STORY PAINTER: The Life of Jacob Lawrence

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STORY PAINTER: The Life of Jacob Lawrence tells the story of the artist Jacob Lawrence, born in 1917, Jacob, known as “Jake” grew up during the Great Migration, the largest migration of African-Americans to the North, since the days of slavery. Jake documented this historic American event in his series of painting entitled The Migration of the Negro.”

In the beginning, Jacob Lawrence’s childhood was difficult, as his parents had moved and lived in three different cities by the time Jake was six years old. He later moved to Harlem, growing up during the Harlem Renaissance, and was influenced by the sights and sounds and energy of the city. Although he did play stick ball like the rest of the neighborhood kids, his favorite pastime was exploring the streets of Harlem, where each block told a different story.

By the time he was 13, he began having difficulty in school, and his mother, afraid he would be recruited by a gang, enrolled him into a neighborhood program, where he first began creating art.

Years later, Jake would experience overnight success as an artist which led to pressures he was not prepared for; however he overcame the obstacles, and became one of the most celebrated and renowned American painters. In 197o, his painting of Jesse Jackson was featured on the cover of TIME magazine; and in 1977, he was one of five famous American artist to be invited to President Jimmy Carter’s swearing in ceremony.

Jacob Lawrence is most loved and recognized for his “Migration of the Negro” series and his depictions of Harlem life .

STORY PAINTER: The Life of Jacob Lawrence is a beautiful re-telling of an amazing artist’s life and a great introduction to African-American history. Unlike other picture books, STORY PAINTER is over 50 pages long and features over 20 reproductions of Lawrence’s work, along with historical black and white photos documenting aspects of his life. Therefore, it is a book where children ages eight years-old and younger would need to read it or have it read to them in several stages, however this makes it a great story for bed time. It is a wonderful book that should be read all children, as it tells the story of an important man who documented two very important and historic times in U.S. history.

The Life of Jacob Lawrence: Written by John Duggleby

 

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Tiny Thinkers: Charlie and the Tortoise

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Has a young child ever asked you why birds are different? Have you ever wondered yourself? If so, Charlie and the Tortoise is a children’s book that you will love! The picture book is one in a series of children’s books called, Tiny Thinkers, a series of books for ages 4 to 8 about real life scientists, told from the perspective of the scientists as children on their adventures. Charlie and the Tortoise tells the story of Charles Darwin, very creatively, and is based on Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands where he found 13 types of finches – all with different beaks.

The book is not only great for teaching evolution to young children, it also encourages exploration and love of nature in children. It begins with young Charlie’s travels to the Galapagos islands where he encounters several species of ants, plants, birds and reptiles including turtles and lizards.

Charlie notices the differences between the different bird species of finches and learns all about how that came to be from a shy and slow-speaking tortoise. The tortoise tells Charlie all about the finches and how and why they changed over time.

With fun rhyme and beautifully colorful illustrations and humor, the book is an excellent resource that children will love. At the back of the book is a timeline with fun facts about Charles Darwin, his life and discoveries. It is a wonderful book to get children interested in science and other STEM topics.  Take your child on a fun adventure and read them Charlie and the Tortoise today!

Charlie and the Tortoise: Written by M.J. Mouton

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The first Jewish U.S. female Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, grew up seeing injustice and grew up determined to fight against it. Her story is told in the children’s picture book “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark.”

I Dissent is the true story of a woman who fought against prejudice and won! Ruth grew up in Brooklyn, New York witnessing prejudice against Jews, African-Americans and fortunately had a mother who wanted her to do more than cook, sew and find a husband. Ruth’s mother took her to the library where Ruth read about female heroes including Amelia Earhart and this inspired Ruth. Upon her high school graduation, Ruth’s mother died; Ruth was devastated, but she went ahead to college because she knew it was what her mother would want.

Ruth excelled in college, and went on to attend law school, eventually becoming one of the first female law professors in the United States to a lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court to fight for women’s rights. In 1993 President Clinton appointed Bader-Ginsberg to the Supreme Court of the United States!

I Dissent is not only historical a funny, informative and inspiring! It is filled with humorous illustrations that convey Bader-Ginsberg’s spunk as a young girl and young woman. It succeeds at explaining aspects of the Supreme Court voting process, and teaches strategy for stage fright and performance anxiey. Most importantly, it teaches children that one person can make a difference and achieve amazing goals – even when faced with tragedy.

