April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Before They Were Famous: Young Carl Sagan, Golda Meir, and Alice Waters | Nonfiction Preschool to Grade 4

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See our complete list of
September 2014 SLJ Stars.

redstarElliott, David. On the Wing. illus. by Becca Stadtlander. 32p. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763653248. LC 2013953538.

K-Gr 3 –Poetry flutters across the pages of this lovely book. Each selection is a short, spot-on depiction of a different species of bird. While these are not lengthy verses describing the birds in great detail, each poem is witty and thoughtful and enlivens its subject. The detailed acrylic illustrations complement the poems beautifully, and every bird seems to come alive on the spacious spreads. They are shown in realistic habitats, often in graceful movements that echo their natural elegance. Many of the pieces have a rhythmic, chirping quality that make them perfect read-alouds. Bird lovers, poetry enthusiasts, and children looking for a fun read will flock to this stunning title.–Ellen Norton, White Oak Library District, Crest Hill, IL

redstarMartin, Jacqueline Briggs. Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious. illus. by Hayelin Choi. 32p. bibliog. further reading. websites. Readers to Eaters. Sept. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780983661566. LC 2014939601.

Gr 2-4 –This picture book biography takes on Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley and the Edible Schoolyard Project. Using an enthusiastic, conversational tone and a free verse form (“In her travels, Alice learned/wonderful food was like a symphony/that woke people up, made them happier”), Martin shows how Waters’s fascination and love for fresh foods started young: at age three, the future chef won a costume contest, dressed up in a lettuce skirt, strawberry necklace, and crown made of asparagus. While in college, Waters studied cooking in France and brought home what she learned about selecting and preparing fresh foods. Before long, she opened Chez Panisse, a huge success. Finding fresh foods was not always easy, but as her reputation grew, growers began to come to her, and, eventually, her love and passion for fresh, locally grown food led her to organize the Edible Schoolyard Project, in which students plant and cultivate their own fruits and vegetables. Rendered with brush and black ink and enhanced digitally, the illustrations are colorful and simple. The book includes an afterword by Waters and an author’s note elaborating on the subject’s contributions to the local foods movement. A fine introduction to units on nutrition, healthy eating, and creative people making positive change.–Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA

redstarNeri, G. Hello, I’m Johnny Cash. illus. by A. G. Ford. 40p. bibliog. discog. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763662455.

Gr 3-5 –Even those who aren’t fans of musician Johnny Cash will appreciate the beauty of this biographical picture book. Written in free verse, with colorful, realistic illustrations done in oil, this title poignantly portrays the powerful influences of poverty, religion, family, and music on Cash’s life. When Cash was too young to work in the cotton fields, his father bought him a radio to keep him company. The boy could never turn it off, learning hundreds of songs that he sang to anyone who stopped by to listen. It became clear he had a gift that was meant to be shared with the world, but hard work to earn money for the family and a stint in the Air Force delayed that dream. This is a biography of one musician as well as a tale of how the determination to pursue a dream can pay off. The oversize format suggests Cash’s larger-than-life impact and image, but it also pulls readers in. Additional information is provided at the back, including more in-depth details about his life, a discography, and the ways in which the sociopolitical eras he lived through, such as the Great Depression and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, impacted his music. This is a real tribute to the Man in Black, written in an easily accessible, engaging manner that demonstrates the qualities he possessed that make him a hero to so many.–Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID

redstarSisson, Stephanie Roth. Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos. illus. by Stephanie Roth Sisson. 32p. bibliog. notes. Roaring Brook. Nov. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781596439603.

