School is off to an amazing start. Seriously, I don't know how I got so lucky to teach the students that I do. But as we're preparing to talk about banned books I wanted to share the books from August that really left an impression.
Here's what most stuck out from the AUGUST picture book releases that crossed my desk.
I wonder if you read and loved any of these? And I wonder which books weren't included on my list for one reason or another that definitely made it onto yours. (Be sure to share in the comments below!)
AUGUST 2018 Recap (selected picture books):
FOR A STRENGTH IN ALL SIZES, WITH VOICES SOFT AND LOUD
Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Jade Johnson (SEAGRASS PRESS)
AMAZON | INDIEBOUND
Someday Is Now tells the inspirational story of the celebrated civil rights leader, Clara Luper, who led one of the first lunch-counter sit-ins in America.
How will you stand against something you know is wrong? One way is to follow the lessons of bravery taught by civil rights pioneerslike Clara Luper.
As a child, Clara saw how segregation affected her life. Her journey famously led her to Oklahoma, where she and her students desegregated stores and restaurants that were closed to African-Americans. With courage and conviction, Clara Luper led young people to “do what had to be done.
”This moving title includes additional information on Clara Luper's extraordinary life, her lessons of nonviolent resistance, and a glossary of key civil rights people and terms.
FOR A MATTER-OF-FACT LOOK AT PROTEST MARCHES AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED
If You're Going to a March by Martha Freeman and Violet Kim (STERLING CHILDREN'S BOOKS)
AMAZON | INDIEBOUND
“If you’re going to a march, you’re going to want a sign”—and this inspiring handbook, which introduces children to the world of action and activism.
As more and more children attend the growing number of marches across the country, this cheerful guide serves as a great reference tool and conversation starter for youthful participants. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, this picture book addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where will I be able to go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (Yes, it is!). All the while the text stays focused on the fact that the right to assemble is a Constitutional part of our life as Americans . . . whatever our political point of view.
FOR THE AFFIRMATION THAT EVERY CHILD NEEDS THAT THEY MATTER AND BELONG IN THIS WORLD
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (NANCY PAULSEN BOOKS)
AMAZON | INDIEBOUND
There will be times when you walk into a roomand no one there is quite like you.
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
FOR SEEING YOURSELF AND FOR SEEING OTHERS AND FOR THOSE WHO WONDER WHY
Hats of Faith by Medeia Cohan and Sarah Walsh (CHRONICLE BOOKS)
AMAZON | INDIEBOUND
Hats of Faith is a simple and striking introduction to the shared custom of religious head coverings. With bright images and a carefully researched interfaith text, this thoughtful book inspires understanding and celebrates our culturally diverse modern world.
FOR REMEMBERING ESPECIALLY IN TIMES WHEN REMEMBERING IS THE HARDEST
The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros and Dana Wulfekotte (SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS)
AMAZON | INDIEBOUND
What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.
But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!
Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.
FOR LOVING A PERSON ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THEM WHEN WHAT THEY NEED MOST IS FOR SOMEONE TO BELIEVE
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell and Corinna Luyken (DIAL BOOKS)
A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.
Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.
But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?
The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.
Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.
FOR BEING NOT SO THE SAME AND ALSO NO SO DIFFERENT
A Moon for Moe and Mo by Jane Breskin Zalben and Mehrdokht Amini (CHARLESBRIDGE)
An interfaith friendship develops when Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, overlaps with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan--an occurence that happens only once every thirty years or so.
Moses Feldman, a Jewish boy, lives at one end of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, while Mohammed Hassan, a Muslim boy, lives at the other. One day they meet at Sahadi's market while out shopping with their mothers and are mistaken for brothers. A friendship is born, and the boys bring their families together to share rugelach and date cookies in the park as they make a wish for peace.
FOR INNOCENCE PRESERVED AND TEMPTATION SOOTHED BITE BY BITE
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin (LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS)
Pat, pat, pat...
Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.
Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she's not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can't resist a nibble?
In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.
FOR DISCOVERING THE ONE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND A FRIEND
Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude by Josh Funk and Stevie Lewis (HENRY HOLD AND CO.)
Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library.
That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library’s labyrinthine halls.
With Josh Funk's clever rhymes and Stevie Lewis' vibrant art, Lost in the Library introduces young readers to a pair of unforgettable lions, as well as the famed New York Public Library, and includes bonus material loaded with facts about Patience, Fortitude, and the NYPL's history.
FOR INSPIRING YOUNG SCIENTISTS AND CONSERVATIONISTS WITH A RELATABLE AND TRUE STORY OF DOING GREAT GOOD
Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson (ROARING BROOK PRESS)
From Stephanie Roth Sisson, the creator of Star Stuff, comes a picture book biography of Rachel Carson, the iconic environmentalist who fought to keep the sounds of nature from going silent.
As a child, Rachel Carson lived by the rhythms of the natural world. Spring after spring, year after year, she observed how all living things are connected. And as an adult, Rachel watched and listened as the natural world she loved so much began to fall silent. Spring After Spring traces Rachel’s journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement.
FOR WITNESSING NATURE'S WEB AND KNOWING YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IN IT ALL
If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams (ROARING BROOK PRESS)
AMAZON | INDIEBOUND
The freezing ecosystem in the far north of the globe is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be
Strong, like a walrus
Tough, like a lemming
Resilient, like an arctic fox
But no arctic animal is as iconic as the polar bear.
Unfortunately, the endangered polar bear is threatened with extinction due to rapid climate change that is causing the ice where it hunts/lives to melt at an alarming rate. If Polar Bears Disappeared uses accessible, charming art to explore what would happen if the sea ice melts, causing the extinction of polar bears, and how it would affect environments around the globe.
FOR HELPING TO UNPACK EMOTIONS AND SHED ANGER LAYER BY LAYER
Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul (STERLING CHILDREN'S BOOKS)
Have you ever felt mad enough to stomp, smash, and crash? Allie has Meet one angry little girl and see how she calms down, bit by bit--with the help of her understanding big brother.
Poor Allie She's in a rage, throwing a tantrum, and having a fit. Her emotions have built and built and now they just burst. Is there a sweet little girl hiding somewhere under all the angry layers? And can her big brother find a way to make things all right again? In the tradition of When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry and Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, Allie All Along explores simple ways kids can center themselves in the face of overwhelming emotions. The illustrations' varying hues and vibrant colors capture the powerful feelings that young children can't always express in words.
*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site.