We recently held our annual Educator Night at our store. It was a fun evening dedicated to recommending books we think might be of interest to students. Even though I don’t like talking in front of crowds (and this was a rather sizable one), I gave a short presentation on these titles.
I was glad I liked this since I hadn’t read it until the day of. It’s great when kids can learn from a book but not realize it because the story is so cute and funny. The role-reversal reminded me of My Dad is Big and Strong, But… (by Coralie Saudo), another book I enjoyed.
“Pictures just come to my mind and I tell my heart to go ahead.” Quotes by Horace Pippen pepper this picture book of the celebrated artist. Jen Bryant tells the life of someone with a dream and desire to paint who needed to drop out of school to help out his family and who was wounded in his right arm as a WWI soldier. His determination to not let these things stop him is inspiring! Melissa Sweet’s illustrations are eye-catchingly beautiful. I don’t particularly like non-fiction books but this was good.
We are all connected. An incredibly beautiful picture book that introduces kids to atoms and how everything in the world is connected to one another. This is a great message to introduce to even the youngest scientific minds; a book that can be enjoyed over and over and will have different meaning at different times of the reader’s life. The mixed media illustrations are delightful! Soyeon Kim’s dioramas are truly masterpieces of art. I love that you can take off the dustjacket to read about her process of creating the scenes.
Grace Lin recaptures the magic of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in this equally enchanting tale of a boy in search of the missing moon and himself. It’s about the magic in the stories we tell others and ourselves. It’s also about family and forgiveness.
I don’t know why I kept procrastinating reading this! The Last Dragonslayer is a great introduction to Jasper Fforde for young adults. I love the humor but I know it isn’t for everyone. I would recommend it to fans of the Harry Potter series, for anyone who’s more BBC than NBC in terms of their viewing habits.
I love long titles! I literally couldn’t put the book down. I was so engrossed with the story, the characters. I wanted to know what happened next. I wanted to see how the inevitable conflicts were handled. I wanted to make sure they were in a good place when I said goodbye to them.
It’s when you can’t stop thinking about the characters even after the last page that made “Aristotle and Dante” a favorite of mine. And, I relate when there’s an issue of identity, when the characters show actual, realistic growth. This was more than a book about being gay, though. Sáenz’s words were powerful and emotional. He put his characters in beautiful and awful situations- just like life.
It’s when I feel grateful that a book like that exists in the world and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is definitely one of those!
Here are some other books I reviewed for Educator Night:
-The World Is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley: In this great photo book, National Geographic gives kids the opportunity to discover the possibilities and wonders awaiting them if they choose to seek them! The positive message will surely inspire readers to discover the world around them! Short bios of the explorers featured in the book are provided in the back.
-! by Amy Rosenthal: Sometimes we stand out even when we don’t want to. Sometimes we’re different regardless of how hard we try to fit in. Sometimes we need others to remind us that it’s OK just to be ourselves. That’s the point (!) of this story.
-That’s a Possibility by Bruce Goldstone: Who knew math could be so fun?!? This book of colorful photographs and illustrations introduces kids to the concepts of possibilities, probabilities, and impossibilities with fun interactive examples. Will give kids a new way to look at things and may inspire them to create their own mathematical guessing games!
-At Our House by Isabel Minhos Martins: Get ready for some numbers fun! Go on a counting adventure that will have kids wanting to see how many heads, noses, fingers, toes there are at their house, their school, anywhere! Fun facts about the human body can be found at the end of this beautifully illustrated book.
-Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson: This is a complete must have just so kids can appreciate Kadir Nelson’s striking paintings. Picture books can be works of art. Of course, this also tells the story of a man who still up to this day is making the world a better place by making sure everyone is treated equally.