Sunday, August 12, 2018

Review: Give Your Child the World

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin with a Foreword by Tsh Oxenreider
Date: June 2016
Format: Paperback
How did I get this book? Purchased

Anyone looking to pick up this book should know it is predominantly a reference volume/book list. Part One which essentially introduces the author and her family, gives some information on how to encourage a global perspective through books, and why she feels such a perspective is important (largely influenced by her Christian faith) is short -- it runs from pages 11-48 and that includes a Foreward by someone else. I enjoyed the opening to this book and used plenty of book darts to mark favorite lines, but if you are expecting a lot of research, statistics, or a deep dive into the subject matter, you're probably going to be disappointed.

I like Martin's premise and agree with her about the importance of sharing books with our kids that broaden their perspectives and introduce them to people, places, and cultures they are unfamiliar with. However, I'm not entirely sure the booklist lives up to the task. Now, I have NOT read the booklists (Part Two) word-for-word, but I have browsed through it and there are some things that give me pause. I'm not claiming to have done an extensive analysis of all the recommended titles, but I have some overall impressions.

First of all, there aren't that many books that take place in current/recent times. History and historical context are certainly important for encouraging a global perspective, but given how much Martin says she wants kids to fall in love with the world and and all the people we share it with, I really was expecting more contemporary stories. For the Europe chapter, there are a whole lot of books taking place during the World Wars and (as other reviewers have said) I don't think that paints a very complete picture of the region. The same could be said for the selections for the Middle East which largely recommends books featuring conflicts, so much so that Martin does not even recommend any titles for ages 4-6 because of that very fact.

I was also expecting more books actually from other countries, books in translation, and books written by people who are a part of these cultures from around the world. I do believe there are books recommended that fit these attributes, but I don't think they are as predominant as I was expecting -- and it's pretty difficult to distinguish which titles are which. There doesn't seem to be any notations about the authors' background or expertise in the various countries or cultures which seems important to me given what this booklist is trying to achieve.

Lastly, there are some titles that raised red-flags for me -- particularly books about Thanksgiving that seem highly problematic and a large number of titles referring to Native Americans without any mention of specific tribes or nations, as if they are just one big group. I am not as educated in this area as I should be, but some preliminary research on the highly respected site American Indians in Children's Literature seems to show that Give Your Child the World is recommending a mix of titles -- some with good representation and some with poor/inaccurate representation. As I said earlier, I am not as educated as I should be on this subject, but I think it is important, especially when recommending books specifically with the goal of broadening young minds and teaching them about people from all around the world. So I'm keeping this book on my shelf, but taking the recommendations with a grain of salt, trying to remember that I should ALWAYS be reading critically, and realizing that I have a lot still to learn myself!

Edited 8/14/18 to add: Recommending Tikki Tikki Tembo as a book representing China is really a disgrace. I think I have found a much better resource for global kidlit, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Classics Club: Round Two

Back in February 2013, I joined The Classics Club. I was still relatively new to blogging and inspired by all the reading challenges I found once I figured out there was a whole book blogging COMMUNITY I could engage with rather than writing what was essentially an online book journal no one knew about. I'd been meaning to read more classics and kept adding them to my collection, so I thought this would be just the thing to finally get me started. Nothing like going all in, right? I mean there are smaller (and shorter) classics challenges, but I wanted to go big. After all, 50 in 5 years is less than a book a month. Surely I could do that! Except I didn't. Womp, womp, womp. I DID read 32 classics, but things really fell apart when it came to blogging about them. I managed some posts, but the numbers aren't good.

So after explaining all that, why in the world am I back with a second attempt at this thing? Well, my 5 years officially ended five and a half months ago and I've had some time to think things through. I realized that despite falling short of my goal, I really had started reading classics on a more regular basis. A full 25 of the classics I read happened in the final two years of my challenge. And in the intervening months I've read 5 more just in the regular course of my reading life. But there's a bit of a kicker -- they've all been children's classics! Now, The Classics Club advocates for creating a "living list" that can change and evolve as time goes on. My original list did evolve into a children's classics list, but it took me a bit too long to figure that out and then I just ran out of time.

