

A Different Pond
written by Bao Phi, images by Thi Bui

Go to Sleep, Gecko! A Balinese Folktale
written by Margaret Read MacDonald, images by Geraldo Valerio

Malala's Magic Pencil
written by Malala Yousafzai, images by Kerascoët

Duck for Turkey Day
written by Jacqueline Jules, images by Kathryn Mitter

Ghosts for Breakfast
written by Stanley Todd Terasaki, images by Shelly Shinjo

Mama's Sari's
written by Pooja Makhijani, images by Elena Gomez

Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin
written by Michelle Lord, images by Felicia Hoshino

King for a Day
written by Rukhsana Khan, images by Christiane Krömer

28 April 2018

4 Books by Amy Hest

Happy birthday, Amy Hest!

Mr. George Baker
written by Amy Hest, images by Jon J. Muth

The Friday Nights of Nana
written by Amy Hest, images by Claire A. Nivola

Don't You Feel Well, Sam?
written by Amy Hest, images by Anita Jeram

 My Old Pal Oscar
written by Amy Hest, images by Amy Bates

14 April 2018

3 Books about Thailand

It's the second day of Songkran in Thailand, a three-day water festival for Buddhists to celebrate the new year.

Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek
written by Minfong Ho, images by Holly Meade

Breath of the Dragon
written by Gail Giles, images by June Otani

Hello, Bumblebee Bat
written by Darrin Lunde, images by Patricia J. Wynne

12 April 2018

Beverly Cleary: An Appreciation

Sara and Ramona finally meeting
in Portland, Oregon.
photo by Flo Bright

I've spoken about my love for Ramona Quimby before, but since it's her creator's birthday, I'm going to talk about my love for Beverly Cleary.

That's right. It's Beverly Cleary's birthday! She's 102 years old today.

It's almost impossible to believe that the creator of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse and so many other characters is still alive. Her books were such an integral part of my childhood, and they seemed like they were always there.

The first book of Beverly Cleary's I ever experienced was The Mouse and the Motorcycle. My second grade teacher read it aloud to the class. That, in and of itself, was kind of miraculous. I don't recall any other teacher reading a story aloud, especially over the course of several days.

But the story captivated me. I'm not usually a fan of talking animal stories -- at least not in novels -- but I adored Ralph S. Mouse and his little red motorcycle. Perhaps it was because I like toy cars myself. I wanted to find a little mouse (or a hamster or a gerbil or any tiny rodent) and put them in a toy car to drive. I still think that would be fun.

I read the other books about Ralph myself and enjoyed them, but then I met Ramona.

She was a delight. She got in trouble (like me). She was punished (like me). She had a temper (like me). She was so real that I honestly thought if I could get to Portland I would find her and we would be best friends.

Ribsy, another adored Beverly Cleary creation,
in Portland, Oregon.
photo by me
I read those books over and over and over. When I got Ramona Forever, we were on a vacation to Florida. That was the first hardcover book I ever bought. It was the first book I ever read where people lived in Alaska. It might even have been the first book I read that featured a wedding.

Ramona's World came out when I was in graduate school (to be a librarian like Beverly Cleary!). Did that stop from buying it and reading it in one sitting? Of course not! After classes were over for the day, I immediately went to the bookstore, drove home and devoured the story.

For Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday, her publisher had a huge birthday card for people to sign at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference. I proudly signed my name and included my small hometown. I wanted her to know that even people from places she had never heard of had adored her stories.

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

01 April 2018

26 Poetry Books

A Children's Treasury of Poems
images by Linda Bleck

A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry
written by Marjorie Maddox, images by Philip Huber

A Kick In the Head
edited by Paul B. Janeczko, images by Chris Raschka

A Maze Me: Poems for Girls
written by Naomi Shihab Nye, images by Terre Maher

A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food
written and illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin

A Poem of Her Own: Voices of American Women Yesterday and Today
edited by Catherine Clinton, images by Stephen Alcorn

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems
written by Deborah Ruddell, images by Joan Rankin

A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme
written by J. Patrick Lewis, images by Alison Jay

A Wreath for Emmett Till
written by Marilyn Nelson, images by Philippe Lardy

African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
written by Avis Harley, images by Deborah Noyes

Alice Yazzie's Year
written by Ramona Maher, images by Shonto Begay, Navajo

All In a Day
written by Cynthia Rylant, images by Nikki McClure

All the Wild Wonders: Poems of Our Earth
edited by Wendy Cooling, images by Piet Grobler

Amazing Places: Poems
written by Lee Bennett Hopkins, images by Chris Soentpiet and Christy Hale

America at War
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, images by Stephen Alcorn

