Book Review: Planting Stories By Denise & Escobar

It is a rare and beautiful moment when a book takes my breath away. A few months ago, I stopped to look at this one in a beloved local bookstore. I was hearing good things about it from other reviewers and I was delighted by the cover that greeted me in the store. I started to flip through it, ended up sitting down to read it, and then proceeded to the register to take it home. This book is captivating from end page to end page. A beautifully narrated and breathtakingly illustrated biography about Pura Belpré – the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. This book is a must see: Planting Stories The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrations by Paola Escobar, 2019.

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Book Review: We Are The Ship By Kadir Nelson

Baseball season is upon us! To herald in the new season, I bring this incredible non-fiction picture book about the history of the Negro Leagues. A hefty book in size and information, overflowing with breathtaking paintings by Kadir Nelson, this is a book not to be missed by baseball lovers everywhere. Take a look at We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson, 2008.

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Book Review: When Charley Met Emma By Webb & Liddiard

Today I am excited to share a brand new book. A debut book by someone I have followed on social media for several years now. I discovered Amy Webb through a recommendation of her blog This Little Miggy where I am constantly moved and challenged by her life as a special needs mom and her many amazing spotlights about special needs individuals. I have learned so much from her and she has given me words and answers for my own questions and the more hard-to-control ones of my children. That’s where this book comes in. A charming book about a little boy encountering a girl with noticeable disability and learning that making friends is not as hard as it feels sometimes. Check out When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb, illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard, 2019.

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Book Review: The Wall In The Middle Of The Book By Agee

Today I wrestle with how to share a brilliantly clever, marvelously illustrated book. It is a story, quite simply, about walls. It is a surprising story, a hilarious story, a fun and thought-provoking story. Don’t miss this one. It is worth reading, talking about with everyone, and reading aloud to anyone: The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee, 2018.

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Book Review: Memphis, Martin, And The Mountaintop By Duncan & Christie

Among the many reasons that I love picture books, a major point for me as an adult is that I continually learn about important things through them. As a child with a vivid imagination and creativity, I was never much for history, biographies or period stories growing up. Even now, non-fiction books consistently take me longer to get through, while I devour fiction and stories at an almost alarming rate. But give me bite-size chunks of history, depict it with powerful illustrations, and you’ve got my attention. That’s what today’s book did.

I’m ashamed to say I knew nothing about the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968. I honestly did not even know it had occurred. My childhood education in the civil rights movement is basically non-existent. I don’t remember reading about much of anything except a few paragraphs here and there about Martin Luther King, Jr. My adult education is heavily underway, greatly aided by the powerful school my children attend. And I continue to seek out resources and especially picture books to fill in so many gaps in my knowledge as I learn alongside my children.

The newest one to our stack is Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, 2018. It is a lengthier picture book, a combination of poetry and prose, based on a teacher who participated in the strike and marches in Memphis as a child. Come learn along with me.

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Book Review: Groundhug Day By Pace & Denise

Happy Groundhog Day! I have always been rather fond of this silly holiday, and my interest in it grew exponentially this week when I discovered this beautiful book. A clever and stunningly illustrated story about forest friends determined to have everyone attend Moose’s upcoming Valentine’s Day party, especially Groundhog, whom they have to first stop from seeing his shadow! Delight in Groundhug Day by Anne Marie Pace, illustrated by Christopher Denise, 2017.

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Book Review: We Shall Overcome By Levy & Brantley-Newton

Happy Wednesday! This book came out several years ago, but I recently came across it while searching for more civil rights picture books. A tribute to the famous song and the many people who have sung it from America’s era of slavery through the 60s civil rights movement and continuing today in the fight for freedom and equality, take a look at We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, 2013.

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Book Review: Martin’s Big Words By Rappaport & Collier

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Dr. King would be 90 years old if he were alive today. With the memorial holiday reminding us to reflect and continue to press on in the civil rights movement Dr. King helped orchestrate, this book is an excellent addition to the day. Here is Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier, 2001.

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