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January’s Picture Book of the Month- Part 3

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 post:
Commitment to Literacy: Picture Book It
January’s Picture Book of the Month Announcement
Videos

I hope everyone has taken the time to read Love!

love

At my regular weekly volunteer shift at the library, we spent some time talking about it. We shared which text and images resonated with us the most. There were so many! The whole book is special and will have something for everyone. Not only do I recommend that you pick up your copy now but I highly recommend that you read it with others (kids and adults) and talk about it!

This week, I wanted to share some insightful interviews the creators of the books have been doing for the book recently.

Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children From Darkness by Matt de la Peña
Why Children’s Books Should Be a Little Sad by Kate DiCamillo (Response to Matt de la Peña’s article)
Picture Book Author Says ‘I Had To Be Real’ When Writing ‘Love’
Listen to Love (via AudioFile)

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

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

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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Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2018- January 17, 2018

nfpb2018

One Fun Day with Lewis Carroll: A Celebration of Wordplay and a Girl Named AliceOne Fun Day with Lewis Carroll: A Celebration of Wordplay and a Girl Named Alice by Kathleen Krull
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Words are celebrated in their made up existence created by Lewis Carroll’s creative mind. How his heavy responsibility having to take care of his many siblings helped inspire his zany worlds, his wonder lands, will be fascinating to readers. A glossary is included in the back.

The art will simply wow readers and invite multiple admirations.

Mae Among the StarsMae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With a refrain of encouraging words, this story of the first African American woman in outer space is perfect for storytimes and read-alouds sure to inspire readers to dream big and work hard for it.

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth CottenLibba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love nonfiction picture books with great back matter material. In her author’s note, Laura Veirs writes about how this story came about and provides more information about Elizabeth Cotten. This is a great story of a girl who was meant to play music despite all the things going against her.

The illustrations are outstanding.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space RaceHidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the adult nonfiction book that launched a young reader’s edition and a fantastic film comes a picture book that’s not just good- but “really good.” These four fantastic females shared a love and understanding of numbers that led them to uncharted territories within NASA and beyond both time and space.

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

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

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! — — — — — — —

 

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- January 15, 2018

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

This week, I posted:
January’s Picture Book of the Month- Part 2
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature: Part 6

While You Are SleepingWhile You Are Sleeping by Mariana Ruiz Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This wordless picture book import will take you away from the realistic to the fantastic, perhaps from the comfort of your bed to where the wild things are- and back again!

Not What It SeemsNot What It Seems by Paula Vásquez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A playful picture book that shows that appearances can be deceiving. An elephant is not an elephant. A turtle is not a turtle. Readers (as well as the animals mentioned) will be surprised by what they are!

Life Doesn't Frighten MeLife Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the text. I appreciated what they were trying to do pairing it with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art but it didn’t work for me. For me, I would enjoy each element on their own.

The Good Morning BookThe Good Morning Book by Lori Joy Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s odd that despite I picked up this book to display or move around in the store multiple times, I never actually opened it. I was surprised it was a cute enough story of how creatures real and imagined say Good Morning.

Charlotte's WebCharlotte’s Web by E.B. White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently reread “Charlotte’s Web” and I love this classic more now than I did back when I was younger! It was easy to get comfortable in the world of E.B. White. Things seemed much simpler and innocent back then even though life and death were always present. Then there were the characters- Wilbur, who was such a pig, in the best sense of the word, and matter-of-fact Charlotte who was a mother and friend anyone would be lucky to have. This book, as she would say, is “terrific.”
It was such a treat to have E.B. White be the narrator for Charlotte’s Web. Rereading Charlotte’s Web at this time has added a different layer. Whose life hasn’t been saved or changed for the better by a wonderful female figure who doesn’t get the credit she deserves? I am completely a Wilbur and I am forever grateful to the Fern’s and the Charlotte’s in my life.

Call Me by Your NameCall Me by Your Name by André Aciman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wanted to read this book before watching the movie which has been getting lots of positive reviews. I was pleasantly surprised that one of the film’s actors Arnie Hammer read the audio book although it was a bit disconcerting since he was reading from a diiferent character’s perspective.

Let me tell you how worried I was about this book. Because this was an LGBTQ novel set primarily in the 80’s and told as a remembrance of a summer spent with a past love/lover, I thought it was going to end how those kinds of books tend to end.

Without spoiling anything (more), this did break my heart- not only with certain things that happened throughout the course of the novel but also because the beauty there was in it.

This book will make readers fall in love with the language, with the characters and with their stories.

mustreadin2018

The Terrible Two Go Wild (The Terrible Two, #3)The Terrible Two Go Wild by Mac Barnett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The dynamic duo is back and defending the reputation of pranksters against a camp bully. I love how the series can be first and foremost funny and then poignant. It’s not just a summer of jokes- although there are lots of laughs to be had- but a time of growing up, a coming of age between two friends. While I enjoy the illustrations, I would love it if the books had less of them if it means more- and faster- stories!

Hilo Book 4: Waking the MonstersHilo Book 4: Waking the Monsters by Judd Winick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hilo returns better than ever. With someone from his past now part of the group, his memories may finally come back. But at what cost? And do all the robot monsters suddenly showing up and attacking the world have something to do with it? Readers will love this latest installment full of fun, adventure, and friendship. And, I will mention this… there will be costumes!

Review Notes
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

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

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

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! — — — — — — —

 

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature: Part 6

“The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature raises national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.”
-from the website

National_Ambassador_for_Young_People's_Literature_-_logo

A few years ago, one of my reading challenges was to read some of the works by the National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature. I’ve talked about Jon Scieszka, Kate DiCamillo, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson. and Gene Luen Yang.

The most recent inductee is Jacqueline Woodson.

