Friday, May 27, 2016

Recommended Picture Book: Trainbots by Miranda Paul

Title: Trainbots

Author: Miranda Paul

Illustrator: Shane McG

Publisher: Little Bee Books, June 7, 2016 (pre-release review)

Topic: trains, robots, superheros

Age: 4-8

Opening: Trainbots drawing, sawing, building.

Summary: Trainbots have a ton of work to do in order to get their cargo to its destination. Little do they know, badbots are scheming to stop the delivery. These trainbots will have to use creativity and teamwork to outsmart the badbots and save the day.

Resources: (coming soon)

Why I like this book:
Author Miranda Paul takes three popular children’s themes, robots, trains and superheroes, and fuses them to create a fun, silly, fast-paced story for children ages 4-6. As a teacher, I appreciate the use of rhyming language and advance vocabulary introduced in Trainbots. From planning, drafting, to engineering, and locomotive parts, children will enjoy this fun, less structured book during lessons on trains. It is definitely a 'bot-tastic book to read-aloud over and over again! 

The illustrations are simple and entertaining. I can see children enjoying looking for hidden badbots on each page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Book Review: #BabyLove My Social Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

Title: #BabyLove My Social Life

Author: Corine Dehghanpisheh

Illustrator: Corine Dehghanpisheh

Publisher: Book Baby, July 9, 2015

Topic: Bedtime, Social Media,

Age: 2-4 (and adults)

Opening: As I awake, a recording begins with family love and many grins.

Summary: An adorable baby tells a modern tale about life in today's digital world.

Book Review:

When baby wakes up, his day begins with a click. Likes, hearts and thumb ups follow him throughout the day as his parents snap, record and post his every move to social media and networks. 

A modern day tale from the point of view of a baby showcases how we use (and in my own personal opinion, sometimes overuse) technology and social media to stay connected with family and friends. I believe parents who enjoy capturing and sharing their children’s milestones and activities will find #BabyLove My Social Life entertaining. 

While I was not a huge fan of the illustrations, they are bright and colorful and will be sure to catch the eyes of little ones. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Recommended Picture Book: One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck

Title: One Word from Sophia

Author: Jim Averbeck

Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail

Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers

Topic: Interpersonal communication, Family life, Giraffe, Birthdays,

Age: 4-8

Opening: Sophia's birthday was coming up and she had five things on her mind - One True Desire and four problems.

Summary: All Sophie wants for her birthday is a pet giraffe, but as she tries to convince different members of her rather complicated family, mother, father, Uncle Conrad and Grand-mama, to support her cause, each tells her she is using too many words until she finally hits on the perfect one.

A study guide can be found here at the author's website.
Check out the back of the book for the glossary. There are different words used for 'using too many words' discuss them and perhaps help child(ren) look up more words that can mean the same thing.
Make a list of other Quadruped animals.

This was such a fun book to read. You can tell this young lady comes from a family of well versed and educated people. She is ready to take on the challenge of getting a pet giraffe and she is quite prepared with charts, presentations, slideshows, graphs and even a foot rub. But each time she is told she is using too many words. Following her attempts to make the perfect argument is precious and entertaining. I love the fact that the author chose to use vocabulary specific to each of her family members' professions. The glossary in the back of the book will be useful in extended learning activities. This book would do well in any home and classroom library.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Recommended Picture Book: A Rock is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston

Title: A Rock is Lively

Author: Dianna Hutts Aston

Illustrator: Sylvia Long

Publisher: Chronicle Books, Aug 17, 2012

Topic: Science: Geology, Rocks, Soil, Minerals

Age: 5-8

Opening: A rock is lively.....bubbling like a pot of soup deep beneath the earth's crust...

Summary: A rock is many things. It is lively, mixed up, surprising, helpful, creative, inventive and so much more. Here is a simple introduction to the science of rocks and minerals.

