Posts tagged ‘Age Range: 4 – 8 years’

The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano

In The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano,  award-winning biographer Elizabeth Rusch and two-time Caldecott Honor–recipient Marjorie Priceman team up to tell the inspiring story of the invention of the world’s most popular instrumentpiano.

Bartolomeo Cristofori coaxes just the right sounds from the musical instruments he makes. Some of his keyboards can play piano, light and soft; others make forte notes ring out, strong and loud, but Cristofori longs to create an instrument that can be played both soft and loud.

His talent has caught the attention of Prince Ferdinando de Medici, who wants his court to become the musical center of Italy. The prince brings Cristofori to the noisy city of Florence, where the goldsmiths’ tiny hammers whisper tink, tink and the blacksmiths’ big sledgehammers shout BANG, BANG! Could hammers be the key to the new instrument?

At last Cristofori gets his creation just right. It is called the pianoforte, for what it can do. All around the world, people young and old can play the most intricate music of their lives, thanks to Bartolomeo Cristofori’s marvelous creation: the piano.

Elizabeth Rusch is an award-winning children’s bElizabethook author and magazine writer. Her books include The Mighty Mars Rovers, For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart, and Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World. She teaches nonfiction and children’s literature at the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at

Marjorie Priceman, illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, has won Caldecott Honors for her illustrations in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the Frist Hot-Air Balloon Ride, which she also wrote. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Mary Englebreit’s Nutcracker is a Sweet Delight to Read

 The Nutcracker is one of the world’s favorite holiday stories, and Mary Engelbreit offers her vision of that joyful night, creating a picture book filled with movement and vibrant detail that even the youngest child will enjoy.–From the Back Cover
In Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker, Marie, the NutcraNutcrackercker Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy will enchant readers in this freshly imagined holiday classic by New York Times bestseller Mary Engelbreit, now in paper-over-board format for the first time. On Christmas Eve, Marie receives a wooden nutcracker from her beloved uncle. Then something magical happens . . . her toy nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and whisks Marie off to the fantastical Toyland on a winter adventure she’ll never forget. Mary Engelbreit’s delightful interpretation of the timeless Christmas story makes this Nutcracker truly beautiful to behold
YPP Reviewer Quinn writes:
Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker is a keeper.  Mary’s Nutcracker is filled with her well-known and  beautifully drawn, detailed pictures.   I love the details Mary puts into her pictures, from the beautiful patterns on the clothing, furniture, and wallpaper, to the variety of things to be seen in each picture.   The best part of her pictures is that no one pattern or piece of the picture overwhelms the others; which makes it a pleasure to stop and examine each picture.  Each picture tells a story by itself, while also contributing to the overall story.   I enjoyed the flow of the story in this book as well with just the right amount told on each page.  Mary tells the story in a way that children will understand and appreciate.  I believe this story will appeal not only to children, but to people of all ages.

Make a Date to Read: When Otis Courted Mama

“This excellent take on modern, blended families melds a believable, resonant story arc and winsome, child-appealing illustrations.”—Kirkus, starred review
    OtisIn When Otis Courted Mama, apart from sticker burrs and sand fleas, Cardell’s life is mostly wonderful. He knows he’s loved through and through by his perfectly good mama and his perfectly good daddy. They live in different parts of the desert, but that’s okay—Cardell is mostly used to it.
Then Otis comes calling, and Cardell feels a grrr form in his throat. Otis can’t make jalapeño flapjacks or play Zig-the-Zag anything like Cardell’s daddy. And so Cardell waits for Mama to say “Adiós, Otis.” But what will happen if she doesn’t?
When Otis Courted Mama  is a fun little story about a little cayote who feels threatened when Otis comes courting his mama….and Mama isn’t saying”Adiós, Otis”. In this bright and lovely book, children can learn along with Cardell  that new people in our lives can be a good thing.  — Quinn, YPP Reviewer
Kathi Appelt is the author of many books for children and young adults, including When Otis Courted Mama, illustrated by Jill McElmurry; Oh My Baby, Little One, illustrated by Jane Dyer; and the story collection Kissing Tennessee. Her novel The Underneath was a Newbery Honor book and a National Book Award finalist. She lives in Texas.

