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    The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles (A Book Review)

    The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles

    Title: The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles, illustrated by Dapo Adeola
    Published by Versify
    Pages: 272
    Age Range: 8 – 12 years
    Grade Level: 3 – 7

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Versify in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

    Synopsis
    In this new Legendary Alston Boys adventure from Edgar-nominated author Lamar Giles, Otto and Sheed must embark on their most dangerous journey yet, bringing a fugitive to justice in a world that mirrors their own but has its own rules to play by.

    Unlike the majority of Logan County’s residents, Missus Nedraw of the Rorrim Mirror Emporium remembers the time freeze from The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, and how Otto and Sheed took her mirrors without permission in order to fix their mess. Usually that’s an unforgivable offense, punishable by a million-year sentence. However, she’s willing to overlook the cousins’ misdeeds if they help her with a problem of her own. One of her worst prisoners has escaped, and only the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County can help bring the fugitive to justice.

    Reflection
    The legendary Alston Boys of Logan County, Otto and Sheed, are back for another adventure in the follow-up to The Last Last-Day-of-Summer. Think The Hardy Boys meets The Phantom Toolbooth, but with Black boys who happen to be cousins AND best friends.

    Last time, Otto and Sheed accidentally managed to freeze time because they wanted the final day of summer to last longer. They ended up going on an action-packed journey to rescue their community, get things back to normal, and unfreeze time with the help of a few supportive friends. The cousins also learned some important truths about themselves along the way.

    In The Last Mirror on the Left, the amateur sleuths pick back up where the first book ended. While I don’t think you necessarily need to read the first book before reading this one, I believe it definitely helps add a bit more depth and moments of reflection if you do. New readers to this series will have no problems following the story since the writing is so well done and seamless.

    At the end of the first book, there is mention of Sheed possibly having health problems that may impact his future. Unfortunately, that possibility ends up becoming a reality in this book when Sheed becomes ill. Throughout the book, Otto is concerned about Sheed’s overall health which shows how close the bond is between the two cousins. Sheed’s illness doesn’t stop him and Otto from embarking on another new twist-turning journey.

    Missus Nedraw of the Mirror Emporium reminds the boys about their adventure last summer and how they stole some of her mirrors without asking for permission. Oops! The boys then get caught in one mirror after another in a Warped dimensional prison world and are stuck there. To top it all off, Otto and Sheed are the only two who can help catch Miss Nedraw’s most dangerous prisoner, Nevan, who recently escaped. But first they’ll have to deal with a notorious group of spiders also known as the ArachnoBRObia. Spiders, and mirrors, and “butt shrubs”, oh my!

    Overall, The Last Mirror on the Left is a funny, magical, and wild adventure that will have you laughing and cheering for the dynamic cousin duo, Otto and Sheed as they help bring a fugitive to justice. Author Lamar Giles is masterful at crafting fantasy stories and incorporating relatable themes that are relevant to current events. I also appreciate the illustrations Dapo Adeola included throughout to illustrate specific elements of the story which also helped to visualize what some of the fantasy characters looked like.

    Will Otto and Sheed go on another fantastical journey? I certainly hope so! We’ll just have to eagerly wait and see…won’t we?

    About the Author
    Lamar Giles writes for teens and adults across multiple genres, with work appearing on numerous Best Of lists each and every year. He is the author of the acclaimed novels Fake ID, Endangered, Overturned, Spin, The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, Not So Pure and Simple, and The Last Mirror on the Left as well as numerous pieces of short fiction. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and resides in Virginia with his wife. Twitter: @LRGiles, Instagram: @LamarGiles

    About the Illustrator
    London born and bred but of Nigerian heritage, Dapo Adeola is an illustrator and designer who creates characters and images that challenge gender norms in a fun and upbeat way. He is the co-creator and illustrator of the upcoming picture book series Look Up (June 2019) and illustrator for the middle grade novel The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles (April 2019). When he’s not busy cooking up new characters and adventures, you can find him running illustration and character design workshops in and out of schools, to help highlight the possibilities of a career in illustration to inner-city children. Twitter: @DapsDraws Instagram: @DapsDraws

    The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles
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    COVER REVEAL: The Electric Slide and Kai by Kelly J. Baptist and Darnell Johnson

    Where are all my electric slide fans? Whenever the Electric Slide comes on at a wedding, club or social event I have to get up and dance! Anyone else?

