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Gemma is a desert kid that collects umbrellas and loves outerwear, but dislikes cold weather. This makes no sense, not even to her, but that's okay. Other things that make Gemma's heart happy are children's books (particularly picture books and middle grade), swing dancing, live music, creating artwork, dogs, the ocean, learning new things, and a good cup of tea. She loves watching kids fall in love with books, just as she did from an early age. Fun fact, she memorized a cassette recording of Audrey Penn's Sassafras at age 2 and astounded grown-ups with her "reading"!
Aaron Becker is a genius of telling stories without words, and this tale of humankind and nature is no exception. As you ponder the beautiful, time-lapsing illustrations, may you be both cautioned and comforted. Mother Nature is enduring, and even in the face of industrial human ambition, she carries on, and life always begins anew. So, go on-- go out and plant a tree.
If you've never given wordless picture books a chance, let this gentle giant zookeeper, existing in a world presumably without humans, capture your heart. Aaron Becker's magnificent talent for telling stories without the use of words never fails to bowl me over. Each page is a work of art that invites you to think, discuss, and enjoy. So please...enjoy! I certainly did.
"Check this out. This dude named Andrew Dahl holds the world record for blowing up the most balloons . . . with his nose." Jason Reynolds is one of my all-time favorite authors, period. His voice is warm, funny, and compelling. He understands young people in a way that most grown-ups have forgotten how to do. The entire Track series (of which Ghost is the first book) weaves together the stories of four incredibly different kids who all find themselves on--surprise!--the school track team. As teammates become friends, they come to know each other, accept each other, and learn what it means to show up for one another. I love these so much!!
Jon Klassen's offbeat sense of humor gets me every time. This is that strangely dark--but not TOO dark--book that you grow up having in your home library. You are drawn to it, even though it's a little bit creepy. It's the kind of story that grows with you over the years because it's a folktale, and your perspective shifts as you grow older. I still cherish my dark, childhood folktale book--whose will this be?
So spooky! This book feels like it's coming off the page and playing an eerie short film in my head. The story reads like a classic, with our main character passing the tests of an otherworldly creature that holds her curious, greedy brothers captive. Can she save them from this ghostly world, or will she be taken too? Read this one when the sun is out, because it will give you the shivers!
A new Thyra Heder book! *Does happy dance* Every one of her watercolor-filled picture books is a must-have, and Sal Boat (get it?) is no exception. Determination! Creativity! Confidence! I aspire to have the drive and vision of Sal, who knows exactly what he wants to build. And...how lucky we all should be to have a community of support, as Sal does, that shows up with love for us at just the right time.
Nothing tugs my heartstrings like a good sister story. Magical, night-loving Beatrice and sunny, sing-song Roo couldn't be more different, but the love they have for each other helps them find a precious middle ground where they are able to share time together. As a big sister who doesn't always totally understand her little sister, but still loves her like crazy every single day, I needed this whimsical, beautiful book in my library.
Amari is back, and I couldn't be more excited! B.B. Alston deserves all of the hype that Amari's debut received, and this sequel keeps the energy going. With the supernatural world on the brink of a war, and Amari’s magic at stake, there isn’t a dull moment. If you love all things magic, with a touch of humor and a lot of heart, this is the series for you–but watch out for that cliffhanger at the end!
This book is especially dear to me. Becker lets his pictures tell the story in this imaginative, wordless tale that crosses language and age barriers. The meticulous detail in every watercolor scene is marvelous. Let it inspire conversation about what's happening in the story with young ones. It's great for practicing language! Enjoy it with a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a parent, a teacher, a friend.
Every corner of every page of this captivating book is teeming with magic! The details are impeccable, and I pored over every page with utter delight. Find a cozy space to sit, by yourself or with a reading buddy, and get lost in this wondrous store (and maybe learn a valuable lesson along the way). This is one to come back to again and again, because there will always be something new to discover!
Have you ever been asked the question, "If you could have everyone in the world read one book, what would it be?" Well, buckle up, because this is mine. Whether you're looking for humor, mystery, substance, heart, or just a darn good book to pick up, you've found it. Why have everyone read it, you ask? In short, because it's about how anyone, even an ordinary, underachiever, cab-driving kid, can make a difference in this world, one person at a time. I've read this four times and counting, and I discover something new to love about it every time. Go on, read the first page. If you're as intrigued as I was years ago, take it home with you.
When two souls are bound to one another, there is little to be done in the way of separating one person from the other for very long. In spite of creative differences, fights, deaths, and even utter betrayals, the two paths will inevitably cross again. The depth of love rooted in the friendship Sam and Sadie have was deeply moving to follow, as they fall apart and come back together, time after time, over the course of thirty years. Please don't let the video game premise give you pause, if you are not tech-savvy! The relationship is the heart of this story, the games a vehicle, and I came away with an appreciation for both.