Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Club Roll Call: Where Middle School is the Dungeon

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club: Roll Call, Molly Knox Ostertag/Illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, (Nov. 2022, HarperAlley), $19.99, ISBN: 9780063039247

Ages 8-12

This graphic novel is just what I needed to booktalk D&D to my Corona Kids! Combining D&D fantasy roleplaying with fantasy storytelling, Roll Call is the first in a new series, written by the amazing Molly Knox Ostertag and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, who illustrates the 5 Worlds series – another series I can’t keep on my shelves. Olivia and Jess are best friends who make up incredible stories: it’s how they met on a school playground, and it’s brought them even closer in their 2-person Dungeons & Dragons campaign. They’re heading to middle school, which Olivia is really excited about. Jess? Not so much, especially when Olivia decides to expand their D&D campaign into a full-on school club. Not willing to share her game time and her best friend with anyone, Jess expresses her frustration through the game, and when it affects one of the new members of the club, Jess discovers that sometimes, you need to find room in your heart – and in your dungeon-raiding party – for new friends.

Ostertag’s got storytelling down, effortlessly moving back and forth between fantasy and reality. I’m excited for more backstory as the series develops; Jess is Diné from the Navajo Nation, living with her father, and playing a character named Sir Corius. Olivia is Afro-Latina, sporting hot-pink hair and can effortlessly rattle off character and monster stats, several of which are incorporated into the story; it gives readers a sense of game play. Having story characters create genderfluid, speciesfluid characters is wonderful, inviting readers to see what so many of us have known for a while: you don’t have to conform to any gender in the game. It says so in the Player’s Handbook! Bouma’s vibrant illustration creates personable characters and exciting fantasy settings. The whole story comes together beautifully and is an excellent choice for readers who are interested in gaming, fantasy, and realistic fiction. Display and booktalk these with any of your fantasy roleplaying graphic novels, like 5 Worlds and Dragon Prince; The Witch Boy; Popular MMOs and Dan TDM, and the Dungeon Academy middle grade novel series by Madeline Roux.

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Tales from the TBR: Heart Strings, Hedgehogs, and the Moon

Heart String, by Brooke Boynton-Hughes, (Dec. 2022, Chronicle Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781452181653

Ages 3-6

A string connects us all together: parents and children; neighbors and friends, we are all connected to one another and our world through this Heart String. Written as an ode to connection, Boynton-Hughes loving, gentle voice could be a teacher reading to their classroom, a parent to a child, or a friend to another. The repetitive phrase, “My heart is tied to yours” brings home the lovely sentiment that we are all together: “Across the garden, across the street, over the city and through the trees”; sharing emotions like joy and sorrow, no matter how near or far; our hearts are tied to each other as we work, play, learn and live. It’s a comforting thought that dispels anxiety and fear; we are part of a family, a neighborhood, a community, a world. Endpapers show a variety of people from all walks of life interacting and engaging with one another. Pencil and watercolor illustrations are soft, gently colorful, conveying a message of warmth and hope, with a warm, glowing string that goes from one person to the next as they work together in neighborhoods; console one another in times of grief; enjoy tea parties, and celebrate being together. A delightful readaloud for storytime collections.

For a fun post-storytime activity, print out some person templates and get some yarn. Ask families to decorate them and use the yarn to connect them. Who are they connecting to?

 

 

Hedgehog and the Art Show, by Özge Bahar Sunar/Illustrated by Ceyhun Sen, (Oct. 2022, Schiffer Kids), $14.99, ISBN: 9780764364617

Ages 4-7

Little Hedgehog is all set to start school, but has an accident the day before. His little fingers need to be bandaged up, but the teacher has announced that there will be a class art show! Little Hedgehog cannot write… with his fingers! He refuses to miss out on his first big art show, and finds ways to create his art using his quills and some leaves! In fact, his creativity inspires his friends to create their own original artwork, making the art show even more exciting. A sweet story of ingenuity and determination that inspires readers to think outside the box, Hedgehog and the Art Show lends itself to a great readaloud, especially for Kindergarten and first graders. Sentences are brief but expand on the basics, adding more details. Sen’s illustrations are textured, with swirling backgrounds and shades of greens, browns, and oranges.

Add this one to your art storytimes, and have plenty of mixed materials to create with for an after-story activity.

 

 

Mending the Moon, by Emma Pearl/Illustrated by Sara Ugolotti, (Nov. 2022, Page Street Kids), $18.99, ISBN: 9781645675600

Ages 4-8

One night, the moon shines so big and so brightly that it becomes to heavy to hold itself up and tumbles down, shattering as it crashes into our world. A girl named Luna witnesses the fall, and, horrified, wakes her grandfather. Grandfather gravely worries about the Earth without a moon, and the two set about collecting the pieces to mend the moon, aided by a group of forest animals. A gorgeously illustrated story with the fantastic feel of a legend, Mending the Moon will delight readers and get a workout as a storytime favorite. Breathtaking illustration shows a cadre of animals working side-by-side with Luna and Poppy; a purple and blue-tinged white backgrounds bring the moon’s cool beauty to the pages, and vibrantly colored animals and people alike are cartoony and kid-friendly. There is magic in every turn of the page as readers will wait breathlessly to find out whether or not the moon will make it back to the sky. Endpapers show a cool, crisp night with moths fluttering around the moon’s light, and Poppy and Luna’s cabin atop a mountain. Mending the Moon is a lovely starting point to talk about legend, STEM (moon concepts!), and the larger idea of working with nature to keep our world safe.

 

 

Posted in picture books

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Three Pockets Full

A boy wants no part of wearing a traditional Cuban shirt to a wedding that he does not want to attend in this heartfelt story of tradition and family.

Three Pockets Full, by Cindy L. Rodriguez/
Illustrated by Begoña Fernández Corbalán,
(Sept. 2022, Cardinal Rule Press), ISBN: 9781735345154
Ages 5-7

Beto won’t wear a guayabera to the wedding. Nope! Nunca! Not going to happen! Told through notes between Beto and his mother and through omniscient narration, this touching story contains Spanish vocabulary and there are gorgeous cultural details in the illustration. Filled with chuckle-worthy moments – Beto decides that his dog looks better in the shirt than he would – and moments that will move readers as the reason for Beto’s retience becomes clear, Three Pockets Full beautifully captures not only a cultural tradition, but touches on themes of grief, loss, and moving on. Rich artwork pairs with bold, easy-to-read text and makes this an excellent collection addition.

Visit Cardinal Rule Press’s webpage for a free, downloadable readers guide and coloring pages.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Multicultural Children’s Book Day so I could provide an honest review. No compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


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MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan HongAmanda Hsiung-BlodgettJosh Funk Stephanie M. WildmanGwen JacksonDiana HuangAfsaneh MoradianKathleen BurkinshawEugenia ChuJacqueline JulesAlejandra DomenzainGaia CornwallRuth SpiroEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoTonya Duncan EllisKiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers BooksKimberly Lee Tameka Fryer BrownTalia Aikens-NuñezMarcia Argueta MickelsonKerry O’Malley CerraJennie LiuHeather Murphy CappsDiane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John CoyIrene Latham and Charles WatersMaritza M MejiaLois PetrenJ.C. Kato and J.C.²CultureGrooveLindsey Rowe ParkerRed Comet PressShifa Saltagi SafadiNancy Tupper LingDeborah AcioAsha HagoodPriya KumariChris SingletonPadma VenkatramanTeresa RobesonValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingMartha Seif SimpsonRochelle MelanderAlva SachsMoni Ritchie HadleyGea MeijeringFrances Díaz EvansMichael GenhartAngela H. DaleCourtney KellyQueenbe MonyeiJamia WilsonCharnaie GordonDebbie Ridpath OhiDebbie ZapataJacquetta Nammar FeldmanNatasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik

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📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!

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It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Meet The Princess Inside!

