Monday, March 26, 2018

The Birds' Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story

The Birds' Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Katya Krenina (Holiday House, 1999).

This is a beautifully illustrated book that tells a story about pysanky, or Ukrainian decorated Easter eggs.  When hundreds of small golden birds get stuck in the snow, a young girl inspires her village to help save them.  As spring draws close, the birds fly away. But they return later to gift the villagers with their beautiful eggs.

Visit this link to learn how to make your own pysanky.

You can find more books about Easter on my Pinterest board here

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When I'm Sleepy

When I'm Sleepy by Jane R. Howard, illustrated by Lynne Cherry (Dutton, 1985). 

This is a delightful book about a little girl who imagines herself sleeping like different animals, only to decide that her own bed is the best. The illustrations are so warm and cozy, you'll wish you could snuggle up with a bear or some big penguins as well! I discovered this book in a local used bookstore, and I'm glad I did, because it's such a fun, imaginative book. I definitely recommend it.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Like Vanessa

Like Vanessa by Tami Charles (Charlesbridge, 2018). 

I'm very happy to share this new middle grade book that comes out on March 13! I've only had a chance to read the beginning, as I recently got back from a vacation, but I'm really enjoying it so far. It's an important book about how our society views beauty.

Book Description from Amazon: 
In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin’s real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa’s view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn’t need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.

Early Buzz
2017 SCBWI Book Launch Award
2018 "Indies Introduce" Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Kirkus starred review
A Foreward starred review

Endorsed by New York Times Bestselling author, Rita Williams-Garcia 
and Vanessa Williams, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist & TV/Film Actress

Below is a video where the author discusses her inspiration for the book.

You can read more about the book on the author's website and pre-order it from the publisher here.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.