A Review of Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban

Mabel and Sam at Home: One Brave Journey in Three Adventures                                           

Mabal and Sam cover art

By Linda Urban, Illustrated by Hadley Hooper, Chronicle Books  (2018)

It’s moving day for Mabel and Sam! How do two creative kids stay out of the way while the grown-ups work? Why a cardboard box and a vivid imagination, of course. In the grand tradition of bossy big sisters everywhere, Mabel leads little brother Sam on a brave adventure; part sea voyage, part museum tour, part space odyssey, and all fun.

The charming and funny text explores a new house as well as some of the anxieties that can come along with a move. Structured as three mini-chapters, each adventure gently delves into one of the possible causes of moving day jitters: the moving crew, finding your familiar things in a new place, and sleeping in a new bedroom. The printmaking techniques used in the illustrations, and the fluidity of the lines in Hooper’s drawings, create a soft and magical backdrop that complements the sweet relationship between the siblings and the emotion behind their adventure.

A fun and reassuring way to help kids process the emotions and uncertainty that can come with a move to a new house.

2018 Picture Book Poetry

April is National Poetry Month – celebrate with us by checking out new collections and illustrated poems. You can find these titles, novels in verse for older readers, and other lyrical picture books for children here at Butler Children’s Literature Center!

blackgirlmagic

Black Girl Magic (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, January 2018)
Written by Mahogany Browne
Illustrated by Jess X. Snow

With a dedication stating “This book is for you,” this spirited poem of strength and finding beauty in yourself despite what the world expects of you lifts up black women, acknowledging their accomplishments and struggles, and gives young black girls an anthem of support. The text is accompanied by striking black, white, and red illustrations that amplify the empowering message of the poem.

 

In the Past (Candlewick Press, March 2018)
inthepastWritten by David Elliott
Illustrated by Matthew Trueman

This collection of poems about ancient creatures ranges from the humble Trilobite to the mighty Quetzacoatlus and proves that anything can be poetic. Perfect for dinosaur fans of any age, In the Past includes a geologic timeline and notes for each ancient creature along with realistic mixed media images. The poetry is light-hearted and informative and plays on the illustrations on each page.

 

martinrisingMartin Rising: Requiem for a King (Scholastic Press, January 2018)
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

In this collection of “docu-poems,” author Andrea Davis Pinkney presents the final months of Dr. King’s life. With a musicality of language and along with Brian Pinkney’s illuminating and spiritual paintings, each poem carries a different emotional tone and honors multiple facets of King’s life – his work, his family, and his ministry. This selection works on its own as a memorial of Dr. King’s life, but would also be a powerful read aloud in a classroom or theater setting, or as a part of a larger program for students at any age.

 

The Horse’s Haiku (Candlewick Press, March 2018)horseshaiku
Written by Michael J. Rosen
Illustrated by Stan Fellows

This collection of haiku about horses is organized into three sections: In the Field, At the Barn, and Under Saddle. Watercolor illustrations on each page allow the reader’s eye to graze while the mind contemplates the sparse verse. A note on haiku concludes the collection and teaches the reader how to enjoy haiku in everyday life. The Horse’s Haiku would be suitable for a read aloud for younger children, or as a read along as part of a larger poetry unit for older elementary students.

 

withmyhandsWith My Hands: Poems About Making Things (HMH/Clarion Books, March 2018)
Written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Illustrated by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson

This collection celebrates the “joy of making” with over 20 poems about different creative activities, each written in unique styles. The illustrations are also varied, ranging from crayon and colored pencil sketches to mixed media collages and paintings. With My Hands would pair well with an arts and crafts session, or as inspiration for creative pursuits of all types.

 

Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up (Candlewick Press, February 2018)earthverse
Written by Sally M. Walker
Illustrated by William Grill

Geographical concepts and natural events like minerals, fossils, earthquakes, and volcanoes are explored in this collection of haiku, accompanied by impressionistic and muted colored pencil illustrations. Each concept is explained in further detail at the end of the book, and a suggested reading list is also included, making this a perfect poetic tie-in or an added “layer” of a geology curriculum.

 

didyouhear

Did You Hear What I Heard? Poems About School (Penguin Random House/Dial Books, February 2018)
Written by Kay Winters
Illustrated by Patrice Barton

Over 30 poems fill this colorful collection – all about bus rides, fire drills, recess, field trips, tests, and teachers. Stylistically, the poems range from structured stanzas to free verse to singsong rhymes. Bright and playful illustrations make this collection suitable for younger students and perfect for classroom read-alouds or as a starting point for students to write their own school-themed poems.

The Hoot: News from the Butler Children’s Literature Center, April 2018

Welcome to Spring!

Although it still feels like January, springtime is upon us and brave flowers are starting to emerge into the still chilly air (I sure hope my tulips survive). 3 owls


Butler Fun Fact

Did you know that the Butler Children’s Literature Center has already received 593 newly published or soon-to-be published titles in the first three months of 2018?

book shelves

Have you stopped by to see what’s new?


