March 2020

Dear Educator,

It’s wintertime, and I’m missing summer! Every summer, Candlewick hosts a tea for local educators where we talk about what is new in teaching, share our newest books, and learn where educators are turning for information to expand their teaching. It’s incredibly informative.

At the end, we collect all the resources that have been mentioned and share them electronically with all our guests. The conversation has made me aware of some great ways to learn about books and ways to bring things into the classroom that never could be done before. I’d like to share some of these with you in this newsletter.
Of course, I also want to let you know about some of our great new books (and remind you of some old favorites) for the classroom, too. Read on for books you can use, some additional ways to use them, and ways to find many more!

Anne Irza-Leggat
Educational Marketing Manager

P.S. If you are a teacher local to Somerville, Massachusetts, and you’ve never been to our tea, send me an email and I will be sure to invite you!

In this issue... 
Picture Books
In the Middle (Grade)
More Resources Giveaway!

Candlewick Press works with to coordinate interviews with our authors so you can bring them into your classroom. We want students to connect deeply with the books they are reading and hope this cultivates a lifelong love of reading. Giving students the opportunity to gain new insights and understanding from our authors will help them do just that.

Meet-the-Author Movie Collection with Chris Raschka
In this four-minute mini-documentary, Chris Raschka performs and shows how he illustrated concrete poems in A Poke in the I and more.

A Poke in the I
by Paul B. Janeczko
illustrated by Chris Raschka
PB: 978-0-7636-2376-0
Ages 6–9
Meet-the-Author Movie Collection with Lauren Child
In a five-minute mini-documentary, Lauren Child demonstrates how she creates her collage illustrations and more. In a second video she reads from Clarice Bean Spells Trouble.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
By Lauren Child
HC: 978-0-7636-1188-0
PB: 978-0-7636-2180-3
Ages 4–8

Clarice Bean Spells Trouble
by Lauren Child
PB: 978-0-7636-2903-8
Ages 8–12

Meet-the-Author Recording with Arthur Yorinks
In this short audio clip, Arthur Yorinks shares some of the backstory for creating his newest book, One Mean Ant.

One Mean Ant
by Arthur Yorinks
illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
HC: 978-0-7636-8394-8
Ages 3–7
More Meet-the-Author Recordings from Candlewick authors and illustrators
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Picture Books Featuring Honey

Kaia and the Bees

by Maribeth Boelts
illustrated by Angela Dominguez
HC: 978-1-5362-0105-5
Spanish HC: 978-1-5362-1413-0
Also available as an e-book
Ages 4–8
Kaia is the brave type. Like hottest-hot-pepper brave. But there is one thing that scares her: BEES! And right now, thousands of bees live on her roof because Kaia’s dad is a beekeeper. Her dad says that the world needs bees and that’s why they are beekeepers. But only he goes on the roof, not Kaia—unless she can find a way to be the brave girl she always says she is. Against a sunny city setting, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Angela Dominguez depict Kaia’s small courageous steps—and her tiny insect neighbors—with great empathy and charm. Buzzing with storytime potential, this honest and relatable tale is about bravery and compassion, as well as the importance of bees to our world.

Download the author’s note here.
Use Kaia and the Bees in your classroom to talk about overcoming fears, empathy, and the importance of bees.
  • Ask your students to describe a time they were afraid of something, like Kaia is afraid of bees. Were they able to overcome their fears? How?
  • Kaia becomes less afraid of the bees once she empathizes with them. Discuss what empathy means and why we should try to identify with others, including animals.
  • As a class, research different types of bees and their importance to the pollination process. Discuss why we should help save them.
  • Brainstorm ways your class can protect bees.
If you’d like a poster for your classroom, email me here.
Be sure to send me your mailing address! While supplies last.

Wild Honey from the Moon
by Kenneth Kraegel
HC: 978-0-7636-8169-2
Ages 4–8
This first chapter book is divided into seven chapters and tells the story of an epic adventure like no other: an unflappable mother will stop at nothing to find a cure for her ailing young son—even if it means traveling to the moon itself.
 “Will captivate contemplative and creative young readers.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Download the author’s note here.

