January Bookshelf – 5 Stories to Start Your Year

January Bookshelf – 5 Stories to Start Your Year

books on shelves pictured. Words: january bookshelf www.justabxmom.com
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Reviewing children’s books is one of my favorite things to do on this site. I love introducing you to authors who might not already be on your bookshelf. I love sitting with JustaBXgirl and having her read the books and sharing with me her thoughts even before I open the covers. I will never get tired of watching her face when a book resonates. I love hearing her ask if we can get more books from certain authors. I love it when she chooses books from our monthly bookshelves to share with HOPS during reading time or to share when she does her weekly reading buddy calls.

This month’s bookshelf is setting the stage to be a great year. I’m excited about the stories we are sharing and hope you will be too. As always, I want to remind you to check out your local library for titles I share. If they don’t have them, request them.

When Julia Danced Bomba -Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz is one of my new favorite authors. Her books are bilingual and share the story in English and Spanish so the No Sabo kid in me can read them in Spanish and still know what I’m saying. This is a great way to get littles familiar with a new language. This book is the story of Julia who takes bomba class with her brother Cheito. Cheito is a drummer in the class. I love how Dr. Ortiz writes. It is at the foundation a story that can take place anywhere. Julia is nervous in class because she wants to do well. She doesn’t think she can be as good as the others. During her solo, Julia finally feels free. She is finally making the drum talk to her and magic happens. Dr. Ortiz described bomba so beautifully. Her words made me picture the community classes that JustaBXgirl helps lead with Bombazo Dance Company as a junior member. I’ll be adding this book to my gift lists.

Traveling Shoes – The best way to get littles interested in history is to tell them stories about history when they are young. It is fun to read about fictional characters and magical adventures but it can also be exciting to learn about those who came before us. I was unfamiliar with Willye White before reading this book so I’m here to remind you that we can learn right alongside our littles. Each page begins with a Willye B. White quote. The researcher in me wanted to research each quote to see the context of their origin. I appreciated this because it was sharing her voice throughout the story. Each quote is followed by a story about a certain time in Willye’s life. This book will be used over and over again in our home. I will be using it for homeschool projects. It will be a great discussion for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Career options, and more. Even Alice Faye Duncan’s Author’s Note gives us discussion material. She shares her inspiration and research behind the story.

The Whisker Gang’s Winter Adventure: Finding Friendship on the Ice – This was the first of the Whisker Gang’s books that we read, but it will not be the last. It is a story about friendship. It is a story about being brave and trying something new. It is a story about allowing yourself to be helped. It is a story about welcoming new people. It is a great addition to our bookshelves and a reminder that I still haven’t taken JustaBXgirl ice skating! Oh, and did I mention it is a story written by a child? Yup, Jaxon Dean McMillon is a talented author who is currently working on his eighth book. Mmm Hmm, what you working on?

Vicki and a Summer of Change – Remember how I said that Dr. Ortiz was a new favorite author? I had to share a second of her books so that you could understand my newfound obsession a bit more. Yo soy Boriqua. Yo soy Nuyorican. Yo so un no sabo kid. Dr. Ortiz fills a need in the little girl I was. Dr. Ortiz’s words allow my daughter to connect with her roots through the language she speaks. This story written with Iri Morales, a legend herself, serves as a window to history. Told you I was starting this year’s bookshelf with strong titles. We will be using this one again and again. It is another gift to the home school community. We will use it to discuss Iris Morales in March for Women’s History. We will use it when looking at groups like the Young Lords and the Black Panthers and discuss why they are necessary in our communities and why the government is threatened by them. We will use it to discuss family dynamics. It is after all a story about two sisters.

The Human Body An Alien’s Guide – Yup, you guessed it. The final book in this month’s bookshelf will help in homeschooling as well. If text books were written like this I might have loved science in school I might need Zag and Zog to walk me through every subject in life. This is a thorough trip through the human body. It gives facts. It explains things in ways that littles and big can understand. And it is fun. Yup, learning is fun. Imagine being an alien and never seeing a human before? This book reminds me of when the Magic School Bus took a field trip through Ralphie’s body. This is what you read after you watch that episode!

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