Libraries looking to add to their inclusive nonfiction offerings will find this one a winner.




From the Finding My World series

A 10-year-old girl practices focusing her energy in order to earn a nickname as a boxer in this true story, accessibly told by Mach (Matteo Wants to See What’s Next, 2017, etc.) and Stroup-Rentier (MyaGrace Wants to Make Music, 2017, etc.) as part of their Finding My World series, with photographs by series collaborator Birdsell.

Claire and her mother decide to channel the child’s abundant energy by learning to box together. Their coach, Vivian, has “different sight ability” and travels with her service dog, Catcher. When Catcher’s wearing his harness, Claire knows she can’t play with him, but when it comes off, she can pet him. The book uses approachable vocabulary to depict warm-ups, shadow boxing, and using punching bags, while Claire wonders what her boxing name will be. Mach and Stroup-Rentier highlight positive strategies for self-control: Claire finds good ways to direct her energy and to refocus so she can pay attention, such as by playing with Catcher or doing a cartwheel. The story is intentionally inclusive, noting Vivian’s sight ability and Claire’s facial difference, and it delivers its messages effortlessly. Birdsell also provides action-packed photos that capture Claire’s spirit and enthusiasm. Newly independent readers will find Claire to be a sympathetic narrator.

Libraries looking to add to their inclusive nonfiction offerings will find this one a winner.

Pub Date: June 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-944764-67-8

Page Count: -

Publisher: Finding My World Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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