Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!

51OI4A6jN2L._SX260_Yum, Hyewon. Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! New York: Frances Foster, 2012.

Summary: It’s a little boy’s first day of kindergarten, but who is worried about all the new people and the different things he’ll meet–the boy? No! His Mother! In a nice twist, the child comforts and reassures his mother that everything will be fine, she’ll get used to him going to big-kid school, and yes, he is ready for the first day of kindergarten.

Uses: Kindergarten first day of class

Awards: Kirkus Review & Horn Books starred reviews, featured on “Calling Caldecott’ blog, Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Award

Borrowed this book from Knoxville Public Library


The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

The_Garden_of_Abdul_Gasazi_(Van_Allsburg_book)_coverVan, Allsburg Chris. The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.

Summary:  Alan Mitz is given a dog sitting job. The dog, Fritz, is unruly and likes to bite and chew. When Fritz runs away, Alan chases him into a very mysterious topiary garden with a sign that says “ABSOLUTELY NO DOGS ALLOWED.” Alan meets the owner, retired magician, Abdul Gasazi, who tells him that Fritz has been turned into a duck! Will Alan get Fritz back?

Uses: Predicting outcomes. Responsibility–did Alan do a good job dog sitting?

Awards: 1980 Caldecott Honor

Read this book in the Knoxville Library.

How I Learned Geography

0374334994Shulevitz, Uri. How I Learned Geography. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008.

Summary: Uri Shulevit’s first autobiographical piece tells of how his family was exiled to Turkestan. With no food to eat, he and his mother were devastated when his father brought home a huge map of the world instead of bread. But Uri sits in front of the map and travels in his mind to far away places. The aftewards shows beautiful maps he learned to draw thanks to that map many years later.

Uses: Social studies, discussion of WWII.

Awards: Caldecott Honor book, American Library Association Notable Children’s Books;  An Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read; Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year; NYPL Book for Reading and Sharing; Parents’ Choice Honor Books; Charlotte Zolotow Award  Book; NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies; Booklinks Lasting Connection; Booklist Editors’ Choice; Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of the Year; School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Read this book at the Knoxville Public Library.

Pink and Say

pink_and_sayPolacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. New York: Philomel, 1994.

Summary: Heartbreaking and powerful–a true tale of Pinkus Aylee (black union soldier) that finds Sheldon Cutis wounded. He take him home to be tended by his mother.  The two are captured, Pink’s mother is killed and Pink himself is hanged at Andersonville Prison. The book honors Pink and is an attempt to make sure he is never forgotten.

Uses: Civil War unit

Awards: Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, & Kirkus starred reviews; Irma S. and James H. Black Award, ALA Notable, National Council for Social Studies Notable, Horn Book Fanfare

Borrowed this book from a friend.





bbsmallcovStaake, Bob. Bluebird. New York: Schwartz & Wade, 2013.

Summary: Bob Staake explores loneliness and bullying. In this wordless picture book, a boy and a bluebird become friends. The bluebird ultimately gives his life to protect the young boy from harm. Art is with shades of grey, black and blue as the only other primary color. Striking.

Uses: Could start a discussion about friendship, loyalty, loss and compassion.

Awards: Starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist. Indie Books Top 10 Book of 2013

Borrowed this book from the Knoxville Library.