Flight of the Honey Bee
by Raymond Huber
illustrated by Brian Lovelock
PB: 978-0-7636-7648-3
Ages 3–7
Part of our Read and Wonder series that connects science with story, this tale follows a honeybee as she searches for nectar to sustain her hive and, along the way, pollinates flowers to produce seeds and fruits.
Learn more about the series, including the guided reading level for each title, here.

Recommended Resource
Hands-On-Books is a website focused on nonfiction for kids with fun activities.

In the Middle (Grade)

My Year in the Middle
by Lila Quintero Weaver
HC: 978-0-7636-9231-5
PB: 978-1-5362-1317-1
Also available as an e-book and in audio
Ages 8–12
Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. The trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately—acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham. But in 1970 in Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state—and in the classroom—mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?
 “A moving story about finding one’s center in the midst of overwhelming external pressure.”
Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Download a discussion guide here.
The Dollar Kids
by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
illustrated by Ryan Andrews
HC: 978-0-7636-9474-6
PB: 978-1-5362-1311-9
Also available as an e-book and in audio
Ages 10–14
Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from the city and all of the awful memories associated with it, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Will the Grovers find they’ve traded one set of problems for another? From the author of Small as an Elephant and Paper Things comes a heart-tugging novel about guilt and grief, family and friendship, and, above all, community.
“A skillfully written and heartfelt novel about a family making a new home, recovering from grief, and the town full of people who join them on their journey.”
School Library Journal (starred review)
Download discussion questions here and the author’s note here.
Recommended Resource
Biblionasium, where students can share book recommendations (like Goodreads for kids). They can also log their reading and read against challenges. Student reviews are only visible to classmates and friends. Likewise, parent reviews are only visible to their kids, and teacher reviews are only visible to their group(s). The site does not allow for public reviews.

More Resources Discussed at Tea Last Summer

Epic! digital library is described as “the Netflix of books.”

Library Extension is a browser extension that connects to your local library and shows book availability when you are browsing elsewhere.

Open Circle is a program to develop Social and Emotional Learning for kindergarten through grade 5.

The Paul V. Sherlock Center has resources for teachers to help students with severe disabilities participate in the general curriculum. advocates for Social and Emotional Learning in all Massachusetts schools.

TumbleBookLibrary is a curated database of children’s e-books, available by subscription to schools and public libraries.

Unite for Literacy is a “strong online book resource."

Wakelet is a place to curate booklists.
These resources include book lists, teachers’ guides, discussion guides, author videos, book trailers, Q&A, activity sheets, and more:

The Anti-Defamation League’s list of Books Matter: The Best Kid Lit on Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Bookology has articles, curated children’s book lists, and reading news for those who work with, read, and are enthusiastic about children's literature.

The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center helps librarians, teachers, child care providers, and others navigate the abundance of choices to locate the best books possible to meet their needs.

CuriousCity has programming guides, classroom activities, and giveaways.

Gender Inclusive Classrooms works to equip educators with the tools they need to foster safe, welcoming, gender-inclusive classrooms.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to raise awareness for the children’s books that celebrate diversity and get more of these books into classrooms and libraries.

Novel Engineering is an integrated approach to teaching engineering and literacy.

OmniLibros is an annotated bibliography to help teachers, librarians, reading resource staff, and parents select and use recently published (since 2010) English-language trade books that promote understanding across global cultures.

Peace Educators Allied for Children Everywhere (P.E.A.C.E.) is dedicated to helping young children and their caregivers develop and thrive in peace and well-being.

Skype in the Classroom provides the opportunity to take virtual field trips, connect with authors and other speakers, and connect with other classrooms around the world.

STEM Read uses live and online programs to inspire readers to learn more about the science, technology, engineering, and math concepts in popular fiction. has resources that reflect what teachers need to best support their students and grow their teaching practice.

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners—to help educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy.

We Need Diverse Books works to put more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.

We Read Too has hundreds of books written by authors of color featuring characters of color.

The Welcoming Library is a traveling collection of books focused on welcoming immigrants.
Don’t forget that we have teachers’ guides, discussion guides, author interviews, book trailers, chapter samples, and more on our Resources page.
 We also have our own podcast, Candlewick Press Presents, about the storytellers behind your favorite children’s books.

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