Windows by Patrick Guest; illustrated by Jonathan Bentley. 2020. Published by Starry Forest Books.
Brief summary: Various children from different countries look out their window as the world goes by during the pandemic waiting for when they can once again go out and visit and hug love ones again.
Comments: All of those various grandpas standing underneath their grandchild’s window pulls at my heart. This is a bright and positive book about staying inside during the pandemic until given the okay to come out.
It is based on the author’s experience as a medical worker who was forced to isolate from his family to keep them safe.
Brief summary: Seven kids from around the world(Russia, Peru, Japan, Uganda, Iran, Italy and India) share what their lives are like in an average weekday including meals, school, family, and home life.
Comments: Love this book! It is set up to show the timeline of the day and then with each country’s traditional home, family, breakfast, school clothing, schools, meals, play, activities, and so forth. The back has a photo of each family featured in the book. Glossary in the back. Front and back pages have a map with each child’s country pointed out. This would be a great book to share and then to have students write and illustrate those same activities in their lives. Dewey is 305.23 but not a narrative nonfiction. This is a book that will help students understand others around the world and how we do things the same or differently.
Brief summary: School is built one day and named Frederick Douglas Elementary. Janitor is cleaning him and shares that teachers and children will fill him soon. School learns about the children on the first day of school and what they do inside of him. At the end of the day, School tells Janitor that the whole time before he thought of himself as the Janitor’s house. Janitor explains that the children will be visiting all school year.
Comments: Cute story to read during the first day of school. I would also read this during a personification or perspective unit of study.
Brief summary: Two bad children are cruel to a turtle and a red bird. As they are chasing the poor little bird up the mountain, a wizard turns them into monkeys. They are caught and put in a circus. The two are released and run into the forest to live where the little red bird talks to them. This is not a happily-ever-after ending.
Comments: Stories without words. Good for predictions unit of study. Great explanation of the Japanese way of telling wordless stories–e-toki and kamishibai. Story with a moral. I plan to read this at the beginning of the year to teach about gaito kamishibi in my stories without words unit. This would be a good book to use at the beginning of the school year when reviewing the procedures and rules of the school to teach students that there are consequences for bad choices.