Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

Wiviott, M. (2010). Benno and the night of broken glass. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben Publishing.
The beginning of the Holocaust, the Night of Broken Glass, is shown through the perspective of a cat.  Benno’s world changes completely in 1938 when the German government begins its campaign against Jews.

My grade: A+
This story is very well-told and I think the use of a cat as a narrator gives it an interesting perspective that would capture the attention of young readers.  Josee Bisaillon’s illustrations are absolutely incredible.  As wonderful as the story is, the illustrations almost steal the limelight.

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Schur, M. R. (1999). The peddler’s gift. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.
Schur’s tale is a new version of wise fool stories.  In this version, Shimon the Peddler is called Shnook by the village children because he exhibits no skill as a peddler and seems unintelligent.  However, Shimon’s capacity for forgiveness shows Leibush Shimon’s true worth.

My grade: A
This book teaches a valuable lesson about stealing, forgiveness and judging others.  Kimberly Bulcken Root’s illustrations show such wonderful facial expressions and add to the overall charm of this book.

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Wayland, A. H. (2009). New year at the pier: A Rosh Hashanah story. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.
New Year at the Pier focuses on one tradition associated with Rosh Hashanah, Tashlich.  Tashlich represents letting go of one’s mistakes and starting the next year anew.  Izzy has four things he is sorry for and this story follows him as he apologizes for his mistakes.

My grade: A+
I had never heard of the tradition of Tashlich and I think I am in love with it.  I love the idea of a ritual to help you move past your mistakes and learn from them. Stephane Jorisch’s illustrations are wonderful, as well.

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Swamp, J. (1995). Giving thanks: A Native American good morning message. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.
Swamp bases Giving Thanks on a traditional Iroquois message.  The story gives thanks to the Earth and all living things inhabiting the Earth.

My grade: B+
My grade is mostly due to the fact that I am not sure how entertaining this book would be to children.  The illustrations are beautiful, but the story may not hold the interest of young readers that well.

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Jonas, A. (1995). Splash. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.
A young girl’s pond is the source of constant activity as animals jump (or fall) in and out of it.  A repeating question asks how many things are in the pond and gives the opportunity for children to count.

My grade: A
I can only imagine how much fun young children would have with this book.  There is also plenty of chance for interaction, if the book is read outloud.  The colorful illustrations are also very appealing.

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Flournoy, V. (1985). The patchwork quilt. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.
In The Patchwork Quilt, Flournoy treats the reader to a beautiful story with many layers.  Tanya learns how to assemble a quilt from her grandmother and Tanya’s mother realized the importance of the project after originally scoffing at it.

My grade:  A+
It is no wonder this book won the Coretta Scott King Award.  I love the layers – on one hand it is about a young girl connecting with her grandmother, on the other it is about valuing our elders.  I particularly liked this story because my great-grandmother was an avid quilter.  I spent my afternoons after kindergarten with her and played under her huge quilt frame.  This book brought back delightful memories.

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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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