It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day, and I’m thrilled to be a reviewer once again! I’m starting off this fantastic day of kidlit with a bilingual Spanish and English book by Dr. Nafeesah Allen: The Princess Inside.

The Princess Inside / La princesa en tu interior, by Dr. Nafeesah Allen, (Aug. 2022, Independently Published),
$12.99, ISBN: 979-8985038743
Ages 4-7

A child gazes into a mirror, seeing a princess inside – but she would rather wear overalls and sneakers than a gown and a crown! A rhyming story that takes aim at the role of clothes in gender identity and the conventional image of a princess, Dr. Allen writes empowering phrases like, “It doesn’t really matter what you wear. / The princess inside you is always there. No importa cuál sea tu atuendo.
/ La princesa estará allí, adentro” and “When you storm a building and
save the day… / That’s the princess inside showing you the way. Es tu princesa
interior quien te guía. Cuando entras en un edificio para salvar vidas…”. Clothes don’t make the princess, a can-do attitude and a willingness to change the world do. Uncluttered, colorful illustration and easy-to-read English and Spanish text make this a good readaloud to inspire and empower.

Image

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Multicultural Children’s Book Day so I could provide an honest review. No compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

🏅 Platinum SponsorsLanguage Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages

🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight

🏅 Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Rule Press Lee & Low, Barefoot BooksKimberly Gordon Biddle

🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian KirkfieldPatrice McLaurin Quarto GroupCarole P. RomanStar Bright Books, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans, Rent.com, Title Forward

Poster Artist:  Lisa Wee

 

Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan HongAmanda Hsiung-BlodgettJosh Funk Stephanie M. WildmanGwen JacksonDiana HuangAfsaneh MoradianKathleen BurkinshawEugenia ChuJacqueline JulesAlejandra DomenzainGaia CornwallRuth SpiroEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoTonya Duncan EllisKiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers BooksKimberly Lee Tameka Fryer BrownTalia Aikens-NuñezMarcia Argueta MickelsonKerry O’Malley CerraJennie LiuHeather Murphy CappsDiane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John CoyIrene Latham and Charles WatersMaritza M MejiaLois PetrenJ.C. Kato and J.C.²CultureGrooveLindsey Rowe ParkerRed Comet PressShifa Saltagi SafadiNancy Tupper LingDeborah AcioAsha HagoodPriya KumariChris SingletonPadma VenkatramanTeresa RobesonValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingMartha Seif SimpsonRochelle MelanderAlva SachsMoni Ritchie HadleyGea MeijeringFrances Díaz EvansMichael GenhartAngela H. DaleCourtney KellyQueenbe MonyeiJamia WilsonCharnaie GordonDebbie Ridpath OhiDebbie ZapataJacquetta Nammar FeldmanNatasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour Catchup: Turkey’s Valentine Surprise!

That festive, costume-loving Turkey is back to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Turkey’s Valentine Surprise, by Wendi Silvano/Illustrated by Lee Harper
(Dec. 2022, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781542023665
Ages 4-7

The sixth book in Wendi Silvano’s and Lee Harper’s Turkey series, Turkey wants to deliver valentines to all of his friends… in disguise! His friends figure him out every time – but Turkey’s never been one to give up. He’s got a surprise that will top every disguise! With adorable cartoon artwork that we’ve grown to know and love, and hilarious holiday puns aplenty, Plan on giving Turkey’s Valentine Surprise heavy readaloud rotation. The story lends itself to a post-readaloud activity, whether it’s making Valentines or disguising Turkey (there are fun templates available, or you can make your own!). Add this to your Turkey collections and holiday readalouds!

 

“Gobble, gobble! Grab this farmyard story full of Valentine’s Day puns…The spirit of Valentine’s Day shines bright in this caring community.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A must-have for any size library: school, public, or home.” ―School Library Journal

Wendi Silvano was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Oregon, Colorado, and Peru. The author of the Turkey Trouble series, she has a BA in early childhood education and taught preschool and elementary school for eleven years. She is the mother of five children and the owner of an assortment of odd pets that are not nearly as clever as Turkey. She now writes from her home in Colorado, where she enjoys hiking, reading, and playing the piano. Visit her online at wendisilvano.com.

