Six Books You Don’t Want to Miss

Here’s a roundup of some delightful titles that we don’t want you to miss!

Poo Bum

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 1
Once there was a little rabbit who could only say one thing . . . In the morning his mother would say, “Time to get up, my little rabbit!” He’d reply: “Poo bum!” At lunchtime his father would say, “Eat your spinach, my little rabbit!” He’d reply: “Poo bum!” One day, he meets a hungry wolf. Will the little rabbit learn his lesson once and for all?

The Big Bang Book

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3
The Big Bang presents the mystery of how the universe began in a way we can all understand. Written by an astrophysicist, the pages describe what we know—and what we don’t—in a compelling, accessible way.
Moving out into the farthest reaches of space, then back home on Earth again, this is a picture book Carl Sagan would love, introducing the wonder of our pale blue dot to the youngest readers.

A Bear Named Bjorn: Six Bear Stories

Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
Bjorn lives in a cave. The walls are soft, the ground is comfortable, and just in front there is new grass and a rough tree, perfect for back-scratching.
A Bear Named Bjorn takes us into the forest with Bjorn the bear and his friends. One day the animals have their eye exams and try on the humans’ lost glasses. Another, they just sit, watching the leaves and playing cards on a tree stump. And on party night the animals borrow clothes hanging on the camping ground line—and return everything carefully in the morning, only a little bit used.
Bjorn’s thoughtful bear logic and small eccentricities are the heart of these mischievous chapters that are by turns contemplative and comical, odes to both nature and “human” nature.

Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring

Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 4
Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn’t see any artists who looked like her. She didn’t see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC’s National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured.

Hattie

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5
Hattie is a street-smart country girl in her first year of school. She lives just outside of nowhere, right next to no one at all. Luckily she’s starting school and that brings new adventures.
Hattie gets her first swimming badge, falls madly in love with a hermit crab, and meets a best friend. Sometimes things go wrong—like when the hairdresser cuts her hair into stumps just in time for school photos.
Hattie is funny, lively and sympathetic chapter book, perfect for reading aloud and for newly independent readers.

No Steps Behind: Beate Sirota Gordon’s Battle for Women’s Rights in Japan

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6
Discover the unlikely story of Beate Sirota Gordon, a young woman who grew up in Japan and returned as a translator working for the American military after WWII. Fluent in Japanese language and culture, she was assigned to work with the delegation writing the new post-war constitution. Thanks to her bravery in speaking up for the women of Japan, the new constitution ended up including equal rights for all women.

Looking for more books? Check out more lists!

Podcast Interview with Hannah Batsel, author/illustrator of A Is for Another Rabbit

A Is for Another Rabbit book cover

Today on The Lerner Podcast, we’re joined by Hannah Batsel, author and illustrator of A Is for Another Rabbit, a hilarious picture book in which a rabbit-obsessed narrator makes an owl increasingly irate by refusing to play by the rules of a conventional alphabet book. Every entry is about bunnies, from “delightful, dynamic, daredevil rabbits” to “xylophone rabbits and rabbits on drums!” Readers will pore over scenes of bunnies at the circus, in a tiny town, at the museum, even in a motorcycle gang. Author-illustrator Hannah Batsel takes readers on a delightful romp through the alphabet and keeps them laughing all the way to the ridiculously fun conclusion.

Hannah covered “binkying”, a move that rabbits do when they’re being mischievous (it’s so cute – you need to stop what you’re doing right now to watch this), how the book came into being, and the seriously silly end-sheets in the book that tend to delight kids every time they read. You can browse through an excerpt on our website to see some of the search and find elements that will keep kids coming back to this book over and over again, and you can click here to see the end sheets

“[A]n excellent elementary-age read-aloud. Creative, comedic, and carrot-loads of fun.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

 “‘Dynamic’ and ‘delightful,’ Bastel’s rollicking picture-book debut will be a surefire success at story hour.”—The Horn Book Magazine

Click below to listen!

Or find a download wherever you get your podcasts:

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Learn more about Hannah Batsel at her website, or on Instagram

A transcript of this episode is available here

Check out more episodes of The Lerner Podcast.

19 Books for a Better World for Elementary Readers

Everyone wants to build a good life for their children. It’s clear that the work needed to complete that goal for all people by eliminating racism has not been finished. We’ve put together a list of books for younger kids that may help to start and continue talking about the road ahead.

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