And we should follow the advice of Oliver’s Dad, an all-round good human. “There are only three words you need to live by, son: respect, consideration and tolerance.”
“Do not look at the dirt. Look at the people.”
This quote is in reference to a visit to the slums in India; but I’m using it as a reminder in my daily life that people are people. All with a story and deserving compassion.
I’m fortunate to live in an area with so many people interested in children’s and young adult literature… including authors of fantastic books for kids and teens. From board books to YA books, the Triangle is filled with amazing writers. Here’s what I read from local authors published in 2017. I’m sure there are others. If you know of an author who published a book this year, post it in the comments.
Paving the way
to a future that’s bright.
Helping the world
with their skills, smarts, and might.
Little trailblazers cause great big changes.
In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.
William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Chuck Groenick – Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. “There’s room for two–I’m sure we’ll fit.” The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full. Then a note is slipped beneath the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” William tugs the door to see who’s there . . . only to find a great big BEAR! Is there enough space to spare? Will the other animals be willing to share?
Jada Jones: Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton – Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy engaging with science-loving Jada Jones in this easy-to-read chapter book.
When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend? (publisher’s site)
The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline Ogburn and illustrated by Rebecca Green – For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away. One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead. When Eric discovers the unicorn is hurt and being taken care of by the vet next door and her daughter, Allegra, his life is transformed. A tender tale of love, loss, and the connections we make, The Unicorn in the Barn shows us that sometimes ordinary life takes extraordinary turn. (publisher’s site)
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen – What would you be willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune?
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. Forever. Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human. (publisher’s site)
What’s Coming in 2018?
I’m eager to see what is published by authors in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill next year. Most especially, Brave Girl by Kati Gardner. It’s being published in the fall of 2018 by Flux Books. I had the honor of reading one of her drafts. Prepare to be wowed.
Brave Enough by Kati Gardner – Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She’s never really had a choice on if she wanted to dance or not, her mother the artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason’s life. It’s all changing. Cason has been hiding an injury and it’s much worse than anyone imagines. Davis Channing understands all too well what it is like to give up all control in your life. He’s survived cancer, but it was his addictions that nearly killed him. Now he’s been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital.
But it all changes. Davis’ ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life bringing with it a type of carnage he hadn’t expected. Cason and Davis are not friends. But now they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds? (Goodreads)
I’ve loved Christmas books my entire life. I treasure my copy of Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree from childhood. I’m always eager to find new gems each year. Below are my favorites this year.
The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen – An enchanting Christmas story about a magical yet unlikely friendship between a little girl and a lost reindeer sure to be a Christmas classic lovingly told and illustrated with red foil highlights and interactive die cuts.
The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli – Elephant is delighted to get a gift, but as the twelve days of Christmas continue, presents pile higher and higher! A partridge in a pear tree? Cute! But soon, her dad despairs. Two turtle doves? THREE French hens?! And just what are they supposed to do with ten lords a-leaping? Kids will love each silly spread in this raucous take on the classic carol that is perfect for reading aloud around the fireplace.
All summaries from publishers’ websites.
You must read, Read the Book, Lemmings – “The team behind the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! is back with with new Arctic characters in this hilarious learning-to-read adventure!
Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’tjump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off.
After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!” (publisher’s summary)
And if you haven’t read Wolfie the Bunny or Horrible Bear, check them out today.
I’ve been very slack this year sharing great books. I’ve learned the older your child gets the less mental capacity you have to write. In 2018, I plan to share brief posts about new books arriving at the library. At least three a week. If I have time to elaborate on the titles, I will. If not, I’ll include the publisher’s summary.
We received a big shipment today. I immediately checked out one title. It’s certain to be a hit with my DIY girl. I’ll probably stock up on the supplies for the Groovy Lava Lamp before showing her the book. Otherwise, she’ll drive me crazy begging to drive to our nearest grocery store for supplies. I need to stock up on ear wires for Duct Tape Earrings too. I can see it now. A new trend will start at her school because she loves to make gifts for people. Luckily, I read the Let’s Get Pranked Hacks chapter. She “gets me good” all the time. No new ideas needed. Maybe I’ll try one on her before I give her the book.
Life Hacks for Kids with Sunny Keller – Packed with 35 popular “hacks” from the top rated YouTube show Life Hacks for Kids, this book is sure to be a hit with fans of the show as well as kids who love to make something out of nothing. Featuring original photographs and behind the scenes insight from show’s star, Sunny Keller. (publisher’s summary)
When Claymates by Dev Petty and illustrated by Lauren Eldridge arrived at the library, all the Youth Services staff loved it. Then, I used it at a program for Kindergarten – 2nd graders. They loved it even more. This summer, I’ll share it with 3rd-5th graders. I should warn the library staff before the program. I know the kids will scream with laughter while I read the book. When I share the book trailer video, there will probably be a noise complaint from the apartments across the street.
The activity for this book was fun. We viewed this Book Chat first.
Then, each child received a paper plate with a generous pinch of two colors of play dough and googly eyes. They were encouraged to create characters. Around ten minutes later, toothpicks were added to the mix. Ten minutes after the toothpick distribution, colorful plastic straws and scissors to cut the straws were placed on the tables for use. They spent half an hour molding a variety of creatures. The parents loved this program as much as the children. Many asked if there were extra materials so they could participate. Parents and children alike created their very own Claymates.