Gr 1-3 –Told in narrative format, this beautifully designed and illustrated picture book gives readers a glimpse into the childhood wonderings Sagan experienced as he looked at the night sky and imagined the possibilities. The images are wonderfully childlike, many appearing to be chalk on a dark, night sky background. The simple but lyrical text (“Carl thought about the stars hanging down like bulbs on long black wires”) conveys a dreamy, wistful quality, and the comic book–style panels and speech bubbles will keep kids intrigued as Sisson takes Sagan from an inquisitive boy to a scientist working in the field of astronomy. One particularly magnificent page should elicit gasps of awe from readers. It folds out to create a marvelous expanse that extends from a library room, where young Sagan is poring over a book about the solar system, up though the city landscape and ever upward toward the sun. Children will easily relate to and may even see themselves in Sagan’s youthful exuberance. Detailed notes illustrate the solid research and facts behind the narrative. A gorgeous, informative offering for biography and science collections.–Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

Basch, Adela. Conoce a José de San Martín/Get to Know José de San Martín. illus. by Paola De Gaudio. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781614353492.

Brown, Monica. Conoce a García Márquez/Get to Know García Márquez. illus. by Raul Colon. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9781631130076.

Iturralde, Edna. Conoce a Miguel de Cervantes/Get to Know Miguel de Cervantes. illus. by Gaston Hauviller. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781614353522.

––––. Conoce a Simón Bolivar/Get to Know Simón Bolivar. illus. by Ytziar Cori Alvarez. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781614353485.

Leon, Georgina Lazaro. Conoce a Gabriela Mistral/Get to Know Gabriela Mistral. illus. by Sara Helena Palacios. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781614353515.

––––. Conoce a Pable Neruda/Get to Know Pablo Neruda. illus. by Valeria Cis. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781614353478.

ea vol: tr. from Spanish by Joe Hayes & Sharon Franco. 32p. (Historical Figures of the Hispanic World). glossary. Alfaguara. 2014.

Chatterjee, Debjani & Brian D’Arcy, eds. Let’s Play!: Poems About Sports and Games from Around the World. illus. by Shirin Adl. 54p. glossary. Frances Lincoln. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781847803702.

Cusick, Dawn. Get the Scoop on Animal Puke!: From Zombie Ants to Vampire Bats, 251 Cool Facts About Vomit, Regurgitation, & More! 80p. further reading. glossary. index. photos. Charlesbridge/Imagine! Sept. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781623540456.

Dauvois, Sophie. My Animal Book. illus. by Okido. 64p. diag. index. maps. Thames & Hudson. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780500650240. LC 2013948248.

Dellevoet, Alexandra. Rafa Was My Robot. illus. by Ken Turner. 32p. Annick. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781554516780.

DePrince, Michaela & Elaine DePrince. Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer. illus. by Frank Morrison. 48p. (Step into Reading). photos. Random. Oct. 2014. Tr $3.99. ISBN 9780385755153; lib. ed. $12.99. ISBN 9780385755160.

DiSiena, Laura Lyn & Hannah Eliot. Did You Know?: Rainbows Never End and Other Fun Facts. illus. by Pete Oswald. 32p. S. & S./Little Simon. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481402774; ebk. $5.99. ISBN 9781481402781. LC 2013049947.

Engelbreit, Mary. The Blessings of Friendship Treasury. illus. by Mary Engelbreit. 40p. Zonderkidz. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780310745099.

Greve, Meg. La integridad/Integrity. ISBN 9781631551031; ISBN 9781627173780; ISBN 9781627175623.

Hicks, Kelli L. La honestidad/Honesty. ISBN 9781631551024; ISBN 9781627173735; ISBN 9781627175579.

Reed, Cristie. Miremos el lado positivo/Look on the Bright Side. ISBN 9781631551062; ISBN 9781627173773; ISBN 9781 627175616.

Steinkraus, Kyla. Trabajemos juntos/Let’s Work Together. ISBN 9781631551079; ISBN 9781627173766; ISBN 9781 627175609.

Williams, Sam. La bondad/Sharing. ISBN 9781631551017; ISBN 9781627173728; ISBN 9781627175562.

ea vol: 24p. (El pequeño mundo de las habilidades sociales). ebook available. further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. websites. Rourke Educational. 2014. lib. ed. $24.21. pap. $7.95. ebk. $24.21.

