I spent today in Bristol, Connecticut at Judy Freeman’s What’s New in Children’s Literature workshop. Judy was kind enough to invite me as her guest, and I enjoyed hearing what books she recommended and getting some programming ideas to promote them. Sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Research (BER), it’s always a worthwhile workshop if you get the opportunity to go.
Judy and I have read a lot of the same books this year, but I did hear of a few that I missed and wished I had included on this blog. Here’s a quick run-down if you want to try to get your hands on them.
The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Published by Balzer + Bray
Jackie Robinson’s baseball career is a familiar story, but this looks at his early life, growing up with a mother who refused to back down when their white neighbors tried to force the family to move. The story also covers Jackie’s college and military career, showing how his early years shaped his later life playing baseball and working for civil rights. 32 pages; grades 3-6.
Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube
Published by Abrams
Mae would rather sit up in a tree all day than face the uncertainties of the first day of school. Soon she’s joined by another girl named Rosie, who shares Mae’s concerns about the unknown. Finally, a third person joins them: Ms. Pearl, the new teacher who has her own insecurities. The three finally decide to face their fears, climb down from the tree, and walk into school together. 32 pages; ages 4-8.
Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos, illustrated by T. L. McBeth
Published by Henry Holt
Two of the brothers are stegosauruses, but the third is a stegothesaurus. Stegosauruses say hi; but it’s “Hello! Greetings! Salutations!” from the stegothesaurus. A big mountain is “gargantuan, gigantic, Goliath”, and a hot day is “blazing, blistering, broiling”. When the stegothesaurus meets an allothesaurus, the words really start to fly. A fun introduction to word choice and thesauruses. 32 pages; grades K-3.
Worlds Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from The Metropolitan Museum by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Published by Abrams
Seventeen children’s poets, plus Hopkins, created works inspired by paintings at The Metropolitan Museum in New York City. A beautiful and accessible introduction to poetry and art. 48 pages; grades 3-7.
Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Published by Disney-Hyperion
A girl is surprised to find a substitute in her class, and writes disgruntled letters about the changes in the routine. As the day goes on, though, she begins to appreciate the fun-loving sub, and by dismissal time, she realizes the day has turned out just fine. 32 pages; grades K-3.