Happy Monday everyone! From the Coretta Scott King award to the Indian Paintbrush award this week of reading was full award winning books. Here we go…
Trombone Shorty written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Okay, I was a very student who was very passionate about music in high school and even played trombone so it’s easy to see why I picked out a book about Trombone Shorty. This is an autobiographical story of Troy Andrews and his love for music, his hometown and how he got his nickname. The illustrations in this book were outstanding! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and think it would be great for all grades in elementary school. Perfect to introduce biographies and autobiographies and New Orleans culture. You could have the students make an instrument with their hands and then listen to his music!
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
The colors and illustrations in this book really brought it to life! It is a poem of a young girl who went against the tradition that only boys can be drummers. This true story is perfect for grades K-3 to teach about other cultures traditions and to never give up on your dreams. It would also be great to pair with a music lesson.
Islandborn written by Junot Diaz, illustrated by Leo Esponosa
Lola goes to a very diverse school where students are born from all over other countries. One day, her teacher has her students draw a picture of their first country to share their memories with each other. Unfortunately, Lola does not remember the island she is from…no matter how hard she tries. Her teacher suggests to have her talk to those who do remember the island. The people of her neighborhood describe what they remember, good and bad, to Lola and she is able to make some great illustrations. This is a perfect book for grades 2-4 to teach about immigration and other cultures. You could maybe even set up a few Skype sessions with students in Hawaii to help show their culture.
Balloons Over Broadway: A True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written by Melissa Sweet
Balloons Over Broadway is a true story of how the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade came to be. The book details Tony Sarg, the creater of the balloons. I actually did not know the history of the parade before I read this book. I loved the unique story and fun illustrations. It could easily be incorporated into K-4 classrooms for a read aloud before Thanksgiving break to learn about the history of the parade. After reading the book, students could be tasked with creating their own balloon drawings and writting down/dicussing their own family traditions of Thanksgiving.
The Remember Balloons written by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
I definatly teared up a bit with this one. This story is a heartbreakingly sad story about a grandfather who has dementia and his grandson. In the beginning, you see grandpa telling his grandson about his stories aka balloons. Over time, he forgets and looses his balloons but his grandson does not forget them! He ends up gaining is grandpas lost balloons and sharing them with him. Not only would this book be good for dealing with issues like dementia but it is also a perfect introduction to metaphors.
Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon
A wonderful, touching, non-fiction story of a service dog (Rescue) and Jessica who lost both her legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. The bond between them is indescribable. They actually rescued each other! I don’t want to give much away but I encourage all of you to read it. This would be the perfect book to have any grade read so they can be introduced to service dogs and the important role they play in many peoples lives.
Poor Little Guy written by Elanna Allen
Poor Little Guy is a fun tale of a little fish who gets stalked by larger sea creatures. All is not as it seems though because Poor Little Fish has a trick up his fin! This is a minimal text book that will allow students to work on speculate about what is going on. It would also be a perfect introduction into a unit about sea creatures. Wonderful book for grades K-2.
Grumpy Monkey written by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang
A delightful and charming book that is sure to give you a good laugh. I loved the illustrations of Jim Panzee and his friends – so animated! We all have those days where everything is fine but we are grumpy! It is a great book to use to teach that accepting your emotions can help us overcome them sometimes or even just emotions in general. Grumpy Monkey is a tale for all ages and a true delight.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors written by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
I honestly was not expecting this book to be so good! It is full of humor and some great illustrations. Kids are sure to have a blast reading this action-packed story that reveals the origin of our favorite rock paper scissors game. The story is ideal for younger grades K-2 and is a great way to introduce or show dramatic reading based on how the book is written. You could even have the students act the book out!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone written by J.K. Rowling
Okay, I am halfway through this book and I am so glad I was able to reread it! I grew up with Harry Potter and truly love it. My mom and I used to read the books and go to all the movies when they came out. I feel like I am walking down memory lane and discovering the series all over again. These books are something truly special that students grades 4-6 are bound to fall in love with.