Three more new books that I absolutely love:
The True Story of Stellina by Matteo Pericoli
This one has received rave reviews in many different journals, including Horn Book Magazine.Â So I was expecting great things from this book, and it more than delivered.Â Itâ€™s a very sweet, unsentimental tale of a baby finch in New York City that falls out of its nest and is taken in by a young woman, after she watches and waits for many hours for the finchâ€™s mother to claim her baby.Â The young woman and the finch live happily together in a NYC apartment, and eventually Matteo Pericoli and the young woman get married and the finch, Stellina, continues to live with the two of them.Â Stellina lived to be eight, and Pericoliâ€™s retelling of her life story is beautiful and touching.Â His prose is spare and lovely, and his illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.Â (I was very misty-eyed â€” runny mascara â€” when I finished reading this book at my desk in the library.)
The Art Book for Children by the folks at Phaidon Press
This isnâ€™t a picture book (Iâ€™m cataloging it in the section of the library for third grade and up).Â Art from many different eras and styles is represented in this book, and the authors do an amazing job discussing the background information on specific pieces of art, pointing out certain aspects of each piece of art, and then posing open-ended questions about that artwork.Â I can see parents reading this along with their children, with ensuing lively discussions about art.Â Wish Iâ€™d had a book like this as a kidâ€¦it wasnâ€™t til my junior year of college that I knew how to look at art and feel confident in my own opinions about that art.
Built to Last: Building Americaâ€™s Amazing Bridges, Dams, Tunnels, and Skyscrapers by George Sullivan
Admittedly, I havenâ€™t spent as much time reading this book as I should, but my excuse is that itâ€™s a fairly dense text and I have a LOT of books to process at the moment.Â What Iâ€™ve seen and read, though, I like a lot.Â This book is definitely intended for an older audience, probably fifth grade and up, and gives details about various construction projects throughout the US.Â Being from the Boston area, I read the section devoted to the Central Artery (the infamous Big Dig project), and found the text well-written and the photographs informative.Â At the beginning of each section, the main facts about the project are set apart for easy reference and comparison: cost, time to complete, etc.Â In addition, there are boxes in each section with related interesting facts; in the Big Dig section, there is a discussion about a privy from the 1600â€™s that was uncovered in the course of the construction, and what was found in the privy (including an early bowling ball!).
These books, and many other new books, will be the books available for summer reading bookplates.Â Any child who read more than 30 hours during the summer will be able to choose from these great new books and have a bookplate put into the chosen book with that childâ€™s name and the total number of hours that child read over the summer.Â Some kids have just reached 30 hours, others are aiming high and have already reached 120 hours.Â Iâ€™m really impressed by their achievements, and Iâ€™m glad that I have a stock of such great books from them to choose from for this bookplate adventure!