Magnolia Flower by Zora Neale Hurston, Adapted by Ibram X. Kendi, Illustrations by Loveis Wise

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Magnolia Flower
Written by Zora Neale Hurston and Adapted by Ibram X. Kendi
Illustrator: Loveis Wise
Published: September 6, 2022 by Amistad Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary: From beloved African American folklorist Zora Neale Hurston comes a moving adaptation by National Book Award winner and #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Antiracist Baby, Ibram X. Kendi. Magnolia Flower follows a young Afro Indigenous girl who longs for freedom and is gorgeously illustrated by Loveis Wise (The People RememberAblaze with Color).

Born to parents who fled slavery and the Trail of Tears, Magnolia Flower is a girl with a vibrant spirit. Not to be deterred by rigid ways of the world, she longs to connect with others, who too long for freedom. She finds this in a young man of letters who her father disapproves of. In her quest to be free, Magnolia must make a choice and set off on a journey that will prove just how brave one can be when leading with one’s heart.

The acclaimed writer of several American classics, Zora Neale Hurston wrote this stirring folktale brimming with poetic prose, culture, and history. It was first published as a short story in The Spokesman in 1925 and later in her collection Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick (2020).

Tenderly retold by #1 New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi, Magnolia Flower is a story of a transformative and radical devotion between generations of Indigenous and Black people in America. With breathtaking illustrations by Loveis Wise, this picture book reminds us that there is no force strong enough to stop love.

Ricki’s Review: Magnolia Flower is a short story by Zora Neale Hurston, and it has been adapted into this picture book. The illustrations and words will appeal to kids, but as an adult, I felt like this was written for me, too. It has stunning figurative language, and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. The author’s notes at the end helped me understand more about the book.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teachers might have students select a longer work (e.g. a short story) and adapt the book into a picture book. 

Discussion Questions: 

  • What does this story tell us about love?
  • What does this story tell you about history?
  • If you haven’t read the longer work, what do you think it might include, beyond this book?

Flagged Spread: 

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you go Leilani at SparkPoint Studio for providing a copy for review!**

Crayola: Follow That Line!: Magic at Your Fingertips by JaNay Brown-Wood

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Press Here
Author: JaNay Brown-Wood
Illustrator: Rob Justus
Published July 26, 2022 by Running Press Kids

Goodreads Summary: Do you want to know a secret? You have magic in your fingertips!

Use your fingers to follow a line and help it burst into color. Make magic with blooming flowers, tall mountain tops, splashing waves, and more by tracing lines with all four fingers and your thumb. Celebrate the power of creating artwork with Crayola products in this delightful and bright interactive book.

Ricki’s Review: My children LOVED this book. I’ve read it multiple times to them in the past few days. Kids of all ages will have a lot of fun with this one. It’s interactive (sort of in the style of Let’s Play by Hervé Tullet), and it asks kids to follow the line as they create the magic of the book. The colors are bright, and the writing is very engaging. This book would make an amazing holiday gift for a child or teacher.

Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: After we read this book the first time, my kids were inspired to draw. It would be really neat for each student in a class to draw one page of their own Follow That Line book (fanfiction at its best). The teacher could ask the students how they should organize the pages for a cohesive story and bind the book.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Which page was your favorite, and why?
  • What might the author’s purpose be for this book?
  • How does the book creatively reach readers?

We Flagged: “Do you want to know a secret? You have magic in your fingers. Want to see? Turn the page.”

Read This If You Love: Interactive books, art

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall

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The Little Bad Book 2: Even More Dangerous by Magnus Myst

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The Little Bad Book 2: Even More Dangerous
Author and Illustrator: Magnus Myst
Published October 11, 2022 by Delacorte Press

Summary: In this second book in the Little Bad Book interactive series, young readers will be dared to solve tricky puzzles and funny riddles and to become part of the plot in eerily funny stories in order to reveal the Little Bad Book’s secret!

HEY, YOU! PSSST

You might not believe this, but I’ve discovered the biggest secret in the world. Yes, honestly! Should I tell you? Okay. Just be careful! It will be the scariest thing you’ve ever read! I hope you can take it. Can you I bet you can. You’re brave, aren’t you?

Do you dare to read me? Come on–do it–read me!

You are the lucky reader who can discover the secret the little bad book is willing to share. The puzzles and riddles will challenge you, but it is definitely worth it! Go ahead and take a chance! You are the baddest one there is!

Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This interactive book enraptured both of my children (ages 6 and 9). The book breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the reader. I particularly appreciated the ways in which the book treats the reader as smart, capable people with agency. It also has that mild element of horror that really captures kids’ attention. This is a book that will be well-loved by the most avid readers and will hook readers who don’t typically fall in love with books. It’s extremely accessible. As a parent and teacher, I particularly loved how it tricks kids into math, reading comprehension, and logic puzzles. I was hooked (or tricked), as well. 🙂

Flagged Spreads: 

Read This If You Love: Interactive activity books filled with fun and educational activities

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall 

**Thank you to Cate from Nicole Banholzer Public Relations for providing copies for review!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 11/28/22

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Ricki

I am sorry that I’ve been gone for so long! I am so glad to be back.

First, look who I found at NCTE and ALAN! It was so nice to get to spend time with Kellee in person.

I read some great books while I was gone. I am going to start with the longer texts this week and focus on the picture books in the future weeks.

The Dark Matter of Mona Starr by Laura Lee Gulledge is a graphic novel that uses dark matter as a symbol for mental health struggles. I found it to be visually powerful.

