Beginning-to-be-eleven-year-old Portia and her little brother Foster are excited to be visiting their relatives in the countryside for the summer in Elizabeth Enright’s Gone-Away Lake. Besides seeing their favorite aunt and uncle, there is Katy the boxer dog who has just had a litter of puppies “with flat faces like pansies, and ears that felt like pieces of silk, and claws like the tips of knitting needles”—but best of all for Portia is having time to hang out with her cousin Julian, he of the hundred-thousand freckles. Closer than a friend and nicer than a brother is how she thinks of him. Julian is interesting and interested in everything that goes on around him.
“New folks coming!”
That’s the important news that the young rabbit, Little Georgie, has to share with all of his neighbors, from the stately deer to the excitable field mouse on Rabbit Hill. Will they be good providers or “slatternly” like the last batch? Most everyone hopes for a garden, but Phewie, the skunk, is hoping for some quality “garbidge.” All of the residents of Robert Lawson’s Rabbit Hill have an opinion and a hope about what will come.
So many things could go wrong if the new folks that come aren’t nice. There might be vicious dogs. They might bring traps. They might even cut down and plow up the thicket where the burrow lies. Mother Rabbit is beside herself with worry, but Little Georgie and the rest are mostly just excited.
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón had many, many pets. She had Bonito the parrot who, like Frida, was as colorful as the house she lived in on 247 Londres Street in the city of Coyoacán, Mexico. In La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo was inspired by her animalitos to create beautiful and imaginative pieces of modern art.
Leo Lionni was born into a family that appreciated art, and, from a very young age, he knew he wanted to be an artist. He loved nature and started keeping small creatures—minnows, birds, fish, and more—in his attic room in Amsterdam. He also created terrariums, and many of these natural details found their way into his later work. Like so many successful children’s authors, Leo Lionni was able to remember and tap into the things that were important to him when he was a child.
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Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student. (catalog summary)
Wonder is a 2017 American drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, and Chbosky, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. The film stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay, and follows a child with Treacher Collins syndrome trying to fit in. Wonder was released in the United States on November 17, 2017, by Lionsgate, received positive reviews from critics and has grossed $104 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. See the trailer below.
If you like Wonder, check out these similar titles.
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio
"These stories are an extra peek at Auggie, a boy born with extreme facial abnormalities before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie's new friend at school. (catalog summary)
It's a bird . . . it's a plane . . . it's Siegel and Shuster!
"...that’s the fun of it to create from scratch, it’s to me, it’s creative in one sense of the word. I try to make exciting books for children and of course, I do them for myself too, I put everything I have into them."*
There was a stuffed bear in a department store who was missing a button, but a little girl loved him anyway. She didn’t want a perfect companion. She wanted Corduroy. Don Freeman’s stories about the plucky bear and his friend are still treasured and shared decades after they were written. A true classic, Corduroy can found in pretty much every library and book store with space set aside for young ones.
There is a witch in the woods. The people of the Protectorate know it. Each year, they are forced to leave a baby as a sacrifice to the witch, lest she destroy the whole city.
But just who is the witch in Kelly Barnhill’s Newbery Award-winning book, The Girl Who Drank the Moon? Maybe it’s Xan, who can’t figure out why the people of the Protectorate keep abandoning their children, but protects the babies with her magic until she can find them adopted homes in the Free Cities. Or, perhaps it’s Xan’s adopted granddaughter Luna, who became enmagicked and now spends her days with Fyrian, the Perfectly Tiny Dragon who thinks he’s a Simply Enormous Dragon, or Glerk, the poetry-obsessed monster who lives in the Bog. It’s certainly not Antain, a young man from the Protectorate who is becoming more and more determined to stop the yearly sacrifice.
Leo Dillon was fascinated by Diane Sorber before he ever laid eyes on her. It was one of her paintings that caught his attention. For he did not know of any other student who had that deft, expressive technique. He was curious and a little jealous. He had a rival, and he knew it.
March's guest reader is a longtime educator with very local roots. Harold Morton has been the principal of Salem Elementary School for 15 years. He enjoys sports, movies, and school, and he says the best parts of his day are greeting students as they arrive at school and reading bedtime stories to his daughters at night.