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      Henry and Bea

      by Jessixa Bagley

      Apr 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      Henry and Bea have always been inseparable…until one day Henry suddenly stops talking to Bea. He won't chat with her in class, and he won't sit with her at lunch. Bea can tell something's going on, and she's determined to find out what it is.

      Then their teacher announces that the class is taking a field trip to a farm, and Bea hopes that this might be her chance to reconnect with Henry. When Henry finds an old cat collar at the farm and starts to cry, he finally reveals his secret to Bea: his cat Buddy died last week. And even though it's hard for both of them, Bea knows that she'll be there for Henry, as his best friend, no matter what.

      The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

      by Ibtihaj Muhammad

      Mar 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab—a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

      Paired with Hatem Aly's beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.

      Authors’ notes. Full-color illustrations were rendered digitally; the textures were done with ink washes and pencil.

      Little Libraries, Big Heroes

      by Miranda Paul

      Feb 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      Todd and his friends love heroes. But in school, Todd doesn’t feel heroic. Reading is hard for him, and he gets scolded for asking too many questions. How will he ever become the kind of hero he admires?

      Featuring stunning illustrations that celebrate the diversity of the Little Free Library movement, here is the story of how its founder, Todd Bol, became a literacy superhero. Thanks to Todd and thousands of volunteers—many of whom are kids—millions of books have been enjoyed around the world. This creative movement inspires a love of reading, strengthens communities, and provides meeting places where new friendships, ideas—and heroes!—spring to life.

      Author’s note. Suggestions for further information. Full-color illustrations done in acrylic paint.

      Two for Me, One for You

      by Jörg Mühle

      Jan 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      Two friends share three mushrooms…who will get the extra one? This witty, warm story about sharing, arguing, and being outwitted is new from the author/illustrator of the bestselling Little Rabbit board books.

      Full-color illustrations.


      by Lynne Rae Perkins

      Dec 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      Thomas is all set to make his famous wintercake, but his basket of dried fruit has disappeared! His good friend Lucy promises that they can still have a joyful holiday celebration without the cake. But when Lucy ducks into a neighborhood tea room to wait out a storm, she spots a stranger holding a basket of dried fruit. Thomas’s fruit! Certain that the stranger has stolen it, she follows him as he heads out into wintery forest. But to her surprise, he leads her right to Thomas’s door, where he returns the basket. Ashamed of how she jumped to conclusions, Lucy helps Thomas bake his wintercake and together they track down the mysterious visitor and share a slice together.

      Full-color illustrations.

      A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation

      by Barry Wittenstein

      Nov 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      Martin Luther King, Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin. No, he said. The hardest part is knowing where to end. “It’s terrible to be circling up there without a place to land.” Finding this place to land was what Martin Luther King, Jr. struggled with, alongside advisors and fellow speech writers, in the Willard Hotel the night before the March on Washington, where he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. But those famous words were never intended to be heard on that day, not even written down for that day, not even once. Barry Wittenstein teams up with legendary illustrator Jerry Pinkney to tell the story of how, against all odds, Martin found his place to land.

      Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Information about the Willard Hotel advisors and other March on Washington figures. Sources. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations.

      You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood

      by Aimee Reid

      Oct 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities, but before he was the man who brought us Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was just little Freddie Rogers. Though he was often sick and had trouble making friends as a child, his mom and grandfather encouraged him to ask for help and explore the world. With their support, he learned how to better say what he was feeling and see the beauty around him. As he grew up, he realized he could spread the message of compassion, equality, and kindness through television. You Are My Friend is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers and shows how his simple message still resonates with us today: “There’s no person in the world like you and I like you just the way you are.” The book includes a short biography of Fred’s life and a bibliography.

      Brief biography of Fred Rogers. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Select bibliography. Full-color illustrations created with pencil and watercolor.

      A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal

      by Carmen Oliver

      Sep 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      As a child, Simon Jackson found navigating the world of the school playground difficult. He felt most at home in the woodlands, learning about and photographing wildlife. As a teenager, he became fascinated with spirit bears, a rare subspecies of black bear with creamy white fur. These elusive creatures were losing their habitat to deforestation, and Simon knew he had to do something to protect them. He decided he would become the voice for the spirit bears. But first, he would have to find his own. Carmen Oliver's inspiring true story is based on the early life of Simon Jackson, who founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. On his remarkable journey to protect the spirit bears, he met Dr. Jane Goodall and eventually hiked the Great Bear Rainforest --- the home of these elusive animals. Katy Dockrill's captivating art adds depth and beauty to the story. Photos and additional details about Simon Jackson's life and about spirit bears are included in the end matter. Part of the CitizenKid collection, this book demonstrates how one child can be a voice for change. Simon's story is an excellent example of growth mindset at work, highlighting personal growth and overcoming obstacles through activism. This book can also be used to lead discussions about character education as it relates to courage, resilience and perseverance. In addition, it has strong science curriculum links to the environment, animal habitats and the effects of clear-cutting.

      Information about Simon Jackson. Information about spirit bears. Full-color illustrations rendered with brush and ink, brushpen, and pencil, and colored digitally.


      by Deborah Underwood

      Aug 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      When Ogilvy moves to a new town, the possibilities feel endless. There are so many new bunny friends and new fun things to do together! But in this town, bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks. Ogilvy wants to do everything—and won't let a sweater or a dress get in the way. Deftly told in rhyming verse, this sweet story celebrates individuality and being yourself.

      Full-color illustrations created with graphite pencils, Photoshop, and sweaters.

      The Undefeated

      by Kwame Alexander

      Jul 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

      Author’s note. Further information on people and events in book. Full-color illustrations.

      Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

      by Andrea Wang

      Jun 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab--a little shed in his backyard. For years, he'd dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he'd seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed. Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting. With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded. This is the true story behind one of the world's most popular foods.

      Afterword. Full-color illustrations.

      The Good Egg

      by Jory John

      May 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Out of stock
      The good egg has been good for as long as he can remember. While the other eggs in his carton are kind of rotten, he always does the right, kind, and courteous thing. He is a verrrrrrry good egg indeed! Until one day he decides that enough is enough! He begins to crack (quite literally) from the pressure of always having to be grade-A perfect.

      Full-color illustrations created with scanned watercolor textures and digital paint.
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