Elementary Reviews (4)

Age: 6-9

Wade Hudson’s short read covers the story of Tyrone, who just spent the whole summer hustling to get the flyest kicks for the first day of school. Unfortunately, so did everyone else, and Tyrone’s day just keeps getting worse, especially when a new kid comes. A new kid who has the exact same name. With two Tyrone Rashon Williams in the same classroom, hijinks are sure to ensue. The Two Tyrones is a fun book that covers problem solving, friendship, and managing expectations. Pick up a copy by selecting the image above.

Age: 5-9

Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood tells the story of overcoming adversity and ignoring your haters. Imani is the smallest girl in her village. She is so small that children accuse her of being shorter than a lion cub’s knees. Every night, her mother tells her stories that are derived from Maasai folklore and mythology, and Imani is filled with hope. One day, Imani decides she wants to touch the moon, but every time she tries, she fails. Her failure is always in front of the other village children, but every night, her mother tells her a new story that inspires her to try again. Finally, and we won’t spoil the ending for you, Imani realizes how to make it to the moon. Full of African Maasai folklore and the sweetest, little girl, Imani’s Moon is a wonderful tale about dreams that is perfect for bedtime.

Pick up a copy by selecting the link above.

Age: 4-8

Kids love dragons; either they envision themselves as conquering knights or they wish they could ride one, meet one, or maybe just find their lair and abscond their treasure. They love their dragons serious, ferocious, goofy, silly or all of the above, and parents love reading dragon stories with them.

This is what we love about Dear Dragon by Josh Funk. On the surface, the story is silly, but it teaches children about making friends, seeing past misconceptions, accepting differences, and about writing letters.

George and Blaise are pen pals as an assignment. Through their letters, we learn about each character; both boys believe something different than what the other is writing because there’s just one hang up: George is human and Blaise is a dragon, but neither knows this teeny tiny fact. Fully of fun actions, descriptive scenery, and, of course, a little boy chock full of melanin, Dear Dragon allows us to explore dragons while also normalizing the appearance of color in our children’s books. Pick up a copy by selecting the main image.

Age: 6-8

Boonoonoonous – Jamaican word for “wonderful,” “sweetheart,” or “special.”

Boonoonoonous Hair, by Jamaican-Canadian author, Laura James, is yet another hair book, but we love it. Not only do young readers get to experience a taste of Jamaican culture through the language, texture, and style of this book, but they also get to glorify the wild and free versatility of their hair. Vibrant colors, amazing artwork, and a series of different types of ethnic hair styles, along with the days of the week, seamlessly flow through Boonoonoonous Hair. As always, we recommend picking up a copy of this book by selecting the image above or finding it somewhere online!

Age: 6-8

When Annie and Mike discover a box on the curb, they have great ideas for it, and one of them is to create a fort. Yet, as they are building, they come across a pattern of little rainbows that are mysteriously reflecting on the family room wall. But where do they come from? Why are they on the wall? Welcome to a Science Solves It book, which creates the perfect situation for children to learn about science and utilize scientific analysis to solve the mystery! Join Annie and Mike as these two amateur detectives journey to discover where the rainbows come from. The best part is not only that Annie is a brilliant shade of brown, but that she takes the lead on discovery. The Rainbow Mystery also includes fun activities and experiments for kids to read, which helps it double as a perfect STEM book for kids.

Pick up a copy by selecting the image above.

Age: 6-9

Angela Dominguez dug into her own experience as a Mexican-American for her book, Stella Diaz Has Something to Say, and we so appreciate her for it. Being raised bilingual isn’t always easy, and Stella provides a down-to-earth experience that is full of fun images, basic Spanish, and a story line that has you rooting for the main character.

When school starts, Stella finds that she is in a different class than her best friend. She wants to make new friends, but she tends to mix her English with her Spanish, much to the delight of the school bully. Between fumbling with her attempts to make friends with Stanley, the new boy school, and working up the courage to do a big presentation in front of her class, Stella has to work through her fright because like it or not: Stella Diaz Has Something to Say.

We like this book for its bilingual approach, for its artwork, and for its variation of topics, such as bullying, friendship, public-speaking, and more. For any child, reading Stella Diaz Has Something to Say provides much needed context for what it is to be Mexican-American.

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