Books by Theme
Often adults think just because children can read by themselves that reading aloud is no longer important. It is! What better way to tackle tough topics than by sharing a book and talking about it? Questions may include what a child thinks of a character’s behavior or actions (what would you do if…? Or how would it feel to be in…?). Interests and ideas keep on coming but remember, children’s reading levels are usually lower than what they understand when books are shared aloud. Empathy, experience, vocabulary and a love of language continue to grow long after children can read by themselves.
The artist Jackson Pollack’s style and energy in his piece Number 1 1950 earned him the nickname Action Jackson. Fascinating details emerge as the art, environment, and inspiration of Jackson Pollack are presented in a carefully crafted, well-told, and vivaciously illustrated picture book biography.
Because of Winn-Dixie
When Opal meets (and rescues) a dog in a Winn Dixie grocery store, the shaggy hound gains a name, a friend and a home. He also becomes the catalyst to bring a community together. Humor and goodwill are the hallmarks of this imaginative tale.
The classic story of friendship and how a spider named Charlotte saves Wilbur, a small pig, from certain death with words in a web is now more than 50 years old. Nonetheless, it remains as fresh as the day it was first written.
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
The small squirrel rescued from a super vacuum cleaner by 10-year old Flora emerges hairless but with new superpowers. Newly named Ulysses, the squirrel cracks Flora's protective cynicism as she copes with her parents' separation. Humor and pathos combine in text and illustration in this humorous, memorable and poignant novel. (2014 Newbery Medal Winner)
A boy in a fedora uses his pen to travel, grow, “make giants of old men/who have seen better days” (an homage to his late father, Walter Dean Myers), and visit places real and imagined. Black and white line drawings and sophisticated, poetic language effectively convey the power of art and imagination and are sure to spark conversation.
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate
Girls didn’t always have the freedom to choose what they wanted to do. This is certainly true for Callie Tate, the only girl in her family. How she follows her interests and deals with not being taken seriously is revealed in rich, well-paced language. Callie’s story started in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate though both books can be read without the other. Both will appeal to sophisticated readers.
The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
To escape the horrors of slavery, some people who remembered the old magic flew away from their enslavement. This is a richly illustrated homage to the reteller of the folktale (that first appeared in a 1985 collection) and to the dignity and history of African Americans.
Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables
The enduring wisdom of Aesop's fables have been retold and newly illustrated. The large, attractive format invites readers to consider how the actions of the animals are similar to their own.
What's New? The Zoo: A Zippy History of Zoos
A spunky look at zoos from all over the world beginning 4400 years ago in the Sumerian city of Ur and ending at the present day San Diego Zoo. The many places worldwide and zoos' purposes are presented in informative text and lighthearted cartoon illustrations.
What's the Big Idea? Amazing Science Questions for Curious Kids
This oversized book asks and ways to test “big ideas” — the ones that have “no simple or easy answer.” Motion, energy, and matter are made accessible and downright fun here. Just right for curious kids to share with curious adults.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Minli embarks on a journey to change the luck of her family and their village. Traditional stories inspired by Chinese folklore combine with a rousing adventure for an altogether satisfying tale. Richly-hued illustrations decorate and enhance the handsome novel.
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