11/7 – 11/13 Children’s Book of the Week: Yoshiko and the Foreigner

Yoshiko and the Foreigner
by Mimi Otey-Little
Though the main characters of this story are young adults, the story is very beautiful, and the heroism and fortitude in it make it something of a fairytale!

Yoshiko, a proper young Japanese woman, has been raised to never speak to foreigners – especially soldiers. But when a young American officer tries to communicate with a train conductor and can only say phrases like “You see, I’m a boiled cabbage!”, Yoshiko helps the young man in spite of herself in perfect English, and so their courtship begins. Yoshiko is worried what her family will think of the American, who has been dutifully studying Japanese ever since he met Yoshiko and wants Yoshiko’s family’s approval to marry her. Through the many gifts and acts of kindness the American shows Yoshiko’s family, he demonstrates his profound respect for their traditions and his love for Yoshiko.

The end page of the book is a black and white photograph of the couple’s actual wedding. A truly sweet, touching story about love, perseverance, and embracing other cultures and ideas. Best for kids ages 5 and up.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts.  Too Many Visitors is now available  as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration.  http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors ~

10/24 – 10/30 Children’s Book of the Week: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
by Linda D. Williams 
Illustrated by Megan Lloyd
In this story, a little old lady must go a long way to get back home through the woods…but she sees some strange things on the way! A pair of shoes that walk on their own, a levitating suit, clapping gloves and bobbing pumpkin head are all determined to follow her home and make their weird noises the whole way. However, the little old lady overcomes her fear of them, and finds an ingenious way to put them to use back at home. 

A good, not-too-scary, classic Halloween book! Rhythmic repetition makes it an excellent choice for reading out loud. Great for ages 3-7.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts.  Too Many Visitors is now available  as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration.  http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors ~

6/27 – 7/3 Children’s Book of the Week: Elisabeth

Elisabeth
by Claire E. Nivola
Ruth and Elisabeth do everything together. They sleep in the same bed, eat from the same plate, and even share the same shadow – Elisabeth is a doll. They live in Germany with Ruth’s mother and father, at a time when life there is just beginning to get harder for Jews. Ruth can feel the change at home, at school, even at her father’s workplace. Suddenly, Ruth’s mother and father tell her they must leave at once, that they can bring nothing with them – not even Elisabeth. After having to migrate from Germany to Italy to France to America, and after many years, Elisabeth finds Ruth again. And this time, for good.

Based on the true story of the author’s mother, ‘Elisabeth’ is a story about change, courage, and hope, touching upon the situation for Jews in the early stages of Nazism in Germany. A great story, with more detail as to the real Ruth’s experience on the back flap.

 

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House. She is the founder of Booksicals books and theatrical.  Booksicals currently performs the picture book Too Many Visitors at schools, libraries, book stores, and special literacy events ~
 

5/30: Children’s Book of the Week; Sheila Rae, the Brave

Sheila Rae, the Brave
by Kevin Henkes
Sheila Rae isn’t afraid of anything: the dark, big dogs, thunder or lightning. She’s fearless with tricks on her big-kid bicycle, scoffs at superstition, and will beat up any monster lurking in her rather less fearless sister Louise’s closet. Louise is in awe of her big sister and her fearless feats;

“You’re too brave for me”

But when Sheila Rae  takes a new, unknown way home from school, it’s the support and love of her little sister, and not her own fearlessness, that guide her home.

Another excellent and classic children’s book, from mouse-book author Kevin Henkes. Other wonderful children’s picture books include Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (reviewed here), Chrysanthemum, and Chester’s Way.

~ Author Susan Chodakiewitz is  the founder of Booksicals. Her debut picture book: Too Many Visitors for One Little House is also a live musical and is now available as a musical DVD along with the SNOOZLE DANCE VIDEO for kids. Too Many Visitors for One Little House will soon be released as an e-book with READ to ME musical narration ~