The Funny Little Woman

200px-CM_funny_little_womanMosel, Arlene, Blair Lent, and Lafcadio Hearn. The Funny Little Woman. New York: E.P. Dutton and, 1972.

Summary: A little old woman (who likes to laugh “tee-he-he-he”), makes rice dumplings. One day, a dumpling falls into the ground and she goes down into the hole to retrieve it. She’s captured by oni (monsters), who make her cook for them using a magic paddle. The little old woman eventually escapes and takes the magic paddle with her, sells her rice dumplings and becomes the richest woman in Japan.

Uses: Vocabulary words: Oni (monster), Jizo (Japanese statues of gods). Traditional Japanese foods.

Awards: 1973 Caldecott Medal, ALA Notable Children’s Book, Horn Book Fanfare

Borrowed this book from the Knoxville Public Library


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

CM_between_towersGerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked between the Towers. Brookfield, CT: Roaring Brook, 2003.

Summary: A picture book about the daring (and illegal) 1974 walk Phillipe Petit made between the two World Trade Center twin towers. Beautifully poignant scene at the end depicts that the towers are no longer there, without further explanation.

Uses: Discussion of 9/11, history

Awards: 2004 Caldecott Medal, Horn Book Award, Carnegie Medal

Borrowed this book from the Knoxville Public Library

Many Moons

200px-CM_many_moonsThurber, James, and Louis Slobodkin (illustrator). Many Moons,. New York: Harcourt, Brace and, 1943.

Summary: Princess is very sick. Her father, the king, asks what he can get for her to make her well again. She wants the moon. Will the King, Lord High Chamberlin, Court Mathematician or the Court Jester be able to get the moon to help Princess get well?

Uses: Discuss perception and how the Princess’ perception of the moon was different than reality.

Awards: 1944 Caldecott Medal

Borrowed book from the Knoxville Public Library


John, Paul, George & Ben

imagesSmith, Lane. John, Paul, George & Ben. New York: Hyperion for Children, 2006.

Summary: A humorous book about John Hancock, George Washington, Paul Revere, and Ben Franklin. The author also sneaks in a few notes about Tom Jefferson. The book focuses on how these boys used to get in trouble. Great fun and wonderful illustrations.

Uses: Perfect for US History and Social studies.

Awards: Horn Book Fanfare Award, School Library Journal Best Books,  NYT Best Illustrated Book of the Year,  Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year,  Parenting Magazine Best Book of the Year, NYT Notable Book

Borrowed from the Knoxville Public Library


In Our Mother’s House

polacco mothersPolacco, Patricia. In Our Mothers’ House. New York: Philomel, 2009.

Summary: Lesbian couple “Meema” and “Marmee” have a house full of love. Together they raise three beautiful, well-adjusted children. The book follows the family through their lives and ultimately until after Meema and Marmee have died. A beautiful story.

Uses: Family units that are different, celebrating differences, adoption stories

Awards: ALA Rainbow Book List 2010, What’s New in Children’s Literature 2010 (Dr. Peggy Sharp)

Borrowed this book from the Knoxville Public Library

Mrs. Katz and Tush

811090Polacco, Patricia. Mrs. Katz and Tush. New York: Bantam, 1992.

Summary: Mrs. Katz is a lonely widow. Larnel asks her to adopt an unwanted kitten and the two develop a friendship around the tailless runt kitten that she names “Tush.” Larnel spends more and more time with Mrs. Katz and learns of her Polish heritage.

Uses: Polish heritage,  words such as “bubeleh” and kugel.”

Awards: Reading Rainbow book, Honor award for “effective contribution to peace and social justice,” An Oprah Winfrey Recommended Kids’ book

Borrowed book from the Knoxville Public Library

The Day the Crayons Quit

51E7nP9Xi-L._SX300_Daywalt, Drew, and Oliver Jeffers. The Day the Crayons Quit. New York: Philomel, 2013.

Summary: Very creative and written in epistolary style. Crayons write letters to their owner to tell him they’re going on strike. Blue is tired because he works too much coloring in skies and seas and grey is tired of coloring in big elephants. Pink is tired of only coloring princesses and orange and yellow are fighting because they each believe they’re the true color of the sun.

Uses: Creativity in art. Letter writing examples

Awards: Nestle Children’s Book Prize Gold Award (in the U.K.)

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