Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - sharing my nonfiction stack! 12.11.19

Wednesdays I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
#kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.


I've been sharing my nonfiction stacks lately.  Here are some more to add to your reading list!



Paper Son by Julie Leung
Paper Son:  The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist
written by Julie Leung
illustrated by Chris Sasaki
I had not heard of artist Tyrus Wong before but after reading this book I bet many of us have seen either his work in the Disney movie Bambi or the way artists today have been inspired by his work.  
This was a very interesting immigration story and shows how despite treatment of the American government and citizens, immigrants like Tyrus have left a lasting mark on his adopted country.

The President Sang Amazing Grace by Zoe Mulford
The President Sang Amazing Grace
written by Zoe Mulford
illustrated by Jeff Scher
A simplistic summary of a horrible American tragedy.  Mulford captures the essence of what happened on June 17, 2015, when a shooting happened at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Using a brief text to explain what happened, this book is certainly a stepping stone teachers may choose to use into a further discussion.

Manhattan by Jennifer Thermes
Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island
by Jennifer Thermes
Wow, hope you have a while to delve into this amazing book.  A fascinating history of this island with well illustrated pages that will keep you looking at them for hours.  I appreciated the visual since I have yet to visit!  It does make me want to book a trip!

Finding Narnia by Caroline McAlister
Finding Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis and His Brother
written by Caroline McAlister
illustrated by Jessica Lanan
A very cool story and one that is a must read if you've read any of the Narnia books.  Great background and the author explains where Lewis got much of his inspiration from when creating this series.
Very cool hardback cover under the jacket.  Make sure you take a peek!


As always, happy nonfiction reading!

Monday, December 9, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12.09.19

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.



Last Week's Adventures

Some nonfiction books for your stacks!


From the Scholastic Preview:
I was able to read some upcoming books from Scholastic.  Here are some you want to know about:

The Return of Thelma the Unicorn
The Return of Thelma the Unicorn
by Aaron Blabey
Readers love anything by Blabey.  Regardless of what adults make of them, kids enjoy which means I'll keep getting them!  Coming in about a month is the sequel to Thelma the Unicorn.  Thelma is back and agrees to give the people what they want, lots of Thelma love!

Macca the Alpaca
Macca the Alpaca 
by Matt Cosgrove
Written in rhyme, I think readers will love Macca, who is obviously, an alpaca.  Macca is getting a little competition from Harmer, the llama, who turns out to be a bit of a bully.  Publishes in March.

The Way Home For Wolf
The Way Home for Wolf 
written by Rachel Bright
illustrated by Jim Field
Another story in rhyme, the story is almost surpassed by the fantastic illustrations.  Wilf the young wolf gets separated from his pack and learns to rely on the help of others.  We'll get to see this one at the end of 2019.

One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey
by Henry Cole
This is absolutely one of my favorites coming from Scholastic in 2020.  Cole gives us a wordless picture book that is drawn in ink, other than one item that appears throughout the book - a small brown paper bag.  It's a story that shows generations of a family and how they pass down this important bag from person to person, each one showing a little more love for the bag.  
The author's note at the end will make you love it even more.  This book publishes in April, perfect timing for Earth Day.  Preorder it.  You'll be glad you did!

Picture Books

Home in the Woods
Home in the Woods
by Eliza Wheeler
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this gorgeous book at ALA this past summer.  I've read it a few times but never reviewed it!  If you have not picked up and read a copy of this book, make sure you check it out NOW!  It's simply beautiful and I like the comparisons readers can make between life now and then.

Straw
Straw
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Scott Magoon
I am always happy to have more stories from AKR because I know at some point, we won't.  
This story is cute and it has a good message, although it will always be hard for a book to measure up to Chopsticks.  Still my favorite.
We all know that kid that has to be first.  How do you get the child to understand that rarely is that important?  AKR has put a spin on that by explaining it's not about being first, it's the journey you take to get there that matters.  I'm not sure if that will change any young people's thinking, but it's a start!
Loved the AKR and yellow umbrella cameo in this one.
Pubs Feb. 2020.

