Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire

61OIch0-EEL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_

Mary Blair lived her life in color: vivid, wild color.

From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary’s ideas were considered too abstract and too colorful. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted twinkling emerald skies, peach giraffes with tangerine spots, and magenta horses that could fly.

She painted her world.

Creativity, Innovation, Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.3

AR Point .5

Word Count 808

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay

61eoh6+tHcL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option…until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Innovation, Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.6

AR Point .5

Word Count 1297

Snowflake Bentley

61+ix41IEUL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_

From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley’s enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist’s vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature.

Innovation, Leadership, Optimism, Patience, and Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.4

AR Point .5

Word Count 979

Saving the Liberty Bell

51DFW103S4L._SX374_BO1,204,203,200_

Some tall tales are actually true. This is a grand one, told with rightful pride by a boy who was there in the city of Philadelphia in 1777 and was lucky enough to play a role in the American Revolution.
John Jacob Mickley, eleven years old, and his father were in the city when the Great Bell began ringing Brong! Brong! BRONG! from atop the State House to warn the citizens: “Redcoats! The Redcoats are coming!”
And come the British did — with their muskets and their cannons and their will to keep the colonies for their king. Looting they came and stealing any metal they could get their hands on to melt down for the making of more weapons. And the prize above all? The Great Bell itself — metal for many a cannon!
But these clever Patriots had other plans for keeping the Bell safe from the British.

 

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Initiative, Perseverance, Responsibility, Teamwork

Fiction

AR Reading Level 4.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 1660

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library

As soon as Thomas Jefferson learned to read, he found his passion: books, books, and more books! Before, during, and after the American Revolution, Jefferson collected thousands of books on hundreds of subjects. In fact, his massive collection eventually helped rebuild the Library of Congress—now the largest library in the world.

Barb Rosenstock’s rhythmic words and John O’Brien’s whimsical illustrations capture Jefferson’s passion for the written word as well as little-known details about book collecting. Author and artist worked closely with experts to create the first picture book on Jefferson’s love of reading, writing, and books. An author’s note, bibliography, and source notes for quotations are also included.

Leadership and Initiative

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.8

AR Point .5

Word Count 1659

 

The Right Word – Roget And His Thesaurus

For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions — and it wasn’t long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn’t write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.

Readers of all ages will marvel at Roget’s life, depicted through lyrical text and brilliantly detailed illustrations. This elegant book celebrates the joy of learning and the power of words.

Innovation and Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.1

AR Point .5

Word Count 1227

Caldecott Honor Book

The Robert F. Sibert Medal

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring – The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation

It took the teamwork of a dreamer and a planner to turn an ordinary spring into a truly marvelous thing!

With magnificent dioramic illustrations, Gilbert Ford captures the joy, creativity, and determination behind the invention of an iconic, one-of-a-kind toy: the Slinky!

One day, a spring fell from the desk of Richard James, an engineer and a dreamer. Its coils took a walk…and so did Richard’s imagination. He knew right away that he had stumbled onto something marvelous.

With the help of his wife, Betty, Richard took this ordinary spring and turned it into a plaything. But it wasn’t just any old trinket—it was a Slinky, and it would become one of the most popular toys in American history.

Creativity and Teamwork

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.2

AR Point .5

Word Count 685

 

 

The Bravest Woman in America

Ida Lewis loved everything about the sea, so when her father became the official keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island, she couldn’t imagine anything better.

Throughout the years, Ida shadowed her father as he tended the lighthouse, listening raptly to his stories about treacherous storms, drowning sailors, and daring rescues. Under her father’s watchful eye, she learned to polish the lighthouse lens so the light would shine bright.  She learned to watch the sea for any sign of trouble. And, most importantly, she learned to row.

Ida felt ready for anything—and she was.

Award-winning author Marissa Moss pairs up with award-winning illustrator Andrea U’Ren in a stunning collaboration that sheds light on a remarkable piece of history. Based on the true story of Ida Lewis, who was dubbed “the Bravest Woman in America” and who was recognized with the Congressional Life Saving Medal and the American Cross of Honor, this inspiring and unforgettable tale of courage and real-life heroism is a tribute to brave women everywhere.

Courage, Perseverance, and Responsibility

Nonfiction

AR Book Level 4.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 1289

 

Goliath: Hero of the Great Baltimore Fire

In 1904 the city of Baltimore was almost destroyed by fire. Hundreds of firemen, policemen, soldiers, and citizens battled the blaze for three days. The disaster brings out the best in man and the bravest of deeds, but one hero stands head and shoulders above all…literally. Goliath is a fire horse assigned to Engine Company 15. He is massive in size and mighty in heart and steadfastness. To the men of Engine Company 15, Goliath is the ultimate fire horse. He is the lead horse for the team assigned to pulling the mammoth Hale Water Tower No. 1. When the fire alarm sounds, calling them to action, Goliath leads his team into the blaze. Soon his lifesaving actions will lead him into the pages of history. Masterful artwork from acclaimed illustrator Troy Howell brings this true story to pulse-pounding life. Educator Claudia Friddell says of her work researching Goliath, “It was a privilege to meet and interview firefighters and fire historians about the Baltimore Fire of 1904.” Goliath is her first children’s book. Claudia lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Artist Troy Howell has had a prolific career as a children’s book illustrator with countless books to his credit, including The Secret Garden, The Ugly Duckling, and Favorite Greek Myths. He received his formal art education from the Art Center in Los Angeles and the Illustrators’ Workshops in New York. Troy lives in Falmouth, Virginia.

 

Courage

Nonfiction

AR Book Level 4.8

AR Point .5

Word Count 1594

 

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still

In the village of Onesti, Romania, a country rich with forests and mountains, there lived a girl who couldn’t sit still. She loved to play with dolls, swim, play soccer, and climb trees. But she didn’t just climb the trees, she swung from branch to branch until her family would call her home: “Nadia!”

Nadia Comaneci went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games. Along the way, there was hard work, determination, and several imperfect moments. Following Nadia from her introduction to gymnastics to her first Olympics, this picture book celebrates the spirit of a champion and the energy of a little girl who couldn’t sit still.

 

Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.8

AR Point .5

Word Count 962