By Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Published 1999 by Candlewick Press
I picked this one up because it was on a list of good read-alouds for elementary age children, the age I'll be focusing on at my new job. I read this story two ways which makes me wonder what the point of it is. Is it better to break completely with society when you feel misunderstood? Or should you try to fit in using what talents you have and teaching them to others? It makes me wonder how kids would see it. It does strike me as an excellent book to introduce a gardening program.
Lady Liberty: A Biography
By Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Matt Tavares
Published 2008 by Candlewick Press
Another one that was on a list of good read-alouds for elementary kids, this is the biography of the Statue of Liberty. It's told through poems by various people involved in her creation, which is a wonderful way to tell the story. This book taught me tons of things I didn't know - the statue was built by multiplying models over and over again until they were the desired size. It was the idea of a French law professor to build this statue for America and was funded partially by French citizens (and American citizens as well, when the government refused to pay for it). The book shows again that it's often the people who have the least to give that give the most. They even named a piece of the statue after Pulitzer because of his fundraising campaign. The illustrations in this are great - it was totally new to me seeing the statue in its original copper color and I think that would be true for most kids as well. A wonderful book.
The Worst of Friends
By Suzanne Tripp Jurmain, illustrated by Larry Day
Published 2011 by Penguin Group, Inc.
Did you know Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were frenemies? They were best friends who eventually became political enemies and, spoiler alert, they mended their bridges later in life. This book actually made me appreciate history more, which is awesome. Jefferson and Adams ended up dying on the exact same day, which happened to be the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence - fascinating! The illustrations add humor to the story, such as when they show stick figure posters that the two men might have drawn of each other when they were feuding. A great non-fiction picture book.