My Penworthy Pick is Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, by Caldecott Medal winner Jacqueline Briggs Martin. This large format picture book tells the compelling story of former professional basketball player-turned-farmer Will Allen. Growing up, Will helped his family grow healthy food for their dinner table. They had no car or TV, but always entertained friends and family with great food and fellowship. Will eventually settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he began his dream of teaching the world how to become urban farmers with some help from his secret recipe of compost and red wiggler worms. The result was Growing Power, Milwaukee's only urban farm. Will achieved his goal and was awarded a MacArthur "Genius Grant" in 2008 and the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the highest honor given by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, in 2012.
The story of Mr. Allen's passion for helping others is an engaging and truly motivational account of a great role model. The bright illustrations and spare, engaging text capture his enthusiasm for bringing good food to every table. This title would make a great prompt for discussions about healthy food, community, and social justice. A note from Mr. Allen himself and a list of resources to help young readers start their own gardens are included.
By Jim Huebner, Penworthy Sales Representative
“Read Aloud. Change the world.” World Read Aloud Day is almost here! We’ve compiled a list of useful resources to help make your WRAD celebration a success:
How to be a DJ in 10 Easy Lessons is a fun and straightforward guide for aspiring DJs. Readers interested in music and mixing will follow an easy-to-understand path to becoming a DJ, starting with a brief history of the art form. The book outlines basic equipment and software needed for startup, followed by music theory and counting beats and bars. From there, kids will learn about music mixing, blending, and scratching. Readers gain knowledge as they progress though the book with simple and clear instructions, engaging graphics, and helpful tips.
The layout makes the text easy to read, with paragraphs separated into highly visual sections, and broken up by fun images and helpful diagrams. A table of contents, glossary, index, and a "Useful Links" section are included. The author himself is a professional DJ and music producer, and teaches dance and arts workshops for youth internationally. This title is great for the upcoming 2018 Summer Reading theme "Libraries Rock," or for any kid interested in learning how to DJ, either for fun or as a potential career path.
By Katie Ratajczyk, Penworthy Sales Representative
If your school celebrates the 100th Day of School, it’s coming up fast! And it can be celebrated in the library or media center, too. Here are some fun ideas – many are free printables. And of course, our 100th Day Pinterest Board has many more suggestions for your perusal. Enjoy!
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