BK Story Voyager Book Reviews
Check out these awesome book reviews written by our very own BK Story Voyager Librarian featured monthly in Greenline, North Brooklyn's community newspaper.
This month the focus is on Brooklyn authors. This summer the BK Story Voyager will be highlighting these books with the students on the bus. I’m excited to share these humorous and fun reads for you and your child!
“Dragons Love Tacos” and “Dragons Love Tacos 2” are hilariously compelling interactive stories. Adam Rubin uses repetitive language that permits the audience to join in on the fun. It’s a slightly far-fetched absurd tale, due to the fact that dragons aren’t real, right?
Kelly Barnhill’s “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” is a fantasy novel about witches, monsters, and a madwoman. “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” is primarily for the middle grade reader in Grade 4-Grade 6. It is a book for a child who loves the world of magic, inquiry, and monsters. If you enjoyed “A Wrinkle in Time”, “Ella Enchanted”, or “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” this 2017 John Newbery Medal winner should be your next read.
“The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown is a magical story about the power of nature. Liam lives in a dreary city with no parks or green areas. When he comes across a door to an old unused railway line his curiosity prods him to open it. Liam sees wildflowers and plants that have grown on the empty railway tracks. He decides that this lonely garden needs a gardener and takes it upon himself to learn the tricks of the trade to help the garden grow.
Emmanuel’s Dream is the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. The book takes the reader on a journey of forming a dream through the effort to make it a reality. The second–fifth grade students who read this book were all moved by Emmanuel’s accomplishments. Today, Emmanuel is helping to build schools for students with or without disabilities in Ghana.
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. allows young readers to understand the importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Doreen Rappaport intertwines Dr. King’s famous quotes with the story of his life. Bryan Collier’s illustrations showcase beautiful artistry that empowers readers to make a visceral connection to Dr. King’s words.
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Ben Hatke’s graphic novel is lively, vivid, and enticing. The story is a modern-day reimagining of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” “Mighty Jack” is recommended for readers in grades 4–7. My students love graphic novels, and I completely understand why any would love “Mighty Jack.” It weaves a story that you feel compelled to follow.
“Last Stop on Market Street” is a beautiful story about how to appreciate your everyday surroundings. CJ’s grandma teaches him about the importance of being polite to strangers and good citizenship. The illustrations by Christian Robinson are vibrantly colorful and feature a sophisticated use of collage. The cityscapes show diversity, including scenic streets, graffiti, and the grit of New York City.
“Why Am I Me?” is a beautifully illustrated story that celebrates humanity and diversity. Two strangers are on a walk home at the end of the day, wondering why people are not all the same. As they continue on their journey of questioning, they discover the meaning of compassion.
Monica Brown and Rafael Lopez bring the story of the Grammy award winning singer Celia Cruz to life. In “My Name is Celia,” Brown weaves Celia’s story in both English and Spanish, and Lopez captures Cruz’s vivaciousness in illustrating her unique vibrancy, distinct costumes, and fanciful hair styles.
“Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” is the perfect text to get your child excited about poetry. From these poems, students can begin to wonder and question what poetry means to them. It is also a good introduction to the greats, new and old.
In this lively winter book, Maureen Wright weaves a story of Sneezy, a snowman who ironically starts to feel dreadfully cold. To warm up Sneezy drinks hot cocoa, sits in a hot tub, and stands near a campfire. The consequences of these warm applications you can guess, but his process to find a happy medium with a little help from the children keeps you turning the page to see if they “Make [him] brand new!”
“Olympig” is a comical joy! It frees kids to root for the underdog and witness the trials that Boomer goes through in competition. Jamieson’s illustrations bring the Animal Olympics to life through exuberant images and giggle inducing speech bubble dialogue. The Animal Olympics provides a winsome parallel to the real Olympic Games, as each host country picks an animal mascot to represent their country.
“A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet Book” is the perfect read for the child that loves to ice skate or loves to watch the ice skating events like those in the recent Winter Olympics. The book’s author is Kurt Browning, a World and Canadian Champion Figure Skater and choreographer. He also made history as the first man to land a quadruple jump in competition. Browning uses the alphabet to teach his readers all about ice skating.