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Traditional nursery rhymes get a fun, modern treatment in this wonderfully kid-friendly collection. Illustrated with clever photos of diverse kids in a city setting, it’s a fantastic addition to any preschool library!
For 1st and 2nd Grade (Ages 6-8):
Sail AwayPoems by Langston Hughes illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Legendary illustrator Ashley Bryan pairs the lush language of Langston Hughes with vibrant cut paper collages in this wonderful assortment of poems that celebrate the sea. It’s a read-aloud dream!
Generations of readers have laughed themselves silly over the poems in this wildly imaginative collection from a beloved poet. Several members of our staff can recite poems from this book from memory – just ask. Giggles guaranteed!
An incredible gift for any kid, family, or teacher! Stunning National Geographic photos fill the pages of this huge anthology that introduces kids to poems both old and new. It’s a book they’ll never outgrow and will pull of the shelf again and again.
Grades 7 & up (Ages 13+)
The Red Pencil Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, with illustrations by Shane W. Evans
Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this beautiful novel in verse tells the story of a Sudanese refugee whose spirit is wounded by war but reawakened by creativity and inspiration. Readers will be moved by this story of optimism in the face of great obstacles.
More than $7,000 was raised from Picture Book Summit 2015. The founders of this online conference made the announcement at New York Media Works.
Here’s more from the press release: “Picture Book Summit 2015 took place on October 3rd, and featured keynotes from bestselling authors Mac Barnett, Peter Brown, and Andrea Davis Pinkney, as well as workshops led by the co-founders and panel discussions with editors and agents. Hundreds of working and aspiring children’s book writers attended the event, logging in from six continents.”
The money will be donated to the We Need Diverse Books organization. The 2016 edition of Picture Book Summit is set to take place on Oct. 1, 2016.
The lecture, entitled “Rejoice the Legacy!,” will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Willey Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A reception and signing will follow the event. Required tickets are free for the lecture and must be obtained through the University of Minnesota website. To learn more about acquiring tickets, please visit the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture website.
The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture is sponsored by ALSC. The lecture title honors May Hill Arbuthnot, distinguished writer, editor and children’s literature scholar. Each year, an author, artist, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature is selected to prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.
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2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture With Andrea Davis Pinkney
University of Minnesota Libraries, Children’s Literature Research Collections
Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CDT)
Dork Diaries 8: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renee Russell; Aladdin Nikki Maxwell’s favorite fairy tales get dork-tastic twists in this entry in the #1 “New York Times”-bestselling series. After a bump on the head in gym class on April Fool’s Day, Nikki dreams that she, her BFFs Chloe and Zoey, her crush Brandon, and mean girl Mackenzie are all familiar classic fairy tale characters.
Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata; Atheneum MG The new novel from a Newbery Medalist and National Book Award winner. Eleven-year-old Jaden, an emotionally damaged adopted boy, feels a connection to a small, weak toddler with special needs in Kazakhstan, where Jaden’s family is trying to adopt a “normal” baby.
The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond; Scholastic In a stunning reimagining of history, debut author Richmond weaves an incredible story of secrets and honor in a world where Hitler won World War II. In this action-packed, heart-stopping novel of a terrifying reality that could have been, a teenage girl must decide just how far she’ll go for freedom.
On A Clear Day by Walter Dean Myers; Crown Books for Young Readers It is 2035. Teens, armed only with their ideals, must wage war on the power elite. Dahlia is a Low Gater: a sheep in a storm, struggling to survive completely on her own. The Gaters live in closed safe communities, protected from the Sturmers, mercenary thugs. And the C-8, a consortium of giant companies, control global access to finance, media, food, water, and energy resources—and they are only getting bigger and even more cutthroat. Dahlia, a computer whiz, joins forces with an ex-rocker, an ex-con, a chess prodigy, an ex-athlete, and a soldier wannabe. Their goal: to sabotage the C-8. But how will Sayeed, warlord and terrorist, fit into the equation?
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Scholastic Press“Amira, look at me,” Muma insists.She collects both my hands in hers.“The Janjaweed attack without warning.Ifever they come– run.”
Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala– Amira’s one true dream.
But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey– on foot– to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind– and all kinds of possibilities. New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.
The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis; Scholastic A bestselling Newbery Medalist delivers a powerful companion to “Elijah of Buxton.” Benji and Red aren’t friends, but their fates are entwined. The boys discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real?
The Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake It’s 1953, and 10-year-old Octobia May lives in her aunt’s boarding house in a southern African-American community. When Octobia starts to question the folks in her world, an adventure and a mystery unfold that beg some troubling questions: Who is black and who is “passing” for white? What happens when their vibrant community must face its own racism?
Billy Buckhorn Abnormal by Gary Robinson Book one of the Billy Buckhorn series introduces a Cherokee teen who uses his supernatural abilities to solve mysteries. In this first installment, “Abnormal,” Billy is struck by lightning while fishing with his friend Chigger. He survives the lightning strike but begins to experience an enhanced level of esp. Billy is labeled “abnormal” by one of his teachers after he uncovers an unsavory secret from the teacher’s past. What no one suspects is that the teacher is a shape-shifter who becomes an evil raven that gains strength from his victims’ fear. When Billy confronts the teacher, he must channel his own fear into anger in order to defeat the evil birdman.