A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas


Un Pinata en un árbol de pino: un latino Doce Días de Navidad

“Beginning with “a piñata in a pine tree” and culminating in “doce angelitos celebrando” (twelve angels rejoicing), the double-page spreads each contain a pronunciation guide for both gifts and numbers.” –Horn Book

Click on the image to read more about this book Haga clic en la imagen para leer más sobre este libro

Click on the image to read more about this book
Haga clic en la imagen para leer más sobre este libro

An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” in A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas … populating it with piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book’s conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures and a glossary and music following the story. This joyous fiesta will warm even the coldest of hearts.
In this Latino twist on the traditional folk song, the narrator’s secret amiga‘s gifts include a piñata in a pine tree and cuatro luminarias, according to School Library Journal.
The identity of the girl’s amiga is a sweet surprise and is sure to bring a smile to readers. The spreads are pleasing to the eye, with acrylic paintings rendered in vivid oranges, pinks, greens, and sky blue. A description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries are included in the author’s note, which also gives information on the history of the 12 days (beginning Christmas Day and ending January 5, Twelfth Night, the night before Epiphany, or Feast of the Three Kings). The last page includes the score.
Booklist said “In trading a partridge for a piñata and intertwining English and Spanish, Mora has created not only a fun adaptation of a classic Christmas carol but also an introduction to many elements of holiday celebrations for families across the U.S. and Latin America.”

Among the 12 presents that a little girl’s amiga brings to her are toys, musical instruments,

and special holiday foods such as pastelitos and tamalitos. The final gift is 12 angels heralding (doce angelitos celebrando) the arrival of a new baby sister, preparations for which have been unfolding in the background all along. The illustrator is the sister of Belpré Award–winning illustrator Yuyi Morales, and these acrylic paintings share a similar colorful and vibrant style as they integrate words, numbers, Spanish pronunciations, joy, and excitement throughout each full-page spread. A glossary, useful author’s and illustrator’s notes, and musical notation are also included. The syllabic rhythm doesn’t always perfectly match the familiar tune, but that won’t make reading or singing this any less merry.

Pat Mora, a popular presenter across the country at conferences, campuses, libraries, and schools, speaks and offers workshops on literacy, creativity, leadership, the writing process, and serving diverse populations. “Sharing Bookjoy: Creative Literacy Leaders” and “ZING! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students” are among her more popular themes.

The author of award-winning books of nonfiction and poetry for adults and of many children’s books, Pat received honorary doctorates in letters from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo and is an honorary member of the American Library Association. Among her other awards are the 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, a Visiting Carruthers Chair at the University of New Mexico, a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship.

A former teacher, university administrator, and consultant, Pat is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day (Día), now housed at the American Library Association. The yearlong commitment to linking all children to books, languages, and cultures and of sharing what Pat calls “bookjoy,” culminates in national celebrations in April.

Pat was named one of the “Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World” by Poets & Writers magazine in February 2010.

“Spanish phrases pepper the traditional carol as a joyful child experiences the holiday…A luminous holiday pick, especially for new big brothers and sisters.” –Publishers Weekly

Un galardonado autor y un artista estrella en ascenso han puesto un toque Latino festiva en “Los Doce Días de Navidad”, en una piñata en un pino: A Latino Doce Días de Navidad … poblarlo con piñatas en lugar de perdices, además de burritos bailando (bailando burros), cantando Lunitas (cantando lunas), y mucho más, todo se muestra en los colores más vivos imaginables. En esta versión una niña recibe regalos de una amiga secreta, cuya identidad es una dulce sorpresa en la conclusión del libro. Hay cosas para encontrar y contar en español en todas las páginas, con pronunciaciones previstas en las fotos y un glosario y la música siguiendo la historia. Esta fiesta gozosa calentará incluso el más frío de los corazones.

En este giro Latino en la canción popular tradicional, regalos de amiga secreta del narrador incluyen una piñata en un pino y luminarias del cuatro, de acuerdo con School Library Journal.

La identidad de la amiga de la chica es una dulce sorpresa y está seguro de traer una sonrisa a los lectores. Los diferenciales son agradables a la vista , con pinturas acrílicas prestados en naranjas vivos , rosas , verdes y azul cielo . Una descripción de los alimentos de Navidad y otras tradiciones navideñas de diferentes países de América Latina están incluidos en la nota del autor , que también da información sobre la historia de los 12 días ( a partir del día de Navidad y termina el 5 de enero , noche de Reyes, la noche anterior a la Epifanía , o Fiesta de los Reyes Magos ) . La última página incluye la partitura.

