Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

McGill, A. (1999). Molly Bannaky. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Molly Walsh was exiled from England at the age of seventeen and sent to the American colonies for having spilled a pail of milk.  Once in America she served as an indentured servant for seven years before eventually gaining her own land.  She later purchased a slave who she eventually freed and married.  This book tells the story of Benjamin Banneker’s, a scientist and mathematician who was the first black man to write an almanac, grandmother and grandfather.

My grade: A
I had not heard this story before, so I enjoyed learning something new.  The illustrations by Chris K. Soentpiet are absolutely wonderful.

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Ada, A. F. (2002). I love Saturdays y domingos. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
A little girl explains why she loves Saturdays y domingos (and Sundays).  She spends Saturdays with her father’s parents, who are of European heritage, and Sundays with her mother’s parents, who are of Mexican and Native American heritage.  The book mixes English and Spanish throughout which reinforces the storyline.

My grade: A+
Not only does this book have a sweet story, the inclusion of Spanish gives English readers an opportunity to learn a few words.  I think children would enjoy figuring out the meaning of the Spanish words based on the English portions.

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Lowell, J. & Tuchel, T. C. (2005). My best friend Will. Shawnee Mission: Autism Asperger Publishing Co.
Jamie Lowell, the co-author of the book, is a fifth grade student whose best friend, Will, is autistic.  Using simple and accepting language, this book explains what makes Will special.

My grade: A
It’s not often that a fifth grader authors a book and this one may be more approachable because a child was involved in its writing.  The black and white pictures are nice, as well.

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Richardson, J. & Parnell, P. (2005). And tango makes three. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Roy and Silo are chinstrap penguins that live in the Central Park Zoo when they become a couple.  They watch as the other penguin couples raise babies until a zookeeper gives them an egg of their own.

My grade: A+
I had to read this book since it is so often challenged.  I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss is about.  It was such a sweet story and I felt like cheering when the zookeeper gave them an egg to raise.

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Polacco, P. (2009). In our mothers’ house. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Polacco has created a diverse family that shows how a family should be – full of love.  A lesbian couple raises three beautiful, adopted children.  The battle the hatred of one of their neighbors, but don’t let it hurt them.

My grade:  A+
Not only does this book address GLBT and mixed families (one child is African American, one White and one Asian American) in a wonderfully positive way, it also touches on aging parents.  If you read it, I think you might be blinking back a tear or two by the end.

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Conover, S. & Crane, F. (Eds.). (2004). Ayat jamilah: Beautiful signs. Spokane: Eastern Washington University Press.
Editors Sarah Conover and Freda Crane have assembled an extensive collections of stories from all over the Muslim world.  Most stories include a moral.

My grade: A
This collection of stories is extensive and includes some really great ones.  I was surprised to see some stories I had heard before.  There are few illustrations, but the book is still lovely because some of the pages are decorated.

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Mobin-Uddin, A. (2005). My name is Bilal. Honesdale: Boyds Mill Press, Inc.
Bilal and his sister, Ayesha, are nervous about starting anew at a different school after moving from Chicago.  They experience bullying and Bilal is worried that they are the only Muslim children.  However, he soon finds the beginning of acceptance.

My grade: B+
The story hopped around and felt a little disjointed.  I also wonder if the storyline would make a Muslim child worry that s/he will be bullied, if s/he lives in an area with few Muslims.  However, the book does have a positive ending.

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