So this time around, my list is going to be all Children's Classics from Day 1. Almost five and a half years later, I know what kind of classics I really want to read. As for the blogging part, I may have fallen off the wagon last time, BUT some of the posts I did write were some of my very favorites (Reading Winnie-the-Pooh as an AdultReading Paddington as an Adult). The idea of writing more posts like those two has me genuinely excited and feeling more confident about the blogging part of the challenge. I also have a pen and paper reading journal set up (a printable freebie from one of Modern Mrs. Darcy's newsletters) I am hoping will help me gather and organize my thoughts to make posting easier.

There is no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a classic, so I combed over my shelves to come up with my list and did the best I could. Books over 50 years old were a given. Newer-ish books that were published as part of a "modern classics" series were also a given. Anything else in the 35-49 years old range I used my judgement (I'm about to turn 33, so anything younger than me I had a hard time thinking of as a classic, even though a book with staying power 30 years later does still feel pretty significant). I used 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up to help me make a few decisions. And if a book won a Newbery Honor or Medal, I was more likely to deem it list-worthy.

It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I have enough unread children's classics in my house to read FAR more than 50 in the next 5 years, so instead of trying to prioritize or pare down  (and since I DO want to read all these books strewn about my house!) I'm jumping in with a longer list. A lot of these are short/easy after all and I anticipate that plenty of books will get combined for blogging purposes.

Alright, enough of all these long-winded explanations -- onto the list! I'm making my official Classics Club goal to read at least 100 children's classics from the (bursting) list below and write 50 blog posts by July 24, 2023.

*Asterisk indicates Newbery Honor or Medal title

  1. A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot
  3. Selected classic poetry with an intended young audience (titles TBD)
  4. Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales (selected collections; titles TBD)
  5. Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales (selected collections; titles TBD)
  6. The Beauty and the Beast, by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
  7. Nursery stories/tales (titles TBD)
  8. Mother Goose Rhymes (titles TBD)
  9. Aesop's Fables, by Aesop
  10. The Milly-Molly-Mandy Story Book, by Joyce Lankester Brisley
  11. Uncle Wiggily's Story Book, by Howard R. Garis
  12. Old Mother West Wind + other stories, by Thornton Burgess
  13. The Complete Polly and the Wolf, by Catherine Storr
  14. The Selfish Giant and Other Stories, by Oscar Wilde
  15. Uncle Remus The Complete Tales, adapted by Julius Lester
  16. Rootabaga Stories + More Rootabaga Stories, by Carl Sandburg
  17. Leon Garfield's Shakespeare Stories --OR-- Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children, by E. Nesbit
  18. *The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles, by Padriac Colum
  19. Sherlock Holmes stories + novels, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  20. The Gray Wolf and Other Stories, by George MacDonald
  21. Stories for Children, by Issac Bashevis Singer
  22. Homer Price + Centerberg Tales, by Robert McCloskey
  23. Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling
  24. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  25. Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi
  26. Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie (re-read)
  27. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  28. The Racketty-Packetty House, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  29. Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
  30. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
  31. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  32. The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame
  33. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  34. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  35. The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain
  36. Five Children and It + The Phoenix and the Carpet, by E. Nesbit
  37. The Enchanted Castle, by E. Nesbit
  38. The Railway Children, by E. Nesbit
  39. The Book of Dragons, by E. Nesbit
  40. Daddy Long Legs, by Jean Webster
  41. The Wonder Clock, by Howard Pyle with Verses by Katharine Pyle
  42. Twilight Land, by Howard Pyle
  43. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle
  44. The Story of King Arthur and his Knights, by Howard Pyle
  45. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
  46. Ronia, The Robber's Daughter, by Astrid Lindgren
  47. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll
  48. *Ginger Pye + Pinky Pye, by Eleanor Estes
  49. The Moffats, by Eleanor Estes
  50. *The One Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes
  51. The Witch Family, by Eleanor Estes
  52. Stuart Little, by E.B. White
  53. The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White
  54. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
  55. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
  56. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
  57. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit
  58. The Search for Delicious, by Natalie Babbit
  59. *Three Tales of My Father's Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  60. The Once and Future King series, by T.H. White
  61. *The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper
  62. Anne of Green Gables series, by L.M. Montgomery
  63. Emily of New Moon trilogy, by L.M. Montgomery
  64. The Story Girl + The Golden Road, by L.M. Montgomery
  65. The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery
  66. Jane of Lantern Hill, by L. M. Montgomery
  67. *The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
  68. *The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander
  69. The Time Cat, by Lloyd Alexander
  70. Betsy Tacy series, by Maud Hart Lovelace
  71. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series, by L. Frank Baum
  72. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
  73. Green Knowe series, by L.M. Boston
  74. Half Magic series, by Edward Eager
  75. All-of-a-Kind Family series, by Sydney Taylor
  76. Swallows and Amazons series, by Arthur Ransome
  77. The Faraway Tree trilogy, by Enid Blyton
  78. *The Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary
  79. The Moomins series, by Tove Jansson
  80. The Paddington series, by Michael Bond (remaining books)
  81. The Borrowers series, by Mary Norton (remaining books)
  82. Bedknob and Broomsticks, by Mary Norton
  83. *The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  84. The Saturdays, by Julie Andrews
  85. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews
  86. The Mouse and His Child, by Russell Hoban
  87. The Princess and the Goblin, by George Macdonald
  88. The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge
  89. The Phantom Tolbooth, by Norton Juster
  90. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr
  91. *Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink
  92. Olga da Polga, by Michael Bond
  93. Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
  94. By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Flieschman
  95. A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas
  96. Nancy and Plum, by Betty MacDonald
  97. *The Light at Tern Rock, by Julia L. Sauer
  98. *Fog Magic, by Julia L. Sauer
  99. *The Apple and the Arrow, by Mary & Conrad Buff
  100. *My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George
  101. *Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
  102. *Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard & Florence Atwater
  103. *The Hero and the Crown + *The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
  104. *The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
  105. *The Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  106. *The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
  107. *The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
  108. *Miracles on Maple Hill, by Virginia Sorensen
  109. Plain Girl, by Virginia Sorensen
  110. *Rabbit Hill + The Tough Winter, by Ben Lawson
  111. Ben and Me, by Ben Lawson
  112. *Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O'Brien
  113. *Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
  114. *The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite DeAngeli
  115. *Call It Courage, by Armstrong Sperry
  116. *Sounder, by William H. Armstrong
  117. *Summer of the Swans, by Betsy Byars
  118. *Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  119. *The Dark Frigate, by Charles Boardman Hawes
  120. *Blue Willow, by Doris Gates
  121. *The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden
  122. *Abel's Island, by William Steig
  123. *The Wheel on the School, by Meindart DeJong
  124. *The 21 Balloons, by Pene DeBois
  125. *Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham
  126. *The Slave Dancer, by Paula Fox
  127. *Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt
  128. *Onion John, by Joseph Krumgold
  129. *Thimble Summer, by Elizbeth Enright
  130. *The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Synder
  131. *A Gathering of Days, by Joan W. Blos
  132. *MC Higgins the Great, by Virginia Hamilton
  133. *Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
  134. *Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry
  135. *The Fledgling, by Jane Langton
  136. *A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck
  137. *Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
  138. Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
  139. Black Beauty, by Anna Swewll
  140. Hans Brinker, by Mary Mapes Dodge
  141. Five Little Peppers, by Margaret Sidney
  142. The Little Lame Prince, by Dinah Maria Mulock
(Last Updated: 8/9/2018)

