February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

I Got It! by David Wiesner | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 3 –Set against the backdrop of a pick-up baseball game, Wiesner’s nearly wordless picture book expertly layers elements of relatable emotion, boundless imagination, eye-popping action, and out-and-out fun.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –Tamaki’s picture book debut explores color and the seasons in a lyrical, philosophical way that is rooted in a child’s sensibilities.

Islandborn/Lola by Junot Díaz | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –When Ms. Obi asks her students to draw a picture of the country they are originally from, the children are excited. All except for Lola, “What if you left before you could start remembering?”

Picture Books: Pioneer Tales, Princess Tresses, and Tantrums | February 2018 Xpress Reviews

A mischievous baby visits a West African market with mama; Ludwig helps out a friend in a creative, multi-textual adventure; animal friends make time for one another in a gentle Spanish-language title; and much more in this month’s Xpress.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Funeral by Matt James | SLJ Review

K-Gr 2 –A girl’s experience of her great-uncle’s memorial service starts as these things characteristically do—with a ringing phone and a mother’s tears.

On the Other Side of the Garden by Jairo Buitrago | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –The pair that created Walk With Me present a new exploration of coping with the absence of parents.

Floaty by John Himmelman | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Mr. Raisin is a grouchy old misanthrope who doesn’t like anything but sewing. When he discovers a basket at his front door containing a puppy, he is not amused.

Love by Matt de la Peña | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –How do we love and care for one another? Award-winning author de la Peña sets out not only to count the ways but also to help young people recognize and take these tender mercies to heart, especially when times are tough and beyond the control of the adults around them.

Honey by David Ezra Stein | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –The curious young bear from Leaves returns for “his second year,” fresh from hibernation and eager for the taste of honey.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 3 –On the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse. Every day and every night, the lighthouse guides the way for passing ships, as its keeper tends to the light and writes in his guidebook.

Kate, Who Tamed The Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –Young Kate helps tame the wind that disrupts the life of a man living atop a steep hill by planting a stand of aspen trees.

I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –A small, plump gray cat, mouth downturned and green eyes cast upward at a row of tall animal legs lined up behind him, is a fine indication of things to come in this humorous introduction to the larger cat family.

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Each day, the trucks hoist, push, and dig as they work together to build tall buildings, long roads, and big bridges. The work is the same day after day until one day Digger is inspired to make a change.

Picture Books: A Love Letter to NYPL, Retellings of Classic Tales, & More | December 2017 Xpress Reviews

A unique exploration of jobs A-Z; two brothers begin a quest to rescue their dragon-napped dog; and a tiny fish uses teamwork to help a lost baby whale in December’s picture book Xpress,

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Pond by Nicola Davies | SLJ Review

K-Gr 4 –The first thing one notices about this picture book is the black pages, sometimes appearing as solid backgrounds, at other points layered with textured, mixed media compositions. A relatively rare choice in children’s books, but one that supports the despondency and rage a boy experiences when his dad dies.

Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day.

How To Find an Elephant by Kate Banks | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –An imaginative, elephant-loving young explorer goes on an adventure to find one in the wild.

7 Snowy Picture Books | SLJ Spotlight

Seven delightful picture books about winter wonderlands.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Two boys have their backs to each other as they draw lines on the ground.

Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 1 –This prehistoric romp opens with Tyrannosaurus Rex throwing his weight around as usual, terrifying other dinosaurs as he searches of a suitable breakfast. As the other dinos flee in terror, Edna, the very first chicken, stands her ground, and when the “lord of the forest” tries to eat her, he gets a nasty surprise.