I’M BACK! Introducing The Curious Kid’s Librarian

Greetings! It’s been a bit! I feel like a reintroduction is in order. My name is Amy Broadmoore, and I started started blogging here at Delightful Children’s Books back in 2010. In 2010, my kids were 1, 3 and 6. At that time, I was passionate about raising three kids who were curious, creative and loved books and reading.

A lot has changed since 2010. In 2014, I earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. I then spent three years teaching as a school librarian. Through my education and work experience, I have become passionate about helping librarians support high quality classroom instruction. I want to help raise a generation of kids who are curious, creative and love books and reading.

To that end, I am launching a shiny new blog: The Curious Kid’s Librarian.

On The Curious Kid’s Librarian, you’ll find…

I. Nonfiction book recommendations

When students read nonfiction books and other informational texts, their vocabularies expand. Reading informational texts in kindergarten thru 12th grades prepares students to read the informational texts they will need to read to succeed in college, career and life. For this reason, the Common Core Standards emphasize the importance of having kids read more informational texts. Furthermore — and equally valuable — incorporating high quality nonfiction books into the curriculum can bring subjects students are studying to life.

II. Tips for teaching research skills effectively

Teaching students research skills should not be an afterthought, worked into the curriculum when time permits. To the contrary, teaching students research skills is central to preparing students for college and creating lifelong learners. To succeed in college, career and life, students need to be able to ask and answer questions independently.

The Curious Kid’s Librarian is for:

  • school librarians
  • classroom teachers
  • principals & administrators
  • children’s & teen librarians
  • school outreach librarians

…and others who are passionate about raising curious kids who love books and reading.

Please, check out The Curious Kid’s Librarian and share this new blog with others who might be interested!

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Most Popular Titles 2015-2016

I have remained silent here this past year because I have been focusing my energies on teaching. This past year has been my first year working as a school librarian at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School in Duluth, Minnesota. Myers-Wilkins is a gem of a school, with very dedicated teachers and a diverse and vibrant student body. I am lucky to have landed here.

I am breaking my silence today to share with you the most popular titles that my students checked out this past year. I love reading posts like this shared by other school librarians. I hope you will find a book or two on this list to share with your kids.

Most Popular Titles 2015-2016.jpg
Two of my fourth grade students created a book display of great summer reads and just happened to display the #1 most popular book in our library in the center.

Most popular picture books:

Hooray for Fly Guy!

Hooray for Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold

Scaredy Squirrel

Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt

Can I Play Too?

Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems

I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems

We are in a Book! by Mo Willems

Gaston by by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson

I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems

Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems

Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold

Most popular chapter books:

The Babysitters Club #1. Kristy’s Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Amulet #1. The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel

Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

Additional popular titles not written by Mo Willems, Tedd Arnold, Jeff Kinney or Nick Bruel:

In addition, these fine books landed on the list of top 50 most circulated books at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School this past school year.

  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Big Nate Goes for Broke by Lincoln Peirce
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes
  • Pony Party by Kate Egan  (A My Little Pony book, in case you don’t recognize the title!)
  • Slowly Slowly Slowly Said the Sloth by Eric Carle
  • Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman: The Fifth Epic Novel by Dav Pilkey

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WEEK 2. Comics Club – realistic comics + depicting movement

WEEK 2. Comics Club - realistic comics + depicting movementWe are back for Week 2 of Comics Club! This spring, I am leading an after-school Comics Club for 4th and 5th grade students as well as sharing book recommendations and comics creation activities here.

I hope that Comics Club will inspire kids to create comics. More importantly, I think Comics Club will give kids a greater appreciation for visual storytelling and will motivate kids to read. Through Comics Club activities, students are actively engaging with the books they are reading. This week, they discussed the characters they had read about in their humorous comics (see last week’s post). They also learned how to depict movement and looked for examples of how movement is depicted in the books they will read this coming week.


This week, I shared six realistic graphic novels with the kids. The students each got to select one graphic novel to take home and read during the coming week.


I introduced the kids to four ways to depict movement. The kids found examples of each of these in the books they are reading for this coming week. They also practiced drawing figures on the move and passed their drawings to one another to see if other students could guess what movements they were trying to depict.

