Librarian Prep List for April

book list for April

April is Poetry Month and April 22 is Earth Day this year, so we’ve made a list to help you get ready for both of them!

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons


Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

you gasp as I roar,

my mane exploding, sizzling—

lion of the sky!

Haiku meet riddles in this wonderful collection from Laura Purdie Salas. The poems celebrate the seasons and describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels, alongside full-color illustrations.

Crunch and Crack, Oink and Whack!: An Onomatopoeia Story


Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

Rhyming verse from Brian P. Cleary presents the fictional Clip-Clop Elementary School’s celebration of “Onomatopoeia Day.” Enthusiastic young students make their way from band room (Rattle! Boom! Twang!) to the gym (Whiff! Whack! Swish!) to the science lab (Hiss! Spurt! Ding!) and beyond. Brief back matter offers additional examples of onomatopoeias—words that imitate sounds.

The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems


Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 4

A zombie family reunion, a “Jekyll lantern,” a giggling undertaker, a telekinetic warlock . . . are you scared yet? Sure to induce shrieks and giggles in equal measure, Calef Brown’s poems present a wonderfully creepy cast of characters. Richly detailed paintings add to the frightful fun!

Seeing into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright


Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 4

A remarkable celebration of Richard Wright, poetry, and contemporary black boys at play.

From walking a dog to watching a sunset to finding a beetle, Richard Wright’s haiku puts everyday moments into focus. Now, more than fifty years after they were written, these poems continue to reflect our everyday experiences. Paired with the photo-collage artwork of Nina Crews, Seeing into Tomorrow celebrates the lives of contemporary African American boys and offers an accessible introduction to one of the most important African American writers of the twentieth century.

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship


Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6

Two poets, one white and one black, explore race and childhood in this must-have collection tailored to provoke thought and conversation.

How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don’t know each other . . . and they’re not sure they want to. Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.

Earth Day Suggestions

Beastly Biomes


Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

What kinds of animals live in the different environments Earth supports? This book shows how animals, birds, and fish all have a distinctive place to thrive, creating homes in unexpected places.

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon


Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

Discover the true story of how environmentalist Farmer Tantoh is transforming the landscape in his home country of Cameroon.

When Tantoh Nforba was a child, his fellow students mocked him for his interest in gardening. Today he’s an environmental hero, bringing clean water and bountiful gardens to the central African nation of Cameroon. Authors Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul share Farmer Tantoh’s inspiring story.

Climate Change and Life on Earth


Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 5

Animals and plants all over the world are struggling to survive. Their food supply is decreasing, and their habitats are shrinking. Is climate change to blame? Discover how climate change affects all Earth’s living creatures. Find out what scientists are doing to save plant and animal species, and learn more about how you can help.

My River: Cleaning up the LaHave River


Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6

Stella Bowles was in sixth grade when she became an environmental activist to campaign against sewage draining into the LaHave River. In this book, she tells the inspirational story of how her science fair project caught the eyes of the media, the public and government leaders, propelling her into the limelight.

Stella’s two and a half year fight resulted in raising $15.7 million to clean up the river and numerous awards for environmental activism. Today she continues to campaign for cleaner water and teaches other children how to test water quality in their own backyards and how to take action if it is polluted.

Stella’s story will motivate readers to engage in local environmental activism and demonstrates that doing what’s right has no age barriers.

Forest Talk: How Trees Communicate

Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

Trees are essential. They provide water, shelter, and food for millions of plant and animal species, including humans. They deliver proven health benefits, and they capture and store carbon, which combats climate change. Yet trees are in trouble. Forests are struggling to adapt to climate change, and deforestation is a major threat.

Recently, researchers and citizen scientists made the surprising revelation that trees communicate with each other through an underground system of soil fungi and other methods. Complex social networks help trees survive and thrive by transferring resources to each other, sending defense signals, communicating with their kin, and more. Meet the tree scientists and learn more of their fascinating discoveries.

Living Simply: A Teen Guide to Minimalism


Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

Twenty-first-century minimalism is an increasingly mainstream response to global environmental crises such as climate change, the garbage glut, fast fashion, and other manifestations of the harmful impact of consumerism. Originally founded in the art world in the decades after World War II, minimalism has evolved into an Earth-friendly lifestyle focusing on the three Rs (reducing, recycling, and reusing) and on simplifying individual needs to reduce one’s carbon imprint, manage anxiety and depression, and prioritize human interaction over the impulse to acquire for the sake of acquisition. Hands-on activities, how-to tips, and profiles of practicing minimalists offer real-world examples for incorporating minimalism into your life.

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