Monday, June 27, 2016

Ramadan Reads: Books About Ramadan

Ramadan, the annual month of fasting that is part of the Five Pillars of Islam for practicing Muslims, ends on July 5. If you're interested in learning more about this observance, you've come to the right place! Let's look at our Ramadan books and books on Islam for further information:

The YA world has presented a small number of fun and thoughtful books about Muslim teenagers (including Does My Head Look Big in This? and Scarlet Undercover).  Bestest.Ramadan.Ever features fifteen year old Almira, who wants to fit in with the other students at her high school. Being Muslim (even though her family is not regularly observant), especially during Ramadan, makes that rather difficult! Dealing with a crush on a (non-Muslim) boy, being intimidated by a new Muslim student, and with the universal struggle between Westernized children and their immigrant parents puts a lot on her plate, but Almira deals with it in her entirely relatable way.

Celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr  is part of National Geographic's superb Holidays Around the World  series. Readers learn about the historical aspects of the observance, as well as the traditions surrounding the holiday.

Ten year old Lailah, newly arrived from the United Arab Emirates, is looking forward to fasting during Ramadan just like her relatives back home. But how will she tell this to her classmates in Atlanta? With help from her school librarian and teacher, Lailah explains why she will sit out lunchtime.  Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story is a sensitively and warmly told story of new beginnings and forming new friendships. This has been a popular selection from our new books shelves for several months!

Want more? Consider these titles:

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors (a very popular choice at our libraries ever since we received it several months ago!)

Salaam: A Muslim American Boy's Story

Where the Ghost Camel Grins: Muslim Fables For All Families of Faith

Father's Day may have come and gone, but great books about dads are year-round reads! I recently blogged about recently released children's books about fathers on the ALSC blog.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

Monday, June 20, 2016

Newbery and Caldecott Choices: At the Midway Point

It's nearly hard to believe, but we are just about halfway through 2016! For those that follow prediction/discussion blogs like Heavy Medal, Calling Caldecott, and Someday My Printz Will Come, it means that spirited discussion on the year's top titles will commence very soon (usually in September). While I haven't yet read titles that are my #1 pick for each medal (way too early for that!), I do have some strong favorites so far:

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
Previously reviewed: May 30
Consideration for: Newbery

Perry T. Cook's childhood is unusual and yes, improbable, but Leslie Connor deals with the delicate subject of children with incarcerated parents in a sensitive, deeply felt, believable, and even humorous way that remains memorable long after you read it.

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle 
Previously reviewed: n/a
Consideration for: Newbery

This spooky eccentric World War II fantasy is a must-read for young horror fans who have moved beyond Goosebumps. Definitely not for scaredy-cats. If a somewhat dark and creepy story set at a boarding school in Scotland sounds appealing, then this is right up your alley!

Emma and Julia Love Ballet
Previously reviewed: March 28
Consideration for: Caldecott

My favorite picture books tend not to win the Caldecott, so I'm not holding my breath for my picks. However, this darling story of a young ballerina and the professional dancer whom she admires is charming, sweet, and ideal for all dance fans. Barbara McClintock has never won a Caldecott-not even an Honor. That's unbelievable.

Freedom in Congo Square 
Reviewed: May 30
Consideration for: Caldecott or Newbery

I'll definitely be shocked if Freedom for Congo Square is not among the ALA Youth Media Award selections in late January. R. Gregory Christie's illustrations are vibrant and somber when appropriate; Carole Boston Weatherford's evocative text makes this appropriate for young elementary students studying slavery.

Reviewed: February 1
Consideration for: Newbery

Although any Joan Bauer book is heads and tails above many YA books, I haven't loved her most recent stories as much as I've loved older titles such as Hope Was Here. Soar is an exception; this is among her best she's written. Although she tackles heavy material (the main character has a heart condition, and much of the story is centered on the grief, shock, and shame felt by the community after a promising young athlete dies), there's tons of heart and humor to balance it out.

The Tree in the Courtyard 
Reviewed: May 2
Consideration for: Caldecott

Oh, my heart. Make sure you have plenty of time to read and consider this one, because this isn't the sort of story that you forget days after reading it. Told through the perspective of the chestnut tree that grew outside of Anne Frank's hiding place (and, like Anne Frank, has had a long legacy), this is a powerful title that parents and teachers might use for young readers beginning to learn about the Holocaust.

When Spring Comes
Reviewed: February 29
Consideration for: Caldecott

Finally (and to end on an upbeat note), Kevin Henkes's latest is bright, joyful, and now one of my favorite spring reads. Seasonal books don't tend to be chosen for the Caldecott, but this one is so perfectly pastel the way only Kevin Henkes can create, and such a unique addition to spring stories that I can't leave it out. This is a celebration of the ending of winter and the arrival of spring, but not forgetting that early spring can occasionally have some rather cool days (that is often ignored in other spring stories!). Tuck this into next year's Easter basket.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

Monday, June 06, 2016

Celebrate Our Four Legged, Feathered, and Finned Friends: It's Pet Appreciation Week!

Most children are fascinated by animals and long for a pet to call their own. While some are drawn to dogs and cats, others may focus on small mammals, horses, snakes, or even rats! Whether they are searching for information on a new/forthcoming pet, or just dreaming of a day in which they can call one their own, the library has many awesome selections for young readers:

As a child that loved all sorts of animals, I'm 100% sure that I would have checked out Great Pets repeatedly from my local library if it had been around when I was a young reader. For a child that loved mini-encyclopedia books stuffed with information (too bad DK wasn't around yet!), this information-packed guide to pets large and small would have been right up my alley. As a youth services librarian, I love its organization; instead of merely grouping the pets alphabetically, the animals are categorized into "aquarium pets," "pocket pets," "unusual apartment pets," and "backyard pets," in addition to "pet birds," "pet dogs," and the like. There's even a section on "pets in the wild," which discusses pigeons, earthworms, and bugs!

Since I can never have too much nonfiction for beginning readers, especially on animals, I immediately ordered Hedge-Hedgey-Hedgehogs when I discovered it. This early reader about hedgehogs has eye-catching photographs and controlled text aimed at young elementary school readers.

Even children who don't take riding lessons are curious about horses and horse care, which is why our horse care section is very popular! Kingfisher's Horse and Pony Care is one of our best guides; a horse's requirements for housing, feeding, and grooming are highlighted.

On the other end of the spectrum (in terms of pet size), Small Pet Care is ideal for pet owners of cute and compact critters. Tips on caring for hamsters, rabbits, and guinea pigs are presented in DK's typically photo and information-rich format.

Finally, American Humane Association's Top Pets for Kids series is a great resource for young pet owners seeking manageable books on birds, cats, dogs, fish, small mammals, and even reptiles and amphibians!

Animal fans of all ages should join us for our summer reading program kickoff on June 11. Wildlife Ambassadors will present a fantastic program with their animal ambassadors (who have been rescued from a variety of situations, ranging from exotic birds surrendered by their owners or wildlife animals unable to be returned to the wild). They've visited us many times, and always put on a fabulous program!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ridiculously Good Reads: May Edition

Happy Memorial Day! To honor the day, please also read my May 23, 2015 post for children's books about Memorial Day. Memorial Day is first and foremost, a day to honor fallen servicemen and servicewomen. It is also the unofficial start to summer! And around here, summer= summer reading. Registration for our summer reading program opens on June 1 (you can register at any time during the summer), and our summer programs kick off on June 11. If you need some awesome reads to kick off a great summer of reading, here are some titles that recently knocked my socks off:

Due to an unusual situation with the warden (who acts as his official foster parent), Perry has lived all his life at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska. His mother entered the facility at age 18 due to a manslaughter charge, and he was born shortly after. When the new district attorney (and stepfather of his best friend) catches wind of this situation, Perry is immediately placed into foster care with the family. Missing his mother desperately, Perry seeks the truth behind his mother's imprisonment, believing that the entire story has not been truthfully told. Although there are serious issues dealt with in the story (the justice system, foster care, good deeds sometimes being self-serving), this is a story full of love, forgiveness, and second chances. Blue River is for non-violent offenders, so none of the prisoners are there for hard sentences. As Leslie Connor mentions in her afterword, 1 in 28 children have an incarcerated parent (and there are very few books that speak to this experience like this book). Although Perry's situation is highly unlikely (as Connor herself points out, although prison nurseries do exist), her gift in imagining this unique, difficult, and complex situation makes this instantly believable.  All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is definitely on my list for 2017 Newbery hopefuls.

I love, love, love Allie, First at Last. This depiction of a high-achieving, successful, middle-class Mexican-American family will speak to many children, especially those who struggle with feeling not as successful as their A+ parents and siblings. Allie longs to have an achievement she can call her own; when her science project turns into a disaster, she becomes even more determined to win the Kansas Trailblazer Contest, for which she will make a project based on her bisabuelo's (grandfather's) World War II service. Unfortunately, her recently estranged friend, Sara, plans to do the same thing! For Cervantes's pitch perfect depiction of a somewhat daunting but loving overachieving family that maintains roots with its Mexican culture and friendship issues that often arise with preteens, this is a must read for anyone who enjoys realistic reads that have drama (but not devastating drama!).

YA literature is slowly (quite slowly!) but surely making inroads into making science fiction more diverse. Set in 2050 Los Angeles, the characters in Bluescreen live in a world in which they are constantly connected to news, entertainment, and advertising. A new digital enhancement called Bluescreen, marketed as being safe, knocks out Marisa's friend, Anja. Their investigation soon catches the attention of Bluescreen's makers, which lead them on a high-stakes adventure that includes gang wars and conspiracies. This ethnically diverse (Marisa is Latino) intense thriller is ideal for readers that like high-tech science fiction (if you enjoyed Feed, you'll like this one). This is the first entry in the Mirador series, and I can't wait to see where Dan Wells takes the story next!

When I heard that Kate Andersen Brower was working on a book about modern first ladies (from Kennedy to Obama), my reaction was this:

Presidential history nerds like myself know that The Residence, her somewhat gossipy but not trashy look at the men and women who make the White House run is insanely enjoyable and accessible history at its finest. If you haven't read it, and you have any interest in presidential history, you are missing out!   First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies is just as engaging, moving, and revealing as its predecessor. Brower's access to former White House staff members makes this unique among presidential history books; although she is frank about both positive and negative attributes of each First Lady, there's no denying that some ladies were more popular than others. Brower's depiction of these women thrust into a role that most didn't desire, is unpaid yet demands extraordinary sacrifices of both careers and personal time, and garners excruciating scrutiny and attention brings them to a new level of appreciation and empathy. Jacqueline Kennedy's despair after President Kennedy's assassination and her constant desire to raise their children as normally as possible, Lady Bird Johnson bravely facing segregationists during her tour of the south during President Johnson's presidential campaign, and Betty Ford revealing her breast cancer diagnosis and addiction during a time in which both conditions were not openly discussed are vivid highlights; the struggles of raising children, being married to the President, their relationships with their predecessors and successors, conflicts between East Wing staff and West Wing staff, and keeping their own identities are brought to life. One of my favorite reads so far this year (I was tickled by the fact that if a Bush grandchild arrived at the White House without reading material, Barbara Bush would escort him/her to the White House library to choose a book; there are many....entertaining anecdotes about Mrs. Bush throughout this book).! If you're a fan of women's history titles like The Girls of Atomic City or The Astronaut Wives Club, you need to read this; I'm encouraged by the fact that we're seeing an increase in women's history titles that are accessible to the general public; judging by the holds for Rise of the Rocket Girls (cannot wait!), there's a genuine desire for it as well!

Freedom in Congo Square  is written by a master of African-American children's literature; coupled with the fact that it is also New Orleans history made this a must-read for me. New Orleans's Congo Square was a gathering place for enslaved African Americans. They met every Sunday to shop in an open market, to play music and sing songs that celebrated their African cultures (the evolution of jazz), and to visit with each other. Although the harsh conditions of the slaves are not diluted, this is entirely child appropriate for most young readers and listeners. R. Gregory Christie's illustrations are somber and vibrant when appropriate; this is on my 2017 Caldecott hopefuls list.

