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PITTMAN PICKS

Read! Read! Read!

 

Author: Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Illustrator: Ryan O'Rourke

Genre: Picture Book Poetry Collection

Target Ages: 5-9

Prime Audience: Kids Who Love to Read and Who Enjoy Poetry

Publisher: Wordsong

Publication Year: 2017

 

Read! Read! Read! is a poetic celebration of all the things we read— novels, cereal boxes, newspapers, maps, greeting cards, and more.  While most of Vanderwater's poems aren't technically formal and don't follow set rhyme schemes, there are rhymes to find in each, which give them a curious unpredictability.  O'Rourke's colorful and imaginative illustrations pair well with Vanderwater's words.  Add in a few references to classic children's literature, and Read! Read! Read! is a pleasant contemplation about the words we read and their power.

 

Readers who read, read, read this book will appreciate again those combinations of words that take them to other worlds, keep them informed, and teach them about life.  Now I need to read their 2020 follow-up book, Write! Write! Write!

 

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Thank You, Mr. Falker

 

Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

Genre: Autobiographical Picture Book

Target Ages: 5-8

Prime Audience: Struggling Readers; Anyone Who's Been Positively Impacted by a Great Teacher

Publisher: Philomel Books

Publication Year: 1998

 

With it being Teacher Appreciation week, I wanted to share a book that honors teachers— Patricia Polacco's autobiographical Thank You, Mr. Falker is an A+ choice! 

 

Polacco shares with readers her journey to literacy, from a family ceremony involving honey and a book, to struggling to keep up with peers, to being teased and bullied, and to finally being able to take part in the adventure of knowledge, thanks to the efforts of her fifth grade teacher Mr. Falker.  And as an ultimate honor and show of gratitude, Polacco has written and illustrated a story about the very person who opened up the world of words to her!

 

Pollaco's struggles and ultimate triumph will touch reader's hearts.  And then those readers will think about the those teachers and family members that have helped them in their own journeys of learning and of life— and thank them.

 

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