Max and the Tag-Along Moon

  • Title: Max and the Tag-Along Moon
  • Author: Floyd Cooper
  • Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
  • Publisher: Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Random House
  • Publication year: 2013
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“Max loves his grandpa. When they must say good-bye after a visit, Grandpa promises Max that the moon at Grandpa’s house is the same moon that will follow him all the way home. On that swervy-curvy car ride back to his house, Max watches as the moon tags along. But when the sky darkens and the moon disappears behind clouds, he worries that it didn’t follow him home after all. Where did the moon go—and what about Grandpa’s promise?”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – As I just discussed for Daniel’s Good Day and several others, this is another book that could celebrate Black Joy, and a book that every child can relate to as we have all wondered at the moon. This guide from the website Reading to Kids has questions to ask children before and after the reading, and new vocabulary words for children to learn.  
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I think I like the illustrations in this book more than in Cooper’s other work, The Ring Bearer because I like that the moon has become its own character and its shadows are felt through each page turn.

Daniel Finds a Poem

  • Title: Daniel Finds a Poem
  • Author: Micha Archer
  • Illustrator: Micha Archer
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House
  • Publication year: 2016
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Spider thinks so. Is it crisp leaves crunching? That’s what Squirrel says. Could it be a cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? Maybe poetry is all of these things, as it is something special for everyone—you just have to take the time to really look and listen. The magical thing is that poetry is in everyone, and Daniel is on his way to discovering a poem of his own after spending time with his animal friends. What is poetry? If you look and listen, it’s all around you!”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found this guide from Library Lessons With Books that invites children to watch Archer read this book aloud and then draw their own definition of poetry.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I think pairing this book with the other book, Daniel’s Good Day would give children plenty of lessons.

The Ring Bearer

  • Title: The Ring Bearer
  • Author: Floyd Cooper
  • Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
  • Publisher: Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“Jackson’s mama is getting married, and he gets to be the ring bearer. But Jackson is worried . . . What if he trips? Or walks too slowly? Or drops the rings? And what about his new stepsister, Sophie? She’s supposed to be the flower girl, but Jackson’s not sure she’s taking her job as seriously as she should. In a celebration of blended families, this heartwarming story, stunningly illustrated by the award-winning Floyd Cooper, is a perfect gift for any child who’s nervous to walk down the aisle at a wedding, and shows kids that they can handle life’s big changes.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I think this could be used in a preschool through 1st grade setting simply for diverse children to see themselves in an everyday setting (thinking of the Black Joy movement). This book also explores blended families and the anxiety that comes before a family has meshed.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it– I really liked the muted, sepia toned colors in this book because it allowed for the characters to really stand out from their backgrounds.

Violet the Pilot

  • Title: Violet the Pilot: Her Inventions Will Take Her Sky-High
  • Author: Steve Breen
  • Illustrator: Steve Breen
  • Publisher: Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House
  • Publication year: 2008
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“By the time she’s two years old, Violet Van Winkle can engineer nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she’s building elaborate flying machines from scratch—mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she’s capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen—something involving her best-ever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found activities from this website Reading to Kids, that suggests some discussion questions like, “Who is Orville named after?” “Have you ever invented something” and “Why is it not nice to laugh at people who do things differently than you?
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I enjoyed that this book showed a female main character who is interested in creating and engineering, showing other little girls that they to can create and that doing mechanical work is not only for boys.

Edie

  • Title: Edie Is Ever So Helpful
  • Author: Sophy Henn
  • Illustrator: Sophy Henn
  • Publisher: Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. First published in Great Britain by Penguin Group (UK).
  • Publication year: First published in 2017, First American Philomel edition in 2018
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“Edie certainly is a very good helper, whether it’s helping Mummy wake up bright and early, helping Daddy to get everything at the shops or helping her little brother with sharing and knowing what’s what.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I am not sure if there is a particular curriculum that this could be used for but I do think this would be a great one for young children who are often “helpful” in the not so helpful ways. I think this could be read aloud and then the teacher or librarian could lead a discussion after with questions: do any of you try to be helpful like Edie? Why? What happens when you are “ever so helpful”?
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I loved the bright, very colorful and almost animated quality to the illustrations. I do think the illustrations remind me of Eloise at the Plaza. For some interesting facts and insight on Henn, see this interview from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Love, Mouserella

  • Title: Love, Mouserella
  • Author: David Ezra Stein
  • Illustrator: David Ezra Stein
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers
  • Publication year: 2011
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“Mouserella misses her grandmouse, so she writes her a letter. At first she can’t think of anything to say, but once she starts, the news begins to flow – she found a cat whisker at the zoo, she taught her ladybug to fetch, she made shadow puppets with Dadmouse during a blackout – and just like that, the events of the past few days come to vivid life in her letter, as does her love for Grandmouse.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found this idea on a blog dedicated to David Ezra Stein that suggests using this book to help children discover letter writing and pen pals, and gives an activity of writing a letter. I know this can be argued on both sides, is this still a useful skill in this digital world or not? I say knowing how to write a letter, and address an envelope are still useful skills that children should know.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I did like that this book was in a landscape orientation to make it feel more like a letter. I also appreciated that the text was done as in a child’s hand.