    The origins of “The Electric Slide” began with the song “Electric Boogie.” “Electric Boogie” was written in 1976 by Neville “Bunny Wailer” Livingston for singer Marcia Griffiths. Choreographer Richard Silver created the original electric slide, a 22-step dance to go along with the song. Over the years, different versions of the dance have surfaced.

    The remixed version of the song “The Electric Slide” from the year 1989, made the Electric Slide an international dance craze. This song has proven staying power and it remains the highest-selling single by a female Reggae singer of all time.

    Today, I’m excited to reveal the cover of a forthcoming 2021 picture book The Electric Slide and Kai.

    PublisherLee & Low
    On Sale Date: March 2, 2021 available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Kelly J. Baptist illustrated by Darnell Johnson
    Reading Level: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: 1 – 2
    Pages: 40

    Kai’s aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the wedding … except Kai. The highlight of every Donovan occasion is dancing the electric slide–a groovy line dance with footwork that Kai can’t quite figure out. More than anything, he wants to prove that he can boogie with the rest of his family and earn a cool nickname from his granddad. Can Kai break through his nerves and break it down on the dance floor?

    Told with humor and heart by author Kelly J. Baptist and lively illustrations from debut picture book artist Darnell Johnson, The Electric Slide and Kai is a funky celebration with all the right moves! Coming March 2, 2021

    The Electric Slide and Kai

    About the Author
    Kelly J. Baptist grew up in southwest Michigan, and after living in Alabama, Florida, and Minnesota, she is happy to be right back home in Berrien Springs! She works as a social emotional learning interventionist and is the author of the middle grade novel Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero. Kelly keeps busy with her five amazing children, who often play loud music that leads to epic family dance parties. You can visit her on Twitter @kellyiswrite and online at kellyiswrite.com.

    About the Illustrator
    Darnell Johnson is a Miami native who discovered his passion for art while watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. Currently he resides in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his beautiful wife and newborn son. Darnell pulled inspiration from his childhood, family, and friends to draw life into the characters for The Electric Slide and Kai. He hopes the lines, colors, and shapes he makes sparks the imagination of young readers. You can visit him online at artofdarnelljohnson.com.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book with your little readers? What are your feelings of the dance and its staying power after so many years?  Sound off in the comments, or be social on social media!  I’d love to hear from you!

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    Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

    Welcome to the Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad Blog Tour!

    To celebrate the release of Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad: Absolute Hero by Valerie Tripp (author of the American Girl book series) on September 8th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive, original content from Valerie, plus 5 chances to win a SIGNED copy of Izzy Newton!

    D.I.Y. STEM Experiments

    By Valerie Tripp

    The S.M.A.R.T. Squad girls, Izzy, Charlie, Allie, Gina, and Marie love to experiment. You probably do, too! So here are some D.I.Y. S.T.E.M. experiments you can try.

    Marie’s “Do You Dare? Hair-dye Solution”

    Want a winning streak in your hair?  S.M.A.R.T. Squad’s chemist, Marie, has concocted the perfect solution. Use Kool Aid! Your new color won’t be permanent, and the dye will be easy to apply.
    First, put on rubber gloves so that your fingers won’t be dyed and slip on an old tee shirt to protect your good clothes. It’s a good idea to have a small, clean paintbrush on hand to use, too.
    1. Next, mix warm water, your favorite hair conditioner, and unsweetened Kool Aid in a disposable cup. Experiment with different colors (flavors) and amounts of Kool Aid until you’ve made the color of your choice.
    2. Make a gooey paste.
    3. Use the paintbrush to apply the paste all over your head if you want to dye all of your hair. Or paint the dye on in streaks to achieve the look that Marie is sporting.
    4.Let dry, and let fly!
    Here are two other ways to dye your hair temporarily, too:
    Food coloring https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-color-hair-using-food-coloring/
    Jello https://www.wikihow.com/Dye-Hair-With-Jell-O

    Physicist Izzy’s fine with slime! Want to glom on?