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes was my book club text. I appreciated the story and it hit a chord with me. I wish this book was available in all classroom libraries for students to read.

I reread Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I love this book so, so much. Also, I met Aiden Thomas at ALAN. He is such a bright light. It made me like his books even more (which I previously thought to be impossible).

A colleague sent me a copy of Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. Every academic in an English department (or liberal arts department) should read this book. It is SO funny. The book is written entirely in letters of recommendation.

My son has been begging me to read The Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale. Oh my goodness. I will never forget this book. I thought I knew a lot about the Donner party, but I realized that I knew very little!

Kellee

It’s my week off, but I will have a long update soon! Until then, you can check out my 2022 Goodreads Challenge page or my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

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Tuesday: Dark on Light by Dianne White, Illustrated by Felicita Sala

Friday: The Little Bad Book 2 by Magnus Myst

Sunday: Follow That Line!: Magic at Your Fingertips by JaNay Brown-Wood, Illustrated by Rob Justus

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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What a Blast! Fart Games, Fart Puzzles, Fart Pranks, and More Farts! by Julie Winterbottom, Illustrated by Clau Souza

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Summary: Squeakers, butt puffs, trumpets and “the destroyer”. Celebrate farts in all their hilarious, honking glory!

Con-fart-ulations! You’ve found the book that confirms your fine appreciation for the fact that nothings funnier than a little pfffftt from someone’s butt. Cheerfully over-the-top, packed with activities, and grounded in the science of flatulence, What a Blast! Is a trip through the body’s digestive system to explore the whys, hows, and wherefores of farting. You’ll discover the fartiest food in the world, meet infamous farters from history, learn just what to say if you fart in public—“Yeah, you heard me!—and so much more!
Have fun with farts!

  • Solve the question of who farted?
  • Discover your gastrological sign.
  • Play free the fart through an intestinal maze.
  • Learn how to make elbow farts, hand farts, and armpit farts.
  • Throw a farty party.
  • And get creative with funny fill-in stories, like a fart to remember

Ricki’s Review: I should really get my three sons to review this book. They have had such a blast (pun intended) doing the workbook. Parents and teachers, if you want to get kids excited about reading and writing, this book will do it. I can’t tell you how many giggles this book has brought our family. I have to admit that I even giggled behind my hand. I can’t recommend this workbook highly enough—it is cleverly crafted and full of amazing reading and writing opportunities for kids. It has open-ended questions, quizzes, brackets, puzzles, games, etc.

We Flagged:

**Thank you to Claire and Ivanka from Workman for providing a copy for review**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 10/3/22

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Tuesday: Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet by Barbara Dee

Thursday: The More You Give by Marcy Campbell, Illustrated by Francesca Sanna

Saturday: Guest Review: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Diane deGroat, Author of The Adventures of Robo-Kid

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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Kellee

I am off this week. I’ll see you next week!

Ricki

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson is an incredibly powerful book. I had such a strong visceral reaction to a scene that I had to run to the bathroom to throw up. The writing hit me really hard. I won’t ever forget this story.

I read this book for my book club, and I cried (a lot). Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart is a beautifully written memoir about the relationship between Zauner and her mother—and the devastation she experiences when her mother passes on.

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Ricki

My book club is deciding between the two above books. I am rooting for the YA book, of course. 🙂 I’ll read something else next week, but I wanted the space to be able to jump to whatever book strikes me tonight!

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Tuesday: Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head by Jeanne Walker Harvey, Illustrated by Diana Toledano

Thursday: What a Blast! Fart Games, Fart Puzzles, Fart Pranks, and More Farts!

Sunday:  Author Guest Post: “Little Red and the Big Bad Educator’s Guide” by Rebecca Kraft Rector, Author of Little Red and the Big Bad Editor

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig

The More You Give by Marcy Campbell, Illustrated by Francesca Sanna

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The More You Give
Author: Marcy Campbell
Illustrator: Francesca Sanna
Publishing December 28, 2021 by Chronicle

Summary: A modern-day response to The Giving Tree, this lyrical picturebook shows how a family passes down love from generation to generation, leaving a legacy of growing both trees and community.

Once there was a wide-open field, and a boy who loved his grandmother,
who loved him back.

The boy’s grandmother gives him many gifts, like hugs, and Sunday morning pancakes, and acorns with wild and woolly caps. And all her wisdom about how things grow. As the boy becomes a father, he gives his daughter bedtime stories his grandmother told him, and piggyback rides. He gives her acorns, and the wisdom he learned about how things grow. His daughter continues the chain, then passing down gifts of her own. Here is a picture book about the legacy of love that comes when we nurture living things—be they people or trees.

Ricki’s Review: This book is absolutely stunning. It captures the beautiful spirit of giving as it passes through generations. I found myself drawn into the text, captivated by the words and the powerful illustrations. I loved the ways in which the spirit of giving is captured across three generations. Overall, I love the way it captures kindness, wisdom, and love.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teachers might read The Giving Tree and then read this book. Students could engage in a discussion of giving. The two texts exist as foils for each other, and the giving does not just go one way.

Discussion Questions: 

  • How do we give? What do we give?
  • What does it mean to give?
  • What does giving mean for the boy in the book? His grandmother?
  • What have elders given to you?

Book Trailer:

Read This If You Love: Books about Giving; Books about Intergenerational Love; Books about Kindness

Recommended For: 

**Thank you to Cynthia at Random House Children’s Books for providing a copy for review!**