You decide: Perhaps I was doing a display for my library on this theme and realized it could also make a fun blog post. Or perhaps I’m selfishly hoping you all will post photos of your dogs in the comments. Whichever you choose….here are a few new (and one not-so-new) dog books to add to your summer reading.
Each year the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.
Climate change is a hot button issue and more children’s books have been focusing on the subject. From picture books to middle grade novels, climate change has made its way into the world of children’s books. Below are some recommended books for children that explain climate change. Not only do these books highlight this important issue, but they show children how they can help save our planet on a local level.
Picture book biographies plus homeschool programs are a winning combination! These books are oftenshort enough to read aloud and then pair with an accompanying activity. Ablaze with Color: A Story ofPainter Alma Thomas helped me create a wonderful art-focused program. Written by Jeanne WalkerHarvey with incredible illustrations by Loveis Wise, this picture book biography taught the homeschool students about the amazing life of Alma Thomas AND was a perfect springboard to creating their own art in two simple steps.
Mirrors and Windows You have likely come across the metaphor “mirrors and windows” as it relates to children’s books before. It is a metaphor coined by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop when she discussed how books can mirror a child’s own experiences – thereby legitimizing them by showing that people similar to themselves are important enough to be in books. Additionally, she said that books can also be windows through which children can see the lives and experiences of children who are different from themselves. (Bishop, 1990). I am going to apply this wonderful metaphor to some of my favorite picture books about refugee child experiences. Come with me as I explore the ways in which these books can be mirrors (for children with refugee backgrounds to see reflections of their family’s lives) as well as windows (for other children to grow in their understanding of people who have refugee backgrounds)….
Include all families in your storytimes by making sure that you’re including LGBT books in storytime. According to Family Equality, between 2 million to 3.7 million American children under age 18 have an LGBTQ+ parent. An estimated 29% of LGBTQ+ adults are raising a child and many more than that have nieces, nephews, or other children in their lives. Chances are, you have a family coming to your storytimes that would appreciate seeing themselves or their family member represented! But what do you read?
This morning, along with over five thousand other aficionados of children’s and young adult literature, I watched the live stream of the annual ALA Youth Media Awards announcements. These announcements, celebrating the “best of the best” in literature and media for children, are a must attend event for me each year, sometimes in person, sometimes virtually. Held this year at the 2023 LibLearnX conference in New Orleans, the announcements did not disappoint!
Have you checked out the 2023 Mock YMA Elections Results page recently? More and more submissions are being received in anticipation of next week’s Youth Media Awards. If you have a book discussion group which has deliberated in a Mock YMA program, submit your winning titles using this form for inclusion in the list. Having served on the Newbery committee myself, I know that no discussion group probably approaches the intensity that the Award committees have experienced this past year as they prepared through intense reading, discussion, re-reading, and extremely thoughtful examinations of the books, but it is always great fun to see what people around the country are reading and selecting in their own discussions. What do YOU think will win these “Best of the Best in Children’s Books” Awards? Check out the 2023 Mock YMA Election Results page to learn what has been selected at mock election programs…