Tag Archives: Picture book

New picture books about interesting women

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Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff; illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Traces the story of dancer-turned-magician’s assistant Adelaide Herrmann, placing her achievements against a backdrop of period conventions about women in the arts and her determination to continue her work after the death of her husband.

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Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff; illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Follows suffragettes Nell Richardson and Alice Burke’s cross-country journey to campaign for women’s right to vote.

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Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully
Caroline Herschel was the first woman to discover a comet and the first woman to be paid as a scientist.

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Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education by Raphaële Frier; illustrated by Aurélia Fronty.
Describes how a young Pakistani activist was violently targeted by the Taliban for her efforts to secure educational rights for girls.

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Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy; illustrated by C.F. Payne
Details the life and accomplishments of Mary Garber, the first woman to win the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Sportcasters and Sportswriters Association.

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Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote by Dean Robbins; illustrated by Nancy Zhang
A picture book introduction to the achievements and legacy of indefatigable suffragette Alice Paul describes how she launched campaigns, organized protests and met with President Woodrow Wilson to secure voting rights for women.

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Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang; illustrated by Jordi Solano
This picture book biography follows the life of Eugenie Clark, the Japanese-American scientist, researcher, and diver, who became famous as “The Shark Lady” for her groundbreaking discoveries about shark behavior.

Quick Pick: The Tree in the Courtyard

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The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Peter McCarty

“The tree in the courtyard was a horse chestnut. Her leaves were green stars; her flowers foaming cones of white and pink. Seagulls flocked to her shade. She spread roots and reached skyward in peace.

“The tree watched a little girl, who played and laughed and wrote in a diary. When strangers invaded the city and warplanes roared overhead, the tree watched the girl peek out of the curtained window of the annex. It watched as she and her family were taken away—and when her father returned after the war, alone.

“The tree died the summer Anne Frank would have turned eighty-one, but its seeds and saplings have been planted around the world as a symbol of peace. Its story, and Anne’s story, are beautifully told and illustrated in this powerful picture book.” -Random House

Tu Bi-Shevat (also spelled Tu Bishvat or Tu B’Shevat) is a Jewish holiday sometimes called the New Year of the Trees or “Jewish Arbor Day.” This year it begins at sundown on February 10. It is a time to appreciate trees (and plant them, if you live where the climate is right at this time of year). You can click on links above to see other stories and information about the holiday in our collection.

African American History, Library History

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Something unusual happened at the Youth Media Awards on Monday.  A single book, March: Book Three (written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell), won 4 major awards:

  • Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African-American author and of outstanding books for children and young adults
  • Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults
  • Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

The book already won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in November.  You might have heard Representative John Lewis give an emotional acceptance speech, in which he recalled “I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, going down to the public library, trying to get library cards, and we were told that the libraries were whites-only and not for coloreds…To come here and receive this award — it’s too much.”

The history of library services for African Americans has included both exclusion and inclusion.  Here are some books (for a slightly younger audience than March) that help tell the story:

Finding Lincoln
Finding Lincoln by Ann Malaspina
In segregated 1950s Alabama, Louis cannot use the public library to research a class assignment, but one of the librarians lets him in after hours and helps him find the book that he needs. Includes an author’s note with historical information about library segregation in the South.

Goin' Somplace Special
Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
In segregated Nashville during the 1950s, a young African American girl endures a series of indignities and obstacles to get to the public library, one of the few integrated places in the city.

Richard Wright and the Library Card
Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller (also available in Spanish)
Based on a scene from Wright’s autobiography, Black Boy, in which the seventeen-year-old African-American borrows a white man’s library card and devours every book as a ticket to freedom.

Ron's Big Mission
Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne Naden
One summer day in 1959, nine-year-old Ron McNair, who dreams of becoming a pilot, walks into the Lake City, South Carolina public library and insists on checking out some books, despite the rule that only white people can have library cards. Includes facts about McNair, who grew up to be an astronaut.

Eve Merriam at 100

Poet Eve Merriam would have been 100 years old today.  She is known for writing everything from children’s picture books to poems for adults.  Here are some of her books that you can find at the library; her poems are also included in several poetry collections.

Goodnight to Annie: An Alphabet Lullaby
In alphabetical order, creatures all over the world fall asleep, from alligators dozing in the mud to zebras asleep on their sides.

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On My Street
This book is a good example of how families can make rhymes out of the ordinary people, places, and activities they see around them, like “Mr. Sklar washing his car” or “Pat at the laundromat.”

Ms. Merriam’s poems for older children are often playful.  Here’s one from Blackberry Ink:

Cat cat cat on the bed,
Bed’s too soft, it jumps on my head.
Head head, head’s too hard,
Cat wriggles out into the yard.
Yard yard, cat slips away
Over to the playground where the children play.
Playground seesaw, who wants to ride?
Cat’s all ready on the other side

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Chortles: New and Selected Wordplay Poems

The Singing Green: New and Selected Poems for All Seasons features some poems that are about poetry– I could see these coming in handy for an English teacher.

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Spooky ABC features spooky illustrations by Lane Smith (you probably recognize his style from books like The Stinky Cheese Man).
A poem for each letter of the alphabet introduces a different, spooky aspect of Halloween.

 

New Passover Picture Books

Here are some new picture books for Passover, that range from sweet to silly to reverent.

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Is It Passover Yet? by Chris Barash
One family prepares for the traditional seder that ushers in Passover.

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The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman
Oy gevalt! The Little Red Hen likes baking matzah, but she’s not so crazy about doing everything herself. Would it be too much to ask her friends Dog, Horse, and Sheep to help plant and harvest some wheat for the delicious Passover treat? Couldn’t they at least help schlep the wheat to the mill? A recipe for matzah, a glossary of Yiddish words, and a note on Passover traditions is included.

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The Longest Night: A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder
A child in Egypt tells what the Jews are experiencing in the days leading up to their flight from Egyptian slavery.

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Max Makes a Cake by Michelle Edwards
Max finds the perfect way to make a unique Passover surprise birthday cake for his mother.  This title is also available as a downloadable ebook.

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More than Enough by April Halprin Wayland
Illustrations and simple text portray children and their family as they prepare for, then celebrate, a Passover seder with foods, games, songs, and even a sleepover.

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The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Miriam has especially looked forward to the Passover seder at her grandparents’ home because it is her first year to ask the four questions, but the unexpected arrival of triplet lambs complicates her family’s plans.

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A Place for Elijah by Kelly Easton Ruben
“A family celebrates Passover, making sure they lay an extra place setting for the prophet Elijah. But when their neighbors lose power and stop by to get out of the cold, Sarah is worried that there won’t be a seat left for Elijah”– Provided by publisher.

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Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm by Linda Glaser
In this version of the familiar tale, an old man tricks the townspeople of Chelm into contributing the necessary ingredients for making a Seder feast for all to share.

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A Sweet Passover by Leslea Newman
Miriam learns the meaning of Passover when her grandfather makes a special matzah dish. Includes recipe for matzah brei (similar to French toast, but with unleavened bread), and a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish words used in the text.
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Picture Book Biographies: Women

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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
This title won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award this year, as well as being a Caldecott Honor Book and a Sibert Honor Book.

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Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers
“Details the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the activist, educator, writer, journalist, suffragette, and pioneering voice against the horrors of lynching who set out to better the lives of African-Americans long before the Civil Rights Movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

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Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle; Illustrated by Alix Delinois
Mumbets Declaration of Independence tells the story of a Massachusetts slave from the Revolutionary era–in 1781, she successfully used the new Massachusetts Constitution to make a legal case that she should be free.  This book has been made into a DVD and is also available as an ebook.

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My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner; illustrated by James Ransome
“A vibrantly illustrated picture book introduction to the abolitionist and women’s rights activist narrates her rise from former slave to preacher and orator a century before the Civil Rights Movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

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Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
“Presents the life of Sojourner Truth, discussing her childhood as a slave, the purchase of her freedom by a Quaker couple, and her subsequent work as an advocate and lecturer for the abolitionist movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

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When the Slave Esperança Garcia Wrote a Letter written by Sonia Rosa; illustrated by Luciana Justiniani Hees; translated by Jane Springer
A Brazilian woman sold away from her family wrote a letter to the governor–found hundreds of years later in an archive–to try to improve her situation.

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Picture Book Biographies: Men

The past few lists have featured people grouped by the kind of work they do, or did.  That left a few people– like explorers– who weren’t easy to fit into a theme.  So here’s a list of men with a variety of talents, which will be followed by a list of women.

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The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton; illustrated by Don Tate
“A picture book biography of John Roy Lynch, one of the first African-Americans elected into the United States Congress”–Provided by publisher.

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American Slave American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Laurence Pringle; illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
A biography of William Clark’s personal slave, who provided invaluable assistance to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

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John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson; illustrations by Benny Andrews
“A biography of John Lewis, Georgia Congressman and one of the ‘Big Six’ civil rights leaders of the 1960s, focusing on his youth and culminating in the voter registration drives that sparked ‘Bloody Sunday,’ as hundreds of people walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Includes a note by Congressman Lewis and a timeline”–Provided by publisher.

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My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III; illustrated by AG Ford
“An account of the author’s brief years shared with his civil rights leader father offers insight into their special bond, their separation during Dr. King’s imprisonment, and the author’s five-year-old witness to the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.” – (Baker & Taylor)

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Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; illustrations by Patrick Faricy
“Examines the life and military career of Robert Smalls, a Southern slave who coordinated the theft of a Confederate gunship, went on to be promoted to the rank of captain in the Federal Navy, and appealed to President Lincoln to enlist five thousand former slaves into the Union army, breaking the U.S. Armed Forces color barrier.” – (Baker & Taylor)

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Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story by Janet Halfmann; illustrated by Duane Smith
“A biography of Robert Smalls who, during the Civil War, commandeered the Confederate ship Planter to carry his family and twelve other slaves to freedom, and went on to become a United States Congressman working toward African American advancement”–Provided by publisher.
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