I Wonder…

Hopkinson, Deborah. The Humblebee Hunter. New York: Disney Hyperion Books, 2010.
Charles Darwin’s children help him study bumblebees in this fictional account of the life of the famous scientist who changed our understanding of science. Biographical information is provided at the end of the story. A picture book recommended for readers 8 to 14 years old. 

Meyer, Carolyn. The True Adventures of Charley Darwin.Boston: Graphia, c2009. 
Charles Darwin was born to a well-to-do family in 19th century England. But he didn’t have a childhood filled with happiness. He knew what he enjoyed – spending time outdoors – but how could he turn that into a career?  Based on the diaries and correspondence of the great naturalist, this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy true stories of adventure. Great for readers eleven years old to adult. [Darwin, Charles; Adventure and adventurers; Voyages and travels; Evolution (Biology); Historical fiction; Naturalists]

More historical fiction HERE 

Five biographies of Darwin HERE

Do maps tell the truth?

Elliot, David. Henry’s Map. New York: Philomel Books, 2013.
Henry is organized. Everything has its own place. And should stay in its place. But then he makes a map and confusion reigns over the farm yard. This cheerful story will have readers – and listeners – laughing as Henry discovers maps don’t always match what his eyes see. Recommended for ages 4 to 10.

More stories about country life HERE

 

I want to read!

Bryant, Jen. Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Energetic, impetuous, determined, brilliant. This picture book biography – illustrated by Boris Kulikov – of the young boy who grew up to invent a way for blind people to read is highly recommended for readers of all ages. An author’s note, additional information about Louis Braille, and a bibliography and list of websites are provided at the end of the story.

More biographies HERE

Explore!

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Frank and Lucky Get Schooled. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2016.
Frank and Lucky – a boy and a dog – have fun learning together. Botany. Entomology. Chemistry. Astronomy. Taxonomy. Reading. Math. History. Art. Geography. Foreign Languages. And Hospitality. Together, they discover that they are learning inside, outside, everywhere they go. A joyous story for all ages to enjoy together.

More dog stories HERE

How I Learned Geography

Shulevitz, Uri. How I Learned Geography. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008. 
A young boy uses his imagination to travel the world in this picture book recommended for readers 8 to 14 years old. An afterword that provides historical details about the acclaimed author’s life including his childhood as a refugee.

More picture book memoirs HERE

On the Road Again

Ernst, Lisa Campbell. This Is the Van That Dad Cleaned.New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2005.
In the pattern of ‘This is the House That Jack Built’, this rollicking picture book tells the story of three children who make a mess of the vehicle their father has just cleaned. Full-page pastel, ink, and pencil illustrations will appeal to readers – and listeners – three years old and up. Highly recommended for kindergarten and grade 1 classrooms, but older students will have fun reading it, too. [Automobiles, Cleanliness, Family life; Stories in rhyme]

More stories in rhyme and cumulative tales HERE

Moving House

Stead, Philip C. Lenny & Lucy. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2015.
Peter and his dog Harold move to a new home. How can they feel safe in a new house? How can they find friends in their new neighbourhood? Another wonderful collaboration between Philip and Erin Stead, author and illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Highly recommended for imaginative readers of all ages.

More stories about moving HERE.

Will you still love me?

Zuppardi, Sam. Jack’s Worry. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2016.
Jack loves playing the trumpet. And he’s looking forward to his first concert. But then the worries start. What if he makes a mistake? What if his mother won’t love him anymore? A jaunty font and zany full-page illustrations help make this a picture book sure to reassure worriers of all ages.

More stories about musicians HERE

Note to parents: 

How can young adults believe that they have to cheat to please their parents?

But they do.
By far, the most common reason why middle school students cheat, I’ve noticed, is that they want to live up to their parents’ expectations. Not because they particularly care about getting high grades for themselves. Rarely because they want to impress their peers. They cheat because they can’t get high grades honestly and are afraid their parents will be disappointed. Once they are reassured that their parents will still love them…
“You will still love him even if he doesn’t get a high mark, right?” I ask the parent. In front of the child.
“Of course,” comes the puzzled reply.
“Well, this would be a good time to tell him.”
… once people are reassured that they are loved, everything changes. They relax. Smile. And start to enjoy learning. Everything changes.

Why is this picture book appropriate for readers of all ages?

It’s funny. And we all can use a laugh in life.

It speaks to the heart. And we all need reassurance once in a while.