If I Built A Car

  • Title: If I Built A Car
  • Author: Chris Van Dusen
  • Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen
  • Publisher: Puffin Books, a division of the Penguin Group
  • Publication year: 2005
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“Young Jack is giving an eye-opening tour of the car he’d like to build. There’s a snack bar, a pool, and even a robot named Robert to act as chauffeur. With Jack’s soaring imagination in the driver’s seat, we’re deep-sea diving one minute and flying high above traffic the next in this whimsical, tantalizing take on the car of the future. Illustrations packed with witty detail, bright colors, and chrome recall the fabulous fifties and an era of classic American automobiles.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found this lesson guide from BiblioGarden’s website that suggests using this book to activate children’s imagination by getting them to make their own car, with supplies. So, I think this could be used for a art class as well. Like some of the other books I have covered in this 100, I think this is another one that can be added for pry children’s imaginations, this time with specifically mechanics.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I really like Van Dusen’s illustrations which are reminiscent of mid-century art and décor. His artwork is very reminiscent of The Jetson’s, although younger generations may not get that reference.

A Scarf for Keiko

  • Title: A Scarf for Keiko
  • Author: Ann Malaspina
  • Illustrator: Merrilee Liddiard
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“t’s 1942. Sam’s class is knitting socks for soldiers and Sam is a terrible knitter. Keiko is a good knitter, but some kids at school don’t want anything to do with her because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and her family is Japanese American. When Keiko’s family is forced to move to a camp for Japanese Americans, can Sam find a way to demonstrate his friendship?”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I definitely think this book could be used in a history class and in a discussion of WWII. I do not think the internment of Japanese Americans is discussed frequently or at length in our classrooms, rather brushed aside as a few sentences. I think is important that we as educators do not go past a significant grievance (among many) that this country has enacted on its own citizens. I think this book could go a long way to helping children understand the situation and feel empathy. I found this teacher’s guide from Kar-Ben Publishing that would be helpful in using this book in the classroom.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I was glad an author’s note at the end of the book, with real photographs from the time that were depicted in the book. But also there is an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book from Malaspina about where she gathered her information to write this book, such as the Japanese American National Museum’s book Los Angeles’s Boyle Heights, which is the neighborhood this book is based in.

Egg

  • Title: Egg
  • Author: Kevin Henkes
  • Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Brief Summary: From HarperCollins-“This masterful and stylistically original picture book introduces young children to four eggs. One is blue, one is pink, one is yellow, and one is green. Three of the eggs hatch, revealing three baby birds who fly away. But the green egg does not hatch. Why not? When the three birds return to investigate, they’re in for a big surprise! What will happen next? With a compelling mix of comic-like panels, wordless pages and spreads, and a short text featuring word repetition, surprise, and suspense, Egg is an ideal book for emergent readers, as well as for sharing in a group.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I found this lesson plan on HarperCollins website that discusses how children can locate and assimilate synonyms, and how to evaluate feelings.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – Much like in Waiting, I found Henkes’s pastel colored illustrations perfect for young children. He only uses pale yellow, pink, blue and green. I think my favorite set of illustrations are a full page of the spring-colored birds hoping onto the back of the alligator and settling in, and we see the alligator begin to smile.

Pretend

  • Title: Pretend
  • Author: Jennifer Plecas
  • Illustrator: Jennifer Plecas
  • Publisher: Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication year: 2011
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“What could have been a quiet afternoon at home turns into an adventure for Jimmy and his dad. Their couch turns into a boat! The staircase becomes a mountain! And blankets become a cozy hut, just right to cuddle inside. The one thing they don’t have to pretend is how much they love one another.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – Much like I talked about in some of my most recent picture book findings, especially Lift, children experiencing their imagination is something they should also see in their readings. This is why I think this book would be great for an elementary school setting. I found this resource guide from the Best Beginning Alaska website that has discussion questions for a teacher/librarian to ask before and after the reading.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I liked Plecas’s illustrations that alternate between the pretend world of Jimmy, and reality where Jimmy and his Dad are going throughout the house. I also liked that this is a story about a dad and his son playing pretend which I feel like is a relationship aspect that I haven’t seen often in the picture books I have read thus far.