On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex

On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex; illustrated by Adam Rex. 2020. Illustrated with Photoshop. Published by Chronicle Books.

Brief summary: A young girl wakes up with gum in her hair. Her father tries to remove it but gets the scissors stuck in the gum. Her father and sister go on the computer and find some websites that say butter could get the gum out, but the butter gets stuck as well. Pretty soon, various family members offer their advance only getting more and more things stuck in her hair. The fire department ends up coming to help, and the story continues getting crazier and funnier.

Comments: Students will love this accumulative tale with hilarious illustrations.

111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh

111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh; illustrated by Marianne Ferrer. 2020. Watercolor, gouache, and graphite. Published by Kids Can Press.

Brief summary: With the collaboration of Sundar Paliwal, young readers learn of this true story that takes place in a village called Piplantri, India. They celebrated the birth of a son with music and food, while the birth of a daughter was met with silence. Sundar, one of eleven children, walks with his mother each day for hours in the heat to collect water from a well. His mother is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies. Many years later, he grows up, marries, and becomes a father of three with two daughters and a son.

While working in a marble factory, Sundar sees how the mining takes away from the soil causing it to be dry. He asks the owners to plant trees to restore what was taken, but they refuse. He quits his job. After running for the village head, sarpanch, he wins. He lectures about changing traditions to honoring both boys and girls and shares how there are other countries that treat both sexes equally. He talks about water and electricity. He tells how the factory is killing the land and urges the village members to plant trees.

Soon, villagers begin to plant trees every time a girl is born. He brings engineers to his village where his people are taught to dig trenches to store water for drinking and to water the trees. When the termites come, they grow aloe vera plants to deter the insects. The trees begin to prosper bringing in fruit and animals. They decide to plant 111 trees every time a girl is born. Mothers and daughters take care of their trees and decorate them with ribbons and threads.

Comments: WOW. This story is amazing! One person CAN make a difference.

End pages include: More About Sundar and Piplantri, Why 111 Trees?, What is Gender Inequality?, Sundar’s Plan, Aloe Vera, Extraordinary Change, How Did Sundar Become an Eco-Feminist?, and Are You an Eco-Feminist?

Photos of Sundar and the trees are also included in the back.

The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt

The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt

The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt; illustrated by Chris Britt. 2016. Watercolor, acrylic, Tombow pencils H, HB, and 4H.

Brief summary: Drift was one of the first snowmen built at the beginning of winter and only has coal and sticks while all the other snowmen have mittens, hats, scarves, and carrot noses. One morning, a bunch of kids playing nearby see how plain Drift is and decide to dress him up by giving him some of their clothing making the snowman very happy.  The snowman decides to play with the children all day until the weather changes. After saying good-bye, a blizzard comes blowing off some of Drift’s new clothing.  In the middle of all of the windy snowfall, Drift comes across a small rabbit that is cold and hungry. The snowman kindly gives his few remaining  gifts to the rabbit–the scarf to keep it warm and his carrot nose to feed it. The snowman looks like he did at the beginning of the story, but has changed inside.

Comments: This is a sweet story about sharing. Children give some of their winter clothing to a stranger and make a new friend. The snowman pays it forward by giving his new gifts to a cold, hungry rabbit.

(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).

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts

Ladies of Liberty

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts; illustrated by Diane Goode. 2017. Pen, Sephid ink, Pan Pastels on Arches hot press watercolor paper.

Brief Summary: There is a letter of introduction explaining how the author referred to primary sources for her research–letters, records kept of organized societies or schools, journals, and books written by the women. Each one of the women has a two page spread with a drawing or two of her by the illustrator. The clothing and hair are that of the time period. There is a narrative biographical sketch of how the woman contributed to shaping the United States of America between 1796 and 1828. These women were educators, reformers, writers, religious organizers, explorers, settlers, and so on who were determined to make a difference.

Comments: These are woman who made a stepping stone and examples for others to follow with their commitment and grit. Companion to Found Mothers: Remembering the Ladies

founding-mothers

(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).

Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer

Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer

Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer; illustrated by Fran Preston-Gannon. 2016. Print and ink textures that were scanned and digitally manipulated.

Brief Summary: This story begins with an acorn becoming a tree and how the tree becomes the nest to a bird and continues connecting how all are in the forest ecology and depend on one another.

Comments: Very simple words. Each concept begins with “Because of…”  Illustrations are brilliant and full on each page. Back pages tell about white oak trees. Great book to share with students in an ecology unit.

(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).

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

(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).

 

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins; illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins. 2016

Brief Summary: Bruce became a bear mother of four geese earlier in the first book Mother Bruce after four eggs hatched on his stove. The geese imprinted upon the bear and followed him around everywhere he went. In the winter, Bruce migrates South with them although he really would like to have hibernated in his cave. That makes him very grumpy. When they all return home in the spring, he is even grumpier finding three mice have made his home into a hotel. He clears out the rodents but still has guests sleeping in his bed and eating in his kitchen. The mice return trying to take over. When a van of elephant guests arrive, Bruce loses his temper and throws everyone out of his house. Mother Bruce likes sitting back and enjoying the peace until his geese children convince him to let the three mice in out of the rain.

Comments: One hilarious situation after another. Readers can relate to bear’s grumpiness.

motherbruce

(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 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.

(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).

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.

(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).