June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

You Know that Book with the Blue Cover? │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

You don’t have to work in the library for very long before someone asks for a book by its cover color. Pinterest pins abound for book displays on this very topic. This week’s selections by the editors at Junior Library Guild feature a number of subjects. What’s the main thread that binds them together? All of the covers are blue.

SmickCRONIN, Doreen. Smick! illus. by Juana Medina. 40p. Viking. 2015. ISBN 9780670785780. JLG Category: P : Primary (Grades K–1). LiveBinder Resources.

A dog and a chick. Who would ever think that two such unlikely pals could have so much fun? Sure to be a read-it-again classic, Cronin’s latest picture book tale has plenty of  action and affection.

Want to see what Cronin looked like in the second grade? Check out her picture in her FAQ on her website. Visit the illustrator’s website and follow her on Twitter. Meet Smick in the publisher–created book trailer.

Earmuffs for EveryoneMcCARTHY, Meghan. Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs. illus. by author. 48p. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. 2015. ISBN 9781481406376. JLG Category: NE : Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2–6). LiveBinder Resources.

When Chester Greenwood was 19, he applied for a patent from the U.S. government. He had an idea for better ear muffs. With a patent in hand, the young inventor maintained the sole rights to sell or make his product. Sixty years later, stories began to circulate about Greenwood. Eventually fact became difficult to separate from fiction. The inventor would have his day, even though he never saw it.

Notes about the inventor and patents appear at the end of McCarthy’s book. In addition to visiting her website for more information, a Smore flyer has been created with news articles, informational texts, and other websites. For behind-the-scenes info, watch the award-winning author’s video about her latest book. HighlightsKids.com posts an informational text with audio about Greenwood.

GingerbreadROCKLIFF, Mara. Gingerbread for Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution. illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. 32p. HMH. 2015. ISBN 9780544130012. JLG Category: NE : Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2–6). LiveBinder Resources.

Christopher Ludwick loved to bake as much as he loved his country. When his wife said he was too old and fat to fight for General Washington, he went to war as a baker. After all, “No one goes hungry in my America.” A German immigrant, Ludwick volunteered to speak to the hired British army. He thought he could persuade them that Americans were not their enemy. Maybe he could even convince them to change sides.

Rockliff includes an author’s note on the life of the Philadelphia baker, who also became a philanthropist. Check out the recipe for gingerbread on the end pages. Readers can learn more about the author on her website. Follow her on Twitter. Primary sources such as newspaper accounts and photos of Ludwick’s cookie presses can be found on the Readex Blog. The baker’s bequest of $13,000 formed the trust that created  the Christopher Ludwick Foundation. The charitable organization now awards $200,000 in yearly grants for the education of poor children in Philadelphia. Read about Kirsch’s work on his website, and follow him on Twitter.

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WALKER, Sally M. Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. illus. by Jonathan D. Voss. 40p. Holt. 2015. ISBN 9780805097153. JLG Category: NE : Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2–6). LiveBinder Resources.

Long before A.A. Milne wrote the story of Winnie the Pooh, a real bear sat at a train station. A soldier named Harry (who was also a veterinarian) bought the orphaned bear, who became the army company’s mascot. When Harry had to go to the battlefields of France, he decided the safest place for Winnie was the London Zoo, where a zookeeper would care for her. What he didn’t know was that the children of London would grow to love her, too.

Be sure to read Walker’s author’s note and visit the websites she includes in the nonfiction picture book. Read more about the author on her website. The documentary Secrets of Nature: Hold All includes footage of Winnie at feeding time about two minutes and 40 seconds into the film. Jonathan D. Voss makes his picture book debut with his beautiful illustrations. Margie Myers-Culver provides resources and a glowing review on her blog, Librarian’s Quest. Read more about Winnie’s history at the Fort Garry Horse Museum website.

Whale in my swimming poolWAN, Joyce. The Whale in My Swimming Pool. illus. by author. 40p. Farrar. 2015. ISBN 9780374300371. JLG Category: PK : Pre-Kindergarten (Grades PreS-PreK). LiveBinder Resources.

On a hot sunny day, a little boy finds a surprise in his swimming pool—a whale! Though the boy is as persuasive as Mo Willems’s Pigeon, his efforts to convince the surprise visitor to leave are ignored. When nothing works, a bit of inspiration gives him a brand-new solution.

Perfect for your pre-K audiences, Wan’s whale of a tale will have kids laughing out loud. Follow the author/illustrator on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to visit her website, where an excellent teacher’s guide is available. Pair this title with Jenni Desmond’s The Blue Whale (Enchanted Lion, 2015) in a unit with older readers.

Additional Resources

The resources for the above titles have been organized in JLG Booktalks to Go: Spring 2015 LiveBinder. Titles are sorted by interest level, PreK-3, 3-6, 5-8, and YA. All websites are posted within each LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) 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. (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)

Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.