The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

An Ode to Dads and Daughters: Dad Bakes

Dad BakesWritten and Illustrated by Katie YamasakiPublished by Norton Young Readers, October 2021ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1324015413Grades PreK and Up Dad Bakes is for “[a]ll of the families impacted by incarceration who I’ve painted with through the years” writes muralist and book creator Katie Yamasaki. Illustrated in bright, saturated colors, this tender story begins with four muralistic […]

Drawing Inspiration from The Wisdom of Trees

Whether or not you already identify as a tree lover, reading Lita Judge’s multigenre picture book, The Wisdom of Trees, will lead you to view earth’s amazing forests in multifaceted new ways. Judge deepens readers’ understanding of and respect for the interconnectedness of trees by presenting current research on tree communication, framing forests as communities through poetry, expository passages and extensive back matter.

Centering Food and Family: Tomatoes for Neela

Tomatoes for NeelaWritten by Padma LakshmiIllustrated by Juana Martinez-NealPublished by Viking, 2021ISBN # 978-0593202708Grades PreK – 3 Book ReviewThis book is a celebration of sun-ripened tomatoes and the joy they offer year-round. Vividly illustrated by award-wining artist Juana Martinez-Neal and written by celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi, this delicious picturebook is set during tomato season when […]

Turning Frowns Upside Down at The Smile Shop

The Smile ShopWritten and Illustrated by Satoshi KitamuraPublished by Peachtree, 2021 ISBN #978-1-6826-3255-0 Grades PreK and up Book Review “I am so excited,” starts the first page of Satoshi Kitamura’s picturebook, The Smile Shop.  Set in a crowded open-air market of an urban center, this narrative follows a young boy, who for the very first […]

What Do Books Give Us? Thinking about the Purposes of Your Text Selections This Year

“Books allow us a bird’s-eye view of our own lives, and especially how our lives relate to those lives around us.” – Christopher Myers, 2013  As we begin another school year with a mix of uncertainty and hope, we find ourselves turning to children’s books as the single greatest source we have to honor the […]

Pride Puppy: Out and Proud

Pride PuppyWritten by Robin StevensonIllustrated by Julie McLaughlinPublished in May 2021 by Orca BooksISBN: 978-1459824843 Grades PK – 5 Book ReviewThis ambrosial alphabet book is a festive feast for the eyes – just in time for Pride month, 2021! Pride Puppy is a perfect pairing of prismatic pictures and alliterative prose that tell the story […]

Romp and Revel with We All Play / kimêtawânaw

“Animals play. And we play too: kimêtawânaw mîna.” This special similarity between humans and the world of animal species is the focus of Cree-Métis author and illustrator Julie Flett’s latest picturebook. Incorporating a patterned text and playful alliteration, Flett introduces the movements of several animal species and then, through illustration, draws parallels to human play.

Text Sets in Action: Instructional Models for Text Sets in The Classroom Bookshelf

This week, we’re announcing the publication of Mary Ann and Erika’s book, Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that text sets are a primary tool that we recommend in a literature-based curriculum. In this blog entry, we revisit some examples of text sets in action in previous blog entries, showcasing the potential of the instructional models to differentiate and deepen students’ learning and as a vehicle to explore multiple perspectives and develop critical literacies.

Anything for Mom: Shy Willow

Shy WillowWritten and Illustrated by Cat MinPublished by Levine Querido, 2021ISBN: 978-1646140350Grades K – 5 Book ReviewJust in time for Mother’s Day, Cat Min’s debut picturebook, Shy Willow, chronicles the extraordinary efforts of a shy rabbit to satisfy a boy’s wish for his mother. Min’s vibrant, color saturated artwork closely aligns with this tender yet […]

Found: The Journey of The Lost Package

Found: The Journey of The Lost Package The Lost PackageWritten by Richard HoIllustrated by Jessica LanhanPublished by Roaring Book PressISBN: 978-1250231352 Grades K and up At the heart of Richard Ho and Jessica Lanhan’s fiction picturebook, The Lost Package, is the tribute to US postal workers that can be seen over the entrance to the […]