America the Beautiful
written by Katharine Lee Bates, images by Wendell Minor

American History, Fresh Squeezed! 41 Thirst-for-Knowledge-Quenching Poems
written by Carol Diggory Shields, images by Richard Thompson

Ancient Voices
written by Kate Hovey, images by Murray Kimber

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
written by Kwame Alexander, images by Joel Sartore

Animals Anonymous
written by Richard Michelson, images by Scott Fischer

Applesauce Weather
written by Helen Frost, images by Amy June Bates

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

Around the World in Eighty Poems
selected by James Berry, images by Katherine Lucas

Around the World on Eighty Legs (More or Less)
written by Amy Gibson, images by Daniel Salmieri

At the Sea Floor Café: Odd Ocean Critter Poems
written by Leslie Bulion, images by Leslie Evans

Awful Ogre Running Wild
written by Jack Prelutsky, images by Paul O. Zelinsky

30 March 2018

30 Books about Women's History

The Daring Miss Quimby
written by Suzanne George Whitaker, images by Catherine Stock

A Death-Struck Year
written by Makiia Lucier

A Girl Named Dan
written by Dandi Daley Mackall, images by Renée Graef

written by Julie Chibbaro

A Good Night for Freedom
written by Barbara Oleynik, images by Leonard Jenkins

Girl In Blue
written by Ann Rinaldi

Around America To Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
written by Mara Rockliff, images by Hadley Hooper

Hattie Big Sky
written by Kirby Larson

Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman's Land Army of America
written by Erin Hagar, images by Jen Hill

Laura Secord: A Story of Courage
written by Janet Lunn, images by Maxwell Newhouse

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
written by Margarita Engle, images by Rafael López

written by Jacqueline Davies

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings
written by Deborah Hopkinson, images by Terry Widener

My Brigadista Year
written by Katherine Paterson

Louisa May & Mr. Thoreau's Flute
written by Julie Dunlap and Marybeth Lorbiecki, images by Mary Azarian

Sacajawea: The Story of Bird Woman and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
written by Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki

Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel
written by Leslie Connor, images by Mary Azarian

Searching for Silverheels
written by Jeannie Mobley

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
written by Carole Boston Weatherford, images by Kadir Nelson

written by Patricia McCormick

Pictures for Miss Josie
written by Sandra Belton, images by Benny Andrews

Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution
written by Avi

Ruby's Wish
written by Shirin Yim Bridges, images by Sophie Blackall

Touched by Fire
written by Irene N. Watts

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!
written by Kathryn Lasky, images by David Catrow

Vengeance Road
written by Erin Bowman

Stagecoach Sal: Inspired by a True Tale
written by Deborah Hopkinson, images by Carson Ellis

The Daring Escape of Ellen Craft
written by Cathy Moore, images by Mary O'Keefe Young

The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington's Slave Finds Freedom
written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

The Paint Box
written Maxine Trottier, images by Stella East

22 March 2018

Caldecott Medal Favorites

Today is Randolph Caldecott's birthday, so here are some of my favorite Caldecott books. For this list, I've only included the winning books, not the honors.

This Is Not My Hat
written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
2013 winner

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
written and illustrated by Brian Selznick
2008 winner

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
written and illustrated by Simms Taback
2000 winner

Snowflake Bentley
written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, images by Mary Azarian
1999 winner

written and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
1998 winner

Saint George and the Dragon
retold by Margaret Hodges, images by Trina Schart Hyman
1985 winner

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
retold by Verna Aardema, images by Leo and Diane Dillon
1976 winner

A Story A Story
retold and illustrated by Gail E. Haley
1971 winner

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
written and illustrated by William Steig
1970 winner

Where the Wild Things Are
written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
1964 winner

The Snowy Day
written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
1963 winner

Once a Mouse ...
retold and illustrated by Marcia Brown
1962 winner

Make Way for Ducklings
written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey
1942 winner

17 March 2018

17 Books about Ireland

It's St. Patrick's Day! To help you discover a bit more about Ireland than today's celebrations, here are some books to enjoy.

