Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reference Sunday: What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabar with Raymond Obstfeld illustrated by Ben Boos & A.G. Ford

What Color is My World? The Lost History of African American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabar with Raymond Obstfeld and illustrated by Ben Boos & A.G. Ford is a great new book that tells the stories of some unsung American Inventors.   It is told in a picture book format with a set of twins to guide the story along.   I had no idea that Kareem Abdul-Jabar was such a history buff. I was aware of him but I didn't really know much about him.  I did a little research and found out he loves history and is an accomplished author. So in my mind this not just another celebrity book.  I love the illustrations too....very beautiful and accessible.

   I have always been very curious and would have loved to have this book as a child.   The story follows a set of twins who banter back in forth and keep the story moving.  I like the idea of taking fiction and wrapping it around non-fiction, that way it doesn't seem like a history book.   So many inventors I never knew about which is always the best part of learning history.....discovering something new.   This is a great book for the inquisitive child in your life....a perfect way to teach without "teaching".....

(Oh and I think it might inspire some children to become engineers especially since it tells how  the Super Soaker Squirt gun was invented by Lonnie Johnson a nuclear engineer!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flashback Tuesday: Chinese New Year's Dragon by Rachel Sing illustrated by Shao Wei Liu

Happy Chinese New Year!   This year is the year of the favorite (can you guess why?)  I always liked the dragon the best and not because of the obvious reason.   It is the only animal symbol that is a mythical creature....not a "real" animal.  

Chinese New Year's Dragon by Rachel Sing and illustrated beautifully by Shao Wei Liu is a great way to learn about this wonderfully colorful and tradition filled holiday.   There is a mix of story, fantasy and family customs that I truly enjoyed.   This is a sweet classic story to settle down and read with your children at this festive time of year.   Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hugs From Pearl by Paul Schmid

Whew I almost missed it... Today is National Hug Day!   I like the idea of is warm and friendly and does make me feel better....especially if it comes from someone I love.  

Hugs From Pearl written and illustrated by Paul Schmid is a wonderfully sweet new book that is sure to become a family favorite.   I love little Pearl because even though her hugs are "ouchy" everyone still loves to get them.   I love her sweet face....Mr Schmid really captures the innocence of childhood in her expressions.   This is a beautiful read aloud that I would have loved to read at story time.  Perfect for a one on one read aloud or for a group....either way a lovely book to share with a child.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reference Sunday: We March by Shane W. Evans

We March written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans is a wonderful new book that simply explains one of the most important dates in American history and the Civil Rights Movement.  This period of time is hard to explain in many words on a good day.  The fact that Mr Evans has done it simply and beautifully without too much fuss is a testament to his talent.   This beautiful book is the perfect introduction to help explain a turning point in our history.   Dr King would be proud....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Three Kings Day!

In my family the Christmas holidays are not over until the Epiphany, January 6th.  My Mom always celebrated the twelve days of Christmas.   On Three Kings she would make a special dessert, we of course would get a present.  When I was younger my Dad and I watched a TV Special called the Fourth Wise Man starring Martin Sheen.  He really loved it.   I didn't know until I was older that it is a classic story written by Henry Van Dyke.  Here are two versions of both Three Kings and the Fourth Wise Man that you might want to add to your collection of Christmas books!

We Three Kings by Gennady Spirin is a beautifully illustrated version of the Christmas Carol.   Love her work.

The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke and illustrated by Robert Barrett is a beautiful version of the this classic story.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn illustrated by Julia Denos

Happy New Year!   I was out window shopping today and came across a book that reminded me of my niece Celia.  I can't believe that she is pretty much a grown up now and all I could do is think of how she was when she was a little girl.  The girl in this new picture book reminded me of her.

I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by Julia Denos is the story of a little girl who loves a certain dress and wears it on her favorite day of the week.  As time goes by the dress needs her Mom constantly reinvents the dress into something else.   The reason this reminded me of niece is because she has always loved clothes and would change her outfits a couple of times a day.   She too had a favorite dress that sadly became too small and when she tried to put it on again she got stuck in it.   I smile when I think of my sister trying to help her out the dress without cutting it off.   This is the perfect book for a little girl (or grown up girl) who loves to dress up or just loves clothes.  It is a great reminder at New Year's too that time moves on even if we don't want it to.   I love the way this is written and whimsical illustrations.   A fun new book for the New Year!