April 30, 2022 by Erika Thulin Dawes
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude for your readership over the years. Going forward, you will be able to access our blog entries at https://classroombookshelf.wordpress.com/ . Our full twelve years of entries will soon be there and we hope that you and your students will continue to use our teaching ideas to explore the wonderful books we have featured.
April 12, 2022 by Erika Thulin Dawes
What is a wonder walk, you wonder? For the two children featured in Micha Archer’s Caldecott Honor winning picturebook it is a journey of inquiry through the wonders of the world around them, a ramble through fields, forests, valley, and shoreline. Perfect for Earth Day celebrations, Wonder Walkers is a wondrous poetic tribute to the relationship between young explorers, their curiosity and questions, and nature.
March 21, 2022 by Erika Thulin Dawes
In a picture book as vivid and colorful as the art it celebrates, author Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrator Loveis Wise collaborate to introduce young readers to the life and work of Alma Woodsey Thomas. Alma was the first Black woman to have a solo art exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art and she created the first artwork by a Black woman to be displayed as part of the White House’s permanent collection. While highlighting her accomplishments, the narrative emphasizes Alma’s early appreciation of the beauty of nature, the joy she found in making art, and her commitment to providing art education to underserved children in Washington, DC.
February 7, 2022 by Erika Thulin Dawes
Weaving past and present together through image and anthem, master illustrator Bryan Collier gifts us the inspiring message of the protest song “We Shall Overcome” in the form of a picturebook. Immersed in Collier’s deeply symbolic collages, readers accompany a young Black girl wearing a bright yellow dress as she leaves her home, goes to school, and gathers with friends to paint a mural near a street with bright yellow lettering that reads ‘Black Lives Matter.’ The illustrations fuse past events with the present narrative; historical figures and monuments are represented by Collier in black and white, while the present is represented in bright colors. This moving picturebook invites us all to reflect on the contributions of the freedom fighters who have come before us, and on all of our roles and responsibilities in sustaining the continuing journey toward freedom.
December 14, 2021 by Erika Thulin Dawes
What is peace? The answer to this question is both individual and collective, and both simple and complex. In their inviting new picture book poem, Baptiste and Miranda Paul explore the concept of peace, moving readers from concrete to abstract. The rhyming text and warmly whimsical illustrations invite readers young and old to consider the roles they can play in creating peace and the benefits that all can enjoy.
November 1, 2021 by Erika Thulin Dawes
Whether or not you already identify as a tree lover, reading Lita Judge’s multigenre picture book, The Wisdom of Trees, will lead you to view earth’s amazing forests in multifaceted new ways. Judge deepens readers’ understanding of and respect for the interconnectedness of trees by presenting current research on tree communication, framing forests as communities through poetry, expository passages and extensive back matter.
September 28, 2021 by Erika Thulin Dawes
The year is 1818 and a young woman named Jeanne wanders the shores of Sicily. Formerly a seamstress, she reinvents herself as a scientist, a naturalist who explores the island on foot, journal in hand. Jeanne Villepreux-Power and her accomplishments is the subject of a fascinating new picture book biography collaboration by Evan Griffin and Joanie Stone. Use it to teach the disciplinary literacies of science, pair it with other stories of women “revolutionaries,” or as part of a historical study of scientific discovery and oceanography.
May 24, 2021 by Erika Thulin Dawes
“Animals play. And we play too: kimêtawânaw mîna.” This special similarity between humans and the world of animal species is the focus of Cree-Métis author and illustrator Julie Flett’s latest picturebook. Incorporating a patterned text and playful alliteration, Flett introduces the movements of several animal species and then, through illustration, draws parallels to human play.
May 11, 2021 by Erika Thulin Dawes
This week, we’re announcing the publication of Mary Ann and Erika’s book, Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that text sets are a primary tool that we recommend in a literature-based curriculum. In this blog entry, we revisit some examples of text sets in action in previous blog entries, showcasing the potential of the instructional models to differentiate and deepen students’ learning and as a vehicle to explore multiple perspectives and develop critical literacies.
April 6, 2021 by Erika Thulin Dawes
Children’s Literature Legacy Award Winner Nikki Grimes builds powerful connections between the past and present in her anthology featuring women poets of the Harlem Renaissance and her accompanying innovations on these poems. Use the poem pairings of this thought-provoking book across the school year to highlight the voices and experiences of Black women and girls or dive into the collection as a whole; either approach yields important insights into the human experience and forefronts the boundaries imposed by racism and sexism.
by Travis Jonker
100 Scope Notes
by Travis Jonker
A Fuse #8 Production
by Betsy Bird
The Classroom Bookshelf
by Erika Thulin Dawes
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