Lee Harper is the author-illustrator of the books Coyote, The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, and Snow! Snow! Snow! Lee is also the illustrator of the Turkey Trouble series, by Wendi Silvano, as well as the Woolbur series, written by Leslie Helakoski. Lee has four children, a German shepherd, two barn cats, eleven chickens…but no turkeys. Yet. He lives with his wife in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Visit him online at leeharperart.com.

Posted in Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Jessie: Queen of the Road by Lindsay Ward

Lindsay Ward is back with another great story about women, vehicles, and their roles in history. Take a look at Jessie: Queen of the Road!

Jessie: Queen of the Road, by Lindsay Ward, (Jan. 2023, Two Lions)
$17.99, ISBN: 9781542034227
Ages 4-8

Beginning in the early twentieth century, Jessie is a young motorcycle – the only female motorcycle – riding down New York’s Riverside Drive, shrugging off the gasps of “unladylike!” and “Impossible!” Her determination and drive (pun intentional) lead her to accomplishments like summiting Pike’s Peak and crossing the United States, but she’s still turned down for World War I service: she’s still female. No problem! Meeting other female motorcycles, she goes on long rides and performs in stunt shows until an injury sidelines her. A group of Rosie the Riveter-like women put her back together, and this time, she’s accepted for service in World War II, carrying secret messages and classified documents. After a lifetime of service, Jessie is free to drive wherever she wants, knowing she’s made her place in history.

Inspired by adventuring women like Bessie Stringfield and the Van Buren Sisters, Jessie embraces women’s role in motoring history, embodying the women who laughed off claims of being “unladylike” and went joy riding on bicycles (it was a scandal!) or – GASP – motorcycles.  Ward’s voice, told from Jessie’s point of view, is determined, steady, and strong, with the repetitive phrase “Fast and strong, I won’t be slowed! In rain for shine, I’ll forge my road” sending a positive, powerful message to readers. Mixed media illustrations move from color illustration to black and white photos, giving readers a sense of history; Ward beautifully captures the time shift from the 1910s to post-War America, the wonders of a cross-country road trip, and the excitement of a stunt show. Back matter includes an author’s note, a timeline of women and riding, and more resources for further reading.

I can’t wait to see what other vehicles are waiting to tell Lindsay Ward their stories.

 

“A spunky tribute to early twentieth-century female adventurers.” —Booklist

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Rosie: Stronger than Steel, Between the Lines, This Book Is Gray, Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives with her family in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.

Twitter: @lindsaymward
Instagram: lindsaymward

Posted in Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

DC Original Graphic Novel Rundown

There’s a new batch of DC original graphic novels coming up, and trust and believe these will be on my shelves (and if my Kiddo has anything to say about it, my home shelves are included).

Shazam! Thundercrack, by Yehudi Mercado, (Feb. 2023, DC Comics), $9.99, ISBN: 9781779505026

Ages 8-12

Yehudi Mercado is the perfect author/illustrator to bring this fun Shazam tale to comic book life. Beginning with Billy Batson’s arrival at his new foster family home and bonding with his new foster brother, Freddy, the main plot kicks in pretty quickly: as Billy and Freddy tests the limits of Billy’s power when he’s Shazam, they realize that even when he’s in Billy’s form, he’s got some power moves – and that leads him to join the school football team. The only thing is, Billy isn’t much of a team player. He just doesn’t have that kind of trust in others, so when the chips are down for the team, why should Billy come through? Maybe because a rival school is using biotech experimentation that makes them very, very dangerous? Maybe because Billy’s foster dad drops some wisdom on Billy? Thundercrack is fun, easy reading that captures the light spirit of the 2019 movie (and the upcoming movie, Fury of the Gods). Mercado is at the top of his game when he’s writing everyday family comedy that balances with a pathos that understands each character’s backstory. Having the story take place within the DCU timeline has a nice link for readers who are versed in the cinematic universe; Freddy is a strong Number 1 to Billy and has his own spirited journey in the story, with vlog entries and commentary running through the story. Add this one to your middle grade graphic novel collections – kids aren’t getting nearly enough Shazam! in their comic book diets.

