It’s August 1st! Beagles and Books is proud to share 5 fabulous new Capstone Publishing picture books that are celebrating their book birthdays today and 1 title that will be released in September. A special thank you to Jennifer Glidden who has provided these ARCs to my #bookexcursion group. All opinions are my own.
Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader by Christianne Jones Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Harrison loved life but, his excitement was becoming a problem. He sat too close, shook hands too long, hugged a little too much and talked way too close. Harrison was a personal space invader. After hearing complaints, Harrison’s father taught him a simple technique called the Space Saver to help him give others their own personal space. While the Space Saver solved the problem, it created another problem when Harrison gave his friends too much space. With continued support from his family, teacher, and friends and his own self-awareness and restraint, Harrison is bound to meet with success!
Working with students for over 20 years, I sincerely thank the author Christianne Jones for writing an entertaining and humorous picture book that can teach students a valuable skill. Young children struggle with understanding the definition of personal space; the Space Saver rhyme will be a welcome strategy for teachers to use with students. I am a big fan of Cale Atkinson’s illustrations and his drawing of Harrison sweetly demonstrates the young hippo’s enthusiasm, for life, his true concern when his father shared the problem , and sheer determination to improve. A great story for the beginning of the year, I cannot wait to share Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader with teachers and students.
Awesome! by Craig Shuttlewood
Marvin, a moose and Woody, a beaver are the best of friends. After Moose rescues a squirrel falling from a tree, he becomes a local hero in the forest. Moose who was once ordinary is now awesome, and his new-found popularity means Woody and Moose spend less time together. Feeling left out, Woody concocts a plan to get some attention of his own, but his actions are not-so-awesome. Will Moose and Woody be able to be repair their friendship? With bold and vibrant illustrations, Awesome! is a great read aloud. Young students will be able to connect to this engaging story which explores themes of friendship, jealousy and forgiveness.
Do Not Bring Dragons to Recess by Julie Gassman Illustrated by Andy Elkerton
The third book in the series, Do Not Bring Dragons to Recess teaches children about the dos and don’ts of recess. Written in rhyme, Dragon demonstrates what not to do during recess such as running down the hall, hogging the monkey bars, and pushing the merry-go-round too fast. Children will love actively participating in the read aloud chanting the repetitive refrain, “So Do Not Bring Your Dragon to Recess!” Fortunately, with the help of his classmates and teachers, Dragon learns recess etiquette such as having patience, taking turns, sharing, and showing respect and kindness. This amusing story with large, eye-catching illustrations would be a great read aloud for the beginning of the year to reinforce following recess rules with young children.
The Picky Eater by Betsy Parkinson Illustrated by Shane Clester
When eating, Piper is a picky little pig! She has one simple rule for her food: It must begin with the Letter P. Piper prefers pancakes over waffles, pears instead of apples, and peas rather than beans. Looking for a solution, Piper’s mother attempts to hide veggies in pineapple upside down cake but Piper is not tricked. Will Piper ever change her picky habits? The Picky Eater is a title in Capstone’s Little Boost series, which are books that tackle early life lessons in a funny and relatable manner. As a teacher, I could also see reading this story to reinforce the letter p and its sound to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students.
Unstoppable by Art Coulson Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle
Unstoppable is a nonfiction narrative picture book which shares a biography of Jim Thorpe, who was the great-great grandson of Sauk warrior Black Hawk. While some details from his early life are shared, the focus of the text is Jim’s journey to becoming a star on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team which was due to his determination and perseverance. The story ends with the legendary 1912 game between Carlisle and West Point, which was advertised by sportswriters as a rematch between the Army and the Indians who had fought on the battlefield 20 years before. Carlisle was victorious beating Army 27-6 with Jim integral to the team’s surprising win.
Unstoppable is written for an upper elementary audience, but teacher guidance is crucial, for in the afterword, Author Coulson, Cherokee, provides additional and important context about the story such as a brief biography of Jim which provides greater detail about the hardships in his early life, a list of the other members of the 1912 Carlisle Indians Varsity Football Team, a biography of Carlisle coach Pop Warner, historical information about The Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and a glossary.
Gabi’s If/Then Garden By Carline Karanja Illustrated by Ben Whitehouse
A title in Capstone’s Code Play series written by developer and designer Caroline Karanja, Gabi and her best friend are coding creatives. Adi loves to make things and say “I wonder…” and Gabi likes to fix things and say “What if..” In this story, Gabi and Adi use if/then statements to help them with gardening. For example, “If it doesn’t rain, then they water the plants.” The girls engage in a game of If/Then taking turns being the programmer and computer. When Gabi does not follow Adi’s command, Gabi explains that there is a bug in the code and how a programmer needs to ask questions to solve the problem.
Gabi’s If/Then Garden will appeal to both teachers, students, and parents because it uses a narrative format to introduce coding concepts to children. Sidebars explain the definitions for coding terms such as if/then statements and bugs in the code. Included at the end of the book is matching if/then activity and a glossary of terms. After reading, I can see children engaging in games of If/Then which is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Gabi’s If/Then Garden releases on September 1, 2018.
The Kiddie Table by Colleen Madden
Where do you sit on Thanksgiving when you are between a tot and a teen? Unfortunately, for this eight year old girl, she is forced to sit with the much younger crowd and is not happy about it! Written in rhyme, The Kiddie Table is a hilarious yet honest story about that awkward period when you are stuck in between. Will the girl be able to convince the adults that she deserves a spot at the their table?
The Kiddie Table is a story that will amuse students because it is funny and relatable. We all have experienced a time when we feel out of place. A good read aloud for before Thanksgiving, the story also teaches us if you have to sit at the kiddie table, be thankful for family, fun, growing up, and drinking without a sippy cup!