Want an emotional YA thriller with lots of twists and turns? The Darkest Corners should definitely be on your summer reads list! Tessa hasn't visited Fayette, PA since she moved to Florida. Hoping to see her father before he dies in jail, her trip back home stirs up a ton of difficult childhood memories. Tessa and her childhood friend's testimony help convict a man of serial murders in their community; however, new evidence may prove that the wrong man was convicted. Moreover, Tessa has begun to question her memory of what she witnessed, which unnerves her now-estranged friend, Callie. When another girl in their community is killed in the same manner as the other victims were murdered, Tessa must decide whether or not to dredge up traumatic childhood memories and to admit that her memory might not have been accurate. Although the action doesn't start immediately, it's pretty hard to put it down once it starts.

Now that summer is upon us, our picture books about swimming are about to get super popular again! Leo Can Swim is a continuation of Anna McQuinn's darling series about baby Leo. Leo is taking baby swim class with daddy; this simple story is rich in charming illustrations and a sweet depiction of a loving family.

All good things must come to an end, and thus it is with Mo Willems's Elephant and Piggie series. Throughout the years, Elephant and Piggie have partied, learned about surprises, cheered up friends when they were sad, and even appeared in the most meta reader that I've ever read. Now that their run has finished (*sob*), it is time to say thank you in their final book, The Thank You Book. I don't want to give away too much, but long-time Willems fans are in for a huge treat. Like all other Elephant and Piggie books, there is a lot of humor, genuine heartfelt joy, and above all, the importance of treating others with kindness. I'm excited to see what Willems creates next, but I will miss this series very much.

Need more reading suggestions? Check out our weekly email newsletter, Wowbrary, or our staff-created reading lists.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Families From Many Lands: Books for Asian American & Pacific Islander Month

Since 1992, communities across the United States have celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Month (which started as a week-long celebration in 1979). To highlight the diversity of the region, let's take a look at some outstanding children's books that feature characters with Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage:

While there are many books and movies about Ellis Island, there is definitely a lack of awareness about its counterpoint in California. Throughout the 20th century, Angel Island served as the entry point for 1 million Asian immigrants, mostly from China. Immigrants that arrived at Angel Island were often kept for several weeks or even months (unlike the immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island, who were largely detained for only a few hours while they underwent medical examinations). During their time on Angel Island, immigrants expressed their hopes and fears through letters, diaries, poems, and wall drawings that were discovered after the facility closed in 1940. Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain is an eye-opening and incredible read about a little-known aspect of U.S. immigration history, written by a master of children's nonfiction.

Learning about everyday customs, such as food, schooling, and marriage customs are often fascinating to children (and adults!). Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding is a darling and appealing look at a Chinese wedding ceremony, through the eyes of Uncle Peter's niece.

Wendy Wan-Long Shang's The Great Wall of Lucy Wu features an all-too believable and common conflict between American-born children and their immigrant elders. Lucy is much more interested in basketball than Saturday Chinese classes, and is not thrilled to be sharing her room with her great-aunt, who is visiting from China for several months. Along the way, Lucy learns to appreciate her great-aunt and her Chinese heritage, although never in a way that is preachy or condescending.

Laurence Yep has written about Chinese heritage and history for decades, when the American children's literature world had very few authors of Asian descent writing stories. The Star Fisher and its sequel, Dream Soul are my favorite Yep titles. Joan is finding it difficult to fit into her 1920s West Virginia community. The Lees are the first Chinese family in the community, and are met with suspicion and ignorance. Luckily, there are pockets of kindness that help ease the transition, and the universal conflict between immigrant children and their parents is authentic. Dream Soul continues the Lee's story, with Joan eager to celebrate Christmas, even though her family does not.

Fans of myths and legends definitely need to read The Shark King, which is based upon a Hawaiian legend of a boy who's half-human and half-shark. Nanaue's attempts to assimilate into a village of people is an unusual and memorable read.

