The William Hoy Story, How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game

By Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Jez Tuya (Albert Whitman & Company)

The true story of William Ellsworth Hoy, a deaf 19th century baseball player, who taught umpires signs so he could play the game he loved. The book is a 2017 Storytelling World Resource Award Honor Book and is on several state reading lists, including Texas’ 2X2, Illinois’ Monarch Award Master list, Connecticut’s Charter Oak Book Awards and Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Awards. Available in English and Japanese.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain

By Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Danny Popovici (Creston Books, Lerner Books)

The true story of Dashrath Manjhi, who spent 22 years chiseling a path through a 300-foot mountain in his Indian village so kids could get to school and the sick could get to a doctor. Winner of the 2018 South Asia Book Award for grades Pre-K to 4, a 2019 Little Free Libraries Action Book Club selection by Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild Selection, Eureka Honor Book, Ezra Jack Keats Award Finalist, Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards Finalist, ILA-CBC Children’s Choices List and NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Selection 2018. Available in English and Braille.

Charlie Takes His Shot, How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf

By Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by John Joven (Albert Whitman & Company)

The true story of Charlie Sifford, the first African American golfer on the PGA tour, whose dream was to do for golf what his friend, Jackie Robinson, did for baseball. Winner of the California Reading Association Silver Eureka Award, featured at the 2019 Ruby Bridges Reading Festival at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.

Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing

By Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez (Creston Books, Lerner Books)

The true story of Irving Berlin, who came to America as a five-year-old immigrant, and went on to write 1,500 songs that became the pride of America including “White Christmas,” “God Bless America” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” A Sydney Taylor Notable winner and a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.

The Queen and the First Christmas Tree, Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England

By Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe (Albert Whitman & Company)

The true story of Queen Charlotte, the kind queen who was married to King George III (yes, the king in Hamilton who lost the colonies) and started the annual Christmas tree tradition at Windsor Castle to delight a party of 100 children. A Mighty Girl selection.

Martin & Anne, the Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank

Written by Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg
Creston Books | 8 – 14 years

The lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Anne Frank are described in parallel in this beautiful picture book. Born in the same year but a world apart, Martin and Anne faced prejudices from the time they began school. Whereas one saw “Whites only” signs, the other saw “No Jews allowed” signs — but that didn’t stop either of them from dreaming of a better world and becoming beacons of inspiration long after their lives were cut short. Author Nancy Churnin purposefully states that Martin grows up to win the Nobel Peace Prize and that his assassination at age 39 cannot diminish his message of peace and equality; Anne’s life ended at 15, but her legacy lives on through her diary. The book embraces their unifying message that “Love is stronger than hate. / Kindness can heal the world.” Yevgenia Nayberg’s illustrations present King and Frank in a modern tapestry of colors, helping make the tough subject of discrimination more palatable for young children. Martin & Anne is a must-read to learn more about the parallel life experiences of these remarkable visionaries. All Churnin’s books have free Teacher Guides and projects on her website: www.nancychurnin.com/teacher-guides/

Eppie the Elephant (who was allergic to peanuts)

Written by Livingston Crouse
Illustrated by Steve Brown
Silver Dolphin Books | 6 – 8 years

It’s the first day of school and Eppie the Elephant is nervous that her classmates will not understand her allergy to…peanuts. Like many kids, Eppie has to be careful about what she eats. Eppie meets Pearl the squirrel and Allie the alligator and they become fast friends, spending the morning together. But when someone offers her a peanut butter sandwich at lunch and her allergy is explained, the kids make fun of her. Eppie feels all alone. Will her friends miss her company? Two words in the story are a little mature for this age group but, grandma or grandpa can explain. Your grandkids will relate to this story of understanding and acceptance. The adorable illustrations add to the sweetness of the story.

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy

Written by Erin Danielle Russell
Illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
Simon and Shuster | 4 – 9 years

Kaylee is a prankster. She always finds ways to prank her sister and friends with anything from water balloons to Oreos filled with dog toothpaste. Ick! Enter the “number one prank princess,” a pink-haired sparkly dressed Tooth Fairy with a mischievous grin. When the Tooth Fairy reaches under Kaylee’s pillow for a tooth, she gets a fake frog. So, she responds with real frogs! What follows is a one-up of very messy pranks, with desserts flying all over the kitchen, water spraying, and heaps of trouble. When it rains real cats and dogs in the house, they decide a truce is in order. They clean up together, share fairy-dust cookies, and become prankster-princess friends. This is a wonderfully creative story. It reminds me of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by the way the pranks keep mounting. The illustrations are charming with just enough pink and glitter to attract any princess with a playful grin and a twinkle in her eye.

