Sunday, August 19, 2018
While there is the obvious message that in forming true friendships it is what is inside that counts, I think most kids will skip over that and just think it's hilarious that a human and a dragon are exchanging letters and focus on the wacky misunderstandings that result from this fact. I found this book pleasant enough, the rhymes are particularly enjoyable - but my 4 year old (who is a bit young to grasp everything that happens) asked to read this book over and over.
BUY HERE (or request at your local library!)
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Abelardo and his father head out on their panga (boat) only to discover that a whale is tanged in their only fishing net. The father is furious - they don't have enough money to repair the net and fishing is their only source of income. Despite the fact that his father forbids him from doing so, Abelardo takes the panga back out and, despite the danger, repeatedly dives and cuts the whale free. He is thanked by the whale's joyous leaps and spins. His father pronounces what he did both foolish and brave, before quickly getting back to work.
Part of the appeal of The Boy and The Whale is that it doesn't pander to its audience. The story is exciting and tense - Abelardo is facing real danger, diving underwater with a knife near a giant whale (his size repeatedly illustrated in impressive drawings). My son carefully listens each time we read this book, quietly absorbed (despite typically being chatty and full of questions while we read). That said, I think I may enjoy this story more than him.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
In this book entirely populated by black characters, Jackson's mom is getting married to Sophie's dad. Jackson is worried about lots of things, but primarily about tripping while carrying the rings down the aisle. However, when flower girl Sophie trips in front of him, Jackson forgets his fears and rushes to assist his little sister-to-be. Everyone cheers, and a new family is formed!
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
This book is at the same time subtle and straightforward in addressing the fact that Teddy's favorite toy is a doll. It starts by noting that Teddy has lots of cool toys such as a fire engine he can ride on (my son was blown away by this), a rocket ship, puzzles, a hula hoop . . . but his favorite one is a doll named Bren-Da, Warrior Queen of the Pacific. Bren-Da enjoys a tea party and dressing up but also has the "sickest fighting skills." When Teddy's mom accidentally throws away Bren-Da while cleaning his room, his mom uses all of Bren-Da's various talents (manners, cool moves!) to rescue Bren-Da from the garbage truck. All in all, a pretty perfect introduction to a boy who just happens to love his doll.
In addition to all of the wonderfulness above, Teddy is a child of color and, if you choose, can be read as either adopted or biracial (his mom is the only parent pictured and appears to be white).
Thursday, April 19, 2018
This is a simple story with delightful details and presents school in a positive light. My son is a couple years away from kindergarten (and is frightened at the prospect of being in a big kid school every single day), but seems to find this book soothing. Dax, Zoey, and their classmates are presented as thoughtful, fun, and kind (a contrast to books which seem to highlight the worst aspects of kids... ahem llama llama).
Friday, April 6, 2018
I can't vouch for them, but it looks like the same author/illustrator pairing has come out with several books about Lola and her little brother Leo.
Thursday, March 29, 2018
George (a black boy) and Blaise become pen pals and exchange rhyming letters, at the request of their teachers. However, George is a huma...