Written by Raman Prinja
Illustrated by Chris Wormell
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Welcome to the Museum, to the Planetarium! This is a Big Book, almost 15 inches tall, and every inch of it is beautiful. Confession – I didn’t read the whole book, but I looked at every single page at least once. I read the pages I was interested in. This book would make a great resource for a school or classroom library. It would also make a great present for someone who loves space. It was so well written, and best of all it wasn’t so technical I couldn’t understand it.
The left side of each page has 3-4 paragraphs of text. The right side has an illustration with a key that’s either numbered or lettered to guide you through what you’re seeing.
Did you know space begins 62 miles above the earth? Take a stroll through the 6 galleries of the Planetarium:
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Written and Illustrated by Don Tate
Age Level: 6 – 10
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
How does a little boy born into slavery in North Carolina become a poet? Read this quiet story to find out how. When George grew up, slaves weren’t allowed to learn to read. George knew his ABC’s and he taught himself to read using an old spelling book. This is a great story to teach, not preach, the value of literacy. Read on to see how he made his first sale. It’s a great story! George did well enough that he tried to buy his freedom, but his master refused. I’m so glad he didn’t pay the man a dime. He got his freedom after the Civil War.
I was also fascinated with the author’s note. It tells Don’s story as an African-American, how he left shame behind by telling George’s story, and found pride in what slaves endured and accomplished. Don tells you about life in North Carolina in the mid1800’s, and why George succeeded. Don’s last page gives credits to those who helped him put this story together. He told about his journey from inspiration to research, to editing and the critique partners who assisted him in writing and illustrating. If you’re fascinated like I am with what it takes to publish a book, you wil love this part of the story.
Even Monsters Need to Sleep
Written by Lisa Wheeler
Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Age Level: 4 - 8
Grade Level: P – 3
Learn More: While his Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet, his home is in India. This one’s gonna get political: When Tibet was invaded by China in 1950, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, assumed political power and tried to rectify the situation with Beijing. He even traveled to the capital to meet with Mao Zedong in 1954, but by 1959, Chinese troops aggressively suppressed the Tibetan uprising, and the Dalai Lama was forced into exile. This is why he now calls Dharamsala, India, home.
Bonaparte Falls Apart
Written by Margery Cuyler
Illustrated by Will Terry
Age Level: 3 - 7
Grade Level: P – 2
This is a great read, even after Halloween. Poor Bonaparte! His bones are falling apart. His best friends, Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula, they try to help, but their ideas are just boneheaded. This story has the best ending. Hint – Think bones, then read it for yourself. I don’t need a crystal ball to predict you’ll love it!
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.