1. Draw a figure moving.

2. Draw movement between panels.

  • moment-t0-moment*
  • action-to-action*

3. Action lines.

4. Sound effects.

*See Making Comics by Scott McCloud for his fantastic explanation of how transitions between panels are used to tell stories.

After discussing the first two ways to depict movement, we watched this YouTube video and looked for others. I love this entire series of videos created by author Lincoln Peirce and publisher Andrews McMeel.


I have been getting most of my ideas for teaching Comics Club from:

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Flummery.com by Jeff Smith — Art teacher Jeff Smith has been teaching high school students how to create comics since 2002 and shares his ideas here.

QUESTION: What are other good resources for teaching students about comics? Please, share!

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WEEK 1. Comics Club – humorous comics + creating cartoon characters

WEEK 1. Comics Club - humorous graphic novels + tips for creating cartoon characters | Delightful Children's BooksAs I mentioned last week, I am leading an after-school comics club for 4th and 5th grade students. (Last week, I wrote about why it’s valuable to encourage kids to read comics.) While I’m at it, I thought I would quickly share resources here each week. This week in Comics Club, I shared four humorous graphic novel series with my students, and I taught them a few tips for creating cartoon characters.



The four humorous graphic novel series I shared with the kids were:

The students each got to select a book from one of these series to take home with them and read during the coming week.


I also shared a few tips for creating cartoon characters:

1. Choose a “distinguishing characteristic” for your character that will make your character easily identifiable.

2. Practice drawing your character with various expressions.

3. Create a personality or backstory for your character.

I shared these videos with the students that show authors drawing their characters and offering tips on the fly.

How to Draw Greg Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

How to Draw Amelia (Amelia Rules)

How to Draw Nate (Big Nate)

How to Draw Raina (Smile and Sisters) and Callie (Drama)


In addition to leading Comics Club, I am adding comics and graphic novels to the school library collection, which has me mulling over this question. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Where is the best place to catalogue and shelve graphic novels in a library collection?

Option A. Dewey’s already answered this question! 741.5 in the nonfiction section.

Option B. Pull graphic novels, and create a stand alone graphic novel section.

Option C. Integrate comics into the collection. Fiction comics should be catalogued by author’s last name and integrated into the fiction section. Nonfiction comics should be catalogued by Dewey decimal number according to their subject matter and integrated into the nonfiction section.

*This question is aimed at children’s librarians, but library users are welcome to chime in as well!

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Comics Club: Why encourage kids to read and create comics?

Attn. 4th & 5th grade parents and teachers: An online comics club for kids with weekly book recommendations and Comics Creation Challenges!I will be leading an after-school comics club for 4th and 5th grade students this spring. I’m very excited about it. I thought I could lead a stripped down version of comics club here at Delightful Children’s Books.

For the in-person version of comics club, I will be having 4th and 5th grade students read and review comics and create their own comics. Each week, comics club students will choose a book to read from those that I booktalk. I will also send the kids home with a Comics Creation Challenge (related to what we’ve done in comics club) that they can complete at home if they would like.

For those of you with 4th and 5th graders, I will do the same here at Delightful Children’s Books. I will give you a list of books to choose from in a particular genre and a Comics Creation Challenge.

  • Week 1. Humor
  • Week 2. Realistic Fiction
  • Week 3. Superhero
  • Week 4. Comic Strips
  • Week 5. Memoir/Nonfiction
  • Week 6. Fantasy/Mystery
  • Week 7. Manga

*** Rough schedule! Subject to change. ***

Before we begin… 

What are “comics”?

I use the term “comics” to mean stories or vignettes told via a combination of images and text. “Comics” is a general term that includes graphic novels, comic strips, web comics, comic books (i.e. floppies) etc.

Why encourage kids to read and create comics?

1. Reading and creating comics helps kids improve their visual literacy skills — i.e. their ability to communicate with images as well as words. Visual literacy skills are important now that technology enables us to share images easily. Our kids will be expected to create webpages, PowerPoint presentations and documents that use images effectively to communicate.

2. Images in comics often motivate kids to read the text.

3. Images can provide “scaffolding” (i.e. assistance) to help kids learn new and challenging vocabulary.

4. Comics can be used to encourage kids to branch out in their reading. For example, a kid who only reads fast-paced adventure novels might be willing to read mysteries, realistic fiction or nonfiction in comic form.

5. For hesitant readers who enjoy comics, increasing access to comics is the <best> way to motivate kids to read for fun.

In Beginnings, author Raina Telgemeier recalls the impact her father’s encouragement had on her.

Beginnings IClick on this image to read the full comic at Raina’s website!

Posted in Ages 8+, Ages 9+ | Tagged | 9 Comments

New! Trombone Shorty

Trombone Shorty offers readers a peak into the life of a wonderful jazz musician by the same name. I lived in New Orleans for a couple of years and had the pleasure of hearing Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews play back when he was a teenager. Even at a young age, he was an impressive musician. Trombone Shorty does more than simply tell the story of one jazz musician. Trombone Shorty paints an authentic picture of and celebrates the New Orleans jazz tradition.

Trombone Shorty by Bryan Collier

Troy Andrew’s (aka “Trombone Shorty’s”) story is a rags to riches story. At the same time, his story is not atypical for a successful New Orleans jazz musician. In fact, Trombone Shorty’s story sounds remarkably similar to Louis Armstrong’s story and, more recently, the stories of Irvin Mayfield, Kermit Ruffins and The Rebirth Brass Band. Grow up steeped in the jazz tradition. Get your hands on any instrument you can find. Practice like crazy. Rise to the top in a city that produces some of the finest jazz musicians in the world.

From my brief experience living in New Orleans, Trombone Shorty seems to capture the best of this city. It describes the Tremé neighborhood — a neighborhood that is short on money but rich in musical tradition. It describes a unique part of America where kids look up to jazz musicians rather than sports stars, where the hottest ticket in town is a ticket to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival rather than a ticket to a Wild hockey game. It references gumbo and street parades and brass bands.


Illustrator Bryan Collier has shown amazing consistency with the quality of his illustrations. It looks like Collier put just as much attention and care into illustrating Trombone Shorty as he has put into illustrating past books. There is movement in every picture, from swirls coming out of Trombone Shorty’s trombone to balloons on the loose bouncing from one image to the next. Collier’s collages, full of texture, warmth and energy, are perfect for depicting a neighborhood filled with brass bands.

When Trombone Shorty’s career takes flight and Trombone Shorty is depicted literally flying in the air in a hot air balloon, the moment is at once breathtaking and visually consistent. Collier’s illustrations have all led to this moment.


In his endnotes, Troy Andrews/Trombone Shorty says he wrote this book “to inspire hope in kids who might be growing up under difficult circumstances but who also have a dream, just like I did.” Trombone Shorty is certainly an amazing gift to kids growing up in Tremé. For all young readers, Trombone Shorty provides a wonderful introduction to New Orleans jazz music, a distinctly American music.

Recommended for: Ages 5-10. Pair with If I Only Had a Horn: Young Louis Armstrong by Roxanne Orgill to introduce kids to New Orleans jazz music. You can also take a look at my favorite picture books about jazz here: 9 Books to Introduce Kids to Jazz.

To Share With Kids

A fantastic photo of Troy Andrews playing trombone as a kid, from the endnotes of the book:

Trombone Shorty - young boy

A video of Trombone Shorty playing “Where Y’At”:

A video of brass band musicians playing at jazz musician Lionel Batiste’s funeral. This is such a neat tradition and provides a glimpse into the culture that Troy Andrews grew up in.

Lastly, the Trombone Shorty Foundation is a foundation dedicated to preserving the New Orleans jazz tradition by providing educational and mentorship opportunities to young New Orleans musicians. For more information, take a look at the Trombone Shorty Foundation website.

Posted in Ages 5+, Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+, Ages 9+, New! Nonfiction, nonfiction books | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

New! Emmanuel’s Dream

In Ghana, West Africa, a baby boy was born:

Two bright eyes blinked in the light,

two healthy lungs let out a powerful cry,

two tiny fists opened and closed,

but only one strong leg kicked.