Luka and her grandmother, Tutu, are best friends. Luka wants a bright and multi-colored quilt, but traditional Hawaiian quilting demands that no more than two colors may be used. Luka is upset, Tutu is hurt, but through imagination, conflict resolution, and understanding, differences are smoothed over by Lei Day. The bright collage artwork in Luka's Quilt is striking, with an appealing story that all can relate to.

Baseball is a very popular sport in Japan, as evidenced by Take Me Out to the Yakyu. A Japanese-American boy enjoys going to games with his American grandfather and his Japanese grandfather; through his explanations of the similarities and differences of the games in both countries, readers enjoy an entertaining cross-cultural experience.

Allen Say is a long-established Japanese-American children's author; although I adore all of his stories, The Favorite Daughter is my #1 pick. Say draws upon personal experience for his stories; his daughter's struggle with accepting and honoring her biracial heritage is among his most personal. Yuriko is teased for her Japanese name and her striking looks (she has blonde hair and Japanese facial features). When Yuriko wants to change her name to something more "American," her dad's gentle guidance allows her to embrace both her Japanese and American heritage. The book ends with a picture of Allen's daughter in a kimono and visiting Japan for the first time in her twenties; readers' heartstrings will be pulled for both Yuriko and her father during this difficult but ultimate successful time.

 The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is a dark and tragic time in our country's history. Prejudice and hostility toward Japanese-Americans boiled over when Pearl Harbor was bombed; the living conditions that Mitsi must endure in the internment camps is chaotic, confusing, and humiliating. Missing her friends and her beloved dog, Dash, makes it hard to bear; only the resiliency and dignity of the families makes life bearable. Dash is a must-read for fans of World War II era fiction.

With the publication of her second book, The Land of Forgotten Girls, Erin Entrada Kelly is establishing herself as a much-needed author of stories centered on Filipino-American children. Blackbird Fly, published in 2015, follows eighth grader Apple as she deals with school bullies and plays the guitar. Like many middle school stories, a major plot point involves separating from former friends and finding friends who share your newly found interests and passions; Apple faces the same dilemmas as she discovers two new friends who share her love of music (especially the Beatles). Recommended for fans of coming-of-age stories, but not quite ready for YA.

Inside Out and  Back Again (2011 National Book Award winner and 2012 Newbery Honor recipient) is undoubtedly reminiscent of the many struggles young Vietnamese immigrants faced when they arrived in the States during and after the Vietnam War. When Ha's family is released from a refugee camp, they end up in Alabama, where Ha faces enormous challenges with learning English and dealing with racist classmates. Ultimately, Ha's resolve and strength sees her through these difficulties; this novel-in-verse is an extraordinary read. Thanhha Lai's follow up, Listen, Slowly, is another superb tale (reviewed in March 2016).

Whenever I order new holiday books, I look for books that feature something unique about the holiday.  Duck for Turkey Day is one of my favorite Thanksgiving stories for that reason. Although Tuyet's Vietnamese family celebrates Thanksgiving, as do many immigrant families, they serve duck instead of turkey for their feast. Tuyet is quite uncomfortable with that fact, and dreads talking about the day during class discussions. She is surprised to find that having a non-turkey Thanksgiving is actually not that unusual in her class; one family enjoyed lamb, another enchiladas, while another served tofu turkey! Teachers looking for a worthwhile story to read for Thanksgiving should definitely consider this, as it might prompt an intriguing discussion and learning time.

I blogged about "Robot Reads" for ALSC this month; take a look for some techie tales for young readers.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

Monday, May 16, 2016

Libros Para Ninos: It's Latino Books Month!

I do love a month-long celebration of books, which is why I've been brainstorming titles to promote for Latino Books Month!  With the We Need Diverse Books grassroots campaign getting stronger and more visible every day, the importance of publishing, reading, critically reviewing, and promoting books that reflect the diversity of this world is gaining more attention. I whittled this list down substantially (I focused on Latino books by Latino/Latina authors); while these are my top favorites, I have many more that I could have included!