Pluto Gets the Call
Pluto Gets the Call
written by Adam Rex
illustrated by Laurie Keller
An informational fiction story about Pluto and the planets.  Pluto gets the call from the scientists letting him know he's no longer a planet.  Pluto doesn't take it so well but wants to show the reader all around so off we go to visit all the planets.  Full of informational facts delivered by talking planets.  

Henry and Bea
Henry and Bea
by Jessixa Bagley
A true friendship lasts even when one is feeling more than sad and needs time alone.  
Henry and Bea are BFFs who know exactly what the other is thinking.  But when Henry wants his distance, Bea is left feeling confused.  Henry finally confides he lost his cat the week before.  Bea understands and gives Henry the support and the space he needs in order to grieve.  An important look at friendship and how to support each other even if it's not the way you would want support.

Middle Grade

How to Disappear Completely
How to Disappear Completely
by Ali Standish
This is the third middle grade I have read by Standish and the third one I have loved!
The genre is the same - realistic fiction with a bit of a mystery thrown in.  It's even another heartprint book that will stick with you long after you've closed the pages.  But this one is different because it has a character with a physical flaw.  Emma has developed vitiligo which is slowly stripping her skin of pigment which leaves white patches all over her skin.  She must decide how she is going to approach this and with a mother and sister who is perfect, new schoolmates who are being less than nice, and a family member who she was very closely with recently passing, this is not something Emma needs.  But with a new found friend and a mysterious person who is adding writing in her hidden journal, Emma finds her outside support, but can she dig deep down inside and find the power to believe in herself?  This one publishes in April 2020, make sure you have it on your list!

Young Adult

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
Winter
by Marissa Meyer
This was my March #mustreadin2019 book that I had pushed off reading.  It was a perfect time to get to it since we're out of town for Paralympic Nationals and I had extra time to read in between sessions!  It's an 800+ page book and there is A LOT that happens in this one and if I had read it during a normal week, well, much like The Toll, it would not be done.  There are some books that are just meant to binge read and this was one!
It was a very satisfying close to the Lunar Chronicles.  I will get to the novella stories next year, but I liked the way this ended.  I had thought it was going to end one way, but Meyer pulled out some surprises along the way!  
I really love this series for upper middle grade, early high school.  It fits a wide age range because it's edgy enough and long enough that it can appeal to a range of readers, yet it stays very mild on the edgy side so even if elementary readers get to it there shouldn't be much concern.

Currently Reading

Well, I'm still going to get to The Toll this upcoming week.  Need some time to binge read that one!  I have quite the stack of YA books looking at me, plus some books that have been sitting in piles for too long, plus some of my new ARCs from NCTE.  Not sure what will come out of the stack but I'll let you know!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - what's in my stack? 12.04.19

Wednesdays I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
#kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.


Wow, the amazing nonfiction picture books keep coming this year!  What an amazing time for nonfiction reading!  You won't want to miss these!


Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars
Red Rover Curiosity on Mars
written by Richard Ho
illustrated by Katherine Roy
Wow, this book blew me away.  I've been waiting for a book like this about the Mars rover, Curiosity.  I have a few other books about this informative rover, but they have never been perfect read aloud length books.  Now we have one and not only will it be great to use as a read aloud, the illustrations are also outstanding!  This is one I'm considering for my Mock Caldecott list.  Roy, a Caldecott Honoree, has really outdone herself with her barren landscapes in shades of Mars reds.  Don't miss this one!

It Began with a Page by Kyo Maclear
It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
written by Kyo Maclear
illustrated by Julie Morstad
When I first saw this book was going to publish I was so excited.  Gyo Fujikawa wrote and illustrated some of my very favorite childhood books.  There was something about her illustrations that spoke to me as a child.  I remember pouring over her picture books, noting the style in which she drew and the way her colors worked together.  When I think back on my childhood and the illustrators that inspired me it was absolutely Fujikawa, as well as fellow Disney artist, Mary Blair.  I'm so glad there are picture book biographies about these two ladies!
This book was fascinating because I knew nothing about Fujikawa's life before reading this book.  Although Fujikawa and her works are from decades ago, the arguments she had with publishers are still relevant today.  She wanted to show a diverse representation of babies in her book, but at that time (1960s) publishers were very hesitant to put any illustrations with characters of color in books.  Fujikawa fought it and wouldn't publish her book until they allowed all of her beautiful babies!  
I wish Fujikawa's books were still in print.  My favorite book by her was Oh, What a Busy Day.  Would love to have a copy of it in my library!  Morstad's illustrations beautifully capture Fujikawa's drawings and I am enjoying getting a second peek at them!

