Friday, February 22, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Tea Cakes for Tosh

Title: Tea Cakes for Tosh
Author: Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrator: E. B. Lewis
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile, December 6, 2012
Age: 5 and up

Topics: History: African American, Slavery, Relationship: family, Grandmother-grandson, Heritage: tea cake tradition-recipe

Opening: Tosh loved when his grandma Honey baked her golden tea cakes. The cookies smelled like vanilla mixed with sunshine. The taste warmed his heart, just like Honey's stories of courage did.

Book Summary:
Tosh loves his grandmother's tea cakes and the story that goes with it. But when his grandmother begins to forget things, including how to make the family's time treasured tea cakes and their family story, he helps by making the cakes and telling her the story.

The author's website is filled with great activities including a discussion and genealogy guide.
The book includes a recipe for Tea Cakes used in the book.

Why I like this book:
Tea Cakes for Tosh is about a boy who helps his grandmother remember a long and cherished family tradition. It is a warming and heartfelt story that emphasis's the relationship of family, time honored traditions, treasuring family history and love and compassion. It is so important to remember and pass along our history to the next generation. A tradition as simple as tea cakes carries great significance to African American heritage. Unfortunately, it is one of many African American traditions that are being forgotten. Tea Cakes for Tosh is a must have in every home and school.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Flap! by Alison Hertz

FLAP!FLAP! by Alison Hertz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twins Katie and Max decide to teach their little sister how to fly. Only, it is a lot harder than they expected.

This is such a cute story. I laughed at how creative and enthusiastic the kids were while trying to get their little sister, Lily, airborne. I was just tickled watching Lily be such a good sport. Crash after crash, Lily stays optimistic about her siblings approach to teaching her how to fly.I love the end. Kids will learn that when you try and put lots of effort in what you want, succeed or fail, you will have lots of fun!

Flap! will have you laughing with each crash, bump and thud all the while anticipating their next move. Flap! makes a fun read-aloud book.

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recommended Picture Book: Redwoods by Jason Chin

Title: Redwoods

Author: Jason Chin

Illustrator: Jason Chin

Publisher: Flash Point; March 17, 2009

Suitable for: 4 and up

Topics: Nature, Forest, Redwoods

Opening: The coast redwoods are among the oldest trees in the world. Their ancestors lived about 165 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.

Book Summary: When a boy riding the subway finds an abandoned book about redwoods, strange things happen. An ordinary train ride becomes an extraordinary trip to the great and ancient redwood forest.  

Links to resources:
Lesson Plan and Activities (suitable for 4th graders and up) 
Redwoods Coloring Pages here and here
Redwood National Park coloring page.
Redwood EdVenture has many websites that teachers and parents can use ranging from kindergarten - high school
Into the Redwood Forest (lesson plans suitable for 3rd-5th grade levels):

Why I like this book:
I was really impressed with this book. Non-fiction at its best! It is filled with amazing facts about redwoods. But what makes this truly a fun book to read, are its illustrations. The illustrations show a boy who goes on a fantastic journey, his world transforming in front of him as he reads about the redwoods. For example when he reads that some redwoods started from seeds during the roman times, he finds two Roman citizens are sitting next to him. When he reads that the trunk of some redwoods are wide enough to let a car through it, he jumps out of the way of a car passing by. When he learns that redwoods can make their own rain, he stands in the middle of an artificial rainfall. This book is the next best thing to being in the redwood forest in person! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Buzz: Which Prophet Am I? by Tanya Andrious

Which Prophet Am I? by Tanya Andrious.
This book is about knowing the prophets in an innovative way.
Children need to read and then guess who was that prophet they read about.

Which prophet Am I

About the Author:
Tanya loves to create alchemy between creativity and originality when her nose isn't in a book and she's not traipsing around the soccer field. "Instigating Creativity" AKA Tanya Andrious is a non-fiction children’s writer and freelance editor. Her first non-fiction children’s book is set to be published January 2013. Her additional published work includes 2 articles for Azizah Magazine (w/ a 3rd to be published late 2013), a short-short story, children’s short story and an academic essay.

Which prophet Am I About the Book:

Tanya developed a different, original format rather than the usual detailed story about the Prophets (peace be upon them), focusing instead on short, important key elements of each Prophet while keeping the child's attention at the same time. Which Prophet Am I? Pt.1 and 2 is geared towards children ages 4-10, where both parents and children can enjoy reading together or for the child to enjoy independently.

Would you like to support a great project?

Well here is your chance. Tanya is in the process of creating part 2 of her series "Which Prophet Am I?" Her goal is to re-ignite the creative mindset of Muslims and enhance the Muslim children’s writing genre’ through her project, Instigating Creativity. In order to do so, Tanya is looking for donations to help pay for illustrations on Pt. 2 of Which Prophet Am I? Please consider showing support for this wonderful project.

You may buy the book here.