As one final note, the "first generation" of Classics Club moderators has just recently retired and a brand new "second generation" has just begun. I have nothing at all against the original team, but I do think the excitement over the new team gave me that last little push to commit to joining again. The Club is on Instagram now and I'm really looking forward to seeing what new ideas and events may happen in the coming years!


Monday, July 2, 2018

Please Help a Reader Out! -- Summer Reading Recommendations Request

The kid in me who loved summer reading growing up is thrilled that my local library has a program for adults as well! Last year, I signed up, but I must admit I only participated half-heartedly. I have little memory of what the categories were, but I do remember that they didn't fit in all that well with my summer reading plans, so I only managed to cross a few off. A lackluster last summer did not stop my enthusiasm for this year's program though and I signed up as soon as summer reading started. I refuse to read a book I have no interest in for the sake of checking a box, but I figure if I put in some effort now to figure out titles I DO want to read that fit the categories I'll be able to participate more fully.

So, I've been combing my shelves (and the library) for titles that fit categories that stumped me when I first glanced over this summer's BINGO card. The most difficult one for me so far -- and the one I most need YOUR help with! -- is A Book Set in the Mountains. I have discovered it is not as easy as one might think to find a book based on setting. This particular setting seems pretty specific, but since it could be any mountains, it's actually rather broad which has made searching challenging. I have a whole bunch of books with flap copy mentioning wilderness, the woods, rural areas, etc., that might qualify, but its been awfully hard to determine if they are actually set in the mountains without diving in. So, please help a reader out and leave a comment if you've read or know of any Adult or Young Adult Fiction titles set in the mountains. I actually came up with some middle grade titles I know would work, but I'm trying not to let myself off too easy! So far the only book on my shelves I think would work is Those Who Wish Me Dead, by Michael Koryta.

