The 2nd grader is now a voracious reader, devouring chapter books by the stack, which makes my heart sing! The Kindergartner can read better than he thinks he can, and so we will be checking out a lot of books this summer. A couple books of note that I've come across lately are "ellington was not a street" by Ntozake Shange, and "Willow" by Denise Brennan-Nelson.
Ellington is a beautifully illustrated poem that paints a strong, culturally rich picture of African American history during the Jazz Era. Seen through a little girl's eyes, told when she's a grown woman, its words are a thing of absolute beauty, and the illustrations by Kadir Nelson are a stunning match for the writing.
Willow really rang true for me, especially since I've been teaching art all year at our kids' elementary school. The message of Willow's kindness and how her teacher learned something profound from her (and changed for the better!) is touching and inspiring, and reminds us how important art is in our lives and that it is always vital to be true to yourself and be kind, even to those who may seem unkind.