One Step Further Blog Tour by Katherine Johnson with Her Daughters
Welcome to the One Step Further Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of One Step Further by Katherine Johnson and her daughters Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore, and illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow on January 5th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive photos and stories from the life of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, plus 5 chances to win a hardcover copy!
Music and Math
A never-before-seen interview with Katherine and her daughters that didn’t end up in the final book
Joylette and Kathy in 1954
Joylette: Our whole family was also very musical. We played instruments: piano, organ, violin, cello. Music is a lot like math. One beat, two beats, three beats, four.
Kathy: Our home was full of music. Music and math.
Katherine: We found joy with each other and in music.
Joylette: Mom directed the church choir and each of us sang in one choir or another. I also joined and played piano for the glee club at school. In 8th grade, I learned the violin. Our school orchestra conductor warned the other kids not to laugh when—
Kathy: At first, their orchestra sounded like cats!
Joylette: Did you snicker?
Kathy: I smiled.
Katherine: In the meantime, Jimmie started getting hammering headaches. The doctors said he needed surgery.
Joylette: Daddy kept getting weaker and weaker while I was in high school.
Kathy: His sickness was scary. “Lower your voices. Try to help.”
Joylette: Playing music comforted me. Four beats to a measure. Half notes. Quarter notes. I understood music’s symphonies and rhythms, unlike life’s. I conducted the student choir, performed Handel’s “Messiah” and learned the organ.
Kathy: Taking care of Daddy made me dream of being a physical therapist.
Joylette: That summer we spent our days with him at the hospital.
Katherine: Every generation pushes the next one forward, just as each note propels the next.
Some of the family’s sheet music
Joylette: My parents’ passion for music had helped me find mine.
Kathy: Their love of education made our brilliant minds shine.
Joylette: In 1958, Hampton University offered me a partial music scholarship. I majored in math, but played piano and organ, sang, and helped conduct the choir.
Kathy: In high school, I sang and played piano. Since Joylette and Connie had played violin, I moved to my own rhythm. I found the cello mellow and soothing.
Joylette: Eventually, I played the 9-foot grand piano and the big organ in Hampton’s Ogden Hall.
This inspirational picture book reveals what is was like for a young black mother of three to navigate the difficult world of the 1950s and 60s and to succeed in an unwelcoming industry to become one of the now legendary “hidden figures” of NASA computing and space research.
Johnson’s own empowering narrative is complemented by the recollections of her two daughters about their mother’s work and insights about how she illuminated their paths, including one daughter’s fight for civil rights and another’s journey to become a NASA mathematician herself. The narrative gracefully weaves together Johnson’s personal story, her influence on her daughters’ formative years, her and her daughters’ fight for civil rights, and her lasting impact on NASA and space exploration. Filled with personal reflections, exclusive family archival photos, and striking illustrations, readers will be immersed in this deeply personal portrayal of female empowerment, women in STEM, and the breaking down of race barriers across generations. Historical notes, photo/illustration notes, and a time line put the story into historical and modern-day context.
The inspirational tale of Johnson’s perseverance is both intimate and global, showcasing the drive of each generation to push one step further than the last. With its evocative family album-style format and novel approach to storytelling, One Step Further is sure to inspire the next generation of rising stars.
“Engaging, collage-style art augments the text, with speech bubbles, archival family photographs, and Barlow’s child-friendly illustrations. Concurrently accessible and intimate, this book will both inform readers and inspire them to reach for the stars.”
“A concise, engaging story of a Black family in the South during the Civil Rights era.”
“The blend of Johnson’s and her daughters’ voices is intimate and inspiring.”
Joylette (L), Kathy (R), Katherine (F)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. She calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program, and her work helped send astronauts to the moon. She died on February 24, 2020.
