Newbery Award winning author, Erin Entrada Kelly, delivers the first in a new series with character Marisol Rainey. Marisol is a Filipino American living in Louisiana with her family. She and her best friend Jade are enjoying the start to the summer vacation by playing lots of games, using their imagination to create their own fun, and climbing the tree in Marisol’s backyard. Except, Marisol is petrified to climb the tree. Not being brave enough to climb the tree in her backyard is just one of Marisol’s many fears. There are plentiful illustrations throughout the book, drawn by Kelly herself.
THOUGHTS: This engaging book has everything a popular series needs to be a hit with readers. Marisol’s anxieties make her very relatable and the humor laced through Kelly’s writing will entertain even the most reluctant readers.
Hemming, Alice. The Leaf Thief. 1st American ed., Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2021. 978-1-728-23520-2. 32 p. $17.99. Grades K-3.
Squirrel is contently lounging in his tree watching the sun shine through the colorful autumn leaves when he suddenly realizes one of his leaves is missing. He immediately enlists Bird’s help tracking down his missing leaf. He questions Mouse to no avail. The next day, he notices that more leaves are missing! He accuses Woodpecker and even Bird of stealing his leaves, but he soon discovers that there may be another explanation to his missing leaves. A humorous story sure to delight young readers, this would be an excellent choice for a fall read aloud.
THOUGHTS: Endnotes in the book explain some of the science behind the arrival of autumn, making this the perfect introduction to life cycles and the changing seasons. As an added bonus, Squirrel’s exaggerated actions and expressions make for a comical story that is sure to grab the interest of elementary students. This is a solid choice for elementary science collections.
Tallandier, Muriel. Under My Tree. Myrick Marketing & Media, 2020. 978-1-733-12123-1. $18.95. Grades K-2.
Under My Tree is a sweet picture book that follows Suzanne, a young girl, as she discovers her tree. She has found a tree that is special to her, and she takes the time to get to know it. She feels the bark, climbs the branches, smells the fruit, and even watches as it goes through its yearly cycle of changes. Suzanne learns much about her tree and even shares some of the things she has learned about with others. Suzanne loves her tree and knows that her tree loves her.
THOUGHTS: My favorite part of this story is the little “Fun Facts!” or “Try This!” that appears in the corners. There is information about a variety of topics, including information on what the fruit feels like, to fun ‘did you know’ facts about animals and bugs that may be on trees. This small information piece added something extra that teachers will love to use within their classrooms.