Malala’s Magic Pencil

Malala's Magic Pencil

Title: Malala’s Magic Pencil

Author: Malala Yousafzai

Illustrator: Kerascoët

Summary:

Growing up in Pakistan, Malala used to watch a show about a boy and a magic pencil. Whatever he needed at the moment, he could draw with his pencil and it would magically appear. Malala began to wish for her own magic pencil, she could draw extra time to sleep in the morning, dresses for her mom, a soccer ball to play with. One day, when Malala was throwing out trash at the dump near her house, she noticed a girl and two boys sorting through the trash piles at the dump. Her father told her that not all girls get to go to school and some boys have to work to support their families. Malala began to imagine using the magic pencil to draw a better world with no war or poverty or hunger. Instead of continuing to wish for a magic pencil, Malala focused on working hard in school. However, powerful and dangerous men soon declared that girls weren’t allowed to go to school anymore. She started to write about how she felt scared to walk to school and how her friends moved away because they felt threatened. People started to listen and Malala was able to share her story with an international newspaper. Malala’s voice has continued to grow louder and every day she fights to make the world a more peaceful place.

Curriculum Connections:

Courage

World events

Biography

Perseverance

Blackout

Blackout

Title: Blackout

Author: John Rocco

Summary:

Everyone is always busy. But what happens when the lights go out? In a city wide blackout, communities and families gather together. There is a block party in the sky and in the street. There is free ice cream, shadow puppets, and grilled food. When the lights come back on and everything returns to normal, one child doesn’t necessarily like normal and flips the lights back off. The family chooses to ignore their distractions and gather around the table to play a game by candlelight.

Curriculum Connections:

Family

Cause and effect

Storytelling

The Adventures of Beekle

Beekle

Title: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

Author: Dan Santat

Summary:

An imaginary friend is born on an island far away. He waits on this island for a very long time, waiting for a child to pick him. His turn never came, so he did the unimaginable and traveled to the real world to find his own friend. He discovered strange things about the real world, kids never ate cake and no one stopped to listen to music. He still had not found his friend so he climbed to the top of a tree, hoping his friend would come. Suddenly, he heard a noise below and found someone who was friendly and familiar. She named him Beekle and soon they became friends and the world felt a little less strange.

Curriculum Connections:

Storytelling

Imagination

Courage

First the Egg

First the egg

Title: First the Egg

Author: Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Summary:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? First the Egg is a book about transformations. First the tadpole, then the frog. First the seed, then the flower. Using cut out illustrations, Seeger transforms one into another. A blob of paint becomes a picture and a word becomes a story.

Curriculum Connections:

Transformation

Life Cycle

Storytelling

Once Upon an Alphabet

Once upon an alphabet

Title: Once Upon an Alphabet

Author: Oliver Jeffers

Summary:

Stories are made of words and words are made of letters, so letters make up stories. Once Upon an Alphabet is a collection of 26 short stories featuring every letter of the alphabet. Read about the astronaut, the cup in the cupboard, an owl and octopus moving onward, and robots that don’t like rainclouds.

Curriculum Connections:

Alphabet

Vocabulary

Imagination

Storytelling

What Do You Do with a Chance?

What do you do with a chance

Title: What Do You Do with a Chance?

Author: Kobi Yamada

Illustrator: Mae Besom

Summary:

What do you do with a chance? The narrator of the story asks himself this question after a chance flies to him, but he is afraid and doesn’t take it. He thinks about the missed chance a lot and when another comes around, he tries to reach for it and falls and misses. He decides that he will never take another chance again. After a while, he begins to notice that he hasn’t seen another chance and is worried he will never see another one again. He realizes he needs to brave and courageous and promises to go after the next chance he sees. In the end, he answers the question, what do you do with a chance? You take it!

Curriculum Connections:

Personification of abstract nouns

Perseverence

Courage

Problem solving

While You Are Sleeping

While You are Sleeping

Title: While You Are Sleeping

Author: Mariana Ruiz Johnson

Summary: While You Are Sleeping people and animals are still wide awake, making the world go around.  In this wordless book, the illustrations speak for themselves.  Throughout this magical bedtime story, there is an extraordinary world beyond the window of a sleeping child.  People are listening to music.  Some are eating.  Many work late into the evening, or overnight.  A cat is on the hunt for dinner.  Forest animals have a party.  Things keep happening, even while little ones sleep.

Curriculum Connections:

Animal Behaviors

Colors

Storytelling

The Word Collector

The Word Collector

Title: The Word Collector

Author: Peter H. Reynolds

Summary:

You might collect baseball cards, your grandma could collect figurines, but Jerome collects words.  The words he finds come from conversations he hears, signs he reads and books he explores.  Each word is carefully placed in a category, according to Jerome’s very detailed system.  While carrying his stacks of books one day, Jerome trips, and his words scatter all over.  Jerome soon discovers that while individual words can be special, collective words can hold a greater meaning and tell a vivacious story.

Curriculum Connections:

Adjectives

Making Comparisons

Storytelling

Vocabulary

The Water Princess

The Water Princess

Title: The Water Princess

Author: Susan Verde

Illustrated By: Peter H. Reynolds

Summary:

Princess Gie Gie’s African kingdom is vast and beautiful.  She plays with the wind, dances with the tall grasses and sings with the wild dogs.  Her kingdom is precious to her, but there is one thing that will not do her bidding.  She cannot get water to listen to her!  No matter how often she begs or sweetly she pleads, the clear water refuses to come to her village.  Each morning, before the sun rises, Princess Gie Gie and her mother start the trek to find clay-filled water.  They sing, dance, laugh and find joy in one another’s company.  The journey back home is long and tiring, and each night Princess Gie Gie dreams of a day where the elusive, clear water will flow to her kingdom.

Curriculum Connections:

Adjectives

Family Structures

Making Comparisons

Perspective

Storytelling

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

On a Magical Day, Do Nothing

Title: On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

Author: Beatrice Alemagna

Summary: On a Magical Do-Nothing Day there is absolutely nothing to do… or so you might think!  Without technology of any kind and a mom that is hard at work, what is there left for our little friend to do?! She soon discovers that there is a world far beyond her martian-filled, electronic screen.  With trees to climb, air to breathe, and bugs to inspect, the possibilities are limitless, if you just put down the tech toys.

Curriculum Connections:

Cause and Effect

Family

Perspective

Problem Solving

Storytelling