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mixedmedia

I am Harriet Tubman

The incredible Harriett Tubman is the latest subject in Brad Meltzer’s bestselling picture book series in “I am Harriet Tubman.” The book focuses on Harriett Tubman’s brave heroism as part of the movement to abolish slavery. As one of the key players in the Underground Railroad, she helped enslaved African Americans escape and find freedom. The book reveals traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. $14.99 Penguin Young Readers



First Ever Coloring Book of Black Composers

Great classical music works by black composers (men AND women!) have been plentiful, but have been overlooked for centuries. The goal of the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation is to literally change the face of classical music, starting with the “Coloring Book of Black Composers.” This children's coloring book, which features an illustration on one side and a bio on the other for each composer, promotes diversity and accurately represents the contributions of blacks in the classical music world and beyond. $18.95 sharmusic.com



— Jenny L. Heinbaugh


Book Reviews

Books for February

By Mary Quattlebaum

babies / tots

Baby See, Baby Do

With bright, full-color photos of busy babies, this board book is sure to prompt curious page turning and enthusiastic coos from little ones. Each double-page spread features a different baby engaged in a specific activity. The book radiates good cheer and inclusivity as babies from a range of races and ethnicities crawl, laugh, cry, pout and clap. Little ones are fascinated by the human face, and this book will prompt frequent gazing – especially as one prominent feature is a reflective“mirror”in which children holding the book can peek at themselves. What a way to celebrate love of self and others on Valentine’s Day!


ages 4 – 8

Midnight Teacher

This picture book biography by Janet Halfmann makes for compelling reading throughout the year, with special relevance for Black History Month in February. Lily Ann Granderson was born into slavery in 1821 and learned to read in secret from the master’s children. As she got older, she shared her knowledge with other enslaved children and adults who visited her secret school at night for lessons. If caught, Granderson and her students risked brutal beatings, but still they persevered. After the Civil War, this courageous woman started a school for newly freed people. Stunning acrylic paintings by London Ladd convey the pride and sense of purpose that Granderson and her students felt in their progress, and text and art reveal that many of these students then went on to teach others.


ages 9 – 12

Robotopedia

Perfect for National Inventors Day on February 11 is this fascinating nonfiction book about robots. Each double-page spread explores a particular aspect, including robot history and types of robots and how they work. Local author Brenna Maloney also spotlights pioneers such as Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci and 21st century scientist Cynthia Breazeal. Lavishly illustrated with color photos throughout, this volume invites children to dive into and better understand the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. Maloney encourages young people to try making their own robots and shares information on competitions, conferences and camps.


Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 27 award-winning children’s books, most recently “Hero Dogs,” a National Geographic nonfiction chapter book about amazing animal heroes. Mary is a popular school and conference speaker.maryquattlebaum.com