A Swift Pure Cry
by Siobhan Dowd

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

The Long March: The True Story of the Choctaw Indians' Gift to the Irish During the Potato Famine
written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Walking to School
written by Eve Bunting, images by Michael Dooling

Across a Dark and Wild Sea
written and illustrated by Don Brown

Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850
written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story
written by Bryce Milligan, images by Helen Cann

Kate Culhane, A Ghost Story
written and illustated by Michael Hague

Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara
written by Elvira Woodruff, images by Adam Rex

The Easter Rising
written by Richard Killeen

The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story About St. Patrick
written by Sheila MacGill-Callahan, images by Will Hillenbrand

The Leprechaun's Gold
written by Pamela Duncan Edwards, images by Henry Cole

The Meanwhile Adventures
written by Roddy Doyle, images by Brian Ajhar

The Pirate Queen
written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

The Wishing of Biddy Malone
written by Joy Cowley, images by Christopher Denise

Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka
written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Bog Child
written by Siobhan Dowd

13 March 2018

Leo and Diane Dillon: An Appreciation

In honor of Diane Dillon's birthday, I believe an appreciation of this couple's work is in order.

They won two Caldecott medals, one Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and numerous honors, and been runners-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Their body of work is breathtaking.

I can't remember when I first saw their artwork -- probably when Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears was read on Reading Rainbow. But I didn't truly appreciate their work until I became a librarian and saw the full range of their gifts.

I grew up in a small town with a small school library. I honestly can't tell you if that library owned any books that were illustrated by the Dillons. With such a small school library, my mother did her best to keep me up to my ears in new and classic children's books, but some works passed her by as well.

Nevertheless, I did find their work, and I am so glad I did.

The images they created glow, not only with light and warmth, but with humanity and dignity and beauty. The skills they possess!

In the book To Every Thing There Is a Season: Verses from Ecclesiastes, the Dillons use traditional artistic styles from around the world as inspiration. There are spreads inspired by Ancient Egypt, Thailand, the Middle East, and Ancient Mexico, among others. Each turn of the page shows different skills. It's gorgeous work.

Sadly, Leo Dillon passed away in 2012. However, Diane Dillon recently released a new picture book that looks as glorious as ever. I'm looking forward to reading I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't and losing myself in the images.

To see more of their artwork, visit The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon.

06 March 2018

6 Books About Texas History

Today is the 182nd anniversary of the Fall of the Alamo. Here are some books about Texas history.

Inside the Alamo
written by Jim Murphy

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America
written by Kathi Appelt, images by Joy Fisher Hein

We Asked for Nothing: The Remarkable Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
written by Stuart Waldman, images by Tom McNeely

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
written by Angela Johnson, images by E.B. Lewis

Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrickson Zaharias
written by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace

Born and Bred in the Great Depression
written by Jonah Winter, images by Kimberly Root

28 February 2018

30 Books about African Americans

Callie Ann and Mistah Bear
written by Robert D. San Souci, images by Don Daily

Come On, Rain!
written by Karen Hesse, images by Jon J. Muth

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
written by Derrick Barnes, images by Gordon C. James

Dancing In the Wings
written by Debbie Allen, images by Kadir Nelson

David Gets His Drum
written by David (Panama) Francis and Bob Reiser, images by Eric Velasquez

Don't Call Me Grandma
written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, images by Elizabeth Zunon

Drumbeat In Our Feet
written by Patricia A. Keeler and Julio T. Leitão, images by Patricia A. Keeler

Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite
written by Anna Harwell Celenza, images by Don Tate

Earth Mother
written by Ellen Jackson, images by Leo and Diane Dillon

Emma and Julia Love Ballet
written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Tea Cakes for Tosh
written by Kelly Starling Lyons, images by E.B. Lewis

Ten Nine Eight
written and illustrated by Molly Bang

The Bake Shop Ghost
written by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, images by Marjorie Priceman

The Gospel Cinderella
written by Joyce Carol Oates, images by David Diaz

The Hula-Hoopin' Queen
written by Thelma Lynne Godin, images by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The New Small Person
written and illustrated by Lauren Child

The Six Fools
written by Zora Neale Hurston, adapted by Joyce Carol Oates, images by Ann Tanksley

This Jazz Man
written by Karen Ehrhardt, images by R.G. Roth

Thunder Rose
written by Jerdine Nolen, images by Kadir Nelson

Tickle, Tickle
written by Dakari Hru, images by Ken Wilson-Max

Two Old Potatoes and Me
written by John Coy, images by Carolyn Fisher

Violet's Music
written by Angela Johnson, images by Laura Huliska-Beith

Which Puppy?
written by Kate Feiffer, images by Jules Feiffer

written by Julia Dennos, images by E.B. Goodale

Yesterday I Had the Blues
written by Jeron Ashford Frame, images by R. Gregory Christie

You and Me and Home Sweet Home
written by George Ella Lyon, images by Stephanie Anderson

Hank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug
written by Evan Kuhlman, images by Chuck Groenink

Have You Seen Elephant?
written and illustrated by David Barrow

I Won a What?
written by Audrey Vernick, images by Robert Neubecker

A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student
written by Valerie Gladstone, images by José Ivey