The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Life’s Simple Problems Are Solved with the Help of Steadfast Friends in Amos McGee Misses the Bus: Teaching Ideas for this Much-Awaited Sequel

After over a decade, the much-awaited sequel to the Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee has arrived–and at just the right time. The return of fastidious zookeeper Amos and the beloved animals he cares for feels like coming home to an old friend.

Promoting Peace with Poetry and Art

What is peace? The answer to this question is both individual and collective, and both simple and complex. In their inviting new picture book poem, Baptiste and Miranda Paul explore the concept of peace, moving readers from concrete to abstract. The rhyming text and warmly whimsical illustrations invite readers young and old to consider the roles they can play in creating peace and the benefits that all can enjoy.

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 […]

Elevating Procedural Writing and the Creative Spirit in How to Make a Bird

Speaking not just to the creative spirit, but also the heart and soul within all of us, How to Make a Bird is a manual for infusing that part of us that makes something truly spectacular.

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 […]

Studying Science with Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist

The year is 1818 and a young woman named Jeanne wanders the shores of Sicily. Formerly a seamstress, she reinvents herself as a scientist, a naturalist who explores the island on foot, journal in hand. Jeanne Villepreux-Power and her accomplishments is the subject of a fascinating new picture book biography collaboration by Evan Griffin and Joanie Stone. Use it to teach the disciplinary literacies of science, pair it with other stories of women “revolutionaries,” or as part of a historical study of scientific discovery and oceanography.

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 […]

Learning About and Loving Our Bodies: Laxmi’s Mooch

Laxmi’s Mooch is simply a delightful book that supports conversations about identity, physical attributes, and self-affirmation for all.

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 […]