Written by Kathryn Lasky
Illustrated by David Jarvis
Published by Blue Sky Press (September 1, 2002)
Dr. Smart Pig is lonely because he doesn’t have any friends. His brothers were eaten by Big Bad Wolf, so he is living all by himself. It’s almost Halloween, and he is concerning who to go trick or treating with. All of the sudden, he decides to create a friend who can protect him from the wolf. What would happen after he invents a pig friend? It might be a monster!
This cute picture book is great for easy and fun read for young readers. Great for story telling in a preschool. Because this book has story connection with old folklore, children might find connection and enjoy this book.
Book Telling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noplzju1R7s
Book Review by author: http://www.kathrynlasky.com/books/book/porkenstein
Written and Illustrated by Bill Thomson
Published by Two Lions; 1st edition (March 1, 2010)
The Chalk is very simple but exquisite book for early readers. It’s basically the magical story of children’s adventure and discover on a rainy day. Illustration if just beautiful and magical. Children finds out that what they draw with chalk become alive.
I highly recommend this book to every young readers. This book doesn’t have words, but even only images tell great story. I was impressed when I first read this book, because it didn’t have any words with images. This book meant to be help children to imagine with magical world and explore. Illustration is awesome and wonderful and it also honors diversity. The main character in this book has dark skin, and I think it is great to see diversity in beautiful children’s picture book.
Read Aloud Audio Book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MomQf_CTksM
Book Review: http://lookingglassreview.com/books/chalk/
Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Translated by Richard Howard
Published by June 29, 2000
First published in 1943
This beautiful classic novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was written in French language. This book is very magical and charming at it is. This is story of little boy who leaves to tiny planet to travel the universe. His odyssey is just beautifully written. This speculative fiction is very classic literacy work by French author.
I think this book is must read middle grade book for young readers and even adult readers. I think reading classic literature teach children to learn how author from the past wrote and created their literacy work.
Article from The New York Times: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-strange-triumph-of-the-little-prince
Audio Book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTi536xVuw4
Written by Lois Lowry
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers; Rep Mti edition (July 1, 2014)
What if there are no crime, no poverty, and no sickness in our world? There are nothing to worry about, nothing like unemployment. Everyone would be happy, don’t you think? 12 years old Jonas become the Receiver of Memories in community. Jonas meets old man who is the Giver, and he finds out the mysterious and scary secret about their world.
This book is written by Lois Lowry, who wrote Number the Stars. I think this author’s literature work is exquisite as it is. It really gives great messages and lessons to young readers. The Giver is a great story that nothing can be perfect. This book talks about the Utopian world that everything seems just perfect, but has dark secret behind it. Middle age children would love to read this book. We often think that if our world is perfectly controlled, everyone can be happy. But that means we don’t have emotion, no love, or no sorrow. I think this book really gives messages that everything we feel living through this world is valuable.
Book Review: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3636.The_Giver
Interview with Lois Lowry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYGGs2lxtjY
Written and Illustrated by Eloise Greenfield
Published by Puffin Books; Reissue edition (May 7, 1996)
Tamika loves her grandfather who has so many facial expressions. Tamika’s grandfather was an actor who does a play. As Tamika went to see her grandfather rehearsing to the play, Tamika finds out there are more expressions that grandfather can do!
I was so in love with this book. There are still not enough children’s book out there that depicts children of various culture, and I think this book is perfect for that. Since this book was published in 1996, I think it really was the great change in diversity in children’s literature. Also the illustration very realistic, and makes this story more beautiful. I think the illustration complete this story. This book would be great for children in age of preschool, to learn about diversity and feel emotion of family love.
Book Summary and Review: https://www.buffalolib.org/vufind/Record/1976626/Reviews
Audio Book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBziz4PRfX4
Written by Patricia Polacco
Illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Published by Puffin Books; Reprint edition (August 25, 1997)
Little girl is very scared of thunder storm. Her grandmother wants to help her to get over the fear of the threatens by baking the thunder cake. Illustration is little unique, because the characters has pale white face. For me, it almost was little scary to look at the book. This book reminds me of my childhood experience. It’s the true story of the authour’s childhood experience with her grandmother.
As reading this book, I realized that this book can be the sweet story book for children to recall their memory when they grow up. This book doesn’t really have diversity perspective, but it has sweet and beautiful story that is heart warming. I think parents should read this to their children to give them beautiful memories.
Audio Book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhhtKGCsAyY
Recipe of Thunder Cake!: http://www.food.com/recipe/patricia-polaccos-thunder-cake-171669
Written by Judy Young
Illustrated by Doris Ettilinger
Published by Sleeping Bear Press (February 8, 2011)
Cora is ten years old. Cora and her family leave their home in Missouri. At that moment, they are leaving with hopes and dream of their wonderful upcoming future. Their journey is not that wonderful as they thought. They are going through hardship and doesn’t turn out how they wanted to be. Cora takes care of her baby sister, Susan, and later on finds out that they will be separated.
This story is heart broken. It talks about the change in a family life with sad situation. I think this book can teach and nurture children to deal with family loss. This story is about the pioneer who is traveling to other place to survive and find the bright future. But life always does not work as we want. This book teaches history, diversity, and love between families and what is truly important in outlives.
Book Review: http://www.judyyoungpoetry.com/a-book-for-black-eyed-susan.htm
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WviIRGEynCg
Written by Jerry Spinelli
Published by Ember; Reprint edition (May 14, 2002)
Stargirl is little strange. That’s what other people think at her school. She wears weird clothes to school. The book Stargirl narrates the first love of Stargirl who is considered as little “strange”. As reading this book, it made me sad that how people judge other people by their personal life style, not respecting them. I think it’s ridiculous to judge someone else with their looks or personalities. Most of the time people don’t even want to know them deeper, because they think they are just “weird”.
This book talks about the Stargirl’s life in school and her first love. I think this book would be great for children who are going through hard stage with their friends at school. It’s very sensitive thing for them to think about friendship in that age, so I think this book can help them to think that they are not alone.
Book Review: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/stargirl-by-jerry-spinelli/
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGfl2l23lMk
Written by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Published by Philomel Books; 4th Printing edition (October 23, 1987)
One day at late winter night, little girl and her father go on owling. The father calls a mysterious bird. They couldn’t hear the answer back.
This book has beautiful story about the relationship and bond between father and daughter. Almost like poetry, this book is delicate and calm. The illustration is beautiful. It’s not really colorful, but the dark tone color activate the story. This book is very sweet and soft at it is. I think this book is great to read as a bedtime story for children in age of preschool. More wonderful thing is, if their dad read it to them, it would be so great!
Book Review: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/owl-moon-by-jane-yolen/
Audio Book with illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN8W05hBbSM
Written by Ezra Jack Keats
Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
Published by Puffin Books; Reprint edition (October 28, 1976)
The Snowy Day is classic fiction that won Caldecott Medal in 1963. This simple story of a boy explores the snow and finding out what happened during the night. The illustration is absolutely classic and beautiful. The story is very simple and straight forward, so young readers would have great experience reading this picture book. I think this book would be great for the bed time story for young children to grow their imagination and have sweet dreams.
Even this book seem like it does not have anything o do with diversity, but the illustration tells that the author respected diversity while writing this book. The main character has dark skin, and I think it was a stepping stone to include diversity in children’s literature. This book definitely would be great for young readers age 4 to up, and this can be their favorite book in their childhood.
Book Review: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/310258.The_Snowy_Day
Another Book Review: https://elementaryliterature.wikispaces.com/The+Snowy+Day