So begins Emmanuel’s Dream, the true story of a young man born with only one leg who biked around Ghana to raise awareness for what those with disabilities can do. This story was eye-opening for my children, as evidenced by the questions they asked: “Why was Emmanuel born with one leg?” “Why did his dad leave him?” “How did Emmanuel play soccer with only one leg?” There are very few books that feature characters with disabilities, and this is a good one. Emmanuel’s Dream will captivate children and broaden their view of the world.

Emmanuel's Dream Cover Small

Author Laurie Ann Thompson does an excellent job of telling Emmanuel Ofosu’s story. She avoids over-telling. Each word seems to serve a purpose — either moving the story forward or elaborating on the theme of how those with disabilities have been viewed in Ghana (and elsewhere).

ED 06 SOCCER copysmall

Rather than focusing solely on Emmanuel’s bike ride around Ghana as an adult, Thomson also describes aspects of Emmanuel’s childhood that young readers will be able to relate to. For example, Thomson describes Emmanuel’s efforts to fit in with classmates and first learn to ride a bike.


While I believe Emmanuel’s Dream is a valuable, eye-opening story to share with children, I personally keep returning to this picture book to gaze at Sean Quall’s illustrations. They are beautiful. Quall’s illustrations are flat, apparently influenced by folk art, and yet they pack an emotional punch. The image above depicts Emmanuel’s parents’ reactions when they discover that Emmanuel has only one healthy leg. Emmanuel’s father is devastated. Emmanuel’s mother appears to be holding the family together.

ED 05 SCHOOL copysmall

In this image, we see Emmanuel walking the two miles to school alone for the first time. Emmanuel looks small and yet determined.


Sean Quall has illustrated several other picture books, including Before John was a Jazz Giant by Carol Boston Weatherford and Dizzy by Jonah Winter. With Emmanuel’s Dream, Quall’s illustrations seem to have found the perfect match. Quall’s illustrations have a generally subdued feeling that help tell Emmanuel’s story in a way that is moving but not overly sentimental. Quall depicts the Ghanaian landscape with lots of texture and a salmon, turquoise and beige color scheme. Finally, I like the decision to stick with a simple, sans serif font throughout to avoid competing with Quall’s illustrations.

Recommended for: Ages 4-9

Emmanuel’s Gift: The Movie

Emmanuel Ofosu’s story has also been told in a 2005 documentary called Emmanuel’s Gift that I will now have to check out. It is rated G, so it’s appropriate for sharing with children. Here’s the trailer.

Posted in Ages 4+, Ages 5+, Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+, Ages 9+, New! Nonfiction, nonfiction books | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New! Bird and Squirrel on Ice (+ A Few Questions for James Burks)

Bird & Squirrel on Ice by James Burks is the perfect graphic novel to put in the hands of kids who think they don’t enjoy reading. This graphic novel has fast-paced action, humor and irresistible characters. While Bird & Squirrel on Ice is the companion book to Bird & Squirrel on the Run!, it differs markedly from Burks’ previous work. Bird & Squirrel on the Run! is essentially one, extended, entertaining chase scene. In contrast, Bird & Squirrel on Ice has a more complex plot that includes elements of the fantasy genre.

Bird & Squirrel on Ice

With Burks’ first book — Bird and Squirrel on the Run! — I was hooked from page one by the colorful, expressive characters Burks has created. Bird is constantly upbeat, happy-go-lucky and unaware of the dangers he and Squirrel encounter. In contrast, Squirrel is constantly on edge and provides the perfect foil to Bird.

Bird and Squirrel on Ice I

In Bird and Squirrel on Ice, Bird and Squirrel are back, with their over-the-top personalities firmly in tact. Bird and Squirrel’s personalities are revealed with this early spread. We see Bird enjoying being carried along by an avalanche, unaware of the danger he and Squirrel face. Squirrel, on the other hand, is petrified. Once again in this sequel, the main humor arises from the stark contrast and amusing dialog between these two characters.

Bird and Squirrel on Ice II

We are also introduced to a new character — Sakari. I love how Burks introduces Sakari in this spread, with an image that depicts the setting, a sequence of images depicting Sakari walking and then suddenly aware of Bird and Squirrel, and finally Bird and Squirrel crashing into the frame in a ball of snow. Sakari is the young daughter of a penguin village chief. She is wiser and braver than Bird and Squirrel. Her inclusion in this tale immediately increases the tale’s complexity.BirdSquirrel_pp10_11 In Bird and Squirrel on Ice, “The Great Whale” has been harassing Sakari’s village. When Bird and Squirrel arrive, Sakari mistakenly identifies Bird as “The Chosen One,” a bird who legend tells will come to bring peace and prosperity to Sakari’s village. Ever-gullible Bird is happy to assume the role of “The Chosen One,” particularly when Sakari’s village treats him like royalty. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear — to everyone except Bird — that Bird is in danger.

Recommended for: Ages 5 through 10, although sensitive younger readers may find the plot too scary. Kids who enjoy comics with humor and fast-paced action. Bird and Squirrel on Ice and Bird and Squirrel on the Run are likely to win over some reluctant readers as well.

A Few Questions for James Burks

Since first seeing Bird and Squirrel on Ice, I, for one, have not stopped wondering whether any more Bird and Squirrel books are in the works. I decided to go straight to the source and ask creator James Burks. While I was at it, I could not resist asking him which comics have influenced him and which comics he would recommend I share with my 4th and 5th grade Comics Club students.

Are you planning to write any more Bird & Squirrel books?

There will be two more Bird and Squirrel books. I’m coloring book 3 right now. It will be out towards the end of this year. It’s called “Bird and Squirrel on the Edge.” Then book 4 will be out towards the end of 2016. I don’t have a title for that one yet.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a few things. I’m illustrating a new series for Scholastic/Branches called “Haggis and Tank Unleashed.” They’re early chapter books that follow the adventures of a Scottish Terrier and a Great Dane. I’m also coloring the third Bird and Squirrel book as I mentioned above. And last but not least I’m working on my next picture book that I wrote and illustrated for Disney/Hyperion called “Pigs and a Blanket”. Also, my very first graphic novel “Gabby and Gator” is coming out at the end of February in paperback. It features some new flippable animation of “Gabby and Gator” in the bottom right hand corner.

Which comics have influenced you?

I was really influenced by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. I really love the early strips. They’re so clearly staged with such a great cast of characters. Calvin and Hobbes was also a big influence. Bill Watterson has an amazing ability to capture emotions and bring life to his work. Which is always something I try to do with my books.

I will be leading a comics club for 4th and 5th graders this spring. What is one comic book (aside from your own) that you would have them read? Why?

Hilda and the TrollI really love the Hilda books. Written by Luke Pearson and published by Flying Eye Books. There are four books so far. All of them are great in my opinion. They’re larger size and the artwork looks amazing. They center around a little girl named Hilda and her adventures in a whimsical world filled with giants, trolls, fairies and more. Book 1 is called “Hilda and the Troll”, book 2 is called “Hilda and the Midnight Giant”, book 3 is called “Hilda and the Bird Parade”, and the most recent one is called “Hilda and the Black Hound”. I believe they were originally published in the UK. They’re beautiful books.

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2015: The Year of the Comic

The annual American Library Association (ALA) book awards were doled out yesterday, and, for those of you who missed the award show, the big winner was…. comics! For the first time, a comic — El Deafo by Cece Bell — garnered a Newbery. In addition, This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki received recognition from both the Caldecott and Printz committees. Last but not least, Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust received a Batchelder Honor.

The Year of the Comic

On one hand, I am thrilled that three ALA committees recognized the power and merit of comics as a medium for telling stories. I have not read This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. But, both El Deafo and Hidden illustrate how effectively words and text can be used to tell moving, sophisticated stories.

On the other hand, this year’s awards have left me feeling more strongly than before that the American Library Association (ALA) should create a separate comics award. I was decidedly on the fence about the topic before yesterday. Some may interpret the success of comics yesterday as an indication that a comics award is unnecessary. I, on the other hand, am left feeling like the rise of comics has added to the arbitrariness of the ALA awards.

This year’s Newbery committee was tasked with comparing apples to oranges when asked to compare the text of El Deafo (pictured below) to that of Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson or The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Furthermore, with comics, text and images are inextrictably linked. It makes no sense to me to try to evaluate the quality of the text of a comic like El Deafo alone.

