The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Building Big Dreams with Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon

In a stunning picture book biography, author Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrator Laura Freeman celebrate the life and work of Philip Freelon, Architect of Record for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This not-to-be missed title has broad possibilities for exploring art and design; featuring diverse life stories; and inviting students to consider how they might use their own talents to be dream builders.

Affirming Children’s Worthiness with I Am Every Good Thing

From the author-illustrator team that brought you the Caldecott Honor- and Newbery Honor-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, comes another poignant picturebook that celebrates Black joy and Black excellence.

Banned Book Week: Skirting Skippyjon for Latinx Kid Lit

Overview  It’s Banned Books Week 2020! As described on the official Banned Books Week (BBW) website, this week “brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”  […]

Hearing the Melodies of Classmates with Your Name is a Song

“I’m not coming back ever again.” A young girl stomps out her anger and frustration as she walks with Momma at the end of the first day of school. The source of her distress? No one could pronounce her name. “Not even the teacher?” queries Momma? As they pass by a street musician, Momma offers some advice: “Tell her your name is a song.”

Studio Spaces: Art as a Way of Seeing, Feeling, and Sense-Making: Teaching Ideas for the Virtual Exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has produced a remarkable virtual exhibit that affords viewers an intimate view of the studios and creative processes of 21 picture book artists. This blog entry provides teaching ideas to take the exhibit experience a step further, using the paintings, prints, and drawings, as a launch points for art making experiences.

Feeling It All through Reading, Writing, and Creating

Learn ways you and your students can honor feelings of uncertainty and loss while also providing a source of hope. Invitations include read alouds, writing ideas, and opportunities for students to create as a source of joy.

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.