How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box: And Other Wonders of Tzedakah
Written By Linda Heller, Illustrated By Stacey Dressen McQueen
Do you know about the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah? This enchanting and inspiring book will tell you all about it.
Dalia is a young girl whose teacher encourages her to start a little fund in a box and her fellow students are intrigued by what their contributions could create. Dalia shares her ideas with her younger brother who doesn’t want to be left out of the fun. And when it’s all said and done, there’s an amazing party that takes care of someone special in their community changes her life!
Although this is a book is about a specific, beautiful tradition of Judaism, it is a wonderful books for people of any faith as it delves into up the topic of giving, sharing with others and good deeds. It’s a great book for talking to kids about empathy, compassion and how meaningful it can be to express love for humanity and community.
Written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Illustrated By Diana Bryer
What a wonderful book!
It starts as young Jacobo enjoys life with his grandmother (Abuelita) in a small town in New Mexico in the United States. Although the young boy and his grandmother love their community and are active in their Catholic church, some things do seem out of place to Jacobo. Abuelita cooks differently than her neighbors and she has her own special rituals, like lighting candles on Friday nights. When a new family moves into the neighborhood who are Jewish, Jacobo starts asking more questions and finds out about his family history – one that started with an exodus of Sephartic Jews from Spain, centuries ago.
This short but powerful tale written by a woman rabbi and scholar; Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, is a perfect way to begin discussions on topics such as multicultural families, Jewish history, tolerance, religious identity and family secrets.
Read it in Spanish:
Las Matzas Secretas de Abuelita by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Abuelita (Grandmother) has come to stay in Jose’s house and changes are afoot! In this beautifully illustrated book, we see the world through Jose’s eyes as Abuelita comes to stay and life transforms in the most wonderful and meaningful ways. For instance, José has to share his room with his grandmother, but he doesn’t mind it because she tells him stories long into the night. New smells appear in the kitchen but also delicious hot chocolate for José in the mornings! Things are different, but they are good, and Abuelita adds so much to the household because she is so “full of life”!
This is a great book for starting conversations about ancestry, relatives and cultural backgrounds. It’s also a good book for discussing what happens when new members come or go from a household. Each page (or set of pages) has the text in English and Spanish, making it a great book for both bilingual readers as well as those learning either Spanish or English.
One Easter morning, Katy and Carl went on an egg hunt through Grandmom's house. Katy couldn't find anything until she went up to the attic. And there she discovered a very special set of eggs...
Grandmom had painted them when she was a little girl. And now, she hung them from the branches of a tiny tree -- an Egg Tree! So began a very special Easter tradition.
This Caldecott Medal-winning story of a Pennsylvania Dutch Easter will surely inspire children to make Egg Trees of their very own.
Everyone’s heard of a Christmas tree – but what about an Easter egg tree?
In this older story, author/illustrator Katherine Milhous takes you on a trip to Pennsylvania Dutch country. You get to visit with young Katy and Carl as they have their first Easter on their Grandmother’s farm, complete with an egg hunt. But Katy has not been too lucky. In fact, she hasn’t found a single egg and she retreats to the attic where she finds a real treasure – Easter eggs her grandmother had created when she was a little girl!
Katy’s discovery and the special “egg tree” they made is a wonderful story about family and creating meaningful holiday traditions. The designs are inspired by authentic Pennsylvania Dutch motifs and the book ends with an egg tree activity that is fun for homes, libraries and classrooms as a special way to celebrate the Spring.
Written and Illustrated By Sheila Hamanaka
In Sheila Hamanaka’s Grandparents Song, a young girl tells a tale of her ancestors that came from the four directions of the Earth. Each contributed something wonderous and special to her heart, soul and life. Each page or set of pages shares one ancestry and describes it with striking poetry, wonderful images and folk art such as Native beadwork incorporated into the pictures.
