Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site Newsletter

Volume 18. Issue 3.


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New Additions to the Site

Humor, Outer Space and More for Preschool through Grade Nine

Here are some of the new items added to the site. Books added include a picture book homage to a German artist, a nonfiction book about communicating with dogs, a novel about a foster child and a memoir by an illustrator. There're also two annotated booklists one of humorous books and one of books about space.

Enjoy!


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Book Reviews

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Grades 4 - 9
Drawing from Memory by Allen Say. Nonfiction. 72 pages.
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In 1937 near Tokyo, Japan, Allen Say was born to parents who didn't understand his passion for drawing. "When I was drawing, I was happy. I didn't need toys or friends or parents." His parents, especially his father, thought that artists were lazy and scruffy. They expected him to stop drawing, even as a child, and focus on preparing himself to earn a respectable living. Read More. cover art

Grades PreK - 9
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle. Picture Book. 32 pages.
Find this book: Local Bookstore, Amazon, B&N icon

In his first book in four years Eric Carle honors one of the great artists who inspired his singular style. The title gives a hint as to the identity of the boy narrator of the story. However, the story itself is a simple, almost wordless, tale of a child painting--a blue horse, a red alligator, a pink rabbit, a yellow cow and more. Our narrator closes with, "I am a good artist." It is only after this that Carle includes a reproduction of "Blue Horse" by Franz Marc along with a short biography. Read More. cover art

Grades 3 - 6
How to Speak Dog by Sarah Whitehead. Nonfiction. 96 pages.
Find this book: Local Bookstore, Amazon, B&N icon

This is an engaging book full of photos of teens and preteens interacting with dogs: teaching them tricks, keeping them safe, and understanding their behavior. There's a variety of text presentations on each page including opening paragraphs, smaller print blocks of text, sidebars and captions. The author treats her audience like the curious engaged equals they are--never talking down to them. Read More. cover art

Grades 4 - 9
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson. Novel. 160 pages.
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In this Newbery Award winner, we meet Gilly, a foster child who has successfully manipulated the system for years. All that changes, however, when she is placed in the home of Mamie Trotter, an eccentric soul whose household consists of herself and W. E. (William Ernest) another foster child who, unlike Gilly, is fearful and easily intimidated. Next door neighbor Mr. Randolph, a blind African American and elderly gentleman, is a frequent visitor whom Gilly treats with contempt. Read More.

Humor in Kids' and Young Adult Books for the Classroom for Preschool through Grade 9

An Annotated List of Some of Our Favorites

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Grades 4 - 9
The Moon and I by Betsy Byars. Nonfiction. 112 pages.
Find this book: Local Bookstore, Amazon, B&N icon

With a light and humorous touch, Ms. Byars tells of the way she writes her books. Throughout the account, she also tells of her very funny relationship with a snake, Moon, which she found near her cabin. Her need to learn more about snakes in general and Moon in particular became an obsession that, for a brief time, dominated her existence. That obsession, the reasons for it, and the ways in which she conducted her research are so interesting and helpful that you'll want to read the brief book aloud at the outset of a research project. Read More.

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Grades 2 - 6
Fanny's Dream by Caralyn Buehner. Illustrated by Mark Buehner. Picture Book. 32 pages.
Find this book: Local Bookstore, Amazon, B&N icon

In Fanny's Dream we get a gentle, funny and warm story with echoes of a fairy tale. Fanny Agnes is a sturdy farm girl who dreams of marrying a prince, or at least the mayor's son. Convinced that, if it happened once, it can happen again, and ignoring the cruel taunts of her friends and relatives, Fanny waits in the garden in the moonlight for her fairy godmother to fix her up for the mayor's ball. Instead Heber, a short, kind farmer appears and asks for Fanny's hand. Read More.

Read the rest of the humor annotated booklist on our site: http://www.carolhurst.com/subjects/humor.html

The Solar System, Astronomy and Space through Kids' Books

An Annotated List of Some of Our Favorites

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Grades PreK - 2
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. Picture Book. 40 pages.
Find this book: Local Bookstore, Amazon, B&N icon

The plot is simple. A kitten decides that the full moon is a saucer of milk just waiting for his use and tries every means possible to get it. The charcoal illustrations are shades of gray against a creamy white. Unlike the strokes in his mouse books, these are broad, decorating the page with curving lines. This book is also available in Spanish and Japanese. Read More.

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Grades 1 - 4
Magic School Bus in the Solar System by Joanna Cole. Illustrated by Bruce Degen. Picture Book. 40 pages.
Find this book: Local Bookstore, Amazon, B&N icon

Ms Frizzle and her magic school bus are back for yet another zany adventure. This time Arnold has brought Janet, his know-it-all cousin, along for the ride through the solar system. Janet has done it all, is hard to ignore, and is never surprised by anything. Things get really exciting when Ms Frizzle is lost in space and Janet takes over.

Read the rest of the space annotated booklist on our site: http://www.carolhurst.com/subjects/space.html

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Related Areas of Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site


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That's it for this issue.

Happy reading!

- Rebecca Otis

You can read back issues of this newsletter in our archives at:
http://www.carolhurst.com/newsletters/newsletters.html

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