Butler Book Banter

 SCHEDULE CHANGE! We will postpone the April 25th B3 until May 2nd to include a special guest. Join us for an evening with children’s book author Chitra Soundar as we discuss Indian myths and legends, inclusivity in the publishing industry, and her love of cake.Chitra

As always, snacks (and maybe cake) at 5:30 p.m., with lively conversation to follow.

Please RSVP to this special Book Banter by dropping us a note at butler@dom.edu– Thanks!


Sixth Annual Butler Lecture

Last month we were honored to host Andrea Davis Pinkney for the sixth annual Butler Lecture. Her presentation of Behold the Road! The Writer’s Passage, The Reader’s Journey was a dynamic and inspiring look at diversity and inclusion as relate to children’s book creation and selection. Many thanks to all that joined in the evening!


Open Hours

The Butler Center welcomes teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, grandparents, caregivers and anyone interested in literature for young people. We are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 1-6 p.m., or by appointment with the curator; contact butler@dom.edu.

The Center is a non-lending library but our staff is here to assist you in locating books that address specific themes, age groups, or reading levels.

The Butler Center is located in the Rebecca Crown Library, room 214, on Dominican’s main campus at 7900 W. Division Street in River Forest, Illinois. Directions and a campus map are available here. The Butler Center is administered by Dominican’s School of Information Studies and is generously supported by the Butler Family Foundation. We hope you’ll want to visit us, or join us for an event, and stay tuned for our news and upcoming events. Please contact me with any questions you have. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Jen Clemons

Curator, Butler Children’s Literature Center
Dominican University SOIS
sois.dom.edu
butlerspantry.org
butler@dom.edu

A Review of Cycle City by Alison Farrell

cycle city cover art

Cycle City by Alison Farrell (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Bear on a bike—check! Turtles on a tandem—check, check! Pigs in a parade—you bet!

The Starlight Parade is tonight, but the invitations haven’t all been sent. Can Mayor Snail make it around Cycle City to find all the guests in time?

Fans of Where’s Waldo and the Richard Scarry Busytown books will be thrilled by this delightful ride through Cycle City street scenes in search of some special residents. The simple plot makes this sweet seek-and-find stand apart from the individual, and often unrelated, vignettes of others in the genre. Action-packed illustrations give plenty for kids to explore as well as a bit of humor for big kid readers in the shop names and conversation bubbles. Be sure to check out the “Hay There” food truck if you’re into Real Food for Herbivores!

While the illustrations may be too detailed for a storytime pick, this would be an excellent choice for a rainy-day couch cuddle. (Ages 3-5)

March B3: We Can All Be Brave

Whether it is standing up to spooky monsters in the dark, tackling a big goal or facing real-life fears, we all need to be brave sometimes. Often all it takes to remind us of this is a friend to be brave by our side.

Join us in the Butler Center on March 28, 2018, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. to discuss the following books about bravery in all its forms.

Picture Books:

Nothing Can Frighten a Bear by Elizabeth Dale, illus. by Paula Metcalf (Nosy Crow, 2018)

Nothing Can Frighten a bear

Voices from the Underground Railroad by Kay Winters, illus. by Larry Day (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018)

voices from the underground railroad

Children’s Non-Fiction:

Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias (Scholastic Press, 2018)

marley dias

Teen Fiction:

All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson (Razorbill/Penguin Random House, 2018)

all we can do is wait

B3 is Back for 2018!

Help us celebrate the return of Butler Book Banter at our first gathering of the year!

Who:

All are welcome!

What & Why:

“I Heart Butler” – meet and greet our new curator, discuss some LOVELY new books, and tell us what you LOVE about the Butler Center events past and present!

When:

Wednesday, February 21st at 5:30 p.m.

Where:

Butler Children’s Literature Center
Rebecca Crown Library, Room 214
Dominican University Main Campus
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305

See you there!

2018 Butler Lecture – Registration Now Open!

The Butler Children’s Literature Center is excited to welcome Andrea Davis Pinkney as our 2018 Butler Lecturer.

AndreaDavisPinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is a children’s book editor and New York Times-bestselling author with a number of award-winning books to her name, including Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America (2012) for which she received the Coretta Scott King Author Award; picture-book biographies of major figures such as Duke Ellington(1998), Ella Fitzgerald (2002), and Alan Ailey (1995); and Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down (2010), which won the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award. Many of her books are illustrated by her husband Brian Pinkney, who is also an award-winning children’s book creator in his own right. Their upcoming book together, Martin Rising: Requiem for a King, features Andrea’s poetic requiem accompanied by Brian’s lyrical and colorful artwork, will be published in January 2018.

The Butler Lecture is free and open to the public, with registration. For more information and to register, click here.