    Then try . . .
    Izzy’s “Ready for Slime Time” Recipe 
    First, cover your good clothes with an old tee shirt or an apron. Then follow these steps:
    1. Put 1/2 cup of any old shampoo in a throwaway bowl. Add 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Mix well.
    2. Add 3 drops of food coloring. (You don’t have to, but it’s more fun if you do!)
    3. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir. Slowly add 5 more tablespoons of water, stirring well after each one.
    4. Knead the slime for around 5 minutes.
    5. Have a fine time with your slime!
    Here are two other slime recipes you might want to try:
    https://www.naturalbeachliving.com/liquid-starch-slime-recipe/
    https://www.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-make-slime/
    Math-loving Allie’s nickname is “Allie Oops,” because sometimes her projects just don’t add up. Once she mistakenly dyed all her clothes blue. But maybe you’re dying to try dyeing. So here’s . . .
    Allie’s “Do-or-Die Tee Tie-Dye (This time, on purpose!)”
    It’s best to do this outside, wearing one old tee shirt while you’re tie-dying another tee shirt that is clean, white, and cotton. Wear rubber gloves if you don’t want to dye your hands.
    1. Put your tee shirt in a large plastic bowl. Pour ½ cup white vinegar
    and ½ cup of warm water on the shirt and let the shirt soak for half an hour or so.
    2. Wring the tee shirt so it’s just damp, not soaking wet. Roll it into the shape of a tube and slip three or four rubber bands around it, spaced out. Or, if you prefer, tie knots in the tee shirt.
    3. Put ½ cup cold water in an old squeeze bottle and drop in about eight drops of food coloring. Screw the cap back onto the bottle securely, and shake it to mix the water and dye together thoroughly.
    4. Squirt the food coloring and water mixture onto your tee shirt. Do all sides.
    5. Mix up other food coloring colors with water and squirt those colors onto your tee shirt in different areas for each color.
    6. Put your tee shirt in a plastic bag, seal it up, and let it sit overnight.
    7. The next day, be sure you’re wearing that old tee shirt again. Take the wet tee shirt out of the plastic bag, take off the rubber bands, and plunge the tee shirt into a bowl that has ½ cup water and ½ cup salt in it to set the dye. Then wring the shirt out.
    8. Dump out the salt water, fill the bowl with clean, cold water, and rinse your tee shirt over and over again until the water is clear. Wring out the tee shirt one last time and hang it up to dry.
    9. Wear your tie-dye shirt and look cool. Remember: The first three or four times you wash your shirt, wash it separately in cold water or you will end up with unintended dyed clothes—just like Allie did!
    Here are two other ways of tie-dying a tee shirt:
    https://www.onehourtees.com/blog/how-to-tie-dye-a-t-shirt/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abjpy72Sf6U

    Naturalist Charlie eats all natural foods, naturally! Chomp on . . .

    Charlie’s Chewy Chickpea Chow
    1. Sprinkle as much feta cheese as you want over a big handful of raw spinach. Drain a can of chickpeas and toss them on the spinach, too.
    2. In a separate small bowl, mix 3 teaspoons of honey with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ tablespoon of lemon juice, and a small handful of raisins. Add a teaspoon of cumin, a pinch of salt, and ½ teaspoon chili flakes. Mix it all up really well.
    3. Toss both parts of the salad together in a nice big bowl and chow down!
    Here are more ideas for very varied vegetarian lunches:
    https://www.momables.com/8-vegetarian-school-lunch-ideas/
    https://www.brit.co/vegetarian-protein-lunch-recipes/

    Gina, the S.M.A.R.T. Squad’s engineer, likes to aim high. If you like to send things flying, too, try building . . .

    Genius Gina’s Gee-Whiz Catapult
    1. Stack 9 popsicle sticks one on top of the other and use a rubber band to hold the stack together at one end.
    2. Slide a 10th popsicle stick through the stack under the top four popsicle sticks and wrap another rubber band around the other end of the stick.
    3. Attach a plastic spoon to one end of the vertical stick with a rubber band.
    4. Put a mini-marshmallow in the spoon, tap the spoon, and send the mini-marshmallow soaring across the room!
    Here are more ways to make a catapult from popsicle sticks:
    https://www.shelterness.com/3-easy-diy-popsicle-stick-catapults/

    *****

    Blog Tour Schedule:

    September 28thMulticultural Children’s Book Day Blog

    September 29thPragmatic Mom

    September 30thNovel Novice

    October 1stBookhounds

    October 2nd Here Wee Read

    Read the first chapter

    Reader Guide | Educator Guide

    Follow National Geographic Kids: Website | Twitter | Books Twitter | Facebook | Youtube
    When middle school mishaps happen, five friends form the S.M.A.R.T. Squad and use their collective skills and the power of science to bring order to their school.
    Science reigns supreme with this squad of young brainiacs. Join Izzy Newton and her friends in the first adventure of this fun new middle-grade fiction series from National Geographic Kids.
    A crowded new school and a crazy class schedule is enough to make Izzy feel dizzy. It may be the first day of middle school, but as long as her best friends Allie Einstein and Charlie Darwin are by her side, Izzy knows it’ll all be okay. However, first-day jitters take an icy turn when Izzy’s old pal Marie Curie comes back to town. Instead of a warm welcome, Marie gives her former pal the cold shoulder. The problems pile up when the school’s air-conditioning goes on the fritz and the temperature suddenly drops to near freezing. The adults don’t seem to have a clue how to thaw out the school. Cold temperatures and a frigid friendship? Izzy has had enough of feeling like an absolute zero. She rallies the girls to use their brainpower and science smarts to tackle the school’s chilly mystery … and hopefully to fix a certain frozen friendship along the way. Will the girls succeed and become the heroes of Atom Middle School?

     

    About the Author: Part of the creative team behind the American Girl series, Valerie Tripp has written many of the American Girl books about Felicity, Josefina, Samantha, Kit, Molly, and Maryellen. She also wrote American Girl’s Welliewisher and Hopscotch Hill School books. Tripp has also written numerous levled readers, songs, stories, skills book pages, poems, and plays for educational publishers and is the editorial director of the Boys Camp series. She is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries.

     
    GIVEAWAY
    • One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad: Absolute Hero SIGNED by Valerie Tripp
    • Check out the other four stops for more chances to win
    • US/Can only
    • Ends 10/11 at 11:59pm ET

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    COVER REVEAL: When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling and Aaron Asis

    Today I’m excited to reveal the cover of a forthcoming 2021 picture book for one of my fellow bookish friends, Michelle Sterling. You may be familiar with Michelle’s popular Instagram accounts Avery & Augustine and Books for Diversity. Her book, When Lola Visits is tentatively scheduled to publish in the Spring of 2021.

    PublisherHarper Collins
    On Sale Date: May 18, 2021 available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Michelle Sterling illustrated by Aaron Asis
    Reading Level: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Preschool – 3
    Pages: 40

    Synopsis
    For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, of picking golden limes off the trees. But summer doesn’t start until her Lola—her grandmother from the Philippines—comes for her annual visit. Summer is special. For her Lola fills the house with the aroma of mango jam, funny stories of baking mishaps, and her quiet sweet singing in Tagalog. And in turn, her granddaughter brings Lola to the beach, to view fireworks at the park, and to catch fish at their lake. When Lola comes, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together. Yet as summer transitions to fall, her Lola must return home—but not without a surprise for her granddaughter to preserve their special summer a bit longer.

    In an evocative tale brimming with the scents, tastes, and traditions that define summer for one young girl, debut author Michelle Sterling and illustrator Aaron Asis come together to celebrate the gentle bonds of familial love that span oceans and generations.

    About the Author
    Michelle Sterling is a writer, photographer and speech-language pathologist. Her debut picture book When Lola Visits will be illustrated by Aaron Asis and publishes on May 18, 2021, from HarperCollins. You can find her sharing the latest children’s books at Avery & Augustine and Books for Diversity.

    Your turn: Are you looking forward to reading this book with your little readers? Feel free to share in the comments.

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    How We Make Sleep, Reading and Diversity a Priority in Our Home

    Disclaimer: We partnered with Hatch to share a few thoughts about the Hatch Restore and Hatch Rest and to showcase how we’ve incorporated these products into our bedtime routine. As always, any opinions expressed are my own.

    Sleep. It is absolutely essential to our overall well being. There are so many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep like: memory retention, improved appetite, increased energy and mood regulation.

    Reading also has amazing benefits for both your physical and mental health and those benefits can last a lifetime. The same is true for the topic of diversity. It can benefit and enrich our world by providing more colorful life experiences and enhance our social relationships and communities.

    When people are well rested and well read they are more likely to have empathy and be open to embracing diversity and inclusion in order to build a balanced world for our future children. Yes, sleep, reading and diversity can go hand in hand if you allow it to.

    Our nightly bedtime routine usually consists of the following

    • eat dinner together as a family
    • 15 – 30 minute clean up time (wash dishes, clean the kitchen, put away toys, gather books for story time)
    • bath time
    • story time (15 – 20 minutes)
    • bedtime for the kids (their Hatch Rest alarm clock goes off at 8:30pm during the school week)
    • My Hatch Restore alarm goes off at 9:00pm to prepare my mind and body for sleep

    We’ve enjoyed incorporating our Hatch Rest and Hatch Restore into our nightly routine. It has really helped us make sleep more of a priority in our household. Since you can personalize Hatch devices to fit the normal rhythm of your family that really makes it so easy and seamless to set them up on your own using their handy app.

    When it comes to reading and diversity, these two topics have always been a priority for our family. When searching for books that serve as mirrors and windows for my children, I’m always mindful of exactly which books we choose to read. While we don’t discriminate when it comes to literature, I do make it a point to select diverse books that reflect my children and our family. Why?  Because I know if I don’t expose my kids to these books, they might not see them otherwise.

    I believe all children should be exposed to a wide range of people, experiences, abilities, races and cultures. As a parent, my goal is to present my children with a full spectrum of brown and Black characters in a variety of books. I want their experiences of story and representations of the world to include people of color, people they can imagine being like — people like Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Misty Copeland, Michelle Obama, and Michael Jordan — or fictional characters with whom they can identify.

    I also use bedtime stories to help my children grow and learn about other important topics such as race, LGBTQ+ rights, disabilities, and mental health.

    If you’d like to make sleep, reading or diversity a priority in your home, here are a few tips:

    • Set a goal – Whenever something is important to me, I make it a goal. Make it a goal to get a certain number of hours of sleep each night (or week), read a certain number of books or incorporate diversity into your life in various ways if it’s important to you.
    • Establish a custom bedtime routine that matches the rhythm of your family’s schedule
    • Limit screen time and electronic devices before bed
    • Read a variety of diverse books that showcase people of all colors, religions, abilities and cultures
    • Use a sound machine like the Hatch Restore which also includes guided meditations to help encourage sleep before bedtime

    Your turn:  I would love to hear your favorite tips on how you make sleep, reading or diversity a priority in your life. Feel free to share in the comments.

    Meet Hatch Rest

    Rest is the magical all-in-one sleep must-have that parents are raving about. It can be controlled remotely from your phone and is completely customizable — making it a parent’s dream come true. Perfect for babies, toddlers, and big kids!

    Check out the features for Hatch Rest:

    ● Sound machine: Parents can choose from a range of sound options, from white noise to soft lullabies. Simply crank up the volume remotely when the dog barks or the neighbors throw a party.
    ● Night light: This feature provides soft and soothing for midnight feeding sessions, or parents can adjust to be bright and reassuring when the dark feels scary. Choose from a rainbow of colors to make it your own.
    ● Time-to-rise: Green means go! This feature enables parents to teach toddlers and preschoolers to stay in bed until it’s time to rise (and enjoy those extra minutes of sleep).

    Rest means that parents are no longer the bedtime bad guy, and bedtime struggles and early wake ups are a thing of the past.

    Designed for the Modern Nursery: Rest features a modern design with a night light, sound machine, and time-to-rise in one smart device.

    Controllable Remotely from Your Phone: Turn Rest on and off and change the volume and brightness remotely from your smartphone so there’s no need to disrupt a sleeping baby. Or, set programs to run each day to help your child get on a healthy sleep schedule.

    Personalized with Custom Colors and Sounds: Create the ideal sleep environment for your child’s unique sleep needs by choosing from a range of custom colors and sound choices. The night light feature, which stays cool to the touch, helps your child feel secure and has the option to stay on all night.

    The device also comes equipped with a toddler lock so only you can make adjustments when it’s enabled.

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    All Because You Matter by Tami Charles & Bryan Collier (A Book Review)

    Title: All Because You Matter
    Published by Orchard Books an imprint of Scholastic
    Pages: 40
    Age Range: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Preschool – 3

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Scholastic, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

    Synopsis
    Discover this poignant, timely, and emotionally stirring picture book, an ode to black and brown children everywhere that is full of hope, assurance, and love.

    Tami Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem, assuring readers that they always have, and always will, matter. This powerful, rhythmic lullaby reassures readers that their matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance: through the joy and wonder of their first steps and first laughs, through the hardship of adolescent struggles, and the pain and heartbreak of current events, they always have, and always will, matter. Accompanied by illustrations by renowned artist Bryan Collier, a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient and a nine-time Coretta Scott King Award winner or honoree, All Because You Matter empowers readers with pride, joy, and comfort, reminding them of their roots and strengthening them for the days to come.

    Interior page from the book All Because You Matter

    Reflection
    “They say that matter is all things that make up the universe: energy, stars, space…If that’s the case, then you, dear child, matter.”

    We all matter. Each person on Earth has something worth noticing and appreciating. This forthcoming October 2020 release written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Bryan Collier is a beautiful and affirming tribute to children.

    Our kids deserve to be fully seen by their grown-ups’ accepting eyes. Their presence, thoughts, and words should also be acknowledged at all times. This book is filled with so much heart, hope and joy that can be used as a conversation starter to help kids understand how extraordinary they are and how much their lives matter.

    Most people don’t realize how amazing they are, and our children are no exception. In fact, many of us often look for permission and acceptance from others to bring our full brilliance to the table.

    I think after reading this book, many adults will want to pull their little readers close, look them in the eye and let them know how much they believe in them and their abilities.

    When we believe in children, acknowledge them, validate their ideas and feelings, and encourage them to believe in themselves, we hand them the keys to their own power and brilliance. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Interior page from the book All Because You Matter

    “I wrote All Because You Matter to provide parents with a starting point for conversations about the racial climate in our country today. These are issues that should be discussed in all families, of all backgrounds, if we are to raise empathetic future leaders.” —Tami Charles

    “I tried to capture the musicality, rhythm, and bounce of the text as it takes readers on a journey that zooms through time and space shouting All Because You Matter. And I wanted to remind readers when they walk into a room, all those voices, faces and ancestors walk with them. You are not alone.” —Bryan Collier

    About the Author
    Former teacher. Wannabe chef. Tami Charles writes books for children and young adults. Her middle grade novel, Like Vanessa, earned Top 10 spots on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids’ Next lists, three starred reviews, and a Junior Library Guild selection. Her recent titles include a humorous middle grade, Definitely Daphne, picture book, Freedom Soup, and YA novel, Becoming Beatriz. When Tami isn’t writing, she can be found presenting at schools both stateside and abroad.


    About the Illustrator
    Bryan Collier is an American writer and illustrator known best for illustrating children’s books. He won both the Coretta Scott King Award, as illustrator, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for UPTOWN, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. He has won six King Awards as illustrator and he is a four-time Caldecott honor recipient. For his lifetime contribution as a children’s illustrator, Collier is U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014.

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    EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: A Teacher Like You by Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan

    A Teacher Like You by Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan

    Following the success of A Boy Like You and A Girl Like You comes the next book in series that celebrates teachers. This time, Frank Murphy teams up with experienced educator Barbara Dan.

    I already knew how important teachers were, but COVID-19 made us all take a step back and really understand just how vital teachers are to our society. Like many others, I now have an overwhelming appreciation of teachers and what their job actually involves.

    Teachers have always been the heart of the learning process for children. That’s never been more true than it is now, as teachers strive to implement remote learning plans and support families on how to guide at-home learning for kids. Today, teachers must balance their own childcare and household needs while also connecting with each of their students to maintain growth and progress. That is no small task.

    Teachers, we salute you! The forthcoming picture book, A Teacher Like You is dedicated to you and all you do to educate and nurture the children of our future.

    PublisherSleeping Bear Press
    On-sale Date: March 15, 2020 available for pre-orders now!
    Written by Frank Murphy & Barbara Dan illustrated by Kayla Harren
    Reading Level: 5 – 7 years
    Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2

    Synopsis
    Teachers have the power to change the life of a child with every new school day. Whether they’re discovering math or reading, practicing a new instrument or a new sport, or learning about our wonderful, diverse world, students can count on the kindness, innovation, and patience of a teacher. This is a wonderful celebration of all the ways teachers help their student’s bloom.

    Mark your calendars for this March 2021 release!

    About the Authors

    Frank Murphy is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He has taught a wide variety of grades at the elementary for more than 27 years. A history buff, former basketball coach & Sixers fan, and popular speaker, Frank is the author of many fun historical fiction/biography books for young readers, including several popular Random House Step into Reading History Readers – including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2006 Best Book Award Winner Ben Franklin & the Magic Squares. As a teacher and father, Frank is committed to creating children’s books that expand readers’ knowledge of history and help inspire discussions about kindness, leadership, citizenship, growing up, and more.

    Barbara Dan is an elementary school teacher with over 15 years of experience. She strives to expose her students to a diverse collection of books. Discussions in her classroom with students cover topics such as: perseverance, kindness, acceptance, failure, family structure, exploration, emotions, diversity and different abilities.

    About the Illustrator
    Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City with a BFA in illustration. Books she has illustrated include A BOY LIKE YOU (winner of the 2019 EUREKA gold award) and THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST (winner of the EUREKA silver award.) Her work has been featured in the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, 3×3 Magazine, and she won the Highlights for Children Pewter Plate Award.

    Kayla love animals, playing volleyball, hiking, and eating cookies with frosting. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, Peter Harren, and their adorable dogs. Visit Kayla’s website by clicking here.

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