I started a project with my students this week called "March Book Madness" which is a twitter project. (#2016MBM). I work in a Montessori school and if you didn't know this about the Montessori philosophy, they do not believe in competition. The feeling is that if there is one winner, there are many, many losers and so just say no to competition. Except that the kids are completely out of their minds for any kind of competition. So ok, in this competition, the books are the winners (and really, so are the kids for reading all the books). I introduced some of the books this week but especially with the picture books, there were lots of them I hadn't read. So here are a few that I read this week.
My new favorite picture book is called "Wolfie the Bunny" by Ame Dyckman. I'd read a lot of rave reviews about this one but somehow we'd never connected until today. I'm really sorry I waited so long because this one is awesome. It's about a little bunny named Dot. One day, Dot and her mom and dad come home and find a new baby on the front doorstep (isn't that how all babies come?). Dot notices right away that this is a baby wolf and that might be a problem to her family of RABBITS. However, no one seems alarmed about this but her. Dot keeps trying to raise the alarm to no avail. There is a very funny plot twist at the end that is completely charming and adorable. The pictures on this one are nice and graphic, with some nice graphical text elements as well. I think the kids are going to love this one.
Here's the author reading the book aloud.
The next one I read at my Scholastic book fair a couple of years ago and really liked. It's called "Blackout" by John Rocco. It's about a family that experiences a city wide blackout but rather than being terrifying, it's really fun. They go up to the roof and look at the stars. They go down to the street where they get free ice cream from the ice cream man. When the lights come back on, the family chooses to keep the lights off and play board games. It's a nice story about spending time with your family and making the best of a situation. Here's a book trailer about Blackout.
The last one is what I would consider narrative non fiction. In the library where I checked it out, it is in the fiction section, but it's a nice retelling of a historical event. Anyway, it's called "Sit in: How four friends stood up by sitting down" by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. It's about four young men -David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, and Ezell Blair, all students at NC A and T University in Greenboro, NC organized a sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter. The book describes why and how in a very easy to understand way. The pictures are warm and expressive and help you feel what it must have felt like to be there. I thought this one was terrific and it's definitely going to come and live in my library. Here are Brian Pinkney and his wife Andrea Davis Pinkney telling about their new book.