Tag Archives: history

Flotsam

By David Wiesner
Published by Clarion, 2011
This wordless picture book tells the tale of a young boy who goes to the beach with his family and collects treasures that he finds washed upon the shore. When an antique camera washes ashore, the boy develops the film inside, to find a treasury of self-portaits, each holding the portrait of the person before them. The boy continues the journey of the camera, takes his own photo, and throws the camera back to the whims of the sea.
This amazing book is great for middle and upper elementary students studying the ocean. Also a great wordless book for creating one’s own dialogue for the story.
Awards: Caldecott Medal
Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Moonshot

By Brian Floca

Published by Atheneum Book for Young Readers 2009

This nonfiction picture book follows the three-man moon-landing of the Apollo 17 as it makes its way to the moon and back.

Great for studying American History, Science and space.

Awards: Best Illustrated Children’s Book Awards by NY Times; Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

By Robert Byrd

This nonfiction picture book expounds on the highlights of Ben Franklin’s biography, and supplements the information with sketches of major events throughout.  Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, statesman, pioneer, and generally ahead of his time in the way he thought and acted.  

A great supplement for American history and colonization, particularly in 1st grade, when History Virginia SOLs 1.2 require the study of Benjamin Franklin.

Additional material: Author’s Note, Timeline, Bibliography, and famous quotes from Ben Franklin on the front and back matter.

Awards: Horn Book Award

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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The Butter Man

By Elizabeth and Ali Alalou

Illustrated by Julie Klear Essakalli

Published by Charlesbridge, 2008

Nora is watching her father (baba) cook dinner, and feels like she is too hungry to wait for dinner time.  He tells her a story of his childhood in High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, when where was a famine, and he felt truly hungry.  In comparison, he says, waiting for the couscous to cook was a relatively short time to be hungry!

A great book to address geopgraphy and living conditions in places other than the United States.  Also addresses some of the words that are used in Morocco.

Special features: Author’s note about Morocco and the end of the book describes what living conditions are like, and describes the traditional garb, food and lifestyles of Moroccan villagers.  There is also a glossary that explains some of the words that may be foreign to young readers.

Awards: A Junior Library Guild Selection

Accessed: Augusta County Library

 

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The Quiltmaker’s Gift

By Jeff Brumbeau

Illustrations by Gail deMarcken

A mystical quilt-maker makes beautiful quilts high up in the hills outside of her village.  She doesn’t sell them; rather, on cold, dark nights she would go around, find a poor, helpless villager, and give the quilt to them.  The discontented king, who was given many gifts but still wasn’t happy, demanded to be given a quilt.  The quiltmaker told him that she would give him a quilt if he gave away everything he had.  Though it took him some time to come around, he finally began giving away his things.  The more he gave away, the happier he felt.  Soon, he had given away all his possessions and was living in mere tattered rags.  However, he was the happiest he had ever been.  The quilt maker gave him his own quilt, and from that point on, he partook in the quilt maker’s work, delivering the quilts that she made.

This picture book is a great connection to family life science and also social studies because it references types of quilts that were historically sewn by housewives.  The different patterns illustrated throughout the story give clues to the story as well as being accurate representations of real quilts.

Awards: Book Sense Book of the Year

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The Shape Game

by Anthony Browne

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Published by Doubleday, 2003

Loosely based on his experiences, Anthony Browne writes a story about a family who goes to an art museum for their mother’s birthday.  Though they were anxious at first, they have a good time and talk about many interesting things during the course of their experience.  

Great examples of different way art is used and how it can be appreciated in different ways by all types and ages of people.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Jimmy the Greatest!

Written by Jairo Boitrago

Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

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Published by Groundwood Books 2010

Jimmy lives in a small village in Central America, where there isn’t much other than a church and a boxing ring.  Jimmy is inspired by his boxing coach and Muhammed Ali, and practices hard to become a good boxer.  However, when his coach leaves, Jimmy stays behind to run gym, open a small library, and be part of his humble town.

Great connections to literature and history.  References to contemporary Muhammed Ali at the peak of his career.  Great geographical and economical connections as well.  Students can look at how the people in Central America live.

Spanish edition won Venezuela’s Best Book of the Year Award.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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