Reading Levels, November BayNews, Review of the Week

Mary Ann Scheuer’s “Great Kid Books” blog has a very informative post on reading levels, and using them to motivate children to read. Check it out!

New ACL BayNews Posted: The November 2014 BayNews (the newsletter for the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California) is now available on our website: . You will find the conclusion of our Fall Board Book Round-up, Readalikes for “Choose Your Own Adventures,” new storytime themes on Backwards Day and Signs and Signage, and much more.

imani's moonReview of the Week: Brown-Wood, JaNay. Imani’s Moon. Hazel Mitchell, Illus. Pic. Bk.
Mackinac Island, 2014. [32]p. $17.95. 978-1-93413-357-6.
Imani, of the Maasai tribe from the plains of Tanzania and Kenya,
“was the smallest child in her village,” with a big dream. The story’s tension comes from Imani’s desire to “touch the moon,” and the nay-saying children and animals as well as the physical barriers that stand in the way of achieving her goal. This is not a new concept, to be sure, but it is presented with a subtle hand and a main character for whom readers will want to root. A sprinkling of magical realism and the Maasai oral tradition of storytelling lend authenticity and uniqueness to this book. Additionally, the animals’ names are the Swahili word for that animal, as in “Nyoka the snake.” Text and images harmoniously mesh together. The illustrations, done in graphite and watercolor, and overpainted digitally, are richly colorful, expressive, and full of spirit. Although there are likely too many words on some of the pages to hold a wiggly toddler’s attention, preschoolers to third graders will be drawn in and inspired by Imani’s spunk, creativity, and determination.
Meredith Steiner, San Francisco PL

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