Honoring Martin Luther King and Others

It takes a village to raise a child and it takes an army to lead a civil rights movement.  As we honor Martin Luther King Jr., I’m reminded of several books published this year that show it truly was an army of people making a difference.


Have you ever heard of Georgia Gilmore?  I hadn’t either until last November when I read Pies from Nowhere:  How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romito and illustrated by Laura Freeman.  The blurb about the book says “When the bus boycott began in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Park’s arrest, Georgia Gilmore knew just what to do.  She organized a group of of women, the Club from Nowhere, who cooked and baked to fund-raise for the boycott.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. used his words and voice to make a difference.  Georgia Gilmore used her cooking.  Read this book and learn the nickname Martin Luther King, Jr. gave Georgia; but don’t only focus on the story.  The illustrations are as wonderful as the story.


Memphis, Martin and the Mountain and the Mountaintop:  The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie soars.  Info from the front of book, “Author Alice Faye Duncan based the character of Lorraine Jackson on a teacher who participated in the Memphis Sanitation Strike as a child.  Using a riveting combination of poetry and prose.  She reveals the inspiring story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final stand.”  I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know anything about the sanitation strike; nor did I know Coretta Scott King led the strike days after her husband’s assassination.  The book says it best.  “Despite her broken heart, Mrs. King and members of SCLC helped to keep her husband’s pledge on April 8, 1968.”

I’ve got a lot to learn.

The Hen Who Sailed Around the World: A True Story


This week at the library, I did an Egg Drop Challenge with kindergarten – 2nd graders.  I didn’t realize how loud we were until after the program when my coworkers gave me the look.  The one of fear that somebody might ask what was going on and complain about the noise.  Then, they would have to explain kids were throwing eggs in the library and the loudest one in the group was the librarian.

We were laughing out of the gate at this program.  Days before a a new book showed up at the library.  It begged to be read to the group before starting the messy fun.  The Hen Who Sailed Around the World:  A True Story by Guirec Soudee is not to be missed.

As for the Egg Drop Challenge, it was so much fun for the kids and myself.  I’m going to do it again this summer with 3rd-5th graders.  In the meantime, I’ll be putting this book on display and recommending it often.


Mock Caldecott 2019

In years past, I’ve had a Mock Caldecott with my daughter and her friends.  They’re no longer interested in picking the best illustrated books of the year.  That’s ok.  They’ve replaced the interest with other creative endeavors.  But I love picture books; and I love hearing what people think will be the next award winner.  So I invited my coworkers to join me in a Mock Caldecott.  If you’re not a coworker and want to participate; you can join the fun.  Put your five favorites from the books listed below in the comments by Friday, January 18.

On January 19, I’ll tally the results and post a smaller list where you can vote for your favorite.  I’ll tally those votes on Friday, January 25.  I’ll announce our Mock Caldecott winner on Sunday, January 27.  Monday morning the real committee will announce their winner and honors.  Who’s in?


Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora


Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken


Dreamers by Yuyi Morales


Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall


What If. . . by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Mike Curato


Zola’s Elephant by Randall de Seve and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski


A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith


Drawn Together by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat


Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love


We Are Grateful:  Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorrel and illustrated by Frane Lessac


The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated Ekua Holmes

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal


Seeing Into Tomorrow:  Haiku by Richard Wright Biography and illustrations by Nina Crews


What Do You Do With a Voice Like That?  The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan


Imagine by Raul Colon


They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki


A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin


Nothing Stopped Sophie by Cheryl Bardoe and illustrated by Barbara McClintock


Hello Hello By Brendan Wenzel


Between the Lines:  How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier



The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang