Friday, February 25, 2022

Picture Book Friday


When Nana Dances                     

The prolific Jane Yolen has teamed up with Maddison Stemple-Piatt (Jane’s first grandchild, now a successful adult) to create this delightful story illustrated by Priscilla Burris.

 Inspired perhaps by Yolen’s and Stemple-Piatt’s background in dance, the Nana in this story has a wide experience in moving to music from ballet and tap to salsa and swing. She can dance to any music and with most anything. But her best dancing happens when she shares the fun with her grandchildren.

The lively rhyming text engages readers as it celebrates the joy of dance in its many forms embodied in a diverse community of Nanas and their grandchildren. Burris’ vivid colors and bold images fill the pages with movement to mirror the buoyant language.

 A delightful read-aloud that will have children and adults smiling…and maybe even dancing, too.

Ages 4-8 Recommended for home and school libraries.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Picture Book Friday


The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by His Holiness The Dalai Lama with illustrations by Bao Luu  


The Dali Lama tells a story of gentle honesty as he relates the path he traveled from childhood to present day learning the lessons and values of compassion. Born into a farming family in Tibet, his childhood was spent helping his mother with chores and watching her share the little that they had with others in need. Describing himself as an “often naughty boy” he remembers she was always kind and patient in response. It was in those early years that her example set in him the seed of compassion.

          He goes on to speak of how the creatures of the animal world have special abilities – strength, speed, acute senses – far beyond ours, but it is only humans who can learn to offer compassion to one another.  Compassion, he assures us, is a sign of strength. It is this compassion, he continues, that can bring joy to humanity through kindness and warm-heartedness.

          The Dalai Lama adds, nurturing this seed is not easy; it takes practice. And he offers some basic questions we can ask to aid us in helping compassion to grow in our life. It almost seems too easy. However, the Dali Lama knows the struggle because he has lived it. Like any other ability, we don’t always succeed in making the compassionate choice. But he reminds us, “tomorrow presents the opportunity for you to try again.”

          This lovely book addresses readers ages 4-8. The language is simple and straight forward with thoughtful attention to the comprehension and interests of its audience. Younger readers will enjoy hearing the story read aloud. Independent readers will find the story easily accessible and appealing.  Soft, warm colors in the illustrations by Bao Luu enhance the text with charming detail.

Recommended for home and school libraries.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer