With the start of a new school year just around the corner, it’s nice to have someone you can trust to take the edge off. The latest titles from our favorite authors for primary readers may just fit the bill. From fiction to nonfiction, these books promise to deliver exactly what you expect—a great story and the comfort of finding an old friend.
FLEMING, Denise. UnderGround. S &S/Beach Lane. 2012. ISBN 9781442458826. JLG Level: NEK: Nonfiction Early Elementary (Grades K-2)
Caldecott medalist, Denise Fleming, has a new book on the horizon. While a boy plants a tree, the ground below is full of activity. From insects and animals to found objects, children will delight in the vibrant collage illustrations that are signature to Fleming’s style. Rhyming text makes it a perfect read aloud. And what child doesn’t like to dig in the dirt?
ISADORA, Rachel. There was a Tree. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. 2013. ISBN 9780399257414. JLG Level: K: Kindergarten (Grades PreK-K)
It’s time to sing with popular author, Rachel Isadora. Also known as “The Green Grass Grew All Around,” Isadora’s new book is her version of the popular folk song, set in Africa. The tree is an acacia where a baby bird is about to hatch. Children will want to sing along with you. You may even find yourself humming the tune (sheet music included) as you go through your day.
COLE, Henry. Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. Scholastic. 2012. ISBN 9780545399975. JLG Level: P: Primary (Grades K-1)
Illustrator of dozens of picture books, Cole takes a step into uncharted territories and creates a haunting wordless book about the Underground Railroad. A young farm girl discovers a runaway slave and struggles with her own fears while she decides whether to help him. Readers will see the compassion in the beautiful graphite illustrations. Great for a unit on the Civil War, kids could write the text that accompanies the art.
SMITH, Lane. Abe Lincoln’s Dream. Roaring Book. 2012. ISBN 9781596436084. JLG Level: P+: Primary (Grades K-1)
Children of all ages love the works of Lane Smith. In this new tale, a schoolgirl loses her way during a visit to the White House. When she enters the Lincoln bedroom, she discovers his ghost who has concerns about the current state of the country. As they fly across America, his fears are assuaged in this funny but thought-provoking new story.
Junior Library Guild is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com.
This article was featured in School Library Journal's Extra Helping enewsletter. Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to your inbox for free.