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang; Greenwillow One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
“On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.” Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force–Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.
Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson; Arthur A. Levine The privileged daughter of research scientists, Emily Bird attends a party for Washington D.C.’s elite. Days later, she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of that night. Meanwhile, a deadly flu virus has caused a worldwide crisis. Homeland security agent Roosevelt David is certain that Bird knows something about the virus, something she shouldn’t.
The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan by Atia Abawi; Philomel Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America’s War in Afghanistan.
No Name by Tim Tingle; 7th Generation nspired by the traditional Choctaw story “No Name,” this modern adaptation features a present-day Choctaw teenager surviving tough family times–his mother left home and he is living with a mean-spirited, abusive father. The one place the teen can find peace is on the neighborhood basketball court. But after a violent confrontation with his father, the teen runs away, only to return home to find an unexpected hiding spot in his own backyard. His hiding spot becomes his home for weeks until the help and encouragement from a basketball coach, a Cherokee buddy and a quiet new next-door girlfriend help him face his father.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces byIsabel Quintero; Cinco Puntos Press Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity. IsabelQuintero is a library technician in the Inland Empire. She is also the events coordinator for Orange Monkey and helps edit the poetry journal Tin Cannon. Gabi is her debut novel.
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon held by the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC. Established in 1945, the Children’s Book Guild (of which I am a member) is a professional organization of authors, illustrators, and specialists in children’s literature.
The luncheon was held in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. The speakers were author and editor Andrea Davis Pinkney, honorary co-chair of the 40th birthday celebration of the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards, and Guild member Deborah Taylor, the current chair of the award committee. Pinkney and Taylor talked about the history and winners of these prestigious awards, which recognize outstanding children’s books by African Americans.
As an added bonus, Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author and illustrator Kadir Nelson also attended the luncheon, as did Sharon Robinson, author and daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Nelson and Robinson brought along copies of their gorgeous new book, Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson. It was truly an inspiring event for all of us!
Jacket description: "Sojourner Truth was as strong adn tall as most men. She was big, black, and so beautiful. Born into slavery, Sojourner ran away as a young girl. She cherished her freedom, and believed it should be granted to everyone. But she didn't fight for it with her mighty fists, and she didn't stomp for it with her giant boots. Sojourner spoke the truth, and struggled against injustice with her brace, beautiful words.
Following Sojourner from her courageous plantation escape to her meeting with Abraham Lincoln, this is a stirring portrait of a woman who pulled herself up by her great big bootstraps. A warrior for justice above all else, Sojourner allowed no bias to cross her path without a fight."
I absolutely love the story of Sojourner Truth. She is one of the most amazing women in history and I love reading all the different versions of her inspirational story and this has just become one of my favorite versions. The husband and wife team of Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney did a truly fantastic job portraying Sojourner Truth and the path she took through her life, including the sadness she experienced in the beginning of her life, being born into slavery and sold from her parents, as well as the powerful message of all she did for the rights of her people.
The illustrations are a wonderful companion to the text, being a bit old-fashioned, but showing Truth as she was. "Big, black, and so beautiful."
A definite recommendation for all libraries. Great for units on Black History Month, slavery, or strong women in history.
Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney 32 pages Non-Fiction Picture Book Hyperion 9780786807673 November 2009 Review copy received from publisher
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My daughter’s 4th grade class is celebrating Black History Month in the most wonderful way by creating a version of Kente cloth. While it’s traditionally made with silk and cotton interweaving threads, her class used pens, paints, and colored pencils to create theirs.
Kente cloth is believed to have originated from the Akan people in West Africa*. The designs are traditionally bright, geometric, and bold. Additionally, the colors and shapes are usually symbolic of historic events, family trees, the seasons, and proverbs. (The Smithsonian Institute has wonderful information online about their “Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity” exhibition)
Making Kente cloths in your library is just one of many ideas to celebrate Black History Month. Texas Library Club has a wonderful list of books, songs, and activities – including a way of making Kente cloths by weaving strips of paper together.
We’d also love to recommend these books for your Black History Month displays:
Last night’s CBC Diversity Committee Kickoff was OH SO FUN! Here are some of photos and there’s more to come — tomorrow. I got to this post pretty late…sorry. The Children’s Book Council introduced new diversity committee and there were plenty of people in-the-house with great ideas and the future is bright for diversity.
I was so impressed with the expertise and professionalism that both of these ladies had. After taking their workshop, I came away with new knowledge of how to use the economy of writing when creating a picture book as well as using a picture book dummy to determine if my pacing was on target.
Excellent advice from Andrea was that there is no such thing as writer's block!
Sylvie had us create a picture book from paper so we could better understand how the picture book is laid out. Once we made ours, then we looked at the pacing of the picture book and how to determine if our story's pacing was strong enough. If you'd like to try, here's a great link to get you started.