ABOUT THE CO-AUTHORS:Joylette Goble Hylick and Katherine “Kathy” Goble Moore grew up during the space race of the 1960s but never fully grasped their mother’s role in it until years later. Hylick graduated from Hampton University and received a Master’s at Drexel University. She followed in her mother’s footsteps, working at NASA as a mathematician before taking a job with Lockheed Martin as a Senior Requirements Engineer. She lives today in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. After attending Bennett College and Hampton University, and receiving a Masters of Science in Information Systems from Montclair State University (formerly Montclair State College), Moore spent 33 years working in public education as an educator and guidance counselor in New Jersey. She currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, granddaughter of Caldecott-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney, was surrounded by art as a child. Her passion for illustration grew after being introduced to the world of watercolors. She received her BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Have you seen this new SBP Learning series of picture books from the publisher Sleeping Bear Press? It features nonfiction social justice topics like: anti-racism, equality and racial justice. Sleeping Bear Press is generously sponsoring this giveway for one (1) winner to receive a copy of two of the latest books in the series. Check out the synopsis below from the publisher to read more about these informative books and enter the giveaway for your chance to win. Good Luck!
Topics on race in America have been avoided in children’s education for too long–allowing racist systems to continue to thrive. Racial Justice in America: Topics for Change explores current questions around race in comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate ways. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author Kelisa Wing to reach children of all races and encourage them to approach race issues with open eyes and minds.
Millions of Americans have marched and protested to fight inequality and to bring about social change. These large gatherings, filled with powerful and courageous voices, have shined a light on important issues and resulted in new laws. This book covers some of the most famous marches in U.S. history–and encourages readers to stand up for the things they believe in.
Meet seventeen year-old Denver and her friends Dali and Shak. They are three high school friends who dream of escaping from their white hometown and becoming famous singers. The girls end up meeting one of the hottest R&B stars, Sean “Mercury” Ellis who takes them under his wing.
Muted is a young adult novel written completely in verse, and this is where this story excels. The format of the verse does an excellent job portraying Denver’s story. It has a diverse cast and an LBGTQ+ main character who is in love with her best friend. The ending of this book left me in complete shock…WOW! Check out the synopsis below from the publisher.
Synopsis For seventeen-year-old Denver, music is everything. Writing, performing, and her ultimate goal: escaping her very small, very white hometown.
So Denver is more than ready on the day she and her best friends Dali and Shak sing their way into the orbit of the biggest R&B star in the world, Sean “Mercury” Ellis. Merc gives them everything: parties, perks, wild nights — plus hours and hours in the recording studio. Even the painful sacrifices and the lies the girls have to tell are all worth it.
Until they’re not.
Denver begins to realize that she’s trapped in Merc’s world, struggling to hold on to her own voice. As the dream turns into a nightmare, she must make a choice: lose her big break, or get broken.
Inspired by true events, Muted is a fearless exploration of the dark side of the music industry, the business of exploitation, how a girl’s dreams can be used against her — and what it takes to fight back.
About the Author Tami Charles is a former teacher and full-time author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made it her mission to introduce her students to all types of literature, but especially diverse books. While it was refreshing to see a better selection than what she was accustomed to as a child, Tami felt there weren’t nearly as many diverse books as she’d hoped for. It was then that she decided to reignite her passion for writing. Tami is the author of the middle grade novels Like Vanessa, Definitely Daphne, and Becoming Beatriz, and the picture book Freedom Soup.
The Giveaway! Enter to win a Muted prize pack that includes: 1 copy of Muted by Tami Charles 1 wireless rechargeable bluetooth speaker 1 retro tape cassette wallet
Habbi Habbi Bilingual Education at Home + Reading Wand & Bilingual Books Giveaway!
Disclaimer: I was gifted the Habbi Habbi Reading Wand and bilingual books in exchange for an honest review and to host this giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.
Are you looking for an easy, screen-free and interactive way to raise bilingual kids? If so, you may want to check out a company called Habbi Habbi. Started by two moms, Hanna and Anne-Louise, these women value being intentional parents. As stated on their website:
We aspire to have our kids … express CREATIVITY, be SELF RELIANT, be GRITTY, feel WORTHY, show EMPATHY, engage GLOBAL COMMUNITY, exercise SELF CARE.
Habbi Habbi bilingual books are are such a great way to introduce kids to a new language and major bonus points for them being so easy to use!
Once your books and reading wand arrive, take them out of the box and turn the reading wand on. It comes fully charged and ready to use right out of the box. This is HUGE for anxious and curious kids like mine who are always ready to just “dive right in”. Every inch is of the book is tappable – text, image, even white space! Our family was gifted a set of English-Spanish books to try.
Also, you’ll only need one want to use with ANY book in the Habbi Habbi series, regardless of language. E.g. one wand accesses Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and any future title / language that is released. The reading wand is also re-chargable and comes with a USB cord for easy charging.