Three other categories I know I won't have trouble completing are A Book Published in 2018A Book of Historical Fiction, and A Book That Became a Movie. BUT I'd love to hear if you have any favorites to recommend for those categories as well. (Bonus points if you enjoyed both the book and the movie, because we are supposed to both read and watch for the movie category!)

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Does your library have a summer reading program for adults? And THANK YOU for any recs you are able to share :) :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Links I'm Loving Lately [4]

{A lot of bloggers share link round-ups, but I was particularly inspired to get in on the link love by Reading With Jade's recent Blog Posts I've Enjoyed Lately series.}

It's been two months since my last of these link posts, so it's past time for another round -- and it's a long one! I hope you find something interesting to read :)

Upcoming Bookish Events
July 2018 #24in48 Readathon Sign-ups are Here! {24 in 48 Readathon}

Book Lists
Poetry Quote-a-thon: LIGHT {Poetry for Children}
Poetry Quote-a-thon: PEACE {Poetry for Children}
Poetry Quote-a-thon: FEELINGS {Poetry for Children}
Poetry Quote-a-thon: HUMANITY {Poetry for Children}

The Mom Life
DON’T CARPE DIEM {Momastery} < -- this and the next one are both by Glennon Doyle and were in her book Carry On, Warrior that I really enjoyed recently
A Little Advice {Huffpost}

Kid/Family Activities
SCREEN-FREE TRAVEL: ROAD TRIP GAMES FOR KIDS {What Do We Do All Day?}
the elixir of outdoor play {orange marmalade} < -- We definitely don't live up to this (plus my kid is WAY too young for the unsupervised part), but I find it inspiring nonetheless.

Non-Bookish
CHECK YOUR NECK: MY THYROID CANCER STORY {So Obsessed With}
5 Ways I’m Taking Back My Time {No Sidebar}

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Read any great articles or posts lately? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June-September Caldecott Calendar: Father's Day + Summer

Late again! I found very little specifically for June and July, so I'm combining those couple titles into this summer installment of my Caldecott Calendar. August will get its own post later in the summer.

All of my posts for this project (including updates) can be found here or by clicking on 'Caldecott Calendar' in the header up top. My personal favorites will be marked with an asterisk (*). This post may be updated to correct errors, omissions, etc. as we go. Let me know in the comments if you notice anything that should be fixed or added!

Father's Day

Owl Moon, written by Jane Yolen & illustrated by John Schoenherr
1988 Caldecott Medal
A snowy, winter setting doesn't exactly fit with this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway!) but it's the only Caldecott book focusing on a father and child that I've been able to find so far!


Summer

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909, written & illustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen
1984 Caldecott Medal
This non-fiction picture book chronicles all the work leading up to a milestone flight over 100 years ago.


*A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, written & illustrated by Marla Frazee
2009 Caldecott Honor
I just love Marla Frazee's illustrations -- and the contradictions between the text and the artwork are hilarious! A perfect, fun summer read.


Flotsam, illustrated by David Wiesner
2007 Caldecot Medal
A wordless summer beach adventure/mystery.


Blackout, written & illustrated by John Rocco
2012 Caldecott Honor
It isn't summer without at least one blackout, right?


This One Summer, written by Mariko Tamaki & illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
2015 Caldecott Honor
This is a YA graphic novel which is unusual for a Caldecott pick and definitely not for little kids. It also received a Printz Honor.


Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888, written by Ernest Lawrence Thayer & illustrated by Christopher H. Bing
2001 Caldecott Honor
Summer and baseball just go together, so it seems a good time of year to read this a classic poem.


McElligot's Pool, written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
1948 Caldecott Honor
It's never been one of my own pastimes, but fishing still makes me think of summer!


*The Relatives Came, written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Stephen Gammell
1986 Caldecott Honor
My son loves this book -- and it has a pretty stellar combination of author and illustrator, if you ask me!


*Blueberries for Sal, written & illustrated by Robert McCloskey
1949 Caldecott Honor
A classic for a reason!


Time of Wonder, written & illustrated by Robert McCloskey
1958 Caldecott Medal
A lengthy, gentle summertime book.


