Two New #Kidlit Books Set in Oklahoma

This week I updated the Oklahoma state page of the Reading through the States website with these two books. A big thank you to author/librarian Sherri Maret for suggesting them.

The Cloud Artist–A Choctaw Tale (Told in English and Choctaw) by Sherri Maret and illustrated by Merisha Sequoia Clark

2017 Writers’ League of Texas Book Award Finalist
2018-2019 First Nation Communities Read Shortlist
2018 Oklahoma Book Award Finalist

Leona, a little Choctaw girl, can paint with clouds. When she is invited to join a carnival, Leona must choose what kind of artist she wants to be.

Visit the author’s website for a number of activities to accompany the book.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: The RoadRunner Press; first edition (September 26, 2017)
Language: English, Choctaw
ISBN-10: 1937054748
ISBN-13: 978-1937054748

The Survivor Tree-Oklahoma’s Symbol of Hope and Strength by Gaye Sanders and illustrated by Pamela Behrend

Winner  2018 Comstock Read Aloud Book Award
Winner  2018 Oklahoma Book Award
2019 Notable Social Studies Book
Finalist for 2018 Reading the West Book Award, Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association

No one expected the American elm that grew near the Alfred P. Murrah building to survive after the bombing on April 19, 1995. But it did, earning its name The Survivor Tree.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: The RoadRunner Press; first edition (November 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1937054497
ISBN-13: 978-1937054496

If you ever have suggestions for appropriate books, please let me know. It is a hobby of mine that often gets put on the back burner.

STEM Friday #Kidlit Do Doodlebugs Doodle?

I’m in the mood for something fun and light this morning, so let’s take a look at the picture book Do Doodlebugs Doodle? Amazing Insect Facts by Corinne Demas, Artemis Roehrig, and illustrated by Ellen Shi.


Do Doodlebugs Doodle? has a lot of positives going for it. First, there’s the engaging premise, which is to ask silly questions relating insect common names and then astonish the reader with an actual fact about that group. For example, the authors ask, “Do horseflies gallop?” The accompanying illustration shows a jockey riding a horsefly. Turning the page, the reader learns that although horseflies don’t gallop, they can fly faster than a horse can gallop. Cool!

Ellen Shi’s illustrations are just the right mix of silly fun and realistically-portrayed insects.

It also has some pedigree. Corinne Demas is an award-winning children’s author and Artemis Roehrig is a biologist who works with invasive insects. Persnickety Press is the sister imprint of the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, which is doing Jane Yolen’s wonderful bird series.

Then why wasn’t I wholly thrilled about Do Doodlebugs Doodle? As an entomologist, I know that there are millions of species of insects the authors could have highlighted. Insects that do such amazing things. Yet, out of ten insects selected, they chose two that were considered to be pests of humans, kissing bugs and bed bugs. Plus they placed the “pests” near the end, which is the “climax” of the book and where they leave a lasting impression. If their motivation is to truly encourage children to appreciate insects, something about making 20% of the insects ones that bite you (and 10% that sting) feels flawed to me. If the author’s motivation was to add an “ick” factor, then again there were many more positive choices (dung beetles, burying beetles, etc.) But that’s just my perception, and its not a major issue. If you have read it or pick it up, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

The authors dedicate their book to budding entomologists. Check out a copy and find out if doodlebugs do indeed doodle.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Persnickety Press (March 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1943978352
ISBN-13: 978-1943978359

 

 

 

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for Cybils review. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.Opens in a new window Note: this is a new link as of 1/2019.

2018 #Cybils Awards Announced Today, Also #BookGivingDay

The Cybils award winners were announced today!

The winner for the Elementary nonfiction category is the picture book biography Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala.

See my previous post for a review.

The winner for the middle grade nonfiction category is Death Eaters: Meet Nature’s Scavengers by Kelly Milner Halls

 

By the way, these announcement are right in time for International Book Giving Day. If you are looking for book gift ideas, the Cybils winners are a great place to start.

 

 

#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit for #nahaiwrimo: Rain

Want to share a children’s picture book for National Haiku Writing MonthRain by Anders Holmer is a lovely choice.

The picture book is a collection of haiku, each celebrated by a two-page spread of sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, and sometimes hopeful illustrations.

The topics of the haiku are not simple ones. For example, regarding a forest fire:

Beneath the ashes are
seeds for a new forest that
might burn someday too

Adults might shy away from the dark illustrations and/or the darker topics for children, but it is actually offers much to explore and consider.

Rain will appeal to both nature lovers and budding poets. Pull it out for haiku month or for any rainy day.

Activity Suggestion:

Perfect to accompany a lesson on writing haiku, such as this one from Scholastic (scroll down for reproducible “What is Haiku”).

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0802855075
ISBN-13: 978-0802855077

Disclosure: The book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

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Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.