Prairie Boy by Barb Rosenstock
Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland Into a Home
written by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
Everytime I read a biography about someone's life I've already read about, I look for the new information.  The thread I did not know about before.  In Rosenstock's biography about Frank Lloyd Wright I learned more about his childhood and fascination with shapes.
I loved Neal's illustrations and interpretation of Wright's shapes and thinking.

I Am Farmer by Miranda  Paul
I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon
written by Baptiste and Miranda Paul
illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Turning the spotlight on an impoverished area in Africa - Cameroon - and what one man has done to improve clean, drinking water and growing foods in this area.  Farmer Tantoh followed his passion of learning about the environment, even when it was something that brought him ridicule by classmates and other people in the community.  
A powerful story about following your dreams and thinking creatively.


As always, happy nonfiction reading!

Monday, December 2, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12.02.19

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.


Last Week's Adventures

Here are a few things for you to get caught up on!

Cover reveal for Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog

Check out the books from the new imprint Make Me a World.

More nonfiction picture books for your stacks.

New books for your newly independent readers.

Spotlight on poetry - a roundup of new books.


NCTE Preview
Here are some books that I picked up or quickly read at NCTE that you will want to have on your 2020 radar!

Be You!
Be You!
by Peter H. Reynolds
Sometimes the sentimental and uplifting books are nice, but are maybe meant more for a caregiver and child experience.  This one though, is going to be perfect to read with students.  The influential message of being you no matter who that may be is an important message you want to resonate with readers.  This is going to be a perfect book to read at the end of the year as you send readers off to the next grade.  Or it could be a perfect book to read with kids at the beginning of the year to let them know who they are is exactly who you want them to be.  Or maybe you want to talk about character traits.  See, it's just a great book to have!  Pubs March 2020.

Almond
Almond
by Allen Say
A story about believing in yourself and seeing your truth.  
Almond does not believe she has a talent.  Other people see what she is able to do but it takes Almond believing in herself before she sees the possibilities.
Pubs March 2020

Oil
Oil
by Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter
Wow, this is a powerful book.  About the causes and effects of oil pipelines - from how it goes across the country disrupting places and the effects of an oil spill.  Can't wait to share this one. 
Pubs March 2020

I'm Gonna Push Through!
I'm Gonna Push Through
written by Jasmyn Wright
illustrated by Shannon Wright
Love this book about perseverance and determination.  Featuring people in history and present time who have pushed through and persevered even when it has been difficult.  Also shows kids overcoming and working through child-centered problems.  I love how the text isn't bogged down with a lot of information.  Instead, the book relies on the illustrations to give information and when needed, additional information is shown in the backmatter.
Pubs Feb. 2020

Picture Books

I Am Love: A Book of Compassion
I Am Love: A Book of Compassion
written by Susan Verde
illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Another book in her "I Am..." series.  This book is a bit more abstract and probably needs a good discussion to go along with it.  I would read it and emphasize the idea of compassion more than love.  
Don't miss the author's notes at the end.  Verde mixes yoga to help young readers understand the idea of opening up your heart.

I Wonder
I Wonder
written by K.A. Holt
illustrated by Kenard Pak
Add this to your collection for curiosity seeking books.  This would be perfect to introduce a Wonder Wall or Passion Projects.

Octopus Stew
Octopus Stew
by Eric Velasquez
A book written to celebrate the author/illustrator's Afro-Latino heritage, it features a Latina grandmother who is getting ready to take her superhero-cape-wearing grandson to the store to buy an octopus in order to make octopus stew.  The grandson clearly enjoys the arts as he documents the story unfolding around him.  There is a surprise as we see how Velasquez pays homage to his African heritage and their ancient tradition of oral storytelling.

