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Archive for March, 2010

Herron, C. (1999). Nappy hair. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Uncle Mordecai narrates the story of Brenda’s hair in Carolivia Herron’s Nappy Hair.  Told in a call and response style, Nappy Hair not only has a wonderful message, it also a great rhythm when read out loud.  Joe Cepeda’s illustrations compliment the story nicely.

My grade:  A

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Mochizuki, K. (1997). Passage to freedom: The sugihara story. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Mochizuki tells this incredibly moving story in a simple style which enhances its impact.  Mr. Sugihara endangered himself and his family to ensure the safety of thousands of Jewish refugees during WWII.  The Afterword by Mr. Sugihara’s son, Hiroki, will bring tears to your eyes.

My grade:  A+

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Garza, C. L. (1990). Family pictures. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
With a simple, straight-forward style Garza narrates this story.  She explains her paintings in the book, which are from her own experience.  Her narration is just enough to give you an idea of what is happening in the picture, but she leaves plenty of room for imagination.  The pictures are detailed and include plenty of action to enjoy.

My grade: A+

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Young, E. (2006). My mei mei. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.
Young tells the story of two adopted sister from the point of view of the Jieh-Jieh (big sister).  She struggles to reconcile her thougths about what a Mei Mei (younger sister) should be and the reality of an actual younger sister.

My grade:  A+
I see this story appealing to any number of children and it’s just very sweet.

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Ernst, J. (1995). The golden goose king: A tale told by Buddha. Chapel Hill: Parvadigar Press.
Buddha narrates this story of his life as the king of golden geese.  Through his capture and the loyalty displayed by his commander, Buddha (as the goose king) inspires the king and queen of Benares.  The book contains a detailed foreword by Carl Ernst, a professor of religious studies at UNC Chapel Hill, which gives more information about the origin of the story.

My grade:  B-
The grade is only from the wordiness of this story.

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Winter, J. (2002). Frida. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
In Frida, Jonah Winter relates the story of Frida Kahlo’s life from childhood to adulthood.  While the biographical information is interesting, the text is overshadowed by Ana Juan‘s exquisite illustrations.

My grade: A

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McDermott, G. (1997). Musicians of the sun. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
McDermott retells an Aztec myth, which explains how music came to people.  Wind must battle the Sun to free four musicians.  When released, the musicians bring not only music, but color to the land.  Beautiful illustrations, also created by McDermott, compliment the text.

My grade:  B

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