Review: The Library Bus

Bahram Rahman tells the story of a woman and her daughter who travel around Afghanistan on a bus filled with books, not seats, to teach young girls English. They allow them to borrow books, and give them English lessons once per week. It is often not enough, but it is what they can do to make a difference in the lives of these girls.

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Review: Anthony and the Gargoyle

This wordless picturebook lets you travel in time from generation to generation. Through illustrations done in a decidedly warm Parisian pallet Kastelic pushes thoughts to run free in a collection of images that propel Bogart’s narrative forward. Illustrated in graphic-novel style, each panel, gives the reader plenty to discuss. Discussion, essential, as it engages children in much needed analysis essential to developing reading and comprehension skills. This book is ripe for dialogic reading.

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If you are looking for a story of adventure, determination, and perseverance consider picking up Headstrong Hallie. The story of Hallie Morse Daggett is a great example for young children because it shows that they can do anything they want, despite the impossible barriers that stand in the way of their dream.

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Review: My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

This book follows an inquisitive, precocious little Black boy as he battles boredom and a rainy day with his imaginative pretend play. It starts, of course, with a cardboard box, and rolls on from there – dishrags, socks, goggles, swimming trunks – nothing is spared on this little boy’s quest to launch his rocket ship, all through the day right into B-E-D!

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Review: They’re So Flamboyant

In this engaging book, filled with artful, amusing, alliteration, Genhart weaves a tale of inclusion and exclusion using different birds to bring out assumptions about a group that is new to the neighborhood. Each bird type, begging to be read in a different voice/accent (you and the kid will have more fun that way), finds a different reason to exclude, fear, mistrust the flamboyance.

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This is a sweet, fun book that can help reinforce one of the earliest phonological skills: rhyming. Using a book with characters children love and being able to talk about words that rhyme is a win-win for everyone.

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Review: Gloria’s Porridge

Gloria makes yummy porridge and refuses to give any to her cat. Her cat, of course, ends up eating all of it. When Gloria finds out, she chases the cat with a spoon. The cat, jumps on a donkey. The donkey starts a ruckus, disturbing a tree that unsettles some bees . . . .
And so on . . . .

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Review: Rapunzel

“But where is the prince,” my son asked at the end of the story. “There isn’t one,” we answered. And so began the discussion at the end of Woolvin’s Rapunzel, an empowering take on the traditional damsel in distress story we’ve all heard (and told) over the years. In this Rapunzel, Rapunzel doesn’t need saving. She figures everything out, all on her own.

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