"Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your kindness and grace." - Unknown
“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” – Dolly Parton
"The most wasted of all days is the one without laughter". - e.e. cummings
"If we want to achieve anything good, we cannot do it alone." - Dr. Ariel Burger
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett (1906 -1989)
"Choose kindness. Do more. Peace!" - Henry Richard, Boston MA, 4/15/18
"The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others". - Eleanor Roosevelt
"My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness." - Maya Angelou
”Every one likes a compliment”. - Abraham Lincoln to T. Weed, March 15, 1865
Mellybean and the Giant Monster by M. White. Mellybean is an eager, irrepressible puppy, and he is all heart - a most lovable hero. His adventure starts when he falls down a freshly-dug backyard hole. Landing in an unfamiliar past, he instantly meets a new "friend" - a giant creature who is being hunted relentlessly by tiny humans. Mellybean, of course, offers to help. He will encounter a greedy king, countless arrow-shooting knights, and three brave kids searching for their teacher. MELLYBEAN & the GIANT MONSTER has it all: adventure, suspense, and loads of humor - even golden eye boogers! More, please.
One Time, by Sharon Creech, brims with heart and spirit. It celebrates the joy of learning, writing, and words! Here's a favorite line: "It seemed magical, the way a word could open up paths in my mind and lead to people and places both old and new." (204) Yes! Every child should have a Miss Lighthouse for a teacher. Her passion inspires her students to keep lists of the new words they discover. Picture the moon shining above water. See the pathway of light? There is a gorgeous word for that. You know the dappled, shadowy sunlight that is filtered by leaves? There is a beautiful word for that too. Miss Lighthouse's students taught me those words; I will never forget them. ONE TIME is a gem that I will read more often than its title suggests. (HarperCollins, September 2020)
Tune it Out by Jamie Sumner. Jamie Sumner dazzled readers with ROLL WITH IT. She does it again with TUNE IT OUT. Both books feature relatable, strong girls who refuse to be defined by the challenges they face. There is much to love about TUNE IT OUT. Lou, talented, humble and brave, is a hero to cheer. Her classmate Maxwell (aka "Well") is also terrific, as is the Spotify playlist of "survival music" he creates for Lou. Sumner has crafted an original, affirming tale that is sure to inspire readers. Her author's note reminds us, "Here's a not-so-secret secret: we're all still figuring ourselves out. Remember, there is no normal." Read TUNE IT OUT. Share it with loads of kids. Then read it again. It is that good! (Simon & Schuster, October 2020)
History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate Messner. Illustrated by D. Meconis. As the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival nears, plenty of books will commemorate this key event. HISTORY SMASHERS: THE MAYFLOWER is a standout. Beyond its timeliness, it is an outstanding work of nonfiction. Generous use of text features, including sidebars, photos & captions enhance lively writing. The tale is fascinating. Kate Messner includes many little-known facts that will captivate readers. Detailed illustrations and graphic panels by Dylan Meconis are an integral component of this highly appealing book (the first in a series). Simply wonderful! (Random House, June 2020).
Butts are Everywhere by Jonathan Stuttman. Illustrations by Heather Fox. Beloved kids' author Barbara Park once said, "Personally, I happen to think that a book is of extraordinary value if it gives the reader nothing more than a smile or two. In fact, I happen to think that's huge.” I agree. And BUTTS ARE EVERYWHERE gives readers far more than a just smile or two - giggles at least; belly laughs are likely. This book is silly, smart, and FUN! Kids will completely and thoroughly love this. Yes, that is huge! (Penguin Random House, October 2020)
On Account of the Gum, by Adam Rex, is simply hilarious! One tiny piece of gum in a young girl's hair is all it took. To be fair, it wasn't exactly the gum that caused all that trouble - nope! It was the efforts to get the gum out. And just when you're convinced that things can't get any worse...they do - a lot worse. This fun read-aloud will have listeners laughing out loud (and maybe craving buttery noodles and bacon!). So remember: no gum at bedtime. Read this instead! (Chronicle Books, October 2020)
Attack of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman. Illustrations by Pete Oswald. (Random House, October 2020)
Dinosaurs are Not Extinct, by Drew Sheneman, is astonishing! Using solid science, it explains and supports a surprising premise. Readers are guided by a voice that is somehow authoritative and casual at the same time. The story of the dinosaurs' (alleged) demise is factual, fascinating - and funny! Drew Sheneman's joke-filled prehistory is a joy to read. His expressive illustrations complement the text perfectly. This is wonderful, engaging nonfiction for kids. They'll read it, they'll learn a lot, and they'll love every page. (HarperCollins, 2020)
"At some point, the clouds had begun fading from the sky. Only a few white wisps remain, like someone had swiped a paintbrush across the blue that had some white left on it from something else." from A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers. Algonquin, 3/18.
When you read those words, did you envision clouds in the sky, or did you picture a paintbrush with wet, white bristles? Both?
"'Look it up! Learn it! Learn as much as you can, for learning is the opposite of death! Wonderful!' Grandpa was the only person Vita knew who seemed to spark electricity when he talked..." (13)
After spinning off a trapeze: "Samuel's jaw was set, and he did not smile, but there was something strange and prodigious and ferocious on his countenance. It was the joy of seeing someone doing the thing they were born to do. (74)
Coffee "...tasted, to her, like angry mud, but she was aware that others felt differently". (17) from The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell. Simon & Schuster, 10/19.