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Back to the Books!

By Margriet Ruurs
Back to the Books!

Peach Girl by Raymond Nakamura, illustrated by Rebecca Bender.
Based on an old Japanese tale, this picture book has the feel of magical fairy tale. Momoko, the girl who magically appears out of a peach, bravely sets off to save the world from an ogre. Together with her animal friends, Momoko eventually finds the ogre who, it turns out, does not eat children but enjoys tea with peach dumplings (Pajama Press; ISBN 978-1-927485-58-3).
My Name Is Blessing by Eric Walters, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes.
This beautifully told story is one of my favorites ever written by Eric Walters. Based on a true story, the book takes the reader to the home of a wise, Kenyan grandmother who cares for many children as best as she can. The last pages of the book offer nonfiction information about the real boy whose name was changed to Blessing, and whose future was changed by an orphanage (Tundra Books; ISBN 978-1-77049-301-8).
Is This Panama? by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Soyeon Kim.
All alone in the Arctic, one little warbler needs to find a way to get to Panama before it gets too cold. Learning from different animals along the way, he finds out about others who migrate and how to navigate. End pages with nonfiction information add further value to this lovely story (Owl Kids, ISBN 978-1-926973-88-3).
Who Wants Pizza? by Jan Thornhill.
The same author as the previous book, wrote this fascinating account of... pizza! Take one slice, and write 62 pages... How do you do that? By tracing the origins of everything on your slice: from the history of ancient grains, to growing tomatoes. From the digestive system to meat production, this is an impressive journey tracing food production (Maple Tree Press, ISBN 978-1-897349-97-7).
Razia’s Ray of Hope by Elizabeth Suneby.
Based on a true story, this is the story of a girl’s school in Afghanistan. Gorgeous illustrations add to this well written book, and the back pages give it educational depth (ISBN 978-1-55453-816-4).
It’s About Time by Pascale Estellon.
From one second to one century, this book teaches young children about time. Combining information with activities, it touches on clocks, how to tell time, calendars, and the seasons (Owl Kids, ISBN 978-1-77147-006-3).
Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines, by Paul Fleischman.
Well known for many beautiful, often poetic, children’s books, this Newbery award winning author devotes his skills and energy to a worthy cause: the environment, in this book for teens. Do you know what “fracking” is? GMOs? Can you name greenhouse gasses? This book will guide you through terminology and help you sort facts from fictions, to help you draw your own, informed conclusions and become a more conscientious user of our most precious resource: the earth (Candlewick Press, ISBN 978-0-7636-7102-0).
Tips and Tidbits for Parents and Teachers, by Pat Kozyra.
The author taught for much of her life, both in Canada and in Hong Kong. After 50 years in the classroom she has collected many ideas for both parents and teachers on how to engage children. This is a kind of “handbook for parents,”with suggestions on what to do (and what not to do) when raising children (ISBN 978-1-62516-981-5).
Margriet Ruurs is the author of 27 books for children. She lives in Canada and conducts school visits around the world. Learn more at

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