I don’t blog much about my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei. It’s not because she’s a teenager (8th grade!) though that would be reason enough. One reason is that she hates being photographed.
The elusive Grasshopper and Sensei.
She’s never wanted to in the spotlight. She hates that. She’s a pretty wonderful kid though. Very kind (doesn’t get that from me or my husband!). Emotionally atuned to the collective vibe in any room and highly motivated to make sure that everyone gets along.
They don’t intentionally dress alike any more but what do you know?! Read more…
I am delighted to have Lindsey and Dana, the two Children’s Librarians behind Jbrary
, guest posting today!! They have a wonderful YouTube channel that is all about storytime songs, and today they have a list of picture books you can sing before, during or after reading! Not only is singing fun, but it is one of the five early literacy skills parents can strengthen with children.
Without further ado, here they are:
One of the best parts about being a Children’s Librarian is all the singing we get to do! But singing certainly shouldn’t end at storytime. This list features 10 of our favourite multicultural picture books you can use to encourage singing anytime. Read more…
It’s my turn to choose the Picture Book of the Day and I picked the 2014 Seibert Winner, Parrots Over Puerto Rico. I thought we’d explore parrots today with a non-fiction picture book, a singalong parrot picture book and an easy reader with a naughty parrot.
Next, I clear up confusion that I have about parrots versus Macaws versus Cockatoos. This will help because I want you to meet some parrot friends. Finally, I am giving away all three books! I hope you enjoy this little parrot adventure! Please share your favorite parrot books!
Picture Book of the Day
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Once, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican parrots flew over Puerto Rico where they had lived for millions of years. But by 1937, only about two thousand Puerto Rican parrots, known locally as iguaca, remained in El Yunque, a tropical rainforest in the Luquillo Mountains to the east. By 1975, only thirteen parrots were left. Thanks to efforts by conservationists, a recovery program was set up. But with challenges from mother nature including thunderstorms and hurricanes, will the iguaca survive?
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is the 2014 Seibert Winner!
[picture book, ages 5 and up]
Do your kids love book trailers as much as my kids do? It’s a great way, I’ve found, to get kids interested in a book and these days children’s book trailers can be as exciting as movie trailers!
It’s also new medium for creative types like illustrators and authors to play in. And if they have a background in art like Jarrett Krososczka who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, then WATCH OUT because you are in for a treat!
I’m so excited to debut his trailer for his newest picture book, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish!!!
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett Krosoczka
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are the best of friends. They swim up. They swim down. They swim all around. Except near Crabby, who never has anything nice to say to them. “You two swim like humans” is the least of his insults.
Then one day Crabby is caught in a lobster trap and needs their help! Should they help him? It’s Peanut Butter and Jellyfish to the rescue! Crabby might be afraid of heights . . . but will he be brave enough to apologize?
If you want to preorder Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, please click on image to purchase from Amazon. I’m an affiliate.
I chose a Creek folk tale today for Picture book of the Day and wanted to explore both the story, its influences, and make connections to learn more about the Muscogee (Creek) people. I hope you enjoy this exploration!
The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendents of a remarkable culture that, before 1500 AD, spanned all the region known today as the Southeastern United States. Early ancestors of the Muscogee constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers of this region as part of their elaborate ceremonial complexes. The historic Muscogee later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys in the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
from Muscogee Nation
The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Ramon Shiloh
When the spotted frog warns everyone of a great flood that threatens to destroy all life on earth, only Listener the otter takes heed. He builds a raft and ties it to the tallest tree and thus is able to survive. While this picture book is a Creek creation myth, it is interesting to note that the Creek people may also have incorporated Bibilical stories into their own oral tradition. Doesn’t this story remind you a little of Noah’s Arc?
There is another interesting twist after the great flood subsides. Listener the otter turns into a human and you find a reference to Greek Mythology’s Metis story regarding his wife! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Live cast of the awards is here! Here are the winners and honor books!
Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2014
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
2014 Caldecott Winner
Locomotive by Brian Floca
2014 Caldecott Honor Books
Journey by Aaron Becker
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
To celebrate Todd Parr‘s newest padded board books: Doggy Kisses 123 and Animals in Underwear ABC, I’m teaming up with Christina of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to do a 4 animal picture book giveaway!! Yay!!
We love Todd Parr! Our first Todd Parr picture book was It’s Ok to be Different! and I read it to my oldest when she was in Kindergarten after her classmate’s mom recommended it to me, as a message that would help her son handle questions of why he had two moms. My daughter did wonder that, but out of curiosity, not in a judging kind of way.
We also loved his The Thankful Book which is another gentle message about gratitude. We also liked his TV show. And I checked out his website and found wonderful activities for kids. Read more…
It could be that because I am getting excited for Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature on January 27th 2014 , I really got excited about the Marisol McDonald picture book series.
I grew up in Southern California but have been living outside Boston for the past 15 years. When I went to a friend’s birthday party in Southern California a decade ago — I kid you not — EVERY single child at that party of two dozen was of mixed race. That’s California for you!
My own kids are multi-racial Asians that we refer to in Hawaiian slang as a “Mixed Plate” in that they are 1/4 Japanese, 1/4 Chinese and 1/2 Korean. And American too, of course, because they were all born in Boston.
In the first picture book, Marisol doesn’t match because she has red hair and nut-brown skin. She likes peanut butter and jelly but nestled in a burrito. I’m glad these multi-racial messages are finally making it in picture book land because this kind of mixed up culture is very normal to me.
My name is Marison McDonald, and I don’t match because … I don’t want to!
I like being unique, different, and one of a kind.
A reader asked me for a list of picture books appropriate for 4th and 5th grade. I wasn’t sure myself. Sure, there are advanced picture books but does the list have to hit the Core Curriculum agenda? Don’t 4th and 5th graders want to read solely chapter books, having left picture books behind in 1st or 2nd grade?
So I searched the internet. I found teachers in 4th and 5th grade sharing their favorite picture books and this gave me the courage to add to their list with my own. I do think picture books are for everyone. And my final observation is how my middle school aged daughters will sidle into my bedroom when I’m reading a picture book to my 3rd grader (who only will read picture books when I force him to or when he’s left his chapter book at school mistakenly) and everyone will enjoy the story. Even if you have to use stealth to get picture books in front of older kids, it’s well worth it!
My list is a little heavy on Patricia Polacco and Jacqueline Woodson, but they are birds of a feather. Each shares their personal stories that resonate to include all of us. Eve Bunting has the gift of telling other people’s stories with great sensitivity as if they were her own history. Emily Arnold McCully tells stories that quietly inspire.
What is your favorite picture books for 5th Grade or 4th grade? Please share and I’ll add to the list!
Holocaust Picture Books for Kids
I have 34 Haunting Holocaust Books for Kids including picture books, chapter books and graphic novels but I chose these two for 5th grade. PickyKidPix touched on the Holocaust in 5th grade last year.
The Cats of Krasinki Square by Karen Hesse
Can cats outsmart the Gestapo? In Warsaw during WWII, the Gestapo have forced all Jewish men, women and children into a ghetto where they are being ravished through disease and starvation. Those who can escape and pass for Aryan must use their ingenuity to find a way to bring food to their friends. The cats of Krasinki Square can help outfox the Gestapo. In this story of courage amid horrific inhumanity, Hesse celebrates the Jewish Resistance and the cats who helped as well.