Posted tagged ‘Fiction’

Earth Day 2017

April 20, 2017

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” ~Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson, a popular political figure from Wisconsin, is the founder of Earth Day. He had the foresight to understand the need to protect our environment. On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered to raise awareness about our environmental problems and demand that our elected officials see the necessity to do something about it.

This Saturday, April 22nd, we continue to celebrate Earth Day. The theme of this year’s event is Environmental and Climate Literacy.

Below are selected picture books to share with young readers to help them become more knowledgeable about our environment and to encourage them to take care of our earth’s precious gifts.

tidy

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

watersong

Watersong written by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Richard Smythe, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

giant

The Lonely Giant written and illustrated by Sophie Ambrose, Candlewick Press

pond

Over and Under the Pond written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, Chronicle Books

bag

One Plastic Bag: IsatouCeesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

wangari

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, Harcourt Children’s Books

green

What Does It Mean To Be Green? written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Blair, March 4th Inc

garden

The Curious Garden written and illustrated by Peter Brown, Little, Brown Young Readers

lorax

The Lorax written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Random House Children’s Books

stew

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Tricycle Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apple Pickin’ Time

September 29, 2016

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The foliage puts on its best show. The days are crisp. And the apples are oh, so delicious! It’s time for apple picking – Courtland, Macintosh, Red Gala, Braeburn … Yum! Yum! Yum!

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Getting ready to pick.

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Rows and rows of apples!

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A perfect specimen.

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Done!

What to do with all these apples? No problem! It’s apple crisp, apple cake, apple pie, applesauce, and a bushel of apple books!

Apple-Cranberry Cake

Take a bite of out of this delicious apple-cranberry cake and one of these yummy books.

The Apple Orchard Riddle written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Apples for Everyone written by Jill Esbaum

Applesauce Season written by Eden Ross Lipson and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

Pinkalicious: Apples, Apples, Apples! written and illustrated by Victoria Kann

Apples A to Z written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Jake Parker

Apples written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons

The Apple Pie Tree written by Zoe Hall and illustrated by Shari Halpern

 

Picture Book Fun

May 12, 2016

It’s been a crazy week around our house, and it’s going to get crazier. We have graduation, family events, and some travel. I also need to shop. I’m embarrassed to say I was caught wearing a 1999 Rose Bowl sweatshirt the other day. WHAT? (My mother taught me to take good care of my clothes.) It’s time to update.

While I’m shopping for a new look, take a peek at these great picture books.

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That’s (Not) Mine written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, Two Lions. Sharing isn’t easy for these two critters. Kids will enjoy the crazy antics as the two vie for a comfy chair. MINE.

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Orion and the Dark written and illustrated by Emma Yarlett, Templar Books. Afraid of the dark? Meet Orion. He’s extremely afraid of the dark until Dark enters his room one night and shows Orion that Dark isn’t so bad after all.

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Old MacDonald Had A Truck written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban, Chronicle Books. You’ve never seen Old MacDonald’s farm look quite like this. Join the rollicking fun in the retelling of this tale. Old MacDonald uses a collection of machines to “SCOOP SCOOP, SCRAPE RAKE, DUMP THUMP,” and more for a surprise ending.

 

 

Earth Day – April 22

April 14, 2016

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Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. We have been given a precious gift. To continue to enjoy all of Earth’s treasures, we should make it a point to celebrate Earth Day every day.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Its founder was U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. You can find more about the history of Earth Day here, and check here for some great Earth Day activities for families. Below are a few of the outstanding books that are ideal for parents and teachers to share with children in celebration of Earth Day. 

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World written by Laurie Lawlor and illustrated by Laura Beingessner, Holiday House

Water Is Water A Book about the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Book Press

One Plastic Bag Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” ~Chief Seattle

S is for Save the Planet written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss, Sleeping Bear Press

If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor, Henry Holt & Company

Miss Maple’s Seeds written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Nancy Paulsen Books

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” ~Evo Morales

 

Another Great Chapter Book from Kate DiCamillo

November 19, 2015

I recently picked up Kate DiCamillo’s chapter book, Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, from our local library. It’s Volume Two in Tales from Deckawoo Drive. Familiar characters from the first book in the series, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, can be found in the second book. Both books, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, will appeal to young readers who are looking for something more than books in the I Can Read category.

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In Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, Francine comes from a long line of animal control officers. She has won trophies and holds records for the most animals controlled. Her father referred to her as the genuine article and solid like a refrigerator. Francine loves her job and does it well. Nothing frightens her. When Mrs. Bissinger calls for help to round up a ghostly-looking raccoon on her roof, Francine is on the job. But when the raccoon with its sharp teeth, high-pitched screaming, and odd looks charges at Francine, she panics. Fear seizes Francine, and she loses her perfect balance. A tumble from the roof lands Francine in the hospital with aches, pains, broken bones, and a severe case of fright. Francine loses her self-confidence and resigns from her animal control job. It’s not until a young boy, Frank, convinces Francine that she must face the raccoon to end her fears and go back to being the great animal control officer she really is. Frank cheers Francine on as she attempts to capture the wild raccoon. She remembers what her father said about being the genuine article and summons all of her courage to catch the raccoon. Success! Francine wins her struggle over panic and fear and finds a kindred spirit in Frank.

In this book, readers learn that adults have fears, too. What I particularly like is that Frank, the young boy, understands Francine’s problem and convinces her to do what she must do. This is a funny and heart-warming book that I recommend.

Summer Reading

July 2, 2015

I’m beginning to compile a list of books for summer reading. They’re a combination of fiction/nonfiction from picture books to young adult. Then I’ll be off to the library.

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder

A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Celebrate America!

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“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

Picture Book Pairings: Fiction/Nonfiction

May 28, 2015

Pairing fiction with nonfiction books is an excellent way to show children how different types of writing can easily be connected. If birds are a hot topic, here are two outstanding books that can be paired. One is Birds, written by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Laura Dronzek and the other is Feathers Not Just for Flying, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen.

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In the fiction book, Birds, the young narrator talks about birds of all sizes, shapes, colors, and how they move. The text is spare but poetic, and Laura Dronzek’s illustrations are bright and colorful. A variety of birds can be found in the book and, with Dronzek’s illustrations, a few surprises are sure to capture the attention of young readers.

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Pair this book with the nonfiction book, Feathers Not Just for Flying. Melissa Stewart has created an appealing book with two storylines. One has simple text that compares birds’ feathers to everyday objects. “Feathers can shade out sun like an umbrella …” The other has fascinating information about certain birds, the various shapes of their feathers, and how the feathers function. With Brannen’s watercolor illustrations presented in a scrapbook format and Stewart’s attention to scientific details, this book will win over readers.

Book pairings can inspire discussions and motivate children to delve deeper into the subject matter. Try it. You’ll like it.


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