Dedicated by the author to “our American Ancestors, in Whose Dreams We Walk”, this is a wonderful book about multiculturalism and the American Family Tree. It’s also a powerful book for those of us who struggle with questions of identity because of mixed heritages. It helps us see a joy and a wonder to our unique combination of backgrounds in a way that affirms the dignity and the value of all people.
My eyes are green
Sing of your parents, and your grandparents too, and picture a magnificent family tree. Its roots are deep, nurtured with the lives of ancestors. Some left willingly for the new land, others did not -- and many were already here! Their blood flows in yourveins; their strength lies in your heart.
Inspired by American folk art, Sheila Hamanaka, author and illustrator of the best-selling All the Colors of the Earth, has created vibrant, stunningly beautiful illustrations to tell the story of our country's family tree.
Written By Ronald Roy, Illustrated by Vo-Dinh Mai
Can a small boy in a tiny fishing village rescue a huge beached whale? Is it an impossible task? Impossible or not, Yukio looks into the eyes of the whale and promises that he will bring 1,000 pails of water to keep it alive until the tide comes back in.
Illustrations by Vietnamese artist Vo-Dinh Mai appear as wonderful woodcut images on the inside book cover. The interior pages are gentle black and white drawings that share the urgency of the story and the powerful desire of this young boy to make a difference.
A tale of compassion in action, woven together with the story of a young child, his father and grandfather come together in an inspiring book you will want to read over and over again.
A small boy's infectious determination saves the life of a whale beached near an oriental whaling village.
Written by Shirley Climo, Illustrated by Jane Manning
How did glittering, glistening tinsel become part of the Christmas tree?
Shirely Climo takes you deep into the Bavarian forest of Germany to meet a dear little old woman who many of the local children call Auntie or “Tante”. She lives in her tiny cottage with a bevy of animals, a small barn and – of course – a rooster to wake her up and a hen to lay an egg for her each day.
When Christmastime comes, Tante make special preparations. She picks a tree from her forest, decorates it, fills it with her own homemade goodies and invites the local children to share it with her. After the village children leave, it’s time to share Christmas with all the animals. Tanta loves Christmas but each year she waits patiently and hopes for some special Christmas miracle to grace her cottage. This book tells the story of the one year that this magic took place and how it warmed her heart and transformed her tree.
This book has lovely illustrations, adorable animals and a beautiful rhythm to it, making it a perfect story for reading aloud at the holidays as well as rekindling a sense of Christmas wonder and magic.
Written by Deborah M. Chocolate
Illustration by Cal Massey
What happens when it’s Kwanzaa time? This book tells the exciting story of this holiday from the perspective of a young boy. Throughout the days of Kwanzaa, this family dresses in special ways, greet relatives and visitors, listen to stories about the family and from Africa and share wonderful activities that bring everyone together in a very meaningful way.
A beautifully written story, this book for young readers shares special moments in a family’s celebration plus the seven principles of Kwanzaa and a history of the holiday that will inspire any reader.
During the last week of December, Kwanzaa is a time to dress up in African clothes and gather together with relatives from all over the country. Grandma brings special things to eat, Grandpa lights the candles, and everyone in the family celebrates their heritage.
Knots on a Counting Rope is the story of a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson, Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, about how he was born and how he has grown. Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses was born frail and with no vision, but he has gotten stronger and now rides his own horse, Rainbow, and has trained her to race. The grandfather is a nurturing figure in the story who adores his grandson and has never held him back.
This is a sweet story about the love between a grandfather and his grandson who is blind, and how the grandson is richer and stronger because of this relationship
Suggested Reading Level – Preschool and up
In this poignant story, the counting rope is a metaphor for the passage of time and for a boy's emerging confidence in facing his blindness.