Lista de libros , dijo “En el comercio de una perdiz de una piñata y entrelazando Inglés y Español, Mora ha creado no sólo una diversión adaptación de un clásico cuento de Navidad, sino también una introducción a muchos elementos de la celebración de las fiestas para las familias en los EE.UU. y América Latina. ”

Entre los 12 regalos que amiga de una niña trae con ella son juguetes, instrumentos musicales ,

y alimentos especiales de vacaciones como pastelitos y tamalitos . El regalo final es de 12 ángeles que anuncian ( doce angelitos Celebrando ) la llegada de una nueva hermanita , preparados para los que han estado desarrollando en el fondo todo el tiempo. El ilustrador es la hermana de Belpré ilustrador premiado Yuyi Morales, y estas pinturas acrílicas comparten un estilo colorido y vibrante similar a la que se integran las palabras , los números, las pronunciaciones españolas , la alegría y la emoción a través de cada página completa extensión . Un glosario , también se incluyen las notas del ilustrador de la notación musical autor útil y , y . El ritmo silábico no siempre coincide perfectamente con la melodía familiar , pero eso no hará que la lectura o el canto esto menos alegre.

Pat Mora, un presentador popular en todo el país en las conferencias , campus , bibliotecas y escuelas , habla y ofrece talleres de alfabetización , la creatividad , el liderazgo, el proceso de escritura , y servir a poblaciones diversas. ” Sharing alegría de los libros : Líderes de Alfabetización creativas” y “¡ZING ! Siete Prácticas de Creatividad para educadores y estudiantes ” son algunos de sus temas más populares.

El autor de libros premiados de no ficción y poesía para adultos y de muchos libros para niños , Pat recibió doctorados honoris causa en letras de la Universidad Estatal de Carolina del Norte y SUNY Buffalo y es miembro honorario de la Asociación Americana de Bibliotecas . Entre sus otros premios son el Premio 2006 del Centro Nacional de Cultura Hispana Literaria, un Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, una Cátedra Carruthers visitante en la Universidad de Nuevo México , una poesía de becas de la Fundación Nacional para las Artes, y Kellogg de Liderazgo Nacional de Becas .

Un ex maestro, administrador universitario y consultor , la patente es el fundador de la iniciativa de alfabetización familiar El Día de los Niños / El Día de los libros , el Día del Niño Día / Libro ( Día ) , conservada en la Asociación Americana de Bibliotecas . El compromiso de un año de duración a la vinculación de todos los niños a los libros , idiomas y culturas y de compartir lo que Pat llama ” alegría de los libros “, culmina en las celebraciones nacionales en abril.

Pat fue nombrado uno de los ” autores Fifty más inspiradores en el mundo” por los poetas y escritores de la revista en febrero de 2010 .

” Frases pimienta española del villancico tradicional como un niño alegre experimenta la fiesta … Una selección de fiesta luminosa , sobre todo para los nuevos hermanos y hermanas. ” – Publishers Weekly

Poetic language, attractive illustrations and a positive message about Islam, without any didacticism

Click on image to read more about this book

Click on image to read more about this book

Kelly Cunnane, the critically-acclaimed author of For You Are a Kenyan Child, crafts a gentle and accessible picture book with DEEP IN THE SAHARA that offers a glimpse into the fascinating culture of West Africa and reveals that families are much the same the world over.

Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a malafa, the colorful veils Mauritanian women wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. Lalla sees the malafa as beautiful and believes wearing it will make her pretty, just like her mama, her big sister Selma, her cousin Aisha, and her grandmother. However, her family rejects Lalla’s request to wear a malafa citing her superficial reasons. It is not until Lalla realizes a malafa is not worn to show a woman’s beauty, to create mystery, or to honor tradition—but that a malafa represents faith—that Lalla’s mother agrees to slip the long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla’s head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray.

A lovely tale about faith and growing up, Kelly Cunnane’s beautiful prose and Hoda Hadadi’s gorgeous illustrations show tremendous insight into the culture and religion of Islam.

With an author’s note and glossary included in the back of the book, DEEP IN THE SAHARA is a wonderful choice for parents, teachers, and librarians wishing to expose children to foreign cultures. While Lalla’s experiences may be very different from most kids here in the U.S., the longing of a child to grow up and take part in adult activities is universal. This is the perfect book to teach young readers about difference and acceptance.

%d bloggers like this: