Spectacular Picture-Book Picks

Today I'm thinking about all of the picture books I've added to my shelves 
this summer as we gear up for the 2019-2020 school year.
How many of these beautiful gems do you already have?

And now, a quick review of this spectacular six-pack.

This cultural jewel came my way through a contest on Twitter;

I'm so grateful to have won it from Katherine Sokolowski.
Through its rhyming text, I not only learned about the Muslim tradition 
of wearing the hijab, but also about how women might 
unveil their personalities through the head dress.
Check out this picture book, then invite students to
compare and contrast it with Tilt Your Head, Rosie The Red.

Because we were gifted three Buddy Benches at my former school
by a Girl Scout Troop years ago, this intriguing newcomer piqued my interest. 

Veering from the original Buddy Bench idea that came from a child six years ago, the text finds a teacher pitching the idea that her class come together to create a safe space for children on the playground, especially for those children who don't have anyone to play with,
who aren't noticed or included, 
who feel lonely and left out.
In this tale, Cooper, the boy with a stutter in his speech pattern, is the one who suggests the kids build the bench! Check out this book and prepare to fall in love with the brilliant illustrations and sing-songy rhyme. Then brainstorm with your class all the ways you might utilize a Buddy Bench during your recess time.

Now, for my top fantasy pick, because who among us
hasn't dreamed of a magic pencil, to erase something
(or someone?) that wasn't quite working out?

Debuting next month (click book cover to order it today),
this treasure targets family changes and Arabella's frustration
with her little brother Avery (mostly the mayhem he causes).
Its figurative language (yay for alliteration!) and its dream-like
illustrations will grab your learners and pull them in.
Check out this book; stop at the point of conflict
(wait, she really erases her brother?)
and invite your learners to problem solve together.

From Arabella the artist to Georgia the scientist we go.

In fact, Georgia is surrounded by artists;
she lives in the most artistically-creative family she knows.
But she's got dreams of her own, dreams of being a scientist.
Is there even a world where Art and Science exist in harmony,
work together, even, to create an awe-inspiring synergy?

Check out this creative gem and experience the magic
as Georgia works to become a beaker of inspiration!

In our next title, a Dad and his young boy
decided to enter The Big Race ...  

but will the Dad even let Billy help with the building? Nope. 
Dad doesn't need help, unless you call fetching tools helping.
So Billy wanders off on a quest to show his Dad
just how capable he is. Will they combine their creations
to come up with a cart that can actually win the contest?
Check out this special father-son bonding change agent;
it just might alter how we empower our young innovators.

My sixth and final pick was given to me by Elyse Hahne,

a passionate educator in Dallas whom I finally met in person
on Friday after being connected through Twitter for 3 years.

It's a feelings book that she picked up at an SEL conference for me,
and it's a keeper. Sometimes Riley feels just like his friends, both other times, "confusing things from his past" leave his tummy in a tight knot. It's the kind of stuff his friends don't know about,
the stuff they can't always see just by looking at him.
But Riley is learning new ways to be brave ...
"by asking for helping instead of curling up in his shell," ...
something I'm still learning myself.
Check out this emotions treasure trove today.

So that's it, although you may have guessed that
I have even more books to blog about soon.

I'd love to know what your readers think after
you share these titles with them; please consider
sharing your reflections in the comments below.

Happy reading.

1 comment

  1. Thank you, Barbara, for including Arabella and the Magic Pencil in this fabulous list. I love your suggestion for educators using the book with their students and will certainly share your post with anyone interested in using the book in a classroom setting.

    Best wishes,
    Stephanie Ward
    Author of Arabella and the Magic Pencil


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!