Little Kids First Big Book Of Why 2

Written by Jill Esbaum
National Geographic Kids | 4 – 8 years

This wonderous and fun reference book answers many of kids’ most burning “Why?” questions. You and your grandkids will love the colorful photos that are paired with easy-to-grasp answers to questions like, “Why are swimming pools blue?“ “Why do bats sleep upside down?” “Why do dogs sniff everything?” and “Why don’t penguins get cold?” With hundreds of subjects from silly to serious, this book encourages kids to be curious, ask questions, and explore our incredible world. To be honest, I loved reading this book. I learned so much that I did not know. I am sure you and your grandkids will feel the same.

Food Fight!
A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through the Ages

Written by Tanya Steele
National Geographic Kids | 10 and up

Get ready to dig into some human history through the lens of food to answer questions not usually known. Did you know that Christopher Columbus set out on his famous voyage in search not of the new world, but cinnamon? Did you ever wonder why M&Ms were invented? (Hint: That candy coating isn’t just for decoration!) Each chapter focuses on a significant period of world history from Prehistoric cave kids to Ancient Greece to present day and beyond. Every page has a colorful collection of photos and illustrations informative sidebars and historical pictures. Discover Yucky Habits of Yore,” quizzes, and period-accurate recipes that will transport you and your grandkids taste buds back in time. So, take a unique journey through time and learn how food shaped our global history and culture.

Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life,
Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor

Written by Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by Katy Wu
Sterling’s Children’s Books | 5 years and up

Who was the real Hedy Lamarr? Was she a beautiful movie star, a brilliant inventor — or both? This engaging picture book introduces young readers to both sides of Hedy Lamarr, often remembered for her acting career and beauty. But behind that pretty face was a superb mind, a little-known fact until just recently. Laurie Wallmark helps young readers understand Lamarr’s quest to break the mold society forced upon her. Wallmark traces Lamarr’s immutable curiosity and perseverance from World War II to Lamarr’s revolutionary scientific discoveries later in life. Lamarr comes to life through quotes and Katy Wu’s creative illustrations, wonderfully complimenting the easy-to-read text. Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life is a vivid testament to an extraordinary woman and could serve as an inspiration to readers of all ages.

Hoo Hoo Who?

Written by Mary Maier & Lauren Horton
Illustrated by Mary Maier
Building Blocks Press | 2–5 years

This PAL Award-Winning book is incredibly adorable! Owl is hosting a surprise birthday party for his best friend Mouse. He has invited all of their friends but his glasses are broken, and he cannot see each guest as they arrive. You and your grandchildren have to help Owl figure out who is at the door by figuring out clues in the delightful text. Children are encouraged to engage in the story by responding to Owl’s WHO questions on every page. The whimsical scribbly pen-and-ink plus watercolor illustrations will captivate little readers each time you read the story aloud over and over again. Expect to hear one more time, please!

LOVE

Written by Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by Joanne Lew–Vreithoff
Running Press | 3–8 years

There are many ways to show and express love and kids will find expressions of love everywhere in this charming book. Each page shows you can find love in everyday moments such as baking cookies with grandma, a family singing together on a car trip, notes from Mom in your lunchbox, or giving flowers to a sick friend, and it isn’t always what you think! With beautifully simple verse and colorful illustrations, it shows children when we share love it makes people happy. It is a perfect book to create an activity with art so your grandkids can share their expressions of love with the people they care about.

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Written by Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by Katy Wu
Sterling Children’s Books | 5 – 18 years

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term computer bug and taught computers to speak English. Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was Amazing Grace . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life. This book received a Kirkus star and was nominated for five state children’s awards.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Written by Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by April Chu 
Creston Books | 5 – 8 Years

 

ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, 2015) is a picture-book biography of the world’s first computer programmer. Ada was born two hundred years ago, long before the invention of the modern electronic computer. At a time when girls and women had few options outside the home, Ada followed her dreams and studied mathematics. The book, by Laurie Wallmark and April Chu, tells the story of this remarkable woman and her work. Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal). In addition, it received the following awards and honors: Outstanding Science Trade Book (National Science Teachers Association); Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award (California Reading Association); Top Ten Science and Health Books for Youth (Booklist); and the Amelia Bloomer List (American Library Association). It is a Cook Prize honor book.

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