Saved by the Boats by Julie Gassman is a picture book about September 11, 2001 and the ways the boats in New York Harbor came to the rescue of thousands of stranded New Yorkers. For me the most striking aspect of this book is the illustrations, as they so nicely capture the sense of togetherness that occurred during the tragedy.Continue Reading
The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères by Marie Letourneau is a fun picture book about a restaurant in Paris run by seven brothers. However, it is the one sister who ends up saving the day! The Bistrot is a special place for mice and all the illustrations in it feature anthropomorphic mice.
“Anyone who is anyone eats there.” We are told right from the start. Continue Reading
Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu is a novel in poetry about the effect of September 11, 2001 about a Japanese-American girl living in Japan. As Ema prepares in her grandparent’s home for the arrival of a new sibling, she struggles with bullying in her school, as the other students tease her and she adjusts to a very Japanese school in a new neighborhood.
Then, in shock, she hears of the unfolding of the terrorist attacks in the USA. Now she is even more torn between her identity as a biracial and bi-national girl in her school, and she struggles with the relationship with her grandparents as well. Is there any hope for the world if the USA goes down? How can she go to school as if nothing has happened? And how can she handle the bully she must face when she does return to class?Continue Reading
Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver is a book about a girl and her unusual friend that helps her to enjoy her reading time. The pictures depict this reading buddy as a bear, and Adelaide describes how her bear is such a good buddy. Yet the book as a whole seems to be about much more. It’s about how to find a comfortable way to sit and read. It’s about how to get the most out of reading time. And although it seems to be a story about a girl and a bear, it is really a great introduction for kids in how a “buddy” can help you enjoy reading practice. Continue Reading