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February: A Month of Celebrations!

February: A Month of Celebrations!

February is month of celebrations. It’s often thought that a groundhog can reveal how much longer winter will last. This short month provides a special time to show affection with or without a Valentine. February also is a time to celebrate leaders, past and present; presidential or simply stalwart.

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young readers are called to action, because it is possible that “You can be a King” in small everyday ways. Brief, recognizable scenes and sophisticated ideas are realistically interspersed with simpler, child-like classroom goings-on to bring the concept closer to familiar experiences. The result is a lyrical book just right to launch discussions.

Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali

By: Jim Haskins
Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The life and career of world renowned boxer, born Cassius Clay but better known as Muhammed Ali, is presented in a straightforward narrative accompanied by dramatic, realistic paintings.  Though first published in 2002, the information is factual and includes a timeline includes Ali’s 2016 death.

Groundhug Day

By: Anne Marie Pace
Illustrated by: Christopher Denise
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Moose and the other animals really want Groundhog to join them for their Valentine’s party. But when Groundhog sees his shadow he returns quickly to his cozy home. Could Groundhog be afraid of his shadow? Might shadow games help? Readers will enjoy the humor in lush illustrations and the warm relationship between animal friends in this celebratory book.

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad

By: Ann Petry
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The life of the woman who became known as Harriet Tubman is presented to a new generation with an introduction by award-winning author, Jason Reynolds, and a stunning new cover by Kadir Nelson. Originally published in 1955, the readable text has the hallmarks of the novelist who wrote it. She places Harriet in historical context, breathing life into Tubman and her times.

Love

By: Matt de la Peña
Illustrated by: Loren Long
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Love is an emotion that shows in many ways. From the unparalleled love that parents convey to their children to the “smell of crashing waves, and a train whistling …”  It is also the “crease in your grandfather’s face”.  Through sophisticated, sometimes unsettling images and text, readers are reminded that though it all, “You’ll have love, love, love.”

Peekaboo Kisses

By: Barney Saltzberg
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Peekaboo! Lift the paws and what do you see? Boldly colored, textured, cuddly animals giving – and getting -- soft kisses to the reader.  Ideal for sharing one-on-one, this predictable, repetitious, and interactive book has become a modern classic.

So You Want to Be President?

By: Judith St. George
Illustrated by: David Small
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Celebrate Presidents’ Day with some unexpected trivia. Often humorous, sometimes poignant anecdotes and political cartoons introduce U.S. Presidents as never before seen. First published in 2000 (and winner of the 2001 Caldecott Medal), the 2012 revised edition continues to delight and is current through Barack Obama. 

The United States v. Jackie Robinson

By: Sudipta Bardhan-Qualien
Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Before he became a baseball hero, Jack R. Robinson became a four-letter athlete during his time at UCLA. Soon after he left college, he joined the army where he continued to stand up for what was right. His pre-baseball career is presented in a clearly documented, accessible text and expressive, evocative illustrations.

This Is Not a Valentine

By: Carter Higgins
Illustrated by: Lucy Cummins
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

What other than a frilly Valentine shows a friend that they’re cared for? Maybe it’s as simple as a good-luck hopscotch rock or a dandelion that has been used to make a wish. Join this diverse group of friends as they show they care in simple, non-fussy ways that are definitely NOT Valentines!   

Valensteins

By: Loren Long
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A cast of characters associated with Halloween look on as Fran (as in Frankenstein) cuts out a paper heart. Much to their horror, it is explained that Fran may be in love! Dully hued cartoons highlight Fran’s pink heart (seen as anything but a Valentine) and the object of his affection (perhaps the Bride of Frankenstein) in this funny riff on a traditional Valentine’s celebration.

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Understood


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May 15, 2018

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