Margarita Engle's novels in verse should be your first picks for memorable and eye-opening Latino literature for youth; her novels have brought to life Cuban musicians, artists, and fighters for independence. Enchanted Air is her most recent and personal creation, as it chronicles her young adulthood in Los Angeles during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is a welcome addition to historical literature for youth for capturing the experience of a young Latina during an incredibly charged and frightful time with her ancestral homeland, but also for its Los Angeles setting, which is not often explored in historical literature (compared to other cities of similar size). See my December review for a fuller review of this knockout read. Engle's Mountain Dog is also a fantastic read.

When it comes to children's historical fiction set in the American West, Esperanza Rising is inarguably one of the most engrossing and moving stories you will find. Set in California during the Great Depression, this portrayal of a young Mexican-American girl who bravely faces the upheaval in her life is one of my standard recommendations for historical fiction assignments. Ryan's most recent novel, Echo, is one of the 2016 Newbery Honor titles (and includes a Latino character forced to attend a segregated school in California).

YA dystopia is not really my thing. I've read enough that I can give several honest and positive recommendations for fans, but it's something that I admittedly have to make myself read. Now that the popularity of this genre has cooled considerably, I mostly only pick up a dystopian novel if it offers something unique, such as a main character from a minority community. I'm also not keen on reading a book in one sitting, but that's exactly what I did when I popped The Living (also set in California) into my bag to take home. This is one of the most intense and gripping reads I have read in some time. Check out my April 2014 review if you're interested in more details. (I'm currently reading Bluescreen, which I would definitely recommend for fans of futuristic YA novels; a Latina teenager is the main character. It's also set in California--Los Angeles, to be exact!).

When granddaughter Lucy feels under the weather (chicken pox), Mama Provi cooks up her famous arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) to provide delicious nourishment. While climbing the stairs to Lucy's apartment, Mama Provi encounters her neighbors (from different cultures and ethnicities), who contribute to the meal, providing a hearty and multicultural feast for Lucy.  Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice is one of those great picture books that can be enjoyed by kindergartners as well as third graders, showing that picture books shouldn't be abandoned after kindergarten!

I read Maria Had a Little Llama for a recent "stories in rhyme/Mother Goose" story time in honor of National Poetry Month and Mother Goose Day (May 1). Set in Peru, this is an adorable adaptation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and received an Illustrator Honor citation from the 2014 Pura Belpre Award committee.

Nino is a brave lucha libre wrestler, but can he fend off freshly-napped little sisters? Nino Wrestles the World is a funny, realistic, and charming siblings story. Lucha libre is a very popular wrestling style in Mexico in which the wrestlers wear masks; we've added quite a few lucha libre-themed stories to our collection in recent years.

Sonia Manzano recently retired from Sesame Street; hopefully, she'll write more children's/YA books in her television retirement!  Set in 1969's Spanish Harlem, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano is a sensitive and powerful coming of age story story centered on a fourteen year old Puerto Rican-American girl whose family is torn between both sides of the Puerto Rican/Latino activist movement of that time.

Gary Soto's books are must reads for any collection offering Latino books for children; Too Many Tamales, set during Christmas, is a heartwarming and gorgeously illustrated tale about truth-telling and family love. Share this with your lower elementary grade students!

Cross-cultural books (like Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice) are one of my beloved genres; you can't get much more universal than the drama of losing a tooth (or food). While the Tooth Fairy visits children in the United States, El Raton Perez (a mouse) takes the teeth of children in Mexico. Both visit Mexican-American Miguel when he places his tooth under his pillow; who will take the tooth and get the glory? The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Perez is funny, festive, and a sweet story of multiculturalism and cooperation. Pair this with Throw Your Tooth on the Roof for an around-the-world study of lost teeth customs.

Fans of YA coming-of-age stories should not miss Under the Mesquite, which follows a teen poet as she comes to term with her mother's cancer diagnosis and the hardships that follow. Guadalupe Garcia McCall's upcoming book is a Romeo and Juliet story set during the Mexican War for Independence along the Texas border; cannot wait!

Finally, What Can You Do With a Paleta/What Can You Do With a Rebozo? celebrate everyday life with family and neighbors in a Mexican barrio (neighborhood). Children explore the many fun and creative things you can do with a paleta (popsicle) or a rebozo (scarf). I've had great success reading both books to preschool groups.

Until next Monday--happy reading!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library