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January’s Picture Book of the Month- Part 4

25 Jan

picturebookit

As part of my Commitment to Literacy: Picture Book It challenge, I wanted to spotlight one book that I’m completely in love with. Throughout the month, I’ll do multiple posts based on the book. I hope you will end up picking up the book and joining in on the conversation.

Previous posts:
Commitment to Literacy: Picture Book It
January’s Picture Book of the Month Announcement
Videos
Articles & Audio File

Congratulations to Love for being #1 on the New York Times Picture Books bestseller list!

love

This week, I wanted to spotlight other books Matt and Loren have done, including reviews of the ones I’ve read.

Ball Don't LieBall Don’t Lie by Matt de la Pena

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know why there wasn’t a review of this when I actually finished the book.

I don’t tend to read books about sports but I wanted to read some of Matt de la Pena’s YA novels. I enjoyed the grittiness of the situations and the emotions which made more of a realistic read which I think will lure reluctant readers into picking up books again- or for the first time.

A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe LouisA Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt de la Pena

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve become such a fan of Matt de la Pena’s work so I made sure to read this. I’ve heard about this boxer and his most famous fight when I read Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It’s always cool to see the same event from different perspectives.

Last Stop on Market StreetLast Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Christian Robinson has become an illustrator whose books I always look forward to reading. This one is no exception. Matt de la Pena writes a wonderful story about the beauty of one’s city told through the relationship of a boy and his grandmother.”

That was my review when I first read it last year. And it’s been one of my favorite books to recommend. After sweeping the ALA YMA, I wanted to reread it, especially for the text only but I couldn’t help starting over yet again- so caught up I was with the illustrations.

It is a darn good story.

Coco: Miguel and the Grand HarmonyCoco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony by Matt de la Pena

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been meaning to read this but it was somehow hard to find. Thank goodness for the library!

Music is everywhere. And in a small town, Music finds a boy who could use a little help following his dream.

A beautiful book to encourage anyone to never give up and listen to the music.

Flying Lessons & Other StoriesFlying Lessons & Other Stories by Ellen Oh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great anthology that not only showcases diversity but will give readers an introduction to some of the finest YA writers around right now. I hope people will enjoy the stories and that they will reflect on their own stories- the ones that they alone can tell shaped by their unique background and culture and experiences.

What’s next?

carmela
Carmela Full of Wishes (illustrated by Christian Robinson.) October 9th. Read the
press release.

OtisOtis by Loren Long

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great story about friendship between a tractor named Otis and a new calf that has arrived on the farm. It also tackles the topic of what each of has to contribute even when it doesn’t seem that we have anything new or unique to offer. Loren Long’s illustrations are striking.

An Otis ChristmasAn Otis Christmas by Loren Long

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a rather intense read in terms of the conflict. But luckily everything works out in the end!

Otis and the ScarecrowOtis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like Loren Long’s Otis series because of it feel so American to me. Does that make sense? It has tradition and values. This one, though, fell flat to me. At least, the way they handled the scarecrow’s expression at the end was interesting. The illustrations remain pleasant to look at!

Otis and The KittensOtis and The Kittens by Loren Long

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I love about the Otis series is that he represents the good American image. He’s loyal and dependable and will do what’s right even if it’s not what’s easy. This is a nice tribute to firefighters as well.

Little TreeLittle Tree by Loren Long

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Beautifully illustrated tale of letting go in order to grow.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My DaughtersOf Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice message. Another great format of combining two separate elements into one.

Good Day, Good NightGood Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Following the format of Goodnight Moon, this never before published work is brought to life with Loren Long’s illustration.

What’s next?

cover
There’s a Hole at the Bottom of the Lake. September 25th. Click on image for more information.

What are some of your favorite Matt de la Peña and Loren Long books?

 

— — — — — — — THANK YOU FOR READING! — — — — — — —

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Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

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My blogging is fueled by YOU taking the time to read my words. It is also fueled by caffeine. If you’re so inclined, my email is EARLDIZON [at] GMAIL.COM if you want to send a Starbucks gift card my way. Thanks!

— — — — — — — HAPPY READING! — — — — — — —

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