 

Bruce Wayne: Not Super, by Stuart Gibbs/Illustrated by Berat Pekmezci, (March 2023, DC Comics), $12.99, ISBN: 9781779507679

Ages 8-12

Another middle grade luminary takes the reins for this Bruce Wayne-Before-Batman story. Batman: Not Super is all about Bruce Wayne, who attends a super-special school. No, really, all the students have superpowers except for Bruce, who’s only there because his parents paid for the school to be built before they passed away. He’s rubbing shoulders with superhero elite here, but he’s not the most popular kid in school; he hangs out with an 11-year-old named Dick Grayson, whose gymnastic abilities got him into the school. He’s bullied by Clark Kent, who uses his x-ray vision to see through Bruce’s clothes and tell everyone what underwear he’s wearing that day. Things change when bully Jack Napier steals Dick’s ice cream money, though: Bruce has found his mission, and it’s to be a vigilante! Now, to just figure out how to get around his guardian, Alfred, who won’t let Bruce undertake any dangerous missions. Even when Dick overhears Jack telling Bane that they’re going to rob all the lockers while everyone is at the big game. Fast-paced dialogue and swiftly moving action come together with jokes and humor. Pekmezci’s artwork is a feast for superhero-loving eyes as the DC Middle School Universe unfolds in front of them: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are canoodling by the lockers; Penguin and Selina Kyle are here; Arthur Curry is more AquaKid than Aquaman, but he’s talking to the fish in the school fish tank, and Wonder Girl Donna Troy is Diana Prince’s younger sister. Sharp-eyed comics fans will catch some deep cuts, like Polka Dot Man, and comics fans of a *cough* certain age will appreciate the Bat Shark Repellent joke that finds its way into most Bat-humor. Bruce Wayne: Not Super is another home run for middle graders. Put this one on your shelves.

 

Teen Titans: Robin, by Kami Garcia/Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo, (March 2023, DC Comics), $16.99, ISBN: 9781779512246

Ages 13-17

The third in the Teen Titans series from Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo, Teen Titans: Robin is the fourth Teen Titans story that includes Raven, Beast Boy, and Beast Boy Loves Raven. Joined by Damian Wayne and Max Navarro, the group is on the run from Slade Wilson and H.I.V.E.; Dick Grayson leaves Gotham to find his younger brother, Damian. Damian resists getting to know his adopted brother, feeling like his father, Bruce, attempted to replace him, but Grayson just wants to get to know his brother and keep him and his friends safe. With equal emphasis on character growth, developing relationships, and action, this is a great addition to the series. Picolo does so much storytelling through his color changes and shading; he takes each color that readers and viewers familiar with the Titans will recognize and makes them part of the story, leaving Slade Wilson’s story gray and desolate. This one’s for the middle and high schoolers, but upper grade elementary schoolers may be interested, too.

I’ve been such a fan of these YA and middle grade books since they launched a few years ago. By bringing original graphic novels to kids and finding authors and illustrators that are standout names, they’re investing brand new generations of readers into comics and graphic novels.

Posted in picture books

Tales from the TBR: Sterling and Nugget the Dragon by Judd B. Shaw & Marrieta Gal

Sterling and Nugget the Dragon (Sterling the Knight #1), by Judd B. Shaw/Illustrated by Marrieta Gal, (Dec. 2022, Morgan James Kids), $9.95, ISBN: 9781631959356

Ages 4-7

A boy named Sterling believes that he must fell a dragon to become a knight. Nugget is a dragon who has no idea that the villagers nearby are terrified by him. When Sterling heads to Nugget’s cave to slay the beast, he discovers something quite different: Nugget is no fierce, man-eating dragon, but a friendly dragon who’s injured wing is causing him great pain. Morality wins the day as Sterling tends to Nugget’s injury; the two become friends, and decide together to show the villagers that bad reputations aren’t always earned. A story of kindness and compassion, Sterling and Nugget the Dragon is a delightful read for younger children, while teaching them a good message: it’s not always about the dragons you slay, but the dragons you save, that makes one a knight. Cartoon artwork is colorful and cheerful. A good additional addition to collections.