Jordan-Fenton, Christy & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton. Not My Girl. illus. by Gabrielle Grimard. 36p. Annick. 2014. lib. ed. $21.95. ISBN 9781554516254; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781554516247.

Krasner, Barbara. Goldie Takes a Stand!: Golda Meir’s First Crusade. illus. by Kelsey Garrity-Riley. 32p. Kar-Ben. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467712002; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467712019; ebk. $7.95. ISBN 9781467712026. LC 2013022210.

Lord, Michelle. Animal School: What Class Are You? illus. by Michael Garland. 32p. bibliog. chart. websites. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823430451; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432394. LC 2013019680.

McCallum, Ann. Eat Your Science Homework: Recipes for Inquiring Minds. illus. by Leeza Hernandez. 48p. chart. ebook available. glossary. index. Charlesbridge. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781570912986; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781570912993. LC 2013022070.

McCully, Emily Arnold. Strongheart: The World’s First Movie Star Dog. illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. 40p. bibliog. Holt. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805094480.

Maze, Stephanie, ed. Keeping Fit from A to Z/Mantente en forma de la A a la Z. tr. from Spanish by Alicia Fuentes-Gargallo. 32p. photos. Moonstone. Sept. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9780983498353.

Miles, Brenda S & Colleen A. Patterson. How I Learn: A Kid’s Guide to Learning Disability. illus. by Jane Heinrichs. 32p. Magination Pr. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781433816604; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781433816611. LC 2013048303.

Müller, Isabel. The Green Sea Turtle. illus. by Isabel Müller. 40p. maps. NorthSouth Books. Sept. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780735841895.

Paul, Ellis. The Hero in You. illus. by Angela Padrón. 32p. illus. notes. w/CD. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780807532393. LC 2014000630.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin. tr. from German. illus. by Maren Briswalter. 32p. Floris. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782500353.

Raecke, Renate, retel. The Pied Piper of Hamelin: An Old Legend Collected by the Brothers Grimm. tr. from German by Anthea Bell. illus. by Lisbeth Zwerger. 32p. Minedition. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9789888240821.

RICHARDS, Keith with Barnaby Harris & Bill Shapiro. Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar. illus. by Theodora Richards. 32p. w/CD. Little, Brown. Sept. 2014. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316320658.

Robertson, Sebastian. Rock & Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story. illus. by Adam Gustavson. 40p. chron. Holt. Oct. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780805094732.

Root, Phyllis. Plant a Pocket of Prairie. illus. by Betsy Bowen. 40p. glossary. maps. websites. University of Minnesota Pr. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780816679805. LC 2013040345.

Rubin, Susan Goldman. Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 80p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. reprods. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763657536. LC 2013953403.

Ruurs, Margriet. Families Around the World. illus. by Jessica Rae Gordon. 40p. glossary. map. notes. Kids Can. Sept. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781894786577.

Slade, Suzanne. Friends For Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass. illus. by Nicole Tadgell. 32p. chron. ebook available. notes. Charlesbridge. Sept. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781580895682. LC 2013022795.

Slade, Suzanne. With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School. illus. by Nicole Tadgell. 32p. bibliog. notes. Albert Whitman. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807508978.

Sterling, Cheryl & others. Some Bunny to Talk To: A Story About Going to Therapy. illus. by Tiphanie Beeke. 32p. Magination Pr. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781433816499; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781433816505. LC 2013048000.

Walser, David, retel. The Glass Mountain: Tales from Poland. illus. by Jan Pieńkowski. 104p. Candlewick. Sept. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780763673208. LC 2013955675.

Ziefert, Harriet. Does a Woodpecker Use a Hammer?: How Everyone Uses Tools. illus. by Emily Bolam. 32p. (Think About). Blue Apple. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781609054281.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.