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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Sleeping Bear, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Book Review

A Giraffe Did One 

Jerry Pallotta, illus. by Tatjana Mai-Wyss. Sleeping Bear, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-641-5
In the tradition of Everyone Poops, Pallotta’s gently mischievous story features cute animals that share one thing in common: occasional flatulence. “A flock of birds flew by. OK, who did it? We’ll never know which one it was.” Meanwhile, a fox, seen peering coyly around a tree, “was sneaky when she did it,” and a frog, who stares up at readers with a guilty smile and a few bubbles in the water around him, “was slimy when he did it.” Mai-Wyss’s pale watercolors imbue the animals with more than a little anthropomorphism, with many wearing adorable “Who, me?” expressions. If readers are unclear about what the animals did (it’s never specified), there will be little doubt when, in the final spread, a human boy “did one too,” and his mother asks him to say “Excuse me.” Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2012
thanks, it's always nice to be noticed :)

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2. Recommended Picture Books for Black History Month, Part One

Just in time for Black History Month come three excellent picture books which help teachers discuss the experiences of Black Americans by examining both well- and little-known real life events.

My personal favorite of the three titles featured here is Let Them Play. One reason is that it shared a story I hadn't heard before. But what made more of an impression upon me was the reminder that not even children were immune from the racism of 1950s America. Written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Chris Ellison, Let Them Play is the story of the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars, an all-black team from Charleston, South Carolina with dreams of becoming Little League World Champions.

But what happens when every other team in the sixty-two leagues of South Carolina refuses to play them, going so far as to drop out of Little League to form their own white-only leagues? When the boycott spreads to eleven Southern states, the Cannon Street All-Stars become "the team nobody would play." How can they advance to the World Series in Williamsport if they don’t play a single game?

This book will become a class favorite, one which your students will want to talk about, research, and read more than once. SPOILER ALERT: I highly recommend you visit the site to read more details concerning this little-known event in youth sports, but skip this if you'd rather read the outcome for yourself. (Looking for companion titles? Willie and the All-Stars by Floyd Cooper and Just Like Josh Gibson, written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Beth Peck, are my immediate suggestions).

Pappy's Handkerchief, written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Chris Ellison, relates the story of the Oklahoma Land Run and the lesser-known opportunity it provided for many recently freed slaves to finally own land. Through the eyes of one fictitious family, Pappy's Handkerchief tells the tale of hundreds of black families who came to the Territory seeking their dreams. Staking a claim required both risk and sacrifice, and not every family wa

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3. Book Giveaways

Today I'm pleased to announce the winners of America's White Table by Margot Raven, illustrated by Mike Benny. I'm also pleased to announce another free book giveaway as well.

Our first winner is Marcia from North Carolina, who responded:

I'm so excited! I teach on a military base and many of my students' parents are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. I see the strength and determination of these wonderful families on a daily basis. My students understand, first hand, the sacrifices that are being made to protect our country. I am sure they will enjoy this book and the tribute it pays to all of their families. Thanks so much!
Our second winner is Judi from Colorado, who writes:
I'm so happy to win the book. Thank you. I teach 8th graders, and we are currently doing a unit on the 1940's in my Language Arts class. I read aloud picture books at the start of class many times to provide background knowledge for the students. This book will create a lot of discussion about how families are affected by war, especially if a family member is in the armed services. Thank you again.
And our last lucky reader, Mary Ann from Iowa:
Last year during Catholic Schools Week, one of the themes for a day was Salute to our Nation. We had about 40 local veterans come in and have coffee and doughnuts after a school-wide assembly. The assembly was centered around the flag and how the flag should be honored. The kids learned flag etiquette and why we honor the flag and veterans. We sang patriotic songs and Taps was played and explained why it was played. After the refreshments the vets went into individual classrooms if they wanted to and visited the students, answered questions, and shared stories. It was the best day and so moving. We had many in tears, And the veterans were so impressed and grateful. I hope to repeat it again this year and I'd like to do something a little different. That's where the book comes in. Not sure just how yet! Thank you again!

We saw an overwhelming response for this book! I suppose its theme and artistry really spoke to many of us.

So keeping in the "holiday" spirit, I'm pleased to offer another giveaway, this time two copies of A Calendar Of Festivals: Celebrations From Around The World. This terrific collection from Barefoot Books features eight stories from different cultures, including information about each holiday's origin. A nice reference throughout the year. (The paperback edition varies slightly in its cover from the edition shown here).

To enter, simply email me with Festivals in the subject line. Those who were entered into the drawing for

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