The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Award-Winning Books Remind Young Readers They Belong: 2020 Caldecott Honor Book, Going Down Home with Daddy, and 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrated Honor Book, Sulwe

2020 Caldecott Honor Book, Going Down Home with Daddy, and 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrated Honor Book, Sulwe, remind young readers that they are worthy of love and belonging. Both books invite various ways to celebrate ourselves, our families, our communities, and our histories.

2020 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction: Room on Our Rock

“There are two sides to every story.” This well known phrase appears on the cover of Australian authors Kate & Jol Temple’s unusual picture book along with the image of two seals, presumably a child and caregiver duo. An initial read of this book prompts expressions of concern for this pair as they travel away from their storm ravaged home only to be met with the words, “There’s no room on our rock,” when they seek shelter. The text is reverse poetry and read from back to front, it offers an entirely different reading experience.

2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner: Dancing Hands

Winner of the 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, Dancing Hands tells the extraordinary tale of a young Venezuelan girl whose musical talents helped people find respite amidst the tumult of life.

Fry Bread, A Native American Family Story: A Love Letter to Indigenous Nations and Communities

Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished information book for children and an American Indian Youth Literature Honor recipient, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is a love letter to Indigenous nations and communities centered around a simple food that represents a complex history of survival, relocation, and resilience.

Here and Now: A Picture Book Meditation on How to Live Life More Fully Present

With each turn of the page, Here and Now celebrates the beauty, magic, and wonder of every moment and the interconnectedness of all things. Written as a “real-time meditation” (author’s note), the spare picture book reads like a recipe for living life more fully present.

Welcome Winter with Wait, Rest, Pause

How do animals and plants survive weather extremes like cold, heat, and drought? The concept of dormancy and variations of this biological process, which include diapause, hibernation, torpor, brumation, and estivation, are the subject of an engaging work of expository nonfiction by Marcie Flinchum Atkins. Employing a patterned text, figurative language, and series of lively verbs, Flinchum compares and contrasts different forms of dormancy in mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and even in plants.

Complicating and Celebrating Identity: Where Are You From?

The titular question of this picturebook is one that anyone who appears or sounds different in a given social community has probably heard. Though simple in its phrasing, the implications for asking and answering “Where are you from?” are anything but simple.

Rekindle or Reaffirm Students’ Love of Reading with How to Read a Book

Teaming up for the first time, Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander and two-time Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet have crafted a joyous and contemplative ode to reading.

Poetry as History in The Undefeated

The Undefeated, a new picture book created by acclaimed author Kwame Alexander and award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson has been described as “a love letter to America. To black America” (book jacket). The text is a poem that traverses the history of the United States, tracing the trauma and the triumphs of Black / African American experiences from enslavement to the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter.

Explore the Intersection of Science and Stories in The Girl Who Named Pluto

Ripe with many opportunities for content-rich learning opportunities, The Girl Who Named Pluto is a welcome addition to the study of fictionalized biography, the solar system, and the power of interdisciplinary thinking.