Sunday, July 28, 2019

Science Read Aloud

 
Summer Green To Autumn Gold Uncovering Leaves Hidden Colors by Mia Posada #SummerGreenToAutumnGold #NetGalley
  
This vibrant cut tissue paper collage illustrated informational text explaining why and how leaves change color, belongs in every pre-k through grade 2 New England classroom, ready to be read aloud to children every fall. An accessible explanation given through fluent facts written in clear sentences about the mysterious and interesting transition changing leaves experience. 

The use of labels, the font and placement of the text, the use of bold color words (deep purple) and interesting verbs, the glossary, and the seamless transitions of change throughout the seasons, are some of the highlights of this beautiful presentation of the life cycle of a leaf.

STEM to STEAM to STREAM. We need more science read alouds in our classrooms.




Tatsuya Miyanishi


Sometimes you come across a book that offers you something you feel like you have not seen before. This is that book. A story of a bold Tyrannosaurus who learns what friendship is all about. Lessons of loyalty, communicating with actions over words, and cross cultural relationships. The story structure feels almost like a folk tale. Beginning with a character who leads with a confidence based on his strength. As Tyrannosaurus ages, resulting in new vulnerabilities, he begins to feel isolated and lonely. Read I Really Love You to see how some new "friends" guide Tyrannosaurus through hardship and unearthing the possibilities of love and loyalty conquering any amount of physical strength.

The woodblock illustration art work is stunning. A weaving dance of single spreads, double spreads, borders, and full bleeds offers the viewer a deepen sense of being both a participant in the moments that matter the most- and an observer of a curated moment when it is time to reflect. The earthy colors, sharp lines and the fluid unsettled textures deepen interest and widen comprehension.

As educators seek to fill their book shelves with quality global and multicultural literature, this series by Japanese writer and artist includes 12 books, with 4 published in the United States. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

My Brother and Me

 
Aloush's much older big brother Ramez used to pay much more attention to him. From taking Aloush places and helping him with his school work, to being much to busy with...his new fiancee. I love how this narrative of an extended family with two siblings who are over a decade apart, shows a less visible in picture books type of family. An added bonus, as this sweet and relatable problem and the interesting and detailed illustrations present a great story. I appreciate the interesting and diverse culturally details that unravel in such a delicate manner, adding to the readers understanding of the experience. Grandmother making tabbouleh and hummus, and the jaha with the men, to ask Deema's family for her hand in marriage. Aloush comes in with several strategies to sabotage any threat to his family. In the end Aloush can't help but warm up to the kindness and interest in him that Deema exhibits, resulting in another person in his life who loves him...and he loves back.

A Forest Mystery

Switzerland's Marcus Pfister, who wrote the US popular The Rainbow Fish, has an impressive portfolio that extends wide and diverse. He offers refreshing voices of understanding animals with human tangles and behaviors to navigate. He gently weaves a thread throughout his children's books, resulting in opportunities to engage in discourse around strong feelings and reactions to those emotions. This book reads like a fluent poem, with interesting vocabulary and delicate and beautiful illustrations. I appreciate the juxtaposition between squirrel's inability to self-regulate, and all the other forest animals reasonable and mature manners. The stunning illustrations are gentle and warm, and Marcus makes interesting choices about his placement of white space, illustrations, and text. I love the hazelnut end papers. All the characters (even the beguiling squirrel) are irresistible. Each page is a work of art that could be hung on the wall or the cover of a beautiful card. The fact that it is a mystery adds another reason to add this book to your classroom library.