I was honored to be part of the selection committee who got to choose such an amazing writer! And, I’m excited to see how she carries out her platform “Reading = Hope X Change” inviting people to figure out their equation in the world and deciding which factors they can change to create the world they want to live in.

Read the press release here.

Watch the inauguration ceremony here.

I just love the idea of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and will do more posts about it.

One of the things I like to do is read books by the Ambassadors so I’ve added a few titles by Jacqueline Woodson to my Must Read list. I wanted to share my reviews of the ones I’ve already read.

Brown Girl DreamingBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

brown girl dreaming is a powerful moving memoir told in verse written by a gifted writer. Jacqueline Woodson gives us glimpses of her childhood in a way that seems rushed but then stops at moments with startling discovery. I loved the relationships- how family can cause us pain and sadness but how they can also make us happier and stronger than anything else in the world. Kids will enjoy- and parents will appreciate- how patience helped Woodson discover what she was good at. Don’t we all want to excel something that’ll set us apart? Aspiring writers will take inspiration and courage from the fact that stories are all around us and within us if we just look.

Another BrooklynAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This novel reads quickly because the words just flow so easily from one to the other creating a nostalgic feel as the main character reminisces about her early teenage years with her friends. The story and circumstances are beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time mixed in with a bit of mystery about her missing mother. The only thing that I didn’t like was that I didn’t feel like there was actual character growth after thinking about her past.

Each KindnessEach Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up because many educators who come to the bookstore tend to recommend this to me as one of their favorite read-alouds. I can see why. It’s an interesting and introspective look about how actions and inactions affect others. Will resonate with many readers.

What are your favorite Jacqueline Woodson books that I should read?

What are some of your favorite books by previous Ambassadors?

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

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

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! — — — — — — —

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2018- January 10, 2018

nfpb2018

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and YouBe a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, I’ve got say this book started off strong even before the story started with wonderful quotes by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The picture book follows two storylines with the current day plot of a classroom working on an MLK Day project drawing parallels in King’s own life via the lessons being learned. The artwork too is cleverly alternated between two different styles to mimic the dual narrative. The text would be great as an oral presentation with a group repeating the chorus of “You Can Be a King.”

I Am Harriet TubmanI Am Harriet Tubman by Brad Meltzer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We received an oversized promotional copy of this book for the store and, it seemed fitting, because Harriet Tubman was such a larger than life person that people should know about. And, that’s why I’m so happy that the Ordinary People Change the World series exists. They are a great way for kids to meet who we consider heroes but were just like them. It’s also a great way to discuss what makes a hero a hero and what skills we can nurture in ourselves that can make us extraordinary.

Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  and the March on Washington (Step into Reading)Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Washington by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great introductory read into three rather big topics: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the March on Washington, and the Civil Rights Movement. Will leave readers inspired and want to learn more. What really stood out for me was the art work.

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

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

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! — — — — — — —

 

January’s Picture Book of the Month- Part 2

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 post:
Commitment to Literacy: Picture Book It
January’s Picture Book of the Month Announcement

At last, Love is out in the world!

love

Matt de la Peña and Loren Long’s picture book is available for purchase at your favorite independent bookstore and your local library. This is truly a book a to be treasured and I can’t wait for everyone to read it, share it, and talk about it.

I wanted to share a couple of videos to get you even more excited about it whether or not you already have a copy!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Love. What’s your favorite line? What’s your favorite image? Take a book selfie with it and share it!

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

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

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

starbucksgiftcard

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! — — — — — — —

 

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- January 8, 2018

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

This week, I posted:
Looking Forward to 2018
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday
Commitment to Literacy: Picture Book It
January’s Picture Book of the Month– Discover what my first pick is!

picturebookit

Alfie: (The Turtle That Disappeared)Alfie: by Thyra Heder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first read of 2018 and, if this was any indicator of how my reading will be like for the rest of the year, then I’m expecting lots of great surprises in store!

I’d been wanting to read this picture book since it came in the store but it was only after seeing other bloggers rave about it that I decided to pick it up. A great story about one friendship seen from two perspectives- the girl’s and the turtle’s. I was pleasantly surprised by how the story turned out and loved the very expressive illustrations. I can’t wait to share this with other readers!

More kidlit reviews: https://thechroniclesofachildrensbook…

Grandfather Tang's StoryGrandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I hadn’t read this book before considering I love tangrams and other puzzles. (In fact, I’m sure this was a reread and I had just forgotten to include it on my blog and Goodreads feed.)

A grandfather and his granddaughter spend an afternoon playing tangrams and he uses the pieces to tell a story about a couple of playful fox-fairies who shapeshift into different creatures (with corresponding tangram set-up.) But it’s not all fun and games when the foxes encounter an unexpected danger.

The Day I Became a BirdThe Day I Became a Bird by Ingrid Chabbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been meaning to read this picture book for awhile now but I thought it was going to be super weird for some reason. But, I’m kicking myself for thinking that since this is one of the sweetest love stories I’ve read recently.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh CutCrown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bravo! What a great celebratory book about something most people probably experience (even if it’s just a typical haircut) and yet not really written about that often- and definitely not in this way! I love the note from the author at the end. It got me thinking about how barbershops are kind of like community centers and a lot can be accomplished in them.

As a writer, it was a great reminder that sometimes it’s in the mundane things that we find something worth sharing.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityGetting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone who loves lists, resolutions, goal-planning, and bullet journaling, this was something I’ve heard of a lot and familiar with what it was about even without having read the book. I listened to the abridged audio book which provided the gist of it- and pretty well, too!- so I can’t imagine anyone wanting to spend more than the almost three-hours this version provided. This would be good as the occasional reread (or re-listen) to help you feel energized about being productive again.

Review Notes
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

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

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

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

starbucksgiftcard

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! — — — — — — —