Chronicle books provide a compiled lesson plan with activities for Dianna Aston's three books, An Egg is Quiet, A Butterfly is Patient, A Seed is Sleepy, A Nest is Loud, and A Rock is Lively.

A to Z kids stuff has various activities that explores rocks.

A beautifully illustrated book paired with poetic prose gives way to a stunning lesson on rocks, soil and minerals. Perfect for the classroom, flowing and lyrical text gives way to informative data on different kinds of rocks and minerals. Children are introduced to the life cycle of rocks, chemical makeup and diversity of rocks. This book brought back a lot of good memories of my childhood which was spent digging around in dirt and finding rock treasures. I loved cracking open rocks to see what beauty they held inside. How I wish I had this book growing up. This is a classroom must have!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2016

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

Title: The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid

Author: Janet Balletta

Illustrator: Estella Mejia

Publisher: WRB Publishing, November 29, 2013

Topic: Multicultural, Colombian Legends, Mermaids, Morals & Values: Obedience, Cultures and Traditions: Religious observance: Good Friday

Age: 5-8

Opening: A long time ago in a town called Valledupar, Colombia, lived a young girl, her little brother, and their parents in a house at the edge of the Guatapuri River.

Summary: Young Judith and her little brother plays by the side of the Guatapuri river known to have mermaid who loves to steal children who disobey the rule of swimming during the holy week leading to Good Friday. When her brother goes missing, she must summon her courage and find a way to get her brother back before the mermaid turns him into a mermaid too.

The author provides a teaching guide at the end of the story. It includes a vocabulary list and discussion questions.

Other extended learning activities could include:
Research Colombia. It's people, currency, weather, holidays, language, education, games, etc.
Research Guatapuri River. Where is it located? How long/deep is it? What kind of animals live in and around the river?
Compare and Contrast: Religious or cultural traditions are different for each family or community. How does your family or community observe Good Friday or other religious or cultural holiday similar to it?
All About Legends? What is a legend? How are legends different from myths? Do you know any legends from your country, state, or town?

The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid combines Colombian cultural and religious traditions surrounding the Good Friday holiday. The legend follows that a young girl disobeyed her parents and went swimming in the river during the holy observance of Good Friday, something that was strictly forbidden. The young girl disappeared into the river and was said to have turned into a mermaid. Now, La Sirena, lonely, wants playmates to keep her company. So she steals children who come to swim in the river during the Holy Week of Good Friday.

Judith and her brother are like most children, they love the outdoors and they live near a river and love to go swimming. While they know well the legend of the mermaid, La Sirena, they still proceed to go playing at the edge of the river, despite their parents warning not to. The minute Judith turns away from her younger brother, he goes missing. Frantic, she gets help from the animals native to the river. They help her come up with a plan to win her brother back from La Sirena before it is too late and she turns him into a mermaid forever.

This story is nice in that children and students are introduced to a legend from another country and culture. They are introduced to a religious holiday practiced among many Christians and Catholics. Teachers and parents have the opportunity to help their students research a new culture with different traditions. Children can learn about Colombia, the Guatapuri River, animals that live in that area. While the story did feel a bit didactic and did a lot of 'telling' as oppose to 'showing', it is nice to see stories that promote religious and cultural morals and values such as obedience, faith, honesty and courage, values that are universally shared around the world. While I could appreciate the story, I was not a huge fan of the illustrations. There was one illustration though that really stood out, it looked like it was done in oil paints on canvas, drastically different from the other illustrations. It was really pretty.

Mission: The Multicultural Children's Book Day team’s mission is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can view them here.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Classroom Reading Challenge:
Help spread the word on our  Classroom Reading Challenge . This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children's book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.
What we could really use some help with is spreading the word to your teacher/librarian/classroom connections so we can get them involved in this program. There is no cost to teachers and classrooms and we've made the whole process as simple as possible. You can help by tweeting the below info:
 Teachers! Earn a FREE #Multicultural Kids Book for Your Classroom! #teachers, #books #teacherlife

The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book! #teachers, #books