Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review: Nancy Knows

NANCY KNOWS by Cybèle Young is the beautifully illustrated story of an elephant who’s having trouble with her memory. Nancy can recall everything except the one thing she’s trying to remember. Readers young and old alike will be able to relate to this charming story.

Intended for preschool and primary-aged children, both parents and teachers will be attracted to the theme of “remembering” associated with colors, senses, and emotions. This book would be a wonderful springboard to discussions about with children about the concept of reflection. This essential concept is difficult to teach, but Young’s story of remembering would be an excellent time to start young children thinking about their own thinking. The conclusion explores the important of mental relaxation associated with remembering.

Young is known for her intricate paper sculptures. While the character of Nancy is shown as a primitive outline, amazing miniature paper sculptures are woven throughout the picture book reflecting Nancy’s thoughts and memories. The illustrator also used this technique successfully in two of her other picture books, A FEW BLOCKS and A FEW BITES.

NANCY KNOWS is a book that belongs in every home and library collection. Unlike Nancy, you’re unlikely to forget it.

To learn more about Cybèle Young’s exceptional artwork, go to

LibraryThing ARC used for review

Book Review: Voices from the March on Washington

VOICES FROM THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon is a powerful poem collection providing readers with a wide range of perspectives on this historic day. 

The poems in this book will transport youth fifty years into the past. Although many books chronicle the events of August 28, 1963, few capture the emotions of the experience. Through poetry, readers become immersed in the hope, pride, and excitement of the march.

From analyzing the inspiring title page photograph to discussing the impact of individual poems, the possibilities for classroom activities related to the Civil Rights Movement are endless.

Use the poems to jumpstart activities. When Langston Hughes is mentioned, bring out his poems to extend the experience. For more about Langston Hughes, go to When poets talk about Jim Crow, show photos reflecting racial segregation. For ideas, go to

Beyond the poems, the book’s introduction provides an excellent overview to the time period and context of event. In addition, the guide at the end of the book includes biographical notes about the key people mentioned in the book along with additional resources to extend the reading experience.

Add this book to the growing collection of high-quality works associated with the Civil Rights Movement in America.

NetGalley ARC used for review