One Morning in Maine, written & illustrated by Robert McCloskey
1953 Caldecott Honor
A time of year isn't stated in the text, but I think of this as a summer book!


*The Storm Book, written by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham
1953 Caldecott Honor
As we are expecting a summer storm today, this one is feeling particularly seasonally appropriate!


Houses from the Sea, written by Alice E. Goudey & illustrated by Adrienne Adams
1960 Caldecott Honor
A day at the beach collecting seashells is classic summer.


The Moon Jumpers by Janice May Udry, Maurice Sendak
1960 Caldecott Honor
This lesser known Sendak book takes place on a moonlit summer night.


Hide and Seek Fog, written by Alvin Tresselt & illustrated by Roger Duvoisin
1966 Caldecott Honor
A fog rolls into a village by the sea.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

May Caldecott Calendar: Jewish-American Heritage Month & Mother's Day

Goodness gracious I'm running late this month! I wasn't realizing I'd end up with three Caldecott posts for April and in the meantime, a certain small someone decided naps aren't really his thing anymore, so let's just say we've been in an adjustment period around here. Better late than never, right? 

All of my posts for this project (including updates) can be found here or by clicking on 'Caldecott Calendar' in the header up top. My personal favorites will be marked with an asterisk (*). This post may be updated to correct errors, omissions, etc. as we go. Let me know in the comments if you notice anything that should be fixed or added! 

Jewish-American Heritage Month

Golem by David Wisniewski
1997 Caldecott Medal 
Picture book re-telling of a Jewish legend.



Joseph Had a Little Overcoat written & illustrated by Simms Taback
2000 Caldecott Medal
Based on a Yiddish folk song. 


496802
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins written by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
1990 Caldecott Honor
May is certainly not the right time of year for Hanukkah, but I'll include it here as well as the December list.


Mother's Day

A Chair for My Mother, written & illustrated by Vera B. Williams
1983 Caldecott Honor
Rosa helps save up money to buy her mother a comfortable chair after their home is destroyed in a fire.


The Boy of the Three-Year Nap, written by Dianne Snyder & illustrated by Allen Say
1989 Caldecott Honor
A clever mother outwits her lazy son.


Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present, written by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
1963 Caldecott Honor
Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl figure out what to get her mother for her birthday.


My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, written by Becky Reyher & illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
1946 Caldecott Honor
A sweet story based on a Russian proverb.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bout of Books 22: My Sign-up Post

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

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It's that time again! I will be travelling many hours on a train the final day of this read-a-thon, so this works out perfectly for me! The rest of the week, I plan on just trying to fit in a bit of extra reading time here and there -- which is always fun too! More info & sign-up here today or tomorrow before the form closes!

I plan to post updates on Litsy (@Bucklingbkshelf) -- if I attempt to put together a TBR for the week -- you'll find it over there!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

New-to-Me Blog: Kids Books Worth Reading

I've been wanting to share some links to Kids Books Worth Reading in my last couple of Links I'm Loving Lately round-ups, but thought they really deserved their own post. I found this new-to-me blog via Everyday Reading's How to Make Using the Library Less Stressful series. For that series, Janssen tackled common library challenges with the help of a bunch of other book-loving parents, librarians, bloggers, and podcasters. Kids Books Worth Reading was on the list of contributors and piqued my interest because it's run by Janssen's mom!

From her blog description:
"Are you looking for Children and Young Adult books that are worth reading? You’ve come to the right place! I have a master list of over 700 titles to share. My purpose with this blog is to share book titles that most parents today have either forgotten about or never heard of in the first place."
Carole is a mom and grandma who homeschooled for 15 years and has a degree in English Literature. She has said her posts are recommendations rather than "reviews" and typically includes a description of the book and some thoughts on why she recommends it. She also lists reading level, number of pages, publication year, and any relevant awards. Posts tend to be short and I just love that! I like both the blog and Instagram account, but they do share roughly the same information, depending on where you might prefer to follow along.

There is a definite focus on older books and that might not be for everyone. I do not feel there is an intention to make any kind of judgement against newer books or books not featured on this site -- she's just sharing under-the-radar books from her extensive reading experience with her family she hopes others will love too. (And there are some newer titles, they just aren't as prevalent). I particularly love learning about older Newbery titles I haven't seen before as well as reading recommendations for books I own but haven't read yet -- seeing another vote in their favor gives those titles a little boost on the old TBR stack! This site has been a great addition to my children's book resources.