Finding Kindness
Finding Kindness
written by Deborah Underwood
illustrated by Irene Chan
Sometimes when we think about kindness and doing something for others we come up with ideas on a grand scale.  Sometimes kindness just needs to be a small gesture, and one that starts close to home.  
I love seeing how kindness can stretch across a community in this book.  It's a story to go back and share and look at the kindness chain throughout the story.

Croc  Turtle: Snow Fun!
Croc and Turtle Snow Fun!
by Mike Wohnoutka
What happens when best friends have different interests?  They learn to compromise, of course!  Fun, winter time story!
The entire story is told through dialogue and the author/illustrator designates one color to each character so young readers can visually discriminate who is doing the talking.

Middle Grade

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
by Jonathan Auxier
This book has been in my stack for a long long time.  Since he would be speaking at NCTE's Children's Award Luncheon, I wanted to make sure I got to it.  
Auxier does an amazing job blending reality and magic and historical fiction in this beautiful story.  Readers will love meeting Nan and Charlie and how they need each other in unexpected ways.  I really loved the setting Auxier builds and just loved the melt of what was real and what was magic.

The Queen Bee and Me
The Queen Bee and Me
by Gillian McDunn
I loved reading Caterpillar Summer by McDunn earlier this year and I can tell you after reading this book, she definitely has a flair for middle grade writing!  Both this book and her debut are realistic fiction and they both will stay on your heart for awhile.  You can't help but think about the characters long after you close the pages.  However, that's where the similarities end.  In The Queen Bee and Me, we meet Meg who is in a toxic friendship, however she doesn't quite recognize it herself.  Beatrix takes control of all situations and puts her needs before Meg's.  When Meg becomes friendly with a new neighbor, Beatrix pushes their friendship to new limits.
Even though I'm decades past middle school, the themes and conflicts in this book are as old as time.  McDunn's words would have felt true years ago as much as they do today.  I can't wait to share this book with readers in March 2020!

Currently Reading

Hide and Seek (Silver Jaguar Society Mysteries #2)
Hide and Seek
by Kate Messner
This was one of my #mustreadin2019 books.  I'm about done and will be ready to start the third book in the series.
I'm also still getting through The Toll.  I'm really enjoying it, but having difficulties finding time to read!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

COVER REVEAL! - Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog

It's a COVER REVEAL!

I hope you've read Lisa Papp's adorable series about sweet Madeline Finn and her love for dogs.  Here are the first two books in the series:


Madeline Finn and the Library Dog          Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog

The very first thing we learn about Madeline is she does NOT like to read.  In fact, she is so determined in her dislike of reading she claims to not even like reading the menu of the ice cream truck!  However, thanks to her local librarian, Madeline is encouraged to read... to Bonnie, the library dog!  Madeline finds herself at the library every week to read to sweet Bonnie and the best thing about Bonnie is she just listens.  She doesn't tell Madeline she's wrong or slow and best of all she's help Bonnie to keep trying.  But one day Bonnie doesn't come to the library and Madeline learns she has to think of all the positive feelings she has when she's with Bonnie in order to succeed.  And when Bonnie does come back, she has a surprise for Madeline!

In the second book, Madeline learns that there are lots of pets who are waiting for forever homes and they are usually found in animal shelters.  After visiting her local shelter, she learns that there are many animals who need some love and donations.  Madeline puts together a drive for supplies and invites everyone to visit the shelter and to bring a blanket and a book.  When the day arrives, Madeline thinks people aren't coming as the time goes by and no one comes.  It's a big surprise for her when lots of people show up - there had been a line at the library to check out books, that's why everyone is so late!  All of the animals are read to and get some love... some may even find their forever home!


Now it's time for book 3 in this lovely series!  I'm so excited to share more about Madeline and her love for dogs.

Here's the summary for Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog:

Madeline Finn and her pet dog Star are off to Walker Oaks, a retirement community where Star will take his tests to become a therapy dog. Accompanied by Mom, Mrs. Dimple, and Bonnie, she and Star make their way through a variety of challenges and meet several new friends. But Madeline Finn can't stop thinking about an elderly man in a wheelchair, who never smiles. Is there something she and Star can do to help?

This final companion book to the previous Madeline Finn and the Library Dog and Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog provides a heartwarming exploration of the therapy dog training process and a realistic and appealing example of a young person making a difference in her community.


