Together by Emma Dodd

Together by Emma Dodd

Together by Emma Dodd; illustrated by Emma Dodd. 2016. illustrated credited digitally.

Brief Summary: An otter and her pup spend the day together watching the time go by as the mom gathers food and cherishes the time together arm-in-arm.

Comments: Sweet and touching story of a mother and her baby. Pages have shiny paper to make the water sparkle. One from the Emma Dodd’s Love You Books series. For babies to preschoolers. Love will be coming out on Dec. 13, 2016.

love

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I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino

I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino

I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. 2016. India ink on vellum.

Brief summary: Story explains its history beginning with “I am a story. I was told around a campfire…” and continues going through the years of how people shared stories such as cave drawings, clay tablets, and up to electronic tablets.

Comments: This is a simple but important book that will teach students the timeline of story sharing. I would use this book as a springboard to also talk about how information is shared.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep by April Pulley Sayre

Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep by April Pulley Sayre

Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep by April Pulley Sayre; illustrated by Steve Jenkins. 2016. Ink, cut and torn paper collage.

Brief summary: In rhyming prose, we see how the four types of squirrels(red, gray, fox, and flying) live in the forest. They gather food, climb trees, and get ready for winter.

Comments: This is a book that could be shelved in the easy section as well as nonfiction.

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In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson

In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson

In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. 2016. Pencil, colored pencils, and water color.

Brief summary: A grandfather and his sweet granddaughter, Sophie, play a game of seek and find each day after school.

Comments: Young readers will enjoy looking for the objects in these beautifully, detailed illustrations.

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Nanette’s Baquette by Mo Willems

Nanette's Baquette by Mo Willems

Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems; illustrated by Mo Willems. 2016. “Handcrafted cardboard-and-paper constructions which were photographed and digitally integrated with photographed illustration and additions.”

Brief summary: Nanette is sent to the baker for the first time to get a baguette which her temptation get the better of her. She confesses to her mother that yes, she did go to the baker and bought the baguette, but ate it unable to control her temptation for the warm and wonderful smelling bread. Her mother takes Nanette to the baker, Juliette, to get another when the mother follows the same lack of control and gobbles up the bread as well.

Comments: Silly, exaggerated rhyming that children find delightful in repeating all of the words that rhyme with Nanette. There are photos in the back of how the illustrations are made for the book.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

I Don’t Want to Be Big by Dev Petty

I Don't Want to Be Big by Dev Petty

I Don’t Want to Be Big by Dev Petty; illustrated by Mike Boldt. 2016.

Brief summary: Frog tells his father he does not want to grow up and be big. His father talks to his son about the things he can do when he is big.

Comments:  This is a simple but humorous story that students can relate to Frog’s predicament.  Cute and humorous story. This is the sequel to I Don’t Want to Be a Frog.

idontwanttobeafrog

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army of America by Erin Hagar

Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman's Land Army of America by Erin Hagar

Doing Her Bit: A Story About the Woman’s Land Army by Erin Hagar; illustrated by Jen Hill. 2016. Painted in gouache and Adobe Photoshop.

Brief summary: This story is based on Helen Stevens’s life of becoming a 1917 Woman’s Land Army of America member and becoming a a farmerette. With many men away to fight in WWI, there was a shortage of farmers. There was a lot of doubt that women could do the hard farm work.  Women would go to camps to be trained and then to local farms to work thus feeding the country and allies.

Comments: This is another grit story about not giving up and getting the job done no matter how hard it became. There are photos on the front and back pages reminding us just how farming was in the early twentieth century unlike the agricultural technology we have now.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis

I Am Not a Number by Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis  and Kathy Kacer and illustrated by Gillian Newland. 2016. Water color, ink, and pencils.

Brief summary:“…You are 759.” I am not a number. I am Irene Couchie, daughter of Ernest and Mary Ann Couchie.” Irene lives on Nipissing First Nation with her father, (the Chief of the community), her mother and several brothers and sisters. One day an Indian agent comes to take three of them to a residential school, as they are considered to be wards of the government. If there is opposition, the parents will be fined or sent to jail. Terrified, the three go with the agent where they are separated into groups of boys and girls.

They lose their names to being called numbers instead. They have to shower in ice water, wear a uniform, and have their hair cut. Having one’s hair cut by Sister Mary was more then a simple cut. In Irene’s culture, one cuts the hair if a loved one dies. Long hair is considered beautiful and something to wear proudly. They have to eat porridge and stale bread while the nuns and teachers eat steak and potatoes. They are not allowed to speak in their native tongue. If they do, a physical lesson involving a wooden spoon or strap would be put into effect. They are forced to attend mass which is the only time Irene  sees her brothers.

Summer finally comes. They are permitted to return home where they slowly tell their parents of the abusive lessons they endured; begging never to return to the school. The father hides his children when the agent comes to get them. Irene’s father lies and tells him the children are not there. The two men have a stare down. The agent does not return.

Comments: This story is based on the childhood of the author’s  grandmother, Irene Couchie Dupuis, who was an Anishinaabe woman.  Photos are included. Back pages tell about the Residential School System in Canada and an afterword about these types of schools. There is also a back section explaining the laws and how they have changed. An apology is cited.  I was surprised how recent the laws were put in place. I thought these type of residential schools all happened decades ago.

These are the stories that must be told,  and I am thankful that Dr. Dupuis does share the horrific residential school experience of her granny. I would suggest this for intermediate students as some of the scenes are difficult but would make thoughtful and heartfelt discussions. I highly recommend this book for parents and teachers to discuss and understand how indigenous citizens were treated. The illustrations are serious and dark at times but superbly enhance and coincide with the story.  I would like to see more of these stories shared to make sure this injustice never happens again to children. I feel this is a must for every library collection.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre

Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre

Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre; illustrated by April Pulley Sayre. 2016. Photography.

Brief summary: Superb photos of snow in nature with all its forms and shapes. Begins with snow on a squirrel’s nose and then explores how snow looks and forms in the forest with snow in its full water cycle and then ending on a squirrel’s nose again.

Comments: Very well done. You really need to see it to appreciate the beauty of this book. I can’t imagine the patience it took to get all of these high end photos of the various forms of snow and in the forest. I nominate this as the number one winter book this year. I would suggest pairing it with her companion that came out last year, Raindrops Roll. I can’t wait to see what she creates next.

raindropsroll

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus; illustrated by Evan Turk. 2016. Watercolor, paper collage, cotton fabric, cotton, gouache, white china marker, colored drawing pencils, embroidery thread

Brief summary:  Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, tells about ashram life including one of the eleven vows that he found the most difficult to understand: wastefulness. He throws away a small pencil and is told by his Bapuji to go into the night and find it. Arun continues to journey with his grandfather trying very hard to understand how waste can be a violent action. He is told to make a tree  with violence as the trunk and two branches of physical violence and passive violence. He added to it noticing the passive violence branch was getting to be very large. Arun was beginning to understand he was responsible for his thoughts and actions.

Comments: This is the companion to Grandfather Gandhi. There is a note from the author telling how Arun lived with his grandfather from ages 12-14.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).