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The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

The new movie “Loving” premiere’s today in select theaters and has been getting a lot of attention including Oscar buzz. The movie tells the story of George and Mildred Loving, who fought to stay married as an interracial couple.

What many don’t know is that there is also a children’s book that tells the Lovings’ story.

Book Buzz 4 Kids

Loving v. Virginia was a Supreme Court case many are still not aware of. What’s unique about Loving v. Virginia is that it had no political motivation, it was motivated by love. Two people wanted to be married, they just happened to be different races. The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage is a children’s picture book that tells their story in a way that is endearing, so much so that even the littlest one would understand.

June 12 is the 49th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, and there is no better time to introduce a child to and celebrate love, unity and tolerance – and reading The Case for Loving is a great way to do it. This book has it all: a great story, emotive illustrations and best of all, a great moral lesson. It is also a great way to introduce…

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I’m a Little Green Witch

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Goblins and ghosts and witches, oh my! Get ready for some Halloween fun with I’m a Little Green Witch, a Halloween-themed picture book that features story rhymes that mimic tunes  of traditional nursery rhymes that children know and love!

Some of the poems included in this quirky book of story rhymes include:

  • Willa’s Wild Ride, which mimics the tune of  “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” nursery rhyme;
  • I’m a Hairy, Scary Spider, which mimics the “Itsby Bitsy Spider” song;
  •  Little Jack Mummy, a creepy poem about a little boy who eats his pinky that mimics the rhyme of “Little Jack Horner.”

There is a poem of every type  – silly, icky, scary and just plain fun. If you have a little one that loves both nursery rhymes and Halloween, this book, with bright and colorful illustrations is sure to please!

Written by: Kelly Polark  Illustrated by: Kelli Ann Little

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Little Blue Truck’s Halloween: A Lift-the-Flap Book!

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Little Blue Truck is on his way to a Halloween celebration and on the way he meets up with his animal friends who are dressed for the occasion! This delightful picture book is part of the Little Blue Truck series and does not disappoint.

As Little Blue travels to a Halloween event, he finds animal friends dressed from everything from a dragon and princess, to a witch, a clown and more. It’s up to the young reader to determine what animal is dressed in which costume by lifting each page flap.

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween will entertain children with the silly costumes that Blue’s animal friends wear, but it’s ability to entertain while also engaging the young reader in a hand and eye coordination activity, makes it educational as well.

If you are looking for a fun, entertaining Halloween picture book that also encourages reader participation, and encourages friendship, Little Blue Truck’s Halloween is a book your little one is sure to enjoy. And if you have a child who loves cars and trucks, checkout the rest of the books in the Little Blue Truck series.

Little Blue Trucks’s Halloween: By Alice Schertle

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Grace for President!

 

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With all the presidential campaign debates taking place lately, I’m inclined to once again review the awesome children’s book Grace for President – a picture book that is both educational and entertaining. Children will love Grace for President  because it teaches them about the election process in a scenario that is familiar. Parents will love this book because it encourages children to be ambitious and to believe that they can achieve anything they set their minds to!

Grace for President, begins with an innocent question from a little girl named Grace but then results in a race for school president!  The tale begins when Grace is shown a large poster featuring all of the past U.S. presidents, and she notices that none of them are women. Grace then asks her teacher “Where’s the women?” – to which her teacher responds, and informs Grace that there’s never been a female president. This bothers Grace something awful, and she then decides that she will run for class president of her school. Grace wants to show her classmates that women can be president too! Besides, how hard can it be? Or so Grace thinks to herself.

The next day, its announced that Grace has an opponent from another class – one who happens to be the Spelling Bee champion, AND captain of the soccer team. Grace realizes running for president won’t be as easy as she thought, but she doesn’t let it discourage her, and presses on, working hard to win the election. She does doing everything from handing out cupcakes to joining the school safety squad and creating a school beautification committee.

 Grace for President is an absolute treat of a picture book for many reasons. First, its simplistic style of educating children about politics in a way children can understand is genius. Also, its non-preachy lesson, and fun illustrations featuring diverse children of all races and every skin shade is brilliant, as it will make all children feel as though they can relate and do what Grace does. And most importantly, it encourages young girls and children in general to be ambitious through a fun civic lesson that has the reader wondering what will happen next! If these are themes that are important to you, purchase Grace for President today!

 

Grace for President

Author: Kelly DiPucchio / Illustrator: Leuyen Pham

Available at: Teaching for Change bookstores, Amazon.com

 

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