Me and Mama by Cozbi Cabrera, centers on the special relationship between a young girl and her mother. Starting with the morning “when the house smells like cinnamon” and the papa and little brother are still asleep, a little girl wants to be “everywhere mama is”. “Good morning to you” – her mama sings, as the little girl walks down the stairs.
Posts by Tracy
Bowwow Powwow by Brenda Child (Red Lake Ojibwe), is about imaginative Windy Girl, and her dream of an amazing powwow. Her dream melds stories from Uncle with her own powwow memories. Under the beat of the drum, Windy Girl dreams about traditional dancers “dancing their style” and grass dancers “treading the northern earth”. She also dreams about swirling colorful costumes and powwow fast food stands – selling things like blueberry sno-cones, fry bread, and popped maize. Her dog friend, Itchy Boy, wakes her from the dream so she can enjoy the real powwow right in front of her.
Read through the seasons - and emotions - in Birdsong by Julie Flett. A young Cree girl, Katherena, moves to a new home with her mother. She misses her “friends and cousins and aunties and uncles”. The new home is over the mountains and near a field “covered in snowdrops”. She feels lonely and does not feel like getting out her pencils and paper for drawing. “My hands are cold.” But soon, she meets their nearest neighbor, an older woman named Agnes – who loves gardening and making things out of clay.
This YA Rom-Com with a nod to Bollywood is both sweet and addicting! When Dimple Met Rishi is told in two voices, alternating often. The reader feels the giddiness of new love – as well as the push and pull of culture, family expectations, and being true to oneself. I was a fan of both Dimple and Rishi from the very start – and I truly, achingly, wanted everything to work out! It is a warm and cozy read – and definitely a big win for first-time writer Sandhya Menon.
Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self. Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in nature – that’s quieter than quiet.
Ready for some rollicking and roaring word play? Check out Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman for some unforgettable poems. This is a wonderful treasury for elementary school kids. The poems are joyful and include bright and colorful illustrations by Michael Emberley. The book has 123 poems by 57 authors (ranging from A.A. Milne to Shel Silverstein to Valerie Worth, and many more phenomenal poets). It is also a great book for reading aloud as the days get shorter and the nights a bit longer.
Adventure and new friends abound in Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates. Dog gets a brand new sketchbook from his dear Aunt Dora. “Dog knew exactly what to do. . .“ He begins his own story! With pencil in hand, he draws a door and steps through. He is joined by a stickman, duck, owl, and crab. Of course, they decide to ride a train and, then, set sail on a boat to a sandy island. The sketched illustrations fit well with the storyline. Soft colors and spare lines add to the gentle feel of the book.
Sometimes a yard sale can mean discovering marvelous treasures, fun times with parents or loved ones, or simply a summer day activity. But for Callie, the young protagonist in Yard Sale by Eve Bunting, it means that she has to give away all of her beloved things and move to a small apartment. Callie watches as a lady buys her bed “with crayon marks on it” and sees a man loading up her favorite red bike onto his truck. In Callie, we see (and feel) the heartache of leaving behind the much-loved and the familiar.
A wonderfully illustrated book about going to bed! Owen Davey has given us a great little story about a boy who imagines he is a knight as he is doing his nightly, or should we say knightly routine. This fun mix of dragons, castles, baths, and beds makes for a great nighttime tale.
Everything You Need for a Treehouse (Chronicle Books, 2018) is for anyone who has ever dreamed of living in a treehouse (kid or adult, alike!) The lyrical text is a perfect match for the amazingly glorious illustrations of many different treehouses – from adventurous boat to glass castle. More poetic than practical – the story focuses on the importance of a big imagination, time, and space to explore (rather than the nuts and bolts of building & construction). I bet you will start dreaming of your own amazing treehouse after reading this book!