I'm in love with it already!  From the little sneak peak I had I can tell you this may be my favorite book yet!  Be sure to look for it in September 2020!


And now the moment you've been waiting for!  Introducing:



Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog
by Lisa Papp
published by Peachtree Publishers





Aren't you in love?  Make sure it is on your fall TBR list.  It's going to be a great book to use to talk about compassion and care within your communities - maybe even within your own book community!

Thanks to Elyse at Peachtree for letting me have this wonderful opportunity to share the cover with everyone!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Spotlight on Poetry!

Image result for spotlight

Spotlight:  Poetry!



Some recent poetry finds!

Soccerverse by Elizabeth Steinglass
Soccerverse: Poems About Soccer
written by Elizabeth Steinglass
illustrated by Edson Ikê 
22 poems about varying parts of the game told in varying poems!  My favorite poem is "The Fans" which is about parents coming to watch a game but when they are near, you pretend you don't hear the instructions they are yelling!  Ha, that's true regardless of the sport :)  
Backmatter includes information about the different types of poetry with a key that lists the poem names and the type of poem it is.

I Am Someone Else by Lee Bennett Hopkins
I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending
collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
illustrated by Chris Hsu
Hopkins, the great collector of poetry, put together a wonderful anthology of pretend and role playing for his readers.  A fun collection of poetry about stepping into someone else's shoes from being a pirate to a pilot, these poems will delight young readers who love to imagine.

Thanku by Miranda  Paul
Thanku: Poems of Gratitude
edited by Miranda Paul
illustrated by Marlena Myles
A book that should be read and shared cover to cover.  This collection of poetry that celebrates what true gratitude is and can be - something that is done throughout the year, the seasons, celebrating nature and family and animals and everything in between.  
Each poem is labeled with the type of poetry and the backmatter includes a guide to each poetry - with a note saying please try this at home!  
Also included in the backmatter is a quick biography of all the poets and some of their other work.  Paul also includes a note that reminds us that while this book will often be put with Thanksgiving books, it really is meant to be shared year round.
A portion of the proceeds will be going to We Need Diverse Books.  Another celebration about this book!

Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle by Laura Purdie Salas
Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready for Winter
written by Laura Purdie Salas
illustrated by Claudine Gévry
Told in lyrical verses, young readers learn tricks of animals to stay warm in wintertime.  Like other Salas' books, she includes small facts about each animal in small print on the page for further information.  The backmatter includes more information about the ways animals stay warm as well as additional information about each animal. 
This pairs well with the nonfiction book Wait Rest Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins.

Who Named Their Pony Macaroni? by Marilyn Singer
Who Named Their Pony Macaroni: Poems About White House Pets
poems by Marilyn Singer
illustrated by Ryan McAmis
This time Singer points the spotlight at some of the 4-legged creatures that lived at the White House.  Each animal is spotlighted for its interesting contributions to the presidency.  I'm pretty sure these pets had no idea how big of a deal their owners were, and as such definitely acted like the animals they were!  I liked reading the additional information about the pets in the back of the book.


Happy, poetic reading!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - books for independent readers - 11.21.19


All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.



I've got some early readers this week for your readers who are beginning to read independently.  Check these fun books out!



Can You See Me? by Bob Staake
Can You See Me?
by Bob Staake
This book is part of the Random House "I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books" series and it is definitely reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss book.  Told in rhymes, a color-changing animal camouflages itself against different colors while children try to spot it.  There are a few words that are tricky - daredevil pilot, tulip, peppermint - that will have young readers really relying on comprehension and the illustrations to figure them out, however most of the words are decodable as part of a rhyme.  I think this book will definitely appeal to young readers.

Bear Is Awake! by Hannah E Harrison
Bear is Awake! An Alphabet Story
by Hannah E. Harrison
I was wondering how this would be an alphabet story, but if it is done by Hannah Harrison, I knew it would be good!
Told in just a few words, all beginning with a consecutive letter of the alphabet, an entire story is told.  Starting with a bear waking up in the middle of winter and finding a surprised little girl in her cabin, and then going through their day.  Full of surprises and funny events, this book will have young readers pouring through the illustrations.  Some words are easily figured out as they match illustrations, others will require a stronger vocabulary - intrigued, kaput, oblivious.
I've read through this alphabet book a few times now and I keep finding something else to notice!  

