Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards and G. Brian Karas (2016)

Sophia’s neighbor, Mrs. Goldman, knits hats for everyone in her life, and Sophia makes pom poms to adorn them. One winter, Sophia notices that Mrs. Goldman’s generosity has left her with no hat of her own, so Sophia decides to make one for her. Unfortunately, Sophia’s skill doesn’t quite match up with her intention, and she’s frustrated by her lumpy hat. It is, of course, perfect in Mrs. Goldman’s eyes. This book made me teary in the same way as Sophie’s Squash—perfectly sweet and funny without being saccharine. Mrs. Goldman is Jewish, and Sophia references grandparents in Argentina—refreshingly reflective of the many ways that lives and people intersect. A bit longer than most storytime books, this is one I’d make an effort to include. Heart—and head—warming.

Themes/topics: kindness, neighbors, creativity, crafts, knitting, good deeds

Sample text from first two spreads:

When Sophia was a tiny baby, Mrs. Goldman next door knit her a tiny baby hat to keep her warm.

Now Sophia is big, and she makes the pom-poms for Mrs. Goldman’s hats. Hats for the tiniest babies. Hats for small, medium, and large friends and neighbors. Mrs. Goldman taught her how. “Keeping keppies warm is our mitzvah,” says Mrs. Goldman, kissing the top of Sophia’s head. “This is your keppie, and a mitzvah is a good deed.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I am Josephine (and I am a living thing) by Jan Thornhill and Jacqui Lee

I am Josephine (and I am a living thing) by Jan Thornhill and Jacqui Lee (2016)

This book made me so happy when it came across my desk—I don’t order nonfiction, so it was a surprise.  Josephine tells us that she is a human being, talks about other human beings, and invites readers to point out other human beings on a full spread. She then defines herself as a mammal, an animal, and a living thing following the same pattern. This book is a great introduction to the concept of how humans fit into broader categories, while still being unique individually. The delightful pictures, by the illustrator of the fabulous reader series, Murilla Gorilla, are large, clear, and perfect for sharing during storytime.

Themes/topics: people, self-esteem, individuality, STEM, categories

Sample text from two spreads:
I am Josephine, and I am a living thing.
I am a living thing, and so is my brother, Felix, and so is a butterfly, and so is a tree, and so is a penguin. How many different living things can you find on this page?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Happy Hair

Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe (2014) #ownvoices

A joyful, unapologetic celebration of black hair styles, the message of this title is universal and should be a no-brainer to add to storytime everywhere. Intended to be read as a call-and-response, the rhyming text invites readers to shout, “I love being me” with each verse. I love this one!

Themes/topics:  hair, girl power, self-esteem, fashion,

Sample text:
Cool vibes, accessorize! “I love being me”
[word bubble] Pattern wrap!

Loved and free! “I love being me”
[word bubble] Wash-n-go!

Pom-pom puffs—Pretty and stuff “I love being me!”
[word bubble] Pom-pom puffs!

Monday, February 27, 2017

What Do You Love About You

What Do You Love About You by Karen Lechelt (2016)

This is a sweet and simple story that will fit right into a storytime about love, providing a welcome opportunity to build self-esteem by thinking and talking about the things we love about ourselves. The young girl with a dark pageboy and medium brown skin asks various animals (shown as toys at the end) what they love about themselves, and they answer with things that make them happy. Many celebrate their relationship with the girl.

Themes/topics: love, self-esteem, stuffed animals

Sample text from two pages:
What do you love about you? [octopus]/
I love my tentacles because I am a hugging machine

Friday, February 24, 2017

Every Color

Every Color by Erin Eitter Kono (2016)

A polar bear longs for color in his snowy world, so his seagull friends enlist the help of a girl who mails bear a beautiful rainbow picture. While he loves the gift, it doesn’t quite solve his problem. So the girl spirits him away in her boat, and takes him adventuring all over the world. They paint pictures of all they see and send them home, so when bear returns he realizes that the whole world is reflected in his white home—and always had been. With a strong girl saving the day, bold colors, and a gorgeous painting of the Northern Lights, this is a great story for sophisticated storytime groups.

Themes/topics: colors, snow, arctic animals, boats, adventure

Sample text from two spreads:
It was the most amazing thing Bear had ever received. But the gift didn’t take away his discontent.

When Bear’s thank you note arrived—Seagull Express—the girl realized that she needed to go to him. She understood that he looked for color, but could not see it. She rigged her skiff and sailed across the ocean. “Come with me,” said the girl when she finally reached Bear. “I know where to find what you need.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What’s a Banana? & What’s an Apple?

What’s a Banana? and What’s an Apple? by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli  (2016)

Who doesn’t love a good food themed storytime? These are  very silly rhyming odes to specific fruits—either apples or bananas per the title. Both titles are as much fun to read out loud Sayre’s “Rah Rah Radishes” but a little shorter (smaller trim size too). Both titles present real and imagined uses for each fruit, and will fit right into storytime.

Themes/topics: Fruit, food, eating, health, imagination, funny

Sample text from two spreads:
You can tote it. You can float it. Dress like one for Halloween.
You can grow it. Try to blow it—just pretend that it’s a flute. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cat Knit by Jacob Grant

Cat Knit by Jacob Grant (2016)

An adorably expressive cat forms a complicated friendship with a ball of yarn. When Cat’s transforms Yarn by knitting it into a cat sweater, Cat feels betrayed by his friend. Since snow/cold features predominately in this title, it will work with those themes as well. With large, clear illustrations and just a few words on a page, this title should fit well into most storytimes. Note: Jacob Grant is also the author of Scaredy Kate, another Everyday Diversity favorite of mine.

Themes/topics: cats, clothing, yarn/knitting, friendship, funny, mix-ups, snow

Sample text from first two spreads:
Cat and Girl had always been good friends.

One day, Girl brought home a colorfull new guest. His name was Yarn.