Superb choices for sharing aloud or reading independently, picture book biographies make useful starting points for investigations of subjects that span the curriculum. This year’s selections includes artists, activists, and an aviatrix.
Like all youngsters, kids learning to read benefit from exposure to high-quality titles that blend well-written narratives with eye-catching illustrations. Formatted to support the needs of emergent readers, this year’s crop of offerings also capture the interest and imaginations of their audience with enticing subject matter and stirring storytelling.
From a soul-searing work of historical fiction to an array of dystopic tales that envision the not-so-distant future, four much-lauded young adult novels have been adapted for the big screen, all slated to premiere in November. Help teens make the connection between book and film by displaying, booktalking, and discussing these attention-worthy offerings.
It’s been a banner year for books about railroad trains, a topic that remains perennially popular with young readers. Featuring newer titles worthy of a hardy “woo woo” and a smattering of old favorites, these selections will captivate transportation buffs. There’s something for every would-be engineer, whether they prefer their tales based in history, brimming with the wonders of modern-day machinery, or inspired by rail-riding flights of fancy.
In addition to reinforcing some of the basics, the concept books highlighted here encourage kids to explore their familiar milieu with a fresh eye, hone observation skills and learn to note details, and begin to organize and categorize information. The stunning visuals and clever use of language exhibited in these offerings will also rouse imaginations and fortify vocabularies.
Joy Fleishhacker, our media maniac, looks ahead to the October release of the motion picture Parkland, based on the 2007 book Four Days in November which examines the goings-on at Parkland Hospital following the shooting of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. She’s put together a selection of nonfiction and fiction titles which will can help middle grade and teen readers get the facts surrounding the event as well as the feelings of those young people who experienced it.
From what to wear to following rules to making friends, these engaging picture books address common beginning-of-the-year concerns with solid storytelling, genuine empathy, and upbeat resolutions. Selected from the vast array of offerings available on the topic, the list includes titles both new and tried-and-true that will reassure youngsters that their apprehensions are shared by others.
The books presented in this month’s collection development column have been selected to support and enhance expeditions to favorite preschool and elementary-aged destinations: farms and other food-producing enterprises; museums (both natural history and art); nature reserves and outdoor-observation areas; community institutions; and zoos and aquariums. A mix of fact-filled offerings and fictional adventures, all of these titles give kids a break from the routine and encourage interactive learning experiences.
Adapted from the first book of Cassandra Clare’s wildly popular YA fantasy series, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones bursts into theaters on August 21, 2013. Movie viewers will clamor to read or revisit the original work; when they’ve exhausted the series, be ready with more titles featuring demon-slayers and monster-hunters.
Launched in 2010 by the Dizzy Feet Foundation to encourage Americans to dive into dance for fun and exercise, National Dance Day takes place on Saturday, July 27. Featuring wiggle-inducing picture books, eye-dazzling nonfiction, and even a graphic-novel autobiography, this list provides a sampling of the wealth of materials available to inspire and inform young dancers and celebrate the joy of movement.
Want to keep kids occupied and reading all summer? Share these craft and activity books with them. In addition to offering an outlet for creativity, they’ll have children working with numbers and decoding and interpreting diagrams and symbols. The books also make excellent resources for adults leading summer programs and year-round groups.