Hello
Hello
by Aiko Ikegami
Wordless picture books are some of my favorite books to use with readers because kids can make stories from pictures.  They do this naturally and I love to see the things they see in the story that I might miss.
In Hello, we see a friendship emerge from two characters who come from different planets where spoken language may be a barrier, but drawing becomes a common language.  It's a beautiful friendship story

Horse & Buggy Paint It Out! by Ethan Long
Paint It Out!
by Ethan Long
This book reminded me just a little bit of the interactions you find in the Elephant and Piggie books or the Ballet Cat books.  Horse is getting ready to paint a mural with some help from his friend, Buggy (a fly), but Horse gets more paint on himself than the wall.  With help from his friend, they work together and get the mural painted.
Readers will enjoy the humor in this story!

See Me Play by Paul Meisel
See Me Play
by Paul Meisel
I like the stories Meisel has created at this beginning reading level.  They often feature animals, especially dogs, and there is always a humorous ending.  So often these lower level books are so dry because of the controlled text, but Meisel always is able to add a funny spin to his stories.

Penny and Her Sled by Kevin Henkes
Penny and Her Sled
by Kevin Henkes
I think this is my favorite Penny book since Penny and Her Marble!  Penny is such a determined young character and this time she takes on the weather!  Penny's determination is no match for the weather, and no matter how much she wants it to snow, it just doesn't happen.  But Penny is also very creative and even if she can't use her sled in the snow, she finds new ideas for it.  It's Penny's mom who gets her to think outside of the box and find something snow-y to wait for!


Hope some of these great stories find their way into your students' hands!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - what's in my nonfiction stack? 11.20.19

Wednesdays I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
#kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.


Here are some nonfiction picture books that jumped out of my stacks:


You Are My Friend by Aimee Reid
You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood
written by Aimee Reid
illustrated by Matt Phelan
Wow, this book brought me right back to my childhood.  I spent a lot of time watching Mister Rogers and Sesame Street.  Little did I know the positive lessons I was learning through these shows.  After reading this picture book, it brought back a lot of positive memories and I had to go find some old episodes on youtube.  My teenage daughter was laughing at the way he was talking to the camera, but I couldn't help but notice and wonder - I watched Fred Rogers talk to the children that were watching through that camera.  He explained, he noticed, he questioned, all while having a conversation with his young viewers.  I can't think of too many shows today that interact with the viewers in the same patient way... in the way that you were considered his equal, perhaps Mister Rogers with more knowledge, but you knew he would share it all with you.  
Definitely a story to share now, especially with the upcoming movie!

Karl's New Beak by Lela Nargi
Karl's New Beak: 3-D Printing Builds a Bird a Better Life
written by Lela Nargi
illustrated by Harriet Popham
Karl is an Abyssinian ground hornbill.  Like many other birds, Karl relies on his beak to dig for food, scoop the food up, and eat!  However, Karl's bone that supports his beak was weak and as a result his beak would wear away. 
The rest of the book details the steps veterinarians took to help Karl regain his use of a beak.

Rise! by Bethany Hegedus
Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou
written by Bethany Hegedus
illustrated by Tonya Engel
Wow.  What a powerful and stunning book.  From the words, that tell Maya's harsh upbringing - going back and forth from a caring household that was deep in the south where there was civil unrest, to back with her mother where she was sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend.  The gorgeous illustrations paint vivid colors that show Maya's will to rise and succeed.  
Backmatter includes a detailed timeline with additional information.
I can see why this book has been mentioned on Mock Caldecott lists.

Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature
Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature
written by Marcie Flinchum Atkins
We often talk about hibernation, but rarely do we talk about all the different ways animals - and plants - go dormant in the winter.  However, there are similarities to note, for example, how animals take a pause, some longer than others, to become warm.  Plants and animals also both slow down and restrict movement.  Differences are also noted, like how long dormancy lasts. 
Told in quick, lyrical sentences, this informative book is a perfect read aloud and a book that readers will want to linger over because of the stunning photographs.


As always, happy nonfiction reading!