Books by Theme
New Month, New Friends, and New School Year!
It’s fun and it’s intimidating. It’s the end and it’s the beginning. It’s time to greet another season and say goodbye to summer. A new school year is starting — a time to discover new books, new friends, new ideas and more. You’ll meet people in these books as they share good days and not so good, as they celebrate books and words, and as they enjoy meeting new friends!
A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices
Meet a diverse group of six children ranging in age from Kindergarten through ﬁfth grade. With nerves and excitement each child gears up for a new school year by hustling in the morning, meeting new teachers and new classmates during the day, and heading home with homework and relief by day’s end. Simple, bright illustrations focus on each child and their worries, hopes, and successes on the ﬁrst day of school.
All Are Welcome
A lively neighborhood school (inspired by the one attended by illustrator’s daughter) welcomes its diverse students at the start of a school year, proclaiming that all are welcome! Joy-filled, colorful, engaging paintings combine with brief, rhyming text to celebrate children and families coming together to learn and share.
Benji, the Bad Day and Me
Like the narrator, everyone sometimes has a bad day. Samuel’s started at school and didn’t improve at home. But his little brother Benji helps Samuel feel better as Benji has been made to feel better: by becoming a burrito! Samuel knows that he and Benji will both be “okay, That’s because the two of us are brothers.” Warm and empathetic, the story is based on the author’s sons, one who is autistic. See our interview with the author, Sally J. Pla ›
This handsomely illustrated collection of accessible poems invites young and old alike to, “read, let’s write, let’s explore galore!” Whether enjoying the magic in a library or an imaginary canyon, a variety of poems celebrate the sheer pleasure of words and writing to create “bookjoy, wordjoy”!
Danbi Leads the School Parade
Danbi is thrilled to start her new school in America. But a bit nervous too, for when she walks into the classroom, everything goes quiet. Everyone stares. Danbi wants to join in the dances and the games, but she doesn't know the rules and just can't get anything right. With a spark of imagination, she makes up a new game and leads her classmates on a parade to remember.
Making new friends can be scary, even for a small brown and white dog named Rosie. But Rosie and her human, George, find adventure and friendship at the dog park. Understated text is complemented by expressive, unassuming illustrations presented in comic format. Readers of all ages will empathize with Rosie, her shyness, and in her newfound friendships.
Goodbye Brings Hello
New things can be intimidating. Learning to tie shoe laces means giving up Velcro; writing letters may mean giving up chunky crayons. Starting a new school can be especially scary but “with each goodbye, a new hello.” Flat forms in bold, colorful shapes and staccato language effectively present the rights of passage of growing up and accepting new things.
Our Favorite Day of the Year
Musa's feeling nervous about his first day of school. He's not used to being away from home and he doesn't know any of the other kids in his class. And when he meets classmates Moisés, Mo, and Kevin, Musa isn't sure they'll have much in common. But over the course of the year, the four boys learn more about each other, the holidays they celebrate, their favorite foods, and what they like about school. The more they share with each other, the closer they become, until Musa can't imagine any better friends.
Quiet Please, Owen McPhee!
Some people talk more than they listen, like young Owen. But only until he gets laryngitis! Owen not only learns that others have good ideas but also gains the ability to listen more (though he’s still talkative). Children and teachers alike will recognize Owen and his classmates in both lighthearted (nonstop) conversation bubbles and gentle illustrations.
The Day You Begin
“There will be times when you walk into a room and no one will be quite like you.” But slowly you’ll find a bit of you in others along with your own wonderful uniqueness. Poetic language is complemented by expressive translucent illustrations presenting recognizable situations as the diverse students gradually develop friendships.
The Dinosaur Expert
Kimmy, a budding paleontologist, is thrilled that Mr. Tiffin is taking her class on a field trip to the natural history museum. Her confidence is shaken, however, when Jake asserts that girls can’t be scientists. However, wise Mr. Tiffin makes a point to show her the discovery made by a woman scientist. KImmy notes her favorite (and very real) female paleontologists at the conclusion of this engaging book.
Yes I Can! A Girl and Her Wheelchair
Carolyn is a regular girl who likes regular things. The only difference is that she uses a wheelchair. Yes, Carolyn can do whatever other kids can but sometimes not in the same way. The upbeat cartoon-like illustrations depict typical classroom activities and discussion starters for adults to use with children.
Your Name Is a Song
A celebration of the beauty, history, and magic behind names. Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class.
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