To give a feel for the site, I thought I'd share some links to a sampling of posts I've enjoyed:

Books I Bought After Seeing Them Featured:


Books I Already Own (and really should read)


Books Added to My Wishlist


Check out more:
And, of course, I love Everyday Reading too!

Monday, April 23, 2018

April Caldecott Calendar: National Poetry Month & Jazz Appreciation Month

This should be the final April installement of my Caldecott Calendar project. All of my posts for this project (including updates) can be found here or by clicking on 'Caldecott Calendar' in the header up top. My personal favorites will be marked with an asterisk (*). This post may be updated to correct errors, omissions, etc. as we go. Let me know in the comments if you notice anything that should be fixed or added! 

National Poetry Month 
To celebrate National Poetry Month, I've rounded up the books clearly marked as including poems or nursery rhymes, as well as any other titles that are particularly poetic/lyrical. I've tried no

*A Child's Calendar, poems by John Updike & illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman
2000 Caldecott Honor
Trina Schart Hyman is a favorite illustrator of mine!



Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, written by Joyce Sidman & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
2010 Caldecott Honor


A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers written by Nancy Willard & illustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen
1982 Caldecott Honor


*Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, written by Joyce Sidman & illustrated by Beckie Prange
2006 Caldecott Honor
I featured this title once already on the list for Earth Day and it works for spring as well -- it's doing triple duty as an April book!


Noah's Ark, written & illustrated by Peter Spier
1978 Caldecott Medal
This nearly wordless picture book includes the text of a translated poem 'The Flood' by Jacobus Revius on a single page near the beginning.


*All the World, written by Liz Garton Scanlon & illustratee by Marla Frazee
2010 Caldecott Honor
The brevity and careful word choice of picture books means many could be considered to have poetic text, but I'm going to be selective in making that determination -- and this one certainly qualifies!


The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles, written & illustrated by Maud & Miska Petersham
1946 Caldecott Medal


Frog Went A-Courtin', retold by John Langstaff & illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky
1956 Caldecott Medal
An old Scottish ballad written in rhyming couplets.


Freedom in Congo Square, written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
2017 Caldecott Honor
This is a rhyming picture book, but really, all of Carole Boston Weatherford's books are poetry!


*Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Ekua Holmes
2016 Caldecott Honor
A biography-in-poems of an incredible woman -- don't miss this one!


Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, written by Laban Carrick Hill & illustrated by Bryan Collier
2011 Caldecott Honor


A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, by Jen Bryant, Melissa Sweet
2009 Caldecott Honor
This biographical picture book introduces doctor and poet William Carlos Williams.


The Spider and the Fly, written by Mary Howitt & illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
2003 Caldecott Honor
This classic cautionary poem is illustrated by the same man who illustrated The Spiderwick Chronicles! This one would be good to read for Halloween as well.


Harlem: A Poem, written by Walter Dean Myers & illustrated by Christopher Myers
1998 Caldecott Honor


Mother Goose: Seventy-seven Verses, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
1945 Caldecott Honor
Mother Goose books are a dime a dozen, but I do have a soft spot for Tasha Tudor's illustrations!


Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes, illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli
1955 Caldecott Honor
FYI: The cover at really doesn't do the interior artwork justice.


Four and Twenty Blackbirds: Nursery Rhymes of Yesterday Recalled for Children of Today, collected by Helen Dean Fish & illustrated by Robert Lawson
1938 Caldecott Honor


Song of Robin Hood, selected by Anne Malcolmson, music by Grace Castagnetta, designed & illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton
1948 Caldecott Honor


If All the Seas Were One, written & illustrated by Janina Domanska
1972 Caldecott Honor
Picture book of an old nursery rhyme.


The House That Jack Built/La Maison Que Jack A Batie, written & illustrated by Antonio Frasconi
1959 Caldecott Honor
A bi-lingual nursery rhyme picture book


Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes, illustrated by Philip Reed
1964 Caldecott Honor


Sing Mother Goose, music by Opal Wheeler & illustrated by Marjorie Torrey
1946 Caldecott Honor



Jazz Appreciation Month

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney & illustrated by Brian Pinkney
1999 Caldecott Honor


Trombone Shorty, written by Troy Andrews; illustrated by Bryan Collier 
2016 Caldecott Honor


*Ben's Trumpet, written & illustrated by Rachel Isadora
1980 Caldecott Honor