 

 

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Tales from the TBR: The Topsy Turvy Bus by Anita Fitch Pazner & Carolina Farías

The Topsy-Turvy Bus, by Anita Fitch Pazner/Illustrated by Carolina Farías, (March 2022, Kar-Ben Publishing), $17.99, ISBN: 9781728419497

Ages 4-8

Environmentalism is so much fun in this uplifting story inspired by a real-life powered by a real-life religious environmental agency whose biodiesel bus runs on “sunlight, veggie oil, and Torah”. Maddie and Jake are two students who are worried about the Earth after learning about all the environmental challenges the planet faces – pollution, overplanting, drilling and mining – but aren’t sure what to do until the Topsy Turvy Bus rolls into town, smelling like donuts thanks to biofuel power! Wren, the Topsy Turvy Bus driver, gets the class and teacher on board, and takes them all over town to introduce ways people are coming together to heal our planet; from worm farmers who help create healthy compost to nourish soil, to collecting discarded oil from food vendors to use as biofuel, the Topsy Turvy Bus has exciting lessons to teach. The upbeat story moves at an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand pace, with the repetitive phrase “Tikkun olam, tikkun olam, tikkun olam / Repair the world, repair the world, repair the world” running throughout. Artwork is bright, colorful, and kid-friendly, and the story is inspiring, spurring readers to action. Back matter includes notes on the actual Topsy-Turvy Bus and the concept of Tikkum olam; a glossary, and instructions for an easy-to-make compost bin. A fun story with an empowering message, The Topsy-Turvy Bus is a good addition to collections and storytimes; display this one with your Earth Day titles.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Love Made Me More imbues objects with love and magic

Love Made Me More, by Colleen Rowan Kosinski/Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, (Dec 2022, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781542006200

Ages 4-7

A boy and with brown skin and dark hair, and his grandmother with tan skin and greying hair sit at a table, folding origami cranes. The boy’s paper – “just a piece of paper – orange with white and blue spots” – transforms into Origami Crane, and his love for his Boy runs deeply. The feeling is mutual, as we see Origami Crane provide friendship and comfort, imagination and adventure. As the boy grows older, he and Crane go on fewer adventures, and when a new person enters the Boy’s life, Crane is momentarily upset: and then the Crane discovers that love can multiply, not divide. A superb story of the magic we give objects, Love Made Me More spans generations and illustrates the passage of rituals. Uncomplicated storytelling, narrated by the Crane, is moving and creates an invested relationship between the Crane and the Boy; children and adults alike will understand the relationship and the meaning of the phrase, “Love has made me so much more”: it’s the love, the memories, the feelings, that create our investment with certain objects. Digital illustrations have a hand-colored feel. The Crane gives off a warm glow during time spent with the Boy. Bright oranges and deep greens bring the spreads to life, and movement swirls around each spread: pieces of paper, dream journeys, tendrils of light. An excellent readaloud choice, Love Made Me More allows for discussions on our favorite objects and the memories they hold for us.

The Spruce Crafts has step-by-step instructions on folding a paper crane, complete with photos and a video.

Love Made Me More has a starred review from School Library Journal.

 

Colleen Rowan Kosinski is the author of A Home Again and the author-illustrator of Lilla’s Sunflowers and A Promise Stitched in Time. She received her BA from Rutgers University in visual art, is an alumna of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design, and spent many years as a successful freelance fine artist. Colleen calls New Jersey her home and resides there with her family. Learn more at http://www.colleenrowankosinski.com.

Sonia Sánchez is the illustrator of a number of picture books, including Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake, and The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier. Her books have been nominated for the Eisner Award and named a CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. She lives with her husband, her kids, and a sleepyhead cat in Barcelona, Spain.