Written by Cynthia Rylant
After Summer’s mother dies, she didn’t fit in anywhere – until she came to live with her older Aunt May and Uncle Ob in their mountain community. Six years later, Summer is twelve and her Aunt May passes away leaving everyone feeling an incredible sense of loss. How do they discover that May will always be a part of their lives and transform their world? This moving story is beautifully written and a gem for anyone who has experienced loss and found a way to overcome it while never forgetting the person that they treasured.
Suggested Reading Level: Ages 9 – 12
This critically acclaimed winner of the Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award joins Scholastic's paperback line.
When May dies suddenly while gardening, Summer assumes she'll never see her beloved aunt again. But then Summer's Uncle Ob claims that May is on her way back--she has sent a sign from the spirit world.
Summer isn't sure she believes in the spirit world, but her quirky classmate Cletus Underwood--who befriends Ob during his time of mourning--does. So at Cletus' suggestion, Ob and Summer (with Cletus in tow) set off in search of Miriam B. Young, Small Medium at Large, whom they hope will explain May's departure and confirm her possible return.
Dallas and Florida are older kids in Foster care who have the unfortunate nickname of the trouble twins. A chance to live with a new family arises, but it’s with a couple who are grandparents. Will this be one more disappointment for them or will everyone find out how real love and appreciation can change the lives of everyone it touches. A well-written young adult fiction book with some really great little plot twists to keep anyone turning pages until the end.
Dallas and Florida, dubbed the trouble twins, have been shuffled between foster families all their lives. Filled with humor and poignancy, this delightful book by the Newbery Medalist is about a special place where it's never too late to be loved.
Written by Arthur Dorros
A little girl named Rosalba loves going places with her beloved grandmother (abuela means grandmother in Spanish). During one trip to the park, she imagines they can rise up and fly anywhere and so they share a trip to places that bring up wonderful memories for Abuela. A vibrant story of sharing between the generations.
Suggested Reading Level: First Readers
A young girl and her grandmother celebrate their home and relationship in this magical story. Winner of the Parents' Choice Award!
Come join Rosalba and her grandmother, her abuela, on a magical journey as they fly over the streets, sights, and people of New York City which sparkles below. The story is narrated in English, and sprinkled with Spanish phrases as Abuela points out places that they explore together. The exhilaration in Rosalba’s and Abuela's story is magnified by the loving bond that only a grandmother and granddaughter can share.
Also available in a Spanish-language edition (ISBN: 978-0-14-056226-2)
"A book to set any child dreaming...any reader can handle it, whether familiar with Spanish or not. It's just joyful."-The New York Times
* "A marvelous balancing of narrative simplicity with visual intricacy...the city is transformed into a treasure trove of jewels, dazzling the eye, uplifting the spirits."–The Horn Book (starred review)
* "Each illustration is a masterpiece of color, line, and form that will mesmerize youngsters...The smooth text, interspersed with Spanish words and phrases, provides ample context clues...a jewel."–Booklist (starred review)
"Dorros's text seamlessly weaves Spanish words and phrases into the English narrative, retaining a dramatic quality rarely found in bilingual picture books"—Publisher's Weekly
An ALA Notable Book
An NCSS-CBC Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
A Library of Congress Children's Book of the Year
An American Booksellers Pick of the Lists selection
A Booklist Editor's Choice
A Horn Book Fanfare Listing
Winner of the Parent's Choice Award
A Hungry Mind Review Children's Books of Distinction List selection
A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing selection
Every year my father and I plant a garden. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, marigold, and zinnias grow in neat, straight rows...and every spring my father tells me about Mr. Bellavista and the summer my father was ten. -From the book. That was the summer the boy lost a baseball under a tomato plant in Mr. Bellavista's garden. And someone tossed a tomato back instead of the baseball. A lively battle took place, which seemed like great fun at the time, but in the end Mr. Bellavista's garden had been destroyed. In a touching story of one boy's efforts to make amends, we see the rebuilding of a garden and the forming of a relationship across generations. With luminous, beautifully detailed watercolors, the artist has captured both the sadness and the quiet joy woven throughout the tale.