photographer | slp | language & literacy | love good design, engaging books, reggio emilia, documenting | @averyandaugustine on instagram

founder of littlelitbookseries.com | @littlelitbookseries on instagram

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Monday
Sep112017

from far away

Saoussan Askar was in fifth grade when From Far Away was published.  It started with a letter she wrote as a second grader to author Robert Munsch.  Numerous letters back and forth eventually turned into a book.

“To Robert Munsch,

I am a little girl. My name is Saoussan. I am seven years old. I am in grade two now. I came to Canada one and half year ago. I didn’t know how to speak English at all. I was just sitting and listening. A lot of funny things happened to me.”

From Far Away is a meaningful and moving account of a war-scarred immigrant adjusting to the newness of life in another country and culture.  A beautiful, timely story that speaks about empathy and welcoming newcomers.  This version is revised and newly illustrated by Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar, with art by Rebecca Green.  Published by Annick Press.

We just shared From Far Away on @booksfordiversity, a new space I started with @secretsocietyofbooks where we're hoping to connect more people with diverse books, writers and illustrators.  Hope to see you over there and let us know what you'd like to see!

Friday
Sep082017

hooray for books!

Turtle leaves no stone unturned on a search for a beloved book that he lent to Zebra...who lent it to Owl...who lent it to who knows?!  Turtle is disheartened—will he ever be able to read his treasured book again?  If you've ever lent a favorite book to a friend and had trouble getting it back, you'll have a chuckle with this one.  Hooray for Books! is a celebration of books and the friends we love reading them with.  It's also a wonderful lesson for little ones on sharing graciously.

Hooray for Books! was written and illustrated by Brian Won and published by HMH Books for Young Readers. Out on September 12.  Visit Brian Won's site to download an activity kit and a preview of the book is available here.

Sunday
Sep032017

our story begins

"Our story begins with a box in the basement. It's brown and heavy and one of many marked Elissa.  And it's filled, to the brim, with stories from my childhood. Stories I wrote." — from editor Elissa Brent Weissman

Before writers and illustrators were putting their work out into the world, inspiring children everywhere and turning them into lifelong readers, they were kids themselves.  Our Story Begins is an honest, funny and heartfelt collection of some of the earliest works written and drawn by twenty-six authors and illustrators as kids.  Included are Kwame AlexanderTom AnglebergerKathi AppeltAshley BryanTim FederleCandace FlemingMarla FrazeeChris GallAlex GinoChris GrabensteinGordon KormanJarrett J. KrosoczkaThanhha LaiPeter LerangisGail Carson LevineGrace LinYuyi MoralesPhyllis Reynolds NaylorR. J. PalacioLinda Sue ParkRohmann, EricDan SantatBrian SelznickCynthia Leitich Smith and Rita Williams-Garcia.

We read their candid words, thoughts and feelings as they spilled out onto looseleaf lined paper.  We have the privilege of seeing their earliest literary efforts and stapled-together stories, inventive even at a young age.  We learn who and what books inspired their love of words, pictures and stories, what they dreamt about, how they came to the realization that they wanted to write books for children and how they found their own voice.  "Their stories were just beginning. Your story is beginning too. Where will it go?" — E. B. W.

Our Story Begins was edited by Elissa Brent Weissman and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Saturday
Sep022017

her right foot

At a substantial one hundred and four pages, Her Right Foot is not just a smart and insightful source of history and symbolism about the Statue of Liberty.  Dave Eggers considers an often overlooked detail — Lady Liberty's right foot, "the foot that is so obviously in mid-stride."  What does it mean?  "If the Statue of Liberty is the symbol of freedom, and has welcomed millions of immigrants to the US, then how can she stand still?"

We find in Her Right Foot a message of acceptance and a timely reminder of the principles of hope and compassion that our country was built on.  When I first read it, I was overwhelmed in a good, almost tearful way.  It's a book not just for children, but for all of us.

Written and illustrated with humor, wit and a tremendous amount of heart by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris and published by Chronicle Books. Out on September 19.  Click here to watch the book trailer.

Monday
Aug282017

frida and her animalitos

In Frida and Her Animalitos, we learn about Frida Kahlo's childhood and the cherished pets in her life, her special relationship with each of them and how they inspired her work.  Her menagerie included two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat and a fawn.  And their names!  Her pair of monkeys were called Fulang Chang and Caimito Del Guayabal.  Bonito, her parrot, would do tricks at the dinner table for pats of butter.

Despite experiencing major difficulties early on in life, she had an independent and indomitable spirit, a healthy curiosity and participated in her fair share of mischief.  Frida's animalitos were a big part of her life and were a source of joy and companionship, in good times and bad.

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos was written by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra and published by North South Books.  It will be published in English and Spanish editions on September 5.  You can watch a book trailer here and a Frida Kahlo discussion guide is available here on North South Books' website.