El Deafo Cece Bell

It makes somewhat more sense to me to see a comic like This One Summer receive a Caldecott.* The Caldecott committee is tasked with evaluating the quality of illustrations and how effectively illustrations help tell stories. Excellent comics, like excellent picture books, use illustrations strategically in combination with text to tell stories. The line between picture books and comics is a blurry one, with many books falling squarely on the line. Thus, I’m more comfortable with the Caldecott committee evaluating both picture books and comics than with the Newbery committee evaluating both chapter books and comics.

That said, I am in favor of creating a separate comics award, rather than lumping comics with picture books, for a couple of reasons. First, I love both picture books and comics, and I do not want one medium squeezing out the other. Second — and I think this is why we are all celebrating Cece Bell’s win — I want to see excellence in the use of text to help tell stories via comics recognized as well as excellence in the use of images.

What do you think? Would you like to see the ALA create a separate comics award? Or, do you prefer seeing the long-standing and well-respected Newbery and Caldecott committees recognizing comics?

*The Caldecott committee pushed the envelope with regards to intended audience with this pick. The Caldecott is for illustrations appropriate for children ages 0-14, which would seem to preclude a YA book from winning.

You may also be interested in:

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New! A Tale of Two Beasts

A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton seemed like a good book to share with you today on Multicultural Children’s Book Day. A Tale of Two Beasts is a clever picture book that parents and teachers can use to help children see the world from various people’s perspectives.

A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton

In A Tale of Two Beasts, Fiona Roberton tells the same tale twice — once from the perspective of a girl who finds a squirrel-like creature named Fang in the forest and the second time from the perspective of Fang. In Part I, a girl discovers a “strange beast” (i.e. Fang) hanging upside down in the forest. She rescues Fang and takes him home. In Part II, Fang is “ambushed” by a “terrible beast.” The terrible beast ties Fang up and carries him off to her secret lair.

Roberton carefully connects the two stories. After Part I, we are left wondering why Fang runs away from the girl only to return. In Part II, this mystery is answered. We can only fully understand the story when we see the story from both characters’ perspectives.

A Tale of Two Beasts | Delightful Children's Books

While this story teaches an important lesson, it does so in a way that is lighthearted and entertaining. It is at once eye opening and funny to see the same story told from two different perspectives. In Part I, the girl proudly dresses the strange beast up in “a gorgeous new hat and sweater” and feeds him “a delicious bowl of fresh nuts.” In contrast, in Part II, Fang reports that a terrible beast dresses him in “a ridiculous hat and sweater” and tries to make him eat “squirrel food.”

A Tale of Two Beasts | Delightful Children's Books

Fiona Roberton’s illustrations subtly change between the two tellings. Here is a spread from Part I, where we see the story from the girl’s perspective. In Part II — the story from Fang’s perspective — the girl is drawn slightly larger and more menacing. Fang’s eyes are drawn slightly bigger, depicting his alarm at being wrapped tightly in a scarf and carried off.

Roberton’s attention to detail and her use of both images and text to tell this story make this a successful picture book.

Recommended for: Ages 5 to 8. Teachers can extend the text by having students write their own stories told from two different characters’ perspectives.

Why Multicultural Children’s Book Day?

The mission of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to raise awareness of and celebrate diverse books and to get more diverse books into classrooms and libraries. Today, you can head over to the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website to find links to reviews of diverse children’s books by bloggers around the web.

While initiatives to promote books with diverse characters should not be necessary in 2014, statistics such as these from Lee & Low Books make it clear that they are.

Childrens Books Infographic 18 24 V3

Given that the percentage of children’s books featuring characters of color has remained dismally low over the past two decades, teachers and librarians must do a little leg work to seek out diverse books to share with students. Here are two resources for those seeking out diverse books to share with students:

1. We Need Diverse Books. The We Need Diverse Books website has a fantastic list of resources for finding excellent books with diverse characters:

We Need Diverse Books: Where to Find Diverse Books

2. The Brown Bookshelf. The Brown Bookshelf is about to begin their eighth annual 28 Days Later campaign, “a Black History Month celebration of emerging and established children’s book creators of color.” Each day in February, The Brown Bookshelf introduces a new author or illustrator of color.

The Brown Bookshelf

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