The bilingual books are matte hardcover board books with thick and sturdy pages, perfect for even the tiniest readers! They also have rainbow colored book spines which make them aesthetically pleasing to look at all together on your bookshelf.
I can’t recommend the Habbi Habbi reading wand and bilingual books enough for anyone who wants to learn Spanish or Mandarin Chinese with their children. Have you tried Habbi Habbi with your little readers yet? Feel free to share in the comments.
THE GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Habbi Habbi want to give one (1) lucky winner a Starter Set (Wand + 5 books) – in your choice of Spanish-English or Chinese-English.
Entry rules: Open Worldwide at everyone ages 18 and over. (If it is an international winner – you are required to pay shipping on your own). There will be no shipping costs for U.S. or Canadian residents. Good Luck!
$100 Lakeshore Learning Gift Card Giveaway + The Ultimate Fort Builder
We can’t get enough of the products from Lakeshore Learning. I am consistently impressed with their quality, service and affordability. Through my partnership with them, I am now able to try out products at home with my kids like their awesome Ultimate Fort Builder that my kids are obsessed with.
The Ultimate Fort Builder includes 45 durable poles and 25 kid-friendly connectors, which can be put together to create an igloo, a castle and other creations. The structures are strong enough to support a sheet or blanket on top, and the kit also includes instructions for easy construction.
Before the kids started building, it was easy to see that several skills would be needed for success in building their forts:
With zero adult instruction or help, my kids opened up the box, sorted the parts and started building.
Once their fort was complete, the kids added a blanket on top and a few pillows on the floor. While not sturdy enough to climb on, their fort was well-made and not likely to come down without effort. The kids enjoyed playing inside and there was plenty of room for them to move around comfortably.
helps boost kid’s confidence when they complete each project on their own or working together as a team
More to Love About Lakeshore Learning Did you know Lakeshore has been making award-winning and high-quality educational products for over 60 years? They are a brand my family and I trust for their unique and exclusive products that are designed by teachers. Their products encourage curiosity and imagination and help kids develop a love of learning. Have you seen their 2020 Gifts for Growing Minds collection yet? It has all the gifts and learning toys you need to complete your holiday shopping for kids on your list.
Save with my Lakeshore Learning Coupon You can take advantage of using my unique code if you are shopping on LakeshoreLearning.com this holiday season or in-stores. Use my code 7933 to save 25% off any single non-sale item. Coupon valid through 12/31/20 for one-time use in stores or online. Limit one coupon per customer. Not valid on items with shipping restrictions. Other exclusions may apply. Visit http://bit.ly/3bRGxeZ for details.
Disclaimer: We’re partnering with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring you this amazing gift box giveaway! Thank you to Warner Bros. Pictures for gifting us a gift box and another one to share with our audience.#ad #WBSsponsored
From Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”) comes the fantasy adventure “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.” The film stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérable,” “Ocean’s 8”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “The Shape of Water”), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (“The Hunger Games” films, “The Lovely Bones”), with Kristin Chenoweth (TV’s “Glee” and “BoJack Horseman”) and award-winning comedy legend Chris Rock. Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (TV’s “Atlanta”) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick (“Holmes & Watson”).
Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (TV’s “black-ish,” “Shaft”) and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”). Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Luke Kelly. Serving as executive producers are Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff and Cate Adams.
Zemeckis’s behind-the-scenes team includes a roster of his frequent collaborators, including Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“Forrest Gump”), production designer Gary Freeman, editors Jeremiah O’Driscoll and Ryan Chan, Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (“Allied,” “Lincoln”), and Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri (“Polar Express,” “Forrest Gump”).
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, an Image Movers/Necropia/Experanto Filmoj Production, a Robert Zemeckis Film, “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.”
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:
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!
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:
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.
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
Ty’s Travels: A New Early Reader Series by Kelly Starling Lyons + A Giveaway
In creating the Ty’s Travels series, author Kelly Starling Lyons wanted to make something that in her words “embodied Black Boy Joy.”
This is the first I Can Read series that features a Black family. These Guided Reading Level I books are great early readers ages 4 – 8 learning to read. They contain basic language, adorable illustrations, simple sentences and word repetition. Readers will enjoy Ty’s first train adventure and his first race car adventure. I think this is such a delightful series showing kids being everyday kids and having joyful experiences. We’re looking forward to reading the forthcoming books in the series as they are released.
Join Ty on his imaginative adventures in Ty’s Travels: All Aboard!, a My First I Can Read series by acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata. Family time and imagination and play are highlighted in this fun story, perfect for sharing with children 3 to 6.
Ty wishes his family would play with him, but everyone is too busy before dinnertime. Luckily, Ty knows just what to do… Time for fun. Celebrate the power of imagination in All Aboard!
Ty can’t wait to ride his brand-new scooter at the park. Other kids zip and zoom by like race cars, but all Ty can do is wobble! Ty wants to give up, but a new friend helps Ty give it another try.
Celebrate imagination and the power of persistence in Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! by the acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata.
About the Author & Illustrator Kelly Starling Lyons is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf (thebrownbookshelf.com). Her acclaimed picture books include Ellen’s Broom, Going Down Home with Daddy, and Sing a Song: How “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Inspired Generations.
Nina Mata is a New York Times bestselling illustrator and received her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has illustrated many books, including American gymnast Laurie Hernandez’s She’s Got This, NBA superstar LeBron James’s I Promise, and the Ty’s Travels I Can Read series. Nina currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, their daughter, and Tabitha, their cat. Visit her online at beautifique.org.
The Giveaway! One (1) lucky winner will win 1 copy of Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! AND 1 copy of Ty’s Travels: All Aboard!. Must be a US resident age 18 and over to enter. Good Luck!
Bookworm Essentials: Tools & Resources to Enhance Your Family’s Reading Life + A Giveaway!
With the growing accessibility of books and reading materials, bookish accessories are in high demand now more than ever before. But let’s face it, being a bookworm is a lot of work. It takes dedication, concentration and plenty of time. Below I’ve compiled a list of essentials I have found to be essential to ensure a pleasant, stress free reading experience.
Read Everyday. Essential #1: Something to read If you’re going to be a bookworm (or a writer), you’re going to need a lot of books to read. So start by compiling a wish list of books you’d like to read and start reading.
No Dog Eared Pages, Please! Essential #2: Book Darts These magical little bookmarks are invaluable for not only marking your place, but prepping for book club (or blog post writing). Mark not only your page, but the exact line you want to remember. Once you try them you might not want go back to your old bookmarking ways.
Say Goodbye to Flapping Pages. Essential #3 Page Anchor If you’ve ever struggled with pages flapping in your face while reading a physical book, this little accessory may just be your reading BFF. You can read my previous review of the Page Anchor here. BONUS: Use my coupon code HEREWEEREAD15 to get 15% off your Page Anchor! Head over to www.page-anchor.com now!
Let there be light! Essential #4: An LED Book light If you read in bed like I do, you may want to have an LED book light like this one handy. I find portable book lights really useful for reading in bed at night. I also use my book light in the car or while traveling by plane.
Protect your bookish investments. Essential #5: A book sleeve Whether you’re book is in your home, at the bottom of your beach bag or the top of your carry-on, it will be protected from the bumps and bruises of travel inside a cute protective sleeve.
Read while you eat. Essential #6: A wooden book holder Do you love to read books while eating,cooking, drinking tea, having coffee, or while knitting? Do you need a gadget to hold books open while you are reading? Then you might want to invest in a wooden book holder like this one. Bonus: It also doubles as a cookbook recipe holder or a tablet holder.
Set a daily reading timed goal. Essential #7: A reading timer I aim to read for at least 20 – 30 minutes daily in the morning and at night right before bed. I find using a reading timer helps me stay on track with my daily reading goals. Simply set the timer for the allotted period, read until it goes off, then lights out. Both of my kids use this children’s reading timer since they don’t have mobile devices of their own yet.
Bookmark It. Essential #8: Literary Tattoos Ok, so these are not essentials, but they are fun… Literary Tattoos! Just add water: Simple stick, wet, and peel instructions mean easy application for all of these temporary tattoos.
Bookmark It. Essential #9: Bookmarks I’m really picky when it comes to bookmarks. In the past, I have used paper bookmarks, bobby pins, paper clips and index cards to save my place in a book. However, over the years I’ve learned bookmarks have to be functional, easy to use and long-lasting. Today, there are so many types of bookmarks to choose from – even magnetic ones!
Lately, I’ve been loving the durable leather bookmarks from our friends at Ox and Pine. Oh, and did I mention their bookmarks can be personalized? They also sell beautiful journals and a few other bookish items.
And hey, fellow bookworm, have you heard of our diverse summer reading challenge? Although summer is almost over, you can still use this resource all year round. Happy Reading!
Age Range: 5 – 7 years Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2 Hardcover: 32 pages Publisher: Capstone Editions
Synopsis It’s time for the first science lab, and nobody can agree on an experiment. But why pick just one when Bear is around? Bears makes the best science buddies, and Bear proves it by helping each group use the scientific method for its special experiment. This fourth picture book in Carmen Oliver’s Bears Make the Best…series will bring the excitement of science to a new level. One of the four experiments used in the book is detailed in the back matter.
Reflection When you stop and think about it, all kids are natural born scientists. From a very young age, they start experimenting with different things to see what will happen next. Once they are old enough to talk, they start asking, “why?” to everything.
I love that this book allows kids to nurture their spirit of curiosity. Children will see a diverse group of students with faces that match their own and learn the proper way to conduct a science experiment.
In addition to learning all the important safety protocols to conducting a science experiment, kids will also learn the four steps in the scientific method:
1. Observe 2. Make a Hypothesis 3. Experiment 4. Analyze Results
Bears Make the Best Science Buddies is perfect for aspiring scientists and classroom read-alouds. As a fun added bonus, this book also features one of the four science experiments to try on your own in the back matter.
Be sure to check out the other books in the series too!
Carmen Oliver is the author of picture books A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, a Junior Library Guild spring 2019 pick, Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies and Bears Make the Best Math Buddies. She’s also the author of the forthcoming picture books Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies, Bears Make the Best Science Buddies, The Twilight Library (North-South Books, 2021) and The Favio Chavez Story (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers).
Carmen’s work has been shortlisted for the Rainforest of Reading Award, The Writers’ League of Texas Awards and the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. In 2014, she founded the Booking Biz, a boutique style agency that brings award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events. She also teaches writing at the Writing Barn and The Highlights Foundation and loves speaking at schools, conferences, and festivals.
by Meena Harris, illustrated by Ana Ramírez González
Age Range: 4 – 8 years Grade Level: Preschool – 3 Hardcover: 32 pages Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Meena Harris debuts with an empowering picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change, inspired by a true story from the childhood of her aunt, US Senator Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer, and policy expert Maya Harris.
One day, Kamala and Maya had an idea. A big idea: they would turn their empty apartment courtyard into a playground!
This is the uplifting tale of how the author’s aunt and mother first learned to persevere in the face of disappointment and turned a dream into reality. This is a story of children’s ability to make a difference and of a community coming together to transform their neighborhood.
InKamala and Maya’s Big Idea, two sisters decide they need a playground in the back of their building. They won’t take the landlord’s “no” as an answer and rally all the kids who live in the building to help them find a way. I love how at the girls call themselves the “per-sisters” at the end of the book because they were persistent and didn’t give up. Recommended for ages 4 – 8.
Meena Harris was born into a family of strong women whose legacy continues to inspire her. Her grandmother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a cancer researcher and civil rights activist; her mother, Maya Harris, is a lawyer and policy expert; and her aunt, Kamala Harris, is a United States senator from California. Meena herself is a lawyer and entrepreneur. In 2017 she founded the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes. She currently resides in San Francisco with her partner and two daughters.
Ana Ramírez González worked as a visual development artist on Pixar’s Oscar-winning film Coco and illustrated the companion picture book Coco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony by Matt de la Peña. Ana is also the illustrator of Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell. She grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico, and lives in Oakland, California.
Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me.
From a child’s first uttered “Dada” to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Now releasing as a board book filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, “You are the one made just for me,” Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together–forever.
This heartwarming story celebrates a father’s love for his child. Told in rhyming couplets with darling illustrations to match, this story follows a father from his child’s birth through toddlerhood. The repeated phrase “Of all children that ever could be, / you are the one made just for me” allows children to participate and engage in the story while anticipating what will happen next.
Made for Me makes a great gift for new fathers, Father’s Day